Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports


Who the 49ers Should Pursue Before the Draft

Matt Andruscavage
Mar 20, 2019 at 9:58 AM


The San Francisco 49ers have spent a chunk of their approximately $67 million in cap space on upgrading a number of key positions in free agency.

Kwon Alexander brings big-play ability to the weak side linebacker position while Dee Ford provides the explosiveness off the edge that the 49ers have desperately needed. Other notable signings include veteran receiver Jordan Matthews, speedy running back Tevin Coleman, cornerback Jason Verrett, and linebacker/special teams player David Mayo.

There is still a month or so until the NFL Draft on April 25th, so the question begs, who else should the 49ers pursue in free agency?

Bryan Witzmann - Guard


Witzmann has bounced around the league and ended up playing in ten games last year for Chicago and starting seven of them. He would add experience and much-needed versatility to the line, as he can also be a swing tackle. With the departure of Garry Gilliam, San Francisco could use a veteran who could challenge either Laken Tomlinson or Mike Person and be a potential swing tackle if he doesn't start.

The downside is that his value may be too high. However, he is still available, which bodes well for a team like the 49ers.

Pursue? Yes, but only if the contract is right.

Quinton Spain - Guard


Spain has 48 starts under his belt during his time with the Tennessee Titans and has shown signs of promise in that time. Though he was benched in Week 13, he could provide needed depth and competition for the 49ers at guard, most notably at left guard.

Spain would likely be a true backup guard and would come cheaper than Witzmann.

Pursue? Yes, if Witzmann is too expensive. San Francisco needs to add veteran depth at guard one way or another, and Spain would definitely fit the bill.

Justin Houston - Outside Linebacker


The 49ers have already improved their pass rush and look to add another edge rusher in the draft, but Justin Houston is more than intriguing. He just turned 30 and had nine sacks and five fumbles forced last season.

The linebacker corps is young and could use a veteran at the SAM position, even if he was a situational pass rusher.

Pursue? YES! Ideally, the 49ers would sign Houston to a two-year deal that would not break the bank. Houston, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and potentially Nick Bosa would be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines.

Derrick Morgan - Outside Linebacker


Morgan is listed as an edge rusher in most "available" free agent listings, but has been a 3-4 outside linebacker as of late. He has been a defensive end, making him versatile in the defensive front seven.

He has been able to have success getting to the quarterback in his nine seasons and led the Titans with 7.5 sacks in 2017. The 49ers could use a SAM linebacker, though it doesn't appear they place a lot of value on that position. Morgan potentially fills that role and could be used in pass rushing situations as well.

Pursue? Only if Houston is not available. It wouldn't be a bad pickup, but Justin Houston would be a better one. If Houston signs elsewhere, Morgan would fill a similar role.

Tre Boston - Free Safety


It is a bit puzzling why Boston is still out there. He would add a veteran presence and experience to a very young group of safeties in San Francisco. While he is not known for his tackling, he has recorded eight interceptions the last two seasons for Arizona.

Pursue? While on paper, it would be acceptable, especially at a modest contract, but it does appear the 49ers may be looking to add a prospect like Nasir Adderly or Johnathan Abram in the second round of this year's draft. Darnell Savage out of Maryland could also be around in the third or fourth round.

A.J. Green - Wide Receiver


Green's name has been thrown around as a possible trade pickup for the 49ers. The argument is that the Bengals may not want to give the 31-year-old Green a lucrative contract after the 2019 season and that he could be had for a future pick.

While this sounds good, the 49ers should hold off, at least for now. They are relatively deep at receiver, though they do not have a true number one that scares defenses. If the 49ers pick a safety in the second round and miss players like N'Keal Harry and Parris Campbell, they should consider trading for Green, despite having Jordan Matthews.

Pursue? Don't consider it until after the draft.

The Bottom Line


The 49ers should try to add Bryan Witzmann and Justin Houston for sure. Tre Boston would also not be a bad pickup, but there appear to be some good prospects in the draft at free safety.

A.J. Green would be an interesting proposition, but it's too soon at this point.

San Francisco will also likely add a corner in the draft, but should also watch for veterans available after the June 1 cuts for another veteran. Hopefully, Jason Verrett pans out, but if not, they need to upgrade the position.
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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