Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were given six-year contracts for a reason. Turning the 49ers back into contenders will be a process, but nobody thought the 2018 season would go this bad.
Going into Sunday's slate of games, the 49ers (2-10) own the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. That simply wasn't supposed to happen this season, but torn ACLs for Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon changed everything.
But the 49ers could be in the driver's seat in the draft, and an offense with a healthy Garoppolo under center, plus a backfield of McKinnon and Matt Breida, could make up a dangerous team in 2019.
Here are five players in the 2019 NFL Draft who could help the 49ers get back on top the quickest.
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
No matter where you look, the 2019 NFL Draft starts with Bosa. The 49ers selected a defensive lineman in the first round from 2015 to 2017 (Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas), but Bosa is by far the most talented.
The 49ers had just 29 total sacks entering Sunday, ranking them tied for 21st in the NFL. Bosa might be even better than older brother Joey Bosa, who won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors for the Chargers in 2016.
Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky
If the 49ers fall slightly in the draft, Allen could be another option to rush the passer. He returned to school for his senior year, put on 20 pounds of muscle, and the decision couldn't have gone any better.
After totaling 14.5 sacks in his first three years of college, Allen has 14 sacks this season and 18.5 tackles for loss.
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Thompson went from playing sparingly in 2017, to being one of the most important and impressive players on the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
Deionte Thompson had one heck of a season in coverage. pic.twitter.com/msz1LwNj1s— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 5, 2018
Jimmie Ward's 49ers career likely is over, so Thompson could be a game-changer in the back end of the 49ers' defense. He has 70 tackles (3.5 for a loss), two interceptions, five pass defenses, one fumble recovery and three forced fumbles in 12 games this season.
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Would the 49ers really take an offensive tackle in the first round two years in a row? Williams is a prospect who will be ready to go from Day 1 after starting for the Tide since his freshman year.
Now a junior, the 6-foot-5, 301-pounder is a technician on the offensive line. Joe Staley has one year left on his contract, so perhaps Williams or 2017 first-round pick Mike McGlinchey could spend one year on the inside before the two play tackle for years to come.
N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Garoppolo needs a big No. 1 target in 2019, and Harry could be the perfect. The 49ers already have speed with Marquise Goodwin and an emerging rookie in Dante Pettis. Harry would bring the size the 49ers need.
At 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds, Harry has been a matchup nightmare in his junior year. If the 49ers could trade back into the first round or if the wide receiver falls to Day 2, they should snatch up the ASU product, who has racked up 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns this season.