49ers rankings: 16-20

We are taking a look at the top 60 players in the San Francisco 49ers' program and will rank them from 1-60. We are going to take a look in a 12-part series, moving upward. The ranking considerations are based on 2013 production, future projections, age, and contract status:

16. Safety Donte Whitner: Whitner is a solid player. He had a good season in coverage and he is an enforcer. He is a free agent and he could command a big deal elsewhere. I know the 49ers have other long-term needs, but keeping Whitner is vital.

17. Defensive lineman Ray McDonald: If he played on a less star-studded defense, he might be a standout player. But he is a perfect fit for this unit and is simply solid.

18. Cornerback Tramaine Brock: No player improved as much as Brock did in 2013. He went from a special team player to the 49ers’ best cornerback. He was rewarded with a four-year contract and his future is bright.

19. Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey: He was a great free-agent addition, is a terrific fit for this defense, and a strong part of the rotation.

20. fullback Bruce Miller: The run game missed him when he was lost for the season with a broken scapula in December. The 49ers will welcome this unique player back with open arms.