49ers Mailbag: Which newcomer will have the biggest impact?

The San Francisco 49ers have completed 14 training camp practices and their first preseason game in Santa Clara. With the team now in Minnesota for two days of joint practices with the Vikings on Wednesday and Thursday before their second preseason game on Saturday, now is the perfect time to take a step back and respond to questions.

Here we go.

@mewsley28 – Other than Trey Lance, which player who did not play last year will have the biggest impact on the team?

An argument can be made for Samuel Womack. The rookie is likely to be an upgrade in the slot over K’Waun Williams, especially from a coverage standpoint. Womack is quicker, and his instincts are not what you typically expect from a rookie.

However, I am going with the interior of the offensive line. In Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, and Spencer Burford, the 49ers have three new starters with three NFL regular season starts between them.

After struggling early in training camp, this group has shown continued growth. Having veterans like Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey on the edges has undoubtedly helped. And as we saw during Friday night’s preseason opener, the quick feet of Trey Lance will also make things a bit easier.

@49ersFirstTakes – Are you concerned with the severity of safety Jimmie Ward’s hamstring injury?

The hamstring injury to Jimmie Ward is certainly something that is concerning.

San Francisco’s secondary looked much improved over last season until the injury bug landed in Santa Clara. Over about a week, the 49ers also lost cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward to hamstring strains.

The injuries at cornerback, combined with the Jimmie Ward injury, put them right back in the situation they found themselves in last season.

San Francisco added cornerback Ken Crawley last week, and the veteran appears to have already passed Ambry Thomas on the depth chart.

At safety, the 49ers will likely turn to Tarvarius Moore or George Odum to line up next to first-year starter Talanoa Hufanga.

With Dontae Johnson also out of the lineup with a rib injury, don’t be surprised if the 49ers add another veteran here.

@9erFan57 – Any chance of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster?

I don’t expect the 49ers to keep all three quarterbacks on the active roster. They are happy with Nate Sudfeld as the backup to Trey Lance, and it makes more sense to keep a position player over Brock Purdy. Look for San Francisco to release the rookie quarterback and sign him to the practice squad.

@winalways510 – Will Jimmy Garoppolo take a pay cut and stay with San Francisco? 

Jimmy Garoppolo has not participated in any activities with the team since losing in the NFC Championship game at the end of January.

According to Kyle Shanahan, the veteran quarterback doesn’t have a playbook or attend any meetings with the team.

If the 49ers cannot trade Garoppolo by the end of training camp, expect him to be released.

This article has 22 Comments

  1. I want to see Poe given a shot at the center. Brendel is struggling to be average. Moore gets cut as he is not able to play safety reliably. Odum stays. We need to look to see who is available at safety. Terrible loss of ward. He may be out for 3 regular season games. Don’t let Purdy go. He is a 4-year “vet” in a decent conference-Iowa State. Inexpensive backup and a player! What a gem of a 7th rounder.

    1. Allie
      Safety’s the 9ers could sign:
      1) Tavon Wilson: Played 8 games for the 9ers last year with one start before an injury cut his season short.
      2) Jarrod Wilson: Signed with the practice squad in early December and played in four games almost all on ST. He’s a 6 year vet with some experience with the 9ers’ defense.
      3) Jared Mayden: Spent part of his first two seasons with the 9ers after joining the club as an undrafted rookie in 2020. He’s dealing with an ankle injury. If the ankle is good, the 9ers could sign him.

    2. There is a reason Poe was not deemed worthy of even a 7th round pick by literally any team. Just cause he was signed to your favourite team doesn’t automatically make him better than he really is. Brendel may not even be average, but if Poe was even below average, he would have been drafted. Maybe he can develop into a decent player in 2-3 years, but to assume that a UDFA center is going to come in and be worthy of starting is ludicrous. And if he really was, then he would be doing so. People really romanticize their own late round picks and UDFAs way too much.

      1. Johan,
        You bring up a very point re Poe. He likely is a long-shot.
        Personally, I don’t believe that he is starter material by any measure.
        That said, there’s such a thing as pulling for the underdog in all sports.

        Plus, every year there are “underdog players” in football training camps that make final rosters.

        Given the 49ers recent history of UDFAs that have made the roster, I don’t find it unusual to cheer for players like Poe and Mason.

  2. The team made a HUGE mistake not signing Tartt. Maybe they can trade one of their LB’s for a S. I think they should keep Moore, either on the Veteran practice squad or the injury list. It takes 2 years to recover from a torn Achilles. Just look at Verrett.

    1. Tartt might not make the Eagles roster. According to what I’ve been reading he is working with the third team.

  3. Which newcomer will have the greatest impact in 2022?

    I think Brian Griese will have the biggest impact on the team in 2022.

  4. Think Jimmy won’t get cut until just before the first game, when his salary is guaranteed. 49ers play Seattle week 2 and they would surely want him. Cutting him late would ensure he only has 1 week to practice with them before they play the 49ers

  5. It seems like the only two potential landing spots for Jimmy are Browns and Giants at this point. Watson will probably be suspended for the entire season and Jones is struggling in NY. I have a feeling however he will be released.

    I agree the interior O line will have a big impact as will Womack. The secondary will be tested in MN. They have 3 talented receivers – Jefferson, Thielan, KJ Osborne . Gray will also be impactful. His speed and Lance’s arm are a dangerous combination.

  6. If Brendel isn’t cutting it, not sure why they have been so unwilling to sign someone like a J.C. Tretter? Center is a critical position, especially for a 1st year starting QB, and we should have a high caliber player there. Also, not sure why we cut Dennard so early in camp? Shanahan and Ryans were praising the guy early on. I loved the way Womack looked against Green Bay, but that’s just one exhibition game. And what if he goes down before the start of the regular season? Who will be his replacement? It seems like a mistake to cut veteran depth at DB considering we always have a lot of injuries there.

  7. Jack,
    Womack and Gray have made an obvious impact as new players. I seem to have missed it, but is Donovan West injured? He has the NFL measurables at the Center position coming in at 6’4 and 300 lbs. Any news on him?

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