By Niner Faithful
2017 couldn’t have accomplished much more than it did. We found our franchise QB in Jimmy G Cool and the heart of our defense in Reuben Foster. As well as established we made the right hires in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Now its up to John Lynch and co. to build on our success in 2017. The Niners still have holes on the roster that was apparent to anyone who watched Niners football in 2017. With a league-leading, $102,365,529 in cap room and 9 picks in this years draft the Niners to have plenty of ammo to fill said holes. This week I have decided to go over the team needs and a little breakdown of why I feel they are needs. So here they are in no particular order.
- Edge Rusher
The Niners ranked 26th in the NFL in sacks in 2017 with 30. The team leader in sacks was 33-year-old Elvis Dumervil with 6.5. No other Niner had more than 3. That’s simply not going to get the job done. Add on top of that the team’s issues in the secondary and fixing this becomes priority number one in the offseason. They say the best friend to a secondary is a pass rush so by fixing this the Niners could help out our secondary as well.
Lucky for the Niners Dontae Johnson is a free agent because he was god awful last year. Even when he would make a play and you thought he might have turned the corner, he would get burned or commit a stupid penalty. Now he wasn’t the only issue in the secondary. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon had his rookie moments but showed a lot more promise the more he played. The Niners ranked 22nd in the league allowing 3,943 passing yards. As stated above I believe that a better pass rush will help in 2018. They say the NFL is a rush and cover league so the Niners would still benefit from adding a solid corner opposite Witherspoon.
- Guard/ Center
I know that the Oline played better as the season went along and Brandon Fusco played with a partially torn bicep all season. But if I have to watch Daniel Kilgore get overpowered one more time I will grow my hair back out just so I can pull it out (although I do like him as a backup and the leadership he brings). With Fusco and Kilgore being pending free agents and the uncertainty around Joshua Garnett it is key that the Niners get O linemen either in free agency, the draft or both.
- Wide Receiver
Although I like our Receiving core. I still feel we need a red zone threat on the outside. Someone with the body type that can win 50/50 balls. Niner receivers only had 7 touchdowns all year and no receiver had more than 2. Marquise Goodwin was our leading receiver in catches with 56 and was tied for the lead for touchdowns with 2. We all know Pierre Garcon is coming back but he will be turning 32 in August so who knows how much he has left in the tank. The Niners haven’t drafted a great receiver since T.O. in 1996. It’s time to find a young receiver that will be here for a long time.
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