The 49ers defense was awful last season, and they need a big change to have success in 2019. Most fans believe that was mostly due to the lack of a pass rush, although that is far from the only reason the unit struggled. From the front seven to the secondary, problems were abundant and the entire squad was not good enough. Just about everyone believes that the 49ers will wait to address their pass rush need in the draft, which is loaded with talent. However, there are some very solid, and proven, pass rushers available in free agency, and if the team has an opportunity to improve their line before April, they absolutely should. Pass rush is far from the Niners only need, and if they are in a position to maybe make a draft day trade and acquire some additional picks or players, they should jump on that chance and improve their team in more areas.
As I said earlier, there are a plethora of talented pass rushers available in free agency, but maybe the most notable one is Dante Fowler. There are guys like Demarcus Lawrence or Jadeveon Clowney that are bigger names, and are maybe better, but as of now, those guys are basically off the market, as it is assumed that they will be resigned immediately by their own teams. Dante Fowler, however, is on a loaded Rams team, and they are already paying a ridiculous amount of money for their defense, and their defensive line especially. This should open up Fowler to sign anywhere he chooses for 2019, and he will definitely have his pick of the litter, as he has played very well since joining Los Angeles mid season. To pair him with Deforest Buckner and Solomon Thomas would be a huge addition, and would probably ensure not only our pass defense would get better, but our run defense should improve as well.
If the 49ers do choose to go with a free agent at pass rush and look elsewhere in the draft, there are plenty of directions to go. For example, if they want to grab a receiver, Deebo Sweeney is a big, technically sound target who has been quickly moving up the ranks and gaining momentum. Giving Garoppolo a big target on the outside for the first time in his career would make his life a lot easier, and Kyle Shanahan would have to be jumping for joy at the prospect of adding another big time play-maker to the offense. The 49ers could also choose to address their need at corner, with Greedy Williams being one of the best prospects we’vee seen in recent years. We all saw what Derwin James and Denzel Ward were able to do for their respective teams last season, and if we can bring in a similar type of playmaker, our defense will 100% get out of the basement they were in last year when they set a new record for least turnovers forced in NFL history.
The 49ers have lots of tough choices ahead, but one thing is for sure: they will be better in 2019, and 49er fans will have a better year because of it!