The 49ers claimed the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed and their 2023 NFL regular-season PFF grades are an indicator as to why.
Plenty of stars, from quarterback Brock Purdy to running back Christian McCaffrey, among others, hit historic marks throughout the season and played pivotal roles in San Francisco's success.
With the regular season officially over, here's how the 49ers' star players graded out in the regular season.
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QB Brock Purdy - 88.4
Purdy showed how comfortable he could be on the field after a full offseason under coach Kyle Shanahan and his statistics were impressive, to say the least. The quarterback’s 9.64 yards per pass attempt led the league and is the highest for any qualifying quarterback since St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner posted 9.9 yards per attempt in 2000.
Purdy also led the league with a 113.0 passer rating which is the highest of any 49ers quarterback since Steve Young’s 112.8 passer rating in 1994.
According to PFF, Purdy’s 80.2 percent completion percentage and his 143.2 passer rating when using play-action were tops in the league. Purdy’s completion rate on deep passes of 20 yards or more downfield was also the best in the league at 63.8 percent with the highest yards per attempt (20.3 yards) and 11 touchdown passes, tying Jacksonville Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence.
San Francisco 49ers
RB Christian McCaffrey - 90.6
McCaffrey showed how much he could do to propel the 49ers' offense forward with a league-leading 1,459 rushing yards, which was 292 more yards than the second-leading rusher, the Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry (1,167). The All-Pro’s 929 yards after contact was second by only one yard to Henry who posted 930 yards after contact.
The Stanford product also forced 60 missed tackles, which ties Arizona Cardinals' James Connor for second in the league. Jacksonville's Travis Etienne fired the most missed tackles this season with 64.
McCaffrey’s 44 rushes of 10 yards or more were best in the league, as were his 20 carries of 15 yards or more. The running back also posted a whopping 83 rushing first downs.
Not a one-trick pony, McCaffrey also showed he could be as productive through the air as he was on the ground, with the most first downs by a running back (31) and his seven receiving touchdowns were the best in the league.
WR Brandon Aiyuk - 92.3
The fourth-year wide receiver led the league with 60.4 percent of his targets and 81.3 percent of his receptions resulting in a first down or a touchdown. Aiyuk’s grade was only second to the Miami Dolphins' Tyreek Hill (93.7) and his 3.01 receiving yards per route run ranked third in the league.
Purdy had a 126.8 passer rating when targeting Aiyuk, which is the third-highest among all wideouts in the league.
TE George Kittle - 87.6
The All-Pro led the league with his season grade, as did his 1,020 receiving yards. Kittle’s 15.7 yards per reception led all tight ends with 20 or more receptions and his 477 yards after the catch ranks third.
LT Trent Williams - 89.7
Williams’ overall grade was the second-highest among tackles behind the Detroit Lions' Penei Sewell (90.7). This broke William’s three-year streak as PFF's top-graded tackle (2020-2022), but the All-Pro showed he still has what it takes to dominate at the position.
DE Nick Bosa 92.7
Bosa’s overall grade tied the Dallas Cowboys' Micah Parsons for the second-best behind Cleveland Browns' Myles Garrett (93.6). The All-Pro’s 95 quarterback pressures ranked third behind Parsons (103) and Detroit Lions' Aidan Hutchinson.
DT Javon Hargrave 73.9
Hargrave and the defensive line took a few weeks to get accustomed to each other, but the defensive tackle still posted an 87.2 pass rush grade on the season, which ranks him fourth among interior defenders behind New York Giants' Dexter Lawrence (92.6), Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (91.5) and Kansas City Chiefs' Chris Jones (90.3).
LB Fred Warner - 90.1
Warner is PFF's top-graded off-ball linebacker on the season while leading all at his position with four forced fumbles and four interceptions. The All-Pro’s 90.7 run defense grade ranks him third behind only Miami Dolphins' David Long Jr. (93.4) and Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner (91.5).
CB Charvarius Ward - 82.6
Ward received his first Pro-Bowl nod after leading the league with 16 PFF-graded pass breakups. The cornerback’s season grade ranked ninth in the league while his 63.0 passer rating allowed ranked sixth among all cornerbacks.