Par for the course, there isn’t much news this time of year, although it could be argued that no news is good news - if we’re not seeing our players’ names in headlines, it probably means they’re not getting arrested (knock on wood, if you would). However, this has led to some good, albeit subjective, pieces about what we know, and what we can hope for in the upcoming season.
The gem of the day was Chris Biderman expanding upon a Michael Bennett comment about DeForest Buckner having the type of skillset to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The two have spent time together during the offseason, training in Hawaii in both the 2016 and 2017 summers. Buckner made an immediate impact last year, as a relatively bright spot on a defense that I don’t feel comfortable calling a dumpster fire, for fear of insulting dumpster fires. He is largely expected to continue to progress, especially in a new scheme that allows him to focus on doing fewer things.
Biderman also put together a short and sweet article, looking at our roster with the rose-colored glasses of optimism. He points out that (by default) most levels of our roster are improved from last year. I’m not sure if he’ll be following it up with a “pessimist’s guide to the 2017 roster”, but fear not, Grant Cohn stumbled his way through one of those. Well, it reads like he started to list out players that had a lot to lose in this upcoming season, but abandoned the premise after Brian Hoyer (read: the very first section) and spent the rest of the time bagging on, well, everyone else. Just nothing about any other players.
Other than that, the venerable Gil Brandt made a slight misstep sure to rustle the proverbial jimmies of some 49ers fans, by ranking Ronnie Lott as only the fifth-best safety of all time. ESPN did a small piece on ex-49er Colin Kaepernick going to Africa for America Day, but we’ve already beaten that dead horse with a different dead horse in the comments sections here at NN. If it was PFT, I’m sure the comments section would be worth it’s weight in gold! CBS did an early 2018 mock and had us landing UCLA QB Josh Rosen. I have nothing to say about the pick, although I do have some derisive comments about mock drafting at this time of year. But hey, clicks are clicks.
Speaking of, I’ve got some links for y’all to click.
An optimist’s guide to the 2017 49ers roster | Biderman, Ninerswire
Michael Bennett: Buckner capable of winning DPOY | Biderman, Ninerswire
How far will Dan Snyder go to keep Cousins beyond 2017-18? | Biderman, Ninerswire
Grading each draftee’s probability of starting in 2017 | Biderman, Ninerswire
How Malcolm Smith stabilizes LB corps, acts as bridge to future | Brown, Ninerswire
NFCW beat writers on “which team can unseat the Seahawks” | Wagoner et al, ESPN
Grant Cohn thinks Lynch & Shanahan are on the hot seat already | Cohn, Press Democrat
Analyzing CBS Sports’ early 2018 draft selection of UCLA QB Rosen | Bonilla, 49erswebzone
Shanahan is a big believer in CJ Beathard | Williams, NBC Bay Area