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Which 'bad' 49ers position could prove doubters wrong in 2016?

Cornerback, wide receiver, tight end, quarterback and offensive line look like weaknesses for the 49ers. Or are they?

Stop me if you've heard this one, but the San Francisco 49ers are not going to be a good football team in 2016. With free agency essentially a thing of the past and only a couple new faces, it's not a stretch to say that the team has not improved any single position on the entire roster since the end of last season.

Quarterback, running back, defensive line ... the 49ers have not upgraded any of them, and have in fact regressed in some areas like the offensive line and if Anquan Boldin is not coming back, wide receiver. But there is always the chance to surprise, a chance to show signs of hope rather than signs of hopelessness.

That would come in the form of one or more positions outplaying expectations. In recent years, that position has often been cornerback, with veteran free agent pickups doing more on the field than expected. Think about Carlos Rogers and Perrish Cox, and how good the two of them were when nobody thought they could be. A lack of pass rush ultimately caused the 49ers' secondary more grief than a lack of playmakers ever did.

This got me to thinking about which positions we expect will be bad but that could wind up surprising. I'm sure most here remember my yearly freakouts over the special teams coverage units and that always ends up being for nothing because the 49ers have been well-coached in that aspect of the game. But thinking more critically about things, I wonder which position can be counted on this time around.

By my estimation, the 49ers are in bad shape at tight end, wide receiver, quarterback, offensive line and cornerback. They are strong at running back, defensive line, linebacker and safety and again, the special teams units are totally fine.

Of the positions I've listed as being poor, I'd guess that receiver or cornerback have the best chance of performing above expectations. I think Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker, Jimmie Ward and Keith Reaser is a group that could produce at least two average or above cornerbacks and that would exceed expectations as far as I'm concerned.

At receiver, I think I've given up personally on Quinton Patton, am very close to giving up on Bruce Ellington and think the 49ers are making a mistake if they don't retain Anquan Boldin. But DeAndrew White, Eric Rogers and DeAndre Smelter are all interesting players and if Torrey Smith can pull his weight and even one of those guys can step up, things could be looking up.

Tight end is an interesting position ... I think Garrett Celek deserves the extension given to him, but I still think his ceiling is that of an average starter in the league, while Vance McDonald is just not going to happen, people. Rookies Blake Bell and Busta Anderson make things interesting, with the former player more likely to impress.

As far as the offensive line .... yeah, I'm not getting into that one! What say you folks?