clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Golden Nuggets: What’s the deepest position on the 49ers after the defensive line?

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Friday, July 9, 2021

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said the expectation is that N’Keal Harry would be moved for a sixth-round pick. That’s a flyer any team should take. The 49ers don’t have their ‘22 sixth-rounder due to the Jordan Willis trade, however.

Would you rather the team pass and possibly wait for another name to be released?

Ranking the NFL’s top 10 linebackers for 2021: Execs, coaches, players make their picks

2. Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers

Highest ranking: 1 | Lowest ranking: 6

Age: 24 | Last year’s ranking: 10

Warner has made a sizable jump in each of his three NFL seasons. He started 16 games as a rookie third-round pick in 2018, then became a top-10 player at the position on the way to the Super Bowl in 2019 and All-Pro status last season.

“He totally runs the show for that defense,” an AFC exec said. “Everything they do goes through him.”

Warner produced 125 tackles, two interceptions, six pass deflections, one forced fumble and one sack in 2020. But the numbers don’t truly quantify his ascension.

“Elite instincts and awareness against the pass,” an AFC coach said. “Got a little bit of that Luke Kuechly in him. He knows exactly what’s coming. Long, can feel his range.”

How Sean McVay once infuriated 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan

“Early on in the season, we go to Philly, and I’m responsible for the call sheet,” McVay shared. “And as a play-caller (now), Kyle and I have kind of taken on the same rhythm and routine that he does. You make all your notes on the play sheet, but you’re really particular and specific about it.

Shanahan laughed, knowing exactly the story McVay was about to share.

“So, we’re in Philly, like Week 4,” McVay continued. “Hey, nobody gave me the memo. Matt (LaFleur) was the quality control coach before. They just said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to laminate Kyle’s call sheet before, if there’s a threat for rain.’ What he didn’t tell me was (to) make a copy of the original, laminate the extra copy, and so then, if it does rain, then you’ve got the equipment guy, ‘Here you go. We’re ready to deal.’”

Kyle Shanahan says 49ers would have traded for Julio Jones if Rams were close to deal

“That’s our biggest fear in Julio, is that Sean’s gonna go for him,” Shanahan said. “Like my first choice is, ‘Man, I just wish Julio would go to the AFC, but if he’s going to the NFC West, we got to make sure we get him, because it almost ends up being an arms race. I know how good of a job Sean does, I know how good of a job Pete [Carroll] does, and I know how good of a job Cliff [Kingsbury] does, and everyone’s got quarterbacks.”

49ers’ 2021 greatness hinges on fragile crew of pass catchers

Getting all their game-breakers onto the field at the same time will be a challenge not unlike herding caffeinated cats. Because nicks and dings happen, the 49ers desperately need another good wide receiver or two, and another tight end, and none of those will be easy to find. The 49ers might quibble that their need for depth is desperate, because they didn’t use any of their eight draft picks on a wide receiver. But take a look:

Potentially, the 49ers have the best 1-2-3 punch in the league in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Give those players 15 healthy games each, with normal maturation from youngsters Samuel and Aiyuk, and a healthy season for running back blur Raheem Mostert catching passes out of the backfield, and see you at the Super Bowl.

49ers roster: 3 deepest positions entering 2021 season

49ers Deep Position No. 3: Safety

Despite San Francisco losing defensive back Tarvarius Moore to a torn Achilles this offseason, there remain four players capable of starting entering 2021: Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Marcell Harris and Tony Jefferson.

Ward and Tartt are the presumed starters, while Jefferson was brought in as a free agent to help make up for the loss of Moore and to provide an upgrade over Harris, whose 36.6 Pro Football Focus pass-coverage grade last year is indicative of a backup, not a starter.

Nevertheless, Harris has started eight games over the last two years.