5 Offseason Moves San Francisco 49ers Should Have Made

Joseph Akeley@@Jakeley_BRAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2012

5 Offseason Moves San Francisco 49ers Should Have Made

0 of 5

    Entering the 2012 NFL offseason, the San Francisco 49ers prioritized retaining every starter from their incredible defense, re-signing Alex Smith and adding a few weapons for him.

    And they did just that.

    But they missed out on some attainable diamonds in the rough, players that would have provided great depth at worst and could have been starters at best.

    The following slides highlight five players the 49ers should have grabbed this offseason.

Drafted Cordy Glenn

1 of 5

    Going into the NFL draft, the 49ers were in need of a starting right guard and some offensive playmakers.

    San Francisco used its first-round pick on wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, a home run threat out of Illinois.

    In time he may turn out to be a productive player, but he looks far too raw to consistently contribute this season.

    Enter Cordy Glenn. 

    Alex Boone has done an admirable job as the starting right guard, but San Francisco sure wouldn’t mind having Glenn, who played guard and tackle at Georgia.

    Boone and Glenn would have undoubtedly been battling for a starting spot in the preseason, and the loser would have instantly become the backup for every starting guard and tackle.

    Glenn is off to a great start as the starting left tackle for the Buffalo Bills. The 49ers missed a golden opportunity to draft the multi-talented offensive lineman.

Drafted Alshon Jeffery

2 of 5

    Of course, the 49ers could have just chosen Alshon Jeffery over Jenkins with their first-round pick. 

    Jeffery emerged as the No. 2 wide receiver for the Bears in the preseason, and has already caught nine balls for 132 yards and a touchdown in the regular season.

    There's no way to know whether Jeffery would have found playing time for San Francisco this season, but to this point, Jeffery has looked like an absolute draft-day steal.

    Concerns about the ex-South Carolina star's weight and physique were exaggerated. Jeffery has the size, strength and hands to be a dominant wide receiver. 

    It's way, way too early to call Jenkins a bust, but it's hard to imagine Jenkins' ceiling being as high as Chicago's second-round pick.

Signed Tim Jennings

3 of 5

    Jennings is off to a phenomenal start to the 2012 season, leading the league in both interceptions (four) and pass deflections (nine). 

    Had the 49ers signed Jennings, they would have had arguably the best cornerback trio in the league with Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown.

    And with the talented Bears cornerback, the 49ers could have tried experimenting with Chris Culliver as a safety, a position he played in college.

    Donte Whitner is an incredible run-stuffer, but his coverage skills were once again exposed against Minnesota. He dropped what should have been an easy interception for a touchdown, and he allowed Kyle Rudolph to catch a high-arching pass by Christian Ponder for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Whitner had plenty of time to turn his head and make a play on the ball, but instead he face-guarded Rudolph.

    With Jennings, the 49ers would have had the option to have Culliver, an impressive cornerback in his own right, sub in for Whitner and play safety on passing downs, potentially making the 49ers pass defense more formidable.

    Jennings signed a two-year, $6.6 million deal this offseason, a bargain for a guy with his ability.

Signed LaRon Landry

4 of 5

    Dashon Goldson may be the hardest hitting safety in the league, but LaRon Landry is not far behind.

    The Jets signed the injury-prone safety to a one-year, $4 million deal, which is an absolute bargain as long as Landry stays healthy.

    With Landry and Goldson patrolling the field, would an opposing receiver ever want to come over the middle?

    In this case, Landry, Goldson and Whitner would have battled for the two starting safety spots, and the loser would have provided great depth.

    All three are such good tacklers that the loser of the starting safety battle could have also experimented playing linebacker on passing downs if Patrick Willis or NaVorro Bowman ever got injured.

Signed Aubrayo Franklin

5 of 5

    Franklin was stout against the run as a part of the 49ers for four seasons.

    Last year, Franklin anchored a New Orleans Saints defensive line that allowed 108 rushing yards per game. Three games into the 2012 season without him, the Saints are allowing an average of 215 yards per game.

    Franklin signed a one-year deal worth $890,000 with the Chargers in late July of this offseason. Naturally, San Diego's run defense has improved substantially from last season.

    I don't understand why nobody wanted this guy.

    The 49ers run defense has been solid so far this year, but it struggled in the second half against Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. Having a little extra depth can never hurt, especially now that Isaac Sopoaga is banged up (via San Jose Mercury News).

    Maybe Franklin and San Francisco burned a bridge, but if not, I can't understand why general manager Trent Baalke didn't ink Franklin to a cheap one-year deal before San Diego did.