Questions and answers with 49ers Brawl for Arizona Cardinals fans

  • arizona cardinals
  • Free Agency
  • San Francisco 49ers
By Alexander Mann March 17, 2020 0 Comment
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The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers kicked off the tampering period with massive trades. We talk with 49ers Brawl about the divisional opponent.

The Arizona Cardinals traded for Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The San Francisco 49ers traded DeForest Buckner for a first-round pick from the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams started with a bang for the league’s legal tampering period. We catch up with Alex Byrne of 49ers Brawl to get some answers for our divisional opponents.

After having some time to reflect on the 49ers’ fantastic 2019 campaign, what is one of the biggest areas of need or opportunity for the team to repeat their run in 2020?

Byrne: “The 49ers are built to be a run-heavy offense, and for their defense and passing game to complement their run game. As offensive success is much more stable year to year it makes sense for them to prioritize improving their run game as that is the key to their success and it is difficult to expect their defense to be as dominant as it was last season.”

Who is one player you think the 49ers should sign during Free Agency?

Byrne: “The 49ers have lacked a true deep threat during Shanahan’s tenure. Going back to his days in Atalanta, Taylor Gabriel had by far the best season of his career in 2016 as the Falcons primary deep threat. Robby Anderson(Jets) is 11th in the league since 2016 in yards on catches 20+ yards while having very unreliable coaching and quarterbacking. Anderson represents a low risk and high reward option and I would rather sign him than re-sign Emmanuel Sanders.”

Who is a dark horse on the 49ers roster for the Cardinals to keep an eye out for in 2020?

Byrne: “After missing the entirety of his rookie season, wide receiver Jalen Hurd is certainly an under the radar player on the 49ers roster. He was a five-star recruit as a running back but transitioned to WR during his time at Baylor. At 6’5 “ he certainly has the size to play as a traditional X receiver- another missing piece in the 49ers offense. His year off the field would have given him time to learn Shanahan’s complex route tree, which has 24 pages of routes. Also, expect Shanahan to find creative ways to get him the ball in space as he is dangerous with the ball in his hands. – Is a nice complement to Deebo.”

With the 49ers picking 13th and 31st overall, what would you do with that 13th pick?

Byrne: “Javon Kinlaw, DT out of South Carolina, would provide as close a replacement to Buckner as possible, while on a cheaper rookie contract. His technique certainly isn’t as refined but certainly has the athleticism to be an explosive interior rusher. Early on he could probably just play in passing situations and let Sheldon Day play in running situations.”

“With Joe Staley only having two years left, and with injuries been a problem last season, it would make sense to target a left tackle at the top of the draft. The three worthy of a top 20 selection would be Andrew Thomas, Mekhi Becton, and Josh Jones. Given Shanahan’s scheme, I think Becton would be the worst fit-out of the three, and will likely already be going. Thomas has played at a high level throughout his career in the SEC so should be able to transition quickly. Jones, on the other hand, played for Houston, a non-power 5 team.”

“If given two years to develop I think he would develop into a very solid tackle and would be a great fit for the 49ers. Given that he’ll likely be available a bit later on, the best move would be trading down and try to accumulate some mid-round picks and target Josh Jones. A haul of Jones, Ruiz and some mid-round picks would be an absolute steal.”

What about the 31st pick?

Byrne: “I think trading down is likely and is what I would do as they don’t have another pick until the fifth and it’s a deep draft class. Out of the players likely to be at 31 I would have Cesar Ruiz at the top of my draft board as he can play at guard and center and would be an instant upgrade over mike person.”

“He is a very good fit for the 49ers zone run scheme as he has the mobility to excel out in space. Ruiz is the best scheme fit, fills arguably their biggest need, and would likely be the best player available. The Ravens will likely be prime candidates for him but outside of them not much other teams in the 20-30 range have a major need at guard or center.”

The league’s legal tampering window is still open, so a lot of moves are in flux. But we at Cardinals Brawl appreciate Alex for taking the time to work with us as Free Agency draws closer.

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