Every week, every season, this San Francisco 49ers team lunges further into the vision of its head coach, Jim Harbaugh. Over three offseasons, embracing vigorous self-analysis and roster changeover, this team has been made over at several key positions: linebacker, safety, quarterback and cornerback, just to rattle off a few.
However, 2013 may have yielded the most significant contributions yet—particularly when you weigh the value in the short- and long-term. Harbaugh and his partner in crime, general manager Trent Baalke, scoured free agency and the draft, avidly seeking upgrades for the roster while saving a significant amount of cash. This was no easy feat; believe you me.
But after looking at things at the halfway point, it seems they had a decent rate of success. Avoiding $91.75 million in deals that went to Dashon Goldson, Isaac Sopoaga, Delanie Walker and Ricky Jean-Francois in free agency, you could easily argue that the 49ers are better at those four spots than they were last season.
But that is just to start. The efficiency of this front office is visible all over the roster.
That being said, the following will evaluate and grade San Francisco’s offseason additions, including their entire 2013 NFL draft class, as well as their free-agent and trade acquisitions.
- Expectations: Some players can look really good out there, but how much did they leave on the field? Top pick, late pick or low-level signee—did you live up to or exceed expectations?
- Statistics: If you were blanked, booming or something in between, this plays a significant role as to how a player is graded.
- Impact: Stats are great and all, but did those yards come in garbage time or on a 3rd-and-long? Was your tackle at the goal line or after you let up a 30-yard catch? The clutch value factors in here.
- Consistency: One big play can change a game, but consistency week to week is the most important thing in the NFL. What have you done for me lately?