San Francisco 49ers: Ranking 10 Best Players on Offense in 2016
No. 1 – Joe Staley
On a shaky and unproven offensive line, the one primary constant has been left tackle Joe Staley.
Staley may be 31 but he has shown very few signs of dropping off and received Pro Bowl honors for the fifth time in 2015 despite the 49ers’ struggles up front.
His pass-protection skills have declined somewhat – Staley allowed five sacks in 2015 according to Pro Football Focus. – but the 10th-year player still possesses impressive footwork, can deal with inside moves and is an athletic run blocker who can get out on pulls and open up holes for the ground game.
Staley is signed through 2019 and, although it is likely his play will begin to drop off as he approaches his mid-30s, it is fair to assume he will see out his contract and remain a mainstay as the protector of the quarterback’s blind side.
San Francisco has invested heavily in the offensive line in recent drafts and will hope the likes of Trenton Brown, Joshua Garnett and one of John Theus and Fahn Cooper can blossom into solid starters.
And they could hardly have a better mentor in the form of Staley, who is the sole elite player on the 49ers offense and is pivotal to the fortunes of this inexperienced group.
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