A good number of the 49ers’ moves from NFL free agency and the draft are already making some notable impacts early into the 2022 season.
The San Francisco 49ers didn’t need to make a massive amount of moves the last offseason to put themselves into playoff contention.
No, in contrast, the Niners already boasted a postseason-caliber roster and merely needed to supplement that group with a handful of key pieces and depth elements to ensure getting back into the playoff dance would be a reality.
Two weeks into the 2022 season, San Francisco is 1-1 and many could argue that rain-soaked Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears should have gone in the 49ers’ favor.
Nevertheless, the Niners have still received some impressive efforts from a number of their key offseason pickups over these two games so far.
Whether the pickups were via the NFL Draft or NFL free agency, these five new faces are already making their respective impacts on the team felt.
No. 5: 49ers linebacker Oren Burks
A year ago, San Francisco’s special teams crop was one of the primary weaknesses that carried over plenty of needed improvement into the offseason.
In turn, that prompted general manager John Lynch to stockpile some notable special teams contributors who’d help turn the page on what was otherwise a relatively lackluster unit.
One of those additions, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Oren Burks, has made a positive impact here by posting a respectable 77.4 special teams grade, according to Pro Football Focus, which is trajecting to be a career-high mark for him even if it’s been a mere two games so far.
With all 38 of his snaps thus far coming solely on special teams, where he’s logged a tackle and has served as a positive on coverage units, Burks has been a small but very noticeable net positive for this crucial third phase of the game.
And he’s not the only one who has improved the special teams crop.