These position groups have starters that are solid but not considered stars and also don’t have much depth. I would not identify these groups as strengths of the team, but should not necessarily be considered as a weakness either.
This placement isn’t a knock on Alex Smith whatsoever, as I believe he is great for the offense and what it needs from the quarterback position. At this point in his career, though, he is what he is as an above average quarterback who can successfully lead a team with solid weapons and a good defense but should not be asked to carry a team on his own.
This can cause problems when trying to play from behind in a game or when facing a high-powered offense like the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers. Also, with the departure of Chase Daniel, there is no clear backup option with both Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray yet to show enough to earn the No. 2 spot.
Again, this isn’t saying Cairo Santos is a bad kicker, as he’s proven to be a pretty accurate and reliable kicker in short to medium range situations. The issue with Santos, however, is his leg strength. While he’s improved greatly on his kickoffs, he’ll likely never become a kicker who can really be counted on for field goal attempts over 50 yards due to his diminutive stature.
I had a bit of a tough time placing this group so low due to how good I think the starting duo of Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines can be, but ultimately the health of Gaines and overall depth is a cause for concern.
Even with a fully healthy Gaines, we’re not really sure yet as to how good of a player Steven Nelson is at nickle corner and Marcus Cooper has taken a step back as a corner following his 2013 Chiefs Rookie of the Year season. This group will almost assuredly bring in one or two corners at the least between the draft and the remaining free agents.
Next: Tier 4