Thanks in part to injuries, the San Francisco 49ers suffered through another disappointing season. Could these five players help in the comeback attempt?
Make it five consecutive non-winning seasons for a team that was in three straight NFC title games before that. It’s also year number three for head coach Kyle Shanahan at the helm of the San Francisco 49ers. And it’s safe to say that the first two seasons in the Bay Area have been quite the learning experience. Some key injuries during the month of September certainly put a crimp in the team’s 2018 plans.
The Niners have just six selections in April’s draft but that includes picks No. 2 and No. 36. The team hopes to make a big splash with those choices. But the organization also has more than $60 million in cap room as of this writing (via Spotrac). Could the club pick up some bargains and then spend big on some of the more notable names on the market. If that’s the case, could these five players be on general manager John Lynch’s shopping list?
5. DT Brandon Mebane (Los Angeles Chargers)
Over these past two seasons, the notable exception along the Niners’ defensive front four has been veteran Earl Mitchell. That’s because Arik Armstead (2015), DeForest Buckner (2016) and Solomon Thomas (2017) were all taken in the first rounds of their respective drafts by this organization. On the other hand, the former member of the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins inked a deal as a free agent with the club in 2017.
Mitchell has been less-than-impressive during his two-year stint with the Niners and the club has decided to pick up his option for the final two years. So as he prepares to move on likely move on be a free agency, San Francisco has a bit of a hole in the middle of their front four. And considering the team has been somewhat mediocre when it comes to stopping the run, veteran defensive tackle Brandon me they might be the right man for the job.
That’s not to say that the 49ers have found an immediate fix for the NFL’s 14th-ranked run defense. But Mebane’s experience could be his most valuable asset as he hopes to play a 13th straight season.