NFL free agency is less than a month away and we now get to start looking at projections to the San Francisco 49ers. We’ve already gone position by position with who’s available, now it’s time to narrow the playing field. The folks over at Pro Football Focus projected a few names to the 49ers and they may not be who you’d expect. It’s safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
“The safety position in San Francisco saw six different players play at least 300 snaps – none of which did so effectively. Clinton-Dix has had at least six combined pass breakups and interceptions each of the past three seasons.”
Clinton-Dix was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2014. While he was serviceable, wasn’t important enough to hold onto for the long term, because the Packers shipped him off in a midseason trade with Washington. The Packers got a fourth round pick for the deal.
It’s arguable what Clinton-Dix’s best season was. In his second year, he managed three sacks, 100 tackles (83 solo), and two interceptions. His 2016 was up there as well with five interceptions, seven passes defended, and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
He never quite returned to that production, but his 2018 was not awful. He still managed three interceptions in his first seven games (with Green Bay) but took a bit of a dive in the stat column. PFF called it his best year, however, and gave him a 79.3 grade. Plus there’s the durability factor: Clinton-Dix has been in every game for every season since his rookie year.
If the 49ers found a way to get him into Santa Clara, he may be the jolt the unit needs. Earl Thomas is still on the wishlist, but Clinton-Dix might have better longevity.
Then there’s Barrett:
They’ll likely address edge-rusher in the draft as well, but they could realistically use as much help as possible. Barrett would command far less than others on this list while still being a massive upgrade for the 49ers.
He might be cheap, but Barrett comes from a 3-4 defense and the 49ers run a 4-3. That would be chancing that he could work on the line full-time. In 2018, Barret notched three sacks. The 49ers are going to need someone that specializes in that very stat-line. Cassius Marsh, who is already signed to the team and familiar with the defense, I got 5.5 stats for 2018 along with two more tackles.
I get the idea of a younger pass rusher here, but if the 49ers draft an edge rusher (like everyone hopes they do) Cassius Marsh would supply solid depth. Barrett may not be needed. He’s cheap, but he’d be low on the pecking order on the EDGE depth chart.
Which of PFF’s free agent projections do you agree/see happening?
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Ha Ha Clinton-Dix