When a team trades three future first-round picks to move from number 12 in the draft to number 3 to select a quarterback, it's usually to start him day one and build around him. This is not the case in San Francisco, who drafted Trey Lance, quarterback from North Dakota State. Lance very well may be the future of this franchise, but Jimmy Garoppolo is the present. Despite the heavy price they paid for Lance, there isn't a quarterback controversy in San Francisco. Jimmy G is the starting quarterback; he has a 22-8 regular-season record and has taken the 49ers to a Super Bowl. But his injury history can't be ignored; he tore his ACL in 2018 and missed 10 games in 2020 due to a high ankle sprain. Garoppolo has over 8,000 career passing yards and 51 touchdowns. On the other hand, Lance has only thrown 318 career college passes at an FCS school nonetheless. Expect head coach Kyle Shanahan to get Lance some snaps and maybe even rotate out quarterbacks at times due to Lance's tremendous athleticism. Shanahan is going to want to get the dual-threat quarterback on the field. It will only improve an offense that ranked 15th in total offense (370.1) a game and ranked 21st in points scored with 23.5. Center Alex Mack was signed in free agency, and guard Aaron Banks was drafted in the second round from Notre Dame to bolster a line that already has former first-rounder Mike McGlinchey that gave up 39 sacks last year. The focus of the offense will remain, George Kittle, who had 48 catches and 634 yards in 8 games.
The signing of running back Wayne Gallman adds to a backfield that ran for 118 yards a game(15th). Defensively the 49ers ranked 5th in total yards(314). And only gave up 106 yards a game(7th). Led by their defensive line, the Niners had 30 sacks in 2020. This all without pro-bowler Nick Bosa who was lost in week two for the season with a torn ACL. It's hard to review 2020 and not mention the injuries that derailed the San Francisco season. They lost Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Dee Ford along the defensive line for an extended period of time. Garoppolo, tight ends Kittle, and Jordan Reed. Along with running backs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert. The injuries became too much to overcome as San Fransisco finished losing seven of their last nine games in 2020.
The Niners play six playoff teams from 2020, Seattle, and the Los Angeles Rams twice each. Their bye comes in week six, and the extra game this year is at Cincinnati on December 12th. They open the season at Detroit and Philadelphia, then play three of the next four at home against playoff teams from 2020(Green Bay, Seattle and Indianapolis). They play the Rams on Monday night football on November 15th have three road games in December (Seattle, Cincinnati and Tennessee). They finish the season home against the Rams. A point can be made that San Francisco plays in the toughest division in football with two playoff teams and Arizona, who missed out on the playoffs by one game in 2020. Detroit, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Houston, and Jacksonville are all very winnable games. Playoff teams Green Bay and Indianapolis both come to Levi Stadium. Home games with Minnesota and Atlanta round out the schedule. It is hard to imagine the 49ers having as many injuries as they did in 2020. They simply were just a depleted team down the stretch. Led by Garoppolo, the offense will score points, and the presence of rookie Trey Lance will add a dimension to Kyle Shanahan's playbook. There is no doubt that Jimmy G's time is on the clock, but for now, it is his job to lose. If healthy, the defense will be in the top 10 in most categories, led by Bosa. Playing Detroit and Philadelphia should get them off to a good start, and they won't look back. They will be in the mix to win the division and win 11 or 12 games.
San Francisco over 10-.