49ers roster: Grading each position after first 4 weeks of 2021

Deebo Samuel #19, Trent Williams #71 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19, Trent Williams #71 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Trent Cannon, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Trenton Cannon (49) fumbles a kickoff Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers find themselves a frustrating 2-2 after four weeks this season, meaning there’ll be some position grades in need of improvement moving forward.

There are a lot of metaphors and adjectives that could be used to describe the San Francisco 49ers‘ start to their 2021 campaign.

Frustrating. Confusing. Flat. Whatever… there are enough out there, and you can choose what you want.

At 2-2, the Niners’ season is far from a proverbial dumpster fire. And there are plenty of games left on the schedule against lesser opponents like the ones San Francisco beat in Weeks 1 and 2, the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.

Yet there are also five more NFC West games on the docket, too, and the division is again proving to be the NFL’s gauntlet this season. Especially with a matchup against the undefeated and division-leading Arizona Cardinals in Week 5.

Through Week 4, however, there are certainly some areas in need of improvement. Position by position, the 49ers do have talent and prowess. Yet some of that talent and prowess need to live up to expected levels.

Here are your Niners position grades a quarter of the way through 2021.

Special Teams. . player. 42. . .

49ers Special Teams: C-

About the only two elements saving this unit from being a complete disaster this season are punter Mitch Wishnowsky, who was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September, and the fact San Francisco is in the top-three tier of teams in terms of fewest yards surrendered on both kick and punt returns.

Kicker Robbie Gould, whose groin injury before Week 4 forced Wishnowsky to unsuccessfully try his lot as a place-kicker, knocks the grade down a small bit. But the biggest weakness was return specialist Trent Cannon’s fumble in that same game against the Seattle Seahawks, which arguably cost the 49ers the game.

True, Cannon’s Week 3 return against the Green Bay Packers helped spark a valiant comeback that inevitably wasn’t enough. But allowing Seattle to score two touchdowns in the span of five plays proved to be disastrous.

Gould is going to be out for a while, so don’t expect too much movement in Quarter 2 as far as grades are concerned.