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The Shanaplan: Handing out superlatives for 2022

From the best player to the player who needs to take the next step

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

During today’s episode of The Shanaplan, Akash and I went through who we thought was the most underrated, best player, key new addition, a player that could surprise, take a leap, and in a prove-it year.

The depth on the 49ers roster allows for these types of discussions. When you can ask who the best player on the team is and not get a unanimous answer, that means you’re working with a strong roster.

Akash chose Daniel Brunskill while giving some kudos to Jimmie Ward and Jauan Jennings for underrated:

Nationally he’s viewed as a Tier 2 or 3 safety. I think he’s a really good player. If his statistics like interceptions were higher, he’d be viewed as a better safety. I think he’s really sound.

I also think Jauan Jennings fits the mold down the stretch. He was a third down and red zone machine.

But the player that I chose was Daniel Brunskill. A lot of people in the NFC Championship just remember Aaron Donald. If you’re an offensive lineman, unfortunately, you get picked on for the plays that you miss, and not the 50 or 60 other plays that you do the right thing.

For the most part, when he came from the AAF and the path he took to the NFL and positional versatility, I think it’s Brunskill. I thought he was a solid player during the season. If he’s your fourth or fifth-best offensive lineman, I think you’re in great shape.

We both agreed that Trent Williams is the best player on the team. As for key new addition, that goes to Kemoko Turay:

I’m surprised he was available. A player that had 5.5 sacks last season and higher pressure rates than some of the big names. The big thing with Turay is can he stay healthy? His 40-yard dash when he came out was in the 80 percentile. He has speed off the edge.

When you combine that with what Kris Kocurek brings to the table and all of the talent on this defensive line, I feel Turay will have an Arden Key type of impact where you look up and see, ‘man, this guy has six or seven sacks.’

My surprise was most people’s new addition, Charvarius Ward:

I don’t think people are aware of Ward’s talent. When the Chiefs use Ward on an island, that kinda tells you what they think of his skillset. He’s turning and running with every wide receiver they put him against.

Yes, he gave up some catches here and there. But from a competitive standpoint, he was where he needed to be more often than not. The Chiefs do not have the same defensive line as the 49ers. The Chiefs do not have the same linebackers as the 49ers.

If you keep going down the list, he’s in a totally different situation where he’ll be allowed to make more plays this season. I also don’t think he’ll be in a situation where he has to be on an island, which should help his numbers.

I think the 49ers signed a gem who is a press-man corner who can play inside and out and match up against any receiver that you put in front of him. I’m excited to watch him play.

Ward should bump Emmanuel Moseley to the CB2 role, which will help Moseley. It also takes off the pressure that Jason Verrett needs to stay healthy or Ambry Thomas has to play if he’s not ready. It’s the trickle-down effect with Ward.

Here’s where we ended up —


Underrated: Daniel Brunskill

Best player: Trent Williams

Key new addition: Kemoko Turay

Surprise: Javon Kinlaw

Who will take a leap: Ambry Thomas

Who is in a prove-it year: Mike McGlinchey


Underrated: Azeez Al-Shaair

Best player: Trent Williams

Key new addition: Ty Davis-Price

Surprise: Charvarius Ward

Who will take a leap: Trey Sermon

Who is in a prove-it year: Emmanuel Moseley

You can listen to the episode in its entirety below with our explanations: