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2021 NFL Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the San Francisco 49ers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 6 roundup for the 49ers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

Most improved player: WR Deebo Samuel

How they've improved: A big part of Samuel's ascent is because he's been healthy so far, but he also put in a lot of work in the offseason to get leaner, expand his route tree and become a more complete receiver. That work has paid off. Samuel has gone from primarily a gadget player limited to designed runs and in-breaking intermediate routes to the league's second-leading receiver (548 yards) and the 49ers' clear No. 1 target in the passing game. -- Nick Wagoner

NFL.com -- Rank: 17

Trey Lance brought some much-appreciated excitement to the offense in his first career start. Points? That was a different story. Lance threw one interception and the Niners were stuffed on four of their five attempts on fourth down, the difference in a 17-10 loss to the undefeated Cardinals. Lance looked very much like a raw rookie at times on Sunday, but he also moved San Francisco into Arizona territory on eight occasions and led the team with 89 rushing yards. It felt like something to build off of, but Kyle Shanahan appears determined to turn back to Jimmy Garoppolo if the veteran is ready to return from a calf injury after the Week 6 bye, and Lance is now dealing with a knee sprain that that will be re-evaluated at the end of the week.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 19

They saw both the good and the bad from Trey Lance last week. He isn't ready as a passer just yet, which is why they should go to Jimmy Garoppolo when he is healthy.

USA Today -- Rank: 20

Week 6 byes are rarely welcome, but this one may have saved San Francisco from starting QB Nate Sudfeld now that Trey Lance (knee sprain) is hobbling along with starter Jimmy Garoppolo (calf).

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

Breakout player: He's missed some time with a shoulder injury, but Elijah Mitchell has become the 49ers' No. 1 running back, something none of us would have predicted two months ago. Mitchell, an undrafted rookie from Louisiana-Lafayette, climbed the depth chart because of injuries to veterans Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., and moved ahead of draft pick Trey Sermon. He averaged 4.78 yards per carry Sunday against a stout Arizona defense.

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