Ranking 49ers' top 5 positional needs entering 2024 offseason

At least the Niners don't need a top quarterback...

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (L) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (R)
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (L) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (R) / Chris Unger/GettyImages
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The 49ers don't enter 2024 with a ton of substantial needs, but the ones they do have are going to be pressing.

On a positive note, the main core of the San Francisco 49ers' 2023 Super Bowl-appearing team is going to carry over into 2024.

Only a few of the Niners' pending free-agent departures are of any substance, and most of those names are role players, at best. The overwhelming bulk of San Francisco's star power is under contract and will contribute at the same sort of level (hopefully) this upcoming season.

That said, general manager John Lynch and the 49ers still have a lot of work to do between now and training camp. With only marginal salary cap space but a projected 11 picks in the NFL Draft this April, Lynch is faced with the prospect of hitting on as many draftees as possible to avoid having to overpay for key free agents on an increasingly aging and expensive roster.

But, what are the Niners' top positional needs?

Let's take a look.

49ers need No. 5: Quarterback

On the surface, it doesn't seem like quarterback should be a top priority. After all, Brock Purdy nearly won NFL MVP last season and seems to be the real deal for the franchise after leading almost every significant passing category for much of the year.

But his two backups, Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen, are both pegged for free agency this offseason. It's feasible one (or both) could return on a cheapish one- or two-year deal, maintaining continuity within the quarterbacks room. However, Darnold could easily hope his time in San Francisco translates into a more important job elsewhere.

There are some options for the 49ers, both via free agency and in the upcoming draft. And it might be wise for Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to land one veteran and one rookie prospect to potentially develop.

While no one wishes Purdy a serious injury in 2024, the reality is that any lengthy setback for him would spell doom for the Niners.