The San Francisco 49ers’ front office has, for the most part, done a good job evaluating talent, both in the draft, free agency, and already on the roster, recently—Aldon Smith (ignoring his off-the-field trouble), Navarro Bowman, Eric Reid, and Donte Whitner come to mind. Yet, there have been some BIG mistakes and miscues as well. For the most part, these just happen to be misplaced depth, but a few key players have been left out to dry.
First off, how did Jim Harbaugh let Doug Baldwin end up on the Seattle Seahawks? This guy was an undrafted free agent from Stanford that has repeatedly given the 49ers difficult games, though recently he has tapered a little bit.
Next, even though it made sense to let Dashon Goldson walk for an overpriced free agent contract to pick up Eric Reid, General Manager Trent Baalke, and the same regarding Delanie Walker and rookie Vance McDonald, Baalke has nevertheless balked some, albeit few, decisions. The biggest problem is depth—and where it is and isn’t.
The 49ers have ENORMOUS depth at the running back position: 2 guys with potentially starting talent (Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James), two beasts (Anthony Dixon and Bruce Miller) and, of course, the “Inconvenient Truth” in Frank Gore. This amazing depth, however, has some consequences. Look at the defensive line, where the 49ers might have to bring up a practice squad member to actually have one backup. Harbaugh has survived, for most of his tenure, on very few defensive subs. As was shown last year—and through the current plethora of injuries—depth is needed. Somehow, the 49ers’ brass saved themselves by picking up Glenn Dorsey, but if he can’t go, the 49ers could be in trouble.
Of course, I don’t need to mention A.J. Jenkins—or the entire 2012 draft class, save James, for that matter. And what about the current QB carousel? Why in the world is Jim Harbaugh bringing in a new 3rd string toy every week? Yes, it’s the 50th or so spot on the team, but why keep rotating that locker?
The 49ers have done a fairly good job putting together a roster, but some mistakes have been made. Consequently, there are some holes on this team that need to get plugged before they burst wide open.