One thing that I think is being taken for granted from this past season was how enjoyable the San Francisco 49ers were to watch. If you asked five different people, you’re likely to get five different answers of who each person’s favorite five players on the roster are. I’m going to go over my five. Remember, this isn’t the five best, but my favorite.
This one is easy for me. Richard Sherman and Fred Warner (rightfully) are brought up a lot for their recognition and awareness, but Tartt is right there with those two in terms of taking away what you want to do before you do it. There are plenty of stats out there that had the 2019 49ers passing defense as one of the best units during the last decade. A lot of that has to do with what was happening in the secondary. Tartt took away deep and underneath throws, and if there was an opportunity to make a tackle, he made it. Tartt only missed five tackles all season. Smart players who play fast, don’t make mistakes, and can do anything you ask at a high level are a rare find in this league. Tartt is one of those players.
How could you leave off the human-wrecking ball? Early on in the year, you could tell Deebo didn’t really know what he was doing, but that didn’t slow him down. As the season progressed, Samuel started to figure out how to play the position, and he became one of the most reliable wideouts in the league. One of my favorite receivers in the past 15 years is Anquan Boldin, and it’s the Spiderman meme when the two have the ball. Opposing secondaries had no interest in tackling Q, and the same can be said for Samuel. He’s only going to improve as a route runner, and Samuel’s drop rate should improve in his second season. He’s aesthetically pleasing to watch, no matter what year Deebo is in.
I’ll be interested to see how many of you are ballsy enough to list a “fullback” in their top-five. I’d imagine we’re past the point of viewing Juszczyk as simply a fullback. He could start at tight end for plenty of teams and is probably the second-best tight end on the Niners. Raheem Mostert isn’t one of the best running backs in football without Juice creating running lanes for him. Juszczyk wears many hats for the offense and keeps them in a numbers advantage by being on the field. A lot of the blocks Juice is tasked with are up there on the difficulty. Everyone knows he’s the best fullback in the game, but Juszczyk is still underrated.
Buckner had a really, really good season, and it still wasn’t top-two on the defensive line. That’s how impressive Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa were in 2019. Buckner was a draft crush of mine, so I’ve been following him for a while. Seeing a guy that big play as hard as he does knowing Buckner rarely comes off the field is something I’ll never get over. Buckner is fun to watch on passing downs. He has a go-to move, and it’s as if offensive linemen don’t know it’s coming. The “jumping arm over” does the trick more often than not. DeFo is stronger than whoever he is going against, and his improvement taking on double teams was noticeable this season. Buckner is one of the best players on the team, but also one of the most enjoyable players to watch. Kind of like...
I have some obscure players I “stan” for on the 49ers. Tarvarius Moore and D.J. Jones should be listed. There’s no reason why Weston Richburg is on this list, I’m team “score or prevent scores” so ethically, I can’t list him. Sorry. Most offensive line coaches hate me, too. If I’m going down the list, next is the best player on the team. Who doesn’t love seeing Kittle draft defenders? Every Monday on NFL Twitter, it’s a race to see who can post the most clips of No. 85, blocking some poor defender into the stands. Best of all, he’s laughing mid-play. That’ll never get old.