49ers still NFC’s best team in power rankings after NFL draft

No major splashes in the NFL draft? No problem. The 49ers still sit at No. 2 behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL media post-draft power rankings.

It makes sense that San Francisco would be there given that they’re returning virtually all of their starters on both sides of the ball. There’ll be a couple changes on defense after defensive lineman Arik Armstead’s departure and with safety Ji’Ayir Brown stepping into a larger role alongside Talanoa Hufanga. There may also be some movement at cornerback, but that’s more about finding the team’s best three CBs and their top two at that spot will both be back.

On offense, despite rumors of a trade featuring one of their top two receivers, it looks as though San Francisco will bring back all 11 starters on that side of the ball.

For those reasons, NFL Media’s Eric Edholm didn’t drop the 49ers in his power rankings, but he also isn’t as down on their draft picks as some others are. Via

I thought there was a chance Ricky Pearsall could be a top-40 selection, so the Florida receiver going to the 49ers at No. 31 isn’t the reach some want to make it. In fact, I had him ranked as my No. 31 overall prospect. Even still, you can’t analyze this pick fairly without mentioning the receiver drama, which has ensnared Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. At first, the Niners were dealing with Aiyuk and his contract demands; then Deebo’s name surfaced in some interesting trade rumors as the draft was unfolding. So here we are, and it’s not clear what the next steps will be in Santa Clara. This is a team that has been on the doorstep of a championship a few times in recent years, so hanging onto the WR pair for this coming season feels like the most likely route to take as the Niners take another crack at breaking on through to the other side.

The bigger question is whether the 49ers can mentally bounce back from a third consecutive season that ended in a crushing defeat just steps shy of a Lombardi Trophy. For now though it’s right to place them at or near the top of the NFL and barring injury they’ll remain a Super Bowl favorite into the start of the season.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire