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Steal the Bacon: Which player the 49ers would like to take away from every NFL team

July 10, 2018

When watching the other teams in the NFL, how many times do you sit there on the couch and go “Man, I wish *insert player name* played for the 49ers!”

 

Trust me, no matter how loyal 49ers’ fans are to their team, there’s a small part of them that wishes they could steal a certain player from every franchise.

 

Personally, here’s who I’d take for the 49ers. I’m not building a roster for San Francisco, but if I got the option to steal one player from any team, here’s who I’d choose from that team and why.

 

Arizona Cardinals -- DE Chandler Jones

 

While the Cardinals are likely the fourth-best team in the NFC West, they still boast top-tier talent across the board. While their best player is likely RB David Johnson, the player I'd rather have for the 49ers is DE Chandler Jones. 

 

Jones will be an upgrade over every edge rusher on the current roster. The first-team All-Pro defensive end, racked up 17 sacks last season and 51 tackles. Pencil in Jones as the starter and the 49ers suddenly have a formidable defensive line. 

 

Atlanta Falcons -- WR Julio Jones

 

Kyle Shanahan's already spent some time with Jones in Atlanta and I'm sure he'd love to have him at his disposal in San Francisco. The 49ers have had historically great wide receivers in the past, from Jerry Rice to Terrell Owens, but none in the past decade.

 

QB Jimmy Garappolo to WR Julio Jones would be the best QB-WR duo in the NFL instantly and could move the 49ers into Super Bowl contention.

 

Baltimore Ravens -- DB Marlon Humphrey

 

I debated LB C.J. Mosley and Humphrey for a hot minute, but chose the latter due to his age. The 22-year old would instantly be one of the young stars on the roster, have a mentor in DB Richard Sherman and could pair with CB Ahkello Witherspoon to be a dangerous defensive backfield.

 

In his rookie season, Humphrey had two interceptions and 34 tackles with the Ravens. That production would be a luxury to add in San Francisco. 

 

Buffalo Bills -- CB Tre'Davious White

 

One of Buffalo's young studs on defense is CB Tre'Davious White and would slot in nicely with the current 49ers' defensive backs' group. 

 

His four interceptions and 69 tackles as a rookie was among the top of the list in his class and would probably become San Francisco's best defensive back.

 

Carolina Panthers -- DT Kawann Short

 

I thought about a WR Torrey Smith -- San Francisco reunion, but decided to avoid the backlash from the fans. 

 

Imagine a defensive line that features DL DeForest Buckner, DL Arik Armstead, DT Kawann Short. Most teams would not be able to run the ball against those three. 

 

Short racked up 49 tackles and 7.5 sacks this past season as a Panther and could a force from the inside, when added to the 49ers' young defensive line.

 

Chicago Bears -- WR Allen Robinson

 

During Free Agency, #49ersTwitter begged for the addition of Robinson to the receiving corps, but to no avail. Robinson took a better offer from the Bears and moved on from Jacksonville. 

 

While LB Roquan Smith was an intriguing option, the idea of adding a determined 24-year old off of an ACL injury was too hard to pass up. Garappolo and Robinson could create a lot of magic under Kyle Shanahan's supervision.

 

Cincinnati Bengals -- DE Geno Atkins

 

What would have the reaction been, had I said LB Vontaze Burfict?

 

In all honesty, WR A.J. Green might have been the popular pick, but instead of picking a pass catcher that's likely already seen the peak of his career, I insisted on adding another edge defender.

 

Atkins may be 30 years old, but was one of the most underrated lineman in all of the NFL. The Bengals' defender racked up nine sacks and 46 tackles in all 16 games last season.

 

Remember when the 49ers added an ex-Bengal in the past? Worked out pretty well for San Francisco, didn't it?

 

Cleveland Browns -- WR Josh Gordon

 

The Browns actually have a lot of solid individual players, from DE Myles Garrett, CB Denzel Ward, WR Jarvis Landry, but I went with the high-risk, high-reward player.

 

Imagine Gordon in the 49ers' stable organization, running routes designed by Shanahan, catching balls from Garappolo. In 2013, his last full season, Gordon racked up 1,649 yards as a 22-year old.

 

Shanahan has experience with the Browns' WR and he could be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

 

Dallas Cowboys -- G Zack Martin

 

The Cowboys' best position group is easily their offensive line, so why not grab from their best group on the field?

 

The 49ers are stable on the edges with Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley, but still have holes in the middle, with Josh Garnett and Laken Tomlinson. Adding Martin would go a long way to protecting the franchise's most valuable asset -- Jimmy Garappolo.

 

Denver Broncos -- LB Von Miller

 

Adding a top-two pass rusher in the NFL is a no-brainer. Miller would become the best defensive player on the current roster and a massive difference maker.

 

Detroit Lions -- CB Darius Slay

 

One of the most underrated cornerbacks in the NFL, Darius Slay would slide right into a boundary corner role and ease the worries of DC Robert Saleh.

 

Slay's eight interceptions in 2017 go to prove his ball skills and his ability to turn over the opposing quarterback. Richard Sherman, Darius Slay and Ahkello Witherspoon could a dominant group.

 

Green Bay Packers -- WR Davante Adams

 

One of the in-season free-agent targets of 49ers' fans, the ex-Fresno State WR never hit the market, re-signing in Green Bay for a lucrative deal.

 

The dominant pass-catcher lead the Packers with 22 combined touchdowns over the past two seasons. Rodgers was often bailed out in late-clock situations with throws to Adams. Imagine if Garappolo had that kind of insurance policy on the field?

 

Houston Texans -- WR DeAndre Hopkins

 

The 49ers would be adding a consensus top-5 wide receiver, who is just about to enter the prime of his career.

 

Letting Kyle Shanahan draw up routes for Hopkins could be a dangerous combinations for opposing defenses. 

 

Indianapolis Colts -- G Quenton Nelson

 

While the Colts have my draft crush S Malik Hooker, I'd vouch for the healthier, pro-ready Nelson in a position of need for the 49ers. 

 

Nelson, along with teammate McGlinchey, could lock down one side of the offensive line for the next decade. 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars -- CB Jalen Ramsey

 

While 49ers' fans may be cold on Ramsey after his recent comments on Garappolo, I think they'd welcome him with open arms.

 

His swagger, on-field attitude, grit and defensive prowess would prove invaluable for a young team like San Francisco. Give me the best young cornerback in the game for the next 6-8 years.

 

Kansas City Chiefs -- TE Travis Kelce

 

The best tight end in the NFL doesn't reside in Foxborough, MA, he actually resides in Kansas City, MO. TE Travis Kelce was a key cog in the Chiefs' offense and helped QB Alex Smith evolve into one of the best deep-throwing quarterbacks in the league.

 

Having Kelce on the field will free up a lot of passing lanes for the young receivers on this roster.

 

Los Angeles Chargers -- DE Joey Bosa

 

This came down to DEs Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and DB Casey Hayward.

 

I chose the youngest player with the highest upside moving forward. Bosa has 23.0 sacks in his two-year career after being drafted out of Ohio State and doesn't look to slow down any time soon.

 

Bosa has shades of a young Justin Smith, so what better way to improve the 49ers' defensive line than add a younger, lite-version of Smith in Bosa.

 

Miami Dolphins -- RB Frank Gore.

 

Frank Gore? That's Family. Enough said.

 

Minnesota Vikings -- DL Everson Griffen

 

The Vikings' defense is loaded with Pro-Bowl caliber players, so it was challenging to just cherry pick one of those play-makers. 

 

The 30-year old had a 13.0-sack season with the Vikings and has shown no signs of slowing down this upcoming season. Add Griffen to DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead and the 49ers could really have something.

 

New England Patriots -- N/A

 

The 49ers already stole QB Jimmy Garappolo for a second-round pick, so let's not take anyone else away from Bill Belichick's roster.

 

New Orleans Saints -- CB Marshon Lattimore

 

I pounded the table for DBs Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker in last year's NFL Draft, but the 49ers passed on both, opting for DE Solomon Thomas.

 

Lattimore ended up as one of the best rookie defenders in the NFL and turned around a porous Saints' defense. 

 

New York Giants -- RB Saquon Barkley

 

While most fans will be praying for WR Odell Beckham Jr., I'll opt for the younger, Saquon Barkley.

 

Beckham Jr.'s continued antics, increased salary are reasons to opt for the running back instead. A duo of Jerick McKinnon and Barkley could be a scary sight for opposing rushing defenses. 

 

New York Jets -- S Jamal Adams

 

A natural-born leader, Jamal Adams would've been a seamless fit in the back end of the defense with S Adrian Colbert. The 49ers could have had their safety duo for the next ten seasons.

 

Similar to how Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor took over the NFL, Adams and Colbert could've done the same.

 

Oakland Raiders -- LB Khalil Mack

 

Outside of LB Von Miller, this is the easiest decision to make. Mack and 49ers are a match made in heaven, just waiting to happen.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers -- DE T.J. Watt

 

While the Steelers have offensive weapons all over the field, from RB Le'Veon Bell to WRs Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, I'd opt for their second-year defensive stud instead.

 

Adding the Watt family work ethic and on-field performance could prove to be highly valuable for San Francisco for years to come. Watt's 7.0 sacks was amongst the rookie leaders, so fans should only expect for his performance to increase.

 

Seattle Seahawks -- LB Shaquem Griffin

 

While the Seahawks did well by drafting LB Shaquem Griffin, to reunite him with his brother, Shaquill, I would've loved to see the younger brother don the Red and Gold.

 

A heart-warming story, a crazy work ethic and an on-field talent all provide reason to add Shaquem Griffin to the roster. Also, taking away one of Seattle's youngest defenders would be the cherry on top.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- LB Kwon Alexander

 

After a strong rookie season, Alexander regressed in his play since. Pairing him with LB Reuben Foster could be a scary duo in the middle of the field.

 

A high-risk, high-reward player to steal from the Buccaneers. While I also considered Mike Evans, I couldn't pass up on adding a young linebacker.

 

Tennessee Titans -- RB Dion Lewis

 

A free-agent favorite for most 49ers' fans, Dion Lewis chose to head for Tennessee, rather than San Francisco.

 

The pass-catching, change of pace back would have been the perfect complement for McKinnon. Lewis, under Shanahan's tutelage, could've grown to be one of the best running backs in the NFL.

 

Washington Redskins -- RB Chris Thompson

 

After watching the SNF game between the Redskins and the Raiders, two things became abundantly clear. The Redskins were torching the Raiders with Chris Thompson and Oakland was a poorly-coached football team.

 

Thompson made numerous plays out of the backfield and would continue to shine in a similar offense in San Francisco.

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