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5 San Francisco 49ers disappointed players in 2022

5 San Francisco 49ers disappointed players in 2022

5 San Francisco 49ers disappointed players in 2022

Kyle Shanahan's team in 2022 boast the NFL’s best defense and also turned into a dynamic offense in the wake of the blockbuster trade for All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey and the sudden emergence of rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.


As far as underachieving players are concerned, let’s take a look at five who probably need to perform considerably better to even meet that desired level of expectation in 2022.

Danny Gray, Wide Receiver

Third-round pick on former SMU wide receiver Danny Gray was a disappointment in 2022, as he came with plenty of promise when drafted.


Despite a promising preseason campaign, Gray managed a mere one reception for 10 yards and found himself frequently on the weekly inactive list rather than buried on the gameday depth chart. As the reports went, Gray wasn’t involved enough in blocking or fine-tuned route-running skills, and Shanahan cut his playing time as a result.

Ross Dwelley, Tight end

TE Ross Dwelley made a small-but-substantial impact when called upon to relieve the All-Pro, George Kittle. Dwelley had some serious and important catches during the moments when Kittle was out with injuries in 2019 season, and Dwelley also answered the call in 2020, too, when Kittle missed half the season.


2021 and 2022, however, turned into years when Dwelley was a forgotten commodity and non-factor. Ross had himself three catches for 105 yards and a touchdown but fell way short in the snap-count department to fellow tight ends like Charlie Woerner and Tyler Kroft.

A free agent to be, it certainly seems as if San Francisco already phased out Dwelley as Kittle’s primary backup.

Kerry Hyder, Defensive End

Perhaps fans are a bit to blame for placing too lofty of expectations on veteran defensive tackle Kerry Hyder. Fans can recall when he actually led the 49ers with 8.5 sacks back in 2020 when nearly everyone else along the defensive line was dealing with a season-ending injury.


Following his one-year absence in 2021 with the Seattle Seahawks, Hyder’s return to the San Francisco 49ers prompted many to think he’d have a resurgent campaign back with his old team. Hyder was an important part of the Niners’ D-line rotation over the course of 2022. But, instead of reaching anything close to that career-best 8.5 sacks from 2020, Hyder managed only one last season.

Ambry Thomas, Cornerback

Thomas was downright awful early during his NFL beginnings after San Francisco grabbed him in Round 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, Thomas gradually improved as that season wore on, even putting himself into a position where he might be a starter in 2022. The pickup of cornerback Charvarius Ward changed that, but at least Thomas entered his sophomore year as a candidate to be high up on the depth chart.


Thomas struggled in training camp and found himself vastly outperformed by his fellow 2021 draftee, cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, who became Ward’s partner on the boundary once the prior starting corner, Emmanuel Moseley, suffered a season-ending ACL tear. From the cornerback who snagged a game-winning overtime interception in Week 18 a little over a year ago to one who managed just 41 defensive snaps in 2022, Thomas fell way short of expectations.

Drake Jackson, Defensive End

San Francisco’s top pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, EDGE Drake Jackson, made this list will. In fairness, Jackson had a solid impact early on. The sack numbers weren’t necessarily there, but his ability to get a hand up and knock down a pass was.
In total, Jackson swatted down eight passes over the year and even managed three sacks.


Yet both of those numbers were heavily skewed toward the beginning of the season.
And for a 49ers team that lacked pass-rushing prowess behind Nick Bosa, who led the league with 19.5 sacks, one would only hope the 49ers had gotten more from their second-round pick, Jackson. Jackson became a weekly inactive down the stretch, and Kyle Shanahan more or less told reporters it was because of the rookie’s conditioning.

5.0 / 6

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