Landing a franchise quarterback and finishing 2017 on a five-game winning streak is sure to generate some buzz. The San Francisco 49ers kept the momentum going adding coveted free agents like Richard Sherman and Jerick McKinnon and continued to fill holes with the NFL Draft.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports named his four NFL teams to take a big leap forward in 2018, with the 49ers landing as a team to be "movers and shakers" in the upcoming season.
Here's what La Canfora had to say:
I know, I'm really going out on a limb here. They became media darlings with the way they finished the season and rallied behind their new quarterback. But that was no fluke, and Jimmy Garoppolo is just getting started.
There is a very palpable feeling around this team that it is turning the corner and out of the dark ages. Kyle Shanahan knows who and what fits his system. Now in his second year as a head coach and with his sea legs under him, I expect to see immediate dividends from Jerick McKinnon, and the reshaped offensive line should be more adept at that outside zone running scheme. They are deeper at receiver. I really like their chances of duplicating what the Rams did a year ago and coming from the basement to win the NFC West.
The other teams named by La Canfora include the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.