Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the San Francisco 49ers [full archive here].
Season Recap: The San Francisco 49ers were the headline team of 2011, improving from a 6-10 record in 2010 to a 13-3 team that was one game away from the Super Bowl under Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Improved play of QB Alex Smith and a top five defense were the key reasons for the success. With a full season of head coaching experience under his belt, Harbaugh will undoubtedly lead a motivated and confident 49er team in 2012.
1. Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree finally showed what he is capable of, but really was the only solid option, outside of Vernon Davis, for Alex Smith. Free agent Josh Morgan played well, but only lasted five games before a season ending injury. Ted Ginn will most likely leave in free agency and Braylon Edwards has already been released. A speedster such as Robert Meachem or Vincent Jackson would be a great fit. Kendal Wright would also be a solid selection in the first round.
2. Right Guard: Adam Snyder is a free agent and most likely won’t be resigned. The 49ers need to draft a young OG to add to their offensive line. Cordy Glenn from Georgia and Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin are names to keep an eye on in the draft.
3. Tight End: Everyone knows Harbaugh is a big fan of the two tight end set. Pairing a solid tight end with All-Pro Vernon Davis would be a smart move. Stanford tight end Coby Fleener is one of the top prospects in the draft, and with the connection to HC Jim Harbaugh, could be a possibility in round one or two.
4. Cornerback: This is a more pressing need if Carlos Rogers isn’t resigned, but it’s likely he returns. If he is not resigned, Trumaine Johnson from Montana is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on. I think the 49ers should add Cortland Finnegan, who would fit perfectly in the defense, and give the 49ers some very physical play in the secondary.
5. Safety: The 49ers appear set with Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner, but could use some more depth. Backups Reggie Smith and Madieu Williams are free agents, so a young draft pick would fit nicely. Harrison Smith, Markelle Martin, and George Iloka are all possibilities.