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49ers rank in top third in ESPN ‘overhaul rankings’

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The 49ers are looking better than two members of the NFC West.

The San Francisco 49ers overhauled much of their roster last season, and odds are pretty good we see more big changes this offseason. The team is among the league leaders in total snaps they could potentially lose to free agency. And considering the potential for releases, that number could increase further.

It is no surprise then that they rank fairly high in ESPN’s recent overhaul rankings. Mike Sando ranked the teams out of the playoffs based on how much change we can expect from 2017 to 2018. The 49ers ranked No. 11 with Sando pointing to indicators like having a second year GM and head coach, over $100 million in projected cap space, and excitement surrounding new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The last one comes up given the fact that the team suddenly could be that much closer to a playoff berth and might be willing to make more splashes to push them over the top.

One anonymous evaluator pointed to the fact that the 49ers, “have the ability to ... go cherry-pick the ‘blue’ free agents, and they are an attractive team because they have a quarterback.” The 49ers have to figure out Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract status, but with the franchise tag at their disposal, it is unlikely they will need to address the quarterback position outside of some camp depth.

The Arizona Cardinals top Sando’s overhaul rankings, and the Seattle Seahawks rank No. 8. The Los Angeles Rams rank near the bottom at No. 21. The Seahawks and Cardinals are two of only four NFC teams that rank ahead of the 49ers on this list. The other NFC teams are the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, both of whom the 49ers will face this season.

The 49ers enter the offseason with potentially $116 million in cap space, and nine draft picks, including four in the first three rounds. They have holes to fill at edge rusher, cornerback, guard, potentially running back, and wide receiver. The assets are there to aggressively address numerous needs and keep this rebuilding project moving in the right direction.