Golden Nuggets: Defensive line, pass rush needs upgrading

Hannah Foslien

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

I have to be pretty brief with this edition of the Nuggets. Busy days turn into busy evenings turn into lazy Nuggets. That's how things work in Australia. Maybe it's different over there, but here we take it easy during the Nuggets.

There's varied talk leading into the combine. Many mocks have us drafting defensive line help in the first round. There's a reason. Our line play fell off at the end of the year, leading to increased pressure on the secondary which they couldn't hold up against. Our passing defense was atrocious in the playoffs. With our linebacking corps intact, we need to increase the pressure from the D-line, even though they don't generally serve that role in a 3-4 defense. But they generated next to nothing last season, so anything is an upgrade.

On to the links...

The one free agent question all of us are dying to know is what the 49ers will do Isaac Sopoaga. I think he'll be gone. He underperformed last season, will require a pay cut and most pundits think we'll be drafting multiple defensive linemen. | Should he stay or should he go: Isaac Sopoaga (BASG)

Matt Maiocco singles out the pass rush as the main culprit for the secondary's demise in the playoffs. It's a sentiment echoed by many, leading most to think we'll be drafting those D-linemen mentioned above. | Why 49ers pass defense faltered in playoffs (Maiocco)

Mike Sando is back from vacation and weighing in on the Alex Smith situation. Where will he land? Sando looks at his connections with coaches on other teams for some answers. | Finding next home for Alex Smith (Sando)

How will this draft turn out for the 49ers? We need it to be more like 2011 and less like 2012 says this piece. | Niners' Baalke is man on the spot this offseason (NBC)

Sando, busy in his return to work, looks at the Niners' wide receivers and asks, "do they need help?". There's a table on production by rookie receivers taken in the range of 25th-35th overall. Let's just say A.J. Jenkins couldn't have done worse. The only guy who matched him for production didn't play due to knee surgery. | Assessing the 49ers' need at wide receiver (Sando)

Kaepernick was running at historic pace in 2012 (Branch)

Kaepernick's offseason dedication reinforces young quarterback's maturity, competitiveness (49erswebzone)

NFL scouting combine preview: NFC West (Sando)

How four mocks see West before combine (Sando)

Scouting combine preview: Offense (49ers.com)

VIDEO: 2012 plays of the year: Sacks (49ers.com)

VIDEO: Charles Davis talks NFL combine (49ers.com)

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