PFF Rankings: 49ers atop the RB list in the NFL
Jun 20, 2023, 10:45 AM | Updated: 11:01 am
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Despite losing in the NFC Championship, the San Francisco 49ers are still considered one of the most deep teams in the NFL.
Pro Football Focus announced their positional rankings ahead of the 2023 season Tuesday, with the Red & Gold’s running back core taking first overall. After adding Christian McCaffrey to an already efficient backfield, San Francisco took off, becoming the hottest team in football last season.
Here’s what PFF had to say:
Christian McCaffrey was everything the 49ers could have hoped for, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and forcing 30 missed tackles on 199 rushing attempts in the regular season and playoffs after his midseason trade from the Carolina Panthers. His 91.9 PFF receiving grade in that span was the best in the entire NFL, too. Then you have Elijah Mitchell as depth, who has produced 75.0-plus PFF rushing grades in each of the past two seasons when healthy.
McCaffrey, 27, finished 2022 with 1880 total scrimmage yards, the most since his 2019 season. He also added 13 scores and 85 catches to his name. Coming over from Carolina at the trade deadline, CMC has quickly become a leader in The Bay, setting the tone at each & every practice.
“When you get to know Christian, you understand why he’s the player he is,” 49ers’ All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams said earlier this month. “I mean, that’s every day. We’re in a minicamp. Most of the veterans are on the sideline with a front-row view. You can’t keep him out the huddle, that’s him. He’s a competitor, he doesn’t take a day off, doesn’t take a play off.”
The 49ers also have depth behind McCaffrey, with standouts Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason coming in for relief. The trio was extremely effective in 2022, averaging 138.8 rushing yards per game.