The San Francisco 49ers have concluded their 2018 season with an ugly loss, but some upside. They were pummeled by the Los Angeles Rams by a final score of 48-32, but have earned the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The 49ers finished the season tied with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, but won the strength of schedule tiebreaker over both teams.
The 49ers came into Week 17 hoping to give the Rams a scare, but the game got out of hand fairly quickly. Kyle Juszczyk fumbled after a promising start to the team’s opening drive. The Rams turned that into a touchdown and then added another touchdown after Nick Mullens threw an interception. Mullens would end up throwing three interceptions, including a pick-six and the Rams cruised to victory.
The one big plus in the finale was seeing George Kittle set the NFL record for tight end receiving yards. He put an exclamation mark on it with a 43-yard touchdown to finish the season with 1,377 yards. He also set the 49ers franchise record for receptions by a tight end. Kittle put together the best tight end season in franchise history, also setting the franchise positional yardage record. Not too shabby.
Elsewhere, the Arizona Cardinals lost a close one to the Seattle Seahawks and will pick first overall. Had the Cardinals won, the 49ers would have the first pick overall. Arizona tied the game in the third quarter and had the ball with a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Seahawks forced a critical Josh Rosen fumble to eventually take the lead and secure the win.
One pick back puts the 49ers in great position next April. They had a very, very crummy season, beginning with running Jerick McKinnon tearing his ACL in the final practice of the preseason. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a tear as well in Week 3 and the injuries piled on week by week. The No. 2 pick is the best consolation they—and fans—can get going into the offseason.
The 49ers are in need of an edge rusher and the 2019 draft has pass-rushers aplenty. Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa is seen as the overall best player on the board, but we still have workouts, pro days and combines before that can be solidified. Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell are two names to keep an eye on as the pre-draft process unfolds. Arizona very well could take Bosa, but their young quarterback Josh Rosen is in need of playmakers and an offensive line. They very well could go in another direction or trade with a quarterback needy team.