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Who do Niners target at DL?

Who do Niners target at DL?

Assuming that Balke has the option to choose one of these DL at their pick without trading up, who do they take?

Jesse Williams: raw strength and experience in both the NT and 3/4 DE, but will likely be picked. Many experts state that he is still raw and needs time to develop. With the Niners, he could compete for a starting job, but also provide valuable depth.

Short: seems to be more of a 4/3 DT to me. He looks great on the interior as a penetrating one-gap DT, but can he transition to the 3/4 DE?

Brandon Williams: many have him ranked in the 2nd or 3rd round, but I don't believe he'll fall that far. Drafting for need is always very risky, and rarely returns good value, but BW seems to be a talented player at the position the Niners need. Maybe the best case scenario is to trade up in the 2nd to get him?

Sylvester Williams: he has the measurables, but does he have the motor and consistency? I think the Niners could wait on him till the second.

Datone Jones: certainly created a lot of buzz and vindication for fans who talked him up. At well below 300 lbs, is he the 2nd coming of the Cowboy? He may be my favorite pure DE.

Margus: I wouldn't touch this guy with a 10 foot pole.
[ Edited by Butter on Jan 27, 2013 at 1:44 AM ]
Margus Hunt looked really bad at the Senior bowl all week. He may turn out fine but he's a major project and I wouldn't touch him at all in the first 2 rounds.
Kawann Short.
All good names, though I'd rather not go Hunt or Sly W unless we are talking well after rd 1.

You are missing Sharrif Floyd on your list though.
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
All good names, though I'd rather not go Hunt or Sly W unless we are talking well after rd 1.

You are missing Sharrif Floyd on your list though.

I assumed that he'd be gone before the Niners pick. Of course its very likely that Jesse Williams will be gone as well.
Take Jones in the first.
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
All good names, though I'd rather not go Hunt or Sly W unless we are talking well after rd 1.

You are missing Sharrif Floyd on your list though.

Yep and he'd be my top choice over anyone on that poll.
Short is best playing inside as a 4-3 DT, its a natural fit for him, forcing him to play on the outside will result in markedly worse performance.

Floyd lacks pass rush ability, his next pass rush move will be his first. On the outside, his ceiling is basically Ray McDonald. I see him playing inside in a 4-3 system as well.

Hunt is incredibly raw, tremendous potential but he's got a lot of work to do and for a guy who is 26 years old already, that is far from optimal.


Datone Jones and Brandon Williams. Both have a good mix of pass rushing and the ability to stop the run, both are athletic, have good feet and explosion, Jones in the 1st and Williams in the 2nd would go a long way towards shoring up this team's defensive line deficiencies.

Jones is the closest thing to a prototypical 3-4 DE that will be available when the 49ers pick. He's somewhat undersized but he could reasonably add another 10 pounds or so. He would be a nice addition as a backup that could rotate in during his rookie season.

Williams is a nice guy to develop at NT, he has the size, surprising athleticism for his size and could take over as a starter in the near future.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Jan 27, 2013 at 6:26 PM ]
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Short is best playing inside as a 4-3 DT, its a natural fit for him, forcing him to play on the outside will result in markedly worse performance.

Floyd lacks pass rush ability, his next pass rush move will be his first. On the outside, his ceiling is basically Ray McDonald. I see him playing inside in a 4-3 system as well.

Hunt is incredibly raw, tremendous potential but he's got a lot of work to do and for a guy who is 26 years old already, that is far from optimal.


Datone Jones and Brandon Williams. Both have a good mix of pass rushing and the ability to stop the run, both are athletic, have good feet and explosion, Jones in the 1st and Williams in the 2nd would go a long way towards shoring up this team's defensive line deficiencies.

Jones and WIlliams with the first 2 picks would be sweet. I just want the team to address the Defense early and often.
Unless J. Smith retires and/or Soap leaves, Niners should not go DL with the first pick. The higher need is WR or CB. The amount of time a rookie DL would get next year would not justify a first round pick.
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
Jones and WIlliams with the first 2 picks would be sweet. I just want the team to address the Defense early and often.

That's one thing we can agree on. I was highly impressed by Jones, especially with his added weight, he has very surprising quickness, and I love his pass rush ability. One of the factors that has soured me on some of the other prospects is that they generally aren't very good pass-rushers. Jones doesn't have that problem and he displayed a variety of pass rush moves as well. I'd be very content with the 49ers taking him with the first pick.

If Williams were to be available in the 2nd round, then that would be huge. He answered a lot of questions about his ability to deal with higher level competition and performed well overall at the Senior Bowl.
Originally posted by Paul_Hofer:
Unless J. Smith retires and/or Soap leaves, Niners should not go DL with the first pick. The higher need is WR or CB. The amount of time a rookie DL would get next year would not justify a first round pick.

Meh.....I disagree completely. This team is helpless without Justin Smith and proved it this year, rather than hoping and praying that he doesn't get injured again as he gets older, they should do something to prepare.

In regards to Soap, his play has been nothing short of mediocre this year, PFF ranks him as one of the 3 worst NT's in the NFL. He has not impressed and him getting shutdown by a single blocker repeatedly has gotten old.

Sooner or later they need to upgrade the DL, might as well be this year. As far as CB, the team has 3 capable CB's and can easily add more depth in the 3rd or 4th round, without a proper DL and a proper pass rush, it doesn't matter how many cornerbacks you have, you're going to get beat.
I understand your point. But the injury angle could be applied to several players, Kaep, Crabtree, VD, Aldon Smith. It's not a good basis for a first round pick. Can the Niners afford to have a second consecutive first round pick not play a prominent role in his rookie season?

If Soap leaves, by all means replace him with a first rounder. But he played little this year. McDonald played the middle in the majority of plays this year.

The Niners have one of the best front seven already. What they lack is a #2 WR. Also, "capable" CBs are not sufficient. We need one shut-down CB. At the very least we need another frontline CB. Their work in the playoffs has been lacking particularly early in games.
[ Edited by Paul_Hofer on Jan 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM ]
Originally posted by Paul_Hofer:
Unless J. Smith retires and/or Soap leaves, Niners should not go DL with the first pick. The higher need is WR or CB. The amount of time a rookie DL would get next year would not justify a first round pick.

I could not disagree more. As you could see when Justin Smith went down the Niners had very little depth. Keeping both Smith and McDonald fresh and having a stud rotate in would be huge. Getting a young NT would also be big.

I think there are going to be some very good WR and CBs in round 3 for the Niners.
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I would prefer to trade up.