The San Francisco 49es continue to work out defensive linemen despite the perceived depth at the positions on the current roster. The line should be a strength both inside and outside, but the 49ers have worked out Tyson Jackson, Ricardo Mathews and a third, unnamed player, according to NBC Sports Bay Area.
Over at Chris Biderman’s Niners Wire, he asked the question: are the 49ers doing research in preparation for a trade? And I think it’s something that warrants discussion.
It’s possible that the 49ers are considering one of their many, many defensive linemen for trade, but from where I’m sitting, Quinton Dial is the most likely candidate. Dial is a starting-caliber player whose skillset best matches that of veteran Earl Mitchell. Unfortunately for Dial, he isn’t on Mitchell’s level, at least right now, even if he could be considered one of the four best defensive linemen on the team.
I certainly think Dial is that. I’d rank him fourth on the team among defensive linemen — maybe third. But as a matter of scheme, fit and what the 49ers are hoping to do overall, I don’t think Dial has a good path to the starting lineup this season.
But he would be an incredibly value backup and role player, which is why he has value. Teams wouldn’t trade for him if they thought he might be cut, but that’s not going to happen. I think Dial has a high enough upside and has shown enough that another team would be willing to give up a draft pick to roll the dice on him.
Of course, it’s also possible the 49ers aren’t thinking about a trade at all. They have a lot of defensive linemen, but a good front office is going to try and improve at every position at every spot on the depth chart whenever they can. What say you?