Early Stat Projections for the San Francisco 49ers' Top Impact Players

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Early Stat Projections for the San Francisco 49ers' Top Impact Players
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

With the 2014 NFL season beginning to wind its way ever closer, it’s time to take our first crack at projecting just how the San Francisco 49ers’ top impact players will perform as they attempt to reach Super Bowl XLIX.

For the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on key players on the offensive side of the ball. Obviously, the 49ers won’t go very far if their elite defense crumbles back down to Earth, but individual defensive stats are very difficult to project.

This is because a good offensive player will have plays designed to run towards them, while a good defensive player will have plays designed to run away from them. So, the better a receiver like Michael Crabtree is, the more plays will head in his direction, while the better a linebacker like Patrick Willis is, the more plays will attempt to take him out of the action.

So, let’s focus on what the 49ers have some control over and look at the top offensive skill-position players. We’re going to try to project them using a combination of comparing them to similar players through history and good old-fashioned guesswork.

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