It’s almost here! All of the San Francisco 49ers players should be back in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday, as the team gets set for its 2020
COVID training camp.
The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the entire world’s plans for 2020, and the NFL is no different. With no preseason games, mostly-empty stadiums, and the threat of the coronavirus looming, this season will be like no other.
Still, if everything goes to plan, the Niners will be among the Super Bowl favorites. San Francisco’s roster is deep and has the advantage of continuity on its side.
The 49ers were less than half-a-quarter away from winning it all in 2019, and with most of the roster returning, they could find themselves in the same situation, but hopefully, this time, they got the job done.
The Athletic’s David Lombardi released his annual piece on the 10 players who will have the biggest impact on the Niners’ season. To no one’s surprise, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tops the list for the third-straight year. Here are Lombardi’s choices:
- Dee Ford
- Nick Bosa
- George Kittle
- Daniel Brunskill
- Weston Richburg
- Javon Kinlaw
- Ronald Blair
- Kendrick Bourne
- Dre Greenlaw
Like with any other NFL team, the quarterback’s performance will have the biggest influence on how the squad performs. I can’t argue with the top-seven names on the list. Brunskill showed the ability to become a long-term starter in the league, and if he can play at a similar level in 2020, it will solidify the right guard position for a few years to come.
Richburg’s health is also a big question mark. After he tore his patellar tendon against the New Orleans Saints, Richburg was replaced by Ben Garland at the center position. Although Garland held his own for the most part, PFF graded him much lower than Richburg in the passing game.
Some of the players I would have on my list are: Richard Sherman, D.J. Jones, and rookie Brandon Aiyuk.
If Sherman’s play falls off due to his age or suffers a long-term injury, San Francisco would be in pretty big trouble. Although Emmanuel Moseley played well last season, Ahkello Witherspoon hasn’t shown the consistency to be a reliable corner over a full season. Sherman’s importance to the defense can’t be understated.
Jones has the potential to have a breakout year. Yes, expectations are high for Kinlaw, but DJJ has shown what he can do against NFL level competition. Replacing the departed DeForest Buckner will most likely be done by committee, but the lions share of the snaps are available to whichever DT shows he’s worthy.
Aiyuk is more important to me as a receiver than Bourne. If the rookie can come in, and have an immediate impact, especially when it comes to making plays with the ball in his hands, then Bourne will go further down the depth chart.
Which players would you replace on Lombardi’s list? Who do you have as the 10 players who will have the biggest impact on the 49ers this season?