The 49ers have had quite the offseason. Over the course of barely a week, they lost running back Carlos Hyde and center Daniel Kilgore. While these losses would hurt other teams the 49ers have a plan and are executing it with authority. While not all players on this list will be impact players, the 49ers have started to show their blueprint for the 2018 season. They have one goal in mind and that is the Super Bowl. So let’s take a look at some of their moves and grade the San Francisco 49ers free agency moves.
P Jeff Locke, B
Locke has bounced around the NFL since being drafted in the fifth round in 2013 but done well anywhere he goes regardless. He has a career average punt of 43.4 yards. His longest punt was an impressive 72 yards. He should do well with the 49ers. His punt average will put their defense in a great position and with special teams becoming increasingly important in today’s NFL, that cannot go understated.
CB Richard Sherman, A-
The shocker of the free agency season, this acquisition will either bring a Super Bowl championship or he will be a $39.15 million bust. 49er fans have loved to hate Sherman for years but he brings a needed upgrade at cornerback. With his skills on their side, they will easily forgive him. His mouth is a great weapon too as he can get in the heads of elite receivers.
OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, C
At 6’3” 252 lbs., Attaochu is short for a defensive end. He will almost certainly be used as a pass rushing specialist on third-down situations. It would be wise for the 49ers to use him as a weakside linebacker, away from the tight end. He does not have the most impressive stats with only 10 career sacks in four seasons. If anything he is more of a project. This does not answer the 49ers pass rushing issues.
HB Jerick McKinnon, B-
McKinnon was signed as a replacement for Carlos Hyde and is a downgrade from the kind of player Hyde was for the 49ers. He will compete for playing time with Matt Breida, Hyde’s backup in 2017. What he adds to the table are elite receiving skills. He had an astonishing 51 receptions in 2017. In Kyle Shanahan’s offense, running backs have to be quality receivers. While the 49ers lost elite talent in Carlos Hyde, they will not lose a step with this pass-catching running back.
C Weston Richburg, B
With Daniel Kilgore gone, the 49ers needed a solution at center. Richburg is not only the solution but might in fact be an improvement. He was one of the top centers in the 2014 draft and has proven to be excellent within the trenches. While his former team, the New York Giants, are known more for passing, he should adapt well in the 49ers ground game. He missed the majority of 2017 with a concussion. It appears the 49ers have made the right move in signing him but if his concussions persist, they will be in quite a bind.
The 49ers have made some needed upgrades at key positions in the offseason. However, their work is far from over as it’s likely not all of these additions will work out. The draft is right around the corner and with it comes many more prospects with potential. The 49ers are building something special and with anything great comes time. Only time will tell if these free agent additions will help the 49ers reach the Super Bowl.