Power ranking each 49ers position group entering Week 1 of 2023 season

The 49ers have one of the best rosters in the NFL, but how does each position stack up against each other?
San Francisco 49ers Offseason Workout
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Jake Moody, 49ers
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No. 9: Special Teams

We start with arguably the least and most important position group on the roster: special teams.

Special teams, deemed the third "phase" of the game, is often neglected in discussing roster strength, but it can win or lose games, as seen when the 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL Divisional Round off a blocked punt.

The 49ers invested in special teams last year, signing both Oren Burks and George Odum to sizeable contracts. Odum paid off handsomely, garnering a second-team All-Pro nod at special teams. But this year comes with major changes, as the Niners swap out steady veteran kicker Robbie Gould for third-round rookie Jake Moody.

But beyond that, there are several questions plaguing this unit.

Ray-Ray McCloud's wrist fracture leaves the return game in precarious hands until his return, with rookie WR Ronnie Bell likely to take the first stab at it. Mitch Wishnowsky's preseason, along with renewed concern about his leg strength holding up, may take what was a strength into a weakness, and Moody struggled in preseason and is currently injured.

Above all, though, the 49ers do not have a difference-maker here, and that's not really the case for the rest of the roster.