Although the Cleveland Browns finished with a 1-15 record this past season, there are some of the opinion that the San Francisco 49ers were actually the worst team in the league in 2016. Head coach Chip Kelly led the club to two wins, both over the 4-12 Los Angeles Rams. The Niners had their share of blowout losses and struggled on both sides of the football. Only the aforementioned Rams totaled fewer yards per game on offense. Defensively, the team was dead last in fewest total yards allowed and fewer rushing yards per game surrendered. San Francisco also gave up an NFL-high 480 points per contest.

It all added up to a new general manager in John Lynch (the longtime NFL safety and TV analyst) and the hiring of head coach Kyle Shanahan – most recently the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

Plethora of moves

Before April’s draft, this was a team that was incredibly active in free agency. There were the signings of quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, both starters with the Chicago Bears in 2016. The offense side of the ball also welcomed wideouts Pierre Garcon, Aldrick Robinson and Marquise Goodwin, as well as running back Tim Hightower. The team also added fullback Kyle Juszczyk and tight end Logan Paulsen. The San Francisco 49ers also orchestrated a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to acquire veteran center Jeremy Zuttah.

Defensively, the key addition was former Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith. The outside linebacker comes over from the Oakland Raiders. As for the aforementioned draft, the club added 10 players, six of those on defense. And Lynch orchestrated a pair of trades that saw them eventually wind up with defensive end Solomon Thomas (Stanford) and inside linebacker Reuben Foster (Alabama).

Franchise continues to be aggressive

Even with the draft in the rear view mirror, the San Francisco 49ers have continued to revamp their roster. And that has not just meant undrafted free agents. The team let go of running back DuJuan Harris, who the team had re-signed this offseason. Lynch and the front office took advantage of a few salary cap casualties around the league and signed both guard Brandon Fusco (Minnesota Vikings) and center Tim Barnes (Los Angeles Rams).

Meanwhile, the team also saw versatile interior offensive lineman Andrew Tiller head to the Kansas City Chiefs. It wasn’t long ago that this team was watching a lot of their star players either retire, released, move on or dealt away. Now this is a club with a lot of new and fresh faces. Now it’s a matter of just how fast this club can come together.