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49ers climb in ESPN power rankings heading into 2018 NFL Draft

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The 49ers continue to climb above the Seahawks in offseason comparisons.

The San Francisco 49ers had a productive free agency period, adding at least three starters, and putting themselves in a position to go best player available in the 2018 NFL Draft. Free agency is not over, but it is mostly complete for a lot of teams. That means it is time for power rankings across the media.

ESPN is back with their second set of NFL power rankings this offseason. Immediately after the Super Bowl, they released their way-too-early power rankings, and had the 49ers set at No. 14. Jimmy Garoppolo signed his contract extension a few days later, and since then we’ve seen Richard Sherman, Weston Richburg, Jerick McKinnon, Jerry Attaochu, and Jonathan Cooper all sign with the 49ers. Sherman, Richburg, and McKinnon all look to be starters, Cooper could claim a starting guard job, and Attaochu has a chance to be a big part of the pass rush rotation.

All of this has resulted in ESPN giving the 49ers a bump from No. 14 to No. 11. Here’s what they had to say in their 49ers comments.

Only the Packers allowed a higher Total QBR on passes to wide receivers than the Niners did last season, so the addition of Richard Sherman should pay immediate dividends. With a huge defensive need addressed and Jimmy Garoppolo locked in, San Francisco is in good shape heading into the draft.

The NFC teams ahead of the 49ers including the Philadelphia Eagles (1), Minnesota Vikings (3), New Orleans Saints (4), Los Angeles Rams (6), Atlanta Falcons (7), and Green Bay Packers (9).

Once again, the Seattle Seahawks (13) are dropped behind the 49ers in an offseason assessment. There’s always the joke about teams winning on paper, but the Seahawks have been getting dropped after losing extensively on paper. The Seahawks failed to make the playoffs this year after five straight playoff appearances, two ending in the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson remains as dangerous as ever, but they’ve had some significant turnover this offseason.

Out friends at Field Gulls offered up a comparison of the 49ers offense vs. the Seahawks offense. It’s no surprise the Field Gulls community thinks the Seahawks are better by an overwhelming majority. I agree the Seahawks deserve the edge at quarterback given how much Wilson has proven over the years. I think Jimmy Garoppolo could be the 49ers guy for the long term, but fives starts with the team means there is a lot left to prove.

The big question for the 49ers in this comparison is how their guards and Weston Richburg shake out. Joe Staley and Trent Brown, if they stay healthy, are a very dynamic duo at the tackle positions. If the 49ers can find an answer for their interior line, they will be in position to take a big step forward.