S Jaquiski Tartt
Despite playing only nine games this past season, Jaquiski Tartt enjoyed a breakout campaign, showing playmaking ability and the versatility to make an impact at both safety positions. While it does seem like Tartt flies under the radar a bit, he's starting to gain recognition in NFL circles. Bleacher Report chose Tartt as the third-best strong safety in 2017, trailing only Patrick Chung of the New England Patriots and Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings. Pro Football Focus also recognized the ascending third-year playmaker, giving Tartt the 10th best grade of any safety at 85.7.
At 26 years-old, Tartt's entering his prime and Niners would be wise to keep him in the fold knowing his best football's ahead. Tartt would be a stabilizing force on the backend, especially considering the fact that Jimmie Ward can't stay on the field and Eric Reid is likely to leave in free agency.
WR Marquise Goodwin
When the 49ers agreed to a two-year deal with Marquise Goodwin last offseason, it seemed like they were paying him on the idea of what he could accomplish rather than what he already had. In four years with the Buffalo Bills, Goodwin didn't do much to separate himself from the competition, catching 49-of-111 targets (44%) for 780 yards. Early on, it looked like the signing may have been a mistake as Goodwin struggled with drops and only managed 22 receptions over his first nine games. However, as the season progressed and Kyle Shanahan's offense started to click, Goodwin became one of the most productive receivers in the league. In his final seven games, Goodwin caught 34 balls for 545 yards and scored two touchdowns. Overall, the speedster finished at 56/962/2, and his 17.2 yards per catch was the sixth-highest in team history of any player with at least 55 catches.
Goodwin is young, fast, and seems to be just scratching the surface of what he can do. San Francisco doesn't appear to have many long-term answers at wideout at the moment, so keeping Goodwin in the mix would be a smart move, especially when you consider the connection he had with the team's new quarterback. In the five games Garoppolo started, Goodwin averaged 5.8 receptions and 77 yards. Over a 16-game season, that would amount to 93/1228, and the 49ers haven't seen that type of production at receiver since the days of Terrell Owens.
T Trent Brown
How good was Trent Brown in 2017? Well, according to Pro Football Focus, only four tackles had a higher pass blocking efficiency grade than his 97.1. Overall, Brown finished at 79.3, and while he excels at protecting the quarterback, there's room for improvement in the running game, as his 50.3 grade is on the poor side. Still, when you consider the fact that tackles are hard to come by and the 49ers need to do everything in their power to protect their upcoming investment in Garoppolo, extending Brown should be a no-brainer.
Another factor to consider when determining Brown's future is the age of his counterpart, Joe Staley. While Staley was outstanding in 2017, he's not getting any younger and will be 34 years-old when next season begins. It would benefit the 49ers to start thinking about Staley's replacement, and the transition would be a much smoother one if they knew the soon-to-be 25-year old Brown was locked up on the opposite side.
Al Sacco is the Senior Writer for 49ers Webzone and has had his work used by national outlets such as ESPN and USA TODAY. In addition to his writing duties, Al is also the co-host of the No Huddle podcast. If you'd like to reach Al with a media request, please contact him via Twitter @AlSacco49 or at email@example.com.