49ers 2018 grades: Part I

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle scores during the second half in an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The 49ers should have won seven games in 2018, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

They won just four, and lost all their road games for the first time since 1979. They fell “far short” of their expectations, according to GM John Lynch. But they have potential, if they figure out why they underperformed and where they must improve.

Here are the 49ers’ offensive grades for 2018.


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This article has 218 Comments

  1. “He lacks strength and muscle definition. He needs to hit the weight room.”

    Yeah, Pettis does, but not too much. His game is built around speed and agility, and he doesn’t want to lose that. Its more a need to tone up his body a bit.

  2. Good report, Grant. Hold onto Garcon to compete against a draft pick/fa, unless they trade for AB or OBJr. I’m hopeful Richburg plays better next year, and that Coleman, Gilligan or a draft pick becomes Staley’s heir apparent. No doubt Kittle will be the best te in the league by next year if he isn’t already….

          1. MidWestDynasty

            Believe me, I have noticed…and so now that he finished the season with a broken finger, second in sacks , tackles, QB hurries , and QB hits, and he played in all 16 games….how many of you are still saying that…?….Geez maybe we could use a couple more just like him…waddya’ think ?….

            1. Oregon, should the 49ers extend Armstead this offseason, if the price is right? Rumor has it Arik is willing to give the team a hometown discount to remain a 49er for the next 3-4 years.

              1. 49reasons

                As you probably already know…I have a certain bias toward my Ducks, and especially Arik Armstead…I began following him as a High school player out of Elk Grove, through his time at the U of O and into the draft by the 49ers. Personally, I’ve never been disappointed in what he brings to the field, and he didn’t get taken in the first round because of his basketball skillsI asked an old friend who was on the training staff for the Niners, and he said that AA has amazing strength and flexiblity for a man his size. Between he and Buckner, and to a lesser degree Blair lll, I believe that we (niners) have the neucleus of a young Dline…getting better every season…Should we extend him…? We’ve certainly done stupider things…I think that we extend him rather than chance breaking the Chemistry of the Dline…and remember, If we cut him loose, we’ll be facing him on some other team…not a good option…

        1. I thought Garnett played well last game, filling in for Tomlinson. He made Donald loose his cool.
          Considering the poor play of the guards at times, maybe Garnett should have gotten more playing time.

          1. Seb

            I think that Garnett needs to throw some Jalpenos into his jock and be reminded that it takes leather balls to play football PLAY ANGRY…!

            O.K. Pigskin is leather…

        2. Yeah then after a play…Donald tossed Garnett to the ground like a rag doll, pounced on him then lifted him up and shoved him back in the face mask, should of been a PF. He’s going to really need to catch up and step it strong in ’19.

  3. I think the QB grade and O-line grade are a tad high.

    It is what it is till it isn’t. Its the small things that mess things up. Stuff we don’t know about and happens more frequently then we know.

    “What was unknown, until now, is that Bourne missed his assignment and ran a five-yard route and blocked Simmons instead of running a deeper route that would have pulled defenders with him, and away from Kittle.”


  4. The QBs should get just a B.
    The RBs a B+ because they did not run for 100 yards in several games.
    The TEs an A- because only Kittle shined.
    The O line a C- because they made the QBs job so much harder, and their run blocking was less than stellar in several games.
    Ya gotta remember, this was a 4-12 team.

  5. The Niners should sign a battle hardened and battle tested WR. They should look at Cordarrelle Patterson, Jermaine Kearse, Tyrell Williams, Cody Latimer, or Devin Funchess.

  6. Please, no OBJ or AB. One has conversations with sideline air conditioners and abuses kicking nets, while the other has the emotional development of a six-year-old. They’re tumors waiting to burst at any given moment.

    Robby Anderson is a RFA. If I’m the Niners, I’d make him a phat offer that the Jets won’t match.

    Robby’s a star in the making.

    Is he perfect? No. But’s he’s not OBJ/AB nuts and his production is top rate.

      1. Hey Raz

        Hire a Rent-a-Cop for him to push around.. LOL..Jets have a discipline problem ‘seems that they always have…

        P.S. …I really was joking about the R-A-C

    1. I agree, the antics are not something this team needs. We need good players, who are better TEAMmates. For OBJ and AB, it’s “all about me”.

    2. Jermaine Kearse is 6′ 1″ 209 lbs.
      Robby Anderson is 6′ 3″ 190 Lbs.
      Both are Jets, but Anderson had legal issues.

    3. Good thing you’re not the niners, because offering Robby Anderson a “phat contract” would be a mistake. He’s not a bad player, (I can actually seeing him do well in Shanny’s offense) just not someone that should be rewarded with a big payday.

      Let’s save the big payday for an elite WR. OBJ is nuttier than a port-a-potty, but he can ball out. If he’s available for a second round pick… I’d say welcome to SF

      Might have to look to the draft for a replacement for Garçon

  7. Cordarrelle Patterson, Jermaine Kearse, Tyrell Williams, Cody Latimer, or Devin Funchess.

    My two favorite receivers out of this bunch are Latimer and Williams.

    I like Patterson, but he’s pretty limited. He’s never been praised for being able to learn the playbook and his route running has taken a backseat to his speed. Bill B has about 5-6 pass plays and 3-4 running plays for him.

    Kearse has been hurt a lot and I’m not sure if his production will come close to his Seahawk days.

    Latimer is an ace special teams player and a good back up. I think the Giants will try to re-sign him.

    Williams will be expendable, because the Chargers will invest in Allen and the other Williams, a first round pick.

    I’d sign him, but I also like the aforementioned Robby Anderson a lot.

    Anderson > Williams.

    1. I threw in Funchess because some one mentioned him before as a FA possibility.
      He is 6′ 4″ 225 lbs, so he is big, but has been a major disappointment at Carolina. Maybe he would benefit with a blank slate, and JG can sync up with him.

  8. Gant!
    Jimmy G. Has only played 10 career games and he won 8 out of 10. But you’ve been saying time to time that he’s not good enough for a QB. Please explain to me how stupid Grant??

  9. I’d love to have Grant grade each position coach individually and publish the grades (along with explanations). We know how he feels about Lynch, Shanahan, and Saleh. What about others on the coaching staff?

    Sure hope Grant is successful in landing that one-on-one interview with Denise.

  10. Grant,

    You asked about Mullens’ PFF grade.


    Overall Grade: 64.6

    “Mullens played better than CJ Beathard did in relief of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, but there won’t be a quarterback controversy in the offseason. He wasn’t asked to do much in San Francisco’s offense, and he often missed on the few tight-window throws he did attempt.”

    1. #80 – that PFF grade was issued by whom? that individual, especially if it is Zac Robinson does not know if the ball is pumped with air or stuffed with rags. Totally incompetent evaluation. Needs to watch all of the tape and see exactly what Mullens did and the circumstances under which he operated. Cris Collinsworth needs to fire his QB evaluator at PFF and bring in a real person!


      1. I do not support PFF. I was following up on a previous conversation that I had with Grant. I think Mullens is a top 15-ish QB, just not on a par with JG. I agree that PFF is flawed and that Nick is better than his “grade”.

      2. PFF grades may not be a perfect science, but they are, without question, far superior to the laughably oversimplified Passer Rating …. a statistic Grant loves to lean on like a crutch, which doesn’t take any ancillary factors into account, like defensive pressure, tipped balls, drops, etc. Nor does it directly consider a QB’s ability to extend plays, avoid sacks, etc.

        Let me explain something you failed to touch on this season Grant. This was such an obvious angle that I have a hard time understanding how someone who was covering the team throughout the summer, never touched on despite its obvious impact early and often this season:

        It should be obvious to those who have been paying attention to Kyle’s offenses over the years, that the complexity of Kyle’s offense, with an abundance of pre-snap motion, calls for precision from each and every offensive position. Most people should be aware by now that the current CBA rules severely limit the kind of grueling schedule once consider crucial for honing the kind of WCO’s precise, timing based offense Kyle is known for. And with this, it should come as no surprise that Kyle’s offenses have tended to start the season slowly, precisely because of the kind of repetition essential for early season success. It’s one of the trade offs you get for running this kind of offense. Following the same principle, the other critical factor for early season success is continuity within the roster.

        The Atlanta Falcons, for example, never really got going during Kyle’s first season as their coordinator. In fact, even during his record breaking 2nd season running the Falcons’ offense, his team got off to a sloppy start. They lost to a division foe – Tampa Bay, on opening day, despite opening the season AT HOME, as the Falcons committed a number of sloppy offensive penalties, and struggled mightily to get the ground game going, despite a veteran QB and 2 dynamic RB’s. For context, the 49ers started on the road against one of the leagues top defenses. The Falcons went scoreless in the first QTR of game 2 VS the Raiders, and generally looked a bit sloppy, forced to punt on their first 2 possessions VS a poor Raiders defense. Again, they committed 70+ yards worth of penalties and had more turnovers than the Raiders, before rallying to pull off a victory.

        Flash forward to 1 week prior to the opening game of the season, when word came down that Jerick McKinnon, the offensive player whom Kyle had most aggressively pursued during the offseason in order to be THE featured weapon in this years offense (or to put it another way, the player whose skillset Kyle felt was worthy of building the 2018 offensive playbook around. In fact, the offense was slated to run through McKinnon, much like the 49ers use of Garrison Hearst during the 1998/99 season in which Hearst broke Roger Craig’s franchise record for all purpose yards) was lost for the season, due to tearing his ACL on the final play, of the last full practice of the preseason. I was devastated, and I know Kyle was especially concerned, in large part, due to the teams daunting early season schedule. While he put on his best poker face in front of the press corps, and in front of his team, behind the scenes he was worried that he didn’t have enough time to put his team in a position to make a smooth transition to backups Breida and Morris, whose skill sets didn’t fit the game plan he had developed to open the season, and the game plan the team had been working hard on through OTA’s and training camp. It was Jerick “The Jet’s” duel threat ability, with his precise route running & superb hands, to go along with his explosive fit running the football in Kyle’s outside zone scheme, which Kyle felt would give them an early season edge and, along with his buddy superstar QB, could possibly take his offense to the next level, much like his young protege – Sean McVay, had been quietly working into his 2018/99 playbook, with his two offensive stars-in-the-making, Todd Gurley and Jared Goff, who hit the ground running in dynamic fashion, to start the season. In fact, Todd Gurley lead the league in all-purpose yards, doing a lot of the very things Kyle had envisioned for his offense prior to the Jets devastating, season ending injury.

        So let’s be fair. The 49ers 2018 season was cursed from the start, and things only went from bad to worse when they lost their franchise QB 11 QTR’s into the season. It’s fair to question why ShanaLynch decided CJ Beathard was the apparently the only QB whom they targeted during their first draft, and why the defense seemed so ill prepared during the first month of the season. But it’s impossible to properly grade the 49ers this season, and honestly, it seems like a giant waste of time! Until this team is able to stay healthy enough to gain the kind of continuity required to play efficient football and field enough talent to compete week in and week out, it’s impossible to know what could have been, and just how much progress the ShanaLynch regime has made in rebuilding the team and fielding a potential contender!

        1. PFF grades may not be a perfect science, but they are, without question, far superior to the laughably oversimplified Passer Rating
          True, true, and true. Also true is that everyone employed at PFF is a better talent and skill evaluator then Grant…and most of the rest of us for that matter.

          Does the QB rating tell you if the QB has good vision, like being able to tell when one of your receivers doesn’t have a defender on them? Does it tell you how fast the QB is at getting the ball out of their hands, does it speak to their ability to go through reads? Does the QB rating tell you if the QB anticipates throws or waits for the receiver to get open first? The does QB rating tell you that your QB will stay in the pocket or whether or not he “feels” pressure?

          The QB rating is the most obsolete metric in sports. Almost worthless imo.

  11. 49ers Offense Total Points Scored:

    2014 – 306 (#25)
    2015 – 238 (#32)
    2016 – 309 (#27)
    2017 – 331 (#20) Shanny Year 1
    2018 – 342 (#16)

    Easy to see Shanahan’s effect on this offense. I haven’t looked it up but I think the improvement on the defense is even greater. No doubt the 49ers are headed in the right direction. Now if they can make it through a year without being forced to play with the 3rd string RB and QB and get some consistency from the WR position this could be a top level offense. The scheme is certainly a top 5 scheme that should equate to a playoff team.

    1. 49ers Offense Total Points Scored:

      2014 – 306 (#25)
      2015 – 238 (#32)
      2016 – 309 (#27)
      2017 – 331 (#20) Shanny Year 1
      2018 – 342 (#16)

      Youve got it here
      It’s not #16/points (#21), but yards in 2018
      Off/Def overall we are #27/points #16/yards
      (last year, #20/points #12/yards in Offense)
      close to the last harbaugh’s year.
      takeways are horrible

  12. Wonder if Shanahan is still on the hot seat…his tenure with the 9ers hanging by a single, tattered thread?

  13. We got Nick Bosa or Josh Allen with the #2 pick!! We can’t freaking lose! We got our edge rusher, unless Lynch/Shanny screw up and trade down. DO NOT TRADE DOWN!! Then we draft best corner available in 2nd round.
    With our remaining three picks go with the best LB, OL & WR available…The future looks bright!! DO NOT TRADE DOWN!!
    Playoffs in 2019 baby!! Handsome Jimmy G is back and we have a good backup QB now!
    Call me Mr. Positive now lol…Happy New Year Grant and everyone! DO NOT TRADE DOWN!!

      1. Houston,
        That would be nice.
        You’re talking about the possibility of two immediate impact players.

        But if Arizona goes with OL Jonah Williams or Little to protect their QB with their #1, I don’t see the 49ers passing on Bosa.

        1. I was actually kind of joking with Crab since he was so adamant the 49ers not trade back. Honestly, I don’t have a huge preference on the #2 pick. I think it has to be defense but other than that I’m just hoping Lynch doesn’t miss on another top 5 pick. Even if Lynch selects the OT from Bama – Jonah Williams – I would be fine with that pick. He slides in at Guard next year and then moves to Tackle when Staley retires. I’m always for upgrading the o-line. There should never be a draft where O-line is not a major consideration.

          1. Houston – I predict Josh Allen will end up the consensus #2 pick by most so-called experts (after the combine). Allen is a skilled freak athlete and he has the moxy that our defense needs! Dude makes big plays! If Bosa is gone at #1 (95% chance), we must take Josh Allen. Watch the tape of this beast!
            DO NOT TRADE DOWN!! 😀

            1. I saw Allen play in person against Tx A&M. He definitely stood out on certain plays. It looked like he occasionally got swallowed up by the OT who was much bigger than him. The kid is a great player and I’ll be happy if the 49ers draft him. BUT I’m not on the – Josh Allen is a can’t miss draft pick – train. Even in the bowl game yesterday he had 3 sacks which looks fantastic but, If you look at those sacks he was completely unblocked on 1 sack, on another KY ran a stunt where Allen looped from the outside to the inside to beat a RB in pass pro, and then the 3rd was the most encouraging where he used speed, angle, and dip to beat the OT on an outside rush. The kid is a great player. Solomon Thomas was a great college player. I just hope the 49ers nail this pick.

              1. Allen is a pure speed rusher atm. He did well this year using his hands to swat OTs arms away to keep clean, which is why he made a big jump in production from previous years, but end of the day he really has one main move, and little in the way of counters.

                He gets lauded for having great flexibility, but I think this is exaggerated. He has ok, maybe even good flexibility, but not great. He often stays too upright turning the corner. What he has is great acceleration and ability to throttle up and down quickly. He doesn’t run an elite arc, but he does an excellent job of getting the edge with his speed, then throttling down and throttling back up quickly to beat slow footed OL around the corner. He also has a nice inside head fake at the start of his rush to get the OL to stop his feet.

                He deserves to be considered the #2 edge guy in this draft and one of the top players in the draft with the way he played this season. No question. But his production is inflating his stock a little bit.

                Also, the arguments about how he did it all on a bad team are complete hogwash. Kentucky didn’t go 10-3 all because of Allen. This was a good team this year. And the argument he was getting all the attention of offenses is also complete hogwash. He was commonly left 1 on 1 and sometimes left unblocked. Teams couldn’t afford to try and double team him because he didn’t always rush the passer. That’s the luxury afforded by playing as an OLB.

              2. So what you’re saying, Scooter is Allen can’t run full speed under a table like Polite can.

              3. He doesn’t have that kind of bend, no. When he does bend he more bends at the waist than gets low like a motorcycle rider around the edge.

                Polite still has some work to do in this regard, mind you. Of the top edge guys, he’s the least refined. But his upside is enormous.

              4. The degree of upside that a player possesses is a big factor in where that player ends up being drafted, if I’m not mistaken….

              5. And he had two forced throws that would have been sacks on pure moves and speed.
                He sets the edge well, can play LB or edge rusher in the 7.
                He’s the best all around player in this draft, although Bosa is the best pure pass rusher in this draft. With Ferrel close behind. Watching him dominate ND was an awesome sight to see too.

                Glad Crabs is on board like me with the Allen pick.
                Gotta feeling he will be the best one in the long run.
                And I’m also yelling for no trade down this year. They are right there to take. Take them quickly.
                That’s Allen or Bosa

              6. Scooter… did you just say his production is inflating his stock? I’m sorry, Since when does on field production not raise you’re stock? Now I’m not saying it’s going to automatically translate to the nfl, but as far as we know, we don’t know if any of these guys talent will translate. But his production isint inflating his stock, his production earned him his stock!!

              7. There is that bend word again… 😂😂😂 How was thomas’s Bend? And Arden Key, and all those other Bender’s? I don’t care if he $hi// bricks under a table, if the man can get to the qb he can, weather its speed, power, bend😂😂, hands, jumping, it doesn’t matter. Saying Allen is only a speed rusher might be accurate, might not, but he got the qb down 20x including yesterday, and had 21.5 tackles for loss. You can dissect it all you want but the man produces, and bosa can’t even put Allen’s jr year on tape, but you’re calling his production inflatable. Talk about arm chair gms

              8. “Scooter… did you just say his production is inflating his stock?”

                Yes I did. Stats can inflate how people view a prospect, happens all the time. Not sure why that’s hard for you to understand.

                Production is just one element of what makes up a prospect’s stock. The aim is to find guys that will produce in the NFL, not guys that produced in college.

    1. Cards will want Bosa, the best prospect in the draft.
      Jax will want to leapfrog over the Giants, and will be willing to give up their first and second, maybe a 4th, and a 2020 second round pick to select Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray or Daniel Jones, whichever QB they deem fits their scheme the best. If they pull off that deal, the Niners would have pick numbers 7, 34, 39, 66, 102 and 109. Six players in the first 109 picks.
      If the Niners trade Mullens to Washington for their second(47) and 2020 second round picks, the Niners would end up with 7 picks in the first 109 picks.
      Looking at the CBS prospects list The Niners could possibly select Josh Allen(5), Devin White(6) or Clelin Ferrell(9) with pick number 7, since 2 QBs will probably go earlier.
      JJ Arceaga- Whiteside WR is listed at 34. Devin Bush OLB is listed at 38. Amani Oruwariye CB is listed at 39. Kris Boyd CB is listed at 40. Chase Winovich DE is listed at 44.Oshane Ximines OLB is at 47. Te’von Coney ILB is at 49. Trevon Diggs CB is listed at 66 and Jaylon Ferguson DE is listed at 67.
      So, by trading back, the Niners could still get Josh Allen, and a WR,CB, OLB, ILB and an additional DE.
      Trading back is the smart move.

      1. Cards may trade back with the Raiders. Gruden may covet a pass rusher so much, since they are ‘so hard to find’. Gruden gets Bosa.
        If the Bears win the SB, he could trade picks number 4 and 32 for the number one pick.
        Arizona may want 2 picks in the first round, because they need bodies. By moving back 3 spots, they get another first round pick, and still get Quinnen Williams, especially if the Jets trade back with a QB hungry team.

        1. Arizona may want to trade back with the Raiders, get another first round pick, and select Cody Ford RT to protect Rosen. Then they might possibly have the 32nd and 33rd picks to get defensive help.

  14. Now who are the geniuses that keep saying Josh Allen isint in the same tear of player is Williams or Bosa? You guys saw yesterday with Josh Allen does in the SEC then did it to the big tens top dog get your facts straight this man is a monster we cannot lose out on this kind of edge rusher if we do just to pick up big dude in the middle that is not Aaron Donald, you think last year guys were pissed because of the Thomas the same thing will happen this year.

    1. Penn State was far from the top dog in the Big Ten. More like the 4th dog. Overreactions to meaningless bowl games are terrific.

      1. Yeah, so let’s go after the SEC big (top) dogs and grab another Reuben Foster.

        The NFL is full of great players that have come from lesser schools.
        Our own 49ers history has some HOF’s that played at lesser known schools.
        If you can play, you can play.

        1. Rueban Foster? You pulled that straight out of ur butt.. He has nothing to do with Rueban. In that case,put the Alabama boy in the Foster class.

      2. Overreacting my azz!!!! He did it all year in the sec… and wth did bosa do? That’s right, sat his azz at home. Players play, but this player, Josh Allen dominated.

    2. I said it before and I’ll say it again. Josh Allen is not in the same league as Bosa or Williams, both of whom are the best at their respective positions. Don’t get me wrong. Allen is very good, but he’s a consolation prize. Not the grand prize….

      1. I saw a mock with the 49ers picking Quinnen Williams so I paid close attention to him in the game against Oklahoma. The kid is an absolute beast. The mock was Bosa, Williams (49ers), Allen… I think 49er fans will lose their minds if the 49ers don’t get one of those 2 edge rushers in this draft. But, if the 49ers decline on Armstead and lose Earl Mitchell then Williams makes absolute sense. Plus if you put Buckner and Quinnen Williams in the middle then you will get a great push in the QB’s face. I’ve always heard you build teams from the inside out. Strength in the middle is a key to every great defense. I wouldn’t mind at all if the 49ers picked Williams. But they definitely need to sign an edge rusher in FA. Solomon Thomas is what he is – a major disappointment for a #3 pick. Thomas will probably have a long career being a steady guy who helps in run support and is non-existent in pass rush. For a #3 pick, that’s a huge miss. Lynch can’t afford another miss with this #2 pick.

      2. I said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t listen to anyone who thought Solomon Thomas was worth the #3 pick.

        1. CFC, should we listen to someone that wanted Mettenberger? P.S. John Lynch is the GM, so not listening to him will be futile….

          1. The Titans ruined him. He’d be a HoF’er if he had been drafted by the Patriots. ;)

            At least I can say i’ve redeemed myself a few times over since then.

    1. Tied for #31 in Giveaways at 32 and dead last (#32) in Takeaways with 7. Next closest team in number of Takeaways was Detroit with 14. Amazing this team won 4 games. Even more amazing the 49ers ended the season at #16 in points scored. Defense didn’t help the offense at all with any short fields. If the 49ers improve in this one area next year, they could be a playoff team.

      1. Nice to be back at “work” after a long break ;)

        You can see this team getting better on both sides. We need to solidify depth at some positions and add star power to others. It was a shame to see Foster go, but after seeing the decline of his play and his inability to stay healthy, I am sure glad Warner broke out the way he did, and Elijah Lee was no slouch either. Should be a fun young duo to watch develop.

        Pass Rusher, Secondary, O-Line, and OW’s (as Lynch calls it) are much needed. With the high draft picks, and cap space this will be a crucial year to our rebuild and could very well decide the future of this organization.

      2. « Defense didn’t help the offense at all with any short fields. »

        The offense didn’t do anything when the defense DID help them. Three of the defensive turnovers gave the offense the ball on the opponents 19, 21, and 26. The result of those three possessions was 9 points. Another of the turnovers was a pick 6, and then there was also the safety in Arizona.

        The offense also gave up quite a few turnovers on their own side of the 50 so they didn’t do the defense many favors either.

        1. Well genius, what I said is unquestionably true. The 49ers defense set an NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. Obviously, the defense didn’t help the offense. Out of 173 drives on the year, you want to concentrate on the THREE drives where the defense set the offense up to score points and they only got field goals. THREE. JFC, are you really this obtuse or are you so dedicated to your agenda you’ve given up on your common sense? In 2018, the 49ers scored the 3rd highest point total of the past 10 years and they did it with a 3rd string QB & RB, and a rotating door at WR. If the defense gets them the league average in turnovers then the 49ers likely have their highest point output in 10 years. JFC. THREE. SMDH.

          1. Hick,

            The 49ers had the 3rd most turnovers in the league.

            Yeah the defense didn’t do the offense many favors, and the opposite is also true.

            Perhaps you are really this obtuse or are you so dedicated to your agenda you’ve given up on your common sense?

      3. « Even more amazing the 49ers ended the season at #16 in points scored. »

        Actually they finished 21st in points scored. They were 16th in yards.

              1. Meh. The NFL saw an increase in scoring this year across the board of roughly 7.3%. The 49ers net increase lagged behind at roughly 3.5%, or half of that of the rest of the league.

              2. Yards per game league wide was up this year by roughly 5.5%. The 49ers saw an increase of only 3.3%.

                « that was with a quarterback playing safety on the practice squad. »

                In those 8 starts the offense averaged 372.9 yards per game. Maybe he should have been starting from week 1.

                Yards per game:

                Week 1-3: 359.7
                Week 4-8: 341.4
                Week 9-17: 372.9

    2. Now, will Bosa, Allen, Williams or any other player help with this? Will any of the coveted picks have a major influence in the RZ? Or third down?

      I think we need to temper our expectations. This team is still very much a work in progress.

        1. Oh i don’t doubt it will help but people are already planning post season trips. This team has a good ways to go before it can sniff at January play.

        2. The numbers are likely out there, but I wonder how many turnovers are actually created by a strong pass rush.
          I’ve seen QB’s make mistakes simply by feeling the pressure of a pass rush without being hit.

          I said years ago that team strength is built in the trenches (OL/DL). All the other pieces will be better because of the core.

          1. I am kind of going after Hammer’s point. The TO differential helps only when you can make points off of it. I agree that a pass rush will help the secondary, TOs and the defense, but the offense has to do something with that! Remember that I have been clamoring for a pass rusher for years!!

            Everyone here seems to think because the team can move the ball that the wins will come automatically, but I have seen little evidence of this.

            This team needs to address the RZ and 3rd down issues if it has any hope of being respectable!

            Injuries were a problem but there is a systemic issue that needs to be addressed! My question is how?

            1. While I agree that “the TO differential helps most when you can make points off of it”, there is another important benefit. Namely, it keeps the other team from scoring on that drive.

              1. THat is true, but to be a good team you must be able to convert them into points for you and break the spirit of the opposition.

    3. Since football is still a team game, one might wonder if the 49ers offensive point total should be reduced by the number of points scored minus the 89 points off turnovers. That would kind of mess up our great improvement re points scored by the offense. This just keeps the question open if KS is a great OC and not up to being a even good HC. One step forward and ?? steps backwards. As you have pointed out, we did improve considerably in points scored but at the expense of giving our opponents a lot of short fields. Good offense or bad defense. I say Saleh should go but obviously I’m in the minority here. The question to me is did we have a better offense that gave up those points or a poor defense that allowed all of those points? I’m sure someone will enlighten me.

          1. Bill King’s command of the English language impressed and entertained me.
            For Football, I liked Don Klein, because he was at the start of the Glory Years.
            John Miller for GIANTS Baseball.

          2. MD,
            I first got familiar with King when he did the Warriors game and the (original raiders).

            “Ghost to the post. Sea of hands. Holy roller. Old man Willie and holy toledo” are burned in my memory.

            1. Holy Toledo will always ring in my head after a walk off or big Play.

              And the Young play called by Simmons will always be there in top memory’s of bay areas calls.
              Second to none.

              1. Yup. And Simmons’ Montana to Taylor TD in the Superbowl could barely be heard but just audible enough to hear the excitement in his voice.
                We’re fortunate to have listened to two of the all time greats in Bay Area sports history.

    1. Interesting.

      Along those lines, notice that Grant’s been dressed to the 9s (maybe 8s) lately? Wonder if he’s angling for a new gig?

      1. Cassie,
        Grants going to interview with Hefty as a model for new line of bird cage liners.
        Sorry Grant couldn’t resist.

      2. With all the general manager jobs going to TV personalities, maybe Grant is trying to get a gig worthy of his knowledge!

  15. I mostly agree with Crabs as to not trading back. Unless it 2 or 3 spots at the most. I see at least one team falling in love with Haskins, then its Bosa, Allen, Q williams and G williams. Thats my top 5 and other than Haskins I would love any of the other 4. I believe that Q. Williams is the most disruptive defensive force in the draft. I just don’t see the 9ers taking their 4th D tackle in as many years ( I see Thomas as a DT) So stay with the 2nd pick or trade back 2 or 3 spots and get an extra 3rd and 4th but stay with one of those top 5 talents. imho

      1. Sure but I highly doubt he will be there at 7 and we would end up with a disapointing pick. Unless theres a Nelson type OG but I really want a defensive impact player and I believe they need to stay within the top 5 and it could even be the top 4 if no teams develop a QB draft crush.

        1. Old Coach, I guess I am counting on teams moving up to get QBs. Giants, Jax, Miami and Washington all are desperate for a QB.
          I totally agree that Quinnen Williams is talented, but not a position of need.
          I also agree with Houston, and consider Devin White or Clelin Ferrell as prime candidates.

  16. The more ambiguity about who the second best draft prospect is, the less likely someone offers Lynch a lucrative trade offer. It could still happen. Lets see how the post combine draft board shakes out.

    If Lyn h is in love with an edge rusher at #2, I hope he stands pat and makes the pick.

  17. The numbers are likely out there, but I wonder how many turnovers are actually created by a strong pass rush.
    I’ve seen QB’s make mistakes simply by feeling the pressure of a pass rush without being hit.

    I said years ago that team strength is built in the trenches (OL/DL). All the other pieces will be better because of the core.

  18. Response to Mid:

    Although the author didn’t mention Sherman, I don’t consider McKinnon a “dynamic free agent” at this point in time, simply because we haven’t seen anything from him.

  19. On Rotoworld:

    “Speaking Wednesday, coach Mike Tomlin expressed disappointment with Antonio Brown bailing on the team ahead of the Week 17 win over the Bengals.

    Tomlin stands by the notion that Brown was “sore” on Wednesday and told him to rest and stay off his feet on Thursday. Tomlin then asked Brown to get an MRI on his knee Friday, but Brown declined to do so, left the team, and didn’t communicate with the Steelers before Sunday’s game. Tomlin said agent Drew Rosenhaus called Tomlin and said Brown was ready to play, but Tomlin said it doesn’t work that way and deactivated Brown. Asked if Brown quit on the team, Tomlin said, “You can call it what you want to call it. When we’re talking about our darkest hour, playing to win a game and needing help and the guy not communicating is a real element of discussion.” Tomlin said he hasn’t gotten any official trade request from Brown, but Tomlin did admit there comes a point where Brown becomes more of a problem than he is useful.”

    The comment Tomlin makes about the team’s “darkest hour” and a star player seemingly uninterested because it doesn’t promote his own agenda, seems valid to me.

      1. Oh, I agree Razoreater. Before the season started, I thought the Niners were a 7 or 8 win team. However, Grant’s grades seem a little generous for a team that ended 4-12. QBs a B+? Receivers a C (which I take to mean league average)? If he is grading on a scale based on the injuries, it’s not clear.

        1. The 49ers young quarterbacks played very well compared to other inexperienced QBs. I graded that position on a curve.

          49ers QBs had a passer rating of 113 when targeting Pettis and 93 when targeting Bourne. Pretty good. Their issues were durability and consistency.

      2. I think that would have happened only if the planets aligned perfectly! That was my top most ceiling for this team and that was with everything going perfectly (which it never was). Realistically I think 6 wins was as good as they would get. Considering they got 4 (which was my floor) id say they did just about what was expected.

  20. It would be nice to pick up Allen or Ferrell at either 4 to 8 and a OL with a second round pick and a CB with other covers 3 needs in the first 40 picks. I would stay away of any WR in the first 2 rounds based upon the resent ninner history of picking WR in the first round.

  21. Draftek does not have a QB going in the first round, Will Grier is at 35.
    CBS has Haskins going at 18, Lock is at 33.
    Walter has Lock at 27, Haskins at 29.
    These draft boards will change dramatically, once eligible juniors declare, the Bowls are completed, the Combine posts results and they go through free agency. One has Ferrell at 14.

        1. Draftek also has Haskins going after Jones and no QB’s picked in the 1st rd.
          I expect that to change following the NFL Combine.

  22. Oh, I agree Razoreater. Before the season started, I thought the Niners were a 7 or 8 win team. However, Grant’s grades seem a little generous for a team that ended 4-12. QBs a B+? Receivers a C (which I take to mean league average)? If he is grading on a scale based on the injuries, it’s not clear.

      1. Ha! But really; love is a wonderful thing.
        I wish Grant a lifetime of happiness – even if I don’t often agree with his takes.

  23. Unfortunately for the Niners, I think free agency is going to be a dud. In regard to positions of need, I believe almost every team will keep their edge rushers that might be available, and the talent at receiver and cornerback is either lacking in skill (almost all the free agent receivers), or a poor scheme fit (any of the passable free agent cornerbacks).

    1. The key to f/a is the three E’s. Earl, Earl and Earl. As in Thomas.

      Wrt to the f/a edge position, Dee Ford is probably the most realistic of the big names, but we’ll probably end up with guys like Ray or Barrett.

      1. I’m with you on Earl Thomas. In regard to edge rushers, I think Dante Fowler will be available, and prefer him to Ray or Barrett. But I don’t expect to see Clowney, Dee Ford, Brandon Graham or Frank Clark, all of whom are preferable.

        Given the needs, we may need more than 6 draft picks given the dearth of free agent wide receiver or cornerback talent.

        1. Word on the street was the 49ers were interested in Fowler, however I’d be surprised if the Rams didn’t try to sign him. Might come down to how much teams are willing to throw at him versus how much Fowler enjoys playing with Donald….

            1. True, but if he were to sign a one year prove it deal, I’d wager he’d prefer to do it with a talent like Donald. The better the talent around him, the better he’ll play and the better long term Benjamin’s….

              1. Saleh knows Fowler. If he likes him, I imagine the 49ers will be a team willing to give him more than just a 1 year prove it deal.

              2. This is true, Scooter but I got the sense that although the 49ers were sniffing around Fowler; they weren’t too serious. Your thoughts?

  24. I always hated this time of year when Seb posts the 1st of his100 mock drafts, then later, claims some sort of clairvoyant powers because the 49ers drafted one of his players.

    The liklihood of that happening is equal to walking in Seb’s backyard and not stepping on a marijuana plant.

    1. TrollD, in California, we are allowed 6 plants. No more, no less. With my 6 plants, I can grow enough for a year. Unfortunately, many of my Purple Querkle plants went male. Fortunately, I have good friends who saved the day.
      Since you are asking for a mock, I will kindly oblige you. I think you are hilarious, because you posted many links, then claimed to have hit on every success, so you are accusing me of exactly what you did. One year, I did hit on 3 players, Buckner, Theus and Cooper. Got DJ Jones the next year, but struck out last year, so I am not infallible.
      2019 mock draft for the San Francisco 49ers.
      Trade back scenario. Cards trade back with the Raiders, and get the 4th and possibly 30th picks for the overall number one. Gruden takes Bosa, the pass rusher he covets to replace Mack. Niners trade back with Jax, who want to leapfrog past the Giants and get first choice of the QBs. Niners would receive Jax’s first (7), second (39), fourth (107), along with a 2020- second round pick. Then the Niners trade back a second time with Washington who wants to leapfrog over Detroit, Denver, Cincy and Miami, who all might want a QB. Jax selects Kyler Murray, Giants select Dwayne Haskins at 6 and Washington selects Daniel Jones at 7. Niners give up the 7th overall pick for Washington’s first (15), second (47) and a 2020- 3rd round pick.
      The Niners end up with pick numbers 15, 34, 39, 47, 66, 102, 107, and 139.
      The Niners select, using the draftek big board-
      15- Jachai Polite OLB
      34- Trayvon Mullen CB
      39- David Edwards OT
      47- Oshane Ximines EDGE
      66- Brian Burns OLB
      102- Delvon Randall S
      107- Rodney Anderson RB
      139- Parris Campbell WR

  25. Slow Wednesday… Following up on the ‘Grant dressing better’ observation, and his somewhat sudden generosity toward the 9ers (of late)…

    This feels like something out of the production Evita. Perhaps the most memorable moment comes with ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina‘. Evita Peron–in an emotional way–tries to reconcile with the common people of her beloved country, following a curious string of questionable behavior on her part. And here we have Grant, looking sharp(er) and becoming Mr. Nice–at least for a little while.

    Don’t Cry For Me Readers Of My Blog…

    It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange
    When I try to explain how I feel
    That I still need your love after all that I’ve done
    You won’t believe me, all you will see is a guy you once knew
    Although he’s dressed up to the nines
    At sixes and sevens with you
    I had to let it happen, I had to change
    Couldn’t stay all my life down at heel
    Don’t cry for me, readers of my blog
    The truth is, I never left you
    All through my wild days, my mad existence
    I kept my promise
    Don’t keep your distance

    Grant loves us all.

    The real thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD_1Z8iUDho

    1. Madonna killed it!
      Her passion exuded on the song.

      At the end of the day, Grant is only doing his job. Any disagreements with his takes (at least for me) are only job related not personal.
      I’d like to meet him at the 49ers TC in August and tell him that face to face.

          1. AES, apologies, I wasn’t directing that comment to you, but rather at the notion of making Evita Perón a quasi heroic figure in the musical. Imagine Madonna playing Eva Braun in a musical!

            It’s like making a musical about Mussolini!

            The word fascist gets bandied about too much today for people with whom we don’t agree with, but the Peron’s state run corporatism in Argentina certainly comes close to Mussolini’s ideology.

      1. Yup….don’t keep your distance!

        In the video clip–with the camera panning the crowd–I see Razor, Sebbie, Houston, Scooter….the full mob.

      2. Why don’t we all meet at the combine in Indy this year? I can do a go fund me for Grant since the PD refuses to send him.

        1. We really do love Grant, so why not.

          Even the stingy Press Democrat could milk this get together and write a killer human interest story. Maybe the NFL Network would pick it up as well.

          I can see it now…hard core blog fans travel to the Combine and meet their hero/boogeyman and celebrate the 9ers and the NFL.

  26. http://www.knbr.com/2019/01/02/grading-49ers-2018-season-by-position-group/

    Coaching: B

    “Shanahan helped Mullens achieve historic marks in his first eight starts. Four different 49ers running backs, none of them named McKinnon, rushed for at least 80 yards in a game this season. Kittle posted the best season ever for a tight end largely because Shanahan schemed him open so frequently.”

    “Shanahan and the 49ers need to improve in the fourth quarter, where they scored fewer points than anyone in the league, and the red zone, where they converted touchdowns at the lowest rate in the league. But Shanahan’s season was a master class in offensive coaching.”

    1. No mention of his offense turning the ball over the 3rd most times, or falling short of the leagues increase in scoring or yards?

        1. Shanahan’s failures include poor oversight of punting–ranking 21st in punts downed inside the 20.

        2. You’re right, my bad. Shanahan is terrific. His 10-22 record is a great improvement from the 7-25 posted by Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.

      1. Or expecting 2nd and 3rd string players to play mistake free football.
        I know that numbers don’t lie, but there is usually a story behind them.

    2. You’d think it was Shanahan out there taking snaps with the way that reads. F Mullens, he did nothing himself, it was all Shanahan.

      1. Unless he stinks, in which case it isn’t Shanahan, it’s all him! Notice the Shanahan guys don’t apply the same logic to CJB!

        I swear this guy has the greatest publicity machine.

  27. Guess Grant will have to find a new way to bag on QB’s that come from a “gimmick” system since one was just named MVP of the league.

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