FanPost

2013 49ers Projections

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

Projected Record: 12-4 (3-3)

Projected Finish: 2nd in NFC West (upset in wild card round of playoffs)

Quarterbacks: Colin Kaepernick took the NFL by storm last year. And he did so in a brilliant manner. The 6'4, 230 pound QB lead this team all the way to the Superbowl where he tossed for over 300 yards in a thrilling 3 point loss to the Ravens. With Alex Smith gone for good, Kaepernick has become the franchise QB with no competition. However, there is competition for Kaepernick's backup job. The competition lies between 4 players: Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and BJ Daniels. McCoy comes over from Cleveland where he was once thought to have been the teams franchise QB but lost that job to Brandon Weedon last year. Seneca Wallace was just signed after being released from New Orleans. Scott Tolzien enters his 3rd NFL season with the 49ers. He has yet to appear in a NFL regular season game but he is popular among the coaches. BJ Daniels is an undrafted rookie from the University of South Florida. Over 5 seasons at USF, Daniels threw 8,433 yards, 52 TD's, and 39 INT's while running for an additional 2,068 yards and 25 TD's. Daniels may be a long shot to backup Kaepernick but his ability to run the read-option could see him on at least the practice squad.

Grade: B+

Running Backs: Frank Gore is still among the best RB's in the NFL. He ran for over 1,200 yards and 8 TD's last year while catching another 28 passes. The 5'9, 217 pound beast will go into 2013 looking for his 4th straight Pro-Bowl appearance. Gore's backup situation is interesting. It's an open battle between a plethora of backs. Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James are two, small, quick scatbacks who can catch passes and play a role on special teams. Anthony Dixon is a big, 235 pound bruising back who's valuable in short yardage situations. Marcus Lattimore is a 3rd round draft pick from South Carolina who's an explosive back when healthy, which he hasn't been the past 2 seasons. DJ Harper is an undrafted back from Boise State who accumulated 41 TD's over a 6 year college career as a Bronco. As I mentioned, the backup RB spot is up for grabs and will be based upon preseason play.

Grade: A-

Receivers: The signing of Anquan Boldin from Baltimore was one of the big stories of the NFL offseason. Boldin was the leader of a Ravens receiving core that relied on him heavily in the Super Bowl as he caught for over 100 yards. Boldin will team up this year with Michael Crabtree. Crabtree had a stellar season last year for the 49ers catching 85 passes for 1,102 yards and 9 TD's, leading the team in all categories. Mario Manningham was a terrific #3 receiver at one point for the Giants. After being the #2 guy last year where he caught 42 passes, he'll move back to #3 again this year. Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins are 2 WR's who were recently signed. Although they have combined for just 6 catches last year, having faced injury, they come to San Fran for a fresh start. Neither has a guaranteed spot. Chad Hall, Jon Baldwin, Kyle Williams, and Quinton Patton will all compete for the remaining receiver slots. Of that group, Quinton Patton is a player to keep an eye on. He's a 4th round pick from the 2013 draft out of Louisiana Tech. As a senior last season, Patton caught 104 passes for 1,392 yards and 13 TD's including a monster 21 catch performance against Texas A&M. Brandon Carswell, USC, and Chuck Jacobs, Utah State, are 2 undrafted receivers who will need a monster preseason to see a spot on the roster. Kassim Osgood is a lanky receiver who has just 16 catches in the past 8 season. However, his value isn't in the passing game but on special teams where he has made the Pro Bowl 3 times in his career just as a special teams representative. Along with all this WR talent, the 49ers have some pretty darn good TE's. Vernon Davis is arguably one of the best TE's in the league. The 6'3, 250 pound TE had a mediocre regular season but shined in the Niners postseason run to the Super Bowl. Garret Celek and MarQueis Gray will vie for Davis' backup spot. Celek appeared in just 13 games catching 4 passes during his rookie season last year. He is also the younger brother of Eagles TE Brent Celek. MarQueis Gray is a talented rookie from Minnesota. He's an undrafted player who's listed as a TE but played QB/RB/WR in college for the Golden Gophers. Gray's versatility could land him a spot on the practice squad at least.

Grade: A

Offensive Line: Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Goodwin, Mike Iupati, and Joe Staley combine to compose one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. The Niners o-line averages 6 years of experience, not to old, not to young. Health is always is a concern for a talented line like this, but all 5 players mentioned did not miss 1 game last year.

Grade: A+

Defensive Line: Justin Smith may have taken a slight step back last season but his 6'4, 285 pound stature is still something to be reckon with. Glenn Dorsey was once a #5 overall pick though to be the next best defensive lineman in football. In 5 years with the Kansas City Chiefs, Dorsey was a let down who never came into his own. This season, he'll get a new start with a talented 49ers team that will look to get the the potential out of Dorsey. Ian Williams is a 3rd year player who could compete with Dorsey. He has limited game play experience but signed a contract extension in the offseason. Cornelius 'Tank' Carradine and Quinton Dial are 2 rookie pass rushers that could be effective. Carradine is a 2nd round pick from Florida State who is coming off an 11 sack season for the Seminoles. Dial is a 5th pick who's coming off a National Championship victory with the Crimson Tide. The one guy I think everyone is looking forward to see is DL Lawrence Okoye. Okoye is a 21 year old who's never played American Football. Rather, he's a British Discuss Thrower who competed in the 2012 Olympics in Beijing. After the 6'6, 305 pound (pure muscle) athlete posted a 4.78 second 40 yard dash at a regional combine, Okoye caught the eyes of Jim Harbaugh. I'll be rooting for Okoye who is a legit chance of making the roster.

Grade: B+

Linebackers: The 49ers hand down have the best linebacking core in the NFL. Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman can be argued to be the best 2 linebackers in the NFL, they only combined for 268 tackes last year...Aldon Smith is a top 3 pass rusher in the NFL. His 19.5 sacks last year in only his 2nd NFL season speaks for that. Ahmad Brooks is the last piece of this 3-4 defense. He is the unsung hero of the crew who quietly had 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a pick 6 last season. Darius Fleming was a 5th round pick from 2012 that missed the entire season to injury. If he can be healthy this year he could be just another lethal weapon in this linebacking core. Nathan Stupar is a former Penn State linebacker who could be a player to keep an eye throughout the preseason.

Grade: A+

Defensive Backs: It will be a very interesting competition at CB this preseason between Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Eric Wright, and Nnamdi Asomugha. Brown and Rogers were the starters for the Niners last year and did a fine job. Nnamdi was one of the many big offseason acquisitions for the 49ers. At 32, Nnamdi has showed decline in the past few seasons but is still certainly one of better CB's. Eric Wright comes over from Tampa where he was a lockdown corner but questions surround his health after he recently failed a physical. Chris Culliver was injured and will miss the 2013 season so that means more play for corners Tramaine Brock, and Perrish Cox. Special teams play could be the de facto with this pair. Eric Reid is a 1st round draft pick from LSU who should play immediately alongside Pro Bowler Donte Whitner. Craig Dahl and Trenton Robinson will vie for backup safety roles.

Grade: B+

Buy: Quinton Patton

Sell: Nnamdi Asomugha

On the Hot Seat: Anthony Dixon

Breakout Player: Lawrence Okoye

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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