Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Silver: Cornerstone pieces make the 49ers the team to beat in 2021

Apr 16, 2021 at 4:49 PM--


NFL Media analyst Michael Silver has a lot of belief in the San Francisco 49ers' chances of competing during the upcoming season. He feels head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad can bounce back from its disappointing injury-plagued 2020 campaign and has the pieces in place to become the team to beat in 2021.

"I think they're going to come back strong," Silver told Steve Wyche and Judy Battista on NFL Network's Total Access. "You saw the bold move to trade up for the No. 3 pick. They're going to get a quarterback of Kyle Shanahan's choosing, and you're going to have a lot of difference-makers out there on that field."

San Francisco has put itself in a position to acquire one of the top quarterback prospects in this month's draft. Right now, Justin Fields of Ohio State is the favorite to be selected at No. 3. Trey Lance of North Dakota State and Mac Jones of Alabama are other possibilities.

Battista named the Buccaneers as her team to beat in 2021 after Tampa Bay brought back much of its Super Bowl-winning roster. Silver believes San Francisco has a talented roster that is good enough to compete with anyone in the NFC, including the Super Bowl champions. It just needs to stay healthy.

"Now, Steve, you heard me earlier today talk about the Texans and their complete absence of cornerstone players," Silver continued. "Think how many the 49ers have. (Nick) Bosa, (George) Kittle, Fred Warner among them. Just absolute game-changers. They think Brandon Aiyuk can be one, going into Year 2.

"So, I think, Judy, as good as the Bucs look on paper, Tom Brady can't do it forever, can he? I'm calling the Niners as the team to beat in 2021."

Wyche reminded viewers that the 49ers also signed offensive tackle Trent Williams, another cornerstone piece, to a long-term deal this offseason.






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