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My least favorite offseason move by the 49ers

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Neglecting to add a backup to Bosa and Ford could come back to haunt the Niners.

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have been the media darlings this offseason after trading for Dee Ford, drafting Nick Bosa, and making a few other moves that will put them in a position to compete for a playoff spot in 2019. The team needed a pass-rush. They added that. The Niners also needed to inject some athleticism into the wide receiver group, and they did that as well. Tackling the two most significant needs while adding some much-needed depth at key positions that suffered injuries during 2018 will reflect in the win/loss column right away.

We talk every other day about the safety position. I believe that if Tarvarius Moore is indeed staying put at free safety that the team will also reap those benefits sooner than later. There were a couple of questionable signings this offseason, and that’s going to happen with every team. The signing that bothered me the most was the one that never happened.

Fundamental four

Going through the team leaders in pressure rate on defense last year, and I noticed the top teams all had something in common. They had one—if not two—players with at least 30 pressures, and two players in the mid-’20s. The Los Angeles Rams were number one because of Aaron Donald. They also had Ndamukong Suh, who had 30 pressures, and both of their starting edge rushers had over 26 pressures.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may be a better example as since they don’t have the most dominant player in football. Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt were both over 33 pressures. Bud Dupree and Stephon Tuitt both produced into the mid-’20s. This was the case for the majority of the teams that were in the top-10 in getting after the quarterback last year.

Deforest Buckner led the team with 29.5 pressures. After that? Cassius Marsh with 20. The addition of the Bosa and Ford duo is a significant upgrade. If the numbers from last year are any indication, the 49ers still need one more pass-rusher. Could that be Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, or another unknown? The 49ers are depending on someone to step up.

I liked a lot of the signings more than most. I do believe Kwon Alexander will be able to make an impact. I also think Tevin Coleman will surprise many with his game-breaking ability. When the team continued to add depth, it made sense. When they ignored a third pass-rusher after cutting Marsh, I was confused. You’re asking players to step up and contribute in ways they haven’t shown in the NFL. Will things be easier for the role players now that they are in a position to be, you know, actual role players? That’s a safe bet. It’s not an easy task to increase your production significantly, despite the changes that have been made to the roster.

Electing to ignore the secondary would have made more sense if the team was able to replace Marsh. Go through each of the top defenses depth charts. They all have four guys that proved they can pressure the quarterback last year. The 49ers have three. Finding that fourth option will be imperative to their success.