• Will Cuberos

HubMail: Answering Your 49ers and NFL Questions with Will Cuberos

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The 49ers are desperate for playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. It’s clear from the lack of production at the receiver position that the team needs an influx of talent and a “go-to” type of receiver. Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones would be the easy call here, he posted the best season of his career with Kyle Shanahan calling the offense. But if we’ve seen anything the last two years it’s that Shanahan can scheme almost anyone open. The team also holds the 36th pick in the draft this season, and with the wide receiver class being particularly deep this year, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the 49ers use that selection on the position.

Instead, if I could trade for any player I’d look at the other side of the ball. The defense was historically bad at forcing turnovers in 2018 and had trouble getting to the opposing quarterback all season. The first player that jumps to mind is my 2018 draft crush: Derwin James. James is a Swiss Army knife in San Diego’s defense, able to rush the passer, defend the run, and run with tight ends and running backs in coverage. His ability to do a little bit of everything well would be a huge addition to the 49ers defense. But he can’t rush the passer and drop into coverage at the same time, so a player that can focus on one or the other while being one of the best at his position should be the choice. That player is Myles Garrett, the former number one pick has posted 20½ sacks in his first two years and posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 87 last season. Garrett, coupled with DeForest Buckner, would give the 49ers two of the best young defensive line players in football. If only Kap hadn’t beaten the Rams in 2016…….

If I was writing this the day before the combine started I would have told you both players would be competing to fill the void left by Arik Armstead. But Shanahan said today at the combine that the team was going to bring back Armstead on his fifth-year option. This makes me think the coaching staff is going to bring Taylor and Street along slowly. Taylor impressed in the preseason and Street missed the entire year with a knee injury. Street is already one of the strongest players on the team and has earned the nickname “Baby Hulk.” He played opposite rookie standout Bradley Chubb at N.C. State and some draftniks had him as a second-round talent. I think with Armstead staying the coaching staff brings along both players slowly, eventually upping their snap counts as the season ends to see which player is best suited to replace Armstead. My early money is on Street, but I would be surprised if either player gets over 300 snaps.

This is easy. No way a Kyle Shanahan lead team comes out to anyone but Lil Wayne. He named his son Carter after Lil Wayne, and Shanahan, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo, and others caught his concert during the season. So the only answer is Lil Wayne’s “Uproar.”

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