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What position groups are you excited to watch this week?

With a new preseason game comes a new discussion about position groups to keep an eye on.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, before the Houston Texans game, we ranked our top five position groups that we were excited to watch. It seemed to spawn some interesting discussion, so I figured it might be a good idea to try again. Moreover, I think that my interests in what I want to watch have changed since the last game, and I imagine yours has too. So, just like last time, post your top five position groups you are interested in watching and offer some explanations for why.

Here's my ranking for this week:


I'll call this ranking my "they did what?!" ranking - some players had truly unusual games, and I want to see how they respond a week later. For example, I had QB last on my ranking last week, and I didn't even put RB on my list at all. But, then, Jarryd Hayne happened. Now, I don't think he's going to be ripping off 50+ yard runs on a weekly basis. The fact of the matter is that we probably shouldn't assume that he could reproduce the sort of game he had last week on a consistent basis, not for a while at least. He is a new player. Moreover, he is still running with a high pad-level, and that led him to getting stuffed a couple of times at the line of scrimmage. But, goodness, if I don't want to see him try again. Moreover, he looks really promising as a returner - a position at which his upright running style is less of a problem since he is already in open space.

At the QB position, we had another likewise improbable day from Blaine Gabbert. Now, by no means do I think that his day erases what we have seen from him in the past, he was nonetheless doing his best Alex Smith impression. And, well, a Smith-type is an extremely valuable back-up. If Gabbert can slowly move the chains without turning over the ball much, then he can (hopefully) keep a competitive team in games. Is that player? I doubt it, but I would like for him to change my mind. Also, it's worth noting that Colin Kaepernick did basically nothing last game. I'd like to see that change.

Finally, in the bad "they did what?!" category are the LBs. I know that we weren't starting the best players we have on the team. Aaron Lynch didn't play, for example. Nor did NaVorro Bowman, etc. But, those who did play, by and large, had rough days. The pass coverage from the unit was particularly bad. This, I think, is where we are going to feel Patrick Willis' absence most profoundly.