The San Francisco 49ers are still in all-out rebuild mode. And with 2018 the primary focus now, Niner Noise looks at 10 cornerstone players the team should count on next year.
2017 has been a wash for the San Francisco 49ers.
Winless through nine weeks, the Niners have gone from being competitive in games to largely overmatched and outworked.
Injuries have certainly played a huge role in this — San Francisco has already used 16 injured-reserve spots this season and could use more — although the real problem has been a clear lack of depth and talent.
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Regardless how disappointing the record may be, this season has always been about the rebuild. It still is, and so is next year.
General manager John Lynch has plenty of needs. But before he can go about making the notable upgrades, he has to identify what the team has and what players figure into both the short- and long-term futures.
In this slideshow, we’ll look at 10 of those cornerstone-type pieces the Niners have to help set the team up for next year. To be eligible, the player has to be signed into 2018. So that would rule out contributors like safety Eric Reid and running back Carlos Hyde, who are both pending free agents.
Despite the lack of talent, there are some pieces to build around.