49ers draft grades (the ones that count)

Here is my Monday column grading the 49ers’ draft.

Before we grade the 49ers’ draft, we have to agree on a grading criterion.

I propose a simple one: Are the 49ers better than the Seahawks now? That’s the only question that should matter. That’s a pass-fail question.

The 49ers added depth. They addressed needs. They drafted 12 players. But are the Niners better than the Seahawks?

The first player the 49ers drafted was Jimmie Ward, a 193-pound strong safety. He is 15 pounds lighter than Donte Whitner, the 49ers’ strong safety the past three seasons. Ward also is lighter than both of the 49ers’ starting cornerbacks – Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver.

Ward will play nickel back until he gets bigger. Ward will cover Percy Harvin when the 49ers face the Seahawks.

In college, Ward played in the Middle Atlantic Conference. He never covered a receiver who was anywhere near as good as Harvin. Harvin was the 22nd pick in 2009 and is one of the best players in the NFL when he’s healthy. The best receiver Ward ever covered in college was Dri Archer from Kent State, who was the 97th pick this year.

ADVANTAGE: SEAHAWKS

The second player the 49ers drafted was Carlos Hyde, a running back from Ohio State. Ohio State hasn’t produced a dominant NFL running back since Eddie George 20 years ago. And the Big Ten hasn’t produced a Pro Bowl running back since Marion Barber, a fourth-round pick in 2005, who made one Pro Bowl appearance in 2007. But he never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season. He retired in 2012.

Here is the list of Big Ten running backs who have been drafted in the first two rounds the past 10 years: Le’Veon Bell, Montee Ball, Mikel Leshoure, Beanie Wells, Rashard Mendenhall, Laurence Maroney and Chris Perry. Zero Pro Bowl appearances among them.

Hyde might be an effective goal-line back in the NFL, but he probably won’t be a difference-maker, especially against Seattle’s lightning fast, swarming defense.

ADVANTAGE: SEAHAWKS

Instead of running back Hyde in Round 2, the 49ers could have drafted a wide receiver, a difference-maker at wide receiver – Cody Lattimer or Allen Robinson. Both guys are big – Robinson is 6-3 and 220 pounds. Lattimer is 6-2, 215. And both guys are fast – Robinson ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. Lattimer ran a 4.38.

Those two receivers have the size to improve the 49ers’ red-zone offense and the speed to force opposing defenses to back off the line of scrimmage, which would open up running lanes for Frank Gore. Either Lattimer or Robinson would have given the 49ers an advantage over the Seahawks.

But after Day 1 of the draft, the 49ers traded with the Bills for veteran receiver Stevie Johnson. He put up good numbers for poor teams in the past, but he played poorly for a poor team last season and he is not the deep threat the 49ers need. He is a possession receiver, like Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.

Not one player the 49ers acquired during this draft will make the Seahawks’ defense back off the line of scrimmage when these teams face each other in December and January.

On the other hand, the first player the Seahawks’ drafted, Paul Richardson, will make the 49ers’ defense back up. Richardson was one of the fastest receivers in the draft. He ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the Combine.

He will face Chris Culliver, the 49ers’ starting left cornerback. Culliver gave up 11 catches of 20 yards or more during the final 14 games of 2012. Richardson caught 19 passes of 20 yards or more during his 12-game 2013 season at the University of Colorado.

Culliver, who did not play last season because of injury, struggles to turn and locate deep passes while running full speed. So, the Seahawks spent their first pick on a deep threat who can exploit Culliver’s weakness, the biggest weakness on the 49ers’ defense.

The 49ers drafted 12 players. Many of them may become good down the road. The 49ers may even win more games than they won last season. But the Niners still are the second-best team in the NFC West.

ADVANTAGE: SEAHAWKS

FINAL GRADE: FAIL. Ask the Seahawks.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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  1. You know what’s hilarious about your grades is that if the niners were to draft fales, your article would be completely different. Niners dominated this draft and are much better equipped to beat the Seahawks.. Niners were one play away from beating them in seatle. Adding Hyde and Johnson Alone makes them a better team. Johnson played very well against Sherman last year. Niners now have 3 #1 WRs to attack seatle. That’s not evening including Vernon. Seatle is in trouble I promise you.

    1. Not to mention Seattle also lost 2 starting CB’s, also half of the defensive front and they also lost 2 recievers. Plus had a weak draft themselves but yeah they are the better SMH

    2. another grant article that makes me wanna throw up in my mouth! we lost to seattle because of the refs blown call on a personal foul “roughing the kicker” call that, instead was ruled “running into the kicker” and thus only a five yarder. by definition, hitting the punter’s plant foot is a 15 yard personal foul! hitting the KICKING foot = the 5 yard foul!
      Seattle got that game gift wrapped by the refs ( last 3 years our season ended with horrible calls that cost us everything). and i didnt even mention the bowman play.

      I’ll play your game though grant. forget about the first paragraph. we lost the game on the field because: we had a lead , but could not burn enough clock when WE had the ball the 2nd half. gore = i yard per carry. Hyde will move the sticks, young, fresh legs, size and strength. Were a smash mouth running team the last 3 years without a smash mouth running back, even you can see the irony there grant. Its kinda scary to think of how successful we can be now that we have he right pieces. Hyde will also improve the goal-line offense. again, we have not had the big bodied goal-line back Harbaugh and baalke crave. Brandon Jacobs was a bust.

      We also lost because we got beat deep twice by bad coverage: in the first half, we were shutting them out and had sucked the life out of that crowd. The players too, were shocked and had no answer. Wilson rolls out…..and scrambles some more…..no where to throw it….almost 10 seconds has elapsed….no where to throw ….and whitner leaves the WR to come up on wilson…..and boom! lobs one over his head for a long completion that leads to their first field goal.

      That score gave them their confidence back! instead of another punt….they get points. A punt might have been the end!!!!! but getting points awoke them, gave them some swagger!
      Then whitner and rodgers get beat on 4th and 7 for a 45 yard td!!!!!!!!!!!! Ward has ball skills. A pro should not get beat on 4th and 7 for a freaking td! Bethea had 0 penaltys last year. we drastically improved the secondary over last year.

      And the 69 yard kickoff return we gave up right after we took a late lead. The lb’s and defensive backs we took will make a living on coverage units.

      You disappoint me Grant. but i would expect nothing less.

      1. I hate to say but even the KO return was a give me by the referee’s there was at least 1 hold that wasn’t called

      2. Please fire Grant! Please fire Grant! Jshaw should replace him. Obviously he, as well as I, could use use Grammar work but that can be edited. Grants options also make me want to puke. He needs a to move to Oakland and write for the raiders, (nothing against the raiders, much love for nor cal sports) or after reading this article go move to Seattle. You would fit right in with all the tweakers. I really am just speechless why Grant has access to the 49ers while he clearly has no ability to evaluate players, clearly has no faith in our players, and most off clearly has no faith in our GM and Coach who took a failing team loaded with talent to a super bowl contender every year. I think they know what they are doing and you don’t. So like I said, fire Grant! Fire Grant! Please, please, please Fire Grant!

      3. while you are assessing blame for the loss to seattle, did you forget that the qb turned the ball voer 3 times in the 4 quarter?

        1. jshaw,
          The final 49er possessions were either a fumble or an interception. We were lucky enough to recover one of the fumbles. 49ers lost, not because of the refs, but because Seattle played better. Quit your whining already.

          1. mark,canadian big mouth: yes kap turned the ball over 3 times in the 2nd half. after we blew a huge lead, due to the poor plays i listed. i did not list the Lynch 55 yard td run because the emphasis was on the db’s and special teamers we drafted to improve our depth in the secondary and well, the special teams.

            Kap carried us on his back! was running and throwing just fine for 2 1/2 quarters. then he was betrayed by the refs, his defense and special teams. Seattle came storming back due to the trio mentioned. As soon as seattle took a lead, kap marched down and took it back when he jumped and threw a frozen rope to AB. probably the greates pass ive ever seen due to the velocity he got on it WHILE SUSPENDED IN MID AIR. There aint many qb’s in the history of the game that can make that throw at alll, let alone with the authority.

            Kap failed to bring us back, true. but i dont understand how he gets 0 credit for putting us in a position to win……but all the blame for NOT winning. The rest of the team gets a pass!!!!? What most fools fail to realize, if Kap pulls that game out…..it goes down in history along with “the catch” as the 2 greatest plays ever in the history of the NFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Criticize the guy for not being GREAT! Dont blame him for the loss. He was 95% of our offense. look what peyton manning did on a neutral field! By comparison, kaps performance was brilliant and should earn him a little respect!

          2. Okay, but it wasn’t clear. TYVM. Also when Kaep made that throw @ the end he had 2 time outs left. That throw was unnecessary as he could have gotten closer. And he had 1 and maybe 2 WR open on the left side. Progressions!

      4. We lost to Seattle for many reasons but the final one was that “One Read” Kaepernick locked on to a completely covered receiver on the last offensive play. All you have to do is look at the film. He made a very bad decision and they lost. Even Joe Montana couldn’t have completed that pass to Crabtree. Of course Montana would have taken 5 yards to someone else and burned the Seahawks on the next play. That’s what hall of fame QB’s do. Kaepernick is not even close to that elite group.

    3. Can Grant be anymore Transparent?

      He’s just looking to get a Rise out of 49ers fans that’s all. The more Posts he get’s the more it makes his Blog look good.

      It’s Lame, this Article is Lame & He’s most surely Lame.

    4. Its pretty clear that Baalke/Harbaugh like to get solid players and depth at every position rather than package picks to get a few standout players. That is just their philosophy. They were narrowly the #2 team last year and could have won the NFC west if not jobbed on that roughing the passer call in N.O. Their strategy is working, it just hasn’t taken them over the top. Let’s see where it goes before saying they failed in this draft.

    5. Yes, he’s like a petulant child. It’s all FAIL if it doesn’t go the way he thinks it should have. His notion that Hyde will be a lesser running back based on the history of others that have played in his conference is a joke.

    6. CK=elite

      We’ve been through this before…. Don’t make promises ‘ you can’t keep
      Seattle hasn’t lost one step to us this off season-draft. Don’t be sticking your finger in Grants’ eye….if we’re going to catch up to them, we’re gonna’ have to do it the same way that THEY did it to us. They didn’t waste draft choices or free agents like we have. They have made their choices better than we have, and not scamming the game as we have tried. Someone is going to have to step up and be more than they were touted. That’s how we pass them back

  2. They actaully pay you to write this? How can you possibly have NFL press credentials when you are so completely ignorant about the game? This is shockingly bad drivel. Dude, get a new gig.

    1. Remember Grant is a product of his father – who only writes sensational dribble which I guess gets the ratings that keep him (them) getting a paycheck. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they don’t base their opinion on facts. They are irresponsible and baseless writers.

    2. What do you want???? Grant to be a “yes man?” Grant promotes thought and conversation. Everyone on this blog is mature and courteous and knowledgeable. I’m a Hawk fan and I try to be respectful and, hopefully I’ll learn some valuable information from people far more knowledgeable than myself.

  3. Stand your ground Grant, Every other Draft Guru From ESPN to NFL network to CBS and Yahoo sports have called the 9er draft a brilliant draft but you stick to your guns. Stevie Johnson owns little Dick Sherman. He is deep inside his head, i expect to see L.D.S. crying on the sidelines like the bully he is next season and thats why the 9ers will beat the Seahawks 2 times in the regular season next year. Lastly Grant when you rate this years draft you really have to throw in Carradine and Lattimore for they are red shirt members of this years draft class.. One other thing on a more serious note, you really have’nt weighed in on the whole Michael Sams Draft reaction. I would love to hear your feelings on this subject.

    1. You forget that Latt and the Tank have yet to play a down. They are still an unknown. I you hold Grant to the standard of waiting to see how players play before calling them bad picks then you have to hold yourself to that same standard. I remember fans getting all excited over players picked the last few years and those same players doing essentially nothing. Grants point in this case is not well a player might do farther down the road but what will they contribute this coming season. Baalke gets a break in his draft grade because he had a huge amount of picks to work with. Naturally he is going to be able to get some good value. The question is did he make maximum use of his available draft capital. I think he made safe picks this year to cover his lack of evaluation ability. We will only be able to evaluate this draft after the season has played itself out. The key being if they make it to the Superbowl or not. That will be the criteria for success or not.

    2. If you throw in Lattimore and Carradine to this draft then the 2013 draft was awful. Reid is a home run but the other picks were not good.

    3. Sams should drop the gay thing and just play the part of a football player. It’s ok if he’s gay, so what? The kissing his boyfriend thing on television was over the top and I think stupid. The goal is to make the team, not to make it harder to make the team by being flamboyantly gay. I’d like to see gay men play football as players that happen to be gay just as straight players that happen to be straight play football. The focus should be on the job not the sexual orientation. Showboating is not good for a team and Michael Sams made a mistake after he was picked. I doubt he will make the Rams. Not because he isn’t good enough to play NFL but because the Rams are loaded at his position.

  4. “The best receiver Ward ever covered in college was Dri Archer from Kent State, who was the 97th pick this year.”

    Actually the best receiver he covered in college was Kelvin Benjamin, who was the 28th pick this year and at the time had E.J. Manuel who was the 16th pick last year throwing the ball.

      1. The Alumni:

        You said, “moded.” I’ve been searching high and low for someone who used to use that expression. Question: are you an SF native?

        1. No i live in the 209. Heard it alot over the years. But i obviously got love for SF :) favorite city in the Bay !

      1. I can’t help it that your argument against Ward is flawed.

        He held up in coverage against one of the best passing teams in the country.

        1. Ward gave up 3 catches for 42 yards to Greg Dent, who probably won’t get drafted. That means Ward can “hold up” against Percy Harvin?

          1. Most of the completions he gave up in that game where while in zone coverage to receivers sitting down.

            That won’t be the case with the 49ers. They play more man when in Nickel.

            1. So you’re argument is that Ward can cover Percy Harvin man to man in the slot based on his performance against FSU where he was in Zone coverage. Wow! Great logic.

              1. No. It’s based off the fact that when he played man coverage in that game he was all over the receivers.

          2. Harvin would be hard to cover by any corner, big school or not. This should not be your basis for comparison.

          3. So because ward hasn’t played great competition all year he can’t play in the NFL? How has Morris Claiborne from the great SEC fared in the NFL? How about Dee Milliner from Alabama? I mean Ward hasn’t even played a snap yet lol. He is fast and a ball hawk, who DOESN’T commit personal fouls every time he tries to tackle someone. We got great value and speed in Ellington which you forgot to talk about, Stevie Johnson ate Sherman up last time for 8 catches 120 yds and a TD. We added Dontae Johnson who is 6-2 and has 4.4 wheels, we added lynch who at one time was talked about as a 2nd rd pick while at ND, and we added the #1 RB in the draft…What has Seattle done this off season that has made them better?

          4. Lets extrapolate your logic grant. Paul richardson is from colorado which sucks. the last colorado WRs to get drafted were Jeremy bloom (better as a skier) and michael westbrook 15 years ago. throw in that PR is smaller than AJJ size wise and that he plays in the crappy Pac 10 (that produces busts as WR aside from jones and allen from cal) and by Cohn logic Paul Richardson is a monumental BUST. see how easy it is to play 6 degrees of separation

          5. The so called experts are giving the Niners a A and the Hawks a D In the draft. You take away the Hawks Super Bowl last year, they still have no Super Bowls.

      2. Grant last year you wanted Jordan Poyer and he sucked. You also wanted undersized Tyrann Matheiu who was turned in a FS and ended his season on IR. The sky was falling because they didn’t get a WR or slot corner and neither was the reason they lost to the Hawks. They lost because of a great play by Sherman and the 49ers inability to run the ball as a run first team. You slam the Stevie Johnson trade and their draft. Carlos Hyde comes from the Big 10 so he won’t be good enough? Come on get a clue. Your one of the only ones you and your dad that hate the 49ers draft. I think I will go with Matt Mayock who watches film and played. They got a star C, RB and FS yes he will be a FS not a SS. Pretty good draft I think and last years I believe will turn out to be awesome as well. At least admit when your wrong just like last year bro. You might get some needed respect.

    1. Jack, Wasn’t there a receiver in one of the bowl games that was mentioned by Jim H. mentioned in recent interview where he was matched up with a receiver that ran a 3.19 sec 40 stride for stride? No one knows how truly fast he is because this last year he was playing with a foot injury and even with that he ran a 3.44 sec 40.

  5. Sorry Grant, I usually enjoy your articles, but this was not one of your best. They didn’t do what you said they should, and didn’t take the guys you thought they should, so therefore you give them a fail.

    Divorce yourself from your own opinion on what they should have done and you will see they are a much stronger team today than they were heading into the draft. All areas of need were covered. The offense is significantly upgraded. Ward is a good slot DB. They’ve got lots of competition at outside CB – its not a strength of the team but it never has been. They don’t put as much stock in CB as you do. They believe in a dominant front 7, and good safeties. They just need competence from the CBs, and they’ve got enough talent there to see them through.

    This was a good draft, even though it wasn’t what you or I thought they should or would do.

    1. You didn’t address any of the points in my article.

      The 49ers didn’t get one player during the draft who definitely will make an impact against the Seahawks next season. The 49ers still are No.2 in the division.

      1. The story is laughable because your argument is based on an assumption that you can’t possibly know..if any of this class is going to have an impact next year. So let me try and follow your other bit of broken logic..the RB isn’t going to be good because other RBs from that school haven’t been good for a bit. Let’s throw out the fact many regard him as the best RB in the draft. I guess it’s a good thing you weren’t in the war room when the Niners drafted that one WR out of Mississippi Valley State. After all, whoever heard of that school, right?!

        I used to think you wrote sensationalist headlines to get clicks, a la Howard Stern outraging listeners/readers so they’ll tune in. That can work, as long as you don’t show your cards. Unfortunately for you, thats what you’ve done here. No one will believe that even you are as illogical as you are pretending to be here. Time to fold it up.

        1. If Grants argument is laughable because he is basing it on assumptions that he could not possibly know- that none of the drafted players would have an impact the coming season. Then the reverse is also laughable. Many of you claim that this is a great draft because of the depth that this team will supply for years too come. Grants argument is based on the premise that Baalke could have moved up using a number of his picks and gotten players who would have presented a higher probability of contributing more this coming season. A lot of you while very good at evaluating the talent of individual players are not that great at being strategists and down right horrible at debate.

          1. Yes, we should we should adopt your debating technique of making conclusory statements and, when challenged, telling the challenger that he isn’t smart enough to understand our arguments.

            I have no doubt that you are a master debater.

            1. When have you ever challenged my conclusions ? If I am wrong then challenge my conclusions. It just ticks you off that I call you on the double standards of reason that you use. If I accuse you incorrectly that you don’t understand then call me one it. I don’t challenge people about things I don’t understand and there are plenty of posts made on this site that fall in this category. I try to pay attention and learn things about things I don’t know. However there are people on this site who discount what ever they can not comprehend as blather. I must say that “Scooter” did make a valid point a few days ago about my repeating myself in the same thread. Perhaps it’s because no one comments one way or the other that I do this. The fact remains that there is no one who challenges my posts. Now I do in no way believe that everyone agree’s with me, Rather I believe that the lack of response is cause either by a lack of comprehension or a total lack of respect. They feel it is not worthy of response. You have your choice. Have the courage to declare which it is. My response of your lack of understanding was because no one challenged not because some one did. So the point of your post was dead wrong. You could say I answered your challenge. So answer mine and tell me I am wrong.

              1. willtalk,

                The worst grade I’ve seen for the 49ers draft is a B+, with the most common grade being an A. For Grant to successfully argue against this overwhelming opinion that the 49ers had a great draft, requires something more than a “because I think so” argument. He offered no real proof for any of his opinions.

                He said that Ward will have a hard time covering Harvin. Oh, really? Don’t you think it just might be a good idea to see what Ward can do in the NFL? Besides, if you look at his game tape, Ward looks pretty good in coverage. On top of that, Harvin is an average route runner, anyway. He needs gimmick plays to get open (while Harvin is dangerous with the ball in his hands, where did this mythology that he’s a great WR come from? Look at his career stats, they’re not that good).

                Grant said Hyde was a bad pick. Why? Because the Big Ten hasn’t produced a good back in while. How can you conclude that a certain
                player will fail based on the lack of success of other players?

                Richardson will get broken in half. If he can get off the line, he might make a play or two, but he won’t last long in the NFL.

                Grant, your post was so ridiculous, I literally laughed out loud. Why not see the players on the field before being so extreme?

          2. If the strategy was to take the best player available then Baalke did fine. If it was to fill the dire need of a play making WR and CB then it likely was a failure. The RB was a reasonable pick in the 2nd round but I wasn’t impressed with the other picks. Baalke should have dumped most of those picks to get a high few quality players. One starting player out of the last 2 drafts doesn’t lend confidence to Baalkes’s recent strategy of draft picking. I guess we will find out if he was right at the end of the season. If none of these players pan out I hope Baalke is gone next year.

      2. Stevie Johnson should make a bigger impact than any rookie WR would – not just against the Seahawks but against every team. That isn’t a stretch to see. Most rookie WRs take time to make an impact, and I imagine that will be the case again this year despite it being a bumper crop.

        Jimmie Ward will make an immediate contribution in the slot, where the 49ers needed help. Who else could the 49ers have taken that would do a better job in the slot, other than Fuller? He would have cost too much to get. Joyner or Verrett perhaps? They don’t fit the 49ers preferred size for the position.

        Carlos Hyde will make a contribution this year as the power back. They needed one, and Hyde was the best available in the draft.

        And Martin may well end up the starting centre. If he is, he’ll make a big contribution this year against the Seahawks and any other team they play.

        Why would getting Dennard and Latimer or Robinson be better than what the 49ers did? I like Dennard, but does he fit what the 49ers want? No. That’s why I always said Gilbert or Fuller would be more likely candidates. And Latimer or Robinson would be an upgrade over Johnson this year how exactly? Because they are faster? Robinson ran a 4.6s 40 at the combine. He’s not a speed receiver, he’s a big guy that can make plays due to his size and agility. So can Johnson. Same with Latimer – despite his 4.38s 40 he’s not a burner on the field. He’s got good speed for a guy his size, but he makes plays downfield with his size more than his speed.

        1. Johnson doesn’t make plays downfield. He caught three passes of more than 20 yards last season. He can’t clear out defenders as a decoy. He’s more of the same for the 49ers.

          Ward is not a lock to win the slot job. He’s a good tackler, but he probably won’t be as good in man coverage as Wright or Cox at first.

          Again, Martin may not start.

          Hyde definitely won’t start. He probably will get as many carries next season as Anthony Dixon got last season.

          1. Johnson doesn’t make plays downfield.

            No, he just makes them against Sherman.

            This is going to be one of those columns where you keep digging the hole deeper because you refuse to admit that you formed and expressed an opinion without due consideration of the relevant facts, isn’t it?.

          2. Again, why would Dennard and Latimer or Robinson have been better? You can make exactly the same arguments against them – they would not have been locks to win the starting jobs. Latimer and Robinson in particular are quite raw, and need development time. Johnson on the other hand is NFL ready.

            Dennard isn’t a great fit the 49ers system.

            1. Dennard has a good chance at becoming a Pro Bowl corner. Ward has a low chance of becoming a Pro Bowl slot corner.

              Johnson’s target rate on deep passes never has been higher 12 percent for a season. That’s lower than Boldin’s target rate on deep passes. Lattimer and Robinson probably will be better downfield threats than Johnson.

              1. Regarding Latimer and Robinson – when? In 2014? I think Robinson has a shot of being pretty successful as a rookie but only because he went to a team desperate for help at WR. But he’s still more of a short and intermediate route runner that can get some YAC than a downfield threat.

                Latimer needs some developing. I doubt he would be better value than Johnson to the 49ers this year. In fact he may be no more valuable as a deep threat this year than Ellington.

                Dennard may turn out to be a pro bowler, but what I do know is that 23 teams thought there were better players than him available. And I doubt he’s a pro bowler this year.

                Don’t write Ward off. He was by far the best coverage safety in this draft. I said he could be a dark horse pick ahead of Verrett, etc. He’s better than you give him credit for.

              2. Just because Ward may have been the best coverage safety in the class doesn’t mean he will be better at covering NFL slot receivers in man coverage than Wright or Cox next seasons.

                And 29 teams thought there were better players than Ward available.

                The 49ers easily could have traded up for Jordan Matthews or Paul Richardson. Lattimer and Robinson will be better downfield threats than Johnson from Day 1, because Johnson is a proven non-threat downfield.

              3. Lattimer and Robinson will be better downfield threats than Johnson from Day 1, because Johnson is a proven non-threat downfield.

                Yet somehow, he went for 8 catches and 115 yards against Seattle. Maybe this “downfield threat” thing isn’t as big a deal as you think it is.

                Keep digging.

              4. Johnson had two catches for 24 yards before the Seahawks took a 31-7 lead in that game.

              5. After three straight seasons playing in all 16 games and accumulating over 1,000 receiving yards, Johnson made 12 appearances last season (suffering through back, hamstring, and groin injuries) while catching 52 balls for 597 yards and 3 TDs. He’s proven…..

              6. And 29 teams thought there were better players than Ward available.

                You could have said that no matter who the pick was at 30…

              7. Grant, you may be used to spending your dads money, but when it’s your own, you tend to not be so frivolous. The players you wanted did not warrant the cost of obtaining them. Capiche?

              8. “Just because Ward may have been the best coverage safety in the class doesn’t mean he will be better at covering NFL slot receivers in man coverage than Wright or Cox next seasons.”

                Correct. That is my opinion. But just because you think Dennard may be a future pro bowler does not mean he’d have been a better option at CB than Culliver this year. Or that Latimer or Robinson would have been better options than Johnson as the 3rd WR this year. Those are just your opinions.

                I’m guessing we will see more of Boldin and Crabtree running deeper routes this year.

              9. Look who Stevie Johnson had throwing him the ball and he still managed 3 out of his 5 season with over 1,000 yards. He was injured last yr and they had what 3 or 4 qbs in and out of Buffalo!

              10. I have a good chance of marrying Kate Upton. At least as good a chance as the 3rd CD chosen this year making a pro bowl. Lattimer and Robinson “probably will be better downfield threats” thats some sound analysis grant. Remember Kyle Wilson ran a sub 4.4 40 and he was a great downfiels threat. I hear AJJ ran a 4.38 do you think we can trade for him? Or maybe Ricardo lockette he was Tall and Fast lets start making his HOF bust now to save time later

              11. 2012 Cohn says “Jairus Wright will be the best WR out of this draft” HAHAHA being right on AJJ has emboldened Grant to make outlandish predictions of player ability. Im still waiting for the “best WR corps in the NFC West the Rams” to dominate us due to our fatal flaw of not drafting a slot corner last year. How bout that Steadman Bailey almost as big a beast as Paul Richardson

              12. …yeah I whiffed on that. I’ve learned a lot since then, though. And anyone who saw Jenkins practice would have come to the same conclusion I did. It was obvious. He just didn’t compete.

              13. Kyle Williams (already forgot the bums name but boy he sure was fast) not top be mistaken by Kyle Wilson a 1st rd CB taken by the jets a few years back who also has a god chance to make the pro bowl ( i guess i mean he WAS a 1st RD draft pick)

          3. Little Cohn, your opinions are strange, but your conviction is awesome.

            So on this point here, are you saying the players don’t have the skill? I mean, it sure seems that you’re saying Wright-Cox is better than Ward, but you never say that Martin or Hyde won’t start because they lack the talent to do so.

            SURE, HARBAW SAYS “they have the license to start”, but when’s the last time any offensive rookie saw any meaningful plays thrown his way? It’s the coaching? Is that what your’e saying, Garmin?

        2. I don’t know enough about Ward or safeties in general to make an evaluation as to whether he was a good pick at #30. Would he have been a good pick at say #15. That is the real question. If they had pick number 15 who would they have drafted. My point is would it have been better to move up in the draft than keep 12 picks. They could of have moved up twice in the draft. I don’t think Hyde is necessarily a sure thing. He gained a lot of his yards before first contact so his numbers might be quite deceiving. A lot of where you pick draftee’s should also involve the trade off as to the availability and cost of that position in free agency. RB’s are valued less in both free agency and against the cap cost. It might not have been that cost efficient to draft a power back as opposed to a high value and scarcer commodity in the free agency market. Everyone knows that except for the elite ones RB’s are a dime a dozen and their are not that many who are considered elite anymore. There is a reason why Hyde fell down so low in the draft. As Baalke stated if you have more darts more might stick. That is truly a very inefficient policy and very wasteful. How many of those later picks will even make the team and if they do what sort of impact will they have. A lot of those later picks might have been had through free agency. In fact the Niners have done as well though free agency as they have with later picks. Lets just wait and see what the results are before we put down people for their opinions.

          1. One of the other problems I have had with Trent is that he is too focused on acquiring future late round picks. No problem except no one considers the trade off involves. If you risk a high trade off for that pick you should value it more. This is in respect to what it cost for two seventh rounders that were basically throw aways since they were not used to trade up. They cost Gray and Cooper who were valuable players who were basically thrown away for two unknowns who could have been had in free agency. The full back they drafted is basically a shot at finding a backup for Miller at the H Back postition which is what Gray was to begin with. So now they are a year behind in developing a player at that position who might not even pan out. Gray could play more than one position. This is why I say most of you are checker players. You only comprehend the effect of moves to a limited degree rather than their entire causational effect.

          2. Yes but this rookie will be able to build with this team and will be much much cheaper than FA, They have to start paying the core players now.

      3. Jimmie Ward, Stevie Johnson, Carlos Hyde, Marcus Martin.

        That’s four players likely to make an impact against Seattle next season. You should analyze all the relevant facts before drawing a conclusion.

              1. Will Harvin be available for Thanksgiving? Given past history, the odds are less than 50%…..

              2. Grant,

                Harvin is dangerous with the ball in his hands, but he is only an above average WR. He is not great. Why are you so hung up on him? Look at his career, it’s not that impressive, and certainly not worth $12M (?) a year.

              3. He was an MVP candidate in 2012 before he got hurt. He has a tremendous impact when he’s on the field.

              4. Yes. He was on pace for 120 catches and he was averaging a league-best 8.7 YAC per catch. He’s a big reason the Vikings beat the 49ers in 2012. Ponder had a 103 rating throwing to Harvin that season. Hard to imagine Ponder having a 103 rating throwing to anyone.

              5. Harvin has averaged over a yard less per reception for his career than Michael Crabtree.

                Where he separates himself is in the return game and in the run game with fly sweeps and reverses.

              6. Harvin averaged 11 yards/reception and had 3 receiving TDs in 8 games. If he was a 49ers receiver, you would be telling us that he was worthless as a downfield threat and not a legitimate No. 1 WR. But, because he’s on Seattle, he’s an MVP candidate.

                Keep digging. I can still see the bottom of the hole.

              7. Harvin is fast and can get behind defenses. It wasn’t his fault Ponder can’t throw deep.

              8. It’s not Stevie Johnson’s fault that he had Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him, but that didn’t stop you from declaring conclusively that he can’t get open deep. Way to be consistent.

                By the way, who’s got the higher yards/reception average, Johnson or MVP candidate Harvin?

              9. Harvin plays much faster than Johnson. Show me Johnson getting open deep. Hilarious to compare them.

              10. “It wasn’t his fault Ponder can’t throw deep.”

                Nice try. In 2009 and 2010 he had Brett Favre throwing to him yet his yards per reception was still lower than Crabtree’s.

              11. … but [Harvin] can also get behind defenses.

                To the tune of 2 receptions of more than 25 yards in 2012, 5 in 2011 and 7 in 2010. By comparison, Stevie Johnson had 8, 8, and 10.

              12. Stevie Johnson had 5 catches on passes where he was targeted 20 or more yards downfield on 2012, 7 in 2011, 3 in 2010 and 3 last season. He gets targeted deep less frequently than Boldin.

              13. And yet his numbers are greater than those of MVP candidate Percy Harvin. You keep posting comments as if you don’t think we can compare them.

              14. So Harvin’s numbers aren’t at Johnson’s level because of the QB? Ryan Fitzpatrick says hello Grant.

              15. “He runs a ton of screens and shallow routes, but he can also get behind defenses.”

                To the tune of 5 career receptions on throws targeted over 20 yards, including 3 in 2009 and 2010 with Favre.

                On the flip side Crabtree has 13 career receptions on throws targeted over 20 yards, including 3 in 2009 with that gun slinger Shaun Hill and Alex Smith throwing him the ball, and 2 in 2010 with the Smith brothers at QB.

                You really should quit while you’re behind.

              16. You really should learn how to count.

                Harvin has 16 career receptions on passes targeted 20 or more yards down field.

              17. He had a 14.4 percent target rate on deep passes in 2010. He can get behind defenses.

              18. 5 in 2009
                6 in 2010
                2 in 2011
                0 in 2012
                0 in 2013

                That adds up to 13. Not sure which site you are using to get your numbers from.

              19. 2010 is the only season that Harvin had a higher percent target rate on deep passes than Crabtree.

              20. Let’s see who has a higher target rate on deep passes next season. My nickel is on Harvin.

              21. You already owe me a nickle for losing our bet that Fales would be a day 3 draft pick.

              22. Yeah but you owe me a nickel because you said Boldin would average more than 14.2 yards per catch last season.

              23. So we’re even on the nickels. Let’s go with the big bucks on this one. $1 says Crabtree’s is higher.

        1. Johnson wasn’t drafted. He like Boldin fell into Trents lap. The effect of the other players are also still unknown. They might be better or worse than expected. Still it isn’t even about if they make an impact but rather would going in a different direction have resulted in a greater impact for next season. What were the alternatives. In football jargen it is like a Qb makes a 10 yard completion but missed a 40 yd td pass on that play. In your argument you focus on the 10 yrd first down completion which is good, but lose sight of the TD trade off. Whether it impacts the game requires for us to wait till it’s over. In this case it is the end of the season and whether they make it too the Superbowl to decide if not taking the risk was productive.

      4. Grant,

        In saying the Niners failed with the drafting of Hyde over a WR (Latimer and Robinson), you also didn’t prove that drafting a WR would have given the Niners a player that would make an impact against the Seahawks NEXT season. I initially was shocked that the Niners didn’t draft a WR in the first 3 rounds and was a little disappointed in trading for Johnson. But it makes more sense when talking about NEXT season like you stated.

        Rookie WRs typically don’t make an impact. And WRs are difficult to draft. The 49ers cannot afford to wait and possibly miss at the WR position. There’s no guarantee Johnson is going to help beat the Seahawks but the odds are better than a rookie WR.

        1. Your last sentence does make sense. But if we take the reasoning that rookies likely will not have the same impact as a solid vet then that also needs to be applied to the rational for drafting 12 rookies. The odds of them having an impact as rookies is also minimal. But the higher the pick the more likely the odds are that they will. So where does it make sense to go for quantity rather than quality if you are trying to win the next season rather than are in a rebuilding mode. I think that is what Baalke excel’s in. That is why he reminds me of Don Nelson as a GM. He was good at building up a bad team from scratch but he never seemed to be able to add the piece that the team needed to put them over the top. Mark Cuban finally saw the light and fired him.

      5. Points? I don’t think you made any.

        1.) Other running backs that are not Carlos Hyde haven’t been to a Pro Bowl, therefore: Carlos Hyde sucks. Do you not see a big fat non sequitur there? Even if your point is that the Big 10 talent isn’t very good, you immediately suggest that the 49ers should have drafted Cody Latimer or Allen Robinson, both of whom played in…THE BIG 10. When was the last time a Pro Bowl wide receiver was drafted from the Big 10? Braylon Edwards? Did you know AJ Jenkins played in the Big 10? So did JJ Watt. It’s a major conference, man. There are a lot players, and they aren’t all the same. Your “point” is jibberish; it means nothing, and worse, it isn’t even internally consistent.

        2.) Stevie Johnson had a 8 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown last time he played Seattle. That literally took me 15 seconds to look up. Isn’t the whole “point” of this article about the 49ers putting themselves in a better position to beat the Seahawks? I mean, you begin with “Are the 49ers better than the Seahawks now? That’s the only question that should matter “, so it seems like that is the entire point of the article. Yet, you didn’t address that he did very, very well against Seattle. Why did not address it? It seems pretty relevant to an article that is only about beating Seattle.

        3.) “The best receiver Ward ever covered in college was Dri Archer from Kent State, who was the 97th pick this year.” Wrong. Just not correct at all, in any way. It took me literally 20 seconds to look up the receivers from the Senior Bowl and check out NIU’s past schedule, including their Orange Bowl game against Florida State. There are better receivers than Dri Archer. Seriously, man…you need to figure out how to use Google.

        1. It’s not a fluke that the Big Ten hasn’t produced a dominant running back in more than a decade. Hyde probably won’t be the exception. Beanie Wells was graded higher than Hyde coming out of college.

          Dri Archer is better than Greg Dent. Which dominant slot receiver did Ward face in the Senior Bowl? Josh Huff? Jalen Saunders?

          1. You didn’t address MY points.

            By your logic, Cody Latimer and Allen Robinson are as likely to be mediocre as Carlos Hyde, because “it isn’t a fluke” that the Big 10 hasn’t produced a dominant receiver in recent memory. Why did dodge this?

            Why do you not want to answer re: Stevie Johnson vs. Seattle? He did have 3 catches against Sherman. And he had 5 more against the rest of the team. For 115 yards. And a touchdown.

            Who is talking about Greg Dent, other than you? Do you not think that Jordan Matthews is better than Archer? He had a fast 40, which seems to be your only requirement to be considered a good receiver. Why did you dodge this?

            1. How much of Johnson’s production came in garbage time? The Seahawks won by more than 3O?

              And how often did Ward cover Matthews in the Senior Bowl? Never?

              1. I just got off the phone with a security guard on Revis Island, and he said Darrelle does not miss playing against him twice a year…..

              2. And quit moving the goalposts, by the way. Look how far the topic has drifted as you backpedal.

          2. Beanie Wells was a injury risk all through college/NFL and he played behind a god awful Oline in Zona. How can you compare the two just because they both played at OSU.

        2. Sort of agree with your rational. That is not why I would have questions about Hyde. What makes me question the validity of his numbers is the large amount of yardage he got before first contact. That does not seem to reflect positively on the value of the skill set of a power back.

      6. First of all, grading the draft based on impact in year one is a terrible approach. Drafting is also about sustainability. Baalke did an amazing job on that front.

        Secondly, are you really expecting any rookie to step in and dethrone the Super Bowl champs? Come on, it’s about collective improvements and building for the future. That was accomplished.

        - In the near-term, we now have a power running back that should 1) be an improvement over Dixon and Hunter, 2) provide insurance in case Lattimore’s not ready, and 3) establish long-term RB options once Frankie retires.

        - At WR, Baalke used a draft pick to get a solid, veteran receiver who will make a bigger impact than any other WR we could have acquired in the second or third round. Oh, and he drafted a speedy slot receiver for good measure.

        - We also now have a Center that at the very least increases the competition at the position. Even if he doesn’t start, he’ll push Kilgore to earn it.

        - Borland offers added depth to help us stomach the loss of Bowman, while also providing more special teams options.

        - As for Ward, the small school argument is weak. Dude can play. He’s got waaaaay more upside than Cox. Come on, you can see that? Right?

        Add in a few developmental players that may payoff down the road, this is a very successful draft. And, Grant, in terms of how it may push us over the edge against Seattle, you can’t just point to one player. Baalke added more weapons and most likely improved the overall team. Plus he ensured more long-term stability.

      7. Me: “The sky is blue

        Grant: “No it’s not!”

        Oh and how many Players took the Exodus out of Seattle for Free Agency this year?

      8. Ellington is a small speedy WR that Seattle usually has issues with…Stevie Johnson smoked Sherman last time and they added a fast ball hawk who can play all over the field. We also added a center who should have been drafted in the 2nd rd.

        We also got rid of our weakest parts in the secondary in “hitner” and Rogers, and replaced them with a pro-bowl safety that doesn’t commit personal fouls and a fast young nickle back…How does this not help us beat Seattle? and yes we are No. 2 because they won the division last year.

      9. Name the ROOKIE in this draft that would make any difference against the Seahawks on any team in the NFL and tell me how do you know that. And please do not use their college career stats as evidence. That’s like saying straight A’s in grade school means straight A’s in college. There is absolutely no correlation.

        If you want to be taken seriously, and maybe you don’t, at least have some real world basis for your position.

        1. @Dennis

          “Name a Rookie who could make a difference the Seahags”

          What….Is that a Trick Question?

          In the NFL you don’t dethrone the Champs with a Rookie or as you put it….”make the difference”

          And even then, since none of us can forsee the future it looks like we’re all going to have to just sit back & watch the season unfold.

          Your Post is Gibberish at best.

          1. My point is precisely that – there are no rookies that can make the difference. So no matter who the 49ers drafted Grant would have given them a failing grading. So what is the point? His post was a complete waist of time.

              1. I know that and he knows that. I am just trying to figure out why he thought it was rude.

      10. I have been busy with life but readying this stuff is a great reminder of same old thing!!! Completly disagree with your opinon Grant. I would have drafted diffferent players but at this point there is no logic to give advavntage to any team before they have even played a single game.

      11. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm? I truly believe you are incorrect about

        “49ers didn’t get one player during the draft who definitely will make an impact against the Seahawks”.

        Stevie Johnson, Shall make an impact and Sherman is on notice, which incidentally trumps your position!

  6. Strange premise for giving a draft grade considering rookies rarely play much of a role their first year. You also seem to overlook the fact there isn’t much if any separation between the two teams. Each won at home, and if the NFCCG is at the stick instead of the Seattle airport, the outcome is likely different too.

    Your argument against Hyde is based on other RB’s and not one mention of what he brings to the table? You also neglected to mention that Marcus Martin is a mountain and if he starts at C, that will be another key difference from last year where Goodwin often couldn’t hold up well in the middle. With a trifecta of Gore, Lattimore and Hyde along with a big physical C, the Niners have improved the exact area they needed to in order to beat Seattle. They haven’t been able to run at all at the Link. These moves show an understanding of that and have improved their chances in this area.

    Stevie Johnson is a 3 time 1000 yard receiver. He will give the Niners far more than Latimer or Robinson would have. He is experienced and has good games against great CB’s like Revis and Sherman. One of Boldin, Crabtree or Johnson will be covered by Seattle’s 3rd CB. I like that matchup a lot for the 49ers.

    You try too hard to build cases against the 9ers Grant. There has not been one analyst who hasn’t given them a top review for this draft class. Grade this draft on how well you think the 9ers did in stocking their team going forward. That is what the draft is for.

    1. Stevie Johnson has caught three passes against Sherman. Who’s trying too hard to make a case, me or you?

              1. Maxwell and Jeremy Lane locked him down. Sherman gave up a couple catches after the game was out of hand.

              2. Johnson was targeted 1 time when matched up against Lane.

                Of the 12 targets for Johnson, the most of any Bills receiver in the game, only 2 were against the guys who “locked him down.”

              3. I’m not sure I’m really following the point of this argument. Are you saying Johnson is a pointless addition because he got “locked down” by one or two of the Seahawks CBs. Which receiver didn’t?

                He ended up with 8 catches that game, despite being the obvious number 1 target. You think he was only covered 1-on-1 throughout the game? The key to beating the Seahawks is creating matchups that you can win. With Crabtree, Boldin, Johnson and Davis the 49ers are in a much better position to do that than most teams. Plus they have a loaded backfield to make play-action a threat.

                Comments along the lines that they now have 3 WRs that are exactly the same are off the mark. They are not. Stevie Johnson is not like Boldin or Crabtree (and those guys aren’t alike either). Johnson has excellent agility and short area quickness, and does a great job of getting a DB flat footed to get open. Boldin uses his smarts and body to out muscle DBs for the ball. Crabtree uses his quick feet and strong hands to make plays. All three guys can play any of the 3 WR spots.

          1. Opp’s forgot Boldin and Ellington oh, Vernon D, and oh, Miller Sounds like an overwhelmed secondary for Seattle.

      1. He had 8 catches for 115 yds TD against the best secondary in football. and that TD was against Sherman.

      2. Up until this past season where he was dealing with injury and poor QB play he was a regular 1000 WR who averaged over 13 yards a catch. He gave Revis fits and he’s only had the one game against Sherman making him look bad on a couple of occasions. He’s a very good route runner and is tough to contain. He’s a big guy with enough speed to make plays.

        Let’s put it this way, you are trying to say a second round rookie WR would have been a better option than a veteran WR in his prime who has actually performed at a high level. There is no contest here.

        1. Would the Packers rather have Davante Adams or Stevie Johnson?
          Would the Eagles rather have Jordan Matthews or Stevie Johnson?
          Would the Broncos rather have Cody Lattimer or Stevie Johnson?

          There is no contest here. Possession receivers are a dime a dozen.

          1. All of them would have traded a 4th round pick for Johnson over using a second rounder on a rookie under the right circumstance, don’t kid yourself. 2 of those guys you listed are similar in size to Johnson and don’t play as fast as their 40 times. The only thing in favor of taking the rookie is money. If you can handle the player under the cap there is no decision to make.

              1. Money. It’s that simple. If they had room under the cap most if not all of those teams would have traded a 4th for Johnson over using a 2nd round pick on the 8th best WR in the draft.

          2. 1,000 yard possesion receivers are a dime a dozen??????? I guess a dime goes alot further these days than i thought. How do you spell hyperbole?

            1. Someone has to get targets and put up numbers on a terrible team. Johnson is an injury risk who may be on the downside of his career.

              1. Johnson missed some time last season through injury. First time in four years. He’s no more likely to get injured than any of Adams, Matthews or Latimer.

              2. A 28 year old is more likely to have nagging injuries than a 28 year old. Johnson’s injuries were the injuries of a body that’s breaking down.

              3. “A 28 year old is more likely to have nagging injuries than a 28 year old.”

                I would say that the likelihood there is equal ; )

              4. I fully expect Johnson to be reinvigorated by the change of scenery and quality of team mates. If Roman allows him the freedom within his routes that he had in Buffalo, he should dominate the 3rd cornerback of the opponent, plus aid in Kaepernicks’ development…..

              5. Johnson picked up a small fracture in his back at the beginning of last season, which prevented him from doing proper conditioning work. It was no wonder he then picked up some nagging injuries.

          3. Do you think Adams, Matthews or Latimer will be better than Johnson this year? Those teams have taken those guys with an eye to the future.

            1. Adams probably will start, and Matthews will get a ton of snaps as Philly’s No.3. Yes, I think they will out produce Johnson next season.

              1. Out-producing on teams designed to pass. I meant if you put them on the 49ers roster this year. I doubt either guy would be better than Johnson this year for the 49ers.

                Interesting that the Packers picked 3 WRs in the draft. Talk about throwing darts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbrederis ends up getting a lot of snaps this year.

          4. GRANT!! Your doing the same thing you did last year with the rams Wr’s. guys that HAVE NOT PLAYED ONE SNAP in the NFL are locks to be studs!!!???? wtf!! bro, do you pay attention to the NFL ????? do you know the bust rate???? Last year you stated how great the unproven rams rookie wr’s ( you said you learned your lesson) and how they would be better than Boldin and burn our db’s. You were wrong about both! and now your basically stating that every rookie WR is better than a proven pro with a good track record!!!! You take a resume with 3 1,000 yard seasons lightly. Bet your year salary that every wr taken in the first 3 rounds out preforms Johnson bud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Since the draft began, how many wr’s went in the first 3 rounds. ( a lot) how many wr’s can boast 3 or more 1,000 yard seasons ( far less) and how many of those 3x 1,000 guys went in the first 3 rnds? ( even less)

            While grant is over hear vomiting his lame opinion on us, barrows is on his sight giving player bio’s as they get drafted. Grant runs a tabloid. hes not a reporter!

    2. Rocket. The purpose for a draft changes depending upon the needs and circumstances a team finds themselves in. This draft was directed towards long term depth. That does not mean that it was the correct purpose for this draft. You seem to buy into Baalke’s spin and parrot the rational he uses to justify himself. The purpose of this draft should have been to add high impact players at positions that will make the greatest difference for the coming season. The purpose that they ended up with is not the one they started out to achieve. They were just lucky that Johnson fell into their laps or this draft would not have resembled the final form that it did take.

      1. If they didn’t grab Johnson on Friday night then they would have moved up for the best WR in the 2nd. TB say they tried to move up for Beckham, but to would have costed too much. Not sure how you don’t think they grabbed impact players for right now? They took care of a need in nickle back and backup safety with one pick…and grabbed a play maker for basically nothing ( we traded down for next yrs 4th).

      2. Willtalk,

        What you are describing is unrealistic, especially with a team drafting at the end of every round.. This is a SB contending team that has minimal starting jobs open. No rookie is going to come in and make a huge impact unless they are given a starting job. The draft is not about finding players to help you now unless you are picking in the top 10 or get extremely lucky like they did with Reid. For a team like the 49ers, it’s about finding players to replace others you might not be able to keep and if you’re lucky finding quality depth.

        What rookie was going to come to this team and make an impact that they had a shot at? Dennard wouldn’t be handed a starting job over Brock or Culliver. If they took him then who was going to play the slot? They know what Cox and Wright can do and took a slot CB with the first pick. What else do you need to know. As soon as Johnson was acquired, the need to draft a WR early was gone. They weren’t going to find a better 3rd receiver than that.

        What the Niners did is what all teams should do. Draft the BPA regardless of position and don’t reach for need. That is exactly what they did and it netted them the best players at multiple positions in the draft. That is how teams remain at the top year after year. Instead of trading away picks in a deep draft they decided to use them to stock pile quality depth that will eventually be future starters. That is how you use the draft. If you want an instant impact, then sign somebody in FA or trade into the top 5. This draft was masterfully handled and will pay dividends going forward.

        1. Right on rocket.

          What is the draft for? Simple – replenishing talent for future years. Very few rookies are instant impact players.

            1. Rocket and Scooter,

              No, you are both wrong and Will Talk is right.

              The 49ers should’ve packaged picks and drafted the best WR and CB in the draft. That’s all Baalke had to do. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Just because WR has the lowest success rate of first round skill players (less than 30%), that shouldn’t stop Baalke from delivering a stud WR, who will star in his rookie season, while lifting, no, ripping, the lid off of defenses! Yeah! That’s the ticket! Same thing with CB, all Baalke had to do was identify the best CB prospect and go after him. Simple. I just wish Baalke had half as much understanding of the football talent as Grant.

  7. This is laughable, the 49ers will sweep the Hawks this season. And they won’t play a 3rd time this year because, ready………Seattle will not make the playoffs this season. You heard it here first.

  8. Grant I have read a lot of your articles over the years and even tho I get and respect your opinions I just want to know why your a 49ers beat writer? You seem to really hate our team everything you write is negative. Do you enjoy bashing our team in every article I just dont get it?

    1. he gets it from his Dad. He feels there is journalistic integrity in being critical of the team you cover. and he’s not wrong.

      but he’s also incredibly biased in his analysis. he also needs to understand the game of football a little better…to better understand the personnel moves being made and some of the play calling.

      1. He feels there is journalistic integrity in being critical of the team you cover. and he’s not wrong.

        Sure he is. Instead of being objective, a blatant homer goes out of his way to be positive and supportive. Instead of being objective, Grant goes out of his way to be negative and critical. As a result, he has no more journalistic integrity than a blatant homer.

        1. being critical and being objective are not mutually exclusive.

          it’s fine to be critical as long as you you’re objective about it. that means not cherry picking statistics and facts to suit your views. it means acknowledging the opposing view and sometimes acknowledging the other side is right.

          1. allforfunnplay– You are giving a good example of the difference between reason and rational. People usually confuse the two. Sometimes people don’t listen to an opposing view because it requires a degree of work an effort to try to understand something that has escaped you. It’s just easier to discredit what you are having difficulty understanding as clap trap.

        2. being critical and being objective are not mutually exclusive.

          No, they are not, but Grant isn’t objective.

  9. Grant, were you on vacation over the weekend? For the most part, your analysis had been fairly straight forward facts and analysis of the players drafted. Dry and devoid of your personal views.

    Do you get how wonky the logic behind your criticisms of the Niners’ draft pics are???

    The Niners drafted Nickel safety. Soooo…uhm….you criticize him for being smaller than the Niner’s previous Strong Safety Whitner….uhmm…even though they’re primarily playing him as a slot corner???? Your other criticism is that he’s never covered a player like Percy Harvin in college. Uhhhhmmm….what college player coming out of this year’s draft has???? Havin is a pro bowl NFL runner/receiver. When healthy, he’s considered one of the top big play makers in the game. But you’re expecting a guy coming out of college to have experience covering that?????

    There are legitimate reasons to question the pick. Was he picked too early? Maybe. There may have been some interest by other teams early in the 2nd round. Should the Niners have addressed the need to more immediately develop an outside Corner? yeah…that’s a legit criticism. But you also have to acknowledge that the Niners wanted more of a physical presence in their Nickel to help defend the run and most Corners (like Verret) probably wouldn’t make good slot corners and be run defenders.

    You criticize Hyde because of the school he came from??? You could criticize for his lack of lateral quickness and ability to get outside. and wonder if that is necessary for a balanced running attack. But if you’re going to question his abilities against the Seahawks (what exactly is your love affair with the Seahawks anyway? Yeah, they won the Super Bowl, but then so did the Ravens and Giants before them). Can Seattle’s run defense be over powered? The answer is yes. So it would probably be a good thing to have a power back????

    You’re also obsessed with physical attributes of receivers. I don’t know if that’s because that’s the only tangible trait you understand about the position? There is more than just size to getting open in the endzone. and there is more than just speed to getting open deep. I’ve tried to explain that to you before (look about 3 or 4 posts ago).

    If you can effectively run the ball, play action can get your receivers deep. If you can effectively run your routes within the passing concepts and the QB makes the right reads, eventually a deeper option will come open. The Niners don’t usually run a straight up 3 verticals attack against Cover 1 and 3 like the Seahawks run. They will stretch it in various directions (West Coast Triangle) and maybe press the seam with Davis.

    Again, there are some legitimate criticisms (which is what you seem to focus on) of the Niner’s Draft. But you haven’t hit any of them.

  10. Dumbest column possibly ever written!! When Ward, Hyde, and Martin are all starters in two years your opinion will change. We needed a goalline back, a nickel corner who can tackle, and a starting center!!

  11. One of the arguments used against Beckham was his lack of success within the SEC.

    Richardson had 10 touchdown receptions last season, 5 against the Pac10, 2 vs the Mountain West (Colorado State) and 3 against powerhouse D1 FCS schools Central Arkansas and Charleston Southern.

    On the flip side, the 49ers selected Bruce Ellington who finished 2013 with 8 touchdown receptions, 6 against the SEC and 2 against the Big 10. Ellington could also help the 49ers in their biggest area of weakness, the red zone. Of Ellington’s 8 TD’s, 7 were inside the opponents 20 yard line.

          1. Of course he doesn’t because that’s the guy you wanted. I’m sure Dennard will be a fine player, but slot corner was a bigger need.

            1. No, it’s because Richardson struggles against good press coverage.

              Slot corner might be the bigger need if you believe in Culliver. But LCB plays 40 percent more than the slot CB, and Wright and Cox are decent in the slot. They don’t give up chunk play after chunk play like Culliver does outside.

              1. And there’s the difference. I feel slot CB was the biggest need.

                I would have preferred Fuller, but he went a little earlier than they could afford.

              2. Grant, you have your biased opinions which are typically backed by SELECTIVE stats. Your latest about Culliver is:

                Culliver allowed a 97 passer rating from Week 6 through the Super Bowl two seasons ago. He stunk……Fair enough. I don’t consider allowing a 97 passer rating over a 14-game stretch to be a fluke. Until Culliver can can locate the deep ball in the air, he’s a problem.

                what were Brown, Rogers and the Safties individual against passer ratings in that time frame? how was the pass rush? what was the defense’s over all passer rating? what was the over all defense’s rating against the run and pass?

                Below was my UNANSWERED question to your stat on Culliver.

                I’m not saying you’re entirely wrong about Culliver. I think he’s fine in press coverage but can be beaten deep when his guy gets by him or he’s in deep zone. but with all stats, I think some context needs to be considered and my memory of 2012 was that the defense started to get soft at the same time Kaepernick and offense began to give opponents problems.

                This I find hilarious:

                Midterm report card: Chris Culliver

                Chris Culliver was the best 49er cornerback in training camp, and he’s been the best 49er cornerback the first half of the season, too, but he still doesn’t start. That should change.

                He might be the best cornerback in the NFL.

                You also FAIL to acknowledge the desire by the Niners to beef up their Nickel to stop the run. Its WHY they went with a strong safety slot guy over a corner.

              3. “what were Brown, Rogers and the Safties individual against passer ratings in that time frame?”

                Brown: 69.3
                Rogers: 94.6
                Goldson: 73.9
                Whitner: 131.8

              4. interesting Jack and thanks.

                that’s the part of the game that I think Grant doesn’t understand. Playing defense is also a team effort. The front 7 has a highly coordinated effort at gap control against the run game and the secondary has a highly coordinated effort against the passing game…which works in conjunction with the pass rush. So while Culliver obviously had some problems, I’d say it was to a certain degree team wide on defense. poor communication, being out of position, a safety not giving adequate over the top protection for a corner…a corner passing his man off early to a safety…etc….

            2. Yep, Fuller was the man they wanted. Given his inability to stay healthy, I feel that was the tipping factor in Baalke declining to pony up the capital necessary. With Jimmie, they increased their chances of making a big play on the football by at least 15% over Rogers….

    1. Hammer: I actually like the Ellington pick. I think he might turn out better than expected. I do wonder why he doesn’t seem to be able to break away from defenders after the catch. Maybe the weight of the ball slows him down. LOL.

  12. Grant I think your Pass/Fail criteria is bunk. A GM’s job, like a QB’s job is a nuanced balance of sometimes-conflicting factors. The draft is too complicated to be judged on such narrow criteria.

  13. Are the 49ers better than Seattle right now? That’s hard to say. Rosters are still forming, schemes are being evaluated, and the games haven’t been played yet. If you stack up both rosters side by side, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Seattle would probably get the slight edge right now overall, but things can change (injuries, regression, etc.). I’m not sure Latimer or Robinson would have made as significant of a difference as you, but I see you’re point about the “deep threat” thing.

    To me, it’s more about matchups. I think right now they matchup better against Seattle than they have in the past. Stevie Johnson gives them someone who can bet press coverage and has the versatility to play slot and outside WR. No, I agree he’s not the classic “deep threat” that everyone is dieing for, but he’s a slippery WR that knows how to get open. Ward gives them more versatility inside and is a better matchup against Harvin than Rogers was.

    The only question I have is will you admit if you’re actually wrong? I’m not saying you’re wrong or right, I’m just curious to know if you’ll admit it if you are. I mean no disrespect, but you never seem to admit when you’re incorrect and sometimes you have a tendency to act like you know more than the average fan does. That’s the only aspect of your writing that I find hard to deal with at times.

    1. “… sometimes you have a tendency to act like you know more than the average fan does …”

      Actually Grant acts like he knows more than the people hired to do the actual work. I don’t think that the average fan knows much at all. You and I are at the top of that list of average fans that don’t know much at all. Enjoy.

      1. I agree with everything you said. This difference is I don’t pretend like I know more the way Grant tends to. I can admit that in the grand scheme of things I don’t know a thing about running an NFL franchise or putting together a good draft, unlike Grant who tends to act superior to those who do this for a living as you said.

  14. I wasn’t enthused about the choice of Carlos Hyde, I thought Jeremy Hill was more powerful as a big RB. Hyde runs very upright. I didn’t like the draft at first because the receivers and rbs are still slow but they did strengthen the o-line and I’m interested to see how all the wounded warriors do. They will be weaker at LB with Bowman out, weaker at pass rush with Aldon likely suspended, and nothing really done at cornerback to noticeably improve that situation. I’m biting my nails on this one.

    1. I’ve seen another comment about Hyde running very upright. I’ve also read a professional report on him that said that he does a good job of running behind his pads. He’s probably not as good as it as Gore.

      1. He definitely runs upright… you can tell this by how often he gets pushed backwards when he is hit or stood up at the LOS. People talking about him as a goal line back will be sorely disappointed, Gore would be a better back in that situation.
        On the plust side he appears to have good vision and surprising burst for his size. But I would not say he is a powerful runner.

        1. Shouphj: Your point is validated by stats that reflect his relative lack of yardage after contact. That is the big red flag for me.

  15. One horrible call on a sack that ended a game costing home field and 1 foot on an underthrown pass….. Advantage Seahawks.

    Your judgment has grown funnier by the day.

    The sf 49ers were and still are equipped to beat the Seahawks. Tell me Grant. When was the last time the Seahawks beat the 49ers at home?
    And you can add up the overall point differential all you want.

    One more thing. Who’s going to cover Johnson, Boldin, MC, and Davis in their 50 million dollar secondary with only two legit covers? And zero pass rush?

    1. blaming the refs is lame–winners don’t do it—niners still had chance to seize a win after the call on brees, which was probably bad but still in a gray area as far as being against the rules

      1. Really? Bad calls can’t decide the outcome of a game? It doesn’t matter if they had another chance. They made good on one that should have ended the game. What’s lame is when people don’t realize that these guys are out there puttin 100 percent into plays and it’s pretty demoralizing when they get screwed. Oh by the way tell that to manny paquio after the first Bradley fight

      2. mark,

        You’re wrong about it being a gray area. The NFL rescinded the fine on Brooks, upon appeal, and admitted it shouldn’t have been called a penalty.

        Whether or not they still had a chance is irrelevant to the discussion of the refs costing the 49ers the game and homefield advantage, or not. The fact is, the refs blew a call, which cost the 49ers the game, along with homefield advantage, and probably the SB.

  16. dumb read……

    “Either Lattimer or Robinson would have given the 49ers an advantage over the Seahawks.”………….and you know this how?

    I am surprised you even wrote the nonsense above, after all your ranting about Groman…..

    did you once consider how this your high draft speedy wr will fit in our system…….

    you want the 49ers to draft a kid in the 1-2 rounds who will only play 20% or less of the snaps?…

    ….let me get this straight the 49ers should draft this speedy receiver and change their offense because of one rookie?

    dude you are not making any sense – as usual…..

  17. Grant lost me when he put the Seattle WRs over the Niners. Even with the loss of Golden Tate, the combo of Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin (when healthy) and Jermaine Kearse scare no one. Stevie Johnson owns Richard Sherman, Boldin always plays well against Seattle, and now Crabbtree has a serious bone to pick with them. I put the Niners upgraded WR unit over the Hawks.

  18. the seafcks got lucky….go back and watch the game……better game management could have won the game…….we are way better than those seafcks……

  19. Wait…how are Allen Robinson and Cody Latimer considered polished or finished products? I like both players but would either of them beat out Quinton Patten? And just because you are fast doesn’t mean you’re a deep threat. Vernon is the fastest guy on either team, but why isn’t he considered a deep thread? You have to get past the holding and grabbing of the Seahwaks defense. The best way to do that is with strong WR’s with someone going deep (Ellington ran a 4.45 40) and Stevie also can go around CB’s. TY Hilton did well not because he’s fast, but because he’s fast AND STRONG. Sherman and Thomas and Chancelor are all fast (ish) players, but what makes them so good is their size and strength to go with their quicks.

    And from a RB perspective, if our OL can get a hat on a hat and get guys to the second level, I could run back there and have 100 yards and I run the 40 in a shade under 7 seconds. We just need to man up against them and hit someone.

    1. yes, he does. it’s his views but he writes in a way that is provocative and gets page views. i’ve always been disappointed with this blog because of the tone that he writes just for attention.

    2. Grants arguments are not any more speculatory than those arguing against and calling his opinions pure speculation.

  20. Who wrote this garbage sounds like someone who just want to generate comments. The 9ers were already better then the seahawks. It took some refs to win the game last year in seattle. That game was easily the niners to take. but it was given to the seahawks. the seahawks wont even make the playoffs

  21. ” That’s a pass-fail question.”

    Cute. Very cute. You should go into politics, where your skill set is a perfect match. You’re young enough that there is still time.

  22. The only fail here is in Grant’s player evaluations. I could tell by his relative silence he disliked the 49ers draft. It was probably the best draft we’ve had in years when you actually watch the film. Robinson and Latimer? Grant, congrats. When it comes to understanding football, you’ve completely embarrassed yourself once again. You should be covering lemonade stands.

  23. I agree that this a terrible article. It highlights Grant’s main weaknesses as a writer; ie taking the easy way out and writing an article based on emotion and false dilemmas rather than legit analysis.

  24. I wish my daddy worked for a newspaper and could get me a job, too. Maybe then I could sound as miserable and ignorant as he is.

  25. Grant I haven’t read any of your articles for about a year. I read this one and now I remember why I stopped. Weren’t you crying last year about slot corner during the draft? You wanted them to get the guy from Oregon and he sucked last year. Ward will play nickel and move to FS and Reid over to strong when Bethea moves on plus he provides insurance for Reid who had two concussions last year. Or would you rather have Spillman or Dahl starting? Ward is a play maker. Why don’t you go write for Seattle PLEASE. The rest of your article I won’t debate because you can’t evaluate talent that’s why you write how other people can’t do their job. Last 2 drafts A++. Please don’t write any articles when the 49ers win their 6th trophy this year. You were wrong last year, you were probably wrong the year before that and now your wrong again this year. God your annoying. If that’s your purpose your the best at what you do and it’s sad that you let your dislike for my winning organization show through your articles. Bill Walsh was right your one of those writers that prey the hometown team losses. It’s pitiful. See you next year.

    1. Claude if you are referring to my comment above where I told Grant to stick to his guns read it again. I was joking. I absolutely love this draft

      1. old coach:

        I know. I wrote my comment poorly. You’ve made it very clear that you see the value in Stevie Johnson.

    2. To be clear, I am not lumping old coach in with Grant and others who insist that the 49ers didn’t obtain players who would help them beat Seattle.

      1. First, let put this in perspective, they lost by 4 F’ING Inches. Kap doesn’t under throw that ball and it’s a TD to Crabtree. So to say we needed to overhaul our team just to beat a team who barely beat us, is shortsighted and very ignorant. Everyone EVERYONE is saying we had the best or one of the best drafts. And you know why they are saying that? Because They are not better than us, they just beat us. Most things you say, that I disagree with, are usually proven wrong, so I don’t really know why I bother but I had to because I want you to go somewhere else. Just cover another team, that’s all. I really need to find what you graded our 2012 draft, you know the one with just 2 players left on the team, my guess is you liked it. Get off the Seahawks floor, dust your knees off, wipe your mouth and go cover another team. How they hell do you and your dad keep getting these jobs?!?!? But I digress. We were equal if not better than the Seahawks last year, we just lost. And we are much better than they are this year. Seattle’s reign will be short. This is not a dynasty. Please move there and cover them. I need 49erswebzone and Press Democrat websites to put a big GRANT COHN on all your articles because you have the habit of making me angrier than bandwagon Seahawk fans which I think you may be one. And don’t try to tell me, you are just being objective. It’s obvious you hate the team you cover. I don’t think you should love em, hell Matt Barrows, who is one of my favorites, even if I don’t always agree with him, is a Redskins fan. But you HATE the Niners and the reason I can tell is that your arguments hold very little water. Stevie Johnson was hurt last year and his QB play was horrible. Three 1,000 yd campaigns the previous three years. Jimmie Ward would’ve been gone before we drafted in the second. Hyde is considered by many to be best back in draft. Many called him a steal. Receivers are the hardest position to tell what you are going to get mainly because there is no Press in college, most DBs play off. In the NFL, it’s all Press. I bet you praised the Lions for drafting Receivers in the first round three years straight. Yeah, how’d that work out? Difference Maker!?!?! Nice, showing your stupidity right there. We have former #1 receiver who is now our No. 3. Oh but let’s get an unproven rookie for that spot for the third year in a row. You are so stupid, did I say that yet? The title of your article is very misleading, I thought I was going to read an article that pulled together all the experts grades like Kiper, Mayock, Maiacoo, Barrows, but instead I get your grades: Pass/Fail, what are you a kindergarten teacher at a Montessori school? I bet the only trophies you have in your room are participation ones. Well when we stomp Seattle into the ground this year and the road to the Super Bowl goes thru Levi, please Quit. PLEASE!!!!! or go cover the Raiders, just stop covering a team you hate so much.

    3. Grant’s BA degree in English qualifies him to write anything he wants, lol. But, honestly, were these grades for the 49ers draft unexpected by the fans that read him daily?

    4. And people who are in positions of authority are always totally qualified? If that were so no one would ever be fired. It’s all a matter of how soon someone is able to recognize a persons flaws. Your attitude is the reason why our economy is in a free fall. You assumed that the people in charge knew what they were doing.

      1. By the way why do people think they are more qualified to evaluate the talent, draft etc than a professional who gets paid to do the job like Grant. Same rational should apply equally to Grant as it does Baalke or anyone else who is being paid to do a job. Just holding some of you to apply equal accountability to everyone and just not when it only suits your own agenda.

        1. Just because Grant is looking at film, and is paid to do it, doesn’t mean he understands what he’s watching.

          Do you really think Grant’s opinion on NFL personnel is as valid as Baalke’s? Come on, man.

  26. The fact is Grant, the Niners are a team in transition right now and this draft proves it. Baalke isn’t just concerned about beating the Seahawks next year. If he was only concerned about that he would have leveraged the future to meet only immediate needs as Carmen Policy did in ’94. The Niners won the super bowl that year but the seeds of their decline were also sewn. Short term thinking in the shadow of the Cowboys created a salary cap nightmare that resulted in the team losing Ricky Watters the next year to Philly, Deion to Dallas, and left the team stocked with aging players with big salaries.

    What Baalke did this year was very shrewd and speaks to the realistic approach he has adopted with regards evaluation of the current roster and sustaining long term success. During the Niners glory years Bill Walsh and John McVay frequently made made unpopular personnel decisions with the long term success of the team in mind. They got rid of legends a year too early rather than a year too late and made shrewd draft moves that kept them stocked with players on the rise. This draft proves that Baalke has learned from history, from Walsh and McVay not Policy and Clark. Maybe you should do some research and learn those lessons too. You want the splashy and bold move, focused on beating one team next fall. Obvious strategy, and foolish. Wisdom is the better part of valor young man.

    This draft is an indication that Baalke believes that this version of the 49ers has missed its window, or is about to, and needs to prepare itself for life without pricey or aging players like Gore, Iupati, Justin Smith, Crabtree, and even the mighty Patrick Willis. Many of those players will have to be shed in the next two years to make room for a youth movement that will carry this team into the next decade. The 49ers 2015-2020 is the story here Grant, not the 2014 Seahawks.

    Well done Baalke. Again. Crap post Grant. Again.

    1. Policy leveraged the future via his contract policies in order to circumvent the salary cap. He put them in long term cap hell. This situation is not the same. Actually my objection with Baalke is related to the negative long term effects his decisions will have. What he is not factoring in is the availability of future resources in respect to cost. That ironically was what the economists also failed to factor in years past which eventually brought about the economic decline. I know you guys don’t understand what I am talking about.

  27. I’m enamored by the idea that jimmie Ward will be getting his tutelage from Ed Donatell. He’s done a masterful job with far less talent. We hardly have to look past our 2 current starters for evidence. I expect another step forward from Reid, Bathae to be solid and place the safe bet on this kid shoring up the ncb pos in his first season.

  28. Grant, here’s a suggestion for a future blog topic: how will the CB situation resolve itself? I think CB is their weakest link so would love to hear thoughts about this.

    Questions might include:

    1. Re Culliver, don’t you think they’d rather not employ him unless necessary?
    2. Are they projecting Cook to overtake Culliver, or do they have another move under their sleeve?
    3. Who will win the slot and who will be primary back-up?
    4. What are their future plans for Johnson?
    5. Will Morris ever be asked to cover anyone?
    6. Will Acker be designated to the PS?

  29. Grant Cohn should go write articles for the Seahawks!!! He’s a 49er-Hater but that’s what his bosses want him 2 do!!! The guy really gets a “thrill” knowing he’s making 49er-fans mad!!!

  30. Guys, why do we keep falling for Grant’s let-me-bash-the-49ers-to-get-internet-click article? Seriously folks, if we’re not used to this by now then let’s just find another blog. Just ignore it and I promise you Grant will stop doing this. Until then it only makes sense for him to continue antogonizing the fan base to look good from his boss.

  31. Stevie Johnson versus the Seahawks in 2012, 8 catches on 12 targets for 115 yards and a touchdown. But I guess his 40 time means he can’t/won’t be successful next time. Stevie Johnson puts up 3 consecutive 1000 yard seasons for a bad team with a bad quarterback and he’s discounted for it or something, while Percy Harvin has never posted a 1000 yard season in his career but is still “one of the best players in the NFL.” Oh left off the “when healthy” part which he hasn’t been in 2 years now. Not one of your better articles Grant.

  32. “Ward will cover Percy Harvin when the 49ers face the Seahawks.”

    But Grant, what about remote possibility that Harvin is not totally made of adamantium and maybe wouldn’t be around late in a season?

  33. The 49ers will. “EASILY!” win the NFC West this yr! The Seahawks r like the Falcons were 2yrs ago. (Meaning they got lucky & won 4 games last yr that the should’ve lost: Car,Tb,Hou,Stl). This yr after week 3 they get their bye & must play 13 str8 weeks to end the season! They won’t be so lucky this yr as they will lose 5 or 6 games while the 49ers will go 13-3!!! . . & for the record The 49ers were the better team last yr! Everybody knows the REFS took the NFC Championship game!!! (& Grant knows it 2!!!!!)

    1. I admire your ferver, but I’ve got news: NOTHING will be easy in the NFC West any time in the foreseeable future. This pukey division a few years ago is now the pride of the NFL.

    1. Take II: Guys, he only wrote this to rile you up. Grant’s nobodies fool. He knows squat about football but he is a genius at getting folks to respond. I think in a few years he’ll be copy writer for a Silicon Valley startup making serious jingle. In the meantime humor the guy. I think the world of his dad — guy can really write. Shrub, well he’s doing a great job bringing bodies and sooner or later he’ll be gone and this place will probably be the lesser for it…

  34. I miss when Matt Maiocco and Eric Branch use to write for this site. those were real articles. Only reason I come on here is cause I enjoy reading your guys is comments!

  35. Brother Tuna I feel ya the NFC West is definitely the best division in football but we will win it by 3games this yr!!! Seattle will lose 5 or 6games, the Rams may win 8 & the Cardnals have Carson Palmer!!! The 49ers win win 13games & have 2 fight Gb&No off for homefield advantage.

  36. Grant, the Seahawks aren’t the only good team in the NFL. Did you just copy what your father said on TV? You don’t react to what other teams are doing you make your team better any GM will tell you that. Your father said they got a lot of good players but they didn’t get anybody good. What??? By the way nobody agreed with him. You guys know nothing about football. Percy Harvin is going to run all over the field??? Is he going to be on the field? Ward will be just fine then next year you can complain about something else. You guys are just ridiculous you hate Harbs so much cause he doesn’t kiss your butt. Your father was like Jim Jim can I just say something about Stevie a Johnson before we go? Just had to get that one last dig in. It’s just funny how you article was a carbon copy of what your father said on TV. Who does who’s work! lol at you two!!!

  37. From Grant’s Inside the 49ers bio:

    “Argue with me, agree with me, or just read the posts and follow the conversation.”

    Does anybody else suspect what reaction Grant prefers after reading those first three words?

    1. if you guys really want grant gone, then stop responding to him! i wish grant would get fired and that is why i rarely comment anymore. I wish they would replace him with jackhammer or ANYONE! not only does he only give his opinion as opposed to reporting facts, the guys has not earned one once of credibility ( cowboys will win the super bowl, rams rookie wr’s are great, niners will trade up and draft a cb, coby fleener will be a great te, etc etc) he uses obscure stats instead of watching games. Its not as cut and dry as he thinks.EVERY SINGLE PLAY IS A RESULT OF 22 MEN DOING OR NOT DOING THEIR JOB! You say cris cook gave up 9 td’s last year, but ther is zero context! How do you know that it was “his man”? Maybe it was zone. Maybe the safety was supposed to help, maybe it was the safety’s man, maybe cook had the flat. How long did he blanket the guy? You can only ask a db to cover his man for 3 or 4 seconds. After that you must blame the pass rush!! How many of the 9 were not his man at all, but he simply was in a position to try to help another db that got burned? Were any tipped to his wr? what about a play where he might have slipped and fell ? how many were less than 4 yards? because i would be thrilled if my cb’s held wr’s to less than 4 yards a catch, td or not!

      You see grant, way too many variables to rely on obscure stats with no context. Not in this sport. Free throw % and batter pitcher encounters are the only things in sports that you can truly rely on stats for! Stats are for geeks to study that way they can get a feel for the game without watching it. Dont bet your credibility on them, oh, too late!

  38. Grant,
    Did they take care of every need — maybe not. CB is up in the air — maybe so — maybe not.
    On the other hand did they get the best available and work draft to greatest advantage — yes they did.
    So my draft grade is a realistic A minus and where all the other NFL teams grade below that. Baalke got the most out of this draft and so Niners get the best grade in the 2014 draft.

  39. A football team is built from the inside out. Dominate the middle of the field, and you give yourself a better than fair chance to emerge victorious. Let’s break this down in a more common sense approach. In the first round they drafted a kid who’s physical enough to play near the line of scrimmage, and also able to sustain coverage on receivers. Fangio calls him, the “Lurker”. Here’s why the 49ers struck gold Friday evening:

    Mr. Hyde has a few things in common with Frank Gore. Feet. Watch his feet, and for a guy 230 pounds, he has quick feet. Blocking. He already has the skillset to handle those responsibilities day one. He runs with low pad level and enjoys initiating contact. His hand are soft with the ability to run the option, and while not possessing blazing speed, he has enough to get to the edge on most linebackers and safeties. He is a true 3 down running back day one, and it’s only a matter of time under Wrathman/Gore tutelage that he takes over as the number one back.

    Marcus Martin was the best center in the draft. He has a real opportunity to be the starting center on opening day. If that’s the case, the 49ers just got bigger and more athletic in the middle.

    Chris Borland has a nose for the football, and when he gets the scent, he tracks and attacks like a Nepolitan Mastiff let loose on the battlefields of Rome. Anyone remember the little guy knock El Guapo backwards down by the goaline? I do. It was a thing of beauty. He has a shot to take over for Willis at some point when his salary becomes cost prohibitive.

    Brandon Thomas made so much sense, and when Iupati leaves for the money, the 49ers will have a player mentally and physically ready to step in without a loss of performance.

    Bruce Ellington is the vertical threat that you so desperately desire. He’s best described as the new improved model of the original swiss army knife. Only this knife comes with a butane lighter that doubles as a jet pack.

    Stevie Johnson does not possess the speed and size you so covet in a receiver, but he has quickness. His body control is tantamount to Mr. Fantastic. Film. Watch the film. Sherman tries to jam lil Stevie running a simple slant, and Johnsons’ elite quickness brushes off the bullys arms while simutaneously breaking inside. A route is never a simple route with this guy. His quickness and subtle setup moves, allow him to gain leverage within his routes. If the measure of a number one receiver is how he performs against number one corners, then Stevie deserves your affection. According to stats website Pro Football Focus, Sherman gave up a 127.1 passer rating on the season, the second-highest behind only Sherman’s performance against the Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. In one game, Johnson had eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against Revis.

    Face it. Latimer/Robinson combined could not provide what Johnson does. The addition of Stevie Johnson while not as sexy as the Harvin acquisition, is like extra credit and bumps the overall draft grade from a B+ to an A, and more importantly gives the 49ers the edge in a head to head matchup……

    1. He does not run with a low pad level… he does have good feet, vision and is deceptively explosive however.

  40. The funniest part of this article is how he compares Hyde to everyone else out of the Big 10 in the NFL. That’s a joke. Hyde has a heck of a power runner. Just Gore and Hyde alone will wear down the Seahwks front 7. Throw Lattimore(if he’s getting clock) and you have a real three head monster that’s going to put a hurting on the Seahwks.

    I’m a HUGE advocate for a deep threat. BUT we have three legit #1 recievers. I dare them to man up across the board and stack the box this yr.

    Our DB’s in my opinion take 40% of the blame for last years loss. BUT I like Ward. He’s physical. I don’t care how big, strong, and/or fast you are; if his instincts are truly as good as they say. I expect BIG THINGS.

    No way Seattle wins the division next year. They may beat us once in Seattle but with our new weapons on offense, Kaep with a full season underneath him, and our defense how sick it’s going to be – we stay healthy we’re dominating the NFC

  41. LOL, I love watching people try to write history before it is made. The worse part is that others will read it.

  42. Grant- you seem to place a disproportionate amount of weight on measurables; height, weight, 40 times, 10 yard splits, cone drills, etc. I find your writing more informative when you go beyond the obvious.

    You do this at times, but this is not one of those times. Of course the comments are certainly entertaining after you publish this type of post!

  43. Look, Niners didn’t exactly lose the NFC Championship game by a huge margin. It isn’t gonna take much to overcome the Seahawks. Really, the Niners 1 upped the Seahawks just based on Seattle’s offseason. They lost Walter Thurmond, Brandon Browner, Red Bryant, and Chris Clemons. Those guys are four HUGE pieces that helped to keep the 49er offense in check last year. Also, Stevie Johnson owns Sherman and their lack of CB depth will not be able to match up against Boldin and Crabtree in addition. And do not forget about Vernon. Look, the draft solidified that the Niners are gonna be good not just now, but in the foreseeable future also. I mean looking past the second round…Marcus Martin, Chris Borland, Aaron Lynch, and Dontae Johnson are all solid.

    1. Havin was also not in the lineup when the Niners faced them. His impact, providing he is still heathy, is still an unknown factor in respect to the 49er games.

    1. Here, let me help you:
      “For what feels like the 12th year in a row, the San Francisco 49ers had a bumper crop of draft picks, and they made the most of it.

      The 49ers drafted safety Jimmie Ward in the first round; he’ll partner with last year’s top pick, Eric Reid. Somehow, running back Carlos Hyde fell to the 49ers in the second. He’ll likely sit behind starter Frank Gore and understudy Kendall Hunter in 2014, and displace failing project backs like LaMichael James while earning the right to do so.

      The 49ers also got the draft’s top center prospect, Marcus Martin, in the third round. They also flipped a conditional 2015 fourth-round pick for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson.

      Inside linebacker Chris Borland is a perfect fit for their system and will be ready to challenge Patrick Willis for a starting spot when Willis eventually slows down. Needing still more speed at the wideout position, the 49ers drafted Bruce Ellington in the fourth.

      In free agency, the 49ers lost a lot of skilled defensive backs: Donte Whitner, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown all left. General manager Trent Baalke replaced Whitner with Antoine Bethea, and Brown with Chris Cook.

      What about replacing the second cornerback? The 49ers had so many picks they went ahead and drafted a cornerback in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

      Where Seattle has the depth and coaching to overcome a big net loss in talent, the 49ers had so many picks and used them so wisely they actually added a ton of talent. Not only are the 49ers ahead right now, they’re set up to be ahead for a long time…”

      1. Oh yeah, the Hawks? read on fro the same source, NFL,com:

        “I’ll surely get plenty of flak for dropping the Seahawks all the way to No. 3, but let’s face it: Most of their offseason has been mitigating loss, and they haven’t done that well.

        Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Red Bryant and Clinton McDonald are all gone. So are Chris Maragos, Carson Wiggs, Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan, Kellen Davis and Golden Tate.

        The Seahawks didn’t sign anyone of great significance, nor did their draft class have any game-changing talents. That said, if there’s any team that’s proven it knows which overlooked prospects to draft, it’s general manager John Schneider and the Seahawks.

        If there’s any coach who knows how to motivate prospects and get the most out of them, it’s Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll….”

        1. For what it’s worth you guys defending this as a good draft make some very good points. Don’t think this was a bad draft at all. Just sort of feel it was more a result of luck than actual planned tactics.

          1. How do you luck yourself into a draft like this?

            The team had a plan, and it involved moving up in round 1. It didn’t pan out because the player or players they wanted went earlier than they could afford to move up and get them without mortgaging the draft. So the plan changed to taking BPA while filling a host of current and future needs. Not a fluke.

            Now it is of course possible that none or few of these guys pan out. But at first blush it looks a very solid draft.

  44. Day 1 – It takes two to tango. I had hoped for packaging trades up for both Beckham and Fuller.

    I was expecting Beckham to fall within reasonable trade up distance (30+77+day three pick) but the board went 12 Beckham, 13 Donald, 14 Fuller.

    Beckham at 12? Fuller at 14? I heard teams were asking for the 30+2015 first rounder. What was Baalke to do? (at 11 or 12, I would have nabbed Donald over Beckham anyway.)

    I was thinking “OK, Fuller and Beckham are gone, but that will force a crazy good BPA down to the late teens” It that never happened either. The board just didn’t fall our way.

    So… if you can’t fill THE need in the first round, fill at least one need. Ward counters Welker/Harvin/Austin, provides better tackling them most slot corners and provides safety depth too.

    Day 2 – Masterful job by Baalke. I’ll let others do the talking for me.

    Day 3 – Both this year and 2013 Baalke said he tried to trade up but “the phone’s weren’t ringing.” I would have liked the 49ers to have drafted Jeff Janis, but the day two trade made the roster math a little sticky.

    1. I also would have loved Lee at 30. Surprised Baalke passed him up. Perhaps injury concerns? Maybe the Bills called Baalke about Stevie Johnson before 30 was on the clock.

    2. Brode2washington- You make excellent points and I agree. I would like to point out and focus on your day 3 comment about Baalke wanting to make trades but the phone wasn’t ringing. That seemed obvious by the picks he eventually had to make. Which is my whole point with Baalke’s short coming both last year and this season. He wheels and deals himself into too many late round picks which perhaps in the past were useful. They are only of value if the can be utilized to move up or trade for higher futures which is something he has recently not been able to do. It should not take multiple seasons of something not working to figure that out. To me it was obvious because the teams dynamics had changed that late round picks would lose their relative value. Duh! Perhaps you don’t see it but to me he has been a block head.

  45. Grant. The 9ers have trade bait all over this team. They have Prepared for the future. Why not talk about all the key player Seattle has lost as well. Personally these 2 teams are even and Az is coming in fast. It seems like you like Seattle b/c everything you say about them is in a positive light and like shooting down SF drafts. Let’s see when the season starts and please keep an open mind which is hard for you too do. Lynch only has 2-3 yrs left. SF has Lattimore and. Hyde to run a 2 RB set to bruise and batter the league and keep Gore fresh and give them experience for the future. I just ask that you write something positive about the Niners draft in future.

  46. Flawed premise off the bat.

    It’s a toss up as to whether the Seahawks were better than the 49ers even before the draft. And no, that’s not a homer talking, the distance that separates these two teams is infinitesimal.

  47. Many good rebuttals above so I won’t waste my effort adding to the pile on. This is embarrassing click bait, even for you Grant. Every year it amazes me how you keep your job especially in light of all the solid content out there, much of it done for free.

    Then again dozens of posters jump up to expose your poor reasoning. That equals page views which equals revenue. I guess the joke is on us.

  48. We should just give up on the season than,because we won’t beat Seattle,what a joke. Stevie Johnson has not played for a good offense,or had an amazing Qb to throw the ball to him,he also has been the #1 target.Much will change,I expect he will be amazing.

  49. Grant is right. The Seahawks are the better team and will forever hold the mantle of the better team until a time the 49ers beat them in the playoffs.

    Draft or on paper, none of it matters until they play the game in late Dec/Jan when it counts.

  50. “Instead of running back Hyde in Round 2, the 49ers could have drafted a wide receiver, a difference-maker at wide receiver – Cody Lattimer or Allen Robinson. Both guys are big – Robinson is 6-3 and 220 pounds. Lattimer is 6-2, 215. And both guys are fast – Robinson ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. Lattimer ran a 4.38.

    Those two receivers have the size to improve the 49ers’ red-zone offense and the speed to force opposing defenses to back off the line of scrimmage”

    This all sounds good until you look at the guy the 49ers brought drafted. While Robinson and Lattimer combined for 6 red-zone touchdowns in 2013, Bruce Ellington had 7. And as for stretching the defense, Ellington’s 4.45 will help do the trick.

    1. Ellington probably won’t see more than a few snaps at WR next year. And his college stats are impressive, but not many 5-9 receivers are red-zone threats in the NFL.

      If you don’t like Robinson or Lattimer, trading up for Matthews or Richardson was easily doable.

      1. “Ellington probably won’t see more than a few snaps at WR next year.”

        The same thing could have been said about Robinson or Lattimer had they been drafted by the 49ers. And as for Richardson’s impact, how many snaps will he see playing behind Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and Rice?

        “And his college stats are impressive, but not many 5-9 receivers are red-zone threats in the NFL.”

        Making plays in the red-zone is all about creating space, something that Ellington does a very good job at.

        1. Ellington is fifth on the 49ers’ depth chart at WR. It won’t be hard for Richardson to shoot up the Seahawks’ depth chart. He has two undrafted free agents and an injury prone receiver ahead of him.

          Name me the effective 5-9 red zone receivers in the NFL the past 10 years.

          1. It’s possible Lloyd doesn’t make the team which would make Ellington the 4th. Of course it’s totally unlikely that Patton or Crabtree will get hurt given their stellar injury history so far but if they did then he quickly becomes the #3 guy on the chart. He might see more then a few snaps at WR this year.

            1. However, IF Crabtree and/or Boldin are on the field at the same time then it truly doesn’t matter how many snaps he gets.

              1. I think Ellington was a good pick and I believe he might be much better than people expect. For some reason he doesn’t seem to have that home run break away speed after the catch. He might however be a really good slot receiver. Hyde might turn out to be a good pick up but I still don’t think he was a good choice at #2. Has some red flags and for a RB with those questions that’s too high. They could have gotten a power runner later or though free agency. Of course I must admit the one player I was really wrong about was Rodger Craig. I didn’t think he was as good as he turned out. But I was right about that stiff Cooper.

      2. How many snaps would any of the guys you mentioned see over Crabtree and Boldin next year, never mind Stevie Johnson? And Richardson and Matthews each had a whopping two red zone TDs last year.

  51. Article Grade- F

    Terrible article. This is why Grant will never write with the big boys. A day after the draft with so much material to write about, you give us this.

  52. This is such a “you” article, Grant: poorly reasoned and with contradictory support. To wit, “I can’t believe the Niners drafted a Big 10 RB!!! When was the last time one of those was successful? Instead, they should have drafted a Big 10 WR, a division which has produced such first and second round receiving wonders as AJ Jenkins, Arrelious Benn, Brian Robiskie, Devin Thomas, James Hardy, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Santonio Holmes, and Braylon Edwards.” But hey, one of those guys kind of panned out.

    If you don’t think too hard, you might actually convince yourself you’re smart.

    1. There were 5 receivers who got drafted between pick Nos.42 and 61 — Jordan Matthews, Paul Richardson, Davante Adams, Cody Lattimer and Allen Robinson. The 49ers should have taken one of them instead of taking Hyde to replace Anthony Dixon, who played just 122 snaps on offense last season.

      1. Rounds 2-3 were difficult watching all those talented WRs fall off the board. Once Lee was gone, I especially liked Mathews and Lattimer.

        Time will tell if the 49ers should have gotten a WR in the second, then grabbed a back like Tre Mason later.

      2. Why, because of all the playing time they would have received behind Crabtree, Boldin, and Johnson? You just stated that the No. 5 receiver would not receive more than a few snaps. You can’t seriously be arguing now that you think the No. 4 receiver would receive enough snaps to be a difference maker, can you? The fact that your comments are inconsistent with each other suggests once again that you haven’t thought this through.

  53. I was hoping for an impact WR that could break press coverage, with enough speed to scare Seattle out of its 10-in-the-box schemes. Spent the last two months watching footage of WRs I hoped had the ability to do just that.

    Lee has the nack for getting behind defenses. Benjamin was a gamble pick that if successful could dominate. But the more I think about it, the more I feel good about Ward’s unique blend of talents… slot coverage and tackling.

    The 49ers play Welker once, Austin twice, Harvin twice. That’s 5 games not including post season. The 49ers have games against mobile QBs. Wilson twice, RG3, Alex Smith… Ward has good value limiting scrambling yardage.

    Then I remembered how much better the 49ers passing game is out of play action. This is where Hyde makes sense. Hyde (and Lattimore) are natural receivers too.

    1. If the 49ers really believed slot corner was their biggest need, they should have signed Walter Thurmond. He allowed a 69.5 passer rating in the slot last season. The Giants signed him for 1 year, $3 million.

          1. That’s b/s Grant. You presented Thurmond as a better alternative in part because of his low cost.

            You should quit while you are behind.

          2. “You get what you pay for.”

            Yes you do, and last year the 49ers got Pro Bowl quality play from their free safety who they paid less than a quarter of what they would have needed to pay to keep the incumbent.

            That’s part of why the 49ers are where they are, and teams like the Bucs are where they are.

            1. That has nothing to do with Thurmond and Ward. Reid was a top-20 pick. Ward would have been a second round pick if the 49ers hadn’t drafted him. Assuming he will be a better slot corner than Thurmond or even Wright or Cox is a stretch. I have to see it to believe it.

              1. “That has nothing to do with Thurmond and Ward.”

                Yeah it does. Thurmond went where the bigger money was offered.

              2. Shows you what they thought of Thurmond/Ward, and Johnson/any other 2nd or 3rd round receiver.

              3. Yup. Highly questionable. Thurmond was a much better player than Johnson last season. Thurmond would have been cheaper than Johnson, would have played at least twice as many snaps as Johnson and would have taken care of the 49ers’ “biggest need,” as you say.

              4. They took care of the need with a guy who was much cheaper, and Smith will be cheaper than either Crabtree or Boldin next season.

              5. Maybe they took care of the need. Ward is a better tackler than Roby — that’s for sure. But we will see if Ward can hold up in man coverage against slot receivers in the NFL. We know Thurmond can.

              6. Grant,

                Ward was almost a second round pick where he was taken, so what is your point that he would’ve been a second round pick if the 49ers drafted him? He would’ve only had to last two more picks to make it to the second round. So what?

                You’re grasping at straws.

          3. By the infallible logic of “You get what you pay for”, we can safely expect Gabbert to outperform both Kaepernick and Wilson this season.

      1. I think CB and deep threat WR were equal or bigger needs, but Beckham and Fuller went very early… 12 and 14? Sheesh! The trade-up price was probably way too high.

        The way the board fell in round one sucked. It was not a fun night. In fact, I think round one was a perfect storm that prevented talent the 49ers targeted from falling within reasonable trade-up reach. There was no 2013 Jerry Jones willing to trade an 18 for 31+74.

        This has all the earmarks of a plan B or Plan C draft. Not saying its a bad draft. In fact, I love all the new talent Baalke got. Baalke gets high marks for crisis management, and he solved alot of long term needs.

        1. I think this was a good “versatility” draft.

          Ward provides depth in two spots.

          Martin has the talent to play center and guard.

          Hyde brings some fresh pass catching ability.

          I hear Hyde has an extremely low number of negative yardage plays. Important for a passing attack that does OK in play action, but tends to get swamped in obvious passing situations.

        2. Brodie2washington– I think you hit the nail on the head. I agree this draft sounds like a plan B or C obtion draft. And in that respect it was a good comeback. But what concerns me is that to get the players they ended up with they also had a lot of luck. Fire bad,day one Bad, but day 2 good. Not necessarily a good master plan but as you say a good save. They were also bailed out by Johnson becoming available.

      2. Thurmond said he would’ve signed w 49ers but he didn’t want to make Seattle fans mad. Grant check his press release the day he signed w Giants before you say what the 9ers should have done. Thurmond actually considered signing w them.

        1. I hope you really don;t believe that not making the Seattle fans made was a deciding factor. He said that after the fact to stay on good terms with them. No reason to not say that. If the Niners had made a comparable offer he would have signed with them.

  54. Whaaaa, whaaaaa, whaaaa from Grant again….not surprised in the least…

    Grants you crack me up…last year in the playoff you said we’d lose agains Greenbay and we didn’t you said we’d lose to Carolina and we didn’t….then you picked Seatle and did the “SEE, I knew it!” Routine…I only stumble on ur garbage by chance, bad chance…seriously your not a very good football evaluator…please quit

  55. Guys, seriously, don’t feed this Cohn Troll…He’s getting worse than his dad, ALREADY…
    I’m done with this hack, done with reading any more of his entries…It is plainly obvious he posts these entries in order to get a rise out of the fanbase and generate site hits…Its low, its pathetic, and very unprofessional…I’m off to Maiocco and Barrows, where at least real reporting is going on…I suggest you all do the same…It’s time for a cleansing of this blog, but that won’t happen so long as we keep checking his site and responding to his outlandish reports/opinions…

    Think about it…

  56. Could have had Dennard, Thurmond and Lee/Matthews/Richardson/Adams/Lattimer/Robinson.

    Ended up with Ward, Johnson and Hyde.

    1. Your track record grant is a joke regarding prospects. Last year You were convinced what a bad selection it was to take E. Reid. You mentioned how trufant and Rhodes would of been better picks. Yet Reid made the pro bowl and is now considered one of the best young safeties in the game. You are talking about how great these receivers the niners didn’t draft are, but you fail to realize that there no sure thing to being legitimate threats. Stevie Johnson has achieved 3 1000 yard seasons while also being named to a pro bowl. You sound very uneducated from a football perspective when you mentioned that a rookie receiver would be more impactful then a proven 27year old quality receiver. Throughout last season you wrote articles about how frank gore was on his last leg. I will give you credit in that you were correct. So what do the niners do, they select an every down running back who I can guarantee will take playing time away from frank. The niners paid gore a lot this season. In my opinion to much(6mil). I will take a pro bowl receiver, an every down bell cow in Hyde and a versatile safety over your 3 that you have listed all day. Just like I wouldn’t touch Tyler Wilson or David fales at QB. Just remember grant, a lot of us remember all your little predictions and you will get called out every time!

        1. That you did. You were quite complimentary of the 49ers draft last year.

          Can I ask – if you take away your thoughts on how this draft will help them stack up to the Seahawks this season, how would you rate this draft?

          1. It’s a solid draft in a vacuum, but not enough to get the 49ers over the hump in the division in the short term IMO.

            1. Grant they lost to the Hawks by the thinnest of margins, some would even say we won if certain bad calls hadn’t occurred. The 49ers are already a good enough team to beat the Hawks they could have abstained from the draft and still have as good of a chance beating them as they did last year which was pretty good.

              To say that the draft didn’t get us over the hump only forgets how close the NFCCG really was.

              1. Seattle won, though. Add Harvin and take away Bowman and the gap gets a lot wider.

              2. I’ll worry about Harvin when he can actually play more then 2-3 games in a row without aggravating a hangnail and sitting out for the next 6 games or more. Bowman is a great player but he isn’t the constitution of our defense not only that but we are a great team that has depth which is why we have the kind of drafts we just did. The back up linebackers already on the team have proven themselves worthy of the stepping in and doing a fine job plus the addition of Borland I think makes the Bowman takeaway minimal if it’s even tangible.

              3. Bowman is the 49ers’ best player. His loss will be very tangible.

                You’re hoping Harvin doesn’t play? Some game plan.

              4. Come on, don’t be glib it’s too early for that kind of attitude.

                You’re putting too much emphasis on a single player’s contribution to a very well rounded and well coached team. The Seahawks managed to win the Superbowl last year without Navarro Bowman on their team, how did they manage that?

              5. I’m putting just the right amount of emphasis. Losing your best player always has an impact. You know that.

              6. I wasn’t trying to make the point that losing your best player doesn’t effect you I’m suggesting that the players and coaches will make that effect minimal. When you also consider how good the other 10 starters are as well then the overall impact can be made inappreciable. Especially since it’s not even for the whole season and he’ll be back before week #13 anyway.

              7. Btw, Im curious, did you just smile or did you actually lol when the Skins took my boy?

              8. He was drafted right where I thought we’d have to go to get him. I knew he’d never make it past the Packers second pick but I was surprised to see the Skins take him.

              9. I knew he’d never make it past the Packers second pick
                —-
                Well, I guess I can’t say that since he never made it there to find out.

              10. Add Harvin and take away Bowman and the gap gets a lot wider.

                Yes, because those are the only changes to the respective rosters.

              11. May 13, 2014 at 8:42 am
                Keep those fingers crossed.
                —————–
                Speaking of wishful thinking. I’m guessing the Titans don’t quite share your beliefs in Tyler Wilson when they decided to draft Mettenberger to be Locker’s back up/ replacement. It’s amazing how many coaches he’s been watched by and yet they still can’t see him for how good he is in your mind. Clearly they’re wrong about him.

              12. “Add Harvin and take away Bowman and the gap gets a lot wider.”

                Only if you ignore the other losses and additions for both teams.

              1. Don’t be surprised when the Titans start the season with Locker/Whitehurst/Mettenberger and Wilson is sitting on the couch.

              2. Don’t be surprised when Wilson has a better career than all three of those quarterbacks.

              3. Both were only full time starters for two years in college. Wilsons % was 62.65 for those two years and Mettenberger’s was 61.85. Wow what an appreciable difference that is.

              4. May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am
                Don’t be surprised when Wilson has a better career than all three of those quarterbacks.
                —————–
                And when exactly is this supposed to happen. How many more teams will he land at as their third string/ camp arm before his true NFL prowess is discovered? You can only blame the coaches for so long Grant, these are NFL coaches and it would be nothing but pure hubris to say you know more about QB’s then they do or that you can spot potential better then they can. Let’s say the Titans do cut him which I believe is likely looking at the roster. What’s next. Where does he need to land where the right coach exists to steep out his untapped potential?

              5. Well my question is, how many times exactly does he have to ‘fail’ before you’re going to admit defeat on this;

                1) Undrafted
                2) Cut by the Raiders
                3) Currently 3rd string behind Jake Locker and Charlie Whitehurst. Try saying that out loud and tell me how good does it make him sound?
                4) Now he’s fighting for his job against someone who not only was drafted but certainly could have gone sooner if he had stayed healthy. None the less he was drafted and the Titans traded to get him. Who are they going to give the benefit of the doubt to in camp? The undrafted sloppy seconds from the Raiders or the shiny new prospect who they gave up a pick for?

                So it’s a legitimate question. How many more teams does he need to fail on before you’ll admit you were wrong?

              6. May 13, 2014 at 10:32 am
                Undrafted? Do some research.
                ————–
                I did remember wrong on that, not sure who I was thinking of. What’s with the ‘tude today? You’ve been flashing on people all morning.

      1. Ck-elite- There are very few sure things. The same could also be said about the players the Niners did end up with especially Hyde.

  57. Serious question Grant, is writing this blog your full-time job? Are you still in school?

    I like your blog, because it can be entertaining, but I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that you get paid to write it.

    I do not understand how you can expect to have any respect or credibility by analyzing the potential of a player not by his performance, skill-set, intangibles, “measurables,” etc., but solely by what school and division he came from.

    I can imagine you writing the following article in 1975.

    “The first player the Bears drafted was Walter Payton, a running back from Jackson State. Jackson State has never produced a dominant NFL running back. In fact, Jackson State has already produced a running back named Payton – Walter Payton’s older brother Edward Payton. Edward Payton went undrafted in 1973 and still hasn’t played an NFL game.

    Instead of running back Walter Payton in Round 1, the Bears could have drafted a wide receiver, a difference-maker at wide receiver – Larry Burton. This guy is fast – Burton was a world-class Olympic sprinter, finishing fourth for the United States team in the 200 meter final at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany with a time of 20.37 seconds.

    Larry has the speed to force opposing defenses to back off the line of scrimmage, which would open up running lanes for Ken Grandberry…blah blah blah”

    1. James5Bond– At the time the Bears drafted Payton over Burton the team dynamics and resulting draft priorities were different. Teams were built around running backs and they were valued and drafted very high every year. With the change that limited how DB could play the passing game became more important and we saw the gradual shifting over from a running to a passing game. So you see your analogue is out dated and not relevant to todays game.

      1. Thanks for the well reasoned reply, but you’re missing the point.

        My example uses the same standard Grant uses to judge how good a draft pick is – irrelevant factors in determining a running back’s potential, an unreasonable amount of weight given to straight line speed in determining a wide receiver’s potential, and choosing a wide receiver over a running back based on such erroneous analysis.

        Grant tends to go against all logic when he falls in love with his own reasoning. This is why he makes absurd predictions such as the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl last year (and sticking to it for a significant part of the season), despite the team having arguably one of the worst defenses in the NFL and having a history of failing to perform when it counts. He thought he was smarter than the general consensus that defenses win championships; something that was proven again last year.

        1. I get your point. I also do understand that Grant’s reason and logic are not always rational. But in this tread mostly everyone is calling him on his contradictions. I just felt that someone should call the contradictions used by the other side. Other wise it becomes less rational and more personal as the thread goes on. I mean what is the point in bringing up things that are not relevant to the issue’s being discussed. I remember times when Grants arguments seemed irrational to me. That is especially true when i was on the other side of the issue. But making this a personal thing about Grant is not in the best interest of a good discussion. People accuse Grant of writing to get a reaction- well if that is true don’t make the discussion only about him. There are other people on this site who I felt had some very good insight and thoughts to add to this subject. This thread long ceased to be about the subject and became about being con-Grant.

          1. Or how the niners traded up to draft a possession WR like jerry Rice from a tiny school that hasent produced any NFL talent! ” rice does not have elite speed and will not create separation at the next level. They could have had ( insert any cb here, and it would be a guy, who was tortured by Rice for his entire career) to replace ronnie Lott. who gave up 8 td’s last year!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. One thing I am uncertain of in these grades is how Jimmie Ward gets such a low grade because he cant cover Harvin. Who in this draft class has shown the ability to cover Harvin? I would say that player didn’t exist in this draft, so why should the 49ers trade up for a player who still isnt good enough to cover Harvin? Gilbert is not polished enough, Roby has the ability but is easily fooled by savvy route runners, Verett has never seen the likes of speed receiver like Harvin.

    Ward well he did very well when matched up with the Dri Archer who is small but quite possibly the most explosive player in this draft.

    I would agree the niners should have taken a wide out over Hyde but that is becuase I think Hyde was vastly overrated.

  59. If the 49ers can’t make a receiving combo of Crabtree, Boldin, Davis and Johnson + the various backups (Patton, Ellington, McDonald) a problem for defenses with the ability to create mismatches across the field and spread the opposition out, then Roman should be fired. I don’t care if they don’t have a guy aside from Davis that can flat out fly. That’s an impressive combination of receiving talent.

    Anyone remember the Arizona Cardinals between 2005 and 2009? They had Fitz, Boldin and Bryant Johnson for 3 years and Fitz, Boldin and Steve Breaston for 2 years. None of those guys were legit speedsters. Yet they put up some impressive offense, despite mediocre play at RB. And they didn’t have a TE like Davis.

    The 49ers offense should be very explosive this year.

    1. Scooter, I still cannot believe (barring any injury) that the 49ers will field Crabtree, Boldin and Johnson as their top-3 receivers this year. It seems like it was just yesterday that the receiving corp was the weakest link in this team (remember the NFCCG against Giants). And I agree, Roman should be fired if we cannot take advantage of this personnel.

      1. Getting a guy of Johnson’s calibre for a compensatory 4th round pick and at his salary for the next 3 years was daylight robbery. The amount of talent on this offense is ridiculous, at every position. There can be no excuses for the offense not to be able to move the ball and put up points consistently this season.

        Also, with Johnson on a palatable contract for 3 years the need to re-sign Crabtree has lessened considerably. They can invest money in other positions.

        1. I was under the impression that Johnsons contract expired at the same time as Boldin. If it is three more years then that does make quite a difference. It is however irregardless a good deal either way.

  60. My friend Chris who is a big Seahawks fan even told me that the 49ers did a great job with the draft and that although his Seahawks are favored to repeat as champs I gently reminded him that there are no Super Bowl repeat champions in the past 10 years. Packers and Saints were humiliated in the playoffs and I fully expect that Seattle would get served by an underwhelming team like what the 9-7 Seahawks did to then defending Super Bowl Champs, the Saints. Simply put Super Bowl champs do not repeat. The NFL and their army of incompetent referees will see to that. Besides, everyone knows that the Super Champ always has a let or incur a large number of devastating injuries that will derail their repeat chances.

  61. question re stevie Johnson–why did the bills let him go for a realtively cheap price of a conditional 4th round pick..granted they got Watkins but they need more than Watkins—did they see Johnson in decline, not like his attitude, or did they feel they could get value and still put out good receivers with Watkins, woods, Goodwin ?

    1. Even if he was on the decline it was still the right move for the team to make. I do still feel they needed to draft another WR. at Hydes spot even if it was only for the future. It was a good year for wide receivers that might not come again any time soon.

  62. re the question of seahawks vs niners one prospect seattle has that sparked a lot of draft talk last year was Jessie Williams the auusie from Alabama…will he make much of an impact next year for them?

  63. Everytime I read a Cohn article I end up mad at myself for wasting my time. Even if you gave the niners an advantage over the hawks in the draft, the hawks are still the team to beat REGARDLESS

  64. I don’t like the premise of your grading system. The draft should be determined based on improvement to the positions drafted. Are we better off at RB, WR, CB? I would say we probably are but my problem with this draft is I think we could be better off than we are if the draft were handled differently. I like Dennard over Ward and I think that wouldn’t have been too expensive given the other trades that took place around those picks. I like Ellington as a WR but lets face it, he was a 4th round WR. People are enamored of the pick because we got value for a 4th rounder. Is Ellington better than Patton? I don’t think so but jury is still out on that one. 9ers could have had a much better WR if they used a 2nd round pick or even 3rd round pick on that position instead of going Hyde or Borland. I like Hyde as a player but recent history shows RB’s are being devalued and you can find great options later in the draft. Borland is a ball player but my impression is he’s a backup and a special teamer. So I would say the 9ers did get better at certain positions but they didn’t maximize their picks for the largest improvement in the weakest areas.

    1. The premise is weak. I almost didn’t read the article past that point, but I guess it’s like a car wreck by the side of the road, hard not to look.
      I’ll differ on Hyde. Let’s remember this Big Blue offense they’re running. Everyone is throwing eggs at Roman but this is Harbaugh’s offense.

    2. All teams tend to get better when they add players. Praising a team for getting better after a draft is setting the bar very low. Did the 49ers improve enough to overtake Seattle? I don’t think so.

      1. Fair point. I will say that a speed burner may have helped us beat the Seahawks in the NFCCG. 9ers have great possession guys in Crabs and Boldin but still lack a player who can stretch the field. Is Ellington a better deep threat than Martavis Bryant or Paul Richardson or any of the other guys we could have drafted in the 2nd/3rd round but didn’t? Is speed receiver more valuable than backup LB or OT that needs to redshirt a year? I think so. I don’t know if Ellington is the guy but he fell to the fourth round for a reason.

    3. They did get a better receiver than Ellington (right now). Stevie Johnson. And he’s better than pretty much any rookie receiver right now.

      How many teams can boast they picked up a 3 time 1,000 yard NFL receiver this off-season, that is still in his prime? There are a few, but not many, and none that are paying the player just $16 million over 3 years.

          1. I believe the amount of success will determine playing time. Chemistry development through training camp will be paramount to getting off to a good start against the Bears defense…..

  65. Grant.it takes a better gameplan did we had to beat them..Each game up there since 2012 has gotten closer and closer..we’re on the cusp..so that’s why I don’t agree..we are the better team.we we’re the best team in division 5-1..We got a lead in that playoff game and we didn’t know what to do..Game planning..that’s the key..Kap shouldn’t be the only one running the ball. Which is essentially why we loss..no run game… The coaches put the team in that predicament..We always seem to have problems maintaining leads or whatnot..prior to that playoff game in Seattle

    1. DeezeeB is right except for the part that the 49ers are a better team – they are not. All of you guys should know that once you are playoff caliber anyone can win on any day. Coaching is very important – and it’s a chess game.

      49ers have problems in their corporation. Word is they were shopping Harbaugh around for a trade & earlier in the year he was looking for college team to coach. They are not giving him the extension he wanted.

      Everyone is out-to-lunch on Kaepernick. He makes bad decisions on and off the field. If he’s the face of the 49er franchise???? And that’s why he’s not getting his extension either. You’re all talking abt giving him $20M. The corporation’s saving “show me b/4 you get a pay day.

      AND all these probs filter on down to the Roster. The offenses are too great to mention. Hit & Run by Culliver; Aldon Smith arrested for yelling bomb while walking thru LAX; Kaepernick putting himself in bad situations on and off the field. There’s more but 3 enough. Need to get your house in order.

      Oh and for all you soft 49er fans complaining about holding here’s a great article. Anquan Boldin talks about how he pushes the “limits. http://www.chatsports.com/san-francisco-49ers/a/49ers-vs-Seahawks-Breaking-down-the-holding-issue-2-9161531

      Oh, and quit blaming your losses on bad zebra calls. When you lose a game by 3 points, it’s a stretch. If you’re so much better than the Hawks, you should never have been in that situation.

        1. Dizzy Dizzy, Oh, I’m sorry it’s Deezy. Everything matters. L and W is what counts and Coaching and strategy is the most important. How do you develop these draft picks. High draft picks matter to a certain extent. But there have been so many college players that do not transition to the NFL. All you have to do is look at the Hawks and their mediocre pics.

          But practices and drills are paramount. They work on interceptions, takeaways. Best in the NFL. They only allow 14.3 pts per game; that’s 228.8 pts per year.

          Back to the draft. I hope we do well – I hope we can replace the players we lost. But I can’t lose sleep over it. Wait til the season starts. Our division has a really difficult schedule – the most difficult.

          1. Well Mary we agree on the game plan not bein the best..but you brought up the off the field incidents since that game in jan as a point of some kind.That has no bearing on that game in January..that game wasn’t a blowout..We were leading..and despite losing the lead the bad playcalling,bad ref calls and turnovers..We still could’ve won..Im not conceding to the hawks..I know we’re the better team..Hawks are not invincible like u and Grant are making them out to be. The only one stopping us frombeating the Seahawks are us..We got to make better adjustments,take advantage of opportunity-aldon strip sack..10-3 lead to start the third quarter..come up with some better plays.to extend drive..extend lead..steal possession,don’t turn the ball over..

            1. Deezy: The 49ers are a good, tough team and if they don’t win the division this year they will surely make the playoffs. I know what the odds are for the Hawks repeating since the cap was implemented.

              We should both be worried about the Cards. Haha.

  66. Grant is right. The Niners did beat the Seahawks once last year. The Seahawks beat them twice–even without Percy Harvin. If Harvin stays healthy, he is the difference. He is incredibly fast and quick, and the Seahawks became a dominant team with him back in the lineup.

    The Niners need speed. They have everything else, but they did not solve their speed problem with regards to the Seahawks.

  67. I beg to differ on a few fronts:
    Ever since Harbough took over the 49ers defense had trouble with quick slot receivers – I still shiver when I remember Cruz destroying us in the 2011/12 playoffs. Ward will be a significant upgrade athletically over Rodgers in the slot and this will be of utmost importance when facing Harvin and Austin at least 4 times a year for many years to come. Add his violent tackling style to his speed and quickness and he was probably the best player purely for the nickel position in the whole draft.
    As of Hyde I refuse to count the times over the past few seasons when we failed to convert crucial 3rd and short or 4th and short situations in games we lost. Unlike Dixon Hyde runs like the big man he is and if he can get a few first downs out of these plays it will translate into more wins. In general he seems to run angry, deftly follows his blockers and displays a decent burst through the hole. He is also said to be a good blocker and a sure handed receiver out of the backfield. I would be shocked if he didnt end up as the No.2 back this season.
    My final take is about Martin and the center position. I really hated the way Goodwin gave away the snap count with his pre-snap head-whip. He also wasnt the greatest of run blockers, which seems to be a strength of Martin. But I also like Kilgore so whoever wins the battle at center should make this a better run-blocking unit.

    1. I love how it has become common knowledge around here that Johnson “smoked” Sherman. Johnson had two catches for 24 yards before the Seahawks took a 24 point lead in that game. Johnson made six catches during extended garbage time. Can’t draw anything from that.

      1. The Bills were woefully outclassed in that game as the score indicated. Johnson put up some numbers, garbage time or not, and it was against the starting secondary not backups.

        Stevie Johnson put up 3 1000 yard seasons with a bad team and lousy QB who couldn’t throw more than 20 yards down the field. The guy can play.

        1. He’s a decent possession receiver who has inflated stats because he was the only receiver worth targeting in Buffalo for a while. But he was not good last year, is an injury risk and may be on the downside of his career like Manningham.

          1. Yes, he was the only receiver worth throwing to. Don’t think defenses knew that? Yet he still put up good numbers. Better than Larry Fitzgerald did when teams knew he was the only guy worth throwing too.

            He dealt with injuries all last year after injuring his back at the beginning of the year. It was a down year for him as a result. But he’ll be just 28 this season. He’s still in his prime. And prior to 2013 he’d had 3 consecutive seasons playing every game. Hardly the injury risk you make him out to be.

            1. So he misses 4 games in 4 years and that labels him an Injury risk? You are really reaching today Grant. Johnson is a proven 1000 yard receiver on a bad team where there really were no other options, you said it yourself. That means even though teams game planned to take him away, they couldn’t. He’s a heck of a player to add to this team, never mind for a 4th round pick a year from now.

              1. “never mind for a 4th round pick a year from now.”

                Baalke actually turned that into a 7th round pick, and in the process turned their 4th rounder into an earlier pick next year.

          2. Grant,

            You don’t know he’s on the down side of his career. Simply saying something over and over again, doesn’t make it true.

            It may be that he is, but it’s much more likely that he’ll regain full health and be, at or near, his peak for three more years.

            Obviously, nobody knows for sure, we’ll have to see how it plays out, but for you to make such a statement, as if it’s fact, is pure nonsense.

  68. Reading through the comments Grant is really taking a flogging. Big surprise.
    It’s amusing to me that a year later we’re still fussing about slot corners, LOL! And there’s angst because we DID take a slot cover guy but passed on an outside cover guy.
    Some of the assertions are questionable to me. Yeah Thurmond had that rating, but was he playing alone? No help from the rest of that D? We don’t know how well he’ll play in NY. We don’t know how well Ward will play in the NFL. It therefore follows that no one knows if signing Thurmond to play outside would be better than drafting Ward.
    But Grant knows. Right.
    It will take at least two years to find out, and even then they’re playing different positions on different teams; apples and oranges

      1. Nope. However many words it takes to call bs on this post of yours is what I’m talking about. Your premise is wrong. Your anlalysis is wrong. Your approved approach to the draft is wrong; it’s how guys like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder have often painted themselves into a corner and not kept their teams in the hunt year after year. You seem to have a different idea than me about what a GM’s responsibilities as a business man are to his employer.

        1. He doesn’t have to. BT is right on the money. If you reach for players due to a perceived need you aren’t taking the best player. In this case they not only didn’t reach, but they didn’t panic and give up prime picks in the deepest draft in 10 years either. It is the type of draft that keeps you in contention for a long period of time.

          1. If the goal is to remain one of the top-8 teams in the league, the 49ers accomplished that with this draft. If the goal was to win the Super Bowl next season, the 49ers probably did not accomplish that in this draft. The 49ers need their current players to step up in order to get past the Seahawks next season.

            1. Grant,

              Dennard and a second round WR were not the difference in winning a SB. Neither would play very much their first year if you look at how Harbaugh has used rookies in the past. This is a veteran team with few holes. What they need to do to beat Seattle is run the ball effectively in Seattle. That is the difference in winning and losing there. There is no gap here no matter how hard you try to create one. The teams have traded victories the past 2 years and the NFCCG came down to the final 30 seconds. The difference in beating them is execution; not adding a couple of rookies. Even then, they could add a big time element they haven’t had if they start Martin and have Hyde and Lattimore spelling Gore more often than Hunter did.

  69. Grant, you have a point that we have to look at how are we going to beat Seattle 3 times. What’s missing from your evaluation is how this draft will benefit the WHOLE team. The intangible part that makes a whole team better is yet to be determent. I think JH and TB picked players based on character and ability. They did their homework. No distractions, just solid players. Most sites give the nines a B+ to an A for this draft. I agree with you that they should have picked up an QB. Picking 3-4 CB in the late rounds to see what sticks is a little wasteful to me.
    Training camp will tell if they were right, and we are counting on you to tell us!

  70. Biggest disappointment for me in the draft by far was seeing our mortal enemy take Ben Gardner. That one hurt I’ll admit.

  71. I saw this one coming….Grant has been too quiet recently. You’re bold Grant, I’ll give you that.

    I like your reasoning for why Hyde will have no impact, because no Big 10 RB has had any impact since Barber, very nice. How is this a valid argument? And then you go on to say that he is only going to replace Dixon. Are you really comparing a 2nd round pick to a 6th round pick? I’m sure the niners have bigger plans for him than just a Dixon-role. How many times have you pointed out Gore’s ineffectiveness against the hawks, “if you take away that long run…”, I’m not saying Hyde solves this, but would you not agree that a much improved running game against the Hawks would give us a better chance of winning.

    Also you continue to mention that the gap is a lot bigger with Harvin in and Bowman out. But I think you fail to realize we don’t play them until week 13. Are you thinking Bowman out the entire season? I think there is a lot better chance that Bowman will play in that game than Harvin will.

    I see the points you are trying to make, but it’s just too far of a stretch even for you.

    We’ll have a healthier crabs and 2 other #1 WR’s for Kap to throw to, along with Ellington and Patton, and not to mention a much improved VMac. Group that with the fact that our backfield just got a heck of a lot stronger with Latt and Hyde.

    Will we blow them out? heck no! They are just too good. But to ignore that this offense is significantly better than last year’s in ridiculous.

    1. I’m comparing Hyde to every other Big Ten running back that has gotten drafted in the first two rounds the past 20 years.

      There is no guarantee Bowman will be the same player ever again.

      I still think the 49ers’ offense will struggle to score more than 19 points in Seattle next season.

      1. How bout you just compare Hyde to all other running backs? Since that’s a completely invalid argument. That’s like the argument all Heisman winning QBs have stunk in the NFL….so does that mean if you win the Heisman and you are a QB you will stink no matter what? I guess to you maybe.

        And of course we will struggle scoring 19 against them, everyone struggles scoring anything against them, but it does not make it impossible. So are you honestly thinking our offense has not significantly improved from last year?

        1. Dixon had 28 carries last season. Hyde probably won’t get any more than that this season.

          Stevie Johnson probably will play about 300 snaps and have a small impact. He does not complement Crabtree and Boldin.

          1. The Dixon comparison is no good. Dixon is a completely different player, he is Kevin Barlow 2.0. Hyde is a much better prospect than Dixon ever was. Hyde has “bell cow” written all over him, Dixon had “Special-teamer” all over him. They will likely start Hyde off slow, but once he is more comfortable with the offense he will be much more involved, which will give Gore a lot fresher legs down the line.

            And with the plethora of quality WRs we now have I can see us using a lot more 3 wr sets.

  72. There has been one common theme among those who did not like the 49ers draft:

    They didn’t get the guy(s) I liked, therefore they blew it.

    1. Haha, exactly Jack. I would have loved the 49ers to get Beckham, but in the end I’m glad they didn’t give up the draft collateral it would have taken to get him. What they got was more valuable.

      1. Yep. Same thing here with Fuller. Instead they got the next best guy in Ward and filled out their roster.

        1. If slot corner was the biggest need, why not just spend money on Walter Thurmond instead of Stevie Johnson? Makes no sense. Ward is a gamble. No.3 wide receiver plays infrequently on the 49ers, as you have reminded us many times over the years.

    2. Yeah that is exactly what it is. “I know more than the team does” attitudes permeate the forum right now.

        1. I play that card because it’s ridiculous to think you, I or anybody else that comments in here know as much as the guys who get paid to do it for a living.

          We watch youtube video cutups Grant. Some of the players I saw while watching College ball this past year as I’m sure you did. Here’s the difference: The teams watch every minute of every game these guys have played in their College Career, talk to every Coach they’ve ever had, meet them and their families and work them out in person. When I say we don’t know as much as they do, I mean it and it should be obvious that is the case.

          You weren’t around then, but there was a time when all I did was criticize the team. From the time Mariucci was fired until the day Harbaugh was hired, there was not much positive reinforcement coming from me. This team was a train wreck for nearly 10 years. Now they are a perennial SB contender that has built a hell of a team through the draft and smart FA acquisitions. I don’t have much criticism for a team that accomplishes what they have in 3 years Grant. If they screw up and the team suffers because of it, I’ll criticize it, but most of the moves these guys have made have worked out favorably and that is why I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt when they pick somebody like AJ Jenkins. It didn’t work out obviously, but they have the resume to be given that.

          1. Same rocket. That was a dreary 10 year stretch there.

            I tend to say positive things about the moves Baalke makes not just because I think they’ve earned it through success, but also because they generally follow my own (hack version) philosophy of how to build a team.

            Don’t overpay for free agents. Don’t overdraft a guy based on need. Use the draft to fill future needs, rather than focusing on immediate needs. Don’t ignore the front 7 on D. Don’t ignore the OL. Don’t become enamoured with guys based on combine measurables – trust what you see on film. Good football instincts trump athletic ability.

        2. You always play that card when someone criticizes the team, as if the team is never wrong.

          Funny, I’ve read rocket’s comments and I have never gotten a “the team is never wrong” vibe from him. Poking fun at you and others for thinking you know more than one of the more successful NFL front offices is not the same ting as claiming the team is never wrong. Baalke and Co. don’t have to be perfect to do their jobs well, and they certainly don’t have to be perfect to earn some deference from amateurs who possess neither the training nor the experience to criticize with any credibility.

          Here’s a simple question for you, Grant. Do you think you know more about talent evaluation and roster-building than Baalke? If not, then you might want to ease back on the definitive statements about how the 49ers screwed up or how you would have done a better job. And if all you have to support those definitive criticisms is that you would have done it a different way or that you value the players differently, don’t be surprised when some of us call b/s.

  73. Baalke’s number one concern, as it should be, is to keep the Niners competitive each and every season over the long haul. He is not just drafting for what they need this season. To say that Carlos Hyde is a bad pick because he will only replace Anthony Dixon’s production is totally missing the point. This is the best recipe for winning a Super Bowl, not “going for it” and mortgaging the future for an untested player acquired in the draft. There is no guarantee from gambling like that, and if it fails you are set back several years. Even if it succeeds, you will likely decline quickly. The Niners and Seahawks are close enough in talent that either can win….it will likely come to down to which team is healthier and a few bounces here and there. The Niners are in the hunt this year and will definitely be in the hunt for years to come under Baalke’s stewardship. As a fan, this is what I want – a shot at the Super Bowl each and every year.

        1. are you referring to the game he rushed for over 100 and had a rushing TD and a receiving TD?

          I guess that’s not so great….but that right a pretty dang good.

              1. The Packers probably would have beaten the 49ers if they had given more of Lacy’s carries to Starks in the Wild Card Playoff game.

              2. That’s what happens when going behind enemy lines and setting up shop in a weak position.

              3. It’s a strong position, just the one you don’t want to hear. It doesn’t go with your pro-Baalke agenda.

              4. Bringing in multiple players with questionable backgrounds was one.

                Also not a big fan of releasing Rogers or trading for Gabbert.

                Our views on what the team needed are different. For instance, you’re enamored with the idea that they need speed on the outside. I’m not. That’s just one example.

              5. Interesting. Haven’t read those criticism from you before. Saying you’re “not a big fan” is not really a criticism, though.

              6. You need to pay closer attention to the links I post. ; )

                How do you think I arrived at the slot cb position as their biggest area of need? Despite what most on here will say, he was very good inside last year.

                The Gabbert trade fits his recent m.o., but would have liked them to go after a long term solution for that spot.

              7. Cox played well in the slot for the 49ers last year, too. Wright has played well in the slot. Brock probably will get a shot to cover the slot and he has the ability to play well inside.

                The 49ers need much more help outside. Culliver, Cook and Johnson get burned way too often. Watch Johnson try to cover Martavis Bryant in the bowl game. Not pretty.

              8. Grant i’m confused in at least 2 posts today you have been very complimentary of the play of P. Cox yet less than 2 weeks ago when i mentioned him as a good replacement for LMJ as a returner next year. You criticized that idea because you said it was likely Cox would not be on the roster next year. Why the gigantic change of heart?

              9. The 49ers might have beaten the Seahawks if Cox had played slot in the NFC Championship instead of Rogers. Cox was the better option in the slot in that game. Rogers gave up the go-ahead touchdown.

              10. I guess the answer to my twice asked question regarding P. Cox is, just ignore my inconsistencies?

              11. I thought the 49ers would draft cornerbacks, not safeties — Ward and Johnson. Cox definitely can make the team now.

              12. Same with Dontae Johnson.

                Come on Grant, you have to admit he’s a good fit for the CB role they appear to be envisaging for Chris Cook this year and Asomugha last year. Just need to train him up.

              13. I can’t watch his tape against Clemson and think, “here’s a future starting NFL cornerback.”

              14. When you watch tape of Richard Sherman at Stanford would you think he was a future Pro Bowl CB?

                That was by far his worst game. He showed good plant and drive to stop plays in front of him for small gains, but really struggled when in the trail position against the speed of Watkins and Bryant. He was much better against Jordan Matthews.

                But he was being asked to play well off his man in that Clemson game. He’ll be taught up on being more physical, playing press coverage. He’s got the athleticism to excel in such coverage, so long as he backs himself.

              15. Johnson bothered Matthews.

                I guess this is another one where we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think Johnson has all the physical traits you look for in a big press CB. He’s still very raw, and needs to learn how to play more intuitively, but I think a scheme which has him playing more press than the off-man he played at NC State will benefit him. He moves well for a guy his size, but you shouldn’t be asking him to play 8-10 yards off the receiver and expect him to mirror them.

              16. That flea flicker deep pass was under thrown by at least 10 yards. Matthews had to come back to the ball, which allowed Johnson to bother him.

                Johnson and Culliver seem similar — big DBs who move well, but are better when the play is in front of them. Because they’re safeties.

              17. Johnson is a better tackler than Culliver. He hasn’t had much experience doing anything other than keep the play in front of him at NC State. That is their system. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he is underdeveloped in terms of playing closer to the line, and defending the pass from the trail position.

                It is now up to the coaches to develop him. He’s got the raw physical tools, and he’s smart. Only question is whether he can develop the instincts and technique.

              18. You blasted for Justin Gilbert for not having instincts, but now you say this fourth round pick can develop instincts on the 49ers. Probably not. Culliver hasn’t developed instincts.

              19. Yes, I did blast Gilbert for not having good instincts. I thought he should be taken later in the first round as a result. But I always said he was a first round prospect.

                Johnson is a 4th round pick with similar size and similar physical capability. He’s even more raw in terms of instincts.

                Time will tell as to whether he can develop. He’s a project, I’m not questioning that. Ike Taylor worked out ok for the Steelers.

              20. He took 2 years to develop and became a very good CB in the NFL for a decade. He was even more raw than Johnson when he came out of college.

                I’m not suggesting Johnson will be ready this year. He’s one for the future.

              21. No, but he’s been a good player on a great defense. I’ll take that from Johnson for a 4th round investment.

              22. Sure, but there is only one Ike Taylor. Most safeties-turned-corners don’t develop instincts in the pros. More likely Johnson is the next Culliver.

              23. To be honest Grant, I’d take that for a 4th rounder too. I think Culliver is better than you give him credit for. He showed some weaknesses in 2012 and one big weakness, but it was just his 2nd season in the NFL. He should still improve.

              24. Grant,

                Instead of arguing like a lawyer who is losing his case, why don’t you just admit you got over yours skis and admit you were wrong?

          1. He rushed for four yards per carry against the one ACC defense he faced last season. How will he do against an NFL defense?

            1. 4.5 per carry…

              Look at his numbers against Michigan State who allowed 3.3 yds/carry last year, 6.6. And what’s so wrong with the Big 10? It’s not like its some crappy division like say….Mountain West

              1. Look at the running backs that have come out of the Big Ten the past 20 years. It’s a sorry list. Hyde is just another good Big Ten RB, IMO. We’ll see.

            2. Grant,

              You can’t decide a players future based on where he went to College. Hyde averaged more than 7 yards a carry and 3.1 yards after contact. He is a heck of a RB. Look at the individual instead of lumping him into a conference.

              1. Plenty of Big Ten running backs have put up better numbers than Hyde over the past couple of decades. Look at Hyde’s stats against schools that weren’t in the Big Ten.

              2. There aren’t many examples unfortunately but against Clemson he averaged 4.5 a carry, went for over a 100 and scored 2 TD’s.

                Against Michigan State who had one of the best defenses in the country he went over a 100 and averaged 6.6 a carry. He’s a good back who can run with power and speed. He also has great balance and vision. He’s going to be a good addition to the Niner running game imo.

              3. Can’t bring yourself to look at his junior season?

                Michigan State is in the Big Ten. They wouldn’t have been one of the best run defenses in college football if they were in the SEC or ACC. Name me the NFL players in Michigan State’s front seven.

                Hyde was just a so-so short yardage back in college, converting 75 percent of those opportunities. That doesn’t bode well for his pro career.

              4. I did look at his Jr. Season. He only played two games outside the conference and in one of them only had 7 carries.

                You can only learn so much from the College numbers Grant. What you have to do is look at the style and see whether it conforms to what you do. Hyde is a between the Tackles RB, who can pop a big one or get you 3 yards after contact. He is multipurpose and already a pretty good blocker. That is the epitome of a Harbaugh RB.

              5. He hasn’t proven he can do any of those things in the NFL, just the Big Ten. Odds are he will be another in the long line of Big Ten running back disappointments. The so-so short yardage production is a big red flag. He should have dominated in short yardage.

              6. You can say that about every player coming out of College. Trent Richardson was taken in the top 5 and so far has performed like a scrub. It’s not the school or Conference Grant. If you look at the list of top performing RB’s in the NFL they are from different schools and conferences for the most part. The top RB last season came from the old Big East which was one of the worst Conference in the nation. The last great running back from Pitt before McCoy was Tony Dorsett in 77. You can’t decide a players future on where he went to school.

              7. You keep missing the point Grant. It doesn’t matter what has happened before. it’s about this particular player. Matt Forte came from Tulane. How many great RB’s came out of there before him? It’s not about the conference or school.

        1. Grant, if you take away Gore (somebody said his legs look tired……..) who do we have for a RB???
          I think it will be Run and Hyde next year!

        2. its funny how the level of talent on the O-line has not been mentioned. hyde will not be running behind a sub-par college line. He will be running behind the best in the world! a line that got younger AND better now that we replaced the weak link with our new stud center! Again grant, every play on a football field is a result of 22 men attempting to do a job.22 men. 11 will fail. 11 will win. the team with more winners than losers wins THAT PLAY! win 2out of 3 plays and get a new set of downs, lose 2 out of 3 and punt. Do this for 60 minutes and you will get a winner.Football is not about isolation or 1 on 1 match-ups. its a series of 11 on 11 fights!

          1. The offensive lines in the Big Ten are not sub par. They usually are better than the defensive lines in the Big Ten. That’s part of the problem for Big Ten running backs.

  74. Grant I remember you writing an article about two months ago that the 49ers needed to copy bill wash plan by not drafting a wide receiver until the fourth around unless there was exceptional talent around. Now they have done so and you are still bashing them over their pics. Come on Grant you cannot have it both ways

      1. In your opinion. The 49ers obviously felt the best players at other positions were a better option than the 8th or 9th WR on the board. This was a true BPA available draft for them and I applaud them for it. Most teams just give BPA lip service and then go out and draft for need. This year Baalke got top players lower than he should have because others reached at need positions. That is the way you have a successful draft.

          1. Well that’s your view against the NIner front office who believe other wise. They had him as BPA and pretty much every analyst who has weighed in agreed with that. You are right though, we’ll see. Just remember how much you liked Stephen Hill a couple of years ago…

              1. There’s a big difference between giving the team the benefit of the doubt and liking the player, but you already knew that. AJ Jenkins was on nobody’s wish list that year.

              2. Scooter,

                Yeah I could see that. He was ranked as a second round prospect by most sites if I remember correctly. If he had been a 3rd round pick, he might have gotten a better chance. He couldn’t handle being a 1st round pick and the expectations that came with it.

              3. I still think Jenkins will ultimately end up a decent #3 or #2 WR. I was very surprised when they took him in round 1. Before the draft I said he’s a guy that has some good abilities but is a bit like Alex Smith – he’ll need a few seasons to get completely comfortable in a system before he really starts contributing.

          2. The path to success is more complicated for a wide receiver than a running back….Hyde would have been a top ten pick 15 years ago….

  75. Yes there were but 2 couldn’t get off a jam, 1 hands were not consistent and was afraid to go over the middle and block plus none of them could play the slot. They only lines up as X or Z

  76. Beating Seattle. .. we had them on the ropes in their stadium last year. One could argue, had they played in SF, it wouldn’t have been that close. The fact is, it should have been played in SF had the refs called the Saint’s game properly.
    Add our strong draft, rated highly by most experts and we should be Seattle especially if we play at home.

  77. True that we came very close to beating them in Seattle. But I must repeat that they didn’t have their best receiver. On the other hand, I’ll be interested to see if the refs ever decide to call holding again, or if Seattle-style holding on every play is now the norm. Maybe we can just start grabbing guys instead of running after them.

  78. I think anything negative grant writes we should just ignore. It’s clear he just wants hits on it and it works that’s why it’s constantly getting worse. This blog is awesome when it’s actually informative but when it’s stuff like this I just laugh and wish most wouldn’t reply to give grant the hits that he wants.

    1. What amazes me is how do large numbers of hits by the same few people amount to any financial gain by the Press Democrat? I don’t see a flood of advertising.

  79. A refreshing stat that Grant can’t refute. Kaepernick was eighth in the NFL in yards per attempt. And only six QBs who threw for more yards than him had a better passer rating….

  80. Yea, I’ve got buddies who are die hard Wolverine fans that have seen Mr. Hyde play live, and they all agree he’s a beast that Bo would have coveted….

  81. Late to this party but why, Grant, do you bring up who’s going to cover Harvin when the guy has proven to be a bandaid throughout his career? Why not worry about covering guys who can stay on the field. Wasn’t he going to torch Rogers last year in the slot? How were Harvin’s stats vs the Niners last season?

  82. Can’t wait to see Hyde take carries from the I formation against Seattle’s front-nine. He’s never done or faced anything like that. He almost always had even or favorable blocking numbers in the zone read in college.

    1. The most recent game that comes to mind is against Clemson in the Orange Bowl during the 1st quarter. I believe even when the Buckeyes were in a 3 WR formation, the Tigers had seven men in the box….Clearly, their defensive scheme was centered around stopping Mr. Hyde.

    2. “Can’t wait to see Hyde take carries from the I formation against Seattle’s front-nine.”

      I have a feeling that you won’t see that quite as much as last season.

  83. What Grant fails to do is account for the huge losses by the Hawks in FA. They did not fill those holes effectively (chasing an old Jared Allen should tell you that). The knock on Richardson is the same knock that was on AJ Jenkins coming out, not physical enough to beat press. Richardson will struggle next year. They reached on their second round OL pick (graded 5th round) and Norwood is that “dime-a-dozen” possession receiver that GC noted (I’ll take Johnson). The Niners have arguably been given the best grades from top analysts everywhere. Last I checked, GC is neither an analyst nor a Niner fan. His whole family hates the Niners. What in gods name does anyone here expect.

    Tell me this Grant, where did the Seahawks actually get better over last year? Richardson? Not better than Golden Tate. Britt? Not better than Giacomini? Not as a rookie. Where??? It’s an impossible argument for you to win.

  84. Modest?

    Matt Maiocco CSN:
    It’s always way too early to tell when the rookies have not played a game. The grade I give them is “Incomplete.” It would be ridiculous for me to pretend I did the work of an entire organization to study film and conduct background checks and hundreds of interviews to create my own draft board.

      1. After the third preseason game could be a better time. But, since we already know who is making the 53, that’s pointless too.

  85. Grant, i completely agree, as per my comments after the draft. In the NFC Championship game, our offense was horribly reliant on Kaep’s legs, and the inability to get a field-stretching, top quality WR simply has to be notched as a failure. Counting on Seattle to have a post-SB slump is not the way to run a team. “Maybe they’ll suck” is generally not a winning strategy.

    1. Do you think the 49ers are counting on the Seahawks to have a SB Slump? That’s how you think they run the team?

      You and Grant know how to run a team, and the 49ers don’t.

      Call Jeb before all is lost. He needs both of you in the highest levels of the organization. Chuckle, chuckle.

  86. Grant is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His father, Lowell, is the sports columnist for the PD. Lowell has been successful by being provocative and controversial. His outrageous and off-the-wall opinions draw readers and prompt e-mails and letters-to-the-editor. This makes his editors happy.

    Grant is following in his father’s footsteps. He saw both national and local media agree the Niners had a good draft. So he says to himself If I write a blog echoing conventional wisdom the interest and response will be low.

    So why not go against the grain and say it was a lousy draft? And then use a gimmick like asking how the drafted players make the team better against Seattle. And throw in a really stupid way to judge a running back like the number of elite backs his school or conference produced in the past.

    Good job, Grant. I’ll bet the number of responses you got to this blog is more than the numbers of Matt Maiocco, Matt Barrows and Kevin Lynch combined.

    Dad is surely proud.

    1. Well, as of Wednesday 7:36 am , this article has generated just 4 comments shy of 600 hits. So, he does know how to generate blog hits. Grant, I was warming to you over the last couple weeks, and the you had to revert back to your anti-Niner agenda…

  87. I agree with Grant thati wish they would have moved up to get more immediate impact. However, I think they drafted to benefit what they do best… They brought in o line help, a solid rb for their run game and brought in depth for their defense. From history, the coaches have done well with obtaining good defensive talent. I’m hoping for great surprises. Again, I wish they would have gotten more immediate impact.

  88. A comparison of two players:

    Player A:

    Games played – 55
    Receptions – 281
    Yards – 3319
    Yards per catch average – 11.8
    TD’s – 20
    Longest pass caught – 53 yards

    Player B:

    Games played – 76
    Receptions – 301
    Yards – 3832
    Yards per catch average – 12.7
    TD’s – 28
    Longest pass caught – 63 yards

    Player A is being described by the Blog writer as one of the most explosive players in the game. He describes Player B as a possession receiver.

    Player A – Percy Harvin

    Player B – Stevie Johnson

    1. Its amazing to think a receiver that has never gone over 1,000 yards receiving in a year is so much better a player than a guy that has done it 3 times. And that Johnson isn’t a good pickup because he is “injury prone” yet Harvin is a big addition this year for the Seahawks despite only playing a full 16 games in a season once in his career.

      1. Only a 49ers fan could convince himself that Stevie Johnson has a bigger impact on a football game than Percy Harvin.

        1. I never said that Grant. Harvin is a great kick returner as well. What I’m saying is you are severely underestimating Stevie Johnson while at the same time overrating Percy Harvin. Stevie Johnson is every bit the receiver Harvin is.

          1. The Seahawks traded a first, third and a seventh for Harvin. The 49ers traded a fourth for Johnson. The difference is not kick returning. Stevie Johnson isn’t half the YAC threat that Harvin is. And Harvin is much faster than Johnson. Harvin was on pace to catch more passes and TDs than Calvin Johnson in 2012.

            1. Yet he didn’t and Johnson has better receiving numbers across the board.

              Looks like Seattle made a really bad deal.

              1. I prefer to think of it more as color commentary. And, apparently, my first try was too colorful.

              2. Johnson or Marshall? My first thought would be Marshall but that’s without looking at the numbers.

              3. Maybe I’ve missed it before, but I’m glad others are joining the “Harvin-is-a-Vastly-Overrated-WR” bandwagon.

                Harvin is very dangerous once he has the ball, but it’s not always so easy for him to actually get open to catch it. It seems to me he does best when a gimmick play is called for him. He’s a very average route runner.

            2. Grant,

              Just because the Seahawks got ripped off in trading for Harvin, and the 49ers didn’t when they traded for Johnson, doesn’t prove that Harvin is the better WR.

              The career numbers very clearly show the true story.

              If you could use what was given up for a player as a gauge of their value, shouldn’t Hershel Walker led the Vikings to multiple SBs? What about Charlie Whitehurst? The Seahawks gave up a lot for him, how did his time in Seattle turn out? Actually, the Whitehurst fiasco shows how dopey the Seahawk front office is capable of being. Can you imagine Baalke making such a stupid trade? Neither can I. It’s the Carroll culture, very undisciplined and it will catch up to them.

              Believe this, the Seahawks will be sorry they traded for and signed Harvin to such a rich deal. His production has not, and will not, be commensurate to what he has cost in draft picks and salary. He is, and will become more of a drag on their salary cap.

              Which leads me to another point you seem to have totally missed. While the 49ers are set up to turn over their roster, the Seahawks won’t have replacement players in the pipeline and will be left with serious roster problems in 2015 and beyond.

              That is, unless they can recreate their absolute luck out late round drafting and UDFA signings they’ve managed over the last few years (hint: no, they can’t – no other NFL team has ever managed it before and neither will they).

              1. Oregon,

                I’m not sure if you’re responding to me, or not, but, if so, where did I say the Seahawks didn’t win the SB, or that they aren’t a great team?

                I am saying they got ripped off in the Percy Harvin trade and they enjoyed a more than a little luck in building their team. Any time a team can pull All Pro Caliber talent out of the fifth round, there is a great deal of luck involved in that pick. They did that two years in a row. On top of that, you have Maxwell (sixth round starter). That’s 75% of their secondary.

                Hey, if the Seahawks can sustain the late round draft success they’ve recently had, I’ll eat crow. I don’t think they can.

        2. As a receiver, Johnson has had more receiving yards, the higher yards/reception average, more TDs and more plays of >25 yards. Only a guy desperate to avoid the homer label could deny Johnson’s bigger impact as a receiver.

        3. Where did I say that Grant?

          I just question why he is being touted by you as so much better than Johnson as a receiver when he’s only completed a full season once in his career and is yet to produce a 1,000 yard season as a receiver?

          Could it be that Harvin is in fact an exceptional athlete and very dangerous with the ball in his hands, but actually struggles as a receiver running routes downfield? His very low yards per reception would suggest this is true, especially when you consider the high YAC.

          He’s a Darren Sproles type player. Good to have, can cause mismatches, but if he’s your number one threat you are in trouble.

          1. If Stevie Johnson was as good as you’re making him out to be, the 49ers would have had to trade more than a late fourth for him.

            1. That’s not an argument Grant. You are ignoring factual information in favour of the compensation given up in trade.

              Could it be that other teams knew the Bills were looking to move him and were waiting for the price to go down further or maybe waiting to see if the Bills would release him due to his contract?

            2. How good am I making him out to be?

              I’ve said he should be better than any rookie this year. Not a hard prediction to make.

              I’ve said he’s a 3 time 1,000 yard receiver coming off a down year due to injury. Simply facts there. And those three seasons he was a 1,000 yard receiver he was the lone receiving threat getting extra attention from defenses.

              He’s a proven, productive WR. Not many teams can boast a 3 time 1,000 yard receiver still in his prime as their #3.

              As to why the Bills could only get a conditional 4th rounder – he had worn out his welcome with the Bills coaching staff. He was going to be a goner one way or another. The Bills had no trade leverage other than hoping teams would try to outbid for him. Same as what happened with DeSean Jackson. The Eagles couldn’t even get any picks for him.

              1. You think Stevie Johnson will have a better 2014 season than Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews and Davante Adams? Odds are low.

              2. No, I am saying he will have a better 2014 than any of those guys would have had for the 49ers.

            1. Yes, they will rue the day they signed Harvin.

              He’s very average, until he gets the ball in his hands. That’s why he does his best work with returns and gimmick plays.

            2. PH is competing like everyone. My guess is if he doesn’t have a good year or gets injured, he’ll be gone by 2016 or maybe a restructuring. Contract runs thru 2017. MLynch may be gone end of 2015. Zach Miller? More hard decisions.

    2. Hilarious. If Stevie Johnson is such a threat, why couldn’t the Bills get anything better than a late fourth rounder for him?

      1. Im usually with you Rocket but i gotta side with Grant on this one. There’s no way Stevies better tgan percy. You’re going all Jack Hammer on this argument and only looking at the stats.

        Its much like the Kap vs Smith debate. All you need is a pair of eyes to see the difference. No offense buddy.

        1. Yeah, damn the actual objective results; subjective preference of one style over another is what’s really important.

        2. None taken Leo. I’m ok with people disagreeing with me but I don’t see how Harvin can be classified as explosive and dangerous while Johnson is described as a possession receiver. He’s had bigger plays downfield than Harvin, more TD’s than Harvin, better yards per catch average.

          Harvin offers more as an all around player due to KR ability and versatility, but as a receiver he and Johnson are comparable and Johnson is a bigger downfield threat.

          1. I hear you rocket. I think both perfectly healthy i take Harvin everytime. You’re right he brings so much versatility. But you’re right stevie is The more polished of the two as a wideout. But i think we got the better value because i honestly believe Harvin will never be healthy for a full season.

      2. Grant,

        That’s not a bad question, but the real question is why did the Seahawks overpay so much to get a great return man and a WR that is an average route runner, who has a history of injury problems and a has a career average of under 12 yards per catch?

  89. Anyone know the terms of the Stevie Johnson trade? At what point does the conditional pick change to a 3rd rounder? If its a low bar (like suiting up for more then x number of games) it might not seem like such a great deal. If its a high bar (like exceeding 1,000 yards) I’d feel alot better.

  90. Grant I know you like to push the envelope but your grade on the 49er’s 2014 draft is so far outside the envelope it is in cartoon land and thus belongs in the funny papers of a your father’s and my era.

    Allow me then to count off the many ways that this was not only a successful draft for the Niners but likely bested all the other teams in the draft this year.

    First:
    Baalke chose one of the deepest drafts in a very long time to load up on mid and lower round picks. Can he see into the future, does he study college football to that incredible degree, I don’t know. All I know is it is some form of genius.

    Second:
    He knew that the difference between first round players and second and third in most categories was not that great this year. He knew that with the draft delayed by several weeks, the hype for the first rounder’s would get further exaggerated. He knew it was a good year to take a page out of Belechick’s draft book.
    He saw that there would be a feeding frenzy in the second and third rounds due to the quality of the second tier players, the drafting of most of the QBs at that point and the start of some of the important categories such as RB and interior O linemen at that point. A feeding frenzy allows him to do his trade magic.

    Third:
    As if having the equivalent of 3d goggles he sees an opportunity, once Buffalo trades up to grab Sammie Watkins. He jumps on it and gets a player who has had his way in Seattle and he gets him on the cheap. You see he found another way, a bargain basement way, to capitalize on a draft rich in wide receivers.
    Buffalo is stuck with most of Stevie Johnson’s paycheck. And, incidentally, notice that he traded a pick from 2015 and did not trade a pick from 2014. That should illustrate how valuable he considered this year’s mid round picks.

    Fourth:
    He knows when to hold. His plan was not to reach to far up or except over the top offers for a shooting star (a single wish that might go bust in the night and then you got nothing). He is aware that the CB position will become an inflated value position because there never is enough of them.

    Instead he will go after quantity and an occasional over the top trade offer. This is the draft to use a “throw mud at the wall an see who sticks” plan. This will make for a very competitive camp, some preseason trades for the future and a youth movement. Furthermore he can lower the paychecks this way and possibly make it under a very limited cap. This is the draft to do it. There are just too many nuggets in those low cost late rounds.

    In addition there are not one but a number of position needs for the Niners. Furthermore there are needs for the future and he knows that he can draft for tomorrow and not just today. He knows that he will not run the risk of losing his job if he does that (thank you Jed). He has the luxury of drafting for best available in a very deep draft.

    Fifth:
    So he starts his mid round action with a DB who is a bit on the lite side but otherwise in every other way – a player. Think of Ronnie Lott lite and you get the picture. This small reach into the second is the only time he breaks the best player available rule but it can be justified as it is for the top position of need.

    Then he goes on to grab BPA for need positions within the top 100 players of a strong draft class. He gets arguably the top running back, arguably the top center / guard, a top tier line backer, one of the top guards in the draft if not for injury, and best full back in the draft if not for an injury. And he does all this while collecting more picks.

    Marcus Martin 37
    Carlos Hyde 42
    Jimmie Ward 63
    Bruce Ellington 68
    Trey Millard 83
    Brandon Thomas 94
    Chris Boreland 97

    Sixth:
    Both Johnson and Ellington complete the WR picture. Contrary to popular thinking the Niners need to flood the infield from side line to side line more than spread the field deep to break open the box. What was the weakest area on the field for the Niners in last couple of years, THE RED ZONE. The new full house of WRs plus a pass catching RB (and somebody named Vernon) can flood the red zone with targets. Now CK just needs to find them.

    Seventh:
    So of course Baalke took advantage of the needy; worked his trade magic. Among the numerous moves, he used his trademark trickster move to move down for a very generous offer then with less desperation climbs back up to near where he was all the while netting a future pick from the double move. In this case he netted a fourth rounder for next year to pay for Johnson. (Note: If Stevie should succeed in SF then the fourth will turn into a third.)

    Eighth:
    Baalke collects three high potential red shirt players at bargain rates for next year. These essentially are equivalent to trading for three top picks in 2015 draft. And they are better since they come out of a likely stronger draft.
    This is a copy cat league and so the Jaguars took the move from the innovator to grab CB Colvin from Niners for what would have been a fourth red shirt.
    Note: I have heard Todd Mcshay and others count last year’s red shirts available this year toward this draft. Really cannot count both last and next year red shirts, one or the other. But I think we have more than enough reasons here to call this draft an A on the serious page.

  91. Stevie Johnson played 70 snaps against the Ravens’ CBs Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith last season. Johnson caught 1 pass for -1 yards.

  92. We all know grants not worth a damn at his job, if he isn’t making a fool out of himself at 49ers Q&A sessions he’s on a lifetime mission to make every niner believe they suck. Real longtime seasoned niners fan knows this team is championship built for last year today tomorrow next year and beyond. And no 2 cent daddy’s boy riding off his papa’s last name can tell us any different.

    1. Look guys I’m all for attacking Grant’s opinions and debating the merits of them, but let’s keep it to football. You don’t know Grant personally and by all accounts he seems like a guy most of us would enjoy having a beer with. No need to attack him or his personal life. His football views? Let ‘er rip! ;)

  93. “You think Stevie Johnson will have a better 2014 season than Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews and Davante Adams? Odds are low.”

    Since 2007 only 2 wrs have had 1000 yds receiving during their rookie season. Stevie has done it 3 times in that span. But hey don’t let facts get in the way of your bold predictions.

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