Here is what they had to say about the 49ers:
“The rest of the 49ers’ offseason plan came into focus during the draft when, in the first round, they picked defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw to replace DeForest Buckner and wide receiver Brandon Ayuk to step in for Emmanuel Sanders. It would be unrealistic to expect either rookie to be as good as the guys they are replacing right away, but at least the 49ers’ plan is clear.”
We all expect a drop-off when you lose two veterans, but the panel isn’t taking into consideration the improvement of players like second-year studs Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel. Couple that with the fact that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not be spending the entire offseason rehabbing a surgically repaired knee, and I think the Niners are too low. Or maybe it’s just that The Athletic’s NFL staffers aren’t too high on San Francisco, considering they have the Niners going under 10.5 wins.
While I have no complaints about the Chiefs and Ravens being ranked higher, I don’t agree with putting the Saints ahead of San Francisco. Yes, the Saints added Sanders and safety Malcolm Jenkins, but I don’t think they’re better on paper than the 49ers, nor will they be on the field.
It was also interesting to see the Seattle Seahawks end up No. 5 on the list, despite losing demon pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney. Sure, you can’t count out a team that has Russell Wilson at QB, but seriously? How are the Seahawks a top-five NFL squad?
How do you feel about the rankings?