Although I don't agree that we will find the eventual replacement for Justin Smith I do believe that finding some depth or at least a rotational DT/DE is vital to the future success of the franchise. Last night I asked myself a few questions on the type of player that could warrant this position.
First he'd have to be versatile successfully. Just because you played a few snaps doesn't mean that you'll be able to do both on the next level. Justin Smith plays both DT and DE.
Second he would have to be a young pup. We don't want someone who might sit on the bench or rotate for 2 possibly 3 years and be at the peak of their prime when they're starting.
Third he needs violent hands. It's a common stigma in the the 49ers offensive and defensive lineman. Or at least craft or powerful hands.
Fourth he'd be a potential all pro/pro bowler but lacks coaching or hasn't "put it all together".
Fifth he needs a track record of penetration, sacks or QB pressures.
Last he needs to be a typical 2 gap d lineman, of course.
This may not necessarily be the guy but after looking at the draftees over and over since December the only guy I can think of is not Star Lotulelei (man I love his game), not Sheldon Richardson, not Jesse Williams but....yes you guessed it.
6'3 320lbs DT/DE/NT Ohio State
He's played all over the line for Ohio State, has tremendous potential, hes 20 maybe 21 years old and moves very well for his size. In reality he can play all positions on the D Line. He's is a 3 down lineman! He is the one guy we have not talked about and will be available in the 2nd round. Personally my 2.02 pick is the hardest because there aren't a lot of players worth it. So why not big hank? We need depth and a young person that will eventually take that left defensive end spot, right? It's just a thought and would be a nice debate.
Currently I gave either DJ Hayden or Eddie Lacy in the 2nd round. We could actually trade down and select either of the two but if we're going to take a D Tackle I'd rather have Big Hank than Jesse Williams. I think Datone Jones will be selected by the Patriots in the 1st round. He's too good and versatile not to be taken in the first round but stranger things have happened.