The San Francisco 49ers made some of its biggest roster moves right at the league-mandated 53-man roster deadline, settling the backup quarterback situation with the restructuring of Jimmy Garoppolo's deal and the decision to keep rookie Brock Purdy on the active roster. Having a former starter backing up Trey Lance gives San Francisco depth at the QB position that few clubs around league can match.
The team also fortified the offensive line by claiming swing lineman Blake Hance off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. With Hance now in the mix, the 49ers have another versatile offensive lineman — in addition to Daniel Brunskill — that can play virtually at any position on the line based on need.
In NFL.com's first series of power rankings since the Kickoff Game, the 49ers have cracked the top 3 headed into their Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears. San Francisco is up one spot from its previous No. 4 ranking in early August. With most positions of need addressed in the offseason and training camp, recent moves addressed the final question marks surrounding San Francisco's roster and depth chart.
"For most of the offseason, Lance was likely working off the same understanding as the rest of us: Jimmy Garoppolo had appeared in his final game as a Niner," Around the NFL writer Dan Hanzus wrote in his ranking. "Then came last week's surprise news that Jimmy G restructured his contract to remain in San Francisco. The plot twist is a positive development for Kyle Shanahan and 49ers fans -- Garoppolo is an excellent safety net at quarterback."
Expectations for the 49ers have been high with key additions and improvements made in all three phases since the start of the offseason. Some of those moves included San Francisco bringing in cornerback Charvarius Ward (Mooney Ward) via free agency to boost the secondary and the locking down of wideout Deebo Samuel with a three-year contract extension. The signing of receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III, safety George Odum and linebacker Oren Burks were also important to building up the special teams unit.
As for the rest of the NFC, the 49ers sit one spot back from the Los Angeles Rams (2) while the Arizona Cardinals are ranked No. 16 and the Seattle Seahawks are sitting at No. 24.