Most people look at the 49ers and see a team with multiple needs, especially on defense. If the 49ers want to take a big step up in 2019, the thinking goes, the team must focus its efforts in the draft and free agency on pass rushers, linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties.
After all, the 49ers defense not only was pushed around and picked apart, it hardly ever took the ball away from opponents. San Francisco had just seven takeaways in 2018, the lowest total recorded in a 16-game season.
General manager John Lynch has said he’s especially excited about getting a young, standout pass rusher, likely with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
“There’s good pass rushers in this draft,” said Lynch.
The offense has problems, too, but even with backup quarterbacks C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens, the 49ers were able to score points in a 4-12 season.
But former 49ers quarterback Steve Young has a different opinion. This offseason he’d advise Lynch to get more talent for Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“I would go all in on offense right now,” Young said recently on KNBR’s Tolbert and Lund Podcast.
Young said he’d draft or sign a top pass rusher and a cornerback, “and then just pour the money into offense.”
Young particularly would like to see the Niners acquire a wide receiver that the opposing defense would have to game-plan for each week. Young says Shanahan is known for his ability to run a strong offensive scheme, and he should be given the tools and talent to do just that.
“Give him the stuff and then we’ll see where we are,” Young said on the podcast. “Don’t give me some theoretical thing where there’s a safety available and he’s a killer safety – safeties, there’s no one going to play safety anymore because you can’t play the position. You can’t patrol. You can’t do anything. So what? He can’t hit anybody, so who cares?”