The Super Bowl is officially in our rear view mirror and we are now beginning the run up to free agency, which starts March 13. Before free agency gets going, I thought it would be fun and useful to take a look at each and every 49ers player from this past season. For the most part, each post will provide some analysis of a given player's 2011 performance and then look ahead to 2012. There will also be a poll asking you to rate the player on a 1-to-10 scale with 1 being the worst rating and 10 being the best rating. You are rating their 2011 performance and not what they might or might not do in 2012.
For players that didn't play a lot and are likely to walk in free agency (e.g. Chilo Rachal), we might focus a bit more on the position in general than the player. We'll sort of take it on a case-by-case basis. We're likely going in alphabetical order and will go with approximately two per day. We probably won't do practice squad guys, focusing instead on the 53-man roster for the most part. We are doing positional looks as well, but those are a bit more general with fairly short looks at all the players that comprise a given unit.
Today, we start with All Pro kicker David Akers.
|2011 - David Akers||16||2 - 2||16 - 16||13 - 14||6 - 11||7 - 9||44||52||80.0%||34||34||100.0%||166|
Carlos Rogers and Donte Whitner get a lot of chatter as the 49ers best free agent pickups from last year, and they are worthy candidates. However, Akers put together a 2011 season that was as good as any you will ever see from a kicker. He set NFL records for field goals made (44) and attempted (52), as well as total points scored with no touchdowns (166).
While that does say a lot about the 49ers red zone woes in 2011, it shouldn't take away from the absolutely dominant season Akers put together. His made percentage was fourth best in his career and he had a career year from 50+. Given the 49ers offensive struggles at times, having a guy who was as automatic as 49ers fans could hope for on a kick-by-kick basis. He struggled a bit on 40-49 kicks (6/11) but considering he was 7/9 on 50+, that's not too bad from deep.
While we can always expect fewer misses, for the most part Akers did just about whatever the 49ers needed. Add in his entertaining fake field goal touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree and it was just about a career-year for the 49ers kicker.
The 49ers locked up Akers to a three year deal this past offseason, so 2012 and 2013 should be in good shape at the kicker position. Of course, I know we're all hoping Akers is kicking fewer field goals and more extra points in 2012. Akers equaled his lowest extra point total if you exclude his 12-game season in 2005 and his first year with the Eagles. A few more extra points would be a plus moving forward!