It was a busy month of March for the San Francisco 49ers.
General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan put their finishing touches on the roster heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. The Niners re-signed six of their key free agents and made a massive trade by acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from the Miami Dolphins.
It’s no secret that the 49ers will take their quarterback of the future with the third overall selection, but it remains to be seen with starter Jimmy Garoppolo. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says San Francisco is looking for a first-round pick in any deal for Garoppolo. Lynch and Shanahan have reiterated that Jimmy G is very much a part of the team’s plans for the 2021 season.
The Niners have nine picks in the draft and will look to add some depth to the secondary, linebacking group and both the offensive and defensive lines.
When healthy, the San Francisco 49ers have one of the best overall rosters in the league. They have a great nucleus with Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Fred Warner and Trent Williams leading the team.
Now that the first two weeks of NFL free agency are done, here is where some of the major media outlets have the Niners in their most recent power rankings.
ESPN has the 49ers ranked No. 13
Best offseason move: Re-signing LT Trent Williams
The 49ers accomplished most of what they set out to in free agency, but keeping Williams was the one thing they absolutely had to do, and they were able to pull it off. In keeping Williams, not only do the Niners retain one of the game’s best tackles but they maintain flexibility in the draft, which likely wouldn’t have been the case had left tackle suddenly become a pressing need. — Nick Wagoner
NFL.com has the 49ers ranked No. 12
Keeping Trent Williams on a long-term deal was great business and showed that Williams’ relationship with the 49ers couldn’t be more different than his doomed connection with the Washington Football Team. Williams wanted to stick around by the Bay, even when a Chiefs team with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback was pounding on the door with a huge offer of its own. With their franchise left tackle locked up for the considerable future, San Francisco can turn its attention to other pressing issues. Like, for instance, who’s the QB Williams will be blocking for?
USA TODAY has the 49ers ranked No. 9
They get TE George Kittle, WR Deebo Samuel, RB Raheem Mostert, DEs Nick Bosa and Dee Ford (among others) back from injury, not to mention QB Jimmy Garoppolo … or whomever the Niners replace him with using their newly acquired No. 3 draft pick. Put this group right back in the Super Bowl discussion.
NBC Sports has the 49ers ranked No. 11
Previous Rank: 14
Super Bowl LVI odds: 14/1
The Niners’ apparent plan is to draft a stud QB at No. 3, pit him against Jimmy Garoppolo in training camp and let the best man lead a team that gets many of its starters back after an injury-riddled 2020. If all goes well, San Fran should be a legitimate NFC contender.
The Sac Bee has the 49ers ranked No. 11
The 49ers could make the case they have one of the better rosters in the NFC, with elite players at left tackle, pass rusher, tight end and middle linebacker. But they are coming off one of the worst injury seasons in recent memory in 2020 when Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Richard Sherman, Dee Ford and a slew of others missed significant time with injuries. On paper, San Francisco’s offense could be the best its been under Kyle Shanahan. The question, aside from the consistent chatter about Garoppolo and now what the team will do with the No. 3 pick in the draft, is the viability of the defense under new coordinator DeMeco Ryans. The 49ers had arguably the best defense in the NFL when it went to the Super Bowl in 2019, but that was with key stars like Sherman and DeForest Buckner, who are no longer around. Can the offense improve to offset the likely decline on defense? That falls largely on Garoppolo and his health. If he stays available, San Francisco is a bounce-back candidate for 2021. – Chris Biderman
What do you think of power rankings? Where do you think San Francisco should be ranked among all NFL teams?