Mitch Wishnowsky

Madden NFL 20 player ratings: How each 49ers rookie ranks in video game

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AP

Madden NFL 20 player ratings: How each 49ers rookie ranks in video game

After winning the 40 Yards of Gold title on Saturday, which featured some of the fastest players in the NFL, 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin decided his video game likeness didn't measure up to his real-life self.

Specifically, Goodwin thought his Madden NFL 20 rating should be higher.

Well, when you win $1 million for outracing the other fastest players in the league, people take notice.

As a result of his performance in the 40 Yards of Gold competition, Goodwin saw his speed rating increased to 98 (out of 99) and acceleration rating increased to 97.

As for the agility and jump ratings, perhaps Goodwin will see those improve if he qualifies for the 2020 Summer Olympics, as he has made clear is his goal.

Speaking of Madden NFL 20 ratings, the 49ers' rookie class recently received theirs. Much like Goodwin, you can be sure they all feel shortchanged in some way.

Oh well. It's just a game -- well, depending on who you ask.

As you can see, the overall ratings of the 49ers' rookies go in the same order in which they were picked. Nick Bosa, whom San Francisco selected with the No. 2 overall selection, leads the pack with an overall rating of 78. That's the third-best rating among all NFL rookies, behind the Jets' Quinnen Williams (80) and Buffalo's Ed Oliver (79).

Assuming he stays healthy, Bosa is widely expected to contend for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and if he does, that rating will skyrocket in a hurry.

[RELATED: Why Williams believes 49ers' pass rush is primed to excel]

Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd -- San Francisco's second and third round picks, respectively -- were given overall ratings of 71 and 68, which should provide for some good-natured trash-talking between the two rookie wide receivers.

But if any 49ers' rookie has a right to complain, it's San Francisco's fifth-round selection Dre Greenlaw. Either that or they grow super fast punters in Australia.

Greenlaw, listed as a middle linebacker, was given a speed rating of 83. San Francisco's fourth-round selection -- punter Mitch Wishnowsky -- was given a speed rating of 84.

Don't be surprised if Greenlaw and Wishnowsky are forced to go head-to-head in a 49ers' edition of 40 Yards of Gold come training camp.

49ers' Mitch Wishnowsky has deep repertoire of punts from Aussie rules days

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AP

49ers' Mitch Wishnowsky has deep repertoire of punts from Aussie rules days

Mitch Wishnowsky admits he could have been more consistent during the 49ers’ recently concluded offseason program.

The rookie punter, at his best, was very good and gave his teammates and coaches a reason to believe a fourth-round draft pick spent on a punter was a worthy investment.

The 49ers selected the native of Australia with the No. 110 overall selection. General manager John Lynch opted to fill the spot vacated when Bradley Pinion signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, rather than select a defensive back or an offensive lineman.

Wishnowsky has an assortment of different punts, which he picked up playing a sport in which punters are not considered specialists. Everyone must learn to punt, oftentimes while on the move, in the game Wishnowsky played back home.

“A lot of the punts you sort of learn growing up playing Australian rules football,” Wishnowsky said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “There’s tradeoffs with every punt.”

Wishnowsky explained his different styles:

“The stock-standard end-over-end punt is a lot more accurate but you can’t get quite as much height or distance on it.

“The spiral, obviously, is the biggest ball. It goes the highest and the furthest.

“The helicopter punt is great, very hard to catch. You can’t kick it quite as far as the spiral. But if you slightly mishit it, it’s going the opposite direction that you want it to.”

Wishnowsky moved to California to punt on the Santa Barbara City College football team in 2014. He transferred to the University of Utah, where he won the 2016 Ray Guy Award and was the only three-time finalist in the history of the award.

The only downside of his final college season was three blocked punts, something he worked to eliminate during his offseason with the 49ers.

“I’ve got to get the ball off in 1.3 seconds, which is what I’ve been doing pretty consistently,” Wishnowsky said. “And the snap is a .7. So if the whole operation is 2 seconds or below, you should be good. Then, also launch point. You want to pretty much as it hits your foot (you’re) directly behind the snapper, so you’re not at risk of getting it blocked.”

[RELATED: Why No. 2 QB job between Beathard and Mullens is toss-up entering camp]

Wishnowsky also will be the 49ers’ holder and, likely, handle kickoff duties. He said he has yet to speak with veteran kicker Robbie Gould, who remains unsigned as the team’s franchise player. Gould has demanded a trade. The 49ers said they will not trade him.

In the meantime, Jonathan Brown, who spent the three previous offseasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and has not appeared in an NFL regular-season game, was the only kicker in Santa Clara.

“The last two years, I’ve been with Matt (Gay), who was drafted to Tampa Bay (in the fifth round),” Wishnowsky said. “I’ve been around great kickers, and Jon is up there. He’s phenomenal the way he contacts the ball. Jon is a very impressive kicker.”

Mitch Wishnowsky's experience in Aussie football may give him advantage

Mitch Wishnowsky's experience in Aussie football may give him advantage

There was quite a bit of initial surprise among 49ers fans when the team used their 4th round selection on punter Mitch Wishnowsky but there were definitely solid reasons behind the choice. 

Even Wishnowsky himself was surprised when he got the call from general manager John Lynch on the third day of the draft. While Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan confessed to watching quite a bit of special teams film, it was coaches Richard Hightower and Stan Kwon who kept in contact with the Utah Punter. 

Wishnowsky obviously has a strong leg which makes him a talented punter. There are also a few other qualities that influenced the 49ers decision to take him as the 110th overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. 

“I feel like I’ve got good leg strength and then accuracy,” Wishnowsky said. “I feel like I’m consistent -- putting it outside the numbers if need be, and sky-high punts or short yardage punts.”  

Wishnowsky trained in Melbourne, Australia with ProKick, a program that assists Australian Football league players transition to the NFL. One of his coaches, Nathan Chapman, recently posted a few videos of Wishnowsky’s punts where you can see his accuracy and placement.

Another aspect of Wishnowsky’s talents was formed in Australia as well. Before injuries forced him to retire, Wishnowsky played fullback. His experience has helped him be successful at fake punts and getting the first down as the ball carrier. The style of the game also put him in a similar situation as a what fake punt could be. 

“I think really just any position back home,” Wishnowsky said. “It’s a free-flowing game. Sometimes you get the ball when you have to get out of a sticky situation and stuff. So, I think just the experience of just playing that, sort of might give me an upper hand if the fake is called to be able to run at least.” 

Chapman also believes Wishnowsky’s experience in the AFL only benefitted his ability to be able to convert a fake punt. 

"Our game here is a run and carry the ball game, so fakes are pretty natural,” Chapman said. “In fact, a scramble play that doesn’t go to plan is where the natural instinct would take over.”

As the top punter taken in this year’s draft, Wishnowsky doesn’t feel any more pressure than what he would already be putting on himself. He is quite aware of the position he is in to perform.  

[RELATED: Sherman will judge Bosa as teammate, not social media]

“Absolutely. Not just because I was a higher draft pick,” Wishnowsky said. “Regardless, the NFL is full of pressure. But I mean I get nervous and I get anxious and everything before punts and it’s always happened my whole career. 

“So I don’t fight it. I just take it in and I feel like pressure and that sort of high stress improves performance so I welcome it."