NFL preview 2019: Five bold predictions for 49ers' upcoming season

NFL preview 2019: Five bold predictions for 49ers' upcoming season

It's about that time, folks.

Football is (almost) back, as the 49ers are set to open training camp on Friday, July 26 in Santa Clara. And expectations are high. 

After two straight disappointing seasons, coach Kyle Shanahan enters Year 3 with his most talented roster. Could the 49ers go from having the No. 2 pick to being in the playoffs in the same year? 

Crazier things have happened. 

Here are five bold predictions for the 49ers this season as training camp is set to start. 

Click for five bold predictions for 49ers' 2019 season

49ers' Raheem Mostert honors agent's father with touchdown celebration


49ers' Raheem Mostert honors agent's father with touchdown celebration

Raheem Mostert is more than a special teams extraordinaire. The 49ers running back proved that Monday night in a 24-15 preseason win over the Broncos. He also showed what kind of person he is.

After Mostert scampered across the field for a 30-yard touchdown in the victory, he threw up a 'T' with two arms as a celebration. The letter meant much more than what meets the eye, too. 

Mostert told his agent Brett Tessler before the game that he would score. What the running back did after crossing the goal line, was simply remarkable for Tessler. 

The fifth-year pro honored Tessler's late father who recently passed away. It was a grand gesture on a great night for Mostert. 

While the story of the night was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's ugly return to the field, Mostert easily was the 49ers' best offensive player. He led San Francisco with 58 yards rushing on six carries and was the team's top receiver, gaining 42 yard on just two receptions.

[RELATED: Mostert proving to be more than just special teams ace]

“I just go out there and try to prove myself and show everyone I can play running back and just give it the best of my ability,” Mostert said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “That’s what I always try to do.”

Mostert always was secure in a making the 49ers' 53-man roster thanks to his ability on special teams. Now, he's putting himself in the mix for carriers, even in a crowded backfield.

49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky reacts to huge hit on Broncos return man


49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky reacts to huge hit on Broncos return man

DENVER – Mitch Wishnowsky demonstrated to a national-U.S. television audience he still has the skills from his Australia Rules Football background.

But Wishnowsky said he does not necessarily expect himself to run down the field every time as one of the 11 tacklers on his own punts or kickoffs for the 49ers.

“I like my tackling ability, but the other 10 blokes on the field are just freak athletes,” Wishnowsky said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “So I’m more of just a last line of defense.”

He was more than a last line of defense on Monday night in the 49ers’ 24-15 victory over the Denver Broncos in a preseason game.

Wishnowsky provided the big hit of the evening with a left shoulder-to-left shoulder form tackle that drove Broncos rookie return man Devontae Jackson into the turf.

He said he typically sits back and acts as a safety, but Wishnowsky said he saw a gap between Broncos blockers and 49ers cover men to make the tackle the jarring tackle at the 22-yard line. Each of Wishnowsky’s other kickoffs went for touchbacks.

“I just saw it kind of open up and it was more, I thought I’d just plug a hole,” Wishnowsky said. “I was almost expecting to get side-stepped, but it didn’t happen.

“I reckon that’s about as good as I’ve got.”

[RELATED: Watch 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky unleash big hit]

Wishnowsky is an Australian native who was a fourth-round draft pick from Utah, where he was a three-time finalist for the Ray Guy Award as the best punter in college football. He won the award in 2016.

Wishnowsky averaged 48.0 yards on six punts on Monday night with a 39.3 net average after two punts into the end zone.