The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in a Wild Card weekend showdown of two of the most historic franchises in the league. The Packers are 8-7-1, but part of that average record is due to losing Aaron Rodgers for a sizable chunk of the season. His broken collarbone cost him two months, but he got back in time to help them defeat the Chicago Bears in Week 17 on a last second touchdown.
As we get ready for Sunday's game, we'll have plenty of cross-blog content with Acme Packing Company so we can learn more about the Packers. Among other things, we'll be doing a pair of "5 questions" posts (one on offense, one on defense), we'll be looking at why each team will win and lose, and we'll be breaking down what player on the opposing team scares us. Today, however, we're opening with a look at which player(s) we would take from the opposing team.
The Packers offense is dangerous primarily because of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. As we saw during his injury, they were inconsistent at best under Matt Flynn. However, Rodgers is not the guy I'd take as I think Colin Kaepernick's upside remains tremendous. Instead, I'd consider one of three players: WR Jordy Nelson, WR Randall Cobb or LG Josh Sitton.
Cobb and Nelson would be easy picks to stack a 49ers wide receiver corps that is already starting to round into form. Cobb in particular is still only 23, and would be a versatile threat as a receiver, in the return game, and as someone to mix into the run game. I think the 49ers have a guy they can use in a similar role in LaMichael James, but they have yet to figure out the running and receiving side of things. Cobb is a proven threat who could upgrade the 49ers offense instantly.
However, an interesting pick would be left guard Josh Sitton. Mike Iupati has struggled this season, and injury has slowed him further. I still think he can bounce back, but he has been the weakest link on the offensive line. From a money standpoint, the 49ers would be more inclined to go for cost savings in the draft, but otherwise, Sitton has been incredibly solid for the Packers. I would strongly consider Sitton as the guy to take from the Packers.
The 49ers are generally stronger than the Packers on defense, but that doesn't mean the unit couldn't use more depth. I would grab defensive lineman Mike Daniels off the Packers to boost the 49ers depth along the line. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald have been strong, and Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs provide solid depth, but there's always room for improvement.
In this case, Daniels could provide a serious pass rush presence for a defensive front that sometimes has been a little inconsistent in that area. He has 6.5 sacks on the season and has emerged in his second season as a force on that line. Imagine giving him a chance with Jim Tomsula?