The 49ers have been kind of busy lately during the free agency process already. On just the first day, the 49ers have signed seven new players to the roster. This type of effort to get new players during this period wasn’t evident during Baalke’s time. Now the team is taking full advantage of the ample cap space with John Lynch, and are getting the players to help the team get back on track.
Grading for the new additions
Each of the seven free agent signings will be graded based on their contributions that they will bring to the 49ers and how they will make the team better. With this, let’s start the grading process.
Pierre Garcon, WR
Right out of the gate the 49ers started it off with signing the former Redskins and Colts receiver. It’s a simple acquisition to believe considering both Garcon and Shanahan know each other via the Redskins. In Shanahan’s time in Washington, the possession receiver put up significant numbers, including one season in which he led the league in receptions.
This is a great move, as the team will need help with a sure-handed receiver that can help a young quarterback find his footing. Combine that with the familiarity between both him and the new head coach, and Garcon will surely flourish.
Marquise Goodwin, WR
The 49ers do need the depth at the receiver position. Plus, the fact that he will be a deep threat with his Olympic-level speed will help the team greatly.
He’s a raw talent, but with Shanahan coaching him it would bring a good amount of optimism to this move.
Robbie Gould, K
The Bears all-time leading scorer will become the newest veteran kicker for the 49ers. He will be replacing the ageless Phil Dawson at the position and will hope to finally find the playoff success that has escaped him for so long. It will most likely not happen this season. However, he will contribute a great deal to this rebuilding effort.
Last season was only a testament to his ability as after being signed with the Giants he didn’t miss any of his field goal attempts in New York.
Brian Hoyer, QB
The 49ers have been active on restructuring the quarterback position. After starting the free agency period with zero quarterbacks on the depth chart, the team went out and got a familiar face for Shanahan. The former pupil of Shanahan’s was coached by him during their time with the Browns. During this period, the team went 7-6 with Hoyer as the starter for the team.
Hoyer will be the backup quarterback after signing on. It’s a smart move for the team as he will be a great mentor to any rookie the team takes in the draft. With the added benefit of knowing Shanahan’s system, it will help if the starting QB isn’t doing so well.
Kyle Juszczyk, FB
The 49ers have just made Juszczyk the highest-paid fullback in football right now. The fullback position isn’t dead, and this guy is proving it. He brings an added ability of not only being a great blocker for Carlos Hyde but also a reliable receiver out of the backfield. It’s arguably the best pickup of the entire free agency part for the 49ers so far.
Fun fact: He’s led the league in receptions by a fullback for the last two seasons.
Logan Paulsen, TE
Another Shanahan disciple for the 49ers. Paulsen knows not only the new head coach but also the quarterbacks that will be on the team. This sort of familiarity will go a long way by the time the season starts.
He will most likely be brought on as a blocking tight end for the offense, but he’s accustomed to this.
Malcolm Smith, ILB
The Super Bowl XLVIII MVP has signed on with the 49ers. He has not only shown that he can play, but that he is a tackling machine. This will work well with NaVorro Bowman, who will need another running mate to work with if he ever gets injured again. Smith is an excellent sideline-to-sideline defender that can fill up a gap with the best of them and has proven that during his time in Seattle and Oakland.
He also knows the new defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, from when they were both in Seattle. Not only will he have the luxury of playing for someone he knows well, but the bonus of knowing the system the coordinator is going to use.