San Francisco 49ers: Starting Lineup Predictions for 2016 Season
Kicker: Phil Dawson
Punter: Bradley Pinion
Long Snapper: Kyle Nelson
Kick and punt returner: Bruce Ellington
No shockers here.
Aging veteran kicker Phil Dawson signed another one-year contract, and was rewarded with another $3 million dollars. Even with John Lunsford signed on as a UDFA, there is no chance barring some type of injury in which Dawson is not the team’s kicker.
Second-year punter Bradley Pinion had a decent rookie season, averaging 43.6 yards per punt which was down from Andy Lee’s 46.8 punt average in 2014. However we should see a marked improvement from Pinion going into year 2.
In fact, if he manages to raise his punt average to 46 yards, there is the possibility of him ranking as a top-10 punter (No. 10 punter in 2015 averaged 46.4 yards).
Nelson is going into his third year with the Niners and his performance has been solid (Pinion had zero punts blocked in 2015).
Ellington is the incumbent at the return positions. He had a punt return average of 7.2 yards and a kick return average of 25.6 yards in 2015. Hopefully he can improve on these averages in 2016.
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There are still lots of questions to answer in regards to the final roster, and the answers won’t be provided until training camp.
The wait continues…
Next: San Francisco 49ers: Talking Offense in 2016
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Sports-Reference.com and 49ers.com unless otherwise indicated.