Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Given the almost certain departure of either Isaac Sopoaga or Ricky Jean-Francois and the need to draft a DE that can replace Justin Smith in a few seasons, does anyone know what we have in Demarcus Dobbs, Ian Williams, and Will Tukuafu? My thought is that the drop off is that steep considering you see them more on offense than you do on defense.
Hard to outguess Baalke! He has done a great job of keeping people together while dumping less productive players. Examples: Morgan vs Manningham/Moss, Baas vs Goodwin, Spencer vs Rogers, Boone vs Snyder/Rachal, TKO vs Bowman...these were all slightly different situations but they all worked out to strengthen the niners. Dobbs, Williams and Tukuafu are all reasonably inexpensive (dirt cheap?) players who are at least good team players. As Mac says--who knows if they can start?
The key on a team like the 9ers is to have solid players at every position and to be able to replace great players with strength somewhere to balance the loss. For instance, when Justin Smith retires will the team find another Justin? Not likely, but they may be able to upgrade two other front seven spots so the loss isn't quite as disastrous. They are hoping Aldon is the first part of that if he develops into a true super star...then they will need perhaps a NT who can collapse the pocket from the next draft.
Certainly can't complain with what they have accomplished over the past two years!