After winning five of their final six games of the season, the 49ers odds for next season will have them as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, especially if they make some roster upgrades during the offseason.
Non-playoff teams: 1–20
Eliminated in Wild Card round: 21–24
Eliminated in Divisional round: 25–28
Conference runners-up: 29–30
Super Bowl runner-up: 31
Super Bowl champion: 32
The 49ers, who started their season 0-9, were able to turn things around thanks to a trade deadline acquisition of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots.
Garoppolo didn’t get to start for a few weeks after the trade as he had to learn the team’s offense and terminology. Once he was up to speed, he took over the offense and rejuvenated a fan base that had all but given up on the season.
Garoppolo led the 49ers to five straight victories, including wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams, who are all going into the playoffs.
The five victories also gave the 49ers six wins for the year, which prevented them from landing a top 5 pick in the draft. Despite the wins costing them draft position, the 49ers will still have a top 10 pick in the draft, which is a very valuable commodity.
With their quarterback issue solved, the team can now focus on addressing other areas that need attention, like their offensive line and running back position.
First, the team is waiting to find out if it will have the ninth or 10th pick in the draft.
Their 6-10 record left them tied with the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins in draft order, which means they have to go to tie breakers. The first tiebreaker used by the league to determine draft position is strength of schedule, with the higher pick going to the team with the weaker schedule.
Interestingly, the 49ers and Raiders each finished with a .512 SOS at the end of the season, while the Dolphins had a .543.
Since the 49ers and Raiders had the same SOS, the NFL will determine who gets the ninth and 10 picks by flipping a coin, which will take place at the Draft Combine.
Representatives for the 49ers and raiders will flip a coin to determine which team gets which pick. The 49ers and Raiders aren’t the only ones that will flip for their picks, the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers will also flip to determine who gets the No. 13 and 14 picks, while the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions will flip for the 19th and 20th picks.
Regardless of which pick the 49ers end up with, they find themselves in an enviable position because they don’t have to use the pick on a quarterback anymore, with Garoppolo expected to be signed to a long-term contract.
Since they don’t have a second round pick, they can trade down and get one or two picks for their pick, which will still allow them to get some quality players in the early rounds of the draft.
The only downside to having the 9th or 10th pick is the talented running backs like Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley will likely be gone when they make their selection, but with so many quarterbacks expected to be taken early, there’s still a chance they can nab a runner like Sony Michel.
It's ironic that every position the 49ers need to upgrade (G, C, CB, DE & WR1) are the deepest positions in either the draft or FA... 2018 is gonna be an Excellent year for the 49ers!— Eugene Boxley (@g_notes69) January 4, 2018