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Neglected D Line

Our dline was old ? Yet last season we were #1 in rushing defense. Sounds like they were in their prime during the 2012 draft. its really easy to say you need something after its gone. The absense of justin hurts. We do rely on him to create one on one for people. But we were 26th in offense last seadon and #1 in run d. Saying we shouldve drafted a dline men wouldve been laughable at the time of the of the 2012 draft. And saying they made a mistake is laughable.
I dont think anyone is saying "old" but they are getting OLDER. They are getting to the point in their careers where they need a breather during the game and will be less and less likely to stay healthy for entire seasons. The problem with this is the drop off on the guys behind them is a little too steep. We need some young bucks behind them that can do spot duty over the next two-three years and be hitting their prime when these guys are winding it down.
Originally posted by maxsmart:
One explanation for the 49ers win-win-loss pattern from SF Chronicle
http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2013/01/07/one-explaination-for-the-49ers-win-win-loss-pattern/
"It seemed strange – every third game like clock work, the 49ers collapsed . . . . So what can explain this pattern? One characteristic of their losses and the tie was their inability to stop the run. . . . In four of their non-wins, the defensive line lost control of the line of scrimmage. . . . One reason may be that the 49ers rarely substitute on their defensive line, and their line is among the oldest in the league. . . The 49ers pride themselves on being physical, however in their second season of playing smash-mouth defense, their line shows a pattern or wearing out every third game."

The D-line was OLD, their depth was poor, and yet they neglected the D-line. They should have jumped at the great opportunity to draft Reyes or Wolfe . . . but we all make mistakes, hopefully Jenkins becomes a star

maxsmart, good analysis throughout this posting. You have identified an obvious area of need which has been exposed by both the win-win-loss pattern and also by the impact of the loss of Justin Smith on this defense. You have also correctly noted that AJ Jenkins has not had a productive year and that there are more compelling arguments in favor of his being a wasted pick than of being a savvy one. Hindsight is 20/20.

Going into last off-season, what was clear is that an upgrade at the wideout position was needed (Jenkins). What was also clear is that the team also had a much higher need for explosive players on the offensive side of the football (James). Now in hindsight its obvious the team could have got more value and production by going elsewhere with the picks but that amounts to poor selection not poor strategy in picking for those needs.

This off-season, the 49ers will have lots of needs to get young bodies on the DL, add some help in the secondary, and yes add another WR to the fold. Fortunately, we have a big stash of picks from which to use. You can't address every need in one off-season, and to see where the team has come from talent-wise to where it is now I'm generally happy with the work Baalke has done. Is everything perfect? Absolutely not. Last I checked, there is no perfect team in the NFL.
Originally posted by bzborow1:
maxsmart, good analysis throughout this posting. You have identified an obvious area of need which has been exposed by both the win-win-loss pattern and also by the impact of the loss of Justin Smith on this defense. You have also correctly noted that AJ Jenkins has not had a productive year and that there are more compelling arguments in favor of his being a wasted pick than of being a savvy one. Hindsight is 20/20.

Going into last off-season, what was clear is that an upgrade at the wideout position was needed (Jenkins). What was also clear is that the team also had a much higher need for explosive players on the offensive side of the football (James). Now in hindsight its obvious the team could have got more value and production by going elsewhere with the picks but that amounts to poor selection not poor strategy in picking for those needs.

This off-season, the 49ers will have lots of needs to get young bodies on the DL, add some help in the secondary, and yes add another WR to the fold. Fortunately, we have a big stash of picks from which to use. You can't address every need in one off-season, and to see where the team has come from talent-wise to where it is now I'm generally happy with the work Baalke has done. Is everything perfect? Absolutely not. Last I checked, there is no perfect team in the NFL.

Nice post and I particularly liked the last line.

I can understand why we did not address DL lately. Our starting 3 were studs.. our 4th "starter" was versatile and good (RJF).. and our starters kept in suchy good condition that it wasn't all that necessary to pull them off the field much. In hindsight, and with Dobbs and Justin getting injured... sure, we can cry now and point fingers at the F/O.

Anyway and like you stated... we have lots of draft firepower.. and I think we bring in a couple solid DL along with re-signing either Sopo or RJF. We'll be fine on the DL.
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Originally posted by bzborow1:
maxsmart, good analysis throughout this posting. You have identified an obvious area of need which has been exposed by both the win-win-loss pattern and also by the impact of the loss of Justin Smith on this defense. You have also correctly noted that AJ Jenkins has not had a productive year and that there are more compelling arguments in favor of his being a wasted pick than of being a savvy one. Hindsight is 20/20.

Going into last off-season, what was clear is that an upgrade at the wideout position was needed (Jenkins). What was also clear is that the team also had a much higher need for explosive players on the offensive side of the football (James). Now in hindsight its obvious the team could have got more value and production by going elsewhere with the picks but that amounts to poor selection not poor strategy in picking for those needs.

This off-season, the 49ers will have lots of needs to get young bodies on the DL, add some help in the secondary, and yes add another WR to the fold. Fortunately, we have a big stash of picks from which to use. You can't address every need in one off-season, and to see where the team has come from talent-wise to where it is now I'm generally happy with the work Baalke has done. Is everything perfect? Absolutely not. Last I checked, there is no perfect team in the NFL.

Nice post and I particularly liked the last line.

I can understand why we did not address DL lately. Our starting 3 were studs.. our 4th "starter" was versatile and good (RJF).. and our starters kept in suchy good condition that it wasn't all that necessary to pull them off the field much. In hindsight, and with Dobbs and Justin getting injured... sure, we can cry now and point fingers at the F/O.

Anyway and like you stated... we have lots of draft firepower.. and I think we bring in a couple solid DL along with re-signing either Sopo or RJF. We'll be fine on the DL.

And there seems to be this notion that the 49ers are somehow desperate on the DL now and that they MUST go DL in round 1. I call hogwash! Next year, you are looking at a DLine that will include Justin Smith, Soap (he will re-sign), and RacMac. Oooooohhhh, that is so terrible. No. At a minimum they should address depth on the Dline, but it is by no means some catastrophe waiting to happen. For example, if Alabama C/G Barrett Jones falls why the hell wouldn't we take him? How about a corner? Another WR? This team has options and yes, one of those options is to address DL depth in round 1.
[ Edited by bzborow1 on Jan 8, 2013 at 7:42 AM ]
Originally posted by bzborow1:
And there seems to be this notion that the 49ers are somehow desperate on the DL now and that they MUST go DL in round 1. I call hogwash! Next year, you are looking at a DLine that will include Justin Smith, Soap (he will re-sign), and RacMac. Oooooohhhh, that is so terrible. No. At a minimum they should address depth on the Dline, but it is by no means some catastrophe waiting to happen. For example, if Alabama C/G Barrett Jones falls why the hell wouldn't we take him? How about a corner? Another WR? This team has options and yes, one of those options is to address DL depth in round 1.

Also + 1 to this. I really feel that Tomsula is an elite DL coach, and can work with "less" than a 1st rd DL, if that happens to be the case.

Drafting Barrett (to me) is contingent on our plans for Goodwin and how the feeling is on Kilgore's development at C. Still.. no complaints if we add a tough and versatile OL like Jones, if he is BPA.
I think the point of the OP is that our Dline is getting older faster than any other group. I would say it is a position we should be drafting high and often. We are set for the near future at LB. We are set for the near future on the OL, QB, RB etc. I still say we draft best players available at this point, if they can make the team. I would certainly like us to go Dline in the next draft. If we can find another impact player at DT that would be awesome. We probably need to get another NG as a matter of course. Not to rank order but I say our top draft needs are DL, WR, RB. RB is probably#3 but we need to find a guy who can go all downs between the tackles. I love LMJ and Hunter but they are best suited for what it is we have them doing as change the pace backs. We need a Gore/Lynch/Jackson every down workhorse to keep this team moving down the road. We seem to be good at scouting and finding running backs so I'm not worried. I say we also do a good job of scouting and finding D-lineman so I'm not worried there. I wish we were as good at evaluating wideouts as we are with other skill positions. We never seem to find those complimentary recievers in the draft. Crabtree was a "can't miss" prospect who took time to develop. Nobody else has been more than a role player.
Originally posted by maxsmart:
I'm talking about a 3-down 3-4 DE who can stop the run and also rush the passer. ~300-315 lbs. Similar to Ray McDonald and Justin Smith who stay on the field even against the nickel because they can rush the passer; guys like Derek Wolfe, Kendall Reyes.

You didn't specifically say a five technique Defensive Tackle until now. You said he didn't draft any Dlinemen the last 3 years which is wrong.
What is lost in this D-Line talk is where we would be right now if we did not draft AJ Jenkins and LeMichael James. Say we had Derek Wolf or Kendall Reyes, where would we be at receiver going into this playoff game? As another person stated, no team is perfect. We'd be ok at defense, but would be in a poor spot on offense. Frank Gore would probably be completely out of gas because he would have no one to spell him after Kendall Hunter got hurt. We'd be rolling with Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss receiver, which does look a lot better than what we had last year. But we'd also have to make a Brett Swain type of signing.

Also, if AJ Jenkins somehow has a productive game this Saturday, all of this is moot. The ONLY reason there is space to debate this is because AJ Jenkins appears to be a wasted pick. However, whether he has a productive game or not (he could get 10 passes thrown his way and drop all 10 for all I care), I won't disagree with Baalke's decision to take a receiver in the first round (I never liked the AJ Jenkins pick, but I do understand at least picking a receiver). The LeMichael James pick surprised me, but I was glad it happened at the time, and I'm happy looking back at it now considering that Kendall Hunter went down.

Regardless, now that defensive line is the number 1 priority, I'm sure we will address it early and often this year. Similar to how it appeared that we went overkill on receiver and running back last offseason.
What is lost in this D-Line talk is where we would be right now if we did not draft AJ Jenkins and LeMichael James. Say we had Derek Wolf or Kendall Reyes, where would we be at receiver going into this playoff game? As another person stated, no team is perfect. We'd be ok at defense, but would be in a poor spot on offense. Frank Gore would probably be completely out of gas because he would have no one to spell him after Kendall Hunter got hurt. We'd be rolling with Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss receiver, which does look a lot better than what we had last year. But we'd also have to make a Brett Swain type of signing.


Also, if AJ Jenkins somehow has a productive game this Saturday, all of this is moot. The ONLY reason there is space to debate this is because AJ Jenkins appears to be a wasted pick. However, whether he has a productive game or not (he could get 10 passes thrown his way and drop all 10 for all I care), I won't disagree with Baalke's decision to take a receiver in the first round (I never liked the AJ Jenkins pick, but I do understand at least picking a receiver). The LeMichael James pick surprised me, but I was glad it happened at the time, and I'm happy looking back at it now considering that Kendall Hunter went down.


Regardless, now that defensive line is the number 1 priority, I'm sure we will address it early and often this year. Similar to how it appeared that we went overkill on receiver and running back last offseason.
Yeah if Jenkins steps up this game, which he'll need to do in order for us to win its all good. If we didn't have Jenkins this would be almost the same type of receiving corps we had last year in the playoffs. Which as we saw, may have been good enough for us to win, but it didn't happen. Even though we have seen nothing from Jenkins, I feel alot more comfortable with him as our third wr compared to Hastings last year.