49ers fans were witness to an unbelievable 2021 season of football. The emotional roller coaster started high, fell deep, and went to the extreme as the team just lost out on a Super Bowl birth.…Emotions running hot made for a remarkable season, one where the teams strengths and weaknesses were vividly on display for any arm-chair General Manager to see. As the offseason has unfolded, those betting on how the 49ers would proceed have been surprised at every turn. However, with the NFL Draft only two weeks away, California sports betting may be just the ticket to reclaiming fortunes - or at least prove General Manager or Scout worthiness.
While all indications lead to Jimmy Garoppolo being traded this offseason, I have continued to advocate that moving on from a quarterback that has taken the team to the Super Bowl, and NFC Championship game twice, in favour of an unproven rookie is far from a sure thing. Yes, the 49ers bet the farm on Trey Lance, and all signs are positive around him, but Jimmy's winning pedigree and leadership - even with a $24MM price tag can't be overlooked.
That is not to say Garoppolo still won't be traded... in fact, the team very clearly tested the market, and has made it clear that they will listen to any offer - whether that is on Jimmy, or yes, even Deebo Samuel who seemingly was the flint that set the 49ers on fire last season. However, this is not a team in need of a fire sale. This is a team that was on the verge of playing in the Super Bowl - and that context is the one that should be brought to reviewing the offseason moves - and the up coming draft as well.
With no first round pick in this years draft but plenty of slections, the 49ers will take a methodical approach to the draft. They will look to shore up some of the weaknesses that were exposed last season. There are glaring needs in the defensvie backfield, along the offensive line, at running back. Some losses this offseason also highlight the need for more help at receiver - and despite the strength of George Kittle, the team does not have great depth behind him at tight end.
The team did ad Marcus Johnson and Malik Turner via free agency to help at the receiver depth. Kerry Hyder Jr is welcome back on the defensive line too, as is Dontae Johnson at CB and Jeff Wilson Jr and JaMycal Hastey at Running back. The biggest splashes though might be LB Oren Burks and CB Charvairus Ward. These are not massive head line additions, but they address clear neads on the defense. Safety George Odum a stand out special teams player is a signing of the same veign.
That leaves the 49ers draft selections to fill in the additional blanks. The team currently has:
2nd round, 3rd round, 3rd round, 4th round, 5th round, 6th round, 6th round, 6th round, 7th round.
Expect the team to after a key need with their first three picks, while trying to target more depth positions from the 4th round on. Though the 49ers have had success in the later part of the draft - Elijah Mitchell comes to mind - the meat of this draft is really about the middle rounds.
Of course it is not out of the question that the 49ers try to make some trades on draft day. That could mean pure pick swaps, or it could mean dealing in the player markets as well.