There was a good portion of San Francisco 49ers fans that were unhappy with how the offensive line played in 2019. Despite Laken Tomlinson being the lone constant in each game, the 49ers averaged the fourth-highest yards before contact on running back runs last year. Pass protection was inconsistent, but when you’re shuffling through starting lineups as much as San Francisco was in 2019, being 15th in adjusted sack rate is impressive.
Today’s question is which position group on the 49ers is the most underrated. The answer will vary between the casual fans and the diehards. I’d bet 70% of the replies on Twitter will say the answer is the quarterback and a tangent of how “Jimmy Garoppolo is underrated and doesn’t get the respect he deserves.” Even the mildest criticism of Jimmy, as we saw Monday from Mark Schofield, will trigger excuses. It’s amazing. I’m hoping that’s not going to be the case all season, and we can critique Jimmy the same way we do with other players.
Could the wide receiver group be underrated at this point? We know Deebo Samuel has star potential. George Kittle is already at that level, but after that, there is nothing but question marks for San Francisco. Those same question marks are oozing with talent. Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Hurd, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, and Kendrick Bourne will give any WR3-WR7 group in the NFL a run for its money. That group still has to prove they can perform without a veteran presence. Producing shouldn’t be an issue when you add in Kyle Shanahan and all of the elements that make this offense go.
We haven’t gotten to defense, where I feel like the Niners linebacking group has a chance to be one of the best units in the NFL this season. Speed, awareness, and playmaking have set the trio of Fred Warner, Kwon Alexander, and Dre Greenlaw up for success moving forward. The defensive line corps aren’t sneaking up on anyone this season after a dominant 2019. It’s fair to suggest the unit will take a step back without DeForest Buckner, but Nick Bosa will also be even better in his second season.
On May 10, 2019, Richard Sherman said the secondary wasn’t the issue in 2018, and “we needed guys to hit the QB.” As it turns out, he was correct. Sherman was an All-Pro, but K’Waun Williams is right there for the top nickel cornerback in the NFL. Jimmie Ward should have made the Pro Bowl, and if the game meant anything, it’d be worth arguing over. I’m excited to see Emmanuel Moseley in his second season as a starter. If Jaquiski Tartt proves he can stay healthy for 16 games, the secondary is the answer.
Which position group on the 49ers do you feel is the most underrated?
Which position group is the most underrated
This poll is closed