With the news of Steve Smith injury, everyone's attention has changed from our lack of DT to lack of WR depth. While both are big issues, it made me wonder, which loss will have a bigger impact. The obvious answer appears to be the loss of Smith, but are we really sure. Let break down both scenarios.
Smith is a play maker, no question about this fact. He's one of the best receivers in the league and his presence on the field commands respect and if not given, will burn a defense like a California wildfire, mercilessly. Ma'ake Kemoeatu on the other hand was a big man, often demanding double teams. He may not be the a play maker but his presence made it easier for the rest of the defense.
Smith is a key part of the offense and often requires double coverage while Kemo is a big man that demanded double teams from the opposition's offensive line. Both require the opposition to commit two players to cover, leaving one less person on the field to cover another player. In turn, this improves the ability of everyone else on the field. One less defender the Delhomme has to look for when passing, one less defender Hoover has to block for Double Trouble, one less defender Muhammad or Jarret has to worry about being on them. For Kemo he makes it so Beason can more easily get through the offensive line to make the tackle for a lose, or for Peppers, Johnson, or Brown to get the sack.
What it all boils down to is the fact that we lack depth in several important areas and until we get into the season and see who is able to step up and deliver there will always be questions. So who's more valuable? Well because DT isn't a skill position he should be easier to replace and therefore of course losing Smith would be worse than losing Kemo. Duh!