49ers have the third-best roster in the NFL according to ESPN

49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers managed one of the best single-season turnarounds in recent NFL history last season as they followed up a disappointing 4-12 2018 campaign with a shocking 13-3 2019 season.

That season resulted in a trip to the Super Bowl where they came one quarter away from securing their first championship since 1994. And that miraculous reverse in fortune didn’t come about by mistake.

The 49ers’ roster had a ton of holes in 2018 that were exacerbated by numerous critical injuries. But in 2019, everything started to click and the roster became one of the best in football.

And it seems as though the 49ers will continue to hold that distinction heading into the 2020 season despite a number of key changes in the offseason.

ESPN recently released a list ranking all 32 rosters in the NFL and the 49ers came in at No. 3 on the list. They placed just behind the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints who ranked first and second respectively.

The 49ers’ roster is talented everywhere, but the strength of the team is their defense.

The strength of the 49ers is undoubtedly their defense — in particular, their defensive line. The likes of Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead are some of the best players at their positions and headline perhaps the best defensive line in the NFL.

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Meanwhile, the 49ers have star players at every level of the defense with the standout linebacker duo of Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander at linebacker and Richard Sherman at cornerback.

Interestingly enough, ESPN labeled the secondary as the team’s biggest weakness which seems a little off. Sherman is still playing at an elite level while nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams was one of the best slot corners in the NFL last year.

On top of that, the safety duo of Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt played exceptionally well in 2019 too. Sure, you could argue that the 49ers don’t have a solidified No. 2 cornerback with the duo of Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon competing for the position this summer.

Meanwhile, their offense remains in good hands under the guidance of head coach Kyle Shanahan while the acquisition of Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams was heavily praised.

"“Williams sat out the entire 2019 season, but he earned eight consecutive grades of 75.0 or higher from 2011 through 2018, finishing six of those seasons above the 80.0 threshold. It bears seeing how his recent injuries and time away from the field will affect his play, but the move to acquire him allows the 49ers to maintain one of the best starting tackle duos in the NFL.”"

The first-round duo of Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk were also praised for their potential to develop into impact players down the line. Kinlaw, in particular, they noted could immediately make 49ers fans forget about the loss of DeForest Buckner.

Despite losing the likes of Buckner, Emmanuel Sanders, and Joe Staley in the offseason, the 49ers managed to maintain one of the best rosters in the NFL.

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Hopefully this season it results in a Super Bowl victory.