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49ers: Three players whose stock is dropping ahead of Week 2

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 16, 2023 at 2:14 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, easily cruising to a 30-7 victory, starting off strong with four consecutive scoring drives and five three-and-outs defensively en route to the win.

In the victory, several 49ers stood out, raising their stock ahead of Week 2, but there were also a few players whose stock took a hit after their Week 1 performance.

Whose stock has dropped ahead of Week 2?

OT Colton McKivitz

Colton McKivitz had a rude awakening to begin his first season as a starter, facing star outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who cruised to three sacks, including two strip-sacks against the right tackle in Week 1.

While the fumbles could be attributed to quarterback Brock Purdy holding the ball too long, it wasn't the best day for McKivitz in pass protection, although that was somewhat expected given the matchup.

However, there were a few key whiffs in the run game for the right tackle, in addition to the five pressures allowed, that tanked the overall performance for the right tackle, placing a question mark at the position ahead of Week 2.

The door is most certainly not shut on McKivitz, who is getting accustomed to his new role, but it wasn't the best performance in Week 1.

To make matters worse, the matchup in Week 2 isn't much easier, as McKivitz could see action against star pass-rusher Aaron Donald, who lined up over an offensive tackle on 24 of his 41 pass-rushing snaps in Week 1.

OL Spencer Burford

Colton McKivitz wasn't the only offensive lineman on the right side who struggled, as his counterpart, right guard Spencer Burford, faced his fair share of issues as well.

Burford allowed four pressures in pass protection, while racking up three penalties as well, with one being negated due to the result of the play.

Burford enters Year 2 with increased pressure, as the 49ers don't have the luxury of incorporating versatile backup Daniel Brunskill, who signed with the Tennessee Titans in the offseason, anymore.

While the potential is certainly there for the right guard, some of the penalties and different miscues need to be cleaned up, and he'll share the responsibilities of potentially covering Aaron Donald in pass protection at times on Sunday.


Coming out of Week 2, it's clear that the 49ers primarily trust just two of their cornerbacks: Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir, who rotated between the outside and the nickel.

The 49ers started the game with Ambry Thomas starting on the outside with Lenoir occupying the slot, even against bigger targets.

However, Thomas had a few struggles in coverage on the outside, which head coach Kyle Shanahan indirectly alluded to when mentioning some of the coverage issues, paving the path for Isaiah Oliver to take over in the nickel during the second half, with Lenoir relegating to the outside.

If the third cornerback is the biggest issue on the defense, that's a significant positive, but it's clear the 49ers don't have a set player there yet, forcing some in-game rotation from Lenoir, which isn't the most ideal scenario.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

1 Comment

  • Craig
    I'd feel a lot better about our O-Line depth if we still had Brunskill.
    Sep 17, 2023 at 8:48 AM

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