It’s fair to be somewhat critical of the 49ers offseason, but the folks over at Bleacher Report aren’t fans of the Niners’ moves much at all.
The San Francisco 49ers didn’t win the offseason.
At least not according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, who broke down the grades and analysis for all 32 teams’ offseasons, including the notable moves in free agency and the NFL Draft entering 2022.
Safe to say Knox and the B/R team aren’t exactly in love with what Niners general manager John Lynch did from the start of the league new year through the aftermath of the draft:
"Due to last year’s trade to acquire quarterback Trey Lance, San Francisco didn’t have a first-round draft pick. The 49ers did land an intriguing pass-rushing prospect in Drake Jackson in the second round, but they then inexplicably took running back Tyrion Davis-Price in the early third.The 49ers, who ranked seventh in rushing last season, did not need another highly drafted running back.Oh, and San Francisco is still sitting on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo two months after it reportedly had two second-round picks on the table for him."
B/R’s overall assessment of San Francisco’s offseason resulted in a D-grade, while its NFL free agency moves, losses and trades netted a C-minus.
As far as being critical of the free agency/trade period, it’s OK to be a bit harsh on Lynch and Co., particularly if those reports of two Round 2 draft picks being part of offered compensation for Garoppolo.
Lynch did state, previously, that “a lot of teams have interest” in Garoppolo, yet he backtracked those statements and admitted there wasn’t ever an official trade offer, likely in the wake of Jimmy G’s offseason shoulder surgery.
The 49ers would have loved to get their hands on those two reported second-round picks, if those reports were true.
Bleacher Report certainly didn’t like 49ers moves in NFL Draft
Hopefully for his sake, Davis-Price doesn’t become the recipient of Niners fans’ scorn for being drafted too high, No. 93 overall towards the tail end of Round 3.
Not surprisingly, however, this appears to be the biggest critique Knox and the B/R folks had of San Francisco’s draft class in 2022, and it echoes what Niner Noise said about the surprising selection of a running back at that point.
Plus, many a big board and mock tabbed the LSU rusher going much later than where the 49ers selected him.
Perhaps that was big enough to knock down whatever grade the Niners were going to get from B/R.
Do 49ers even need to ‘win’ the 2022 offseason?
The offseason is captivating. It’s how every team looks to improve heading into the following season, and ideally, the biggest strides are made between the start of the league new year and training camp.
However, the last anyone checked, there aren’t any awards given out for the best free-agent signings, biggest NFL Draft classes or “winning” the offseason.
Having a tremendous offseason doesn’t automatically equal success once Week 1 rolls around either (just ask the 2021 Cleveland Browns). Especially for a playoff-caliber roster like that of San Francisco’s, there wasn’t exactly a lot of room to make those big-splash deals anyway.
Same with not having a first-round pick in the draft, too. Those selections always garner the most attention.
Just like anything else, we won’t have a full grasp on whether or not the 49ers’ 2022 offseason was successful until we’re fully immersed in the regular season and begin to see what kind of impact those moves and non-moves have.