The San Francisco 49ers travel to Tampa to face the Buccaneers in Week 15. The Bucs struggled out of the gate losing eight straight, but they have come on strong lately, winning four of five. They now stand at 4-9, and while they are out of the playoff race, they are suddenly a dangerous squad.
We've been doing a lot of cross-blog stuff this season, and one post we mixed in once or twice is which player from the opposing team would you take. Earlier today, Bucs Nation posted their thoughts on 49ers they would take. People chimed in on Twitter on the topic, and I think we have a winner for trolling tweet of the day:
@NinersNation Bucs could maybe use Eric Reid. Might be an upgrade at free safety. /troll
— Josh Blessing (@jshblessing) December 10, 2013
Well played, Josh. Well played.
In looking over the Bucs depth chart, there are not a ton of players that would improve the 49ers, but they have some strong talent that could supplement what the 49ers have. In looking at these, I'm just considering this based on pure talent, not on salary cap implications. In a cap-free world, who would you want to slot in to the roster.
The 49ers are getting healthier at wide receiver, but there is no doubt Vincent Jackson would be a significant upgrade at wide receiver. He has 64 receptions for 1,033 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Imagine a trio of Jackson, Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree? It would be just a little bit filthy. He brings play-making skill the 49ers could have used earlier this season. I think the 49ers will be fine with Crabtree and Boldin, but there are plenty of what-if's at the wide receiver position.
The Bucs run a 4-3 defense, so this isn't quite the normal transition, but given his talent level, I have a hunch Vic Fangio could figure out ways to use him. McCoy has seven sacks on the season, and had a particularly notable performance against the Seattle Seahawks. If you're a fan of the Pro Football Focus grading system, McCoy is listed as the top defensive tackle by a ridiculous amount. PFF grades have a baseline of zero, with anything above zero good, anything below zero, not s good. McCoy has an overall grade of 53.4. The next closest is Ndamukong Suh with a grade of 36.3.
Imagine if the 49ers went to nickel with Justin Smith and Gerald McCoy on the interior, and Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks on the exterior. Suddenly, Ray McDonald becomes a rotational guy when the 49ers go to nickel. And if you added McCoy, the 49ers very well could decide to mix in more 4-3 fronts on run downs. He's talented enough that you adjust around him.
Which Bucs would you add to the 49ers roster?