• By Matthew Barr
    Jan 21, 2019 at 4:14 PM
    By now, 49ers' fans are well versed in the big names that will be hitting the free agent market this offseason. Earl Thomas, Demarcus Lawrence, Brandon Graham and LeVeon Bell are players who will command a large following from potential suitors. While only a few names will create hype and sell jerseys in the offseason, many more teams really make their money by bringing in players who fill key roles without breaking the bank. Here is a look at some smaller name free agents the 49ers could look to bring in. OLB Preston Smith, Washington Redskins The 49ers biggest weakness on the team is EDGE defender. They were unable to generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks which lead to a young secondary getting picked apart from time to time. Preston Smith,...
  • By Al Sacco
    Jan 21, 2019 at 11:54 AM
    Coming out of college, no one really knew what to make of Adrian Colbert. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensive back played 22 total games in four collegiate seasons with the University of Texas and Miami, and his lack of experience made him an enigma as far as most NFL talent evaluators were concerned. Getting drafted was no sure thing for Colbert, and in the end he had to wait until the 229th pick in 2017 before he would hear his name called by the San Francisco 49ers. Colbert was initially penciled in to work with the cornerbacks as training camp opened, and it appeared he'd have his work cut out for him to even make the 53-man roster. His versatility proved to be a valuable commodity though, as the 49ers asked Colbert to switch positions when the injury bug hit the safety...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    Jan 21, 2019 at 8:31 AM
    With Kentucky's star linebacker registering three sacks and a blocked kick in the Wildcats' bowl game, Josh Allen pushed his sack total for the season up to seventeen. The dominant performance placed Allen in a brighter spotlight and created significant momentum to propel him to stronger consideration as a top five selection in the upcoming NFL draft. In a strategic move to preserve his draft stock, Allen pulled out of his prior commitment to participate in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. This is a common move for top prospects, who can avoid the risk of injury or poor performance affecting their eventual draft position. The choice to withdraw from Senior Bowl week makes even more sense for Allen, from his perspective, but it creates a dilemma for teams looking to evaluate him as a...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Jan 17, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    Much has been made of the statistical fact that the San Francisco 49ers didn't have a wide receiver reach 500 yards in 2018. Yes, tight end George Kittle had an historically great season at his position but those who split out wide could certainly use an upgrade ... or two. There are three routes the 49ers could look to take. Free agency, a trade or the draft could all produce a quality wide receiver. (Before diving into what the team should do please read the break down of the free agent class from earlier this week. Some information will be taken from there when discussing those options. Click here for Book of FA WRs.) Many are looking at a single receiver to...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Jan 16, 2019 at 12:07 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers are expected to take a hard look at all available wide receivers as the team seeks to improve at the position in 2019. To kick things off, I have broken down the available unrestricted free agents for this year. I did not include receivers whose free agency is restricted because the draft tenders that go with them stop others from pursuing unless the player is a true, top level performer and no one fits that bill this year. This summary of available free agents will be followed up in the coming days with a closer look at the receivers the 49ers are likely to have interest in and how that receiver might fit. Yes, trade possibilities will be included. Golden Tate: The agile, slightly undersized receiver had what is...
  • By Al Sacco
    Jan 16, 2019 at 9:14 AM
    The offseason is quickly approaching and speculation is running rampant about what the San Francisco 49ers might do. Fans are clamoring for news about the draft, free agency and whether or not a trade might happen for a certain wide receiver. Let's take a look at what the Faithful want to know in the latest mailbag: Q: With only 5 picks in the draft, do you think there is a strong possibility the 49ers trade out from #2? (@JWalizerJr) A: Trading back is definitely a possibility for the 49ers, but I think a lot of it depends on what the Arizona Cardinals do at number one overall. With Kliff Kingsbury taking over in the desert, I'm sure he has his own vision of what he wants his roster to look like, and it's still not certain that Josh Rosen is the...
  • By Bobby Horne
    Jan 15, 2019 at 2:02 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers currently hold the second overall selection in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Now having that selection obviously means one thing: the 49ers were not a very good football team in 2018. However, they are in a good position to turn things around for this coming season. It all starts with their first pick. Bleacher Report's lead NFL draft writer Matt Miller has Ohio State's EDGE rusher Nick Bosa as the top player entering the 2019 NFL Draft. With only 37 sacks as a team in 2018, putting them at 22nd in the NFL, it's easy to see why the...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 15, 2019 at 11:34 AM
    Last week during our virtual writer's meeting, fellow Webzone creator Chris Wilson mentioned the San Francisco 49ers' overreliance on second-year tight end George Kittle. That caught my attention and I thought Chris' position needed an opposite reaction. He kindly agreed to let me counter his argument and to show the internet that two people who've only met in a Slack forum could hold a civil debate on sports. First, Chris did a tremendous breakdown of the 49ers' reliance on Kittle, crunching numbers and using the Fibonacci sequence to compare Kittle's statistics to other receivers. Please take a moment to read his column. Before the 2017 season,...
  • By Chris Wilson
    Jan 12, 2019 at 12:05 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers utilized All-Pro tight end George Kittle at an unsustainable rate in 2018. The availability of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. provides the Niners with an opportunity to prevent an impending problem before it comes to fruition. The San Francisco 49ers had a dangerous addiction this season, and one that few offensive masterminds other than 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan would have been able to mask. While that addiction proved to be dangerous for opposing defenses in 2018, a failure to act this offseason would have dire consequences for San Francisco once the 2019 NFL season begins. Despite failing to meet preseason expectations, the 49ers' passing attack performed surprisingly well in 2018, given the storm the team's offense was...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Jan 11, 2019 at 9:28 AM
    For all the injuries that impacted the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, Kyle Shanahan's offense still performed to an admirable level. Using both their second and third-string quarterbacks after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL, the Niners ended the year 16th in total offense, 15th in passing and 13th in rushing, excelling throughout the season on the ground despite losing Jerick McKinnon before the start of the season. All those numbers do, however, leave considerable room for improvement, with the 49ers 21st in scoring and a disappointing 27th in offense by Football Outsiders DVOA metric, which measures efficiency. In an offseason where most are calling for defensive additions,...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 8, 2019 at 6:36 PM
    Another San Francisco 49ers football season is complete, and the offseason is still in its infancy. Though, it feels as if we haven't seen the 49ers play in a thousand years. The playoffs may be going strong, but for 49er junkies, we may as well be standing on the edge of an event horizon watching the seconds tick by like centuries. I'm never happy to see football season leave, especially when the 49ers picked up more of a competitive edge during the second half of the season. The four-win 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks at home, held the Chicago Bears to 14 points and had a second-year tight end set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards. However, a sliver of me is happy to have my Sunday afternoons back. After completing two seasons in the Kyle...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Jan 4, 2019 at 4:31 PM
    How did he do it? By being an elite athlete playing tight end. Seriously though, George Kittle had a breakout year in his second year in the NFL. In 2018, he finished as the team's leading receiver and surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for receiving yards this season by Week 14 with a 210 yard receiving performance against the Broncos. He finished with 88 receptions for 1,377 yards, and five touchdowns, 890 yards more than the 49ers' second leading receiver. Kittle is the first 49ers pass catcher to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season since Anquan Boldin did it in 2014. In fact, he joins Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Terrell Owens, and Jerry Rice as the only 49ers receivers to go over 1,000 yards in a season in the last 20...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 30, 2018 at 6:44 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers fell to the Los Angeles Rams in ugly, turnover-prone fashion in Week 17 by a score of 48-32. Let's grade out the Niners efforts, position by position. A final score of 48-32 makes the San Francisco 49ers' 2018 finale sound much closer than it actually was. The Niners were in the hole to the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams 31-10 by halftime -- a score marked by four first-half turnovers, off of which the Rams scored 21 points. That sets San Francisco's season-ending turnover differential at minus-25, after the team set a new NFL all-time low in forced turnovers in a non-strike season with seven. The 49ers recorded zero takeaways in Week 17. Fortunately, there were some good performances by the Niners on the day, including a...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 30, 2018 at 8:39 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers' 2018 comes to a close with a road bout versus the Los Angeles Rams, and these five points will be of interest to Niners fans with the offseason on the horizon. Most San Francisco 49ers fans probably didn't think a 4-11 record would describe what the Niners' situation would be heading into a Week 17 regular-season finale versus the Los Angeles Rams. But that's what it is, and head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad will look to continue playing the spoiler role against a Rams team that could still lose out the No. 2 NFC playoff seed with a loss to San Francisco paired with a win by the Chicago Bears this weekend. Because of that, Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay won't rest his starters like he did last year when these two teams...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Dec 29, 2018 at 6:27 PM
    When the San Francisco 49ers walk off the field at the Los Angeles Coliseum, it will mark the end of a season many have been wanting to come to a close for a long time. It has been a painful campaign for the Niners, who unsurprisingly never recovered from the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL in Week 3 and in reality have been playing out the string since that point. Yet, while most are already looking towards the offseason and the draft, there remain numerous reasons to pay close attention to the 49ers' season finale with the Los Angeles Rams as they pit themselves against a Super Bowl contender. Here we look at what matters in Week 17. Kittle's pursuit of history You won't hear Kyle Shanahan saying as such, but the result is...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Dec 28, 2018 at 10:54 AM
    The Bears came into Santa Clara for a Week 16 game with the 49ers in what is becoming an annual tradition in a storied rivalry. The two teams have met six times in the last seven seasons, splitting those games 3-3. The rivalry itself favors the 49ers 34-32-1, with the 49ers also boasting a 3-0 playoff record against Chicago. The latest meeting featured a Bears team well on its way to making a deep playoff run sitting now at 11-4 and a 49ers team not quite able to find its edge yet with the obvious starters missing and on its way to their second losing season under head coach Kyle Shanahan. That didn't prevent the 49ers from making it a competitive game,...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Dec 27, 2018 at 12:46 PM
    A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at a brief moment in the Broncos game surrounding rookie safety Marcell Harris. The specific sequence on key third and fourth down stops propelled the 49ers to a win over a then Broncos team looking to make a playoff push and provided a glimpse into what the 49ers hope to be developing at the strong safety position in the event they do not bring back Jaquiski Tartt. Today we're going to look a little deeper at Harris' past three performances. Harris was a sixth round pick (184th) overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. The safety missed all of his 2017 season at Florida with an Achilles tear and the 49ers took a chance anyway. He began the 2018 season...
  • By Winston Chung
    Dec 27, 2018 at 9:06 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers have only draft position, spoiling the Rams' seeding and divisional pride to play for when they head south to take on the Los Angeles Rams in their final game of the season. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective. When: Sunday December 30th, 2018 1:25pm PST (FOX) Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California Line: Rams -10, total at 49.5 Los Angeles Rams The Rams got healthy in the form of a 31-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the desert and will look to keep their confidence up against another NFC West bottom-dweller. The Rams' offense in 2nd in yards per game, 3rd in points per game, 4th in weighted offense,...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 23, 2018 at 6:36 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers managed to go toe to toe with the playoff-destined Chicago Bears, ultimately falling 14-9 in a defensively stout contest at Levi's Stadium. Yet there's a bit more to discuss and grade than just the defensive efforts from the Niners. The San Francisco 49ers were unable to continue their recent trend of playoff spoilers in Week 16, ultimately falling to the NFC North division champions, the Chicago Bears, by a score of 14-9 at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. In many ways, the game will be remembered by two plays -- first, the hit by safety Marcell Harris on Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, that created quite the sideline fracas and ended up in three player ejections, including cornerback Richard Sherman. And the second, of course, was...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Dec 23, 2018 at 9:37 AM
    Of everything that has been salvaged from the San Francisco 49ers' 2018 season, the emergence of Nick Mullens is the most unexpected and the most valuable. Since being pressed into service by injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard, Mullens has surpassed all expectations and heads into the Niners' Week 16 tilt with the Chicago Bears with a 3-3 record having helped orchestrate a late-season surge that has seen them claim wins over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Most passing yards thru 6 career games since 19701. Cam Newton - 1,8472. Marc Bulger - 1,8153. Patrick Mahomes - 1,7974....
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