I estimate the niners don't quite make the playoffs just yet, and end up somewhere in the 17th overall pick range. The predicted pick for Carolina is 9th.
-Shawn Merriman: The most dominant pass rusher since the day he was drafted is having a down year for 2 reasons... injury and lack of D-line. Next year, with the 49ers, both of these obstacles should be lifted.
-LenDale White: A big RB that won't receive very much attention on the market. Will mostly have a backup role.
-Nate Clements: The guy has skills, but he's not going to shut down receivers for you. He's the best CB I've ever seen in supporting the run, and has the ability to lay out the big hit. The guy has SAFETY stamped across his forehead. Like many have done in the past, Nate moves to SS where we have a glaring weakness. This will involve a contract restructuring, but it's not like he's going to get any more $ anywhere else after his performance over the last few years.
-Dre Bly: We get one more year out of the backup CB with playmaking ability.
-Battle: I think he gets a contract to finish his career here. Of course I could be wrong.
-Michael Lewis, Walt Harris, Isaac Bruce, Jeff Ulbrich
Draft (first 3 picks only):
1. Bryan Bulaga: Worst kept secret in the NFL? Singletary wants offensive lineman in the draft. We finally address the glaring hole at RT with Bulaga. A good athlete with the ability to pass protect and run block. Gives us the versatility to stick with a power running game, or go to more of a passing attack. A team without an offensive identity may be in need of such versatility.
1. Terrance Cody: This is currently not our biggest need with the solid play of Franklin, but we must think future. Building a 3-4 D without a true NT is like building a house with no materials for it. It's like that. This is our Jamal Williams. The guy will change our pass rush, he will change our ability to stop the run without committing extra defenders to the box. He will be able to rotate with Franklin, thereby learning technique from him, pacing himself for the speed of the game, and extending Franklin's career due to a reduced workload. Cody and Merriman can push us to be the elite defense in the NFL.
(Round 2 Alternative 1)
2. Eric Norwood: This could just as easily be Brandon Grahm or Jerry Hughes. Either way I believe there could be a good pass rusher on the board and we should take him because having too many pass rushers is the type of problem you absolutely covet. Some guys match up better against taller OTs, some against shorter. Some can beat you with speed, some with power. If you have the versatility to match up well with multiple OTs then you can write it off as a W. These new additions will make this a fierce team with the ability to really hassle the QB. Some will suggest that a good OG will be around here and is a bigger need, but I just can't have the niners drafting another OG in the 2nd round. No luck for us here. Lets instead find one later on, where great guards often come from.
3. Perrish Cox: Not a popular name on this forum, but one that may gain some traction leading up to the draft. A good cornerback with tons of experience (going against some top notch receivers), good size (6' 200lbs) and RETURN ABILITY! He has 5 TDs on Kick or Punt returns combined, which is pretty good. With the move of Clements to safety and the possible departure of Bly we are very happy that our return specialist can play CB at a high level. There is a good change Perrish won't be around and we may have to look a different direction for a kick returner, and Shipley may be the guy.
The rest of the draft should be dedicated to at least 1 OG and possibly another offensive lineman, maybe another CB/S, possibly a WR, a speedy RB and an ILB.
QB-Alex Smith, Shaun Hill, Nate Davis
RB-Frank Gore, Glenn Coffee, White
FB-Moran Norris, Michael Robinson
WR-Crabtree, Morgan, Jones, Hill, Battle, Ziegler
LDE-Balmer, Sopoaga, RJF
LOLB-Haralson, Norwood, Brooks
CB-Spencer, Brown, Bly, Cox, Hudson
[ Edited by RollinWith21n52 on Oct 31, 2009 at 12:38 PM ]