San Francisco 49ers Needs: Pre-Draft
San Francisco 49ers Team Needs
The San Francisco 49ers have had a tumultuous previous year featuring plenty of retirements, firings and hirings. They have done very little through free agency to better themselves since the last time we addressed this topic, so the biggest focus on improving their roster lies in the hands of the 2016 NFL Draft.
1. Interior Offensive Line
The 49ers lost their second best offensive lineman, guard Alex Boone, in free agency, but they do get right tackle Anthony Davis back from “retirement”. Without Davis’ return, this would just be any offensive lineman in general.
Between the group of potential interior starters Ian Silberman, Brandon Thomas, Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin, Zane Beadles and Trent Brown, there is a whole lot to be desired there. Regardless of who will be playing quarterback in San Francisco this season, their identity is almost surely going to be as a power running team – they won’t go far with their current group of linemen.
You could easily make an argument for quarterback being the 49ers’ biggest need, seeing as Colin Kaepernick has his front foot in Denver and the back one barely in the Bay Area. However, Blaine Gabbert would not be the worst option in the world, especially if new head coach Chip Kelly can help Gabbert build off of the solid campaign that he had last season.
The 49ers are in great shape to find their quarterback of the future with the seventh pick in the draft. Nobody knows how the top of the draft is going to change, sending the remainder of the top-10 into a potential tailspin. Teams (San Francisco included) may try to hop closer to the top to select the players that they do not want to miss out on. Could the 49ers do that for rookies Jared Goff or Carson Wentz?
3. Defensive Front Seven
Things are best with the 49ers when they have a tone-setting defensive front seven, and right now, things could use improvement. Lineman Tony Jerrod-Eddie became a free agent, and front-seven players like Glenn Dorsey, Tank Carradine, Corey Lemonier, Gerald Hodges, Michael Wilhoite, Shayne Skov and Ray-Ray Armstrong are all among those due to become free agents following the 2016 season.
The 49ers were able to re-sign nose tackle Ian Williams, which is a start, but they are also still looking for someone to try and fill the shoes of the retired Patrick Willis and Justin Smith as well as edge rusher Aldon Smith.
Jake Arthur is the AFC South Newsdesk Manager, Assistant Director of NFL Content and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. He is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurPFS and @Spot_Colts on Twitter, as well as on Google+ and FanCred.