I really hope this post gets some attention. I wanted to start a forum for discussion on the Niners needs and potential moves going into this offseason. While losing the Superbowl sucks and will take some time to get over it, we have to keep looking ahead and remember that we have a promising future, cap flexibility, and 14 freaking picks in this year's draft.
In my opinion, we have a great roster. A lot of people have been saying we don't have a lot of needs but I for one tend to think otherwise. One injury to our defense and we're looking at guys who are relatively unknown. You saw what happened when our WRs got hurt. This is my opinion and would like to see everyone else's thoughts. Whether it be positional or naming specific players...let's get these ideas our there. That said, in order of need I think we have to get:
1) D-Line. Justin Smith is an animal but we all saw what happened when he got hurt. He wasn't the same and our defensive performance wasn't what it was. Some can argue that we were fatigued but I think that further proves my point of this being #1 priority. I think Sopoaga is gone. McDonald is solid but I don't think he's a long-term answer. In fact, I think we can get someone better. I think we need acquire two stud DL. Whether it be a DE, T or 2 DEs. Point is, I'm not confident RJF is anything more than a rotational player (and FA) and Williams, Dobbs, and Tukuafu are too unknown for my liking.
2) Wide Receiver. We have Crabtree and not much else right now. We don't know what Manningham will be like after his surgery. Moss isn't someone I'm keen on bringing back either. AJ Jenkins is still unknown. We really need Jenkins to step up and be productive. But even if we get that, we're still very thin. Plus, I'd like to see us get a guy who can win jump balls. Right now, it looks more like we have speed guys (kind of reminds me of the Eagles WR corp.). There are some intriguing options in FA. Bowe is one that jumps out to me but I doubt we shell out the money for someone like him. Barrows on KNBR today suggested Jacoby Jones (burn). As much as he still is a burning image in my head, he does take care of WR depth and our replacement for Ginn. Even if we get someone like him, I would be much happier if we drafted a big, fast, WR.
3) Cornerback. Watching Culliver get burned was tough to fathom but he still is a promising young player to me. That said, we still don't know if he can become a shutdown corner...or more specifically, a #1 CB kind of guy. Brown has been good in coverage. Rogers however is declining. What happens if one of these guys goes down with an injury?
4) Safety. This can easily be #2 on this list depending on what happens with Goldson. Even Whitner as some have suggested he could be a cap casualty. I personally really like the Goldson/Whitner combo. They're ferocious. If we have better CBs, then these guys are perfect for our defense. We did draft Robinson and have Spillman. But once again, we have no idea about them.
5) Outside Linebacker. Plain and simple, we can never have too many rushers. When I first was thinking of this list, I wanted to put this at #2. But we did draft a couple of guys last year and need to see what we have in them. Personally, I worry about losing Aldon to injury. Brooks is a guy I like but if we drafted another rusher early on to compete with Brooks, I wouldn't be too sad to see Brooks in a backup role (if that rookie truly beats him out). The more I think about this, the more I want to put this at #2. My feelings are that our Front 7 is dominant. But when they're fatigued or not 100%, then that's where everything falls apart. We don't have a good enough secondary to covers guys for a length of time. If we can't improve our secondary, then this absolutely is #2 on the need list. I hated seeing Flacco have a clean pocket. Same with Ryan. And Rodgers. I want our defense to continue to be great and to do that, we have to start thinking ahead.
This list is pretty fluid and I look forward to see what everyone else thinks. Let me know your need list, positions wanted, or players wanted!