The window of opportunity won’t be closing anytime soon for the San Francisco 49ers.
The team checked in at the No. 3 spot on the ESPN Insider Future Power Rankings (subscription required). Complied by John Clayton, Mel Kiper, Louis Riddick and Mike Sando, the rankings measure how likely a team is to succeed over the next three seasons. The squads are ranked on roster (30 percent), quarterback (20 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching (20 percent).
The 49ers are third overall, but, of course, second in the NFC West as the Seattle Seahawks claim the top spot. The Greenback Packers sit in second place.
San Francisco scored the best in the draft, as the team is ranked No. 1 in the league in that category. Sando writes that the draft grade, “reflects the team’s annual ability to stockpile choices for additional flexibility, on draft day and for acquiring veteran players such as Anquan Boldin via trade.”
Louis Riddick explains that the 49ers’ “biggest obstacle” will be “showing the door” to older players and replacing them with younger ones. Kiper highlights rookie running back Carlos Hyde as a player who should immediately “become an early fixture” in the backfield.