Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by Butter:
Dial has been mentioned to have some ability to play 0 technique. I think it is much more likely that the Niners now have their DE of the future on both sides. Carradine and Dial could both potentially step in as the 3-4 DE in the future.
I don't think RayMc is anywhere near done. I envision Dial's role to be more like Ricky Jeabbe-Francois, playing both 3-4 DE and NT, whereas the hope is for Tank to be the starter.
As for the rest of the draft class, I really could see Patton leapfrogging AJ Jenkins, even if he shows significant growth this year. Corey Lemonier is probably a key roleplayer, capable of being a starter, but won't simply because of the talent we have at LB.
We have 5-6 guys that could legitimately start, but because of the team, only 2-3 probably will, with the others being very key roleplayers (McDonald, Lemonier).
What a great rotation they will have next year! With young hungry guys coming in to rest J Smith and McD it will give opponents fits when they are forced to pass late in games. Fresh legs in the fourth quarter and also in the playoffs.
I agree about Patton. Everything I've read mentioned his well developed skills getting off the line. Quick, good strength, and a variety of moves is more than we saw with many of the 9ers WRs. Manningham was the only consistent guy getting off the line quickly. Crabtree improved greatly but none of the others proved much. I still like Williams but he will really have some competition for the 3rd and 4th spots.
Boldin, Crabtree, Patton, Jenkins, Williams and Manningham if he comes back healthy. Then there are the also rans Hastings, Moore and Lockette (the new darling of the zone! :).