By RYAN DUNBAR
The 2017-2018 San Francisco 49ers season was one of many ups and downs from the very start. The hiring of a Fox Sports analyst, John Lynch, as general manager on January 30, 2017, did not seem to inspire many, but he would soon prove to be an exceedingly valuable asset. The hiring of the offensive coordinator who orchestrated one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, Kyle Shanahan, was universally praised by everyone around the league. And with the announcement that both were given six-year contracts, the franchise finally had stability as they began their brick-by-brick rebuilding process. The first order of business was to build a sturdy coaching staff, led by the hiring of Robert Saleh, a former Seahawks and Jaguars assistant, as defensive coordinator to help turn the NFL’s 32nd ranked defense into a top unit.
Then came the flurry of free agent signings, which was to be expected with the 49ers abundance of cap space. The 49ers signed Brian Hoyer, whom they hoped to be their bridge QB to either a draft pick or possibly Kirk Cousins (remember when those rumors were everywhere). They added much needed talent and depth at wide receiver with Pierre Garcon, Aldrick Robinson, and Marquise Goodwin. They added offensive weapon Kyle Juszczyk and veterans Robbie Gould and Elvis Dumervil to help teach the young players and steer the team in the right...