I obviously want the Niners to lock up Aldon Smith, but with pressing contractual needs on the offensive side of the ball (Kaepernick, Crabtree, and Boldin), I wonder if moving Carradine to OLB is a possibility. Yes, he's thought of as the heir apparent to Justin Smith, but running a 3-4 defense, I think it's easier to find lineman than pass rushers. So, at OLB (in 2015), there would be Brooks, Lemonier, Skuta (re-signed, and potentially Carradine). Here are the D-linemen under contract for 2014 (and beyond, for some):
DT/NT: Ian Williams, Glenn Dorsey, Quinton Dial
DE: Ray McDonald, Justin Smith, Tony Jerod-Eddie
((Practice squad/reserve: Mike Purcell, Lawrence Okoye, Christian Tupou)
Remember, the Niners will only carry 6 DL into the season. Of course Dial or Jerod-Eddie could be upgraded through free agency or the draft, but 6 is basically the roster limit.
Who knows, maybe Carradine's knee doesnt hold up well, or he cant make the transition to OLB from DE, but it may be worth considering. And since this is a message board, definitely worth discussing!