SF 49ers: 5 best players over the first half of the season

Fred Warner #54 of the SF 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 of the SF 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Jason Verrett, SF 49ers
Jason Verrett #22 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

No. 2: SF 49ers CB Jason Verrett

There have been so many great feel-good stories in the NFL this season, including the return of former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith from a gruesome leg injury.

Among the more under-the-radar stories of this ilk has been the resurgence of SF 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett, who has missed most of the previous four seasons — including all of 2018 — due to various injuries.

But after missing the first two games of the 2020 season, Verrett has stepped in as an every-week starter for the SF 49ers and has been among the stronger cornerbacks in the NFL through nine weeks.

Pro Football Focus has him graded out as a 78.3 player on defense, tied for 7th in the NFL, and he has allowed either a 30.6 or 23.2 passer rating, depending on your source. Either would be among the league leaders.

Unfortunately the players opposite Verrett, including Emmanuel Moseley, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Brian Allen, haven’t always lived up to their end of the bargain, and the lack of a pass rush has made life more difficult for all of the SF 49ers cornerbacks.

But Verrett is on pace to match his career high in games played barring no injuries in 2020. And while he might not win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year (Smith should have it locked up just for playing in a football game again), he has been one of the SF 49ers’ best players so far this season.