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Which 49ers player were you wrong about in 2020?

Each offseason, we see players doing their job, aka working out, and get excited that he’s set to take the next step and contribute in a bigger way than the season before. We saw it with the San Francisco 49ers this past season with Trent Taylor and Jerick McKinnon.

We all have our favorites. Heading into the 2020 season, I had two players who I thought would elevate their games based on what I saw in 2019. It didn’t take long to realize I was wrong about one player. As far as the offensive player, it’s not that he was “bad,” it’s just that he never evolved. Let’s start with him.

Daniel Brunskill

What I surmised from Brunskill’s 2020 season is that when you have to bounce back and forth between positions daily as Brunkskill had to during training camp, then your developmental curve takes a hit. You can’t get better at right guard when you have to fill in at center.

While that reads like an excuse, there’s plenty of truth to the statement. That also doesn’t absolve Brunskill from not taking the leap to becoming a consistent and competent starter. If you extrapolate Brunskill’s 2019 season into 16 starts, his total points earned comes to around 34. In 2020, Brunskill’s total points earned were 23. Of course, injuries around him on offense contribute to that figure.

Brunskill’s blown-block percentage improved from ‘19 to ‘20 from 2.6 to 2.2. The bad news is that he was flagged for five more penalties and gave up more sacks and opponent “stuffs” this past season.

When you rely on a player who played in the AAF, you’re under the impression that his ceiling isn’t high. San Francisco will be fine, with Brunskill starting at right guard heading into 2021. I think he “is who he is” at this point and would be surprised if there is a dramatic improvement from what we’ve seen from Brunskill these past two seasons.

Emmanuel Moseley

The expectations for Moseley after his 2019 season, for me at least, was that he would challenge Richard Sherman for the best cornerback on the team heading into 2020. In ‘19, Moseley allowed a completion percentage of 44%, only allowed 6.3 yards per target and played with an aggressive mentality that reminded you more of an early draft pick than someone who went undrafted.

During training camp this past season, Moseley was on a similar trajectory as other cornerbacks in the ‘18 NFL Draft who were taken early. He outplayed Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon and did so thoroughly from my viewpoint.

Then, Nuk Hopkins happened in Week 1. After that, I’m not sure Moseley ever recovered. Moseley was targeted 13 times during Week 1. It’s not that he was giving up big plays left and right, as Moseley only allowed 5.8 yards per target. It was the body blows Moseley gave up that crippled the Niners defense that day.

Moseley eventually lost his starting spot to Verrett before entering the lineup again during Week 6. Moseley gave up a touchdown against the Rams, then, two weeks later, DK Metcalf bested him. After giving up another big play which resulted in a touchdown to Devante Adams during Week 9, we’d never see the budding star from ‘19 again.

Let’s hope Moseley bounces back and gets another opportunity to prove himself in 2021. Which player on the roster were you wrong about in 2020?

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