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After two straight losses, 49ers fans are wondering what has gone wrong after a strong 5-0 start to the season. All three phases of the game have slipped in one way or another. Monday’s loss was particularly troubling as the pass rush disappeared and didn’t sack Kirk Cousins once.
The defensive line has plenty of talent, but the results haven’t been close to expectations. The secondary had issues as well. The offensive line got pushed around without Trent Williams.
The defense gave up 22 points, but anyone who watched the game knew the Vikings moved the ball at will. With the pass rush not getting home, Cousins was able to carve up the soft coverage of the secondary. Much of that can be cleaned up with changes to Steve Wilks’ playcalling and scheme. The Vikings, at times, were in max protection with seven blockers on four. No matter the talent on the line, they aren’t beating those numbers.
The trade deadline is less than a week away. The 49ers have shown themselves to be all-in on this season with significant cap space to maneuver. The question is, would you be disappointed if the 49ers didn’t make a deal at the deadline?
I can almost guarantee the first position fans would like to address is the offensive line. The issue is, that good offensive linemen are a premium in the NFL and are rarely traded. Primarily, teams look for upgrades in the draft.
Maybe the 49ers should have used one of their third-round picks on a lineman. Left tackle Garret Bolles has voiced his displeasure in Denver, but would he be able to flip to right tackle?
The defensive line has a much better chance of being a target. Things aren’t going well in Washington, so naturally, Chase Young would be a name that will pop up, but I’d suggest Montez Sweat instead due to Young’s injury history. Again, there needs to be some tweaking to Wilks’ pass-rushing philosophy, but adding another impact player can help.
In the secondary, adding another outside corner could kick Deommodore Lenoir inside to the slot and strengthen the cornerback room. Going back to Denver, fans have clamored for Patrick Surtain II, but Denver has stated they aren’t interested in dealing the young cornerback. An experienced and older corner would be less expensive and would be used as a one-year rental.
There are some things to figure out with the 49ers and their coaching, but the team should be buyers at the trade deadline.