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State of the Team, Roster Analysis, & Needs

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BOTTOM LINE REVISED

That every single block of text you wrote doesn't mean jack s**t if we start each and every season injured this much from top to bottom!
Awesome job OTC.

I'd only add SS given that Tartt can never stay healthy either. Exum is solid for now.

Also, it's actually Juice who's stuck in for added pass protection the most (but Kittle, Morris, Breida, etc. also have to help too). We see what kind of weapon Juice can be as that #2 TE, so-to-speak. But like you said, add more premier talent inside the OL and with much better pass protection as a unit with just the 5, now all of your skill positions can get out in routes giving your QB many more options and not have to "hold on to the ball too long."

The issue, is that many of these holes could have been filled this last off season and through trade. And the 2019 FA class looks very poor for our same team needs (same ones going into 2018). I don't know how this regime can fix all of those needs no matter how aggressive they are. And they certainly can't address them all in the draft.

At this stage, we're looking for premier players at the key positions to elevate the entire unit...not just "starters."
[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 11, 2018 at 6:47 AM ]
Wow OTC - outstanding (you should write for this site if you're not doing so already).

If I could just focus in on RB for a sec...

We still don't have the bruiser with some speed we need on this offense. This team needs a back that can bounce outside, but also durable enough to get through a 15 game stretch while sharing the load with McKinnon. In essence, Kyle needs the 2012 - 2014 version of Alfred Morris from the draft. I think Breida is great, but I completely agree - frame and style are a bit misaligned. The miss on Joe Williams really hurt depth here.
[ Edited by NinerGM on Oct 11, 2018 at 6:59 AM ]
Originally posted by defenderDX:
BOTTOM LINE REVISED

That every single block of text you wrote doesn't mean jack s**t if we start each and every season injured this much from top to bottom!

Bingo.

We've GOT to break this effing curse.
  • GEEK
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 18,447
Nice post and stout analysis. Agree on most fronts. We need a #1 WR - not necessarily a red zone WR. We need a new TO, Antonio Brown, Diggs type receiver to draw attention. We've been lacking that type of player for 15 years now.

Some FA options to keep an eye on for your positional needs:

Pass Rush: Ziggy Ansah, D-Law (likely to be franchised), Dante Fowler, Clay Matthews, Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark, Shane Ray, Dee Ford

Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Quincy Enunwa, Golden Tate, Tyrell Williams, Devin Funchess

Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, LaMarcus Joyner, Landon Collins, Haha Clinton-Dix, Kareem Jackson

Guard: John Greco, Mike Person, Mitch Morse, Billy Turner, Matt Paradis, Andy Levitre, Chance Warmack, Max Garcia

SAM/LB: C.J. Mosley, Shaquill Barrett, Anthony Barr, Vincent Ray, K.J. Wright, Preston Brown - along with the Pass Rush folks mentioned above.

Running Back: Le'Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, T.J. Yeldon, Rod Smith, Ty Montgomery

Tackle: Cam Fleming, Jake Fisher, Seantrel Henderson, T.J. Clemmings

Tight End: Jesse James, Geoff Swaim, Maxx Williams, C.J. Uzomah
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by defenderDX:
BOTTOM LINE REVISED

That every single block of text you wrote doesn't mean jack s**t if we start each and every season injured this much from top to bottom!

Bingo.

We've GOT to break this effing curse.

it's why these kinds of threads just fall on deaf ears for me. i have 0 expectations now and will going into each and every season until shown otherwise. because everything we build or acquire doesn't mean jack s**t if we can't stay healthy. so theres no point in getting all wrapped up in "needs" or "holes" or "strengths". none of it f**king matters if we are constantly snake-bitten to start every year. just so over it
[ Edited by defenderDX on Oct 11, 2018 at 7:07 AM ]
Wonderful write-up. But injuries. Team tank!!
Originally posted by GEEK:
Nice post and stout analysis. Agree on most fronts. We need a #1 WR - not necessarily a red zone WR. We need a new TO, Antonio Brown, Diggs type receiver to draw attention. We've been lacking that type of player for 15 years now.

Some FA options to keep an eye on for your positional needs:

Pass Rush: Ziggy Ansah, D-Law (likely to be franchised), Dante Fowler, Clay Matthews, Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark, Shane Ray, Dee Ford

Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Quincy Enunwa, Golden Tate, Tyrell Williams, Devin Funchess

Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, LaMarcus Joyner, Landon Collins, Haha Clinton-Dix, Kareem Jackson

Guard: John Greco, Mike Person, Mitch Morse, Billy Turner, Matt Paradis, Andy Levitre, Chance Warmack, Max Garcia

SAM/LB: C.J. Mosley, Shaquill Barrett, Anthony Barr, Vincent Ray, K.J. Wright, Preston Brown - along with the Pass Rush folks mentioned above.

Running Back: Le'Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, T.J. Yeldon, Rod Smith, Ty Montgomery

Tackle: Cam Fleming, Jake Fisher, Seantrel Henderson, T.J. Clemmings

Tight End: Jesse James, Geoff Swaim, Maxx Williams, C.J. Uzomah

^ Thanks for the list!
Originally posted by defenderDX:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by defenderDX:
BOTTOM LINE REVISED

That every single block of text you wrote doesn't mean jack s**t if we start each and every season injured this much from top to bottom!

Bingo.

We've GOT to break this effing curse.

it's why these kinds of threads just fall on deaf ears for me. i have 0 expectations now and will going into each and every season until shown otherwise. because everything we build or acquire doesn't mean jack s**t if we can't stay healthy. so theres no point in getting all wrapped up in "needs" or "holes" or "strengths". none of it f**king matters if we are constantly snake-bitten to start every year. just so over it

With "trends" like these, the organization has to start asking itself why so many injuries and is there something that can be done to get and keep guys on the field.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
STATE OF THE TEAM

The Negative: It's abundantly clear we have a lot more holes on the roster than many would've liked to admit going into the season. Of course, some voids -- such as a pass rusher -- we all knew was an issue dating back to last season. It would've been nice for us to use capital towards certain areas but understandably, the team had to evaluate its roster in year one and it wasn't going to be able to address everything after that in this recent off-season.

The Positive: One strong off-season to start 2019 could definitely put us on the path towards the playoffs, and a silver lining is that the hype and media frenzy should be far less than it was going into the year. I hated the expectations put on us because we had potential, but it was going to take some luck for us to do some real damage considering the issues we still had. Even though we are unlikely to finish with a good record still this year, we should still end up with a decently high pick to acquire a lot more talent. Plus, I think this is the year we finally use our cap space we carry over to add difference-making players. Our coaches and FO have seen with their own eyes what we lack and these guys do know football and have already picked up some talented players. That said, I personally do trust that we'll overcome the obstacles and get back on track.

Summary statement: Bottom line is that Lynch and Shanahan were given six year deals for a reason and they're not going anywhere for the next two years at least. They've taken some risks that didn't pan out, but they seem more apt to learn from those situations that our prior regime. Let's hope they do.

ROSTER ANALYSIS

Quarterback
I'm not sure if it was the pressure (boy does that word work in many ways -- media, fans, poor pass blocking from the OL), or just trying to play within the system, but I believe Jimmy is still not at his peak within the Shanahan offense. I felt like he was on the cusp, but we'll have to wait for that to come to fruition. We do have a strong backup in Beathard and we will get to see how he grows throughout this season. He's had just 10 starts to his name and can make all the throws when given the time to do so. Obviously, with barely over half a season of starts, he's going to still be falling short in some areas that often develop with more experience in the NFL. Climbing the pocket, developing that internal clock, and to an extent decision-making all improve over time with most young QBs. So do turnovers. We are good at this position for the foreseeable future.

Running Back
Breida is a star but his physical style at his frame make him a definite injury risk. It's extremely unfortunate McKinnon went down as they would've been a great tandem both healthy. With these health risks, we absolutely need to take a running back next year wherever that player might be a BPA or sign another one. I don't trust Jerrick coming back from an ACL and we need speed to threaten on the edge. Morris is fine inside, but just not the outside threat or pass receiving matchup problem as someone else could be. Honestly, I think we should go three-deep with speed/explosiveness at running back and let Juice be the heavy guy from time to time. I like Jeff Wilson a lot on the practice squad and hope he can show in practices that he deserves to get a shot on the active roster. We'll see what happens this week and beyond.

Receiver
This unit is currently in shambles. Garcon's sticky hands, speed, and durability are all falling off dramatically. Frankly, he doesn't deserve a roster spot next year. Pettis is promising, Taylor is good for using in short, tight spots to move the chains, and Goodwin is our best receiver that makes teams respect us deep. Bourne is solid for a young player but still has a lot of room to improve and has focus drops. Overall, we have no one talented enough to scare teams or anyone with height to challenge teams in the redzone. We need multiple new playmakers and I wouldn't be surprised to see a player or two in this group traded -- Garcon and Taylor seem like prime trade bait for any team willing to bite.

Tight End
Kittle is borderline elite player early on and clearly our most dangerous weapon in the passing game. Get us another tight end who can block and catch like him and teams won't be able to stop us on the seams. Celek is maddeningly inconsistent and has had injury issues in the past. Wick is all blocking, no hands.

O-Line
Staley is still a great player, but not getting any younger. McGlinchey will be considered elite if he continues to build on what has been so far a fantastic season. The interior of our line is still a major issue in the passing game. Person, Richburg, and Tomlinson all excel at run blocking, but are conversely, not as good pass blocking, and the first two guys have struggled with injuries.

D-Line
We need an edge rusher. Two actually. Plain and simple. The interior is stacked with talent between Buckner, Thomas, Day, and Jones, but these guys aren't edge threats and we shouldn't expect them to be. I expect Armstead's large salary to be dumped in the off-season as we let Taylor, Street, and Thomas man the big-end spot and nickel DT positions next season.

Linebackers
Overall, we have a strong unit. Foster and Warner are great. Smith is OK for now, but we could certainly upgrade, and upgrade for cheaper too. Depth is still an issue -- Coyle, Nzeocha, and Lee all struggle to tackle and from what I've seen, the latter two have not done well on special teams either.

Secondary
We have the talent at corner. If Mabin continues to emerge, he may have a "stranglehold on the position" that Saleh has said they wanted to see from the guy opposite Sherman. Witherspoon is talented no doubt, but he has major competition, and that's a good thing. DJ Reed has promise, and Ward should be gone after the season. I don't like that we're using Moore at corner -- frankly, with Mabin's emergence, and Reed's experience there, those guys should be the top 4 corners while he works at his best position -- safety. Colbert has been figured out and should be relegated to backup SS in my opinion. He has range, but doesn't wrap up, guesses in coverage, and just doesn't play with the mental discipline or play recognition ability required in this scheme at his position.

Special Teams
Gould is great, Pinion is above average, and our snapper is fine. Our coverage team however has really fallen off, mainly on punts. We've got to get that corrected.

TOP TEAM NEEDS

1. Pass Rusher (LEO DE)
As mentioned earlier, it is unquestionably our biggest void on the team. We have no one to take double-teams off of Buckner. One on one, he's typically unblockable. We need another player like that on the edge. Thomas can sometimes be like that inside, but he's almost never used there even on passing downs because we're so awful at DE in general.

2. Red Zone Threat (WR)
We absolutely need a jump ball guy with height. Someone who can box out defenders and is considered open whether they're covered or not. Without this type of player, your options are more limited in the RZ. Having this one player opens up things for multiple other guys on offense -- Kittle, Goodwin, and whoever is playing running back all would benefit.

3. Single High Safety (FS)
If we don't ever try Moore at this spot, we'll never know if he can be that guy, but if we insist on having him play CB, we need someone else with the range, discipline, and tackling fundamentals necessary being the last line of defense back there. This, in conjunction with need #1, are what make this Cover 3 system run smoothly.

4. OG
As previously mentioned, everyone on the interior has struggled pass blocking. Garnett hasn't played, but this was never a strength of his either. I still have high hopes for Magnuson, but we definitely need some competition at the RG spot. Person was signed somewhat out of desperation and he's been solid overall, but we have to protect our investment in Jimmy G by surrounding him with players that give him a lot more time to throw. Additionally, a better OL will prevent us from having to keep Kittle in to block so much, which effectively takes away our best playmaker in the passing game currently.

5. SAM Linebacker (OLB)
Smith is currently playing this spot because he's the best we have and most experienced in the scheme. At his current price tag though, there's almost zero chance he returns after this season. We have no one else worthy of starting when he leaves unless Pita were to make major strides, but we should definitely invest in a durable, speedy player who can cover as well as offer some pass rush when asked to do so.

6. RB
We saw how the losses of McKinnon and Breida devastated the team's rushing attack. We also have seen how we can't trust a player coming back from injury to perform as good as they used to (see: Garcon). Yes, McKinnon is young but we still need to be prepared to ensure we have the necessary depth to make a run. Good teams have great depth. We're not there yet at all.

7. LT
I love Staley but he maybe has one or two years left max. McGlinchey is great and would be a fixture at RT for years to come but we need a starter of the future and whether that's through the draft or free agency, we need to find that guy. Plus we badly need to upgrade the depth of talent at OT.

8. TE Depth
Get someone similar to Kittle who has a balance of athleticism and blocking promise to give us a better balance of what we can do up front in 2-TE sets. Celek is actually a decent athlete, but has really struggled to block, leaving the team to take it's top playmaker and keep him blocking due to the failure of the OL to provide adequate time for our QBs to throw.

Final statements: We currently only have five 2019 draft picks to work with (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th), hence why I think we'll move some players in the off-season, but we should have well over 50 million in cap space (probably more, right AB?). With that at our disposal, the time will be right to spend some to make this team a threat next year. Again, we have resources, we just need to use them wisely this next off-season.

If we could sign a free agent edge rusher like Clowney then we either take another edge or a premeir DB. I like the potential of our corners but if there is a great one available maybe we should go in that direction. I like Arcega-Whiteside for a big fast receiver. Jumps well and uses his body to block the DB off the ball. He has 8 TD's this season with 6 in the red zone. He could be had in 2nd or maybe 3rd.

Good s**t. Only thing I disagree with is the CB position. Outside of Sherman I don't like anybody else in our secondary. I would still give Witherspoon time to grow but I just see everybody else as depth players and not NFL caliber starters. Colbert, Exum and Reed I would keep but for back up and special teams. Everybody else can hit the road
Originally posted by ChazBoner:
9ers would get whooped by Alabama right now.

Ridiculous comment. The greatest college team is no match for the worst pro team.
Originally posted by GEEK:
Nice post and stout analysis. Agree on most fronts. We need a #1 WR - not necessarily a red zone WR. We need a new TO, Antonio Brown, Diggs type receiver to draw attention. We've been lacking that type of player for 15 years now.

Some FA options to keep an eye on for your positional needs:

Pass Rush: Ziggy Ansah, D-Law (likely to be franchised), Dante Fowler, Clay Matthews, Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark, Shane Ray, Dee Ford

Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Quincy Enunwa, Golden Tate, Tyrell Williams, Devin Funchess

Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, LaMarcus Joyner, Landon Collins, Haha Clinton-Dix, Kareem Jackson

Guard: John Greco, Mike Person, Mitch Morse, Billy Turner, Matt Paradis, Andy Levitre, Chance Warmack, Max Garcia

SAM/LB: C.J. Mosley, Shaquill Barrett, Anthony Barr, Vincent Ray, K.J. Wright, Preston Brown - along with the Pass Rush folks mentioned above.

Running Back: Le'Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, T.J. Yeldon, Rod Smith, Ty Montgomery

Tackle: Cam Fleming, Jake Fisher, Seantrel Henderson, T.J. Clemmings

Tight End: Jesse James, Geoff Swaim, Maxx Williams, C.J. Uzomah

I hope they can pick up some of the players I bolded. Good list
Great post. Only thing I'd do different is move OT up on the priority list. Maybe flip OG and OT. When we purge the garbage, just bring in a couple veteran FA to fill the void.
Originally posted by defenderDX:
it's why these kinds of threads just fall on deaf ears for me. i have 0 expectations now and will going into each and every season until shown otherwise. because everything we build or acquire doesn't mean jack s**t if we can't stay healthy. so theres no point in getting all wrapped up in "needs" or "holes" or "strengths". none of it f**king matters if we are constantly snake-bitten to start every year. just so over it

I feel you. Breida was a perfect illustration with our frustrations with health. The dude clearly was a huge part of the game plan coming in and he gets rolling and dominating and then BAM, injured. Kyle has to scrap the OZ game plan and now go IZ with Morris. Now BeatHard has to throw 60 times.
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