• Will Cuberos

Bold Predictions for the 49ers Following the First Phase of Training Camp

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Hawt Take Season

We’re two weeks into training camp, and if you’re a 49ers fan worth your salt you’ve been frantically refreshing Twitter and surfing websites (e.g., The49ersHub.com) and others in search of whatever news you can find.

It’s the season to track training camps throws, overanalyze 1-on-1 match ups, and assume you can predict the depth chart and 53-man rosters based on who’s dominating in the morning session of practice.

So, staying with overreaction season, it’s time for some bold predictions

Ahkello Witherspoon will have 4 interceptions to lead the team

After a poor first day of camp where some beat writers asking if he “would ever get better” Ahkello Witherspoon has since turned in a solid camp. Richard Sherman seems to have regained the step he lost last season after having sutures removed from his surgically repaired Achilles tendon. The biggest question mark heading into camp was the secondary; Witherspoon seems primed to take the cornerback spot opposite Sherman.

No running back will rush for more than 700 yards

With Jerick McKinnon cleared from the PUP list, the 49ers currently have an embarrassment of riches at the running back position. Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and McKinnon are all backs that are capable of rushing for close to, if not, over 1,000 yards. It’s safe to assume that all three backs will be active on Sundays, if each gets 10 touches, that’s 30 plays just for running backs. Considering that the 49ers only ran an average of 62.7 plays per game in 2018 and it’s hard to see any of the above players breaking away from the pack.

Nick Bosa will have 10-plus sacks and win Rookie of the Year

With the number two pick in the draft the 49ers finally solved their edge rush problem. Bosa had looked better then advertised midway through his first training camp, even working on the sidelines with veteran left tackle Joe Staley. He’s shown the technique and speed that was evident at Ohio State before an abdominal injury limited his final collegiate season. Playing opposite Dee Ford and with a stable of talented interior linemen highlighted by DeForest Buckner, Bosa looks ready to take the NFL by storm.

The 49ers will have over 2,000 yards rushing in 2019

I know I said no running back would have over 700 yards next year and since I’ve only written one paragraph I’m sticking to it. But I think all three backs get close enough to sniff 700 yards, then add in the fact that the offense should be running on all cylinders with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo and it stands to reason that we might see a lot of hand offs in the fourth quarter. Even if one of the Three Horsemen has an off game, there’s Raheem Mostert, who was proving to be a more-than-capable backup before a gruesome arm injury ended his 2018 season.

The 49ers will have a Top 10 defense

A tried and true training camp overreaction is how poor the offense looks while the defense seems dominant. It happens every year and 2019 has been no different. Quarterback X was 5 of 11 during team drills, and Quarterback Y threw three interceptions in red zone practice. Great, who cares, I'd much rather have the offense take their risks during meaningless practices than during games. But don’t let that sway you from the narrative that the offense is headed for doom, after all, some writers need the clicks.

But regardless of all that, this defense is different from in previous years. There’s speed and aggression off the edge, linebackers that roam sideline to sideline, though there’s a secondary we’re not exactly sure of. But the hope is that the front seven can create enough havoc that the opposing quarterbacks struggle with their timing and that leads to turnovers. With the addition of two new position coaches the defense will have their growing pains but should be much more aggressive then we’ve seen with the current regime, sacks should be up along with takeaways, and that should catapult the 49ers into the upper tier of defenses.


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