The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the St. Louis Rams on Monday, and we're back with more cross-blog chatter. On Wednesday, we took a look at under the radar players on each side of the ball. Today, we're taking a look at players we would take from the opposing team. I'll have a link to Turf Show Times's article in a bit, but for now, here are my selections, one from each side of the ball.
The Rams offense has its share of question marks, but I found one guy who would be a timely addition to the 49ers. Joe Barksdale moved into the starting lineup at right tackle last season, and he has been a force this year. The Rams line is a fairly sizable question mark in pass protection, but they do some good work on the ground. Joe Barksdale has been a key part of that, serving as the best player on that line lately. Pro Football Focus grades him out as the team's best offensive player, and second among all offensive tackles.
The 49ers offensive line has been a bit of a mess this season. They've been strong in the run, but highly suspect in pass protection. Barksdale would slot in over Jonathan Martin, who is playing in place of Anthony Davis. I don't think Martin has been awful, but he has not been consistent. Barksdale would seemingly help settle down the right side of the line. The 49ers have been keying on the left side in runs, and at some point you have to think defenses will potentially take that away from them. Barksdale would provide a bit mroe balance.
The 49ers defensive front has been fairly solid, but I think we all would love to see a productive young player added into the mix. Justin Smith, Ian Williams and Ray McDonald are doing good things, but imagine adding Aaron Donald into the mix? Donald grades out as the Rams top defensive lineman right now. He is primarily a run stopper, but he has shown some things as a pass rusher.
Donald is playing interior tackle work in a 4-3 defense, but I think the 49ers could find some work for Donald when they move into their 4-man defensive front on passing downs. Ideally we'll see Tank Carradine start to get some work in there, but for now, Donald could be an interesting option behind Smith and McDonald.