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Morning Report: NFC West 2020 Rookie Grades

Good Morning Faithful,

Here are the top 49ers headlines for Friday, February 19.

New and Notable

Grading the NFC West 2020 Rookie Class

NFL.com's Gennaro Filice and Nick Shook took a division-by-division look at each team's rookie class, providing grades and analysis on Year 1 production. In Filice's examination of the NFC West, San Francisco came in at the top with a B+ overall grade. See how all four teams scored below.

San Francisco 49ers

Grade: B+

Total Picks: 5

2020 Record: 6-10

"The 49ers only made five selections, but the two first-rounders sure look like keepers. Let's start with Brandon Aiyuk, who doesn't always get the national adulation he deserves. In a loaded rookie receiver class that featured record-setter Justin Jefferson and four other guys who eclipsed 800 receiving yards (CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins, Chase Claypool and Jerry Jeudy), Aiyuk feels like something of a forgotten man. Not to the good folks over at Pro Football Focus, who ranked him as the eighth-best rookie in the entire draft class, but to the football-watching public at large. Maybe this socially distanced existence has me creating straw men from an isolation chamber, but it just doesn't feel like Aiyuk gets the hype of some of his higher-profile WR classmates -- and I'm here to fix that! Like Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk is a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan's catch-and-run scheme. Remember the hurdle touchdown against Philadelphia? Dude's electric with the ball in his hands. Put some respect on the name! Oh, and stop disrespecting Javon Kinlaw. Yes, he was essentially taken with the first-round pick San Francisco acquired in the DeForest Buckner trade. No, he didn't come close to matching Buckner's production this past season. This is OK. Kinlaw still has work to do in the technical aspects of his game, but he flashed disruptive ability on a weekly basis, routinely detonating O-lines with brute strength and rare athleticism. And shoot, look at the big man deliver this pick-six! Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to 6-foot-5, 319-pound freaks."

Los Angeles Rams

Grade: B

Total Picks: 9

2020 Record: 10-6

Seattle Seahawks

Grade: B-

Total Picks: 8

2020 Record: 12-4

Arizona Cardinals

Grade: C

Total Picks: 6

2020 Record: 8-8

49ers 2021 Free Agency Tracker

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have major decisions looming. For the second-straight year, the 49ers front office enters the offseason with the goal of keeping their once-championship contending roster intact. That objective comes with a host of challenges. For starters, the 49ers could be working with less than anticipated as the league's salary cap is expected to take a hit due to lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Equally as troubling, the 49ers entered the offseason with a whopping 38 players set to hit the open market once the NFL free agency period begins on March 17. Read More >>>

Quick Hits

According to Pro Football Focus, the 49ers had the fifth-highest graded receiving corps in 2020 with a grade of 82.0.


As we continue celebrating Black History Month, we're recognizing several Black-owned businesses in The Bay. Backed by 49ers players and the organization's Black employee resource group, 49ers B.U.I.L.D., this list includes bookstores, coffee shops, eateries and more.

Have a Black-owned business in the Bay Area that we should highlight? Submit it here for our review.

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