With the 2023 NFL Draft looming, media outlets are taking a close look at how teams across the league fared in the height of free agency and their position heading into the big event at the end of the month. The San Francisco 49ers were big time participants, signing or trading for eight outside players and returning nine of their own that hit the open market. As a result of their activity, Pro Football Focus has tabbed the 49ers as the No. 2 team in the league in their latest set NFL power rankings.
The team's premier signing of the NFL free agency period was defensive lineman Javon Hargrave, who put pen to paper on a four-year deal with San Francisco two days into the frenzy. Hargrave heads over from a recent opponent of the 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and his addition should provide a huge boost to the interior of the defensive line. Last season was a career-best for the defensive lineman who racked up 60 total tackles, 11.0 sacks, 16 quarterback hits, 10 tackles-for-loss, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in his 17 regular season starts.
Here's what the PFF staff wrote in their evaluation of San Francisco ahead of the draft:
"The biggest question for the 49ers is who their starting quarterback will be. The team lost several players on defense, including CB Emmanuel Moseley and DL Hassan Ridgeway, but the signing of star DL Javon Hargrave will help reduce the impact.
"Hargrave has earned back-to-back 90.0-plus pass-rush grades and put up the first double-digit sack season of his career in 2022, so it's not surprising the 30-year-old cashed in at such a high level."
The 49ers are second only to the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. As for the rest of the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks are ranked at No. 15, the Los Angeles Rams are No. 29 and the Arizona Cardinals sit one spot below at No. 30.