9. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-10)
LAST SEASON: After losing first nine games Kyler Fackrell Jersey , new regime of first-year coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch had impressive finish. Acquisition of franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo provided big lift as he won all five starts to end season. Other bright spots occurred despite third straight losing season. WR Marquise Goodwin had career highs with 56 catches for 962 yards and Niners got most snaps in NFL from rookie class. LB Reuben Foster looked like impact player when on field. DL Solomon Thomas, TE George Kittle, WR Trent Taylor, S Adrian Colbert, CB Ahkello Witherspoon all showed promise as well. Team is far from finished product but took major strides in first year of new leadership.
THEY NEED: CB, DE Corey Linsley Jersey , LB, G, WR.
THEY DON'T NEED: QB, S, DT, T.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: LB Roquan Smith Mark Scheifele Jersey , Georgia; CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State; G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame; LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech; DE-LB Harold Landry, Boston College.
OUTLOOK: Biggest move of offseason came in long-term deal with Garoppolo to solidify QB spot for years. Team also made several key additions in free agency led by RB Jerick McKinnon, C Weston Richburg and CB Richard Sherman Bruce Smith Jersey , who signed with San Francisco after getting cut by rival Seattle. Questions remain about Sherman's health following Achilles tendon injury, so more help may be needed in secondary. Foster's legal problems after being charged with three felonies, including domestic violence, might make linebacker a target in draft. Other pressing spots are pass rush, offensive playmakers.
The play of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo over the final weeks of the 2017 season has created a lot of optimism about the 49ers’s hopes for this season, but neither a quarterback nor an offense alone can carry a team to success.
One thing that would help on the defensive side of the ball is a more productive pass rush. The 49ers were tied for 26th in the league with 30 sacks last season and they didn’t exercise their contract option to keep Elvis Dumervil Logan Thomas Jersey , who led the team with 6.5 sacks.
New arrival Jeremiah Attaochu has 10 sacks over his four NFL seasons and fourth-round pick Kentavius Street tore his ACL at his pro day, so it will be up to many of the same characters from last season. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is confident that defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina and pass rush specialist Chris Kiffin can boost their productivity.
“They’ve identified some stuff that’s going to be a cool dynamic,” Saleh said, via the team’s website. “I think we’re going to be much further along pass rush wise.”
The 49ers have spent a lot of recent draft capital on the defensive line — Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas were first-round picks from 2015 to 2017 — and they’re going to need those decisions to pay off for Saleh’s prediction to come true this season. http://www.officialusafootballs.com/houston-texans