The San Francisco 49ers finished just a couple of plays away from a stunning run to Super Bowl 56. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Rams were too much for them the third time around this season and ended the 49ers’ playoff run.
San Francisco has questions to answer, specifically with Jimmy Garoppolo’s future with the team. However, the recent playoff success of Kyle Shanahan’s team does the most damage to the Miami Dolphins — although they managed to walk away with 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as the next head coach after the decision to fire Brian Flores.
The Dolphins first-round pick from the 49ers is lower than expected
The 49ers traded up to draft Trey Lance at No. 3 overall and wound up dealing their first-round choice in 2022. Now, the Dolphins get a second-round pick essentially after the 49ers won two road games in the playoffs en route to the NFC Championship Game.
The 49ers originally had the 12th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they moved up to land Lance and solidify their quarterback position for the future. Sure, Garoppolo ended up as the starter and was still under center in the NFC title game, but the 49ers made very clear their intentions for Garoppolo going forward.
So, the 49ers get their guy in Lance and lose a first-round pick, but Miami must be stunned that San Francisco went this deep in the playoffs. Instead of an early selection, they get one of the last picks in the first round, which makes a huge difference.
However, the 49ers playoff run also helped out McDaniel in a big way.
The Dolphins name Mike McDaniel as their new head coach
The Dolphins finally land on a new head coach, and it is McDaniel. After firing Flores, Miami brought in a ton of names to interview. Then, Brian Daboll emerged as a favorite before taking the New York Giants job as they become the Buffalo Bills 2.0.
The Dolphins made it official on Sunday and named McDaniel as the head coach after a flurry of reports mentioned him as the favorite.
So, although the 49ers long playoff run hurt the Dolphins’ first-round pick from the Lance trade, McDaniel ends up as a head coach — and Miami gets its guy.
McDaniel had been the favorite for some time, but then Jim Harbaugh’s name floated around a bit. Nonetheless, Miami seems impressed with McDaniel and has named him as the successor to Flores.
The 49ers emergence helped McDaniel land the job with the Dolphins
At the end of the 2020 season, the 49ers were 6-10 following a Super Bowl trip the year before. But, injuries did them in, and they wasted no time making quarterback a priority in the draft.
The 49ers landed Lance, then named Garoppolo as the starter, and all season long dealt with the endless quarterback controversy, although Shanahan insisted on rolling with the veteran.
Nonetheless, the 49ers shocked everybody by going 7-2 in their last nine games to earn the sixth seed in the NFC. The 49ers didn’t back down, either. They marched into Dallas and took care of the Cowboys, then ended Aaron Rodgers’ hopes of a Super Bowl trip at Lambeau Field.
If just a few things went differently against the Rams, San Francisco would be preparing for the Super Bowl. McDaniel has been a massive part of this all along ever since he took over as OC following Mike LaFleur’s move to the New York Jets along with Robert Saleh. McDaniel also got a huge vote of confidence from Shanahan recently.
McDaniel did well, and it was only a matter of time before he landed a head-coaching job. The 49ers knew this was coming and named Anthony Lynn as assistant head coach.
Could Lynn be the next OC in San Francisco? It seems that way, especially with his resume.
McDaniel gets a shot to become a head coach, although the tension in Miami is growing after Flores sued the NFL and made multiple claims about owner Stephen Ross.
Even though the Dolphins pick from San Francisco isn’t as high as they hoped for, they end up with McDaniel as the new head coach.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference