Any question about Trent Williams’ value to San Francisco’s offense was dispelled by what the 49ers have done in his absence.
With Williams hampered by injuries the last three games, the Niners have gone from one of the most prolific offenses to a struggling one. That’s one reason why he was once again voted as the top offensive lineman in the league by The Associated Press.
A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players at offensive line, making their selections based on current status through Week 8. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
Williams was one of two players named on all nine ballots, getting seven of the first-place votes to repeat his No. 1 spot that he also earned in the preseason. Lane Johnson was also picked on every ballot and came in second with one first-place vote.
Jason Kelce came in third, Zack Martin was fourth and got the last first-place vote, and Christian Darrisaw came in fifth as the only new entry from the preseason poll.
Joel Bitonio, Tristan Wirfs, Joe Thuney, Laremy Tunsil, Chris Lindstrom, Quenton Nelson and Trey Smith also got votes.
1. TRENT WILLIAMS, San Francisco 49ers
Williams is the anchor on San Francisco’s offensive line with his athleticism fueling the team’s running game and his strength protecting Brock Purdy’s blind side in the passing game. Williams has earned back-to-back All-Pro honors and regularly delivers highlight-reel blocks.
2. LANE JOHNSON, Philadelphia Eagles
Johnson sets the standard on the right side of the line the way Williams does on the left. He has not allowed a sack since the 2020 season, according to PFF, and has allowed only three pressures in the past seven games.
3. JASON KELCE, Philadelphia Eagles
The undersized Kelce is the linchpin on one of the NFL’s most unstoppable plays. Kelce is a key component to Philadelphia’s “Brotherly Shove” play that has turned 3rd and 4th and 1 situations into near automatic conversions on sneaks by Jalen Hurts. Kelce has been a first-team All-Pro in five of the last six seasons.
4. ZACK MARTIN, Dallas Cowboys
Martin has been remarkably consistent for nearly a decade as the best player on what usually is one of the top offensive lines in Dallas. He has been named first- or second-team All-Pro in eight of his nine seasons, with his six first-team selections one shy of the record for a guard.
5. CHRISTIAN DARRISAW, Minnesota Vikings
Darrisaw has established himself as one of the top pass-blocking left tackles in the league in his third season. After giving up nine sacks his first two seasons, Darrisaw has allowed only one so far this year, according to PFF.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL