Are the 49ers playoff contenders this season? Or are they on their way to another top pick in the NFL draft?
Inside the locker room, there are high hopes galore. Many players are even thinking Super Bowl or bust. With a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo and a revamped roster, expectations among those wearing red and gold are sky-high.
On the outside, however, it all depends who you ask. Some see the 49ers winning the NFC West while others believe their playoff drought will continue.
NBC Sports analysts Chris Simms and Mike Florio recently debated on ProFootballTalk whether the 49ers will make the playoffs or not.
Simms already has identified Garoppolo as a potential MVP candidate despite ranking him as his No. 21 quarterback in the NFL. So, it's no surprise he believes the 49ers' signal-caller can lead the team back to the playoffs.
"I'm going with Jimmy Garoppolo stays healthy and leads the 49ers to the playoffs," Simms says.
While Simms admitted he wasn't overly impressed by Garoppolo's play last season before tearing his ACL in the third game of the season, he believes the 49ers roster as a whole made enough improvements to make it to the postseason.
"I think the team is finally set up to succeed," Simms said. "O-line, really good. Gonna be a unit there for the next few years. D-line, the defense in general, made huge improvements last year and it's one of the better defensive lines in all of football. They got Nick Bosa to go along with that, and Dee Ford.
"I think the 49ers are a playoff-caliber football team in 2019."
Since agreeing with a co-host is boring, Florio feels much different about Jimmy G and the 49ers.
"I don't think [Garoppolo] is gonna stay healthy," Florio said. "I think back to 2016. He had a four-game audition for the rest of the NFL when Tom Brady was suspended and he got injured in the second game.
"Has he smartened up? Will he avoid contact? Will he be able to -- in the midst of all that chaos that you're in the middle of as a quarterback -- have the presence of mind to keep himself healthy?"
Even if Garoppolo does stay healthy, he sees the NFC West and beyond as too tough to handle for San Francisco.
"How are they gonna make the playoffs with the Rams and the Seahawks in their division? Look at the rest of the conference," Florio said.