The San Francisco 49ers have been a great team because they’ve been a smart team. Thanks to their long-standing brain trust of general manager and head coach Kyle Shannahan, the 49ers have built a killer, synergistic operation—Lynch lands talented players who Shannahan can then easily incorporate in his gameplan. Their stable of homegrown studs is deep, headlined by the likes of Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle; their free agency signings and trades have been effective and targeted, such as adding Trent Williams, Christian McCaffrey and Javon Hargraves. Despite their sterling track record, though, their roster choices this year has been somewhat shaky, with Pro Football Focus panning the majority of their moves and giving them a C for the ofsseason.
“The addition of Javon Hargrave to an already dominant defense is the only thing saving this from a very bad offseason grade,” wrote PFF’s Sam Monson. “Hargrave accounted for 57 total pressures last season for the Eagles, more than double any 49ers interior lineman. Clelin Ferrell is a far more quietly solid addition to the defensive front, and Sam Darnold could easily end up starting at quarterback if Brock Purdy’s elbow doesn’t heal quickly enough.”
“In the draft” Monson added, “it’s difficult to argue that anything the 49ers did was the result of good process. They reached relative to the PFF and consensus big boards at most picks and drafted a kicker in the third round.”
Even with some of their iffy decisions, Hargrave is so dominant that he compensates for other mistakes. During the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, Hargrave was one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL, racking up 60 tackles and 11 sacks. As such, the 49ers opted to lavish him with a massive four year, $84 million contract, prioritizing reinforcing their defensive line over resigning stalwart right tackle Mike McGlinchey.
Thanks to the addition of Hargrave to an already loaded core, the 49ers are still one of the true-blue elite teams in the NFL heading into the 2023 season. As of today, the 49ers have the fifth best Super Bowl odds (+950) and are tied for the highest win total (10.5 wins), per FanDuel.