San Francisco 49ers draft capsule
9. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-10)
LAST SEASON: After losing first nine games, new regime of first-year coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch had impressive finish. Acquisition of franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo provided big lift as he won all five starts to end season. Other bright spots occurred despite third straight losing season. WR Marquise Goodwin had career highs with 56 catches for 962 yards and Niners got most snaps in NFL from rookie class. LB Reuben Foster looked like impact player when on field. DL Solomon Thomas, TE George Kittle, WR Trent Taylor, S Adrian Colbert, CB Ahkello Witherspoon all showed promise as well. Team is far from finished product but took major strides in first year of new leadership.
THEY NEED: CB, DE, LB, G, WR.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, S, DT, T.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia; CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State; G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame; LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech; DE-LB Harold Landry, Boston College.
OUTLOOK: Biggest move of offseason came in long-term deal with Garoppolo to solidify QB spot for years. Team also made several key additions in free agency led by RB Jerick McKinnon, C Weston Richburg and CB Richard Sherman, who signed with San Francisco after getting cut by rival Seattle. Questions remain about Sherman’s health following Achilles tendon injury, so more help may be needed in secondary. Foster’s legal problems after being charged with three felonies, including domestic violence, might make linebacker a target in draft. Other pressing spots are pass rush, offensive playmakers.
More AP NFL: pro32.ap.org and twitter.com/AP_NFL