As expected, the 49ers have shown to be the most consistent team in a division crowded with old-school flavor, exhibited by a clobbering defense and a solid run game.
How many other teams—let alone other divisions—can play this style?
The loss to the New York Giants in Week 6 still stings, but the 49ers understand how brutal the schedule is in the second half of the season. They will have plenty of games to prove their Super Bowl mettle.
However, great teams continue to build teams even with success ahead of them. With the trade deadline approaching on Thursday, here are three players the 49ers should consider trading.
Many fans may have forgotten about Tramaine Brock, which is to be expected considering the playing time—or lack thereof—he has received thus far in the 2012 season.
Brock was having a solid start to the 2011 season as the 49ers' nickelback before a hand injury forced him down the depth chart. That injury, of course, opened up playing time for emerging cornerback Chris Culliver.
However, Brock is even farther down the depth chart in 2012. He stands behind Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox.
The 49ers could possibly receive a late-round pick for Brock. Detroit Lions?
This may come as a surprise to many.
I have long been a supporter of Isaac Sopoaga, but in 2012, his production and value have decreased a bit.
In a 3-4 defense, nose tackles usually don't get much love from fans and media alike. This isn't a position where you can measure performance based on stats.
However, fans aren't stupid. If you watch the 49ers in 2012, their run defense has seemed a bit off at times. The push, especially up the middle, has left the 49ers vulnerable to downhill runners—Marshawn Lynch and Ahmad Bradshaw come to mind.
In the final year of his contract, Sopoaga counts for nearly five million of the 49ers' 2012 cap. At 31, the 49ers will likely replace the veteran in 2013 with either Ricky Jean-Francois, a possible free agent, or another young gun.
Ricky Jean-Francois could step in right now and the 49ers won't miss a beat.
Delanie Walker will be a free agent after this season, and should be a hot commodity in the open market.
The 49ers would love to keep Walker, but his potential contract will be far too rich for general manager Trent Baalke.
Walker has shown to be an elite blocker, and his versatility, whether he lines up as a receiver or in the coveted H-back role, is something teams will crave.
However, Walker has not been a factor in the passing game in 2012 as he was in 2011. This may turn some teams away, but if you put on the tape, Walker is starting-level material on most teams.
A fourth-round pick would be fair compensation for the emerging tight end.