5 players who did not live up to 49ers expectations in 2022
By Peter Panacy
Kyle Shanahan arguably had his best 49ers team in 2022, yet these five players certainly fell short of delivering at a desirable level.
Maybe the 2019 squad is a contender, but it’s hard to envision San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan having a better team during his current tenure than the one he enjoyed coaching over the course of 2022.
A team that boasted the NFL’s best defense and also turned into a dynamic offense in the wake of the blockbuster trade for All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey and the sudden emergence of rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.
That all said, Shanahan’s team last season had its share of disappointments and underachievers.
As far as underachieving players are concerned, let’s take a look at five who probably need to perform considerably better to even meet that desired level of expectation in 2022.
49ers WR Danny Gray didn’t live up to expectations
Remember back in the NFL Draft when the Niners used a third-round pick on former SMU wide receiver Danny Gray, the speedster who was finally going to take the top off Shanahan’s offense as a deep threat?
Sure, Gray’s fellow Round 3 teammate, running back Tyrion Davis-Price, was a disappointment in 2022, too, but Gray is probably even more of a disappointment as he came with plenty of promise when drafted instead of shock or confusion.
Despite a promising preseason campaign, Gray managed a mere one reception for 10 yards and found himself frequently on the weekly inactive list rather than buried on the gameday depth chart.
As the reports went, Gray wasn’t involved enough in blocking or fine-tuned route-running skills, and Shanahan cut his playing time as a result.
Either way, Gray entered 2022 with plenty of hopes and left it awfully barren.