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49ers climb ahead of Seahawks in power rankings following first week of free agency

The perceptions are changing in the NFC West.

The close of the first week of NFL free agency has brought with it updated mock drafts, and equally useful power rankings. By which I mean, probably not useful at all! analyst Eliot Harrison is their resident power rankings person, and he dropped his latest set of rankings Tuesday morning. He has the San Francisco 49ers ranked No. 13, and had this to say about the excitement surrounding the team.

People haven’t been this jacked about the 49ers since Jim Harbaugh’s introductory press conference over seven years ago. Garoppolomania is approaching the Tebow stratosphere, with recent free-agent acquisitions only boosting the adrenalized exuberance over a team that finished the season with five straight wins. Carlos Hyde could be a loss, although he was a peaks-and-valleys player for most of his career in Frisco. That said, you’d think Jerick McKinnon was the second coming of Marcus Allen, given the fans’ reaction to his signing and the money the Niners are doling out for him.

Harrison posted his last rankings shortly after the Super Bowl, and ranked the team No. 14. The 49ers move up in his latest power rankings came at the expense of the Seattle Seahawks. After the Super Bowl, he ranked Seattle No. 13, and in this one he dropped them to No. 15.

The Los Angeles Rams are the favorites in the NFC West, but following an offseason of big changes in the pacific northwest, Seattle might be slotted in at No. 3 for most of the rest of this offseason. The Rams split with the Seahawks last season, while the 49ers were swept, albeit in a pair of relatively close games. But one of the first steps the 49ers will need to take moving forward is beating Seattle. The 49ers have not beaten Seattle since December 2013, and have not won in Seattle since December 2011. Seattle appears to have dropped behind the 49ers and Rams in many respects, but that perception won’t matter until the 49ers actually start to beat them on the field.