Author's note: This is a reworked version of my previous installment, Niners team needs part 2. I believe this version of the 49ers projected offseason is much more realistic, both in terms of available budget and in trade frequency and trade fairness. I will also include explanations as to why I made the deals I did, and I promise it won't look like a Madden 10 juggernaut at the end.
Analysis: I think this is a fair trade. If I were the Patriots, I'd take this deal. Balmer could eventually become a replacement for Richard Seymour, and Sopoaga will push Balmer and Ty Warren for a starting role. Balmer is a former 1st rounder who provides immediate pass-rush help for the league's 12th ranked D, while Sopoaga is a proven run stopper who was intstrumental in helping the niners maintain their 3rd ranked run defense. Coffee, meanwhile, provides needed depth for the running game of the Patriots, who probably will release Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor, and Kevin Faulk this offseason. In return, the niners get Jacksonville's 2nd rounder, whom the Pats acquired along with a 7th rounder for their 3rd round pick in 09 to select Derek Cox. What a terrible deal for the Jags.
49ers Mock Draft:
13th pick: CJ Spiller, RB/KR, Clemson (player comparison: Chris Johnson)
Analysis: Honestly, Spiller is the only logical choice here. I don't really think that Dez Bryant is a good pick, seeing as we already drafted Crabtree, or that Earl Thomas would be smart here either. The niners don't reach. Ever. And since I'm reasonably confident that Bryan Bulaga will still be available at the 16th pick, I'll go with the next Chris Johnson here.
16th pick (from Carolina): Bryan Bulaga, LT/RT, Iowa (player comparison: Michael Roos)
Analysis: Bryan Bulaga has more upside than any offensive tackle in this draft class. He’s 6'6" and 310+ pounds, but should still run a 40 in the 4.9s, which could make Al Davis sh** his pants. Timed speed doesn’t help offensive lineman all that much, but his measurables show that this is someone who has the potential to stop both power rushers and speed rushers, a very rare combination. He has very long arms too, which help in pass protection. He doen't have much experience at tackle, but with the right coaching, this could turn out to be a great pick, maybe even a steal.
48th pick (from Patriots): Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest (player comparison: Johnathan Joseph)
Analysis: Well, we could really use a Johnathan Joseph, right? Seriously, Ghee could be, at best, a carbon copy of Joseph. Read Joseph's SB Nation bio to get a sense of what kind of pick Ghee could turn out to be.
49th pick: (Given to the Rams as compensation for OJ Atogwe)
110th pick: Koa Misi, 3-4 OLB, Utah: (player comparison: poor man’s Robert Mathis)
Analysis: Koa Misi is still a bit of an unknown, even to the most avid draftniks, but he has quietly skyrocketed up draft boards this year. Misi has been wreaking havoc on the Mountain West as a senior and has established himself as one of the conferences top pro prospects. Many teams may stay away from him because he looks like a workout warrior, but he still provides great value this late in the 4th.
Major free agent signings:
Analysis: The only reason I have a little hope that Seymour will be released by the Raiders is because not only do they have a plethora of talented free agents they need to resign, such as Thomas Howard, Sebastian Janikowski, and Kirk Morrison, but also that Al Davis is really unpredictable. Mr. Davis has lost it at this point, and Seymour looks like he wants out. In any case, should Seymour be released, we could be looking at the best 3-4 defensive line in the NFC, possibly the NFL. A front 3 of Seymour/Franklin/Smith would terrorize opposing backfields all season long.
Analysis: Chambers is no longer the dominant wideout he once was, but still can be really effective at 32. Why the Chargers waived him I'll never know. At any rate, Chambers is a really good number 2 option alongside Michael Crabtree, and should contribute something along the lines of 60 catches for 800 yards and 3 TDs or so. A one year deal would be the best route (no pun intended) and could really help this passing game.
Resign Aubrayo Franklin, NT, to 3 year deal
Analysis: The best nose tackle in the NFC entering the prime of his career. He will stay, and must stay, with the niners for at least one more year.
Tank Tyler, NT/DT, from Carolina: training camp invite/ 1 year minimum
Analysis: This is purely a depth move. We have no backups to Aubrayo Franklin, and Tyler is young and huge.
OJ Atogwe, S, from Rams: 4 year deal
Analysis: Atogwe is a top 10 free safety whom many believe would be a good fit with the niners. I happen to agree with te majority. He has been the lone bright spot of the Rams defense for years, and wants out, similar to Nnamdi Asomugha in Oakland. Atogwe alone would improve this pass defense 10 places higher, and is the roaming centerfielder the niners desperately need in order to complement their dominant run D. Look for Atogwe to pile up the interceptions and pass deflections if he joins this team.
Jermon Bushrod, OT/G, from Saints: 5 year deal
Analysis: Bushrod filled in for Pro Bowler and perrenial All-Pro Jammal Brown, who was injured for the whle season last year, and did an excellent job protecting Drew Brees' blind side. Since he is a restricted free agent, the niners are forced to give up compensation, but they only give up a 3rd rounder since Bushrod has had only one year experience starting. Nevertheless, it looks like Bushrod is going to be a very good player for the remainder of his career, and since he is better than any 3rd round pick available in my opinion, this is a good deal.
Predicted 2010 Niners depth chart:
QB: Alex Smith, Shaun Hill, Nate Davis
LG: Jermon Bushrod, Tony Wragge
RG: Chilo Rachal, Tony Wragge
RT: Bryan Bulaga, Alex Boone, Tony Wragge
LE: Richard Seymour, Ricky Jean-Francois, Tank Tyler
NT: Aubrayo Franklin, Tank Tyler
ROLB: Parys Haralson, Ahmad Brooks, Koa Misi
K: Joe Nedney
P: Andy Lee
KR: CJ Spiller, Michael Robinson
PR: CJ Spiller, Michael Robinson
Kickoffs: Joe Nedney
Holder: Andy Lee
Special Teams Aces: Michael Robinson, Scott McKillop, Ahmad Brooks