The NB9ers team decided to play GM and decide which three free agents and which three draft prospects would help propel the 49ers into the playoffs, maybe even beyond! Here are our choices, be sure to follow us at @Nothingbut9ers and individually!
Josh Kline, OG – There are several question marks over the interior of the 49ers’ offensive line, and with Quenton Nelson likely off the board when the 49ers are picking, they should seriously look at upgrading the guard spot in free agency. Andrew Norwell is the hot name at the guard spot, but not only does he not fit the physical profile of what the 49ers look for at the guard spot, he will likely have a gaggle of teams competing for his services. Despite the 49ers’ cap wealth, they should play this situation smart, as they did with Brandon Fusco last season. Josh Kline fits the physical profile of guards that the 49ers are looking for and has been consistently good on the inside of the Titans offensive line. He has excelled as a pass blocker, and though his run blocking has been more inconsistent that could certainly be a result of operating in a power scheme at a smaller size. Transferring to the 49ers’ zone scheme could help Kline improve further.
Pierre Desir, CB – Desir struggled to make the transition from small school prospect to NFL star, but given he spent his opening two NFL seasons as a Cleveland Brown, that’s hardly a surprise and likely stunted his development considerably. Since being waived by the Browns, he has spent time with the Chargers and the Seahawks, before settling a little more in Indianapolis this past season and becoming a starter. Desir had his best year as an NFL player in Indianapolis and has the physical tools, in addition to growing coverage chops and a willingness to mix it up in the run game to be a low risk, high reward pick up for the 49ers.
Eric Reid, SS/LB – Yes this is more of a re-signing, but I expect Reid to test the market. However, Reid is a smart guy, and unless he gets the starting gig in Seattle if Kam Chancellor retires, he might be wise to consider returning for just another year to boost his stock in a scheme that really suits him. He wouldn’t play all the snaps – Reid is not the transcendent safety that his rival to start Jaquiski Tartt is. But he would play around 70% of snaps as a nickel and dime linebacker, where he could fully utilise his strengths as a coverage player in the curl flats and hook zone areas of the field. The 49ers could even pay him starter money for one season. Success for Reid next season in that role could see him parlay one year of patience into starter money and a starting job somewhere else, as a strong safety or linebacker. Right now, his protest coupled with his slightly limited skillset and injury history may damage his market value. Another solid, injury free season could do wonders for his stock around the league.
1st Round: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, Texas – San Antonio – The USTA rusher is, simply put, an absolute monster. Standing at 6’6 and weighing around 260lbs, Davenport certainly impresses walking off the bus. But it’s on the field where he has earned the chance to be selected as a top ten talent. To quote former NFL personnel man Bryan Broaddus, “[… ]Small school guys better walk on water if you draft them high. This guy crosses the ocean.”
Davenport is a rarity in that he should be quite capable of coming in and being an every down edge defender as a rookie, particularly at a team like the 49ers who play with a weak side defensive end. Davenport has the physical tools to dominate offensive linemen, with the long arms and power to keep linemen off him in the running game or to bull rush or long arm them as a rusher – dangerous tools alone. When you combine this with his simply ridiculous ability to bend the edge at his height, as well as contribute as a rusher across the defensive line, you truly have a prospect. The 49ers didn’t ought to have a problem getting off the field on third downs or in two minute drills with Davenport in the team.
2nd Round: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas – With Daniel Kilgore having an appalling year, the 49ers go out and draft his replacement in centre Frank Ragnow. Ragnow brings some versatility along the interior in that he can also play guard, but in San Francisco he’ll be the centre tasked with adding greater solidarity as an interior pass blocker as well as being able to generate movement in the ground game. Alongside the returning Joshua Garnett, Ragnow will give the interior of the 49ers’ offensive line a youthful makeover that packs a serious, mobile punch. Defensive players, beware.
3rd Round: DJ Chark, WR, Louisiana State – Chark shone at the Senior Bowl, flashing deep speed, good hands and the route running ability to suggest he could be extremely productive when transplanted from LSU’s run first offensive scheme into Kyle Shanahan’s contribution to the New Testament. He certainly needs to develop more from a route precision perspective, but where better than behind veterans Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin? Chark instantly becomes the 49ers’ biggest receiver, and there wont be instant expectations on him to start immediately. The Bay is the ideal landing spot for Chark.
3rd Round: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State – Penny arguably should have gone far deeper in the Heisman voting and showed in college that he has the vision and discipline as a runner, pass catching ability to line up at multiple spots on offense and also the special teams capabilities to be an excellent value pick here. Penny should excel in the 49ers’ zone scheme.
Allen Robinson, WR – At only 24 years old, Robinson could be the boost and flash this group needs to become one of the best in the NFL. His injury history will allow the 49ers to overpay him in comparison to the rest of the league, but still get a bargain nonetheless.
Kyle Fuller, CB – The 49ers may have seemed to find their number 1 CB in Ahkello Witherspoon, but if this team cannot generate consistent pass rush, they will need more help on the outside. INSERT Kyle Fuller. This will likely be the most expensive player the 49ers acquire this off season.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE – THERE IT IS!!! Lawrence is the piece that could propel this defense into the top 5 of the NFL! Who disagrees?
(Even though it wasn’t asked for) Le’Veon Bell, RB – With his explosiveness AND MORE IMPORTANTLY his patience, Bell could be the missing piece this team needs to stop the fans from calling for Saquon Barkley.
1st Round: Quenton Nelson, OG, Norte Dame – I don’t need to explain this pick.
2nd Round: Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson – Clemson has been a breeding ground for aggressive Defensive ends and this year is no different. Austin Bryant spent much of his time in the shadows of his counter DE Clelin Ferrell but I think thats exactly the motivation he needs! Finishing last season with 7.5 sacks and 14.5 TFL, I think Bryant can provide the spark this defense needs.
3rd Round: Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss – This young man is everything you look for in a young corner. Is coachable and has all the physical traits. Since Ole Miss went under the radar, a lot of people have overlooked him. Expect him to shine and the combine and shoot up people’s draft boards. *Suffered ACL tear in 2016 but bounced back nicely in 2017 If not for that injury, Webster would be a late 1st, early 2nd round guy*
3rd Round: Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA – This may be a little high for Wilson based on other’s opinions, but this just shows how much I like him! 15 Rec 208 yards against A&M! This game basically displayed the kind of threat Wilson could be! One of the best comebacks in NCAA (in 2017) *YOU SHOULD CHECK Him OUT!* Down 44-10, the Bruins came marching back and Wilson was the main reason. A foot injury that ended his season will likely push him down draft boards also, but he could be deadly in this Shanahan system.
Ziggy Ansah, DE – DeMarcus Lawrence most likely isn’t hitting free agency. The 49ers biggest need in my opinion is pass rush. Ansah had 12 sacks with the Lions this season nearly doubling the 49ers leader. Would be a great add on that strong defensive line
Kyle Fuller, CB – Another spot where the 49ers desperately need help. Fuller is young (25) and just hitting his prime. He only had 2 picks, but 22 pass break ups on the year. Him and Witherspoon would be great on the outside while Williams and Ward can play the slot.
Allen Robinson, WR – Not the 49ers biggest need, but the do need a red zone threat. They struggled in the red zone this year with Jimmy and could really us a big WR for those jump balls. Robinson is 6′ 3″ and would the biggest WR on the roster. He had 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns just 2 years ago. Coming off an injury, they might be able to get him cheap on a 1 year prove it deal.
1st Round: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State – Really wanted to go Quenton Nelson here, but I don’t think he makes it to the 49ers at 9. With the QBs coming out and so many needy teams, I think it gives Barkley a chance to fall. Bobby Turner usually goes with a late round guy and makes them a star, but you can’t pass on Barkley talent. Imagine what they can do with him in this offense.
2nd Round: Braden Smith, OT, Auburn – Tackle out of Auburn. I actually think the Niners trade up here in the 2nd to grab him. They can start him out at guard which is where he played his sophomore year and got second team all-sec. You can move him out to tackle when Staley is ready to hang them up where he was 2x first team all-sec tackle.
3rd Round: Mason Cole, C, Michigan – A center out of Michigan. The 49ers need help at the inside of their line. Cole brings that. He’s. 2x second team All-Big Ten center the last 2 years. He can come in and compete right away for the starting center position.
3rd Round: Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford – You can never have too many corner backs in the NFL. He fits the Saleh mold in a corner. He’s 6’2, which is what the Niners like — big corner backs. He had two picks this season, and overall he might be a little raw, but an investment in Meeks now could pay off big in the future.
Mike Persons, C – Revamping that interior offensive line will be key this season. Signing the 29 year old center/guard from the Colts would be an immediate upgrade over Kilgore.
Ezekiel Ansah, Edge – Ansah may come with a high price tag but the 49ers lacked any real edge-rusher. With a stout base defensive line VS the run, a fresh-legged Ansah coming in for passing situations will be key to getting the defense off of the field.
Demario Davis, ILB – Inside linebacker isn’t a huge need, but with the injuries the 49ers have had at the position over the last two seasons, it would be nice to add the eighth-best linebacker in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Plug in a guy like Davis and the 49ers are geared up for their playoff run.
1st Round: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame – Do you want a decent or dominating offensive line? If dominating is your answer like it is mine, you take Nelson here. Stout in run and pass-blocking.
2nd Round: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado – Along with the interior line, cornerback was the teams biggest issue. Outside of Witherspoon, the 49ers don’t have a CB worthy of touching the field. Oliver out of Colorado, like Witherspoon, adds size, speed, technique (and unlike Dontae Johnson) has the ability to play the ball very well in the air.
3rd Round: Ronald Jones, RB, Souhtern California – With the likely departure of Carlos Hyde to free agency, Ronald Jones dropping to the third round would make a great addition to the 49ers. Explosive and experienced in the outside-zone, Jones truly is a big play threat every time he touches the ball.
3rd Round: Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma St. – With the lack of size in the receiving room and no big red zone threat, a 6’4, 220LBS receiver can be intriguing. Not only can Ateman catch jump balls but in the open field he is just as good as well. For his size he has good routes; he does a good job of dropping his hips on comebacks, possesses good field and does a great job shielding off defensive backs and catching the ball away from his body.
Trumaine Johnson, CB – The #1 ranked press cornerback from last season is one of the most physical corners in the NFL. Johnson would become an instant starter and would help tighten up the 49ers leaky secondary, which definitely needs a veteran presence.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE – The 49ers will likely miss out on my favorite free agent Demarcus Lawrence as he’s likely to re-sign with Dallas or get slapped with the franchise tag. Ansah would be a excellent consolation prize and would help fill one of the teams biggest needs — rushing the quarterback..
Jerick McKinnon, RB – With Hyde likely gone, the 49ers can add in the relatively young (25 YO) McKinnon, who is an incredibly shifty runner, a reliable pass-catcher, and can also bring in special teams expertise. Brieda, McKinnon and Joe Williams could be lethal trio of running backs in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
1st Round: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech – After missing out on higher rated prospects (Nelson/Chubb) the John Lynch and the 49ers are still able to hit a homerun with Edmunds. He is an athletic freak who is a youngster (19 YO) that is still growing into his frame, which makes his potential way too much to pass on. Even though the SAM LB isn’t viewed as a top position to draft in the first round, I would make an exception for him, as he would make an dynamic duo when paired with Reuben Foster. The two could terrorize the league for the next decade a la Willis and Bowman.
2nd Round: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia – After missing out on Nelson, the Niners draft Wynn, who is an extremely talented guard prospect in his own right and is an absolute beast when finishing off blocks. He is climbing up boards fast and could be a instant starter on the line, especially if Joshua Garnett doesn’t bounce back. He also has experience at tackle which will be appealing in case of an injury and they needed to kick him outside. I expect that the team will add another vet C/G in free agency like Richburg/Josh Kline to add even more depth, experience and talent to the offensive line. Wynn would be a huge upgrade in the offensive line.
3rd Round: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State – After a stellar 2016 season, McFadden had a disappointing 2017 campaign which could make him fall a little bit. At one point he was viewed as a first-rounder and could be wishful thinking on my end, but if he is still available I think the Niners should race to the podium to select him. He has the size and length that the 49ers are looking for and would make a solid tandem with Witherspoon.
3rd Round: D.J. Chark, WR, Louisiana State – Chark would be a slam dunk pick if he is still there at this selection. Even though he didn’t have eye-popping numbers while in the run heavy offense at LSU, he will have a much more productive career at the next level. He adds tremendous size (which the current 49ers receiving corps is desperately missing) would be a ideal redzone threat, plus he has the speed to take the top off of a defense.
Richard Sherman, CB – Cornerback is one area where the 49ers should target a veteran this offseason. Ahkello Witherspoon is developing nicely but he needs someone that has more experience at the position and in this scheme to guide him. This won’t be well received, but Richard Sherman (if he’s released by Seattle and checks out as being healthy) may be worth investing in. A long, tough, press corner that has swagger and a winners-mentality will help improve the 49ers defensive backfield. He has played in this scheme his entire pro career and will pass on vital information to the young defense, which can help push them over the top. Rivalry and dislike for the Seahawks aside, this seems like a good move.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE – A dominant edge rusher when healthy; the 49ers need to sack the opposing quarterback more often, and Ansah would go a long way to helping in this regard. His power and relentless pursuit will fit right in with this 49ers defensive line lead by DeForest Buckner. A dime package of Buckner, Ansah, Thomas, and Dumerville will terrify any team. Generating consistent pressure upfront would help elevate the play of the entire defense.
Trent Murphy. OLB – Coming off his best season where he had nine sacks, Murphy would be a part of rotation on the defensive line in San Francisco. My thinking is along the lines of what the Philadelphia Eagles just did in the Super Bowl — have such great depth on your defensive line that you don’t lose a much quality when you make substitutions. Your premiere rushers will be fresh all the way through the fourth quarter. Murphy is on the younger side (27 YO) and has the size (6’6, 260 LBS) to play LEO or linebacker. This versatility would be a blessing and give Robert Saleh another weapon. My focus would be on solidifying the lines — which is the hallmark of any good team that has intentions to make a significant post-season run
1st Round: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame – In this draft I would focus on improving the offensive line by selecting the most dominant prospect Quenton Nelson in round one. He will bring physicality and power to an underwhelming run game. He combines athleticism and power majestically which makes him scheme versatile.
2nd Round: Billy Price, C, Ohio State – Daniel Kilgore is an average center who struggles with powerful rushers. More importantly, he does not really excel in any one area. He can be upgraded and it’s critical that we find a good conductor to anchor the offensive line this off-season like Kyle Shanahan did in Atlanta with Alex Mack. Price would bring versatility, athleticism and a nasty edge upfront which is much needed to protect our franchise quarterback.
3rd Round: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame – St. Brown is a big-bodied receiver who has the potential to develop into a complete wideout in the NFL. A redzone threat with his ability to play the football high, St.Brown would immediately become a weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo. If he improves his route-running and concentration, his impact can help this offense improve their redzone efficiency, which was one area that needed major work.