- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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The San Francisco 49ers are widely considered an elite NFL team, and Pro Football Focus' latest unit rankings reflect those high expectations.
In Insider pieces, Pro Football Focus ranks the 49ers' offense as the seventh best in the NFL and their defense as the third best defense in the league. On offense, three of the four 49ers' ranked position areas are considered as "high quality," which is the top category in the ranking formula. On defense, two of the four positions get the "high quality" slot.
What I think is most encouraging for the 49ers is the two average spots the 49ers were given could be areas of strengths as well. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is ranked No. 17.
But the 49ers' receivers are ranked No. 1. Kaepernick has shown how productive he can be when his receivers are healthy. This is a quarterback whose game is rising. I'd be shocked, by at the end of the season, if anyone is ranking him as the 17th best quarterback in the NFL.
The 49ers' secondary, which is ranked No. 19, has looked good in camp, and I have a feeling it will be better than expected.
If Kaepernick and the 49ers' defensive backs exceed these rankings and expectations, there will truly be no issue areas for San Francisco.