INDIANAPOLIS – New coach Kyle Shanahan appears to be appropriately underwhelmed with the pieces he inherits from the 49ers’ last-ranked passing offense.
No team in the NFL threw for fewer yards than the 49ers’ average of a meager 181.9 yards per game last season.
Among the 49ers’ obvious offseason priorities are quarterback and wide receiver. The 49ers have no quarterbacks under contract for the upcoming season. And the receiving corps needs a lot of help, too.
The team’s top two receivers from last year – Jeremy Kerley and Quinton Patton – are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Kerley led the 49ers with 64 receptions for 667 yards, while Patton caught a career-high 37 passes for 408 yards.
When asked at the NFL Scouting Combine if any of the 49ers’ group of wide receivers and tight ends stand out from his film evaluation, Shanahan was short on praise of the position groups.
“No one in particular,” Shanahan said. “I feel we’ve got a bunch of good players we feel we can compete with, and we know we need to add some, too. We’re going to add as many as we can to help our roster. We also want to have competition, because the more competition we have in OTAs, the more competition you have in training camp.
“If you cut some people at the end of training camp who you feel can play in the NFL, then that shows your organization is going in the right direction, and that’s really our goal.”
Veteran Torrey Smith is the 49ers' most-accomplished receiver. The six-year veteran signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the 49ers in 2015 after averaging 900 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per season in his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens.
In 12 games last season, Smith had career lows with 20 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns.
Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.
For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.
In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.
While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.
"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."
Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.
Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.
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Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.
But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."
Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.
While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.
Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.
After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.
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And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.
Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.