ESPN places 49ers high in three-year NFL power rankings


The 49ers are looking to make a push for a Super Bowl run after a 6-10 season in 2020, and ESPN's future power rankings indicate experts expect the team to remain among the NFL's best for the next several years.

San Francisco stands sixth in ESPN's future power rankings, which estimate which NFL teams will be most successful over the 2021, '22 and '23 seasons.

"The 49ers' trade up to pick No. 3 was instructive of why the team ranks this high: GM John Lynch & Co. have built a roster ready to win right now, finding supreme talents on both sides of the ball to play under talent-maximizing coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers will always be a handful on offense, but with the healthy return of Nick Bosa this year, they have one of the league's top defensive difference-makers," Field Yates writes explaining the 49ers' positioning in the power rankings.

Ahead of the 49ers are the Cleveland Browns (5th), Buffalo Bills (4th), Baltimore Ravens (3rd), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2nd) and Kansas City Chiefs (first).

Injuries decimated what was expected to be a run at repeating as NFC champions after a dominant 2019 campaign. Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Richard Sherman were among the many names missing multiple regular-season games in 2020, and the 49ers ended up at the bottom of the NFC West standings.

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The 49ers upgraded at the game's most important position this offseason with drafting Trey Lance, and likely will have Jimmy Garoppolo remain the starting quarterback through at least the start of the regular season. If Lance is everything Shanahan and the 49ers hope he can become, San Francisco will have one of the better backup options at QB in the NFL, regardless of whether Lance or Garoppolo is under center.


If the 49ers can remain healthy, this is a roster built to win now and for the next handful of years.

Training camp in Santa Clara is scheduled to open up on July 27.

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