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NFL Insider Ian Rapoport Evaluates Each Phase of 49ers Offseason

Posted Jun 15, 2017

A Q&A with Rapoport about what has transpired under the 49ers new regime of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.



The San Francisco 49ers have been busy in 2017. The end of a 2-14 season sparked a massive organizational overhaul that resulted in a new front office, a new coaching staff and a roster reloaded with a majority of new players. 

Now six-plus months into the new era of 49ers football, NFL insider Ian Rapoport is here to evaluate what’s transpired in San Francisco. The offseason program has concluded and players are off for summer break, but the intrigue will continue to build until the start of training camp.

Here’s Rapoport’s largely positive review on what has transpired already with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan at the helm. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @RapSheet and catch him on NFL Network’s “Up to the Minute” and “NFL Total Access”.

49ers.com: What has been the biggest storyline surrounding this team from a national perspective?

Rapoport: “What I think has been interesting from a national level, is that the 49ers did some things that surprised some people. Hiring John Lynch as general manager was one of the more surprising things that happened in the NFL this offseason. Everyone was watching to see what he’d be like.

“Obviously his new players haven’t played yet, but it’s been very clear that this job wasn’t too big for him. He’d clearly been thinking about what his life would be like as a GM if he ended up doing this job. So when he got the job, he was ready. You look at his hires – Adam Peters, Martin Mayhew and Ran Carthon – these are really respected personnel guys. As a GM so far, he looks like he was ready for it.”


49ers.com: How do you think the team fared in the free agency and the draft?

Rapoport: “In free agency, it was very clear that it was about volume and making sure that the overall depth was better with more players to compete with.

“In the draft it was the same thing as free agency. They stocked up on talent. They got two first-rounders who are really, really good defensive players, and they got a lot of other overall talent. I think the 49ers did really well in the draft, but no one really knows, and you’re not going to know for a couple of years.

“I think Reuben Foster was one of the best value picks of the whole draft. It sounds like the 49ers don’t have concerns with his shoulder. The reports I got were a lot more positive than maybe some of the other stuff that was out there.

“I think it’s less about this year. It’s about, has this group started building for two years from now and three years from now? I think they have.”


49ers.com: What is your perception of Brian Hoyer being the team’s starting quarterback in 2017?

Rapoport: “Brian is a guy who has defied expectations continuously. He is an intense, intense competitor. I cannot stress that enough. He’s unbelievably intense. He’s a guy who could match Tom Brady as far as that goes, as far as someone who likes to win and compete a lot.

“In a lot of different situations, he’s either been overlooked or not given enough credit for things. When he’s been healthy, he’s really performed. It’s very clear that if he’d been on the Texans this past year, he would have performed better than all the quarterbacks that they had. Obviously the playoff game he had there wasn’t good, but then he came out to the Chicago Bears and played very well and got a lot of other people playing well.

“I know that him playing for Kyle Shanahan was something that was attractive for all parties. I think Brian is going to do very well.”

49ers.com: Who is your favorite addition to the roster?

Rapoport: “How about Marquise Goodwin? He’s someone who, for whatever reason, didn’t get a great opportunity in Buffalo. He can absolutely fly. He’s starting to become a football player opposed to a fast track guy who can jump. I don’t know what he’s going to become, but if there’s anyone who can utilize speed, it’s Kyle Shanahan and what he does on offense. We saw that with Taylor Gabriel, who was previously cut by the Cleveland Browns and went to the Atlanta Falcons and became a star. I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodwin had a similar situation.”


49ers.com: How would you evaluate the offseason as a whole?

Rapoport: “I think they did as well as they could have done – hiring a GM, hiring the head coach, hiring a good personnel staff and signing a lot of players. I don’t have a letter grade for them, but I was really impressed with what the 49ers did. Given the hand they dealt themselves, I thought it was a really good offseason.”

49ers.com: What constitutes a successful 2017 season in San Francisco?

Rapoport: “To me, it’s not just about wins and losses. The main thing is, do you come out of the season with answers on personnel? For the guys you’re wondering about, do you find out if they fit what you’re doing? You need to have answers on a good portion of your players because everyone is new, and no one has seen anyone in these schemes. The other part is making sure that the players show up and possess the attitude that will make the 49ers successful down the road.”


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