Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

‘Complete’ 49ers team somehow got better despite offseason losses, says

Jul 9, 2020 at 12:50 PM--

Adam Schein of took on the task of identifying the most "complete" teams heading into the 2020 season. Surprise, surprise; he chose three of the best teams from last season — the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Francisco 49ers.

What constitutes being a "complete" team?

"The top definition for the word 'complete': having all necessary parts, elements, or steps," writes Schein while noting that his list is not a power ranking. It's just a list of the teams that meet that definition.

What really impressed the columnist about the 49ers is how the team managed to improve despite some reasonably significant offseason losses.

"Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch need to take a bow," explains Schein. "San Francisco traded DeForest Buckner and Matt Breida, let Emmanuel Sanders walk, watched Joe Staley retire and ... somehow got even better."

The 49ers replaced Buckner with a first-round pick, Javon Kinlaw, so the team still boasts one of the game's most formidable defensive lines. It locked up the team's sack leader from last year, Arik Armstead, and Schein called second-year defensive end Nick Bosa a "bona fide game wrecker."

Then you have an emerging star in linebacker Fred Warner making defensive plays and a savvy veteran cornerback in Richard Sherman locking down one side of the field.

"On the other side of the football, the 49ers have the best tight end in football," Schein continues. "George Kittle is an absolute force as a receiver and blocker. Speaking of blockers, Trent Williams slides right into Staley's spot on the blindside -- and he's my pick for Comeback Player of the Year."

As was the case with Buckner, the team replaced Sanders with a rookie in first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk, who Schein feels will be a fitting complement to Deebo Samuel.

"Jimmy Garoppolo remains polarizing, but I don't know how you can view him as anything worse than solid after last season's performance," adds Schein.

The columnist does note that running back Raheem Mostert's trade request is concerning but isn't willing to bet against head coach Kyle Shanahan creating a productive rushing attack with whoever might be in the backfield.

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