The actual moves I would make are at the bottom.
I'm absolutely in love with Clowney. There I got that out of the way, now let me explain why the prospect of drafting Clowney keeps me up at night. Most people would point at our existing personnel and see a depth chart loaded to the tits at the front 7. That most people happens to include me, I haven't completely lost it yet. However while I see several players who have the potential to become top 5 at their position, and a few who already are, I would argue that in this day and age controlling the front seven has actually become more important not less. While everyone argues that this is a passing league (and it certainly has trended that way) the assumption that we should defend the passing attack with corners and safeties, while cetainly plausible, is not an approach I favor. So I'm going to try and put together the crazy moves that would have to occur to land us Clowney. First let me explain why (skip the next paragraph if you don't really care about my reasoning and just want to see the silly moves I make to try and acquire this once a decade talent.)
Defending via the secondary often involves conceding the dink and dunk passes that the west coast offense, and other accuracy position based passing attacks can take advantage of. For instance against a team like green bay, with a quarterback who's going to be able to put the ball where only his receiver has a chance to make a play on it we can get torn up. In addition the quarterbacks we face are also developing scrambling potential, and so controlling the line of scrimmage is no longer an option. (See Russell Wilson, RG3, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers) As a result I like to see our defensive line become the dominant force, effective at not just stuffing holes, but blowing through them. While we currently have a group of great run stuffers, I think a second Justin Smith Mountain opposite the man, (and yes I think that's what Clowney can developed into) would complete our defense. Giving us a second guy who demands double teams at the line would make our defense unstoppable. Here's what I think it would take feel free to add your own speculation or who you would rather take with a high draft pick in the next round.
For reference here are the draft picks our team has for 2014:
Chiefs: 2 or 3
Comp: 3 or 4
First I have to admit that if we're going after Clowney we're probably going to have to see some of our current Defensive front depart, or not pan out so here's what I predict leaving (no bad mojo intended).
1. Ray Mcdonald has a monster season, because Justin Smith has returned to full form and the aldon/justin smith duo is drawing 3 man blocking schemes, and still forcing the occasional assist from a running back. The national hype builds for Ray but unfortunately (or fortunately) our defensive staff knows some of it is overplayed, similarly to how we saw dashon and whitner's value sky rocket thanks to the front 7 play. Combined with some promising consistent play from our newly added depth (probably carradine) the front office feels comfortable and decides to capitalize on Using Ray for a trade piece.
2. Jonathan Goodwin traded for an additional 5th round pick (following dominant offensive line play goodwin retains a decent draft pick value, but the 49ers want to bring in kilgore and give the young guy the reins after another solid year of prep. We trade him to a team like the steeler's who just a established veteran to lead some new offensive linemen. Low 4th round pick. Frees up cap room for later signing assumptions.
3. Justin Smith while still dominant, definitely benefits hugely from having a rotation to spell him for once. Cowboy can bring more cowbell when he has a chance every once in a while to rest those legs, creating a definite market for another man to draw doubles.
4. Nnamdi pans out, or some other group of the db's pulls together a solid enough performance that the supposedly glaring need at cb and ss becomes more of a position of potential improvement. T. Brown resigns. Culliver fixes his rookie mistakes. Carlos Rodgers is traded for a 4th round pick, despite preforming at a high level because of contract issues, also freeing up cap room. Eric Reid while shaky to begin with, steps up to become a leader on defense. Front office decides it can go through one more year of Whitner, while it takes an athlete development type to fill in what is supposedly a deep draft at the position to fill the safety roll. The defensive backfield looks average, can maintain coverage through the initial routes and doesn't give up deep balls.
5. Lemon looks decent, reminiscent of Aldon's first year looks to be on track for development, LB core stays healthy, and one of the ILB back ups looks like he can play at Larry Grant's level. On the same track, running back duo of Kendall and James slowly takes time from Gore, the 3 become a solid triple threat. James shows more promise of durability with his added weight. One of the receiver's battling for that starting spot definitely deserves too be a #2, crab's comes back fully, and Boldin plays near is play-off form showing he still has enough in the tank for another year. Vance McDonald proves servicable and shows promise, combining with VD for over 1000 yards while still serve as a solid blocking duo. Enough of the rest of the team shows promise, acceptable levels of play that the team feels comfortable drafting development type players for these positions.
Ok I think that set's up the in house situation enough now for the league wide situation.
We know have the following trade pieces:
Chiefs: 2 I'm going to assume chiefs go 8-8 in this dream scenario
Comp: 3 or 4
Roger's trade: 4
We trade our 1st and a bundle of picks to get into the top 10 of the draft.
This is pricey and probably involves a trade with a rebuilding team. Think our 1st, 2nd, and 4th and the panther's 7th. Pretty significant chunk to any team.
We now have:
49ers: 8-10 overall, 3,5,6,7
Comp: 3 or 4
Roger's trade: 4
The first over-all draft pick goes to a team with an established defensive line with at least one potential pro bowler, who's comfortable trading down 4-5 spots.
Think teams with above average players at the position, like the Rams situation with Bradford last year. Potential Teams include (Ravens, Lions, Cardinals, Raiders, Texans). The Niners then trade the high first, the chief's 2nd, our 3rd and the 4th from roger's and I'm going to say Ray Mcdonald assuming its a team with only 1 dominant DT for that pick. If it's not switch Ray with the second round pick next year from above or another 2nd round pick. So basically 9th overall, 2 2nd rounds and 1 3rd round's, and a 4th for the 1st overall. (Note: I think this 1st has slightly less value than the rg3 1st.)
This leaves us
49ers: 1st overall ,5,6,7
Comp: 3 or 4
Unknown Team: 4.
From this point I see the Niner's trading the 3rd and a 5th to get up into the 2nd round and draft a db or other position of need.
/The Crazy Stops Here
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