The San Francisco 49ers will have a lot of new faces on the field on Aug. 11 for the preseason game opener the Kansas City Chiefs, but which newcomer will make the biggest impact in 2017?
In this week's version of the ESPN NFL Nation NFC Blog Q&A, the NFC West reporters supplied their answers on the best newcomer to the division with three out of the four picking a member of the 49ers.
Josh Weinfuss, Arizona Cardinals reporter:"Wide receiver Pierre Garçon is the pick here," said Weinfuss. "He instantly becomes one of the top wide receivers in the West, coming off a 1,000-yard season in Washington last season. Garçon, who turns 31 in August, has proved he still has what it takes to perform as a No. 1 receiver, which is what the Niners need."
Garçon was one of the first free agents signed by general manager John Lynch. The 10-year veteran wideout has hauled in 564 passes for 7,068 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career. His familiarity in Shanahan's scheme during their time together in Washington should make Garçon a very dangerous threat for the 49ers.
Nick Wagoner, San Francisco 49ers reporter:"San Francisco linebacker Reuben Foster is my pick" said Wagoner. "He has all the tools to be a three-down linebacker who makes plenty of splash plays next to NaVorro Bowman in San Francisco's defense."
Foster, the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and the reigning Butkus Award winner, was brought to San Francisco to be a cornerstone in Robert Saleh's defense. In a press conference during organized team activities, Saleh spoke highly of the Alabama product: "He's very smart. He's absorbing all of the information that we're giving to him, going through whatever walk-thrus we have."
Sheil Kapadia, Seattle Seahawks reporter:"Rookie defensive end Solomon Thomas was the third overall pick in the draft," said Kapadia. "The 49ers are in the middle of a massive rebuild, but they are talented up front. Thomas gives San Francisco a skilled pass-rusher who can make plays in the backfield on a consistent basis."
Thomas has spent his offseason working with NFL legends DeMarcus Ware and Warren Sapp.When the team reports for training camp it will be the first time Thomas gets to practice with the full team.