49ers news: 4 Niners make Pro Football Focus 2021 All-Pro team
By Peter Panacy
While it’s not the official AP All-Pro designation, these four 49ers players certainly deserved to be named to Pro Football Focus’ 2021 All-Pro team.
The folks over at Pro Football Focus aren’t waiting and probably aren’t concerned about the 2021 Associated Press All-Pro voting, which hasn’t come out yet.
Instead, PFF decided again to dish out its own All-Pro team at the end of the regular season. And while it’s fairly easy to poke some fun at PFF for its imperfect grades and analytics from time to time, it’s still important to acknowledge they’re one of the more recognized football third-party entities out there.
And their 2021 All-Pro team paid some homage to this year’s installment of the San Francisco 49ers, too.
Pro Football Focus names four 49ers players to 2021 All-Pro team
You might be able to guess at least a few of the Niners players who received such an honor.
PFF divvied up the group, as does the Associated Press, into two tiers: a first-team and a second-team group.
49ers first-team All-Pros
- FLEX Deebo Samuel
- LT Trent Williams
49ers second-team All-Pros
- TE George Kittle
- EDGE Nick Bosa
For what it’s worth, Bosa lost out on the first-team designation to EDGEs Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders and Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns, while Kittle came in second to Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews.
Kittle being a second-teamer might make some sense, but it’s hard to figure out what PFF was thinking placing both Kittle and Pittsburgh Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt with the second-team unit.
Their choice. Not ours.
49ers WR Deebo Samuel perfectly defined by FLEX position
Whether he’s lining up at wide receiver, in the backfield as a running back or, as was the case in Week 18, actually throwing touchdown passes like a quarterback, few players in the league epitomize “offensive weapon” as much as Samuel.
PFF certainly recognized this, naming him the first-team FLEX option and saying the following:
"The FLEX designation was built for Samuel, who is a unique playmaker and a force within the 49ers’ offense that is unlike anyone else in the league. Samuel led all wide receivers in average yards after the catch (10.2) and ranked second in yards per route run (2.98). He also scored eight rushing touchdowns, the most from a wide receiver in a single season in NFL history. Samuel handled at least 10 backfield snaps in three games this season, with another two games of nine snaps. He presents a true matchup problem because of the number of ways the 49ers can make use of his skills."
Ironically enough, PFF’s second-team All-PRO FLEX player was someone San Francisco coveted during the offseason, Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson.
The 49ers are happy to have Samuel, though, and his impact was more than just influential in the Niners finishing the regular season with a 10-7 record and making it into the postseason.