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:
11. Running back Frank Gore: Gore had one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 30, and the team relied on him greatly. Sooner or later, Gore will slow down and the 49ers will move on. Perhaps he will be asked to take a pay reduction, but I expect Gore to continue to be in the team’s plans.
12 Defensive lineman Justin Smith: Smith had another huge season in 2013. He takes on double teams like it's a one-on-one matchup and he is one of the heartbeats of the defense. He will be 35 in September, but the 49ers gave him some plays off when they could and he is fresh.
13. Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin: Boldin certainly played better than the 13th-best player on the team in 2013. But he is 33 and he is a free agent. He doesn’t have a lot of time left, but for 2014, re-signing him is crucial.
14. Guard Mike Iupati: Iupati had a tough season physically. He missed four games with a knee injury and he broke his fibula in the NFC title game. He will be fine for 2014. It is a big year for Iupati. He will be a free agent in 2015 and because of long-term needs and Iupati’s likely expectation for a big deal; he could be entering his final year with the 49ers.
15. Tackle Anthony Davis: A solid, consistent member of a strong offensive line. He just goes out and plays well every week.