HubMail: Answering Your 49ers and NFL Questions with Matt Woolsey


I think every 49ers fan knows they must draft a defensive end. The lack of pass rush last season led to an abysmal display on defense. Another position they may have to address once again is linebacker. After the failure that is known as Reuben Foster, the 49ers once again find themselves with a hole.

Some of this may change depending on what they do in free agency but even if they sign a defensive end in free agency, in my opinion they should double down and still draft Joey Bosa or Josh Allen.

George Kittle’s breakout in 2018 was great for not only 49er fans but fantasy football owners as well. I have made the statement a few times that even though he would have still had a good year, I don’t think he would have broken the record if the 49ers had more production from the receiving corps.

With that being said, I do believe Kittle will still be a force in the passing game. I do believe he will prey on defensive backs and linebackers for years to come. I do not see him repeating the yardage, but I will not be surprised if he is north of 1,000 yards. What I do believe he will improve upon was his lack of touchdowns in 2018. Kittle had only five touchdowns last season so look for that number to go up.

His touchdowns will help offset his yardage still making him a great player for the 49ers and a great tight end in fantasy.

So, I originally said there is no way Brown leaves Pittsburg. I assumed he and Art Rooney would clear the air and everything would be okay. After all the Steelers are entering the end of the Ben Roethlisberger era and they would still eat a lot of cap trading Brown and then I saw the news from Adam Schefter today.

I am still not sure if the 49ers’ front office would be willing to pursue Brown. It will depend on the cost. We must remember the Raiders and the Packers both have multiple first-round picks for this upcoming draft. I cannot imagine Brown wanting to go to Oakland, but Green Bay would be an intriguing landing spot, pairing him with Aaron Rodgers. Plus, could you imagine Brown on one side with Davante Adams on the other?

Someone like the Colts could offer their first-round pick plus they have plenty of money to throw Brown’s way as he has expressed interest in a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. I do not believe the 49ers will give up the $1.02 million for Brown, and are they even willing to give up the 34th pick in the draft? Brown is a big personality and I am not sure if the front office wants that in their locker-room.

The wide receiver free agency market is abysmal this offseason. There are a couple names like John Brown, who was having a decent year last year before the Baltimore made a change at quarterback. Devin Funchess is not a WR1 but could be an okay addition. Kevin White had a ton of talent but cannot stay healthy, is he worth a cheap contract to see if he can break that mold.

I think Dante Pettis can be the WR1 for the 49ers. I said as much last season when he was drafted that he would be the heir apparent to Pierre Garçon. Garçon is now gone and we saw flashes from Pettis towards the end of last season. Will Trent Taylor or Kendrick Bourne take a step forward this upcoming season? If they can take that extra step and Marquise Goodwin can stay healthy for the entire season to take the top off the defense, the 49ers already have their starting receiving corps for 2019.

Year 3 is an important year for this regime. They got a pass in Year 1 because we all knew how bad this team was and what Lynch and Shanahan inherited, plus they got Jimmy Handsome. They got a pass last season because of the injuries they sustained. No team would be competitive without their starting quarterback and running back. Not to mention all the other injuries they had.

There are still some glaring holes on defense, edge rusher, linebacker and a shutdown corner. I believe the 49ers desperately needs to be aggressive in free agency.

As for the second part of your question, no I do not believe the 49ers will trade back if Arizona or someone who trades with Arizona drafts Bosa. There is still Josh Allen from Kentucky who some believe is better than Bosa. I am not saying one is better than the other, but I will be happy with one or the other.

The only team I believe OBJ plays for next season is the Giants. I heard on the “Around the NFL podcast,” an official podcast with NFL writers, that if the Giants traded OBJ they would incur a $21 million-dollar cap hit. Then they would have to try and find a player equal to that of OBJ in making the trade worth it for them. They would demand at least a first round pick, probably more and with having a few holes I don’t think the 49ers front office would want to give up all the draft capital it would take to get Beckham. If the Giants were going to trade the star receiver it would have been last year before they gave him the extension.

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