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Golden Nuggets: The 49ers could jump as high as No. 9 in the NFL Draft order today

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Sunday, January 3, 2020

NFL: FEB 02 Super Bowl LIV - Chiefs v 49ers Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 49ers' regular season has been disappointing. Super Bowl expectations were ruined five quarters into the season. Fast forward 17 weeks, and San Francisco won’t have a chance to make the playoffs. This offseason should be full of drama and rumors, though.

Shanahan’s comments on Jimmy G’s future unsettling to Spikes

“As a player, how do you feel?” Spikes said with concern on the latest “Behind the Mask.

Spikes compares it to a “big punch in the gut.”

Still, Spikes knows there must be a plan in motion if Jimmy G doesn’t return to the 49ers.

Monetarily speaking, they’ll have around an additional $26 million in cap space available if they don’t bring Garoppolo back. And while Spikes points out that sounds like a lot, compared to the other quarterbacks’ 2021 salaries across the league, that doesn’t even crack the top 10.

What to watch for when the Seahawks play the 49ers on Sunday — plus Bob Condotta’s prediction

The X-factor

Scoring early

As all fans know, the Seahawks have never been known for quick starts under Carroll. The 2013 team, which scored 417 points and almost 26 per game on its way to the Super Bowl title, scored just 69 in the first quarter (4.4 per game), 21st in the NFL. This year’s team was breaking that trend — through the first seven games of the season Seattle had 56 points in the first quarter, eight per game, to rank first in the NFL. In eight games since then, Seattle has scored 27 points in the first quarter — with just one first-quarter touchdown in the past five games — and has fallen to 5.5 for the season, 12th in the NFL. Scoring more by the end of the game is obviously all that matters. But in both playoff losses the past two years, the Seahawks struggled early before getting the offense going late. And they might want to reverse that trend before entering the postseason.

The 2021 draft seeding scenarios for 49ers in season finale

With a loss

This is the only meaningful or likely way for the 49ers to move up in the draft. At 6-9, they’re currently 15th in the draft order.

The main tiebreaker between teams with the same record is strength of schedule. The 49ers (.544 strength of schedule) lose most tiebreakers. There are potentially six, but more probably five spots that San Francisco can gain.

  • If the Carolina Panthers (5-10, .529 SOS) beat the New Orleans Saints (11-4), there is an outside chance that the 49ers could gain a spot. It would require the Panthers’ strength of schedule to jump significantly and for the 49ers’ to drop. A Saints loss would drop both teams’ strength of schedules. That is a very unlikely scenario, but it would mean +1 spot.
  • If the Denver Broncos (5-10, .567 SOS) beat the Oakland Raiders (7-8, .542 SOS), the 49ers would get +1 spot.
  • If the Dallas Cowboys (6-9, .465 SOS) beat the New York Giants (5-10) and Washington (6-9, .465 SOS) beats the Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1), the 49ers would gain +1 spot. Washington is currently in a playoff spot, but if they lose and Dallas wins, they would drop back out of that playoff spot and into a high draft pick, making it a wash. Nothing changes if Dallas loses.
  • If the Los Angeles Chargers (6-9, .490 SOS) beat the Kansas City Chiefs (14-1), who are resting many of their starters, including Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, and who the Chargers took to overtime earlier this season, the 49ers would gain +1 spot.
  • If the Minnesota Vikings (6-9, .508 SOS) beat the Detroit Lions (5-10, .504 SOS), the 49ers gain +1 spot.
  • If the New England Patriots (6-9, .533 SOS) beat the New York Jets (2-13) or if the Patriots’ strength of schedule rises and the 49ers’ (.544) falls enough, a Patriots loss could also mean +1 spot.

That’s all of them. Currently, in the 15th spot, there are about five probable scenarios for the 49ers to jump up the draft order, possibly to the 10th spot. Ninth is technically possible but highly unlikely.

Williams believes injuries alone kept 49ers out of playoffs

“It sucks losing games,” Williams said. “It sucks that we got a Super Bowl roster and it sucks that we weren’t able to put those guys on the field together as many times as we needed to have a successful season.”

“It’s been a roller coaster to be honest, but I was just so blessed to be back on the field,” Williams said. “I was just so blessed to put back on my cleats and strap my helmet back up and enjoy the camaraderie of the locker room.

“It was bittersweet. It sucks that we didn’t fulfill our potential but it was definitely sweet getting back out there with the guys, feeling that adrenaline rush again of playing football and just being the person I believe that God designed me to be.”