San Francisco, home to the red and gold, is a historical powerhouse. They achieve constant success, and the years spent rebuilding are almost always followed by playoff success and a shot at the Lombardi.
With possibly the best history of quarterbacks in the league, spanning from Joe Montana and Steve Young all the way to Colin Kaepernick’s early years and the recent success of Jimmy Garoppolo.
With a top 3 quarterback and receiver and multiple championships in their past, the 49ers look to achieve that same success again. After ending the 2021-22 NFL season by losing in the NFC championship to the eventual Super Bowl winners, they clearly have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs again. At least, that’s what we thought before the offseason came about.
With the big questions of Deebo Samuel and Trey Lance along with moving some pieces once the season ended, some big questions loom over San Francisco. However, with a healthier roster and potential young budding stars, this team could either miss the playoff completely or go on a run that shakes the NFL world.
The Deebo Samuel Debacle
With an incredible campaign last season, Deebo was arguably the most diverse and important player in the NFL. In his breakout season, he had 1,400 yards and 6 touchdowns in the air, and 360 yards with 8 touchdowns on the ground.
He found his footing in the passing game and behind Jimmy G pounding the rock. However, he was not content with this position, and rightfully so. He didn’t like his role on the team and the physical toll it took on him, and he decided to request a trade.
The possible loss of a first-team All-Pro player would be devastating, even with the depth they have at the position. He wants to keep himself safe, and away from the constant beating of the running back position.
However, I feel as though the 49ers have salvaged this as much as possible. With the 49ers drafting start college running back Ty Davis-Price in the third round and maintaining solid depth at the running back position, they may be trying to convince Deebo to stay on the team solely at his initial position.
Luckily, we’ve been able to see Deebo showing up to OTAs and has been interacting well with his teammates. Hopefully, this bodes well for the team, because his roster spot may make or break their upcoming season.
The Terrific Trey Lance
The second biggest question for the red and gold is their quarterback positions. As all signs lead to Jimmy G either leaving the team or helping from the sideline, it is not hard to put the pieces together that the 2021 number 3 pick will be starting for the 49ers this upcoming year.
Lance, without a doubt, has the potential to be big in this league. His college stats were insane, regardless of the level of play. In his limited rookie playing time, he put up pretty good numbers. His 603 yards and 5:2 touchdown to interception ratio was great for the minutes he played, throwing a respectable 58% completion percentage.
His best game was against Houston in week 16, where he put up a top-level high caliber statline. Lance’s 249 yards and 2 touchdowns on an almost 70% completion percentage put him over the top against the Texans by an insane margin of 23-7.
The clips of Lance in training camp seem great, and his form seems much better. He’s still very young and inexperienced, and it shows during his reps in the regular season and OTAs. However, barring injury, my hopes for Lance are high, and I expect incredible production.
The Young Guns
The 49ers may very well have the best roster of young players in the NFC. Although you may start to name teams with flashy young players like the Cardinals or even the Bears. But for every high potential, high profile player they have, San Francisco has two or three guys who can fill that same role.
Rookie edge rusher Drake Jackson has impressed everyone at camp with his intangibles, and Juan Jennings has taken a massive step up. Bradon Aiyuk is becoming the Robin to Deebo’s Batman, and Aaron Banks has transformed into a monster.
This is a small list of the players who are poised for success on this 49ers roster, and should find themselves significant minutes on the turf. This team is leveled, deep, and prepared for any situation, because worse comes to worst, there’s always the next guy up.
Will the 49ers Boom or Bust?
Simply put, I have faith in the 49ers. This group of guys, although young and inexperienced, are surrounded by a coaching staff and veteran teammates that will push them to be the best at their position.
For every injury prone guy and young inexperienced player, there’s highlights to their game that will make up for those losses. This team has the overwhelming potential to run it up in the NFC, and regardless of their conference’s strength, they could very well make it back to the NFC championship.
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