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San Francisco 49ers 2017 NFL Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

San Francisco 49ers 2017 Preview

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The San Francisco 49ers have nowhere to go but up after winning just two games last season and 15 games combined the last three years. The 49ers did a lot of spring cleaning during the offseason and hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as head coach. Expectations aren’t high for the 49ers this season, but this is still a prideful franchise that would like to see some progress made after last years dreadful performances.

Doubling up last years win total would be a nice step in the right direction if you're a 49ers fan.

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San Francisco 49ers 2017 NFL Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the San Francisco 49ers 2017 NFL preview.

Key Player Losses: The 49ers lost both of last years quarterbacks, as Blaine Gabbert leaves for the Arizona Cardinals and Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a job. Wide receiver Quinton Patton leaves for the Jets after 73 catches in four seasons in San Fran, while Torrey Smith leaves for Philadelphia after two years and seven touchdowns. Most of the 49ers losses come on defense, as Antoine Bethea is now in Arizona, Gerald Hodges is a free agent, Nick Bellore is in Detroit, Tramaine Brock is a free agent and Michael Wilhoite is in Seattle. The 49ers also lost veteran kicker Phil Dawson, who made 86.1 percent of his field goals in four years with the team.

Key Player Additions: The 49ers add probable starting quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has bounced around the league and has 8,600 career passing yards and 44 touchdowns. The wide receiving corps gets a major upgrade with the additions of Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin, a duo that's combined for more than 7,800 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns, making life much easier on the quarterback. The 49ers add Super Bowl MVP linebacker Malcolm Smith, who has over 300 tackles and eight force fumbles for his career.

Draft: Solomon Thomas is a game changer along the defensive line, and he'll be thrown into the starting rotation right away while being a cornerstone for this 49ers defense for years to come. Linebacker Reuben Foster is a thumper at the second level who also covers a lot of ground and will see playing time immediately. Ahkello Witherspoon is a big cornerback at 6’3” and makes a ton of plays on the football. Quarterback C.J. Beathard has the build and the attitude to possibly develop into a starting quarterback in a year or two. Running back Joe Williams has good hands and explosive ability to add a spark to this 49ers offense. Tight end George Kittle is a great athlete who could become a key special teams player. Trent Taylor is a quick slot receiver who could also return kicks to add value to making the team. D.J. Jones is a short defensive tackle but is solid against the run and could be a valuable backup. Defensive end Pita Taumoepenu doesn't have much football experience but there's a lot of upside in terms of pass rushing. Safety Adrian Colbert has elite speed and is versatile, but he must stay healthy.  

Outlook: The 49ers defense was dead last in points allowed and yards allowed. The offense has Hoyer as its starting quarterback and there's a new head coach who has never been a head coach in his career up to this point. I expect the defense to make strides with Thomas, Smith and Foster being added to the mix, and it doesn't hurt to have a healthy NaVorro Bowman. The offense made improvements at wide receiver and has a great offensive mind in Shannon leading the way. But while some may expect miracles, you must realize Kyle Shanahan had oodles of elite talent in Atlanta. That's not the case here on the West Coast. At least not yet. Winning four or more games would be considered a success this season for the 49ers.  

Schedule

Sep. 10    Carolina Panthers    1:25 PM

Sep. 17    at Seattle Seahawks    1:25 PM

Sep. 21    Los Angeles Rams (Thu)    5:25 PM

Oct. 1    at Arizona Cardinals    1:05 PM

Oct. 8    at Indianapolis Colts    10:00 AM

Oct. 15    at Washington Redskins    10:00 AM

Oct. 22    Dallas Cowboys    1:05 PM

Oct. 29    at Philadelphia Eagles    10:00 AM

Nov. 5    Arizona Cardinals    1:05 PM

Nov. 12    New York Giants    1:25 PM

Nov. 19    BYE

Nov. 26    Seattle Seahawks    1:05 PM

Dec. 3    at Chicago Bears    10:00 AM

Dec. 10    at Houston Texans    10:00 AM

Dec. 17    Tennessee Titans    1:25 PM

Dec. 24    Jacksonville Jaguars    1:05 PM

Dec. 31    at Los Angeles Rams    1:25 PM

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