- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter
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Staley, who is entering his eighth season, checks in at No. 24 among all offensive players, a year after being No. 25.
“Staley has started every game and made the Pro Bowl in three straight seasons,” per ESPN Stats & Info. “The 49ers scored a league-high five rushing touchdowns on designed runs outside the left tackle last season.”
Smith, meanwhile, is No. 26 among defensive players. He was No. 11 in 2013.
“Last season, the 49ers recorded a sack on 7.4 percent of pass attempts with Smith on the field compared with only 4.3 percent when Smith was on the sideline,” according to ESPN Stats & Info. “Since Smith joined the 49ers in 2008, opposing quarterbacks’ Total QBR is nearly 20 points lower when he is on the field (42.9) compared with off (60.5).
Following are the 49ers players listed so far on the #NFLRanks project, and their respective rankings.
No. 81: RT Anthony Davis
No. 54: WR Anquan Boldin
No. 53: LG Mike Iupati
No. 51: WR Michael Crabtree
No. 43: RB Frank Gore
No. 33: QB Colin Kaepernick
No. 24: LT Joe Staley
No. 97: SS Antoine Bethea
No. 74: LB Ahmad Brooks
No. 71: FS Eric Reid
No. 26: DT Justin Smith
Nine San Francisco 49ers players have already been listed on our #NFLRank Top 100 players ranking, and left tackle Joe Staley and defensive tackle Justin Smith are the 10th and 11th.