San Francisco 49ers 2017 Team Needs
The 49ers have their 4th Head Coach in as many seasons in 2017. For the first time, during this streak, Trent Baalke is not going to be the team’s General Manager. Instead the team hired television analyst and former player John Lynch, who has no background in scouting or management. The 49ers have the second pick in the draft, 12 overall selections, and close to $85 million dollars in cap space. Unfortunately for the team the dysfunction in the organization, which stems (recently) from the ineptitude of Jed York might make it difficult for the team to attract top level free agents. In fact, a number of players walked away from the 49ers due to the ownership/front office dysfunction in recent years.
Primary Needs: OLB/DE, QB, WR
Secondary Needs: ILB, OG, OT
Free Agency Strategy: New 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has a background with Kirk Cousins and would very likely make a strong push to sign him should he hit the open market, which is unlikely. During Super Bowl week Shanahan also expressed admiration for Jimmy Garoppolo, and, through his father, has a better relationship with Jay Cutler than most anyone else in the league. WIth a slew of options, and the 49ers barren at quarterback, expect a big name free agent, at least. Should a premier pass rushing linebacker like Melvin Ingram or Nick Perry be available the 49ers would be wise to use their cap space to blow them away with an offer. Overpaying might be the 49ers only hope of signing top level free agents for the next few years as the organization battles a reputation for cheapness. Pierre Garcon is also familiar with Shanahan, from Washington, and would give the team a second legitimate receiver for their roster.
Draft Strategy: At #2 the 49ers will have several options, including their pick of available quarterbacks. The team should hope that another quarterback hungry team falls in love with a prospect and attempts to trade up. This year’s best quarterbacks might not break the top 50 in next year’s draft and the 49ers have too many needs to not draft for value. If they stay at #2 they’ll almost have to take a quarterback unless Mike Williams or Derek Barnett really shoot up draft boards. The depth at linebacker will help the 49ers this year. They can afford to address both inside and outside positions in the third or fourth rounds with some expectation of finding immediate contributors.