What are the team needs at this half-way point, based on performance, injuries and depth?
The 49ers lead the NFL in total defense (PPG), they are the best team at stopping the run but fall off to 21st at defending the pass.
The 49ers are ranked sixth in the NFL for total offense (PPG). They are also sixth in rushing. The stat that is questionable is passing offense: nearly last in the league.
Clearly, the top needs start with addressing the offensive challenges of improving receptions, better pass protection and better quarterback play. Future needs are addressed on previous results.
With a stout run defense, the secondary needs the most improvement as well.
The question is where to start? Take advantage of the highly valued skill positions of defensive back or wide receiver available in the first round? Reinforce the offensive line starting with left tackle in the first round, followed by a guard and a much-needed center? Trade the farm and family for a top-five pick to get a quarterback? These questions bring great debate among 49ers fans.
Center is another high need. Goodwin is an improvement over Baas; however, he is inconsistent at times and there is no depth.
Pass protection must improve. Right guard is a high need. Snyder is a good backup but Rachal is inconsistent. The team needs a competent starter at right guard.
Play at left tackle needs to improve and offensive tackle is still a position of medium need.
In the secondary, the aging Rogers plays great, but he's on a one-year contract (in negotiations). Brown and Culliver are only adequate. Depth is a concern, so cornerback is a high need.
Goldson and Williams have played well, but the free safety position is still a high need.
Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh will not be trading several first-round picks for Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley. A franchise QB acquisition would be nice, the available QBs in the late first round don't differ much from the fifth round. A quarterback remains a high need.
Wide receivers Edwards and Morgan are free agents after this year and, when both were injured this year, along with Crabtree, the vertical threat suffered. Until Crabtree plays like a No. 1 pick, we need to complement the position with a big, fast, threat. Wide receiver is a high need, especially if Morgan and Edwards leave.