The 49ers have some wholes to plug this off season. They will be favoring speed, and athletes all year. With the controversial release of Woodson and Greene, the need to resign Sutbblefield has never seemed greater. However don't be surprised to see either Woodson or Greene back in the lineup, with a significantly reduced salary. The 49ers front office may have goofed when they let Greene go before signing Stubblefield, but we will see how that plays out.
There are two main areas the 9ers will be looking to this off season, unrestricted free agency, and the draft. There first concern will be resigning Stubblefield and Floyd, but then look for them to shake up the market. Some of the positions the 49ers will be looking at are: DB, OL, RB?, and (LB?, WR?, DL? which may or may not be necessary).
Starting from the top of the list, here is a rundown of who may be a possibility, and a short explanation. The 49ers will be looking for a defensive back, mainly to replace Woodson. However our secondary was weak this year against long plays, and a fast good DB is a necessity. There are a few that will be available through free agency, here is a list of the ones that I think stand out the most: Ray Crokette (Broncos), James Hasty (Chiefs), Brock Marion (Cowboys). There are a few that stand out in the draft as well, mainly: Charles Woodson (wont be available baring a block buster trade)(Michigan), Shaun Williams (UCLA), Corey Chavous (Vanderbilt), Tony Parish (Washington), Roosevelt Blackmon (Moris Brown), Brian Kelley (USC), Tebuckey Jones (Syracuse), Robert Williams (N.Carolina), Duane Starks (Miami), and Artell Hawkins (Cincinnati).
An offensive lineman is needed. Derrick Deese did an adequate job, but we need someone bigger, better and faster. Deese is primarily a back up. The 9ers are likely to use their first draft pick on a lineman and for this reason may choose to trade down maybe even to the mid second round. The draft has several OL but here is a list of the more prominent ones: Flozell Adams (Mich.), Tony Coats (Wash.), Victor Riley (Auburn), Aaron Taylor (Nebr.), Chad Overhauser (UCLA), Jason Fabini (Cinn.), Kyle Turley (SD), Mo Collins (Florida), Jeremy Newberry (Cal), Olin Kreutz and Benji Olson (Wash.), Alan Faneca (LSU) and Will Jacobs (Vanderbilt). The other root is through free agency. Though there are only a few standouts here, some of them good do the trick, but may ask for more money. Here they are: Jym Pyne (Bucs), and Otis Smith (Jets).
Drafting or signing another RB is a very controversial idea, however, there are a few in free agency and an abundant supply in the draft that may be worth looking at. Garrison Hearst is a great back, however he may be to injury prone. If Edwards is about the same speed as Hearst, he may be getting the ball allot. In free agency many of the RB will be demanding a large salary, never the less here is a list of the better ones: Ricky Watters (yeah right, wouldn't that be ironic)(Eagles), Edgar Bennet and Dorsey Levens (both Packers). In the draft there are many RB and that is why it may be worth drafting one even in the 6th or 7th round. More notably are: Curtis Enis (Penn) and Tavian Banks (Iowa).
At LB we need some speed to help cover fast TE and especially if the 9ers deside on moving to a 3-4. Free Agency is probably not the way to go here, so here are some LB that will be available through the draft: Keith Brooking (Georgia Te.), Jason Chorak (Wash.), Brian Simmons (N.Carolina), Daryl Bush and Sam Cowart (Florida).
For the next couple of years the 9ers are set at WR. With Rice, Stokes, and Owens, the 9ers have an excellent crop. Unfortunately the talent doesn't extend much farther then that. Rice is also getting old, when he decides not to play any more we will need a very quick WR to run long outs, reverses and even quick slants which are effective when used seldomly. Thus drafting one would be a good idea if at all possible. Here are some possibilities, hopefully they will still be around come our 3rd maybe 4th pic: Kevin Dyson (Utah), Phil Savoy (Col.), R.W. McQuarters and Charles Woodson (WR and DB), Magic Benton (Miami) and Jaqueze Geene (Flo.)
With the age of our defensive line only increasing a young D Lineman could come in handy. Drafting him very close to the end could come in handy in about two years.
I hope that this synopsis will come in handy during the off season. Remember that these are only suggestions and the chances of actually acquiring some of these players are very low. We will soon see how the off season unfolds.