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Ultimate Something or Other

So after pumping up the "Ultimate Highlight" (just showing very random highlights between segments in SportsCenter), the world wide leader has been pumping out "Ultimate Depth Charts."  When I first heard about the "Ultimate Depth Chart" I immediately thought of some seriously in depth analysis of each team and their actual, you know, depth charts.  

However, since this is not the NFL Network, instead what we got was a very quick look at the best offense, best defense and best overall in each division.  Throw in some analysis by the talking heads and a poll at their Sports Nation and it's somewhat underwhelming.  However, considering training camp doesn't start for several weeks, we might as well take a look at it.

The consensus popular vote finished the same for all three polls:

  1. Seattle
  2. San Francisco
  3. St. Louis
  4. Arizona
This certainly makes sense as a predicted order of finish for the division.  Even if Arizona gets their act together finally, I think St. Louis did enough this offseason to keep the whole division pretty tight.

The second part of the "Ultimate Depth Chart" is analysis from two of the mighty geniuses at ESPN: Merril Hoge and Joe Theismann.  I like Hoge's analysis usually, but I'm sure most agree on Theismann...not so good.

Hoge had St. Louis with the best offense, Seahawks best defense and Seahawks as best overall.  Theismann on the other hand had Seattle with the best offense and the 49ers with the best defense and best overall.  In his comments on defense he said:

he 49ers did a great job in the draft and free agency upgrading this defensive staff. Mike Nolan knows what he wants to do defensively and now he has the personnel to fully institute the system he wants. The addition of Nate Clements from the Bills is going to really help the team. Clements is a fantastic cornerback who will be a great infusion of talent for this team.

In terms of best overall he said:

San Francisco fans can start celebrating because this is the year the drought ends and their team is not only a playoff team, but a division winner. Mike Nolan and the rest of this organization has slowly but surely built this team into a winner and after the successful free agency period they had I fully expect them to win this division in a tough battle with the Seahawks.

Obviously all this should be taken with a grain of salt.  Theismann's comments on the defense were pretty much cookie-cutter statements that a half-trained baboon could spew out.  And as for his overall comments, well he didn't exactly add much to the conversation beyond some basic cheerleading.

The whole point of this in my opinion is to further the idea that the 49ers are officially turning into the "sexy pick" next year.  While a 7-9 squad might not normally face pressure and high expectations a year later, it will be interesting to see how the team comes out of the gates as more of a favorite than in the past decade.