I was poking around the comments here yesterday and I saw manraj7 reference some comments from Pro Football Focus. I did a search and came across the article manraj7 was referencing. PFF puts together ratings for all players based on their proprietary system of plus and minus. I have my questions about their methodology but the ratings do give us a starting point for discussion. This particular article was about movers and fallers in the NFC West based on PFF ratings. The specific portion of that article I wanted to bring up here was the mention of linebacker NaVorro Bowman:
Give This Guy More Snaps: ILB Navarro Bowman (+3.7 in 217 snaps)
It's probably time to start looking to the future for the 49ers, so Bowman will hope to get more snaps over aging (although still productive) Takeo Spikes. Employed predominantly in the nickel package, the rookie third-round pick showed ability both against the run and rushing the passer. He made 15 stops in just 73 running plays and generated five pressures in 25 rushes. Bowman needs to show better range in coverage to really move up on the depth chart.
Part of Bowman's future comes down to what the 49ers decide to do with linebacker Takeo Spikes. Although Spikes is getting up their in age he has continued to be a beast for the 49ers. He finished second on the team in tackles in 2010 and also tied Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer for the team lead in interceptions. Spikes will be a free agent when a new CBA is figured out and we have yet to hear the 49ers plans at the Ted inside linebacker role.
Can the 49ers roll the dice with NaVorro Bowman in the starting lineup, or do they need bring back Spikes for another year? I've noticed some mentions in the comments of Bowman moving into an outside linebacker role. For those that think that, please specify as to why you Bowman in that role.