Photo courtesy of www.rsvlts.com

Photo courtesy of www.rsvlts.com

Welcome Total Sports Blog’s NFL Training Camp Previews. Up until the start of the NFL season, we will continue to preview each team, and predict their records. The chances that we predict any of these records to be right drastically increases when Earl is writing the preview.

Today’s Team: The San Francisco 49ers (NFC West)

2013 Record: 12-4, lost to Seattle in the NFC Championship Game
Passing Leader: Colin Kaepernick 3179 YDS 21 TD 8 INT
Rushing Leader(s):  Frank Gore 1128 YDS 9 TD
Receiving leader: Anquan Boldin 85 REC 1179 YDS 7 TD
Leading Tackler: NaVarro Bowman 145  Tackles
Sacks Leader: Ahman Brooks & Aldon Smith 8.5 Sacks
Int Leader: Tramaine Brock 5 INT
FA losses/Cuts/Realeased:  WR Mario Manningham, QB Colt McCoy, CB Carlos Rogers, CB Eric Wright, CB Tarell Brown, RB Anthony Dixon, C Jonathan Goodwin,
FA signings/Trades: S Antoine Bethea, CB Chris Cook, QB Blaine Gabbert, OT Jonathan Martin, WR Brandon Lloyd, WR Steve Johnson, LB Blake Costanzo

Draft Picks:

Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
1 30 30 Jimmie Ward Safety Northern Illinois
2 25 57 Carlos Hyde Running Back Ohio State
3 6 70 Marcus Martin Center USC
3 13 77 Chris Borland Linebacker Wisconsin
3 36 100 Brandon Thomas Offensive Tackle Clemson
4 6 106 Bruce Ellington Wide Receiver South Carolina
4 29 129 Dontae Johnson Cornerback North Carolina State
5 10 150 Aaron Lynch Defensive End South Florida
5 30 170 Keith Reaser Cornerback Florida Atlantic
6 4 180 Kenneth Acker Cornerback SMU
7 28 243 Kaleb Ramsey Defensive End Boston College
7 30 245 Trey Millard Fullback Oklahoma

The 49ers 2013 season ended with a loss in the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. It was pretty much a given that whoever was going to have home field advantage in the NFC Championship Game, would go on to the Super Bowl. Having lost by six points, and turning the ball over on their last three possessions of the game, the Niners will obviously come back as hungry as ever.

The 49ers are a run first team. The only problem is that featured back, Frank Gore, is on the wrong side of 30 (31). Carlos Hyde was taken in the 2nd round to help compliment and lighten the load off of Gore. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was given a huge contract extension this off-season and it’s time to open up that playbook. Kaepernick undoubtedly has the strongest arm in the NFL, and quote possibly the best legs of any as well. Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis are too talented to be run blocking. You gave the kid some serious money, now it’s time to unleash him.

The front seven of the 49ers defense is fantastic. It’s probably the best in the league. They will be without LB NaVarro Bowman, who suffered a knee injury in the playoffs last year, until about the halfway point in the year. Luckily for the Niners, they are extremely deep. That depth will be tested with the probable suspension of another LB, Aldon Smith. Veteran Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks will anchor that LB core while those two are out. The drafting of saftey Jimmie Ward will help solidify that secondary.

One other thing that needs to be addressed is that the 49ers are moving into a new home. Bye-bye Candlestick Park, and hello Levi’s Stadium. If the fans of Niner Nation were looking for some good vibes about their new stadium, you have to keep looking. On August 17th, the 49ers were shutout in their first preseason game, 34–0, against the Denver Broncos. Incidentally, one fan at the game collapsed due to the heat and had to be rushed to a local hospital, where he died. Yikes. Not to mention that the field has already needed to be replaced.

Prediction: 10-6 NFC Wild Card.

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