The second week of full NFL preseason action gets going Thursday evening, and in the meantime, ESPN is back with another round of NFL power rankings. Back in May, they released post-draft power rankings, where they had the San Francisco 49ers at No. 31. In fact, in the prior two power rankings, they also had the 49ers at No. 31. In their preseason power rankings, surprise, surprise, the 49ers are once again No. 31. Here’s what they had to say about the ranking.
The 49ers have the third-worst odds to make the playoffs, according to ESPN's FPI, so obviously expectations aren't high. But Brian Hoyer is a solid stopgap option at quarterback, there's a new coach and general manager in Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, and the defense has added some young talent in the past two drafts. There could be hope on the horizon.
I am not surprised the 49ers remain low, but it was a bit surprising to see one change around them. In their last rankings, ESPN had the Cleveland Browns ranked No. 32, and the New York Jets ranked No. 30. This time around, they swapped the two teams.
I get why the Jets are dropped to the bottom of the rankings. They stink, and they have made a lot of roster moves that suggest they are building toward next year’s draft. But what reason is there to bump Cleveland over the 49ers? If they had already been above them, I get leaving them there, but is the building notion that Brock Osweiler might be their starting quarterback Week 1 something to justify this?
The 49ers might not be a good team right now, but nothing has really changed in my mind to say they are any worse than the Browns. But hey, it got us talking, right?