San Francisco 49ers Still Have Weaknesses

By Brian Cox
Chris Culliver San Francisco 49ers
Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers probably have the deepest roster in the entire NFL. Going into free agency they had some obvious holes, but the 49ers don’t typically make a big splash in free agency. They sign players for their value, not their talent. When the draft came around, not only did they draft for value (of which they got plenty) but they also drafted for a lot of their needs. But there are still holes in this deep and talented roster.

They still have a question mark at the cornerback position. As it stands right now, their two starters are Tremaine Brock and Chris Culliver. These are both quality starters but neither have much starting experience and Culliver is coming off a torn ACL that caused him to miss the entire 2013 season. They drafted safety Jimmie Ward in the first round who will most likely jump right into their nickel corner position but as a rookie he is obviously unproven at this level.

What happens if Culliver gets suspended due to his legal issues or if one of them goes down with an injury? The next guys up are Chris Cook (very underwhelming with the Minnesota Vikings but has the physical tools), Darryl Morris (special teams ace), Eric Wright, Perrish Cox, and rookie Kenneth Acker. I would not consider any of them starting quality at this point in time.

Another hole that they still have is at wide receiver. Of course they still have Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree but they are still waiting on someone to emerge as that burner they need so badly to take the tops off of defenses. They made a trade with the Buffalo Bills to acquire Stevie Johnson but he is injury prone due to his small stature. I firmly believe Quinton Patton will eventually emerge as the third guy they are looking for but he spent most of his rookie campaign injured, so hopefully he can remain healthy this season.

Rookie Bruce Ellington is another candidate for that burner role but not only is he a rookie and we don’t know how he’ll do against NFL corners, but he didn’t even have much experience playing in college with the University of South Carolina. Although they addressed this need and they have gotten deeper at the wide receiver position, I still don’t think they have any definite big time contributors outside of Boldin and Crabtree. The rest are just potential big time contributors.

The 49ers may be the deepest team and the league and also the most talented, they are not without weaknesses. On defense no one knows how their cornerbacks are going to perform. I think by the end of the season their corners will be one of the better groups in the league but will be extremely underrated. On offense they are hoping someone emerges as an unquestioned No. 3 wide receiver — someone that can run right past most corners. If no one steps up, their offense could see some more frustrating lulls similar to those of last season.

Brian Cox is a San Francisco 49ers writer for Follow him on Twitter @bacox87, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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