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a 2018 season that did not meet expectations. The team entered with hopes of contending for a playoff appearance Earl Mitchell Jersey , but stumbled to a 4-12 record after losing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL in Week 3.Expectations will climb again in 2019, but before we get into that, it’s time to take a look back at the season that was for the current roster. There will be turnover in the coming months, but let’s start the offseason with a stock report on the 49ers roster. We’ll go through each position group and offer stock up or stock down for each player, and then stock up or stock down for the position group as a whole. Today we wrap things up with the specialists.Robbie Gould: Stock upIt’s amazing how some kickers just keep on trucking the older they get. Gould had a strong debut season with the 49ers in 2017, and he followed up with an equally fantastic second season. He’s 36 years old, and for the time being there is no reason to think he can’t keep kicking into his 40s. He converted 33 of 34 field goals, with his only miss being a 45-yarder in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. Gould is a free agent after this season, and his former team, the Chicago Bears Malcolm Smith Color Rush Jersey , are likely to be in the market for a new kicker. He has said he’s enjoyed his time in the Bay Area, but will the Bears make him a Godfather offer? Or maybe the 49ers franchise him?Bradley Pinion: Stock downTeams often have their field goal kicker handling kickoffs and their punter handling just punts. The 49ers are an exception to this, with Pinion handling both duties. The difficulty with any special teams coverage unit assessment is separating what the punter and/or kicker does with what the coverage units are doing as well.This season, the 49ers ranked 17th in DVOA for both their kickoff and punt coverage units. For each unit of special teams, Football Outsiders lists how many points, compared to league average, each team receives. The 49ers received -0.4 points on kickoffs and 0.0 points on punts. They were effectively league average in both categories.One way to look at Pinion alone on kickoffs is touchback percentage. In 2017, he ranked second in the NFL with a 77 percent touchback percentage. In 2018, he ranked 11th with a 64 percent touchback percentage. In punting, his gross actually increased from 43.4 to 43.7 https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Robbie-Gould-Jersey , but his net went down from 41.3 to 39.1.Pinion is a free agent this offseason, and the 49ers have to decide if he can bounce back to some degree in 2019, or if it’s time to move on from their 2015 fifth round pick. I don’t expect they’ll break the bank for their punter, but if they can find a reasonable middle ground, I would not be surprised to see Pinion return.Kyle Nelson: Stock way downLong snappers usually only make the news when they make the Pro Bowl or make a mistake in execution. Nelson added a new one: failing a drug test. In December, Nelson was suspended for 10 games due to a violation of the NFL performance enhancing drug policy. It was his second suspension following a violation in 2011 when he was a free agent. Nelson served the first four games this season and has six more games to go. He is entering free agency, and I’m guessing he won’t be signing a contract until after his suspension is served. The 49ers likely will be looking for a new long snapper.Colin Holba: Stock upThe 49ers signed Holba to replace Nelson and he flew under the radar the rest of the season. That’s the best you can expect from a long snapper, and considering he is signed through 2019, he stands a decent chance of claiming the long snapper role this coming season.Overall: Stock downOn the one hand, Gould’s performance alone could warrant stock up. However Reuben Foster Jersey , given that he and Pinion are both free agents this offseason, questions abound for 2019. I suspect they either franchise Gould or get an extension done, but until it happens it is a question mark. The Pro Football Writers of America announced their all-NFL and all-conference teams on Tuesday morning, and the San Francisco 49ers have two players honored. Second year tight end George Kittle and rookie kick returner Richie James were included on the All-NFC team.Kittle is not a shocking decision, but it’s interesting to see him get the nod over Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. Kittle had the better overall season, leading the NFL in yards after the catch and setting franchise records for tight end receptions and receiving yards. He finished the season with 88 receptions for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns. Ertz set the NFL record for receptions by a tight end, finishing with 116 receptions for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns. Kittle separated himself from Ertz by his ability after the catch, but also the value of his run blocking. He was much more of a complete tight end than Ertz.The James inclusion caught me a little off guard Ahkello Witherspoon Color Rush Jersey , but a look at the numbers suggests it was not quite so surprising. James finished the season seventh among qualifying kick returners in return average. The only NFC kick returner ahead of him was Corey Coleman, who spent the second half of the season with the New York Giants. James had a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown, and I’m guessing that was the difference for most of the voters. Whatever the case, it’s a cool honor for the rookie.DeForest Buckner did not earn a nod this year due to the strong seasons by Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox. Buckner was a Pro Bowl alternate behind them and stands a decent chance of getting a bump for one or both of Donald and Cox. Other than James, the special teams honors followed the Pro Bowl voting, and so no Robbie Gould for kicker or Mark Nzeocha for specialist.
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