NFL columnist predicts Darnold beats Jets in Super Bowl originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers have one of, if not the most, talented rosters in the NFL. That's not a hot take.
What is a hot take, however, is that San Francisco, with veteran quarterback Sam Darnold under center for the 2023 NFL season, will go on to win Super Bowl LVIII. How hot of a take is that? That's open for debate.
NFL Network's Adam Schein released his nine bold predictions for the upcoming season, where he predicted Darnold and the 49ers will defeat Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets in next year's Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium. Schein believes Darnold currently is in the driver's seat for the starting quarterback role and ultimately will win the job.
"The 49ers are the best roster in the NFL, 2-53," Schein wrote. "They just need to find that No. 1. Who's poised to man the game's most important position for San Francisco? Well, Brock Purdy is currently recovering from major elbow surgery, while Trey Lance is still struggling with the forward pass. So, in the moment, that leaves Sam Darnold as The Guy. And I see that as a golden opportunity."
Schein believes Darnold, who was selected by the Jets with the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, finally will find his footing with the 49ers and will thrive in coach Kyle Shanahan's system.
"I've always loved Darnold's raw talent," Schein explains. "But he was dealt a raw hand in New York and Carolina ... I always wanted to see what Darnold could do with better support. Now he's under the watchful eye of offensive genius Kyle Shanahan, flanked by immense talent on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the 49ers boast an assortment of playmakers at running back, receiver and tight end, as well as a stout O-line.
"Defensively, San Francisco just finished first in points and yards allowed. I think Darnold has a real chance to take this opportunity and run with it. Therefore, there's a realistic chance I ultimately pick the Niners to win the whole damn thing with my official predictions in September."
Schein is all-in on the Jets after their blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers to acquire the future Hall of Fame quarterback and predicts a magical season for New York.
"So there you have it: 49ers over Jets in the Las Vegas Super Bowl," Schein adds. "Pencil it in. And pencil Darnold into the starting lineup. Is there a chance Purdy eventually is good to go and retakes the reins? Sure. But at the outset of summer, Darnold's in the catbird seat. And I still believe he has the natural talent to take advantage of an enviable situation."
The 49ers signed Darnold this offseason to serve as veteran depth behind Brock Purdy and Trey Lance. Although, while Purdy continues to recover from UCL surgery and Lance continues his development, it certainly is not out of the realm of possibility that Darnold could be thrust into a starting position this season.