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The Pioneer

49ers need young talent on offense through draft

Ishwardeep Singh Anand,
Contributor

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It’s the offseason for the San Francisco 49ers. This is the time for the team to rest, practice and start recruiting new talent. The 49ers finished their 2017 season with a record of 6-10 which is not great, but it was the beginning of a new era of 49ers football.

During the 2017 season, the 49ers found their franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the former New England Patriot who was traded to the 49ers in 2017 mid-season. Garoppolo posted a quarterback rating of 97.7 in only five games as a starter which gave the 49ers coaching staff confidence in the young star.

After the season finished, the 49ers organization signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million deal making Garoppolo the highest paid player in the league, according to SB Nation.

The NFL draft happens in April. They paid Garoppolo a huge amount of money, so they need to find young offensive players in the 2018 NFL Draft that can back him up.

The 49ers are going to grab more offensive players for Garoppolo because their offense last year was ranked 20th out of 32 teams in the league. The 49ers are currently interested in Courtland Sutton a wide receiver from Southern Methodist University, according to Bleacher Report.

Coach Kyle Shanahan, in particular, is interested in Sutton. Before Shanahan became the 49ers head coach, he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. He worked with one of the top receivers in the game right now Julio Jones. Jones is a five-time NFL pro bowler and led the NFL in receiving yards and receptions in the 2015 season.

If they draft Sutton, then the 49ers may have a top receiver in the making. Sutton led his team in receiving yards with 1,085, receptions with 68 and touchdowns with 12, according to SMU.

Originally the 49ers were interested in Derrius Guice, a running back from Louisiana State University. General manager John Lynch wanted to secure a back like Guice to strengthen the backfield, but due to the salary cap hit by investing in Garoppolo it might be difficult for the 49ers to draft and pay him this year.

The 49ers should also be interested in strengthening their defense. The 49ers defense ranked 25th in points allowed, 24th in yards allowed with 351.6, 22nd in passing yards per game with 235.2, and ranked 22nd in rushing yards allowed with 116.3 per game.

They could be looking to add linebackers to help on defense. Reuben Foster, 49ers starting linebacker, was arrested for an assault rifle and domestic violence charges during the offseason.

Lynch said, “We all know how special a player he can be when he’s right. So he’s got to figure out how to stay healthy and stay out of trouble, but we believe he will do that.”

On March 11, the 49ers signed Richard Sherman a cornerback from the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco gave Sherman a three-year deal worth $39 million giving them some backup for pass coverage on defense.

The 49ers are also looking at Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. Smith is a junior and during his 2017 season with Georgia, he recorded 137 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Last season the 49ers defense lacked in pressuring the quarterback. Acquiring this young linebacker, he would be a perfect fit for the 49ers defense. He can bring pass rush support and help with defending the run.

The 49ers are going to draft heavy on offense in this year’s NFL draft. Investing in Garoppolo with that huge contract means that Shanahan and the 49ers are going to try and give him some help.

Garoppolo didn’t have any star offensive players last season, and maintaining a high level of play is difficult when the talent level is subpar. If the 49ers draft some solid offensive rookies, then this could benefit and help them become an elite team going into the 2018 NFL season. With full faith in Garoppolo, the 49ers know what they need to do to help the young star to take the 49ers back into the playoff hunt.

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