Let me start out by saying no mentioning the idea of Clements moving to Safety. Sing said he wants Nate back as a Cornerback. Yeah, coaches don't always tell the truth or have a way of not entirely divulging what exactly they mean by a particular comment...but let's just not go there for the time being.
That being said, I think we have a real issue at Safety. Mark Roman is not loved by anyone amongst 49ers fans at least. Perhaps he was just always at the wrong place at the right time, or would that be the other way around? Anyways my point being we'll forever remember plays like the final one that ended the Vikings game in 2009.
So what to do? Assuming Roman is gone that leaves us with Curtis Taylor, Reggie Smith, Dashon Goldson and Michael Lewis. Lewis turns 30, ironically, right around the 2010 draft in April. He's a guided missile but nearly useless in pass coverage. In fact, he comes into the box as a second LB in Nickel situations.
Goldson is starting to get the Safety position though arguably he may be better suited to play SS unless he continues to grow in his coverage abilities.
That leaves us with two young players in Taylor and Smith. Smith seemed to be doing well last off-season before he was sidelined with a nagging groin injury that kept him out of the lineup well into the regular season. He finished the season with zeo stats on defense. Reggie Smith plays the Free Safety position currently when healthy.
Taylor was injured and placed on IR mid-to-late 2009 season and I've heard from some that he "projects to be on someone's practice squad" in the near future. I'm not even entirely sure if he would play Free or Strong Safety were he healthy, though I'd assume FS.
So here we sit with potentially no backup SS to our aging, concussion prone Michael Lewis. Add to that we have a young Dashon Goldson who, while showing promise, has no real proven backup either.
I think that all of this points to Safety being a very real need in the off-season. I don't think we can afford to mess around with the position and simply add more young guys "for depth" who cannot make an immediate impact if needed. I honestly feel that by the second round we need to come away with a solid safety prospect and possibly also acquire one in FA or via trade.
If it was a later round decision, I like the Myron Rolle idea. But then I think to myself, "you're talking about a late round guy...Can he really contribute right away?" The reason I think he could is that he's motivated and he's smart.
So NN, thoughts?