San Francisco 49ers
Key FA: Brian Hoyer, Pierre Garcon, Kyle Juszczyk, Marquise Goodwin, Robbie Gould, Malcolm Smith, Elvis Dumervil
Rookies: Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, Ahkello Witherspoon, C.J Beathard, Joe Williams
Key Losses: Colin Kaepernick, Torrey Smith, Antoine Bethea, Phil Dawson
The San Francisco 49ers, a team whose offseason included hitting the “refresh” button. This involved a cleanup of the coaching staff, which included hiring new head coach Kyle Shanahan, and bringing in new GM John Lynch. With Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert (yuck) out in San Fran, Brian Hoyer comes to the west coast. Kyle Shanahan has been known as being a great offensive-minded coach, and with some of the pieces that are in place, it could surprise some people. Emphasis on “could.” Hoyer has proven to be a decent fill-in quarterback in the past, and Carlos Hyde is looking to bounce back from another shortened season where he was productive when healthy, but the injury woes continued. Pierre Garcon comes in from Washington, where he often was in a four-way split for targets. It seems Garcon has the starting spot to himself and is poised to make a big impact for the 49ers.
The San Francisco run defense was horrific in 2016, giving up a league high 2,654 yards! The 49ers didn’t bring in much other than Malcolm Smith to help with a struggling defense, but what did happen was their players got healthy. Navorro Bowman is returning from a torn Achilles and was a full go in OTAs, Elvis Dumervil has battled injuries, but was brought in to be a proven pass rusher off the edge with nine or more sacks in 7-of-10 career seasons. Deforest Buckner is coming off of a great rookie season in which he totaled 73 total tackles and six sacks, so he should continue growing as a player and serve as an important piece to this defensive group. The Defense has the potential to be compete in 2017, but the season will ride on the Brian Hoyer and the rest of the San Fran offense.