PFF Rankings: 49ers LB duo named ‘gold standard’ of NFL

Jun 21, 2023, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

Dre Greenlaw #57 and Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers tackle Terrace Marshall Jr. #88 of ...

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have been a perennial playoff contender the last few years, partially due to their stellar linebacker group.

Pro Football Focus released their positional rankings ahead of the 2023 NFL season Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, the 49ers ranked first in a few different categories, including the linebacker position.

Here’s what they had to say:

The easy choice for the top spot, San Francisco fielded the highest-graded linebacker group in the NFL last season. They finished second in the NFL in run-defense grade (90.7) and led the NFL with an outstanding 88.5 coverage grade.

The 49ers boast two legitimate stars in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. Warner is the NFL’s most consistent coverage linebacker and posted a career-high 89.7 run-defense grade this past season, too. Greenlaw had a career year in 2022, earning a 79.6 overall grade bolstered by a nearly 20-point jump in coverage grade…

…The 49ers have the best pair of linebackers in football and the depth to fill in if one of them were to suffer a short-term injury. They are the current gold standard at the position.

High praise for the Red & Gold, poised to make another deep playoff run this season.

Warner was outstanding as the leader of the defense in 2022, making his second All-Pro selection of his career. He finished with 130 combined tackles, two sacks, ten pass break-ups and one interception.

His counterpart, Dre Greenlaw, was also instrumental in the team’s success last season. The Arkansas alum recorded 127 combined tackles, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one interception.

San Francisco also ranked first at the running back position by PFF, taking the crown thanks to Christian McCaffrey’s play in 2022.

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