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ESPN - Future Power Rankings - #1 49ers

Insider

1. San Francisco 49ers
LAST SEASON: 11-4-1 (first place NFC West)

Roster:
Because of their excellent depth, the 49ers have been able to replace their aging players with talented young backups. They have a dynamic young QB in Colin Kaepernickbehind a dominating offensive line. However, right now it's unclear the players we will see at the running back and wide receiver positions in 2016. Defensively, the 49ers are loaded, especially with interior linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, but there are age concerns along the defensive line and in the secondary -- so San Francisco's backups and draft choices must step up. -- Gary Horton

Quarterback:
Kaepernick was arguably the best player on the field in five of his 10 regular-season and postseason career starts, and that included games against Chicago, New England, Miami, Green Bay and Atlanta. That's a strong indication the 49ers have found their franchise quarterback. This will be Kaepernick's team in 2013 and for many years to come. He's going to benefit from organizational strength, as San Francisco was the only team in the league to rank among the top three in all five categories for this project. -- Mike Sando

Draft:
To quote my 2013 NFL Draft Grades, "[GM] Trent Baalke has done such a nice job of constructing this roster that drafting can be tricky, because the 49ers just don't have a glut of needs." The 2010 and 2011 49ers drafts are significant portions of the currently loaded roster, and the 2012 class is a big "Incomplete" mainly because there were few holes to address. The 49ers piled up more depth in 2013, and have added a pair of extra picks for 2014. This is a savvy front office, and it knows that extra picks will come in handy as the price tags on a loaded roster get bigger over the next few years. -- Mel Kiper

Front office:
Head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Baalke have a team that is a genuine world championship contender, but there are still a few question marks. One is whether Colt McCoy can hold the fort were anything to happen to Kaepernick. All else, including the seemingly unstoppable Frank Gore, continues in place on offense -- though Marcus Lattimore will have to step up to replace Gore in 2014 or they'll need to draft a different successor. Quinton Patton, a fourth-rounder, is a young one to watch. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has done a great job with perhaps the most talented group in the league. He must however, replace Dashon Goldson and Isaac Sopoaga. He has some outstanding young talent to do it with in Eric Reid, Tank Carradine and Corey Lemonier.Glenn Dorsey has been added to back up Justin Smith, but if there is an indispensable man on this team, it is Justin Smith. The sack production of this defense tailed off markedly when Smith was hurt because the rush combination of Justin and Aldon Smith was the best tandem in the league. Niners fans will close out the Candlestick era with a team worthy of Bill Walsh's legacy. -- Bill Polian

Coaching:
The 49ers are tough and physical on both sides of the football, a philosophy that permeates throughout the organization. Going into his third season in San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff have done a terrific job. This team doesn't beat itself and the lack of turnover both among coaching staff and personnel shows the commitment and focus this team has. The 49ers will be a powerhouse for years to come. -- Herm Edwards

CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!
"there are age concerns along the defensive line..."

So, just Justin Smith then, err...
DYNASTY, here we come.
Originally posted by NinerBuff:
Insider

1. San Francisco 49ers
LAST SEASON: 11-4-1 (first place NFC West)

Roster:
Because of their excellent depth, the 49ers have been able to replace their aging players with talented young backups. They have a dynamic young QB in Colin Kaepernickbehind a dominating offensive line. However, right now it's unclear the players we will see at the running back and wide receiver positions in 2016. Defensively, the 49ers are loaded, especially with interior linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, but there are age concerns along the defensive line and in the secondary -- so San Francisco's backups and draft choices must step up. -- Gary Horton

Quarterback:
Kaepernick was arguably the best player on the field in five of his 10 regular-season and postseason career starts, and that included games against Chicago, New England, Miami, Green Bay and Atlanta. That's a strong indication the 49ers have found their franchise quarterback. This will be Kaepernick's team in 2013 and for many years to come. He's going to benefit from organizational strength, as San Francisco was the only team in the league to rank among the top three in all five categories for this project. -- Mike Sando

Draft:
To quote my 2013 NFL Draft Grades, "[GM] Trent Baalke has done such a nice job of constructing this roster that drafting can be tricky, because the 49ers just don't have a glut of needs." The 2010 and 2011 49ers drafts are significant portions of the currently loaded roster, and the 2012 class is a big "Incomplete" mainly because there were few holes to address. The 49ers piled up more depth in 2013, and have added a pair of extra picks for 2014. This is a savvy front office, and it knows that extra picks will come in handy as the price tags on a loaded roster get bigger over the next few years. -- Mel Kiper

Front office:
Head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Baalke have a team that is a genuine world championship contender, but there are still a few question marks. One is whether Colt McCoy can hold the fort were anything to happen to Kaepernick. All else, including the seemingly unstoppable Frank Gore, continues in place on offense -- though Marcus Lattimore will have to step up to replace Gore in 2014 or they'll need to draft a different successor. Quinton Patton, a fourth-rounder, is a young one to watch. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has done a great job with perhaps the most talented group in the league. He must however, replace Dashon Goldson and Isaac Sopoaga. He has some outstanding young talent to do it with in Eric Reid, Tank Carradine and Corey Lemonier.Glenn Dorsey has been added to back up Justin Smith, but if there is an indispensable man on this team, it is Justin Smith. The sack production of this defense tailed off markedly when Smith was hurt because the rush combination of Justin and Aldon Smith was the best tandem in the league. Niners fans will close out the Candlestick era with a team worthy of Bill Walsh's legacy. -- Bill Polian

Coaching:
The 49ers are tough and physical on both sides of the football, a philosophy that permeates throughout the organization. Going into his third season in San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff have done a terrific job. This team doesn't beat itself and the lack of turnover both among coaching staff and personnel shows the commitment and focus this team has. The 49ers will be a powerhouse for years to come. -- Herm Edwards

CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!

Wait a sec....are you an "insider" or did you just see that section on the free preview too
Real good feeling to have the respect of the talking heads at ESPN, but like Jimbo says "Whenever people start talking nice about you, kick 'em in the shins." Can I get a running start on kicking Sando in the shins????
Just give us our super bowl trophies right now
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
Wait a sec....are you an "insider" or did you just see that section on the free preview too
Real good feeling to have the respect of the talking heads at ESPN, but like Jimbo says "Whenever people start talking nice about you, kick 'em in the shins." Can I get a running start on kicking Sando in the shins????

You nailed it... not an insider, 49ers just happened to be the free preview...
man if only crabtree was 100%
So excited to watch the offense this year:


Quarterback: Kaepernick was arguably the best player on the field in five of his 10 regular-season and postseason career starts, and that included games against Chicago, New England, Miami, Green Bay and Atlanta. That's a strong indication the 49ers have found their franchise quarterback. This will be Kaepernick's team in 2013 and for many years to come. He's going to benefit from organizational strength, as San Francisco was the only team in the league to rank among the top three in all five categories for this project. -- Mike Sando
Can anyone list the rest of the rankings?
Very good read there.
good ol herm
  • Garcia
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 24,806
Predicted we win the next 3 SBs..... lets get it
Fellas, I have been here for almost ten years. I remember the last title in 94-95. Forgive me, but all I want right now is the first one.
ESPN's Herm Edwards and Field Yates explain in the video above why the San Francisco 49ers rank No. 1 in our Future Power Rankingsprojecting ahead to 2016.

"Their only problem is this: Long term, there is a team up north built similar to the San Francisco 49ers," Edwards said. "That is the Seahawks. They are really a carbon copy of the San Francisco 49ers. They run the ball very well, they are physical on defense, they have big players. You look at these two rosters, you notice they have big people who can run."

Both appear stable in key areas: head coach, general manager and starting quarterback. The St. Louis Rams can make some of those claims, albeit with less certainty and less on-field evidence collected to this point. Those three NFC West teams are either on the rise or perceived to be that way.

The chart below shows how perceptions about the future differ from what has actually happened in the recent past.

http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=nfcwest&id=102732
FYI:

Based on their power ranking system:

  1. 49ers - 87.5
  2. Packers - 83.63
  3. Seahawks - 82.58
  4. Ravens - 82.42
  5. Patriots - 76.83
  6. Falcons - 75.13
  7. Giants - 72.08
  8. Rams - 69.75
  9. Colts - 69.75
  10. Saints - 68.79

Interesting that the Redskins didn't make the list and the Rams did