What a difference a year makes. 365-days ago the San Francisco 49ers were unsure of a great many things. The team had just signed former NFL player and Fox broadcaster, John Lynch to an unprecedented six-year contract to become the new general manager of the storied franchise.
Then Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan was set to become the 49ers fourth head coach in four-years. He was also given an unheard of six-year contract as owner Jed York wiped the slate clean and was resigned to a complete rebuild of the organization.
Fast forward to January 31, 2018, and the future outlook, while still incredibly uncertain, is that the 49ers have taken major steps in pulling themselves from the abyss at the bottom of the NFC West.
Lynch released or traded away players who he and Shanahan determined did not fit into their plans to return the team to prominence. They traded for a potential franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and only had to send a 2nd round pick to the New England Patriots in this year’s draft to seal the deal. Amidst a 1-10 start the season they did not lose the locker room or the players inside it.
Per Over The Cap, the 49ers are now armed with a projected $115,944,832 million in cap space for 2018. Add that to nine draft picks with four coming in the first three rounds and the 49ers appear ready to take the next steps in their ascension.
That being said we take a look at our mock offseason 1.0 courtesy of Fan Speaks Ultimate GM tool. We addressed the teams needs in keeping some of their own free agents as well as releasing others who were deemed expendable.
So without further ado, here it is.
S – Don Jones
WR – Aaron Burbridge
DL – DJ Jones
S – Dexter McCoil
Free agents resigned:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo – 5-years – $125 million with $60 million guaranteed
RB Carlos Hyde – 4-years – $20 million with $4 million guaranteed
C – Daniel Kilgore – 3-years – $12 million
LB Brock Coyle – 2-years – $4 million
Free agent signings:
Edge – Ezekiel Ansah – 5-years – $ $92.5 million
CB – Tremaine Johnson – 4-years – $60 million
WR – Sammy Watkins – 4-years – $24 million
2018 Mock draft: Fanspeak flipped the coin and the 49ers won, giving them the 9th overall pick
Round 1 – Pick 9 – CB – Alabama – Minkah Fitzpatrick: The 49ers need a legitimate #1 cornerback and Fitzpatrick checks all of the boxes. A versatile cover man who has shown up the most in big games. Nine career interceptions with four of those being pick-sixes. Projected starter from day one.
Round 2 – Pick 59 – CB – Central Florida – Mike Hughes: Taking a page out of Bill Walsh’s 1981 draft playbook, the 49ers select back to back cornerbacks. This time taking a defensive back who while a bit on the short side at 5’11 is as tough as they come. Loves contact off the snap and could make his mark as a punt returner as well. Something he excelled at during his time at CFU.
Round 3 – Pick 70 – C – Iowa – James Daniels: Yes we resigned Daniel Kilgore as a part of this mock offseason and yes it was for 3-years. However, Kilgore has shown a propensity for being sidelined with injuries for much of his career. Daniels is a true center who would come in and immediately challenge Kilgore for playing time. In the event that he fails to win the starting job, the 49ers will have a cornerstone center waiting in the wings.
Round 4 – Pick 74 – Edge – Miami – Chad Thomas: Thomas increased his draft stock with a great week of practices at the Senior Bowl. Even though an undisclosed minor injury prevented him from playing in the game, scouts have projected him as a 2nd or 3rd round pick. To see him sitting there in the 4th round was surprising. Thomas has the size and athleticism to excel as a pass rusher in the NFL but is versatile enough to drop into coverage on passing downs.
Round 4 – Pick 130 – WR – Oklahoma State – Marcell Ateman: At 6’4, 220 lbs Ateman has the ideal size that NFL teams look for. He has the ability to run the entire route tree as well as great body control. Will need to learn to use his size more to his advantage as corners have been able to crowd the top of his routes. Ateman should be ideal in a West Coast scheme.
Round 5 – Pick 145 – RB – Notre Dame – Josh Adams: Comparable to Tevin Coleman with an upright running style. Has power but also the one-cut ability that Kyle Shanahan looks for in his backs. Also has solid hands and good route running abilities, another Shanahan staple.
Round 6 – Pick 187 – OLB – Penn State – Jason Cabinda: Big-hitting linebacker who loves to take runners head-on. High motor and always around the ball. Lacks elite athleticism which could make it hard to crack the starting lineup.
Round 7 – Pick 227 – S – Oklahoma State – Tre Flowers: Took a flyer here on the rangy, ball-hawking safety. Flowers was consistently around the ball. Will have to work on opening his hips faster in coverage. Some scouts are turned off by his body style and believe him to be nothing more than a career backup safety.
Round 7 – Pick 240 – CB – Virginia Tech – Brandon Facyson: Facyson is the all-time leader in passes defensed at Virginia Tech. His excellent size and arm length are exactly what defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is looking for as he continues to flesh out his hybrid 4-3 defense. Projected by some scouts to be a 3rd or 4th round pick. The 49ers can work with what he brings to the table as they attempt to hone his skills in the secondary.