The San Francisco 49ers were the model franchise for the NFL for an entire decade in the 1980s and continued that dominance through the 1990s, winning 10 or more games (and five Super Bowls) from 1983 to 1998. They popped back up in the early 2010s under Jim Harbaugh, only to struggle their way through four head coaches in four seasons from 2014 to 2018.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have put the 49ers in a position to be the NFC’s dominant team again, and while trading a second-round pick mid-season to the New England Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo is one key reason they have emerged in such a stacked conference, Garoppolo has earned only about three wins above replacement during his time in San Francisco. Thus, there are plenty of other places to look and find where the 49ers have acquired talent. Here, we look at the three Lynch/Shanahan drafts and the players who have had the most impact during that time: