Expectations are up across the board in the NFL. For most teams, anyways. The San Francisco 49ers are primed for a leap in performance from several positions and many looming uncertainties throughout the roster. With the expected pick of Nick Bosa as an immediate impact at edge rusher, the Niners are almost certain to take a giant step forward. How big of a step, though?
Rome wasn’t built in one day…
Even with the exponential impact of a full healthy season of Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Bosa both having pro bowl or near pro bowl seasons, what’s really the ceiling for the 2019 season? A competitive race for second in the NFC West? A potential wildcard with an 8-8 record? I’ll even reach as far to say there’s the possibility of even winning a postseason game. That’ll require plenty of injury luck falling in our favor and calls going our way. The timeline for the 49ers returning to dominance within the division took a step back last season with the lack of growth in chemistry due to the obvious carousel of injuries and just putting bodies in uniforms. This should be a season geared towards actually seeing what we’re working with and who’s actually competing to be a long-term asset to the franchise. One draft pick, outside the QB position, can’t propel a 4-12 team to the top of a division that sent two other teams to the postseason.
#2 Overall is a HOT Commodity!
In the upcoming draft you can draft impactful, ready-to-start NFL talent through the midway point of the second round. The #2 overall selection is one huge piece to a puzzle. It can also be sold to get two pieces in the first or possibly three pieces in the first 45 picks. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have 3 rookie starters, instead of 2 coming in the first 45-50 selections. Everyone is in love with the highly regarded Nick Bosa, and for good reason. I would settle for two threats coming off the edge or interior over one. It’s a numbers game.
When you have time, and money
The salary cap is more than generously in the Niners favor these next two seasons. With almost half of the roster becoming free agents in 2020, and even more available cap space the team will have a much better idea of who should stay, who should go, and there’s plenty of big fish out there in the sea. The NFC Champions had a defense comprised of multiple free agency acquisitions, and it may have not looked pretty most the season, but it did make it to the Super Bowl. A bunch of hired guns on defense, and an overwhelmingly creative offense is all it took. The Rams are talented on both sides of the ball, but the offense was versatile without any main targets, and the defense came up big enough to end most games with the lead. The Niners are in a prime position to set themselves up for the same infrastructure moving forward after this season. Pretty smart to get the rookies now and groom them to compete for the NFC title in 2020!