The San Francisco 49ers were big time participants in the free agency frenzy of last week, signing one of the most coveted free agents of 2023 in defensive lineman Javon Hargrave and five others as part of their first wave of additions. Hargrave, a former starter for the Philadelphia Eagles, is fresh off a Super Bowl LVII appearance and registered 60 tackles, a career-high 11.0 sacks, 16 quarterback hits, 10 tackles-for-loss, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in his 17 regular season starts.
The majority of the 49ers free agent signings came on the defensive side of the ball, bringing in critical depth pieces to the league's reigning No. 1 overall defense. Along with Hargrave, San Francisco added defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell, cornerback Isaiah Oliver and safety Myles Hartsfield to help replenish the roster following departures of various veteran free agents. Other signings included former Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold to round out the 49ers trio of signal callers and swing offensive lineman Jon Feliciano, who has experience playing at virtually every position on the front line.
Even with some considerable turnover from last season's roster, the 49ers have been tabbed as a top contender following the first week of the 2023 NFL free agency period.
Here's a look at where the 49ers landed in the latest NFL power rankings:
NFL Writer Conor Orr
"I am still quite bullish on what Trey Lance can do and I'm even more bullish on a defensive line that now includes Javon Hargrave, Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa. The 49ers could very well scythe their way through an NFC field that isn't going to have the offensive line depth to keep up with them. Only Philadelphia, which boasts one of the greatest right tackles of all time, and had an offensive coordinator adept at taking good pass rushers out of games, could handle them last year."
NFL Writer Dalton Miller
"The San Francisco 49ers lost Mike McGlinchey but added Hargrave to their defensive front, which makes up for the losses of Charles Omenihu and Samson Ebukam. Clelin Ferrell is the exact type of flyer this defense can afford to take, and adding Sam Darnold gives the 49ers no shortage of quarterback options early in 2023."
NFL Writer Dan Hanzus
"Another offseason, another round of questions about the quarterback position in San Francisco. Brock Purdy is in the early stages of recovery after reconstructive elbow surgery, while former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance is making his way back from ankle surgery. Keep an eye on recently signed Sam Darnold, an old Kyle Shanahan draft crush who's fully healthy and in line for a full offseason to work himself into the picture. Darnold is the clear underdog in this battle for the Week 1 starting job, but we learned last year that every QB has to be considered a possible starter with this team."