This is a poll about what gem you would love niners to find in the later rounds. It's NOT a poll about who we should draft with our first pick.
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Rushing OLB, we have nothing outside of Brooks.
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We need a replacement for Lewis and Clements. Lewis needs a replacement sooner rather than later but we can wait 1-2 more years before we address Clements.
Can Reggie Smith stay healthy? Do we want to replace a beat up safety with an injury prone safety? Can Tarrell Brown become a reliable starter?
It seems out of the picture now that Clements will move to safety so we will need to find 2 players.
Clements will be 31 by season's end and Lewis will be 30.
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1) Secondary. Our defense played well, but we will always be at risk of being burned by better-than-average QBs. And since we don't have an offense capable of winning a shoot-out, we need to do something to at least give us a chance to keep those games competitive.
2) Offensive Weapon. I'm tempted to put O-line on here, but if we get a quality RT in FA or the draft and Staley stays healthy, I think we'll have two better-than-average tackles and an average interior, giving us at least a solid line with decent depth. What could take pressure off such a line? If we had a) a dynamic back that would force defenses to play a different type of formation other than stopping a power rush and/or b) someone in the slot or out of the backfield that would force defenses into coverage. That means less defenders rushing the ball, less time Smith spends holding the ball in the pocket, and defenses forced to do more than run-stop or blitz. All three of those things takes pressure off the O-Line.
3) Pass Rusher. Our secondary would look better if we got better pressure on the QB.
4) O-line. Could always use an upgrade, but stabilizing our RT is the biggest step.
5) D-line. Could always use an upgrade, but ours are decent and improving.
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Dline to compliment Smith
WR to compliment Crabtree - we need speed
RB to compliment Gore - we need speed
Quality ILB - to eventually replace Spikes/McKillop