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49ers mailbag: Is the schedule as difficult as people are making it out to be?

We answer your questions as we kick off the offseason.

New England Patriots v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It’s been a slow news week in the NFL. The combine is around the corner, and we hop into free agency after that, so things should speed up. We asked you to send in your mailbag questions for all things San Francisco 49ers related. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question. Here are the “winners.”

Why do so many Niner fans have so much confidence in Trent Taylor for 2020? I want him to be a factor, but all I can go on is history. He doesn’t get time on the field due to injuries. How can so many be sure that he will have a positive impact in 2020?- Mike

This is a fair question considering the amount of time Taylor has missed in his short career. It’s easy for me to have faith in Taylor as he dominated training camp. Usually, the last memory you have about a player is how you see him. I’d imagine most fans remember Taylor’s success over the middle of the field and him being open in general. Uncertainty at the position helps, but there’s nostalgia when talking about Taylor.

How was Bosa’s holding not called?

Screenshots are still circling the internet from the 3rd & 15 play during the Super Bowl, where the Chiefs’ left tackle has his hand right around Nick Bosa’s neck. The still looks like a clear hold on Bosa, but the end zone view tells a different story. Here was my explanation:

I know it drives everyone insane, but that’s not holding. Hand placement isn’t what gets holding calls. It’s the linemen’s feet. A lot of people were not happy with that explanation and felt the need to voice they’re unfollowing. I understand. There were plenty of plays to be upset about, but that wasn’t one.

Do you think 9rs trade out of that 31st pick, and what position is their biggest need ?? -Kevin

I do. The 49ers are without a second, third, and fourth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. I wonder if trading Solomon Thomas will recoup the fourth-rounder. Trading back out of the first round will at least net a third-round pick, and depending on how far back the Niners could receive a second-rounder as well. Could you imagine saying in August the 49ers don’t have a pressing need where they have to pick in the first round? If they handle business during free agency, that could be the case from the draft. It’d be nice to only have one position to fill, like an interior offensive line or cornerback; that way, any pick after the first one is for depth. I’d be surprised if San Francisco picks at 31.

Do you think Richard Sherman could play FS if Ward walks? - Russell

One of the biggest misconceptions in football is that you can switch positions just like you can in Madden. That’s a video game. It’s not real life. What Daniel Brunskill did this past season, playing three different positions, is not normal. Sherman’s skill set fits the mold of what you want at cornerback. He is football savvy, so he’d probably figure out how to play safety, but you also create another hole at cornerback by doing that. Outliers like Charles Woodson aren’t good examples as to why you switch positions. A safety should have lateral quickness, be able to drop down and cover the slot in a pinch and be able to play around the line of scrimmage. None of those feel like things you’d ask Sherman to excel at.

Is the 2020 schedule as hard as what people make it out to be? -Brandon

The 49ers will travel to the east coast four times next season. Without context, it doesn’t sound very easy. Those teams are the Giants, Jets, Patriots, and Saints. All four of those teams have questions at quarterback as it stands today. Having to play the AFC and NFC East will be a blessing for the Niners, and likely lead to a playoff berth if San Francisco performs anywhere near as well as they did on both sides of the ball this season. We’ll know the order once the schedule is released in April, but the projected win total is 10.5 for a reason.