One comment on “2014 NFL Predictions

  1. Re: 49ers shaky drafting- their 2012 class was just flat out bad, but the majority of the 2013 class just hasn’t gotten a chance to play because a few were “redshirted” and because the roster is very deep. It’s much harder to grade/rate the draft of winning team’s and this is just another example. They’re going to start (or continue) getting an impact from guys in the ’13 class- Carradine, Lemonier, Dial, McDonald, Patton… quality players coming back from injury- Ian Williams, Culliver, Crabtree (full season).. and guys from this ’14 class- Hyde, Ward, Ellington, Lynch, Borland

    Of course, it’ll be near impossible for all these guys to play significant snaps, but these are the kind of players (besides Crabtree) that would be shining on rebuilding teams and heralded as “the future”. Aldon Smith is out for half the season, but Skuta was a very good backup (+7.6 PFF) last year, and Lemonier was the most productive rookie pass rusher. Bowman is also out for at least half the season, but Wilhoite is at least an average ILB and they have Borland who’s probably better but still learning the defense. The o-line took a step back last year from one of the best to above-average, with some coming from injury (Staley and Iupati) and just a step back in performance (Boone). These three all graded out at +20 or better in 2012, so there’s a lot of upside for this group this year.

    Overall, this team has some issues but I think they’re overblown because this is one of the deepest teams in the NFL. They’ve been picked to regress for a 3rd straight year by many, but some of the smart ones (Bill Barnwell) have just accepted that this team (management) knows what it’s doing. I know that people are more skeptical about the unknown than anything else, but I think in this instance, the results speak for themselves.

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