This year’s NFL offseason has featured a host of high profile roster moves that are likely to impact the playoff race come the fall. The most notable move would be the New England Patriots trading for Brandin Cooks, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing of DeSean Jackson is certainly a big one as well.
The San Francisco 49ers are a longshot to make the playoffs, but they have had plenty of notable moves. I think most would agree that the hiring of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are the two biggest moves. They are going to shape the roster for years to come (how many years remains to be seen), so yes, they would be the big impact guys.
But how about the roster additions, and let’s look at things in 2017. If we were thinking long-term, I’d say remove Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster from the equation because big things are expected from first round picks over the life of their contracts. For that first year, expectations might be a little lower.
You can go through our list of 49ers transactions here. For the short term, Brian Hoyer and Pierre Garçcon are two intriguing names. For 2017, I could see those two being among the bigger impact additions. If Hoyer can stay healthy, I imagine Garçon becomes his go-to guy.
Kyle Juszczyk is also a fascinating option. He will get all sorts of snaps in a variety of roles. I still think Garçon becomes the big name in 2017, but Juszczyk will be an impact guy.
On the defensive side of the ball, I have this hunch rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon makes an early impact. He likely gets burned somewhat this first year, but I just think we see him and Rashard Robinson emerge as a solid pair of cornerbacks.
Of the two first round picks, Reuben Foster is the guy who could probably end up making a bigger impact in his rookie season. Thomas could be a big contributor, but Foster is the one who could end up in more significant situations.
If I were to point to my biggest impact player in 2017, I’d go with Pierre Garçon. Who you got?