Fix the Franchise: San Francisco 49ers edition

At 8-8 we could argue that the 49ers do not need all that much, of course with just the 18th best offense in 2009 we could argue that there is a lot of work to do. Really this team needs to continue making wise decisions, and allow Head Coach Mike Singletary to do his thing. This may be the easiest fix of the 20 teams not to make the 2009 NFL playoffs. Then again one bad move sets this team way back, so they have to be careful, but bold at the same time. Never an easy thing to accomplish.

Since they gave up nearly 4,000 passing yards in 2009, the top need on defense has to be in the defensive secondary. Since their takeaway differential was +9 they could afford to add a player like Taylor Mays to the secondary via the draft. Mays may not be a ball hawk, but he is a big time hitter, and a Singletary kind of player. If I were calling the shots for the 49ers I would spend one of my two first round picks on him.

The next thing, they need to do is bulk up their offensive line, both to protect QB Alex Smith and to beef up their running game. They gained 1,600 yards on the ground last year and Frank Gore had 1,120. Adding an Offensive Tackle and an offensive Guard should be secondary priorities. If I were running their 2010 draft I would be spending my second round pick on the best OT tackle prospect available and a later round pick on an offensive guard prospect.

The Niners have a great chance to win their division in 2010. The three teams sharing their division are rebuilding, and they are just a few good moves away from being contenders once again. If I were running the show I would hold to the status quo. Allow Singletary to continue building this team in his image, and work towards having a strong draft.

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