Things appear on the up and up for the San Francisco 49ers. A hot streak to end the season gave the franchise plenty of momentum heading into the offseason. But before they can simply pick up where they left off, there are a number of key holes that San Francisco had to address this offseason.
Cornerback was a glaring need for San Francisco with Ahkello Witherspoon and K'Waun Williams as the only corners under contract heading into 2018. They filled that void by signing veteran cornerback Richard Sherman.
The interior offensive line was also a top priority with Jimmy Garoppolo signed to a long-term deal. The 49ers signed former New York Giants center Weston Richburg and Dallas Cowboys guard Jonathan Cooper to address that need.
The 49ers brought in former Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon following the departure of Carlos Hyde. McKinnon was a highly sought after free agent seeking a featured back role and found it with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco.
The 49ers also signed former Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Jeremiah Attaochu to add to a defensive line that tied for 26th in the league with 30 sacks in 2017.
Chris Roling of Bleacher Report graded every NFL team’s free agency performance based on their ability to fit their needs.
Here's why Roling gave the 49ers an "A" for their recent moves:
What's not to like about the San Francisco 49ers right now?
Previously mired in a rebuild, the 49ers awarded Jimmy Garoppolo his extension and then made a series of moves upgrading both sides of the football.
Adding Jerick McKinnon as a Carlos Hyde replacement is an upgrade due to versatility. Weston Richburg arrives and immediately starts in a friendly system at center. In the defensive secondary, Richard Sherman will have a major chip on his shoulder after getting cut by the Seahawks, whom he will now face twice a year.
Call it a model of smart spending instead of simply gobbling up whatever presents itself with droves of cap space. Well-thought-out moves like these have quickly laid the foundation to turn San Francisco from a bottom feeder into a team built to compete.
Though the fireworks are probably over for the 49ers, it's an impressive haul meant to address red flags up and down the roster before they head to the draft with a top-10 pick.
The 49ers are just one of seven teams to earn a top grade from Roling. As for the rest of the NFC West, the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks earned a B, C, and D, respectively.
To follow along with the rest of San Francisco's roster moves, visit the 49ers 2018 offseason transaction tracker.