It's occurred to me that Parys Haralson might be the 49ers most forgotten starter. It's always about how Manny Lawson is going to be, how far along Ahmad Brooks is. I was shocked when I read shortly after minicamps that a few people were clamoring for Brooks to just start at the right outside linebacker position since he did so well at the left - but we have Haralson.
I'm not saying he's great, or anything to that affect, but he certainly does what he's asked and does it well. Teams last year identified him as our only pass-rushing threat from the linebacker position and unceremoniously double teamed just shortly after "breaking out." He still registered six sacks, though, on a team that finished third in the league in the category.
So maybe he's not our best pass-rushing option, but he seems sufficient in that regard, what about other things? I've personally never witnessed him struggle with a tackle or look particularly bad in coverage. In fact, I'd go as far as to say he's particularly decent when you put him in coverage. But how good is he?
Is Ahmad Brooks legitimately a better option right now, or is that just the case of people overlooking Haralson? Is he a bad player? A good player? More important, what's your confidence level for him? Make the jump and I define your poll answers.
Very High: Breaks through, simple as that. Has a very, very good season. 10+ sacks, but also has a complete coverage game. Earns himself a good paycheck after the season.
High: Around 8-10 sacks, still a for-sure starter and a dominating presence. Not much else to say beyond that, just a really good. above-average starter.
Medium: Six sacks, same as last year, and doesn't look as good. He doesn't play bad, and in fact players starting caliber football, but he continues to fly under the radar and be forgotten by fans. The position could still be upgraded, but we're not doing horribly with this option. A good player.
Low: 3-4 sacks, is beaten in coverage, and starts being pulled in pass rushing situations. The position is clearly a position of need.
Very Low: If only he could go against Kwame Harris and other such players on every down, but alas, it isn't to be. He's largely ineffective and when he's out there, the team isn't as good as it would be if say, Ahmad Brooks was out there. He's beaten in coverage, in the trenches, and may even cost us a game.