By Rich Brystron
The 2017 year was highlighted by one massive move, the trade for Patriots signal caller and off-season trophy Jimmy Garappolo. This trade was believed to be the catalyst to the 49ers resurrection from one of the worst teams in the NFL to hopefully one of the best. The 49ers were 0-8 when the trade happened. He started the final 5 games of the season, winning every game. The offense that was scoring 17 points per game exploded to an NFL leading 28.8 after he took control.
The 49ers came into the offseason with the 4th most space available, and after a MASSIVE contract extension to their new franchise quarterback and several off-season additions, the 49ers still have 35.9 million available.
As you can imagine, Kyle Shanahan had to be licking his chops this offseason. After acquiring his future and several key pieces Shanahan must be excited to lead the charge into 2018. Since the Superbowl, the 49ers have been very active, making 3 trades and signing or resigning 14 players, most offering and signing a big contract with FA running back Jerick McKinnon.
On top of the massive money available to spend on free agents, the 49ers own 9 picks in the 2018 draft. Most notably 9th overall. The 49ers have filled a lot of holes this off-season through free agency. The best part about that is it opens so many doors for them as far as options. They can stand pat and draft the best available or trade back for additional picks for depth. If the 49ers stand pat these are some players they might be targeting.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, is he a safety or a corner? Who cares, he is an elite talent and the Colts are in desperate need of help in their defensive backfield and he might be the best available.
Tremaine Edmunds, 19 years old????? YEP, but at 6’4 253 kid has the NFL body already, considering all the issues that Reuben Foster is having, this pick almost makes too much sense.
Calvin Ridley, the 49ers are in the position to be able and add wherever they want. Ridley would be that kind of pick. While not an immediate impact player, he is a player that can grow with your franchise quarterback.
Roquan Smith, same rules, and thoughts apply to Smith as they do Edmunds. This team will need to probably replace Foster and Smith is a beast.
Regardless of if the 49ers stay at 9 or trade, this team is starting to look like a team that will be a contender for a long time. Couple that with the Seahawks and Cardinals likely drop off and the Rams still having issues, the 49ers appear like they might be the team to compete within the NFC West going forward.