No. 4: Mitch Wishnowsky and Special Teams
Should the 49ers have used a fourth-round draft pick on a specialist, namely a punter?
Well, they did, grabbing former Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky in Round 4, much to the dismay and confusion of many a Niners fan everywhere.
Wishnowsky might have been college football’s best prospective punter entering draft season, and that’s fine. But it’s quite the risk from San Francisco’s front office, considering how the team likely passed on addressing a number of other shortcomings by selecting Wishnowsky instead.
That’s going to put a lot of pressure on him to perform immediately, sending off some booming and accurate punts, while generating plenty of hang time in the process.
All signs leading up to that have looked good, fortunately, but all it will take before people start grumbling will be a few shanks and gaffes in training camp. Remember, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Robert Aguayo (selected in Round 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft) had lofty collegiate accolades, only to flame out in a massive way upon entering the pros.
But the room for significant impact is there for Wishnowsky and the 49ers’ special teams unit. Last year, the Niners defense averaged stands starting on opponents’ 30.9-yard line — third worst in the league.
Wishnowsky hopefully changes that.