The off season is well upon us and now it’s time to look back on some different issues from the 2013 season. One thing that the San Francisco 49ers may need to consider as the draft season approaches is the possibility of losing Aldon Smith to suspension. We all know the things that came about with him before and during the season. The way that the 49ers handled it received both praise and criticism. How can they go about preparing for a possible Aldon Smith suspension?
The 49ers chose to stand by Aldon Smith and commit to helping him as long as he wanted to be helped. He ended up missing five weeks and did not receive any additional suspension from the NFL last season. There are still some legalities to be worked out for Aldon Smith and the NFL may react with their own punishment as well. If this happens, the 49ers need to be ready to absorb the absence of their premier pass rusher.
One player that stepped up when given the opportunity was Dan Skuta. He is nowhere near the dynamic pass rusher that Aldon Smith is but he was able to get some pressure on the quarterback. He did a solid job of setting the edge as well. Corey Lemonier showed early that he can be a disruptive pass rusher also. He has one of the fastest first steps and gets off on the ball very quick. Both of these players did a great job of bridging the gap until the 49ers got Aldon Smith back.
This draft surely has some good pass rushers that the 49ers could use one of their abundance of picks on. Here are two mid to late round prospects that the 49ers may take a look at:
- Jackson Jeffcoat Texas 6-4 250 lbs
A natural pass rusher. Quickness off the edge and can play standing up or at true defensive end position.
Marcus Smith Louisville 6-4 258 lbs
Brings versatility, played every position on defensive line for Louisville. Has gotten to cover some tight ends and can also create turnovers by stripping the wide receiver once he caught the ball.
The 49ers can afford to use one of their 12 picks to but will need to land a guy that can show that he can be a pass rusher right away. In the meantime, the 49ers will need to wait and see how the NFL will deal with the problems.