It’s not often you have rookies and first-year starters on a successful team in the NFL. For the San Francisco 49ers, they have four starters that are essentially rookies. We know Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel are studs. It didn’t take long at all to realize that. For Dre Greenlaw, he made play after play during training camp. Often times, Greenlaw would make the first play in practice back in August. It took about three plays to realize how much better he was than Malcolm Smith. Emmanuel Moseley made a few splash plays during training camp. Moseley looked like he belonged, which is big for a young UDFA. It took Ahkello Witherspoon getting injured, and Jason Verrett getting burned to have an opportunity, and he never looked back.
Moseley has started ten games this season. Greenlaw has started a lot but has played starter snaps in 11 games. These two are no longer rookies—they’re not playing like rookies, at least. Greenlaw is playing faster than ever. He recognizes how good he is. This play was early in the game during the NFC Championship:
I think Greenlaw is going to take a big jump next season. He’s always been fast, but there’s no hesitation in his game, and his confidence went through the roof the past month. He wasn’t celebrating like this before. He’s starting to realize how good he is pic.twitter.com/DMvfB2nLRc— KP (@KP_Show) January 22, 2020
Greenlaw’s feel for the game is getting better and better. Speaking of, Moseley’s feel is always what allowed him to play at this level. I’m not sure how else to describe Moseley other than, “he gets it.” Green Bay ran a screen his way, Moseley put a move on the offensive lineman attempting to block him, then closed toward the running back for a tackle for loss. His interception came after the Packers ran the same route concept on back-to-back plays. Fool me once, shame on you.
the packers thought they had the No. 2 WR open, so they reran the same play the very next play. Moseley didn’t squeeze, so it looks like he’s open. Watch Moseley on relate to No. 2 on the next play.— KP (@KP_Show) January 22, 2020
per @NextGenStats, the No. 2 WR was not open. pic.twitter.com/u8yWgLXx7T
Moseley didn’t have to worried about being fooled twice. When you watch him, you can tell Moseley has been attached at the hip to Richard Sherman. His awareness for a player that has hardly played is impressive. His athleticism helps, as does Moseley’s ability to find the ball in the air, but it’s his recognition and understanding of how offenses plan to attack him is what makes Moseley a potential star.
With that said, who do you think has a bigger impact on the roster over the next three seasons. Is it the speedy linebacker that is sure to rack up a bunch of tackles as he flies around all over the field. Or will it be the young, up and coming cornerback that has proved right away he can’t just play at a high level, but sustain that play?