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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers move up in NFL.com power rankings

Aug 9, 2022 at 10:59 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers are trending upwards, even with reports from Santa Clara of quarterback Trey Lance having an up-and-down training camp. Still, the team is talented enough to withstand any growing pains by the second-year player and new full-time starter. Apparently, Dan Hanzus of Around the NFL knows this, and that's why Kyle Shanahan's squad has moved up one spot in NFL.com's most recent power rankings, landing at No. 4.

"It's full speed ahead for the Trey Lance era in San Francisco," wrote Hanzus. "There's likely to be some turbulence for a young passer with limited experience, but Lance has been set up for success after a rookie season spent mostly on the sidelines."

Lance started just two games last season but has been the undisputed starter for the entire offseason. San Francisco invested a lot in the 22-year-old quarterback, surrendering multiple first-round picks and more to move up and select him at No. 3 overall last year.

The team's starter of the past four-and-a-half seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo, is on his way out. The 49ers hope to trade the veteran quarterback ahead of Week 1. If no suitors come calling, a release is a possibility.

The quarterback situation hasn't been the only offseason drama on which the media has focused. In April, star wide receiver Deebo Samuel requested to be traded after contract extension discussions weren't going smoothly. That drama ended when San Francisco signed him to a three-year extension just over a week ago. That gives the young Lance a lot of offensive firepower this season.

"The Deebo Samuel drama was put to bed with a big contract extension," Hanzus continued, "while Brandon Aiyuk appears primed to make the leap as the No. 2 wide receiver. Throw in a do-everything Pro Bowler at tight end in George Kittle, a versatile backfield led by Elijah Mitchell, and, of course, arguably the league's best play caller in Kyle Shanahan, and Lance will have no excuse if he doesn't pop in his first year leading the offense."

The three teams ranked ahead of the 49ers in Hanzus' power rankings are the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. San Francisco leaped the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals, who dropped to No. 5 on the list.


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