No. 2: Will 49ers get a resurgent Ahkello Witherspoon in 2020?
A lot of eyes are going to be on Ahkello Witherspoon this upcoming season, including general manager John Lynch.
“You know Ahkello Witherspoon is a guy, this is a big year for Ahkello,” Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier this offseason. “No doubt about it. He’s got to go show it on the field.”
Early in 2019, Witherspoon looked as if he bounced back from the woefully inadequate campaign he had the season prior. This wouldn’t have been a big shock, as young defensive backs tend to struggle early in their careers after transitioning from the college ranks to the pros. And the Niners would have been justified with their day-two draft investment from 2017.
Then Witherspoon suffered a foot sprain, which ultimately limited him to just 10 regular-season games on the year. And when he returned, he clearly either lost a step or had lost his confidence on the field.
Entering a contract year, Witherspoon’s future, both with the 49ers and in the NFL as a whole, could be at stake. It’s one of those situations where he’ll not only need a massively impressive training camp and preseason, but he’ll also need to capitalize on whatever regular-season opportunities are thrown his way.
If he can do so, Witherspoon’s turbulent and inconsistent career could be salvaged and then some.