Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Pro Football Focus (among others) list the 49ers as playoff contenders this young 2019 season. Of course as the Redskins found out, injuries can hit hard and fast. Reuben (Instant Karma) found out one minute into the first set of OTA drills.
Question is, is this one real? Last offseason was a bit of smoke and mirrors with the Jimmy G run to end the year. Injuries waylaid our season in a big way, and we staggered down the meat of the year until yet another improbable late season run by Nick Mullens. He didn’t win a lot, but he put up some serious numbers that opened a lot of eyes. Thing is, though, we did not have very many offensive weapons, and injuries to the running backs in particular killed any shot at consistency. Throw in a God awful defense that couldn’t cover a sloth, let alone WRs and TEs, and we had what we had. A complete disaster.
Yes, we were the darling upstarts last year who got smacked down like a bitch in a hurry. Now however we addressed the biggest failings of the offense and defense. Playmakers and pass rushers. We drafted two WRs, we (hopefully) get Jarick McKinnon back to go with Tevin Coleman, and a healthy Matt Brieda to run and catch passes out of the backfield. Kittle comes back as a bona fide star, and Kaden Smith looks to break into the lineup.
Defensively, we didn’t address our defensive backfield, but the hope is the pass rush will make them better by the fact opposing quarterbacks will have much less than 5+ seconds to throw their passes. The addition of Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Kwon Alexander (and maybe a trade soon) looks to greatly improve this pass rush. Fred Warner is a year wiser, and what has changed is we have more team speed. The D line should be in good shape with Buckner in top form. The rest will be a work in progress as they figure out yet again the best spot to put Solly Thomas.
The guy who intrigues me is Kentavius Street. He was a mid 1st round guy till his knee injury, so he could make any number of D linemen expendable. This is gonna be a very interesting training camp.
Say what you will about our chances, we have a MUCH better roster than last year.