Posted: 4:00 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 2013
By Trevor Woods
The weather is getting warmer, which means we're getting closer to training camp. Until then, we're still there for you every Friday at 2 PM PT on Twitter for our #Channel49 Q&A.;
#channel49 What 2013 Niners game are you looking most forward to?— Elvin Pritchard (@ElvinPritchard) June 14, 2013
The 49ers have a lot of games against good opponents, but the match-up I am looking forward to the most is a divisional battle against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have been in the news a lot this off-season. From the trade of Percy Harvin, the signing of Cliff Avril, and the suspension of Seahawks players for PED's, we keep hearing about them. These games should be fun ones to watch, physical football with a side of trash talk (from Richard Sherman). The teams don't like each other, the head coaches really don't, this is something to look forward to. If the 49ers win both games, it's highly likely they win the division. I'm also looking forward to the Falcons and Packers games.
#Channel49 I know it's early. But what position do you think we target in next years draft in the 1st round?— Antonio Serrano (@aserranojr) June 14, 2013
Cornerback or wide receiver. 49ers corners Carlos Rogers, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Tarrel Brown all could be gone next year, leaving a big whole at the cornerback position. While the 49ers opted to not draft a CB until the seventh round this season, I expect them to draft a corner early on in 2014. Wide receiver could also be a first round option. With Anquan Boldin in the final year of his contract in 2013, and Michael Crabtree's contract ending at the end of 2014, the 49ers may have to start drafting for the future at WR. This also depends on the contributions to A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, and Ricardo Lockette, but I would not be surprised if the 49ers went receiver in round one.
The Rams have three running backs fighting for the starting job/most carries in Daryl Richardson, Isiah Pead, and Zac Stacy. We really don't know if there's a superstar in this group of running backs yet or not. One of the Rams backs could step up and make the team better offensively than Jackson did last season, or they might not and the Rams running game will regress. Jackson kept the chains moving a lot for the rams, and my guess would be we won't see the same level of production at the running back position for St. Louis. The 49ers will have more success against the Rams this year.
Last season the Niners were 0-1-1 against Rams. They haven't forgotten about that, and look for them to have a chip on their shoulder about it. The Rams will be an improved team this year after a good off-season, but they simply do not yet have the same level of talent as the 49ers. The 49ers still have to go out there and win the games, but I expect the 49ers to beat them both times this year. I'll be going to the game in St. Louis, so I hope I'm right!
Who will be the surprise "x-factor" thus season. The player that will unexpectedly wow us and be difference maker in games? #channel49— Jester DWMC (@NinerFanWG) June 14, 2013
A.J. Jenkins, well, I hope A.J. Jenkins! Michael Crabtree isn't coming back from injury anytime soon, the whole receiving corp needs to step up, but A.J. really needs to. He knows he is under pressure to produce this year, and produce he will. He was slow to come along last year, but can we just call it a redshirt year? He's a redshirt rookie, who is building a rapport with Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers drafted him in the first round for a reason, and he isn't a bust yet. This year is his chance to become a difference maker in the 49ers offense, it's up to him to make sure that happens.
#Channel49 Why look at collie? Does it mean Jim is not cool with the current WR? Why him and not Lloyd? What's the fascination with slot WR— Cory Fretland (@CoryFretland) June 14, 2013
Austin Collie had productive seasons before his injury woes for the Colts. It remains to be seen if Collie can ever be his old self again, but his production warrants a look from the 49ers at the very least, which I think is what it only will be. Bringing in Collie for a visit doesn't mean the staff dislikes like the 49ers group of receivers, it just means they're exploring options to improve the depth and add some more competition heading into training camp.
Brandon Lloyd isn't an option because besides his reputation as a locker room outcast, he is a horrible and unwilling blocker. I don't think he will be considered. I don't feel there's a fascination with the slot receiver. It's a position that can reap big rewards if you have a good slot receiver, so the 49ers are doing their due diligence to have a productive one. When you have a good slot receiver, that means he gets open fast for high percentage completions that can end up going for a lot of yards.
#Channel49 I know some people do not think too highly of Nnamdi but is there any possibility he takes a starting job. I thihk he will excels— Antonio Serrano (@aserranojr) June 14, 2013
There is a possibility. I've stressed this off-season that Nnamdi wasn't a fit in the Eagles zone coverage scheme, Nnamdi will be a fit playing more man defense for the 49ers. With a better scheme, better play should be expected from Asomugha, and that could mean beating out Carlos Rogers for a starting job. This should be a battle to watch in training camp, and I would not be surprised if Nnamdi prevails and is a starter.