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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2 targets for the 49ers at the trade deadline

Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 31, 2022 at 4:45 PM--

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The NFL trade deadline is officially less than 24 hours away, as teams have until 4:00 PM EST on Tuesday to facilitate moves for the remainder of the 2022 NFL season.

The San Francisco 49ers struck early to improve their roster, trading for star running back Christian McCaffrey in exchange for a multitude of mid-round selections to bolster their inefficient rushing attack.

Now, with the deadline nearby, let's evaluate two potential under-the-radar candidates that San Francisco should at least look to acquire.

1. DL Justin Jones

You might be asking: who?

Well, you probably asked the same question when the 49ers acquired defensive ends Charles Omenihu and Jordan Willis at the trade deadline, but those two have certainly paid off in recent years as rotational defensive linemen.

Chicago Bears defensive lineman Justin Jones could be that similar player for the 49ers in 2022 should he be dealt at the deadline.

Jones, 26, currently ranks in the top 25 in tackles for loss, and is a prototypical interior defensive lineman for coach Kris Kocurek with his quickness and strength at a slighter frame.

Jones has 12 run stops on the year, as well as 10 pressures and an underrated four passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.

Chicago recently traded defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith, and an insider recently reported that they might not be done yet with moves.

Jones currently is in the first year of a two-year, $12 million contract, which could be a contract Chicago looks to unload as they look to revamp the roster with capital for the 2023 NFL draft.

The 49ers would welcome Jones's services, as the veteran has missed just two tackles this season, and would take on minimal salary in 2022, as the defensive tackle's base salary is just $1.05 million.

Jones has no guaranteed money in 2023, so the 49ers have flexibility on what they could do with his $4.9 million cap hit for next season, which could depend on their plans with some of their impending free agents at the position.

Overall, it would be yet another underrated move by John Lynch and Co. to re-establish sufficient depth along the defensive line, which has struggled against the run along the interior since Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw have been out due to injuries.

A player with both pass-rushing and run-stopping potential, Jones would be a nice fit at either defensive tackle position for the 49ers as they look to make a second-half push following the bye week.

2. DL Rasheem Green

The 49ers traded for a Houston Texans pass-rusher at the 2021 NFL trade deadline. Why not swing a similar move just a year later in trading for Rasheem Green?

Green, 25, has been a fairly effective pass-rusher for the Texans opposite veteran Jerry Hughes, accumulating 3.5 sacks in 2022 after a 6.5-sack season in Seattle a year ago.

Green's abilities don't stop at pass rush, however, as the defensive lineman currently has 11 run stops on the year, including a whopping four against the Denver Broncos in Week 1.

With Green on a one-year, $3.25 million deal, the Texans could look to unload their free-agent addition and acquire draft capital to bolster their roster in the offseason.

The 49ers would easily fit Green financially, as the pass-rusher has a base salary of just $1.5 million, and he would be a good addition for Kris Kocurek, given his versatility and quickness that goes with his 6'4, 280-pound frame.

Green currently has a 12.5% pressure rate, making him a potentially underrated pickup for San Francisco.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated that the 49ers feel confident about their current roster, lessening the chances of a trade, but the 49ers could improve their depth at a position of value with either of these two players.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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