The 49ers will be an interesting team to watch this season.
John Lynch has been aggressive in building the type of roster he wants and has not been shy about making big time moves. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the league’s top minds. From a front office perspective, the team appears to be in good hands. It also appears they have their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and the team has done a good job of surrounding him with offensive talent. The defense is more of a question mark, but there is a tremendous amount of individual talent to build around on that side of the ball.
In his brief stint as a starter for both the Patriots and 49ers Jimmy G has shown tremendous ability, but he must demonstrate that he can stay healthy. He is coming off of a torn ACL and there is no guarantee he will still have the mobility he once did. This means he is going to need to be more reliant on the talent he has around him.
At running back the Niners have Matt Breida who shined in his opportunities last year and the elusive Jerick McKinnon coming back off a torn ACL of his own and they signed Tevin Coleman. If everyone is healthy this is one of the best running back groups in the league. At wide receiver the team drafter Deebo Samuel out of South Carolina, who has the potential to make an impact on both the offensive side of the ball and as a return man, instantly. They also have Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin who are solid complimentary pieces. This unit lacks a true number one but the depth is strong. They also have one of the league’s best young tight ends in George Kittle, who showed he is capable of being a number one target last year. The offensive line will remain intact from the year before, which is good as they try to build cohesion up front.
On the other side of the ball the 49ers defensive line is one of the strongest units in the entire league with crazy level of potential. The team acquired Dee Ford from Kansas City and drafted Nick Bosa number two overall to add to a group that already had DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, and Solomon Thomas. Thomas has struggled to break through in his brief career but adding two studs up front will ease some of the pressure on him, and hopefully allow him to reach his potential.
At linebacker the team went out and spent big money on former Tampa Bay Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander, also coming off a torn ACL. There is no doubt about Alexanders skills but it’s a risk paying someone that much money coming of a knee injury. The lack of talent at the position made it necessary for Lynch to spend money addressing it, but it is still a risk.
At corner the team is set at one spot with Richard Sherman, who should be in better physical shape this year after not needing to spend the offseason rehabbing. The team also signed the talented yet oft injured Jason Verrett this offseason. If he stays healthy, that creates a formidable pair on the outside for San Francisco. The team clearly felt good about their safety group heading into this year as they didn’t address it in the draft and spent minimal resources on bringing in new players at the position. Jimmie Ward fast and hard, but has battled injuries. If he stays healthy the team is in decent shape at safety. If he gets hurt, woof.
Offseason Grade: B | Expected 2019 NFC West Rank: 3
The team did a good job of brining in talent, but had to spend big to do it. Signing Kwon Alexander for big money coming off an ACL tear is extremely risky, especially for a team with weak linebacker depth. On the other hand signing Tevin Coleman for relatively cheap could be the most underrated signing of the offseason. Despite this, the team still lacks talent to compete with Seattle and LA.
Graduate of Loyola Maryland and die hard Boston sports fan. "I rub it in pretty good when I win" - Tom Brady