It's tough to make absolutes this early and I'm open to anything, so here are some thoughts. I pretty sure most will vehemently disagree.
A lot of people are getting their hopes up for the 49ers being able to fill their needs in FA. But if next year goes uncapped (which is the expectation), fogeddaboudit. The 49ers have cap space, but they are not a strong cash flow team. I'd rather use that cap space to extend the team's core players. Here's a quote from an NFL GM:
"Has anyone really looked back at last year's free-agency class and seen what it produced? Albert Haynesworth, Jason Brown, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bart Scott — have these guys made the type of impact everyone was expecting? I think they all thought they were going to contenders, but none of them are playing on winning football teams. And the other problem with free agency — a lot of times you give these guys boatloads of money and it just creates more problems for the player and (with the chemistry) in your own locker room. I'm not a believer in big free-agent signings."
He is one of the most exciting players in CFB, but so was Ted Ginn and Reggie Bush. He has a great skillset, but at his size is he going to be 20-25 touches/game over 16 games/season kind of player which is what you want out of a 1st round pick?
Was Darren Sproles, Leon Washington, Justin Forsett, Larod Stephens-Howling, Roscoe Parrish, Josh Cribbs, etc. a 1st rounder?
Would the 49ers be able to get the same playmaking ability on offense and/or special teams from a Noel Devine, Jacoby Ford, Kyle Wilson, Javier Arenas, Dexter McCluster, or Mardy Gilyard w/o sacrificing a high draft choice?
Watching Adam Snyder in pass protection is like taking a flaming tire iron to the backside, but why are OLs with lesser players (in terms of draft status) performing at a higher level than SF? It's not like Scot McCloughan has neglected the OL. Something isn't right.
Furthermore it's looking like Okung is the safe choice for a top 10 pick as an NFL LT. Should the 49ers replace Staley there? Do you burn a top 15 pick on a RT if he's not the best player on the board?
Eric Berry vs Joe Haden, defense in general
If I had the choice between having a Pro Bowl CB vs a Pro Bowl safety, I take the corner without blinking. Realistically, I don't think Berry factors into the equation because he might be gone by the time the 49ers are on the clock, but the 49ers have an elite (by elite, I mean top 10) run defense. The 49ers have blitzed more in the last 2 weeks which has led to 11 sacks. A strong secondary gives you the flexibility to blitz even more; think Eagles, Packers, and Steelers. As much as I like Nate Clements he's going to be 30 yrs at the end of this month and is at his peak right now. By the time the 49ers are playing for a championship he will be on his downside. Bly, Harris, Roman, and Hudson are in contract years, so there goes the depth even if all those guys are replaceable. By in large this is a defense that was rebuilt in FA (DL & Secondary). This is just my opinion but I don't see any distinction between Kindle, Miller, Graham, Hughes, Sapp, Norwood, etc. I really like Derrick Morgan, but I see him as more of a 4-3 DE, although he has the athletic ability to make the transition.
[ Edited by FL9er on Dec 8, 2009 at 15:12:23 ]