Yes, many a 49ers fan scoffed at the move, which brought in former Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky in as a fourth-round NFL Draft pick.
Whether or not that was a wasted pick matters not anymore. Wishnowsky is here, and he’s expected to be a field-changing weapon.
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Now, the question is whether or not he can be that kind of tool.
San Francisco was terrible in defensive-stand field position in 2018. Through three weeks, the Niners are averaging defensive stands on the opponents’ 27.0-yard lines — good for 16th in the league.
Wishnowsky’s 45.1 yards-per-punt average is only 21st among qualifiers, yet that stat can be misleading. Coffin-corner punts aimed to pin opponents within their own 20-yard lines don’t always have to be long ones.
The rookie could still improve here, as Pro Football Focus has him with only four of these punts so far. And his hang time on punts is 4.40 seconds, on average, which is good for 16th.
Still, Wishnowsky has been an improvement over the 49ers’ former punter, Bradley Pinion.