The most underrated player on the 49ers

Arik Armstead isn’t the best player on the 49ers, but he is the most underrated.

The former first-round pick has everything you want from an interior rusher. He’s tall, powerful and he collapses the pocket. He’s a human forklift. But lately he has become an afterthought since he missed eight games with a shoulder injury in 2016, and since the Niners spent back-to-back top picks on players who play his position — DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas.

Buckner and Thomas are talented players, but the Niners shouldn’t have drafted them. They were redundant. The team already had Armstead. The Niners instead should have drafted offensive tackle Jack Conklin last year, and safety Jamal Adams or cornerback Marshon Lattimore this year.

To make room on the defensive line for Buckner and Thomas, the Niners’ new regime has moved Armstead from defensive tackle to defensive end in the base defense, which should help his ability to stop the run. But on passing downs, Armstead probably won’t play defensive end — Ahmad Brooks and Elvis Dumervil will. And Armstead probably won’t play defensive tackle — Buckner and Thomas will. That means on passing downs Armstead probably won’t play at all.

What a waste.

Who do you think the most underrated player on the 49ers is? Explain your answer.

This article has 167 Comments

  1. This is easy: Carlos Hyde. He’s been near the top in yards after contact, had a 4.6 ypc and you and many others think he should be traded for a day 3 pick.

    You are correct in that 3 straight #1 picks used on the same position is redundant, but the one they shouldn’t have selected was Armstead. He was drafted on potential instead of what he had put on tape, and apparently already had a shoulder problem. Combine that with the fact an all pro caliber CB was drafted with the next pick, and that was a terrible decision made by the Niners.

  2. Kyle Juszczyk and Jeremy Zuttah.

    Juszczyk because he gets overlooked in terms of what his contribution will likely be this season. Even you have now been saying Kittle will have more receptions than him. If he does it won’t be many more. And I think Juszczyk’s ability as a blocker and as a move player to keep the D off balance is going to be very important for this team. I don’t think many people on here are as excited about him as they should be.

    Zuttah because the OL is also going to be very important this year, and Zuttah looks like the biggest upgrade from last year. Another guy that people on here probably aren’t talking up enough as a good get.

    1. Not sure that Zuttah is very good. He was gunna get released and we traded a 6th round pick for him.

      And Fullbacks are a dying bread in the NFL so I have a hard time believing that Juszczyk Is underrated.

      1. Not sure that you know what the hell you are talking about since Zuttah played in the Pro Bowl despite being “not very good”. Stay in school.

        1. He was an alternate.

          He was elevated by offensive lineman around him. He ranked 5 out of 5 starters on PPF.

          Justin Britt made the pro bowl as an alternate and he played on the worst offensive line.

          He was going to be released before the 49ers traded for him.

          Just because was elected to the pro bowl, it doesn’t make him good. Kind of like how our president was elected but it doesn’t make him a good leader.

          1. PFF told us Chilo Rachal was a stud and a ‘secret superstar.’ I’ll give you the closing:

            Most eyes are fixed now on the shiny new rookies, but more should be seeing that the real star of the 49ers offensive line is a guy many had written off 12 games into his career. The scary thing is, at just 24 years of age, we may only be seeing a glimpse of what Rachal is capable of. Close to our Pro Bowl team this year, it won’t be long before his performance (correct voting permitting) earns him these kind of honors and more.

            Until then though, Chilo Rachal remains a Secret Superstar.

            Seriously, he almost made their pro-bowl team. He was beaten out by Adam Snyder (who wasn’t much of a lineman) the next year. He was traded to the Bears in 2012. In 2013 he failed to make a bad Cardinals line and has been out of football since.

            I’d suggest less worshiping of PFF. It’s become apparent, to me at least, they have some serious issues with analytics. They’re good at counting. But bad at context. And since they’re bad at context, they tend to make some big mistakes. Rachel isn’t their first massive failure. He won’t be their last.

            Which is why, when asked, Belichick, you know the greatest coach of his generation, basically says they’re worthless because they get the wrong answers. Though he was more polite about it.

          2. It is possible that Kyle traded for him beause he sees what he needs for his offense. You certsinly do not know what the coach is thinking.

      2. Not only that but fullbacks are not a dying breed in Shanahan’s offense, not even close. Also Juszczyk is not going to be used merely as a fullback, he has the ability to split outside the tackles, catch passes out of the backfield. Basically a “swiss army knife” type of player, ala Delanie.

    2. I agree. Bruce Miller was a track layer for Frank Gore. When Gore would take it downfield, I would immediately watch the replay for Miller’s block. I think Kyle can do the same and more.

      1. To be honest this is exactly the type of thinking as to why Juszczyk is underrated. His blocking will be important, but he is much more than a blocking FB. His versatility in the passing game will be a key ingredient of this offense.

        1. I fail to see how this is underrated? I remember how many thought adding T. Smith and R. Moss would blow the top off our offenses too. How did that work out? To me it has to be based on what we have seen them do not their potential.

          1. Only reason you haven’t seen Juszczyk do it is because he wasn’t at the 49ers. He was used in multiple ways for the Ravens. Very good player. He can have a Delanie Walker like impact.

  3. How many teams win with one good offensive lineman? Just so wrong on this one. The front they play this year will utilize all three. With it being Armstead, Mitchell, Buckner and Thomas in base and Dumervil, Armstead, Buckner and Thomas in Nickel, with a heavy dose of giving those guys breaks.

    Most underrated right now for me? Malcolm Smith. He was just scratching the surface in Seattle, and won Super Bowl MVP. Then he went to the raiders where they misused him and he still led the team in tackles. He might of had down years but was surrounded by a bad defense and not a great scheme fit for him.

    By the end of this year people won’t be discussing his overpriced contract, they be discussing whether he’s pro bowl worthy.

    1. The Raiders use the same style of defense the Niners will be running this season. He just didn’t play well for the Raiders and was grossly overpaid by the Niners. I hope he figures it out and improves his game over here, but the system was not his problem in Oakland.

      1. Rocket – Robert Saleh was asked early in the offseaon what he liked about Malcolm Smith and he talked about how he was “misused in Oakland” and they were going to get him back to what he does/did best similar to his playing days in Seattle. He was clearly saying Oakland didn’t use him the right way and SF will get back to letting him do what he does best.

      2. I found the Quote:
        “The familiarity is a cool thing, but Malcolm is actually a really, really good football player. He was a victim in Seattle being behind [Seattle Seahawks LB] K.J. Wright and [Seattle Seahawks LB] Bobby Wagner. Two All-Pro players in my mind, especially K.J., very underrated. But, he was a Super Bowl MVP for a reason. They’ve kind of gotten away from the scheme in Oakland, and to bring him back to this scheme to where he can run and hit and do the things that he’s great at is going to be very beneficial for him and for the organization.”

        1. Ken Norton runs the same system Mike. There could be minor differences here and there, but Malcom Smith was not misused. He just didn’t play well.

          1. Right, well Rocket. If Saleh says he was misused I imagine he’s going to use him differently. Unless you’re calling Saleh a liar?

            1. I don’t see Saleh saying he was misused anywhere in that quote. He said Oakland kind of got away from the scheme which could mean a multitude of things. When did they get away from it? Smith was there for two years and didn’t play well, so at some point he wasn’t playing well in the Seattle scheme. Saleh is making excuses for a player now under his guidance. Not the first time that has happened.

              1. That quote basically says it wasn’t the best system for him however you want to interpret it.

                But you could be right.

                The other option is that Saleh and this organization knows what they are talking about. That they didn’t throw money at a subpar player. That he has the speed and athleticism to be a great Will meaning he’ll be covering the flats and chasing down weakside runs among other things.

                I for one will trust Saleh/Lynch etc rather than your slightly less football educated position at least until they prove they don’t know what they’re doing. But hey, I could be wrong. They could be wrong too.

              2. Brendon,

                There is no doubt Saleh knows more about Coaching the game than I do, but I’m not questioning his Coaching. I am questioning the claim you made that Smith was misused in a bad scheme, which was not what Saleh said at all. The scheme is pretty much the same as he played in Seattle and will likely play in here. Each DC has their own tweaks they put on it and Del Rio had a say in some of the things the Raiders are doing, but ultimately Smith’s responsibilities will be the same here as they were in Oakland for the most part.

                I hope you’re right and he plays well, but he’s living off of one playoff run with Seattle and a lot of mediocre to bad football with the Raiders. He was brought in at a very high cost that no one else was offering because he knows the system. If Foster is healthy, he may not even play very much.

              3. Yeah I got you, but the direct quote is “They’ve kind of gotten away from the scheme in Oakland, and to bring him back to this scheme…” – Which to me says he was used differently scheme wise, however major those differences we can disagree on but Saleh certainly seemed to think it had an impact.

                Just me, but I think they’ll bring Foster along slowly and he’ll be first sub for both Smith and Bowman. And next year it’ll be Mike – Foster and Will – Smith. We’ll see, and I think we can both agree that overall the LBs should be much better than last year.

              4. Yes I agree the position overall is in better shape this season. If Foster is healthy he’ll start imo. If he isn’t, they will have to get creative because Bowman and Smith on the field together will be a serious liability in coverage. They might have to go to a 3 Safety package or something along those lines.

          1. Grant nailed it and that’s another reason why MS will do better in SF’s system.

          2. True statement in the running game Grant, but Smith struggled in coverage too which will be a big part of his responsibility if he’s playing the WLB in this scheme.

              1. Agreed. That’s why I have a hard time seeing Smith playing very much if Foster is healthy. Can you imagine Bowman and Smith on the field at the same time? Even if Foster isn’t ready to go, they’d have to consider Ray Ray as an alternative, at least in obvious passing situations imo.

              2. I expect the starters will be Foster and Smiith. I doubt the Niners signed Smith to a $26.5-million contract just to sit him on the bench.

              3. I think they probably regret signing Smith now honestly. At the time the position was pretty thin and had question marks with both Bowman and Armstrong due to injury. Now they have everybody healthy and added the best LB in the draft. Smith is an overpaid backup if Foster is healthy enough to play imo unless they do cut Bowman which I have a hard time envisioning.

              4. Foster was No. 3 on their board and they expected the Bears to draft Thomas when they traded down. I think the plan all along was to sign Smith and draft Foster.

              5. It’s possible but you can’t count on getting somebody in the draft, and they didn’t know how well Bowman would rebound from his second major injury, which is why you sign a FA.

                We both see Foster starting if he’s healthy. Where we differ is on who lines up beside him. I’d give Smith the edge in coverage, but Bowman every where else. It’ll be interesting to see how they manage it.

              6. Smith definitely has better sideline-to-sideline speed than Bowman.

                The Niners were going to take Foster at No. 3 if the Bears had taken Thomas. It seems the Niners were counting on getting Foster.

              7. They wanted Foster because he is a great talent. They signed Smith because Bowman and Foster (the guy they wanted) were coming off of injuries. Smith also has familiarity with the scheme.

                As far as Smith’s contract, I think we have a team option after the second year. It could be after the third year, I can’t remember. Either way it wasn’t a long term commitment. We have plenty of cap space, so the salary isn’t that big of an issue.

              8. They were going to take Thomas if they stayed at #2, so Foster wasn’t really in the equation until they made the trade with Chicago right before the draft. He was a bonus; not an expectation imo.

              9. They were intent on trading down, though. Thomas was the bonus — they were pleasantly surprised when the Bears didn’t take him.

              10. rocket,

                You are correct about Thomas, But they had every intention of getting Foster after we took Thomas, They tried to trade up for him multiple times. I think the Niners plan was to find a way to get both without giving up the farm.

              11. Year 3 is the potential out #80.

                I agree with Grant on Smith being the starter, but disagree with his Foster take. I think they want to bring Foster in to be the future, and weren’t 100% they would get him i.e. if they stay at 2 they were going Thomas anyway and at 3 were happy to give up on Foster at that point unless he fell (which they were lucky he fell that far). Foster is the Mike of the future, but this year Bowman and Smith will hold it down.

              12. #80,

                Yeah that’s how it worked out on draft night. I was just responding to Grant’s contention that the Niners believed they would sign Smith and draft Foster. I don’t think that was the case because they were focused on Thomas at #2. Foster only became an option when they traded down on the night of the draft.

              13. Agree with Rocket, especially since there were many quotes around the lines of “We would have been happy with one or the other”, and Solly was ranked higher so in my mind they weren’t assuming they would get Foster by any means.

              14. They were assuming the Bears would take Thomas and were content to lose him.

              15. Not true, they were ok with losing him but before they made the trade they had the assumption of Trubisky as they said that you don’t trade all that much for a D-Lineman. It was in MMQB

              16. Foster was threw out of the Combine on March 4th.


                Before this, Foster was widely considered to be a top 10 if not a top 5 pick. This would have made getting Foster and Thomas nearly impossible. After the Combine incident, Foster’s projection fell to mid to late 1st round. This made getting both more likely.

                We signed Smith on March 8th. Did they sign Smith knowing that Bowman and Foster would be coming off of injuries? I don’t know. They could have signed Smith as a plan B because the draft is unpredictable.The Combine incident changed everything.

              17. The combine incident didn’t hurt Foster’s stock — the diluted sample did. And that news broke in April.

              18. The Combine incident called his character into question. It also made people wonder if he had something to hide with his shoulder.

              19. The point is they would not have expected to draft Foster when they signed Smith. Thomas was their guy at #2 and Foster didn’t become an option until they made the trade with Chicago. They still didn’t expect to get him after taking Thomas for that matter.

              20. The clearly did expect to draft Foster. That’s why they wanted to trade down. Foster was their target all along.

              21. Per Matt Barrows transcripts, they might not have been sure, but Trubisky was definitely someone they thought could go two so they weren’t 100% sure they were going to take Foster at three. So from this I get either they would have Solly and not be upset at losing Foster, or get Foster. Meaning they weren’t making plans around him…

                -Q: Did you know who the Bears were trading up for?

                -LYNCH: No. No.

                This guy’s (pointing to Shanahan) pretty bright. I think you could see his offensive bias I think I’ll say (laughing), he said that’s not for a defensive lineman. That’s for a quarterback. And he was right.


              22. Maybe I should have said they signed Smith knowing they wanted Thomas, but that they would still take Foster if Thomas was gone or through a possible trade. They signed Smith to start, but they were open to making him a backup.

              23. They’re also open to trading Bowman if anyone wants him and his contract.

                If they absolutely had to have Thomas, they wouldn’t have traded down and risked losing him.

              24. Would we be better off with Foster at MIKE and Ray Ray at WILL? That could be the tandem of the future. Ray Ray > Smith at WILL. Foster is potentially > than Bowman at Mike,

              25. Smith probably is better than Ray Ray. The Raiders cut Ray Ray and kept Smith.

              26. We’ll see. The Niners prefer Smith. Ray Ray is playing with the 2s and 3s.

              27. Grant I guess you don’t remember that bowman was the only lb ever to shut down vicks run game in vicks prime with atl

        2. Maybe he just had a good game… And being a back-up the holes in his game weren’t well understood by offensive coordinators. But as a starter, he got a lot of tape and was exposed.

          David Tyree saved the Giants. He never played in the NFL again. Timmy Smith and his 204 yards rushing against the Broncos in the Superbowl – no career. Larry Brown, a bad corner who gave up a 100+ QB rating every year was a Superbowl Hero when Neil O’Donnell threw him the ball.

          My favorite, Jack Squirek. Back-up linebacker for the Raiders. Intercepted Theismann and ran it back for a TD. That was sweet because the refs so bad-called the 49ers in the NFC Championship game that the Redskins won on late kick after the refs called a bad penalty on an uncatchable ball to put the Redskins deep into 49er territory.

          You can read about the bad calls here:

        1. The base isn’t even used the majority of the time as defenses are in Nickel 60-70 percent of the game these days, and there isn’t a lot of difference between lining up in a 3-4 and 4-3 in this system anyway. It can morph between the two over the course of a game depending on personnel and down and distance.

          If you watch Smith with the Raiders you’ll see him struggle both stopping the run and covering RB’s and TE’s. It was not the system, it was Smith. Maybe he’ll rediscover his game in SF, but the defense in Oakland is not to blame for his struggles. The defense struggled because players like Smith didn’t play well.

    2. Brendon,
      The questions was regarding “most underrated” player, not most overpaid.

  4. Armstead could end up having a great year and I believe the best player to get to the QB will be the one in there on passing downs. I don’t see how Armstead is getting shafted if he isn’t better than Brooks especially.

    IMO the most underrated player would have to be Joe Staley. The guys has been as solid of a LT you can ask for in the league for over a decade and seems to go under the radar. IMO he is the best player on the team

  5. Buckner might well indeed be the most underrated player but I think Joe Williams might be underrated as well. No one seems to doubt his football ability but some writers doubt his commitment to the team due to his absence as the result of emotional issues last year. A solid performance with the 49ers this year with no emotional issues emerging could erase that doubt but Buckner might not have a chance to prove himself due to his play being limited as Grant suggests.

  6. Hard to find one since they all are unproven and we were 2-14 last year.

    I say Cornelius Carradine, because he has talent but hasn’t been able to use it yet. I think he outplays Thomas this year and gets a new contract. It wouldn’t surprise me if Thomas ends up as a bust. He just seems like he isn’t that great at anything and is sort of a tweener for his position.

    I sort of wish we stayed in a 3-4 because our talent on the roster was better equipped to excel in that scheme. Now it just seems like a mess with everyone playing a role that they haven’t played before and one that is trying to mimick what the Seahawks do. Like Grant said we could have drafted Jamal Adams instead of Thomas and kept Ward at CB.

    Anyway not a big fan of what Shanahan and Lynch have done so far. They just seem to be taking a safe route, by getting guys they know. Instead they should have evaluated the roster and known that the defensive personnel is best suited for a 3-4. On the offensive side of the ball, they literally have done nothing to improve their offense. Just because the guys know “Shanahans System” (gay voice) doesn’t mean that we will be good. Hoyer is inaccurate and only has put up decent numbers because of guys like Gordon, Hopkins, and Jeffery. Garçon is old and slow and only excelled as a possesion WR on a team with tons of other receiving threats. Robinson is garbage at WR Quinton Patton equivalent and Logan Paulsen is trash as well.

    1. You are kidding, talent? What talent? We didn’t have the LB needed to make it go as 3-4. The only thing I might agree with you is that we might have been better served with drafting someone other then Solomon but not Jamal, rather Lattimore or the free safety that some had us drafting as the 2nd option. Rome wasn’t built in a day. As for Garcon, the same was said of Boldin. Hoyer is a stop gap to get the offense steady in the passing game, while it won’t be great, I do expect it to be way better than the last few years and we all know he is a stop gap either until we sign Cousins, Jimmy G or until we develop one whether it be CJ or someone from next years class. As for the rest of the wr you have to start somewhere and you are not to sign someone unless you have shown you have a qb first and it is stupid to throw your money on a wr who might not fit or when you don’t have a QB yet to lure them here, why do you think Mcclain signed elsewhere. You make like they should have done everything in a day. They are heading in the right path. Having guys familiar with the system makes it a lot easier in the first year for any coach so that not everyone is lost and can help the others.

      1. – Bowman is solid at ILB and they could have drafted another. The other ILB wouldn’t have to be that great because we have a solid defensive line.

        -Boldin is a first ballot HOFer Garcon isn’t

        -I agree it will take time to turn the team around, but having all these guys that worked with Shanahan before just delays us from getting good. To meet it just seems like they are setting themselves us to be bad for two years because the shanahan is comfortable with the players he signed.

        1. Boldin is no first-ballot HOFer. It took Chris Carter, a much better WR, six tries to get in. Took Marvin Harrison three times. Isaac Bruce, a better WR, still isn’t in, same with Owens and Moss will likely be forced to wait as well.

    2. “Garçon is old and slow and only excelled as a possesion WR on a team with tons of other receiving threats.”

      In 2013 with Mike and Kyle, Garcon had 113 receptions. That team had Santana Moss and Josh Morgan, those two weren’t anything special.

      Old and slow? You do know possession WRs don’t necessarily rely on speed don’t you?

        1. Same coach, same Shanahan system (don’t worry I said that in my manliest voice). He’ll be 31 in August and he doesn’t rely on speed. Many possession WRs have played at a high level well into their 30’s.

          1. Well when your WR’s are unproven guys like Goodwin and Robinson, he probably will see like 150 targets. So he will probably put up stats. But that doesn’t mean he is good or will help us win games.

            No possesion WR on the wrong side of 30 should be getting paid a 17 million dollar sigining bonus to do what he will do for us.

            And that 2013 team went 3-13, which sort of proves my point, that Garcon will put up stats but won’t help us win.

            But trust me I love Garcon, he’s my guy in PPR league.

            1. This is what you said initially.

              “Garçon is old and slow and only excelled as a possesion WR on a team with tons of other receiving threats.”

              I point out that Garcon had his best season in 2013 when he didn’t have a ‘team with tons of other receiving threats’.

              Now you’re saying he will have good stats because we have unproven WRs. Since we have unproven WRs, wouldn’t Garcon struggle as you originally stated? He only excels when he has a ‘team with tons of other receiving threats’ right?

              “No possesion WR on the wrong side of 30 should be getting paid a 17 million dollar sigining bonus to do what he will do for us.”

              We still have plenty of cap space.

            2. “And that 2013 team went 3-13, which sort of proves my point, that Garcon will put up stats but won’t help us win.”

              2013 Week 4

              2:58 left in the 3rd, Garcon scores the go ahead TD. Redskins win.

              Week 7

              2nd Qtr. 2:00 left. 3rd and 8, Garcon catches the ball for 17 YDs, extending a drive where the Redskins would eventually score a TD.
              4th Qtr. 2:23 left. 3rd and 5, Garcon has a 7 yard catch. He has two more catches for 15 YDs on what would be their final drive. Redskins win a thriller 45-41.

              Week 9

              3rd Qtr. 13:03 left. 3rd and12. 38 Yd catch for Garcon. Skins later score a TD on the drive. He finishes with 172 YDs. Redskins win in OT.

              The 2013 Skins might have been winless without Garcon.

    3. Dillon Foster

      I’m in agreement with you as to Thomas’ possibility of becoming a bust; he’s lighter than ‘big end’ calls for and is probably going to get smothered by bigger Olinemen….I’m just happy that we have ‘Tank’ and Armstead to fill that gap. If we needed another D lineman, we already have Blair….WE’re RICH !!

      1. Sorry to disagree, but King Solomon will do just fine. His initial burst is impressive, and he will work out hard to gain more muscle, and become 10 to 15 pounds heavier.
        Luckily, the Niners have improved so much due to free agency and the draft, that the cuts will be painful. I expect that due to attrition, at least one player will become injured so the hard decisions may become easier.
        I disagree about drafting Jamal Adams. They should have traded back more to garner more picks and selected Malik Hooker, who reminded me the most of Earl Thomas, if they had gone that route. Still, I am very happy with King Solomon, I thought that was a wise decision. It was a double bonus to have been able to get Foster, too, because they got the 2 players they coveted most in the first round.
        I do agree that Hoyer is limited, but expect Barkley to out compete him, which will open the door to obtaining another QB.
        I totally disagree that Robinson and Paulson are trash. I expect both may make the 53.

  7. Brian Hoyer.

    The negative comments outweight the positives regarding this athlete.

    As a stop-gap or bridge QB to the 49ers QB of the future, what’s missed in the haze of negativity is that he went 7-4 under Shanahan with the Browns before injury.

    Hoyer had a 5 game 300 yd plus passing game streak right out of the gate, which I expect to happen again–only with a hodge podge of players hastily assembled by 49er staff, due to a shortened SuperBowl burdened offseason.

    Also, Hoyer is demonstrating leadership skill not seen by a 49er QB in a few years by proactively organizing ‘Camp Hoyer’ this offseason to keep 49er player skills sharpened.

    Hoyer should be congratulated, not denigrated, in view of the college level offense–quack attack, and the college level quarterbacking that led those offenses of the past few years.

    ‘Camp Hoyer’ will take place a few weeks before 49ers training camp

    June 19, 2017 at 12:35 PM • 7 comments
    By David Bonilla

    1. I agree with Hoyer as most underrated. Reading the commentary on this site, you’d not expect him to take two steps without falling on his face.

    1. All those throws come off play action. Run game must have been working because thats when throwing the ball gets easy and only two of those throws were accurate. If I was watching this film, I wouldn’t be impressed.

  8. Blake Bell. Don’t laugh. This guy doesn’t seem to be recognized at all, yet I believe he could be a threat all over the field. Check out this video, which isn’t the one about the run that I’ve posted before. He brings a lot to the table. If we let him go, some team like New England will make him a star. My take at least.

  9. I’ll go with Brooks. People have been trying to figure out a way to get rid of him for years, but he’s like Bob Wiley, human super glue. He had 6 sacks last year on a piss poor team, and I think he’ll lead the way with 8 this year….

    1. I agree. Brooks will have another productive year. He’s by far the most underrated player on the team.

  10. What’s a “gay voice”?

    Rashard Robinson can continue to develop. He seems to have the skills and chip on his shoulder to be there.

    My second candidate would be Pita Taumoepenua, he could play more than people feel and few guys can come off edge on the roster.

  11. I still would have drafted Buckner. However, knowing that we let go Brock, might have been better to get Lattimore and in the process get even more picks. Still, Armstead has been plagued by injuries and since it is a long season you can never have enough talent on the line since if you look around the league DL, someone will always be hurting. Plus Selah will be rotating a lot, so don’t expect Buckner and Solomon to be in their all the time. Especially if they play as expected on 1st downs. They have already stated that they will be cutting back Buckner’s snaps.

    Now, most under rated player, lets go out on a limb and go with a rookie or two from the offense in Kittle or Taylor.

    1. The other thing that’s good about rotating a lot is whomever is playing the best will probably rotate less. Should stimulate even more competition….

  12. Earl Mitchell. He won’t have gaudy stats, but he wiill plug the middle and make things easier for a lot of his teammates.

    1. I agree. Earl Mitchell will be the most important player on the defensive line. If he cannot control the middle, it will be another long season.
      On offense, George Kittle will dictate if the offense succeeds or fails. He needs to be a good blocker, and take advantage of the coverages. Hopefully, he will find the spot behind the LBs, and in front of the safeties. Hopefully, his blocking will help spring the RBs for long gains.

  13. On a 2-14 team is any player underrated or for that matter overrated? That leaves one viable option- bad. With some professional help on the way the organization may have a handful of players who rate.

  14. The waste was when they doubled up on the same player in two consecutive drafts. Now the team is playing in what is quickly becoming the best and most copied system in the NFL (smart move), and have taken steps to get more functional along the defensive line within that system (also a smart move). It’s not Armstead’s fault that he is the lesser option. That’s just how life plays out. And due to his injury last year, his trade value is based on what exactly? That he looked really good for two weeks in minicamp before he got hurt? Whose word should a team take on that? Grant’s? Grant doesn’t know the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3 under, and that has been documented.

    So, there it is. He’s not nearly the most underrated player on the 49ers roster. That’s actually much more likely to be either Trent Brown (a man who at his size has no right to impress in this system, and yet somehow is) or Rashad Robinson (probably an incredible steal in last year’s draft). Grant is just saying that Armstead is underrated because it allows him to take a dump on the 49ers for no real reason at all.

    Grant is a hack and should be fired. His dad isn’t there to protect him anymore, the Press Democrat should finally take a long overdue stand against nepotism.

    1. How about Ray Ray Armstrong he played well before getting hurt is better in coverage than Smith and can fill in as a box safety if Reid and tart are out most 53 man projections have him getting cut

    1. Razor

      Good choice…I’ve never understood his lack of appreciation…and he’s not hurt that often…

  15. Who is the most underrated coach on the staff? I say Saleh.

    Disclaimer: I know his system is easier to learn than Kyle’s and it’s only OTAs and mini camp.

    With that said, Saleh has gone head to head against one of the best play callers in Shanny. The D has gotten the better of the O for the most part. Good job Mr. Saleh.

  16. Pierre Garcon. Guy’s name never once comes up and he’s the best offensive skill weapon we currently have. Easily the best receiver we’ve had since Crabtree and arguably even before. Yet he gets no love.

    Hyde isn’t underrated he just isn’t anything special and people keep expecting him to be.

    Zuttah would be runner up. Once healthy he’ll probably be the best lineman we have this year.

  17. Not inclined to declare “what a waste” until we see how the season plays out. So many things happen across training camp, preseason games, and the season–some good, some bad; nearly all unanticipated.

    Underrated player as of 6/19? FB Kyle J. A capable FB adds an interesting dimension to Shanahan’s offense.

  18. Jesus grant, as far as you are concerned bowman is easily the most underrated player

    1. Razor

      Good choice…I’ve never understood his lack of appreciation…and he’s not hurt that often…

  19. Joe Staley is perhaps the highest rated player on the 49ers, but he could also be the most underrated too. (Shows how bad the roster has been).

    We will appreciate him more when he retires.

  20. Armstead is one of the most underrated interrior pass rushers in the league, but the rest of his game needs work.

    I’m not crazy about the position change. If it’s not working out early, the Niners should keep him as an inside DL on a rotational basis. If they are truly committed to rotating linemen, the starter designation won’t matter so much.

  21. I seem to remember people saying last year in training camp that Amsted looked like an unblock able beast. Saying he was ready to dominate and all this and that. Several veteran players saying he was the best player on the field and then he hurt his shoulder. He tried to play through it, but lost his effectiveness with the injury… maybe he’ll be healthy and be that guy again….I’ll see if I can find any of those articles.

  22. My most underrated player is Chris Jones. The only thing that has kept C. Jones from developing into a very good D lineman has been his health. He finished strong and healthy last year and if he can stay healthy in camp look for him to be the most impressive non starter in the exhibition games. I believe he will steal a roster spot and make a strong contribution this season.

      1. I believe he will beat out Dial. If Jones shines during the exhibition games Dial will become trade bait, maybe a 7th rounder.

  23. In my opinion he’ll be the most misused player on the roster earning the Tank Carradine award for playing in the wrong position at Leo. I think Buckner is a more complete player than Armstead. We don’t know about Thomas yet. I think the coaching staff sees Arik’s pass rush as an asset and his run defense as a liability. Buckner is better there and lets see how it plays out in TC as far as who else emerges. I think you’re right in that Armstead is a waste on the bench, but because of his deficiencies against the run it will make him hard to use. Single gap scheme could help, being healthy could help. Underperforming draft picks could help, but what if he’s a one trick pony that doesn’t improve against the run? I think they should trade him for some offensive talent. Arik is a good player and seems like a good guy.

  24. I think that Zane Beatles is the most underrated player on this roster. Last year he played in EVERY offensive snap. And he did it by playing all 5 positions on the o-line. He may not b the best at anything, but he did not embarrass himself. Worst case for him this year is the “6th man” and that could make him 1st o-lineman off the bench.

  25. Most under rated players on defense are Earl Mitchell for the D line, Bowman for the LBs, and Eric Reid in the back field.
    Most under rated offensive players will be Trent Brown on the O line, Hyde for the RBs and Goodwin for the receivers.
    Most under rated coaches are Robert Turner for the RBs on offense, and Jeff Zgonina for the DL on defense.

        1. Just another troll tactic. Guess they think I am so important, they have to attack me that way.

  26. Most likely players to struggle? Garcon on offense and Malcolm Smith on defense.

      1. Based on Grants reports of the OTA and Mini camp. Maybe they wanted to see more of the what the younger players could do, and they already knew what Garcon could bring to the table, but he was pretty quiet and did not stand out.
        Maybe it is also because they are paying those 2 a lot of money, and they may not play up to the level of what they are paying them.

        1. Emphasis on younger players. No need to beat Garcon to a pulp ahead of the season.

          1. They did not have contact, so he would not have gotten beaten to a pulp. He also did not get separation, and that is disconcerting.
            Maybe I want the number one WR to be dominating the practices, instead of disappearing.

            1. I know there was no contact. Consider the wear on the lower extremities when running routes repeatedly–planting, cutting, starting, stopping. HC likely feels he’s got the system basics down well and can step it up easily when TC begins. Get the younger guys lots of reps.

              1. The practices were not like running the Iron Man twice.
                If they were that worried, they would have sat him down. He participated, but did not shine.
                Like Wilson said, the QBs may have also contributed to the whole passing game struggling.

        2. I think we need to dial back all the OTA and mini camp predictions. Take the reports with a grain of salt. Garçon is our best WR and most evaluations should be held off until TC. Look who’s throwing to him and the offense as a whole is not installed completely.

          Every year we see this crazy trend where we crown people the next rising star before they’re even in pads. Or we cast off valuable veterans for the same reason.

          1. Point taken.
            However, maybe Goodwin may become that go to guy, and his speed will stretch the field.
            Maybe Goodwin will out shine Garcon, and that is why I think he will struggle, because he will not be targeted as much.

            1. Seb, ever heard past performance is is the most telling prediction on future performance? Goodwin has promise but not production yet.

  27. I think that outside the diehard fans, Trent Brown is the most underrated. But among the diehard crowd, Jimmie Ward because we remember what Brandon Marshall did to him. I think he is a probowl safety this year.

    1. Eddie D

      Yeah, I still remember that game…and am hoping that Marshall experience won’t be repeated…

    2. Yeah, I’ll just point out that IIRC, Ward was a rookie expected to defend Marshall with no help. Why Fangio kept on doing that after the first TD, I still don’t understand.

  28. Joe Staley because we take him & his greatness for granted. Holding down the most important line position for 10 years is outstanding. Hope he has at least 2 years left & we could find someone to step in close to his level of play, but that won’t be easy.

  29. I still liked the picks, Grant, even though potentially better picks were on the board. To me, it enables better rotation. Great football players find a way on the field. Hopefully, it works out. No-one knows how good any of these players will be until later, anyways. I see your point, but I don’t think they were horrible picks, either.

  30. Its not even close. We will have possibly the best front 7 on defense in the next 2 years. At least our D line will be no pushovers anymore. And yet we as Faithful niners are still argueing about draft picks. C’mon people just know that our youth and physicality up front will be a force. And as far as Jamal adams we already have a stud in Reid. So lets just enjoy the near future and remember that even with the best O-line the cowgirls still couldnt win the nfc.. LETS GO NINERS… FAITHFULL TIL THE END ALOHA FROM DA 808STATE

  31. Underrated, I’d have to say Reid who consistently gets called to be cut despite being among the better defensive players on the team. Brooks too! He seems to always make plays and is always capable of making the team. Armstead also fits here, don’t know why people are so hasty to want to get rid of him. Perhaps we shouldn’t have drafted him, but he’s ours and we should utilize him.

    Offensively, Kilgore’s importance shouldn’t be overlooked. He may not be as strong a player as others but he filled in for a role very well and solidified a line when he was available.

    I can’t say any of the new guys are underrated as they haven’t been on the field yet (for this team). And it will be for this team that matters.

  32. Less than four weeks to get a long-term deal done.

    On Rotoworld:

    “CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora believes there is an “80 percent” chance Kirk Cousins and the Redskins work out a long-term extension.
    “I don’t see this falling apart,” La Canfora wrote. “There’s just too much at stake for both sides.” Unlike last year, there seems to be some real positive momentum toward a deal this summer. President Bruce Allen and Cousins’ agent have had two recent face-to-face meetings while new Redskins VP of player personnel Doug Williams said he wants to re-sign Cousins “in the worst way.” It would no longer be a surprise if the two sides work something out before the July 17 deadline.”

    1. Couple of thoughts on that:
      – positive rumors have been coming for several weeks, for what it’s worth
      – the Cousins to SF boat has sailed
      – Doug Williams wants him in the worst way?…great…..ante up
      – it will cost a bundle to sign him this summer. It might cost more to try and sign him later.
      – while I can see how it’s in both parties interest at this point to get the deal done and I’m guessing it will, whenever the source is Jason La Confora one is wise to take what’s written with a 55 gallon drum full of salt.

      1. If they don’t get a deal done by July 17th, do you still think there’s little to no chance that Cousins comes to SF?

        1. Captain Kirk said he won’t sign under Allen, and I’m betting he still wants to beam aboard the Full Shanny.

        2. Never say never. If there’s acrimony in the negotiations this summer, that would boost SF’s chances a bit for later. I’m wondering though if two reluctant partners just hold their noses and take a smart business deal in Washington. If no deal, then Cousins would seem to be in the driver’s seat, but his price to SF would be high……depends on the level of love Shanny feels.

          1. If no deal, his price will be what the market will bear. SF has the most cap space and there appears to be a solid relationship between Shanahan and Cousins. Those two factors would seem to be enough to put SF in the driver’s seat as well (assuming that KS is still enamored with Cousins by the end of the upcoming season). Also, if the 49ers tank this year, then a top rookie QB will be in play which might lessen the need for an expensive veteran.

            1. Zactly. I probably overstated it with my ‘sailed’ comment, but my guess is Lynchahan strategy is to keep improving the position and that Cousins might be an option; not the only one. So yeah, they’ll spend dollars or draft capital.
              My wild guess is that Beathards may become a quality relief guy, but that’s what I thought of Cousins coming out of college. Another guess is 5-6 wins this season which would put them in range of a trade up if someone is willing, but everybody else likes those top prospects too.

              1. I wouldn’t expect it, but Captain Kirk might be so inclined to give the Full Shanny a team friendly contract.

  33. Armstead has missed quite a bit of time due to a serious shoulder injury. When he has been in the game, he’s been absolutely horrid against the run. Not sure what you’re basing your opinion on that he’s the most underrated. In one season, Buckner has proven he’s much better than Armstead so to say Buckner should have never been drafted seems bizarre to me.

    As for who I think the most underrated player is, I guess I have to go with Jeremy Kerley. He’s a solid performer who can contribute on special teams and as a starter at WR. Kerley does a lot for the team so in terms of contribution I think he has to be a consideration for most underrated even if he will never be an All Pro level player. I didn’t consider any of the draft picks or FAs because we have no idea how they will fit in so it’s useless to even consider them for something like most underrated.

    1. Houston, perhaps they agree with you about Armstead, and their trying him at Leo is an experiment to see if he has more versatility than just being a third-down interior pass rusher.

    1. Frankly, I do not give a darn if chicks dig the long ball. I just want them to win games. Maybe the long ball will become more of an option with Goodwin, but it will not work if the RB cannot become a threat.
      Which goes back to the offensive line. They need to be efficient, and deceptive.

  34. I disagree Grant. None ofour DE’s have done anything yet. Lets prove they are ready to perform or get rid of the bagage.

  35. I’m not sure about 2017’s most under-rated;
    but I’m hoping it’s not the same as 2016’s most productive: Andy Lee.

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