Ah yes. The way-too-early projections continue to circulate among national analysts following the close of the 2021 NFL Draft. But, really, who are we kidding. It's still fun to see how pundits perceive the 49ers roster following its first-year additions and roster depth heading into the 2021 season.
And optimistically, many foresee the 49ers returning to Super Bowl-contending form with their added playmakers, key returnees and optimistically a clean bill of health.
Here's a look at where several national media outlets have placed San Francisco in their post-draft power rankings.
"The 49ers should be more dangerous defensively with a much healthier roster and the potential of rookie Trey Lance starting gives their versatile offense a much higher ceiling."
Previous Ranking: 8
Fox Sports: 6
"(The 49ers) fortified what they're already really good at. O-line, run the football. To me, that's about empowering Trey Lance. If he eventually plays this year, they went and doubled down on their O-line, which was already good. They doubled down on their running backs, which were already strong."
CBS Sports: 6
"Even if it's Jimmy Garoppolo playing quarterback, the return of healthy players makes this a much better team than a year ago. Trey Lance might wait to play."
Previous Ranking: 24
"No team improved its stock in our rankings more than the 49ers. Whether that's due to an expected bounce back with better injury luck, or a raised ceiling if Trey Lance takes over for Jimmy Garoppolo in the second half of the season, there are reasons to be confident."
Previous Ranking: 13
USA Today: 7
"Even if QB Trey Lance, the draft's No. 3 overall pick, takes a redshirt season, this team will be formidable if its main players merely stay healthy in 2021."
Previous Ranking: 9
"We're still not entirely sure who was the target of the smokescreen, but the Niners were ultimately successful in masking their intentions before selecting Trey Lance with the third-overall pick. Lance is a bit of a mystery prospect due to his sparsity of college reps, but the upside -- which factors in his physical and mental tools and the QB-friendly system he enters into -- is enormous. What this means for Jimmy Garoppolo is unknown: he cuts the profile of a fine insurance policy for a Niners team that can rightfully say it has Super Bowl aspirations despite last season's 6-10 clunker."
Bleacher Report: 11
"After trading up to acquire the third-overall pick in the 2021 draft, the San Francisco 49ers were the focus of a ton of offseason speculation. Which young quarterback did the Niners mortgage their future to obtain?
"As it turns out, it was North Dakota State's Trey Lance, a wildly athletic but raw signal-caller who played only one game in 2020. Lance's mobility and arm talent gives him one of the highest ceilings of any quarterback in the class. But given his lack of experience, it's a pretty safe bet that Jimmy Garoppolo will remain the team's starter, at least in the short term.
"San Francisco's 2020 season was an injury-marred disaster. But (Bleacher Report analyst Brad) Gagnon believes that this team could be primed for an exceedingly rapid rebound.
"'Please don't forget that the 49ers were a Super Bowl team before losing Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, K'Waun Williams and Jaquiski Tartt to injuries of varying severity for long stretches in 2020,' he wrote. 'It was one of the worst injury situations I've seen in my 14 years covering the NFL. Add most of those guys back, factor in the possibility that Lance catches fire in a great system as a rookie, and the 49ers are a Super Bowl contender again.'"
-- As for the rest of the NFC West, here's how the 49ers counterparts fared:
Highest Ranking: 8 (CBS Sports)
Lowest Ranking: 23 (SI.com)
Los Angeles Rams
Highest Ranking: 4 (SI.com)
Lowest Ranking: 9 (CBS Sports)
Highest Ranking: 4 (Fox Sports)
Lowest Ranking: 12 (CBS Sports/USA Today)
Up Next Latest Videos Channel Una Revisión Completa del Draft 2021 Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call International Player Pathway Program Selection Alfredo Gutierrez Latest Videos Channel NDSU HC Matt Entz on What Trey Lance Brings to the 49ers Latest Videos Channel A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the 49ers 2021 NFL Draft Latest Videos Channel Sitting Down with Trey Lance at Levi's® Stadium Latest Videos Channel John Lynch: 49ers 'Fortified' Roster During 2021 NFL Draft Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers S Talanoa Hufanga Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers DB Deommodore Lenoir Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call 6th-Round Pick Elijah Mitchell Latest Videos Channel John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan Recap the 2021 NFL Draft Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers OL Jaylon Moore Latest Videos Channel 49ers Introduce Sixth-round Pick Elijah Mitchell Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call 5th Round Pick Deommodore Lenoir Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call 180th-Overall Pick Talanoa Hufanga Latest Videos Channel Talanoa Hufanga Feels 'Blessed' to Be Drafted by the 49ers Latest Videos Channel 49ers Introduce Fifth-round Pick DB Deommodore Lenoir Latest Videos Channel 49ers Select Elijah Mitchell with the No. 194 Pick in 2021 Draft Latest Videos Channel USC S Talanoa Hufanga Selected with 180th-overall Selection by 49ers Latest Videos Channel 49ers Select Deommodore Lenoir with No. 172 Pick in 2021 draft Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call 5th Round Pick Jaylon Moore Latest Videos Channel 49ers Introduce Fifth-round Pick Jaylon Moore Latest Videos Channel Western Michigan OL Jaylon Moore Selected with 155th-overall Selection by 49ers Latest Videos Channel John Lynch Breaks Down Each of the 49ers Day 2 Picks Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers CB Ambry Thomas Latest Videos Channel Ambry Thomas Shares What He Brings to 49ers CB Room Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers RB Trey Sermon Latest Videos Channel Trey Sermon: 'This is a Great Fit For Me' Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call 88th-Overall Pick Trey Sermon Latest Videos Channel John Lynch: 'It Was a Really Good Day for the Niners' Latest Videos Channel Michigan CB Ambry Thomas Selected with 102nd-overall Selection by 49ers Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers OL Aaron Banks Latest Videos Channel Ohio State RB Trey Sermon Selected in Third Round by 49ers Latest Videos Channel 49ers Call 48th-Overall Pick Aaron Banks Latest Videos Channel Aaron Banks: Being Drafted By 49ers is the 'Best Moment of My Life' Latest Videos Channel Notre Dame G Aaron Banks Selected with 48th-overall Selection by 49ers Latest Videos Channel Alex Smith Talks Retirement, Favorite 49ers Memories Latest Videos Channel NFL Network's Mike Robinson: 49ers Made Right Decision on Trey Lance Latest Videos Channel Checking in with Nick Bosa Latest Videos Channel Getting to Know 49ers QB Trey Lance