There is no question in my mind, the most glaring need for the San Francisco 49ers, is a shut-down corner. You are only as strong as your weakest link, and unfortunately for San Francisco, they were exposed early and often, in Super Bowl XLVII. Under no circumstance should Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco be able to complete “prayers” down the field. This is not a John Madden video game! However, passes were complete, in the game’s crucial moments, leading to a Ravens Super Bowl. Now entering the 2013 season, GM Trent Baalke will need to rethink, regroup, and re-evaluate the state of the team’s secondary.
With numerous big name free-agents about to hit the open-market, many teams have already identified certain players to target, and Baalke should be no different. Although, I am unaware of his direction, I’m going to play GM for a bit, and say one acronym, “DRC!” If I am Baalke, I would target an affordable player with an abundance of potential, in Philadelphia Eagles CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The signing of DRC would make sense for both parties. It would provide some long-term stability to a struggling secondary while providing DRC with an opportunity to get a ring. I predict the 49ers can strike a deal similar to a 3-year/$9 million range. If this is the case, the 49ers should pull the trigger without hesitation.
For one, DRC will add a dimension no current cornerback on the 49ers roster possess, a true H-W-S specimen. (Height-Weight-Speed). At 6-2 and 182 pounds, DRC can afford to play press-coverage while being very physical at the line of scrimmage. Furthermore, his blazing 4.33 (40 time) speed will allow him to make plays on the ball naturally. A former 2009 Pro-Bowler, DRC can still be obtained at an affordable price. A very underrated player, DRC will significantly enhance the 49ers chances of finally winning a ring.
In addition, the move would provide 49ers DC Vic Fangio the luxury of moving CB Tarrell Brown to nickel and dime packages all while pushing CB Chris Culliver. We all know how HC Jim Harbaugh loves to breed competition, and this scenario makes perfect sense in the Harbaugh era.
However, the signing may come at the expense of others. With other 49ers such as NT Isaac Sopoaga, DE Ricky Jean-Francois, and TE Delanie Walker scheduled to hit free-agency, it will be interesting to see which players Baalke will retain, if they do in fact sign DRC.