49ers’ draft needs — take your pick

This is my Thursday column.

Name one.

Name just one position the 49ers don’t need to address in the upcoming draft.

How about safety?

Eric Reid suffered three concussions the past two years and Antoine Bethea turns 31 in July. The Niners need a safety.


Both starters from 2014 signed with different teams this offseason — Chris Culliver signed with the Redskins and Perrish Cox with the Titans. The current starters are Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright, and Jimmie Ward will cover the slot receiver.

Ward and Brock combined to miss 21 games last season due to lower-body injuries. Wright played for the Chargers and allowed a passer rating of 95.5, according to Pro Football Focus. The Niners need corners, plural.

What about outside linebacker?

Aldon Smith will be a free agent in 2016 and he’s had problems with the law and may not be dependable, and Corey Lemonier is a bust. The 49ers need outside linebackers.

Inside linebacker?

The Niners have just one who was a starter last season — Michael Wilhoite. NaVorro Bowman missed all of last season with a torn ACL and MCL, and Patrick Willis and Chris Borland retired this offseason. The 49ers need inside linebackers.

Defensive line?

The Niners released Ray McDonald in December even though he still is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. And Justin Smith probably will retire before the season begins even though he still is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. The 49ers need defensive linemen.

Offensive line?

Mike Iupati signed with the Arizona Cardinals, Alex Boone will be a free agent in 2016 and Anthony Davis missed nine games last season because he was injured. The Niners don’t have a good backup for him. If he goes down, so does the offense. The 49ers need offensive linemen.

Tight end?

Vernon Davis will be a free agent in 2016 and Vance McDonald is a bust. Come to think of it, Davis may have developed into a bust. The 49ers need tight ends.

Wide receiver?

Anquan Boldin will be a free agent in 2016. Now that they have Torrey Smith the 49ers probably don’t need a wide receiver this minute. But another receiver couldn’t hurt.

Running back?

Carlos Hyde is the only running back on the team under contract through next season. The 49ers need running backs.


The 49ers are scheduled to pay Colin Kaepernick $16.7 million in 2016. He currently is not worth that money. His passer rating ranked 20th in the NFL last season, and he turns 28 in November. He isn’t a young quarterback anymore — he needs to show improvement. If he doesn’t next season, the Niners could cut him to avoid paying him any more money. The 49ers need to draft an up-and-coming quarterback to replace Kaepernick when the time comes — in case they cut him next year. His current backup is Blaine Gabbert, one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. The 49ers really need quarterbacks.

The past few years, the 49ers were one player away from winning a Super Bowl. If only they had a deep threat like Torrey Smith in 2012, or if only they had traded up for Offensive Rookie of the Year Odell Beckham Jr. last year, the Niners might have been champs.

This year, the Niners can’t afford to trade up. They need as many players as they can get. They need everything.

And that liberates them. They don’t have to worry about drafting one particular prospect to fill one particular role on the team. Any prospect who plays offense or defense will fill a need on the Niners.

General manager Trent Baalke can draft the best player available. He never has accomplished that in Round 1. He is known to swing and miss.

In 2010, Baalke drafted Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati when the best players available were free safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Dez Bryant.

In 2011, Baalke drafted Aldon Smith when the best player available was defensive end J.J. Watt.

In 2012, Baalke drafted A.J. Jenkins when the best player available was wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

In 2013, Baalke drafted Eric Reid when the best player available was cornerback Desmond Trufant.

And in 2014, Baalke drafted Jimmie Ward when the best player available was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Of course, we don’t know who will be the best player available when the Niners pick in Round 1 — they pick 15th. But we do know the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson probably will fall to the Niners’ draft slot.

I’m talking about former Georgia Bulldog Todd Gurley. He might be the best player in the entire draft. But he’s a running back, and teams haven’t drafted a running back in Round 1 since 2012. Also, Gurley tore his ACL in October and probably will miss all of training camp, although he can play next season.

If the Niners draft Gurley, he will back up Carlos Hyde. Once Gurley gets in football shape, he will be the starter, Hyde will be the backup and the Niners will have the best backfield in the NFL.

But Gurley isn’t the issue. The 49ers are the issue. They need at least one player at every position on offense and defense. When was the last time you could say that?

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.

This article has 155 Comments

  1. “They need at least one player at every position on offense and defense”.

    That’s a little bit of an exaggeration isn’t it? Some of the needs you have listed aren’t what you would call pressing. Sure, they could use more depth in certain spots on offense or defense, but that’s the same for every team.

  2. Grant you are making my argument for me. The 9ers have many many needs and the only way they can adress most of them is trade back then trade back again. See my mock from earlier today, I believe their draft will end up looking alot like that. Do you agree or disagree?

    1. The only real swing and miss is AJ Jenkins.

      Referring to Aldon Smith, Eric Reid, Iupati, Anthony Davis, and Jimmy Ward as first round “swing and misses” by Baalke because kid Cohn can find a player he personally believes is better that was drafted in front of them is one of the more comical concepts I have ever heard.

      Who the hell calls Aldon Smith, Eric Reid, Anthony Davis, or Iupati a swing and a miss? What kind of arrogance even allows a person to write such a thing?

      1. Tim– It depends on what one definition on uses as a swing and a miss. It might not be defined as purely a player who busts like Jenkins. I think the criteria he is using would be not how well the player he picked turned out but what alternatives were available. In respect to some of the players he picked that Grant mentions Trent was going against the general consensus of what most GM’s would have done. When that works out it’s a home run but when not it’s a swing and a miss.

        TB takes a lot of swings hoping he will connect and hit home runs. Those IR’s, players with bad reps that drop because of it, and players he hopes to coach up or convert to positions they have not played in college. So far the only hit has been Lynch.

        In respect to Aldon the consensus was that Watt was a better pick and it has turned out to be that way. Aldon talent wise was not a swing and a miss but the last two seasons have made it seemed like that. In retrospect Watts would have been a much better pick.

        Davis and Lupati in respect to their positions and when they were picked one could say they were not bad picks. The problem with Lupati was that he was too one dimensional to be picked that high. While not bad picks they were not great picks either. Grant points out that in retrospect he could have done better.

        Ward was another instance of a swing that most GM’s would not have made. So far he is still a question mark. Now for a later round pick that might have been a good gamble, but he was a first round pick. Even the IR picks need to be evaluated according to the reward/risk trade off. Picked in the later rounds not that much risk, but in the earlier rounds the risk requires a much bigger reward. If Ward becomes just an adequate player did the loss due to injury or loss to the time it took to convert to another position justify the level of his pick?.

        It’s not just the players who didn’t justify their positional picks in the first round but also the second. The second round has not been kind to Trent. LMJ, Mc Donald,etc. Tank is another IR pick chosen in the second round. Now if he will still turn into the speculated early first rounder the projected him to be if he wasn’t injured remains to be seen. He didn’t see the field till the end of last season. That was almost two seasons lost for a second round pick with still no guarantee that he will even reach the talent level of a regular second round pick anytime before his rookie contract is up.

        The point is that Trent has made entirely too many of those types of picks during the time when their were few if any immediate holes to fill. Well those swings and misses are now more relevant by the holes that remain that had a chance to be filled with those picks.

        Baalke is very good at certain aspects of being a GM. Such as wheeling and dealing to acquire extra picks and free agency acquisitions Those skills became immediately evident his first couple years. This early success in those area’s seemed to have blinded most people to other area’s in which he is just awful in and in which the consequences are beginning to surface just now. Sort of parallels Harbaugh’s career here as well. He was a great coach in certain area’s and a dunder head in certain others.

    1. tim, you must be related to trent Baalke?

      i love the article. For months i have been critical of TB. The idea that he was one of the greatest GM’s and more important than the most successful head coach that we had in 20 years was moronic in my opinion.

      I used evidence such as draft results. Much of what i said, was said by Grant in this article. A clear pattern of getting good players when GREAT players were still available, and poor players instead of good (ajj)

      Using the tool of hindsight, i think you could make a case that TB has not had 1 good draft ( Iupati & Davis instead of Thomas & Bryant disgusts me)

      To be fair- most GM’s would look bad if judged this way. TB does a good job in free agency, getting talent on the cheap. Filling obvious holes prior to the draft , managing the cap etc.

      He is not a failure when it comes to drafting, lets be clear. he’s average at worst. Personally, i like, and have faith in TB. He’s done a good job assembling teams ( although i do miss the great offensive teams of the ’80’s & ’90’s. TB’s assembles teams that are the polar opposite to those of our glory days….but thats a whole other discussion).

      Grant has always tried being the ” negative nancy” type of journalist you see on the east coast. I personally do not like that type of reporter, but i applaud Grant using facts to support his criticism .

      Bottom line: Trent Baalke better nail this draft and get some value from the “red shirt hurt” crew that he’s assembled over the past year or 2 because now that the luster of 3 NFCCG’s has worn off and we were passed by SEA due to a horrible 2012 draft…….TB has been knocked from his pedestal and is closer to the hot seat!

      1. j-niner- Good post. I would not have written mine if I had seen yours. You generally did a far better job of articulating my thoughts than I did. While I don’ totally agree with everything you wrote, we are generally on the same page. The main question marks that I see about Trent is whether he actually has the ability to fill in those multiple vacated holes in the roster. He doesn’t and won’t have the extra draft capital he was working with along with not having the luxury of using IR’s to try to get players beyond their actual draft value. He will also not be able to afford those whiffs with out immediate consequences unlike his early years at GM when the roster was already loaded. People always stated that Harbaugh had the advantage of falling into a loaded roster that didn’t succeed because of really bad coaching. Well the same also applies to TB. He was working with a loaded roster as well. How he does now will be a better indicator of how good a drafting GM he actually is.

  3. Having needs at every position would put the Niners in good company with most teams in the league. Consider the Hawks:

    QB – Wilson is talented, and a winner, but he’s far from a finished product, has obvious weaknesses in his game that can be exploited, and is on the last year of his contract (granted he will be extended this offseason). BJ Daniels is their backup.

    RB – Lynch turns 30 next year and his physical running style causes a continuing injury concern. Turbin is unsigned next year. For all the buzz about Michael, he’s got 52 career carries (30 of them in games the Hawks won by over 20).

    WR – Baldwin is okay – as a second or third guy. No one else on the roster is an NFL starter, and Paul Richardson is a speed guy who may miss much of the season with a serious injury.

    TE – Probably their closest position to being “set,” but their top two guys are poor blockers.

    OL – Big needs here, where the interior is a mess. Their best player in the group by far, Okung, is a FA next year.

    DT – Questions surround Mebane as he returns from injury, his age is creeping up, and he’s in the last year of his deal. Jordan Hill showed promise, but is young and fairly unproven. Jesse Williams hasn’t done anything. Tony McDaniel is old and in the last year of his contract.

    DE – Avril and Bennett are very good starters and signed a ways out, but both are pushing 30. No proven depth behind them. And Bennett may hold out or seek a trade.

    LB – A very good starting three, but they have no proven depth behind them. Wagner and Irvin are both FAs next year.

    CB – Sherman is great, Cary Williams is okay, Tharold Simon was abused in his last action. Lane is likely out most of the season. You can’t question the Hawks’ ability to find guys at this position, but they’ve got some real question marks behind Sherman.

    S – The starters are elite, assuming they’re healthy, but there’s no depth behind them. Steven Terrell and his four games and one tackle last year is their most experienced backup.

    1. Your my new best friend!

      I have been trying to point out that Seattle has bigger issues or as big of issues as we do! But god for bid anybody does research and gain primary knowledge themselves. Instead they listen to secondary sources that depict a publicity driven story.

      Do any 49er fans realize we are going to shut Marshawn down next year. We have a healthy defensive line without Also being suspended. Seattle has a mediocre offensive line that just lost an All-pro and a great run blocking LG in Carpenter.

  4. The 49ers are in the middle of the pack. That’s a very hard place to recover from which is why Grant can make this kind of evaluation. The Boys had been there for years prior to 2014, and they could sink back to the middle this year.

    We spent over ten years there before we got a three year “spark”. Unfortunately the FO couldn’t nurture that “spark” into a long term fire. In fact they reduced it to dead embers.

    Now the front office is starting over from the middle, and they still have no football brains above the GM.

      1. You hit the nail on the head. While there have been far worse GM’s than Trent, he doesn’t seem to possess all the skill necessary to be the top dog in an organization. A good football mind to keep him in check would do wonders. I thought he has been over his head for quite sometime now and the decline in the roster strength seems to reflect that. Even discounting the total wash of the 2012 draft, it was after the 2013 draft that I posted my fears about the impending decline of the roster strength. A lot has not been circumstances beyond his control, but anticipating those sort of drawbacks should be considered in any long range plans. I do think he has the ability to learn, but during that learning process a lot of capital was frittered away. He got a bit too arrogant.

        1. Correction- I meant to say ( A lot of that has been because of circumstances beyond his control” not ” has not been circumstances beyond his control”

  5. Well, “Offensive line” and “Defensive line” aren’t positions. Using positions, the 49ers have no need for a center, and little need for a left or right tackle.

    Oh, it was a rhetorical question? Nevermind.

  6. It is kind of Black Belt In Hindsight to call Aldon a whiff and to note that J.J.Watt was the best player. The league consensus and media consensus at the time was that Aldon was a terrific pick and an even better prospect than the universally liked Watt. I can’t speak now to what Grant’s take was back then, but I don’t recall any strident advocacy by him for Watt. I liked Watt and Aldon and Quinn at the time.
    Does the roster need upgrades throughout? Sure, that’s why these guys get paid.
    Unique to the Niners? Maybe not.

        1. BT,

          Black Belt in 20/20 Hindsight? Not offensive, clever and funny.

          My take was, “There goes Grant, either exposing his ignorance or selling out and posting a farcical article to get more blog hits again.”

          Obviously, I lack your finesse…

    1. BT- i had a post above mentioning hindsight- and how every GM would look bad from that point of view to be fair
      I remember when aldon was picked, being very unsure about the pick. didnt know/hear much about him. Base off of mocks and rankings etc…..i remember it being a slight reach?
      Anyway, again using hindsight, it seems as if almost anyone with a pulse could have gotten a lot of sacks lining up on one of the best defenses in years next to justin ” in his beastly prime’ Smith with the sole responsibility of rushing the qb

      1. j niner– Exactly. We all saw the consequence of Aldon’s production after Smith got injured in the Patriots game. While he wasn’t a 100% himself it didn’t really show that much until A.Smith was gone. Watt’s is the far better all around player. Not that Aldon was a bad pick, it’s just that Watts would have been better. I also remember that Baalke was given credit after Aldon started producing big time for going against the grain and picking Aldon over Watts. If he was the consensus pick they would not have given him that credit. Aldon was considered sort of a reach.

  7. ILB

    Denzel Perryman and Ramik Wilson please!
    In order to keep our front 7 stout against the run we need another ILB that is a good tackler and can make plays.

  8. Grant is not wrong on the needs of the team at most positions this year and next. But the 20/20 draft hindsight is ridiculous to say the least.

  9. Grant, you are trying too hard…again. Like some comments already said, this is a useless and “stupid” article. Sigh…I guess it’s not worth my time…

    Come up with something better, and more intelligent, then you’ll get the respect of the readers… otherwise, you’re just like a myspace clickbate website…lame.

  10. Offensive Coordinator.

    Greg Roman is a year older and has had several seasons in which to improve our red-zone offense and hasn’t done it. The 49ers should unload him now and – wait . . .

          1. Funny, wish I could say that was my intent. Apologies for my mouse, he gets a little cranky when the chedder isn’t sharp enough; > )

      1. It’s a 3 step drop. The object is to throw the ball as soon as you hit the last step and he did that perfectly.

        1. I’d like to see a little fluidity within the hesitation, if that makes sense. I think he needs to sink his hips, and balanced when he hits that last step….

          1. Id like to see the horrible free agent actually catch the ball.

            Rocket spot on about the three step drop. Release looks quicker but I’d like to see it with live bullets.

            1. I think that with Kaep he still gets velocity without setting his feet. He actually makes some of his better throws on the run. Throwing with his feet not set probably makes him throw with less velocity and more touch. I kind of suspect his accuracy problem is not related to not having his feet set but rather something else. As far as QB’s go he is a weird freak so different things seem to apply. Learning good throwing mechanics sure won’t hurt him in the long run. It will probable increase his longevity considerably.

      2. I’ve watched it over and over and see nothing wrong with it personally. He hits the last step, steps into the direction of the throw and delivers a strike while completely balanced. The whole idea behind a 3 step drop is to deliver the ball as soon as you hit the last step of your drop. He does that perfectly in the clip.

              1. Three things I see from that video that Kaep isn’t doing:

                1. Planting his foot.
                2. Having an upright stance instead of a pitcher’s stance.
                3. Throwing off his back foot.

                I’m beginning to think those aren’t fixable for Kaep and he was taught that more compact motion in order to lessen the chance of them affecting his throws.

              2. Maybe I said that wrong. What I mean is that Kaep doesn’t move the weight off his back foot and transfer it to his front one in the process of throwing.

              3. I’m not going to get into a pissing match about this guys, but there is nothing wrong with the way Kap is throwing off of that 3 step drop. It’s about timing, balance and accuracy, and he nails all 3 in that clip. Whether he continues to do it in a game situation is another story.

              4. “What I mean is that Kaep doesn’t move the weight off his back foot and transfer it to his front one in the process of throwing.”

                Are you referring to the clip from Inman? If so, that’s dead wrong.

  11. Here you go Coffee. There are trades involving picks 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19, 23, 26, 27, 28, 31, and 32 with both Baltimore and New England trading out of the first round.

    1. Tampa Bay – QB Jamesis Winston
    2. Atlanta(from Tennessee) – OLB Dante Fowler
    3. Jacksonville – DT Leonard Williams
    4. Oakland – WR Amari Cooper
    5. Cleveland(from Washington) – QB Marcus Mariota
    6. New Orleans(from New York Jets) – OLB Vic Beasley
    7. Chicago – WR Kevin White
    8. Tennessee(from Atlanta) – CB Trae Waynes
    9. New York Giants – OT Andrus Peat
    10. St. Louis – WR DeVante Parker
    11. Pittsburgh(from Minnesota) – CB Marcus Peters
    12. Washington(from Cleveland) – OT/OG Brandon Scherff
    13. New York Jets(from New Orleans) – OLB Bud Dupree
    14. Miami Dolphins – WR Breshad Perriman
    15. Denver(from San Francisco) – OT La’el Collins
    16. Houston – OLB Shane Ray
    17. San Diego – RB Todd Gurley
    18. Kansas City – DT/NT Danny Shelton
    19. Washington(from Cleveland) – ILB Eric Kendricks
    20. Philadelphia – SS Landon Collins
    21. Cincinnati – OT Ereck Flowers
    22. Minnesota(from Pittsburgh) – CB Kevin Johnson
    23. Dallas(from Detroit) – RB Melvin Gordon
    24. Arizona – DT Malcom Brown
    25. Carolina – CB Jalen Collins
    26. Tennessee(from Baltimore) – OT Jake Fisher
    27. Detroit(from Dallas) – OT D.J. Humphries
    28. San Francisco(from Denver) – WR Phillip Dorsett
    29. Indianapolis – RB Duke Johnson
    30. Green Bay – ILB Bernardrick McKinney
    31. New York Jets(from New Orleans) – RB Tevin Coleman
    32. Kansas City(from New England) – WR Nelson Agholor

    1. Is Boone even wanting to put in the effort? I’ll say it again: I’m worried about Kaep and our RB corps with him at RG.

      1. Alex Boone must have thought he had leverage last year. He didn’t, and also didn’t have a good year.

        Now he seems to think he has leverage again, or maybe this year he will show up for all required session. There are not many of those before preseason camp starts. Even so, based on last year, I would have thought he would want to prove that he has value to contribute. Maybe not.

      2. What we now know is he didn’t say what he did to endear himself to management, because this action clearly doesn’t do that. We know he didn’t do it to rally the troops for team Tomsula, because clearly this is the direct opposite what that would mean. That leaves the only other reason, attention whore….

        1. Razor- Or he said that to endear himself to management at the behest of his agent. This would explain the contradiction of his two statements. But his agent couldn’t talk his lazy Asss into going to the pre-camp. Not much effort to say a few words, takes a bit more to go to camp. Words are cheap.

    2. Depending on how the draft goes, we might see Boone traded at some point. He is here for one more year max, so if they can get something for him and take an Olineman they feel can replace him, it could happen.

          1. Cameron Erving could slot in there for Boone with little to no trouble at all, while providing the versatility to play anywhere else along the line if needed. Chances are he’d be there for the taking at 15….

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boone gets traded tomorrow as part of a deal. Maybe he knows or has a strong inkling that that’s what’s going to happen.

      1. I just finished watching most of the 2013 season on reply. In one close game, aren’t they all, Boone got mad and retaliated which killed an important play for good yardage.

        When he came to the sidelines, Harbaugh gave him a “what’s up with that” gesture. Boone hollered at Harbaugh, and at several other coaches and players. It was a full blown temper tantrum, team be-damed display.

        Juvenal, self centered jerk is my label of choice.

        1. I just finished watching most of the 2013 season on reply. In one close game, aren’t they all, Boone got mad and retaliated which killed an important play for good yardage.

          That’s an example of Boone making it over that mountain top.

      2. The best thing for Boone is to quietly ask to be traded. Public displays of dissatisfaction reduce the compensation the 49ers would get in a Boone trade. This lowers the odds of a trade happening at all.

        Baalke: I have a cranky malcontent who’s holding out for the 2nd year in a row. He can play guard and swing tackle too. What will you give for him?

        GM : A 7th rounder.

        Baalke: No thanks.


        Baalke: I have a guard that can play swing tackle too. He’s open to being traded. There’s only a year on his contract, but if he gets to play tackle I think he’d extend. What will you give for him?

        GM : A 5th rounder.

        Baalke: Done! I’ll have Joan in Payroll fax the paperwork.

  12. I realize you need material Grant but you could write an article like this about every team. The fact is, as the roster stands right now there are only a handful of jobs up for grabs and there are a lot of options already in place vying for them. No question they need to add depth and a 1st round CB would be a great addition to start over Wright, but other than that, most if not all of the picks made this weekend, will not play a prominent role this year.

      1. I don’t disagree with that, just your premise that there are needs at every position. We could look every year and find that to be the case if we really wanted to. This year isn’t that different from previous years in that most of the starting jobs are filled already. The difference this year is we are missing some key vets who are being replaced. They have to see what they have here at some point.

      2. Maybe it would serve us right to not jump on Boone until we actually know what the problem is (if there is a problem). I wasn’t real happy about the Harbaugh explosion, but as many on here commented, there was only one journalist present…and did Boone know it was going to press ? I don’t know , and that’s why I ask…but it doesn’t seem smart to ‘flush ‘ one of our best Olinemen to kneejerk reaction…IMHO he IS one of our best.

  13. Biggest needs are WR, ILB , CB, OG , and back up S. I still like the idea of trading back to 20s and taking DGB in the first. Baalke needs to put some points on the board in the first two rounds. Let’s not overlook his 2nd round F ups- Vance Mac and LMJ.

    Gurley would be nice but there are more pressing needs.

    1. One other thing regarding WR, The last two draft classes have been exceptional. Last night mayock said this years class is just as good if not better than last. We had better not bungle another opportunity.

      1. One last thing, Baalke recently said he was interested in Odell but did not want to trade a first , second and fourth for him. Ok, well why not trade up one spot and get Kelvin Benjamin? Ward was Mayocks 5 or 6 th rated saftey. I am sure he could have been drafted in the 2nd if not the 3rd. In a re-draft Ward wouldn’t be a top 100 pick.

        Baalke’s decision making and post draft analysis are suspect.

        1. Rollo- I agree. Baalke tends to rationalize his decisions via spin as to why he didn’t do what he did. I still don’t believe the numbers he gave for what a trade up would have cost. In a deep draft such as last years the latter picks are worth more with more teams willing to move down to get value. The increased value in the latter picks increases the demand for teams that have a lot of roster openings which usually are at the top of the draft. I mean it took him how long to admit that Jenkins was a mistake. Duh! Interesting that he only did it after Harbaugh was gone. Another bone of contention between the two?

              1. Mid,

                If that’s what you mean by a pitcher’s stance, what’s the problem? It looks athletic and the both are in a position to throw the ball effectively. What am I missing?

              2. Which is why I believe that Kaep was taught the short compact throwing motion, to negate the disadvantage of that stance. A wider stance doesn’t allow for the weight transfer to the front foot.

    1. Throwing motion not radically changed. Does get the ball out a bit quicker.

      The main difference from my untrained eye… his legs are more involved. A boxer “sets down on his punches.” Colin has nice bend in the legs. That alone can improve the throwing motion without.

      Rogers went from Tedford’s “put the ball on a shelf” to more of a shoulder roll. Makes a nice (compact) circle. Looks like that’s what Colin’s aiming for.


      1. It’s funny i was taught the “ball on a shelf” method and now I know why my NFL QB career never materialized.

  14. After careful deliberation, I’ve decided to take my favorite mauler of my board. La’el Collins. Can’t do a murder plot with the number one pick as a potential suspect to get rid of a woman who might have been carrying around his baby. And that’s what he is until they find out he’s not the father, and his alibi is rock solid with no connection to the perpetrator(s)….

  15. Your point about having many teams making BPA picks possible is right on the money. I’d be thrilled if Gurley fell to 15.

    “They (49ers) need at least one player at every position on offense and defense. When was the last time you could say that?”

    I’ve never seen a playerless team. They have all had at least 11 players. Even my flag football team when I was 8.

    Seriously, the 49ers have roster holes for sure. I just don’t know which ones are real and which are mirages.

    The 49ers don’t need another NT, 5 tech, center. OLB is set this year. If Aldon extends, they are in great shape for years.

    They might be better off at CB then we realize… or in horrible shape. Same with TE. Vernon will never be replaced

  16. Ok so far I have 3 entries in the all 32 first round mock contest. If interested in joining just submit your all 32 mock first round only in a reply and make a note to me that it’s for the contest. Trades or no trades is up to you.

    Grading; You get 5 points for correctly matching a player to the spot he’s taken. Each selection away from the correct spot is -1 points. Correctly matching a team to a player is also 5 points. If you also correctly guess a trade with the correct pick you get an additional 5 points.

    For example: You pick Marcus Peters to be selected by the 49ers at pick #15. However he’s taken by the Saints at #13. You get 3 points for that selection. If Peters was in fact taken by the 49ers at #15 you would get 10 points. Let’s say the Texans trade with 49ers and select Peters at #15, that’s 5 points. Now let’s say that you guessed that the Texans would trade with the 49ers and select Peters, you get 15 points.

    Make sense? If not please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

    1. “Everything I’ve heard is that the 49ers don’t value ILBs in Rd 1 or Rd 2 in this draft.”

      That’s because Pullard won’t be drafted until the 4th. :)

    2. I don’t think S.Anthony makes it to the 3rd. But uh, Taiwan Jones probably won’t ever be a 3-down LB. Maybe a 2-down plugger.

    1. So Mayock has two guys that will very well have to be placed on IR for most if not all of next season going in the first round?

  17. The more I watch Perryman the more I like him. Reminds me of Ray Lewis with a twist of Willis. Hits like a wrecking ball and has decent speed.
    We will miss the speed of Willis but not the heart and desire this kid seems to bring. He’s an animal and I want his jersey, and I WANT him in the second Rd. BAAAAM

          1. MD,

            “If you touch my stuff, I’ll kill, you; if you touch me, I’ll kill, you, if you call me Francis, I’ll kill you.”

            I wasn’t trying to give you the business, MD.

            I just hate how Ray Lewis has been given a pass on his involvement with a murder. It makes me sick that he got a hero’s send off from the NFL (going away SB victory, gift wrapped by the officials? I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but that SB tested that…) and that he’s become this iconic figure, all topped off by getting a cake TV gig. Horrible.

            1. Classic. I almost went with the whole schtick.
              I hear ya. I never really got into that case, so I can’t really speak on it. But yeah Im playin with ya. Classic Psycho.

  18. I think this is my final all 32. I made some big changes so I’m still looking it over to make sure I like it and that I didn’t leave anyone out but for the most part I think it’s done. Bold = trade, I only highlight the team that moved up.

    1. Bucaneers – Jameis Winston QB
    2. Browns – Marcus Mariota QB
    3. Jaguars – Amari Cooper WR
    4. Raiders – Kevin White WR
    5. Falcons – Dante Fowler DE/OLB
    6. Jets – Vic Beasley OLB
    7. Bears – Danny Shelton NT
    8. Redskins – Leonard Williams DT
    9. Giants – Andrus Peat OL
    10. Rams – DeVante Parker WR
    11. Dolphins – Todd Gurley RB
    12. Titans – Eddie Goldman DE
    13. Saints – Trae Wayne CB
    14. Vikings – Brandon Scherff OL
    15. Eagles – Phillip Dorsett WR
    16. Texans – Dorial Green-Beckham WR
    17. Chargers – Melvin Gordon RB
    18. Chiefs – Breshad Perriman WR
    19. Titans – Ereck Flowers OT
    20. 49ers – Devin Smith WR
    21. Bengals – La’el Collins OT/G/Aaron Hernandez’s future cellmate
    22. Steelers – Landon Collins S
    23. Lions – DJ Humphries OT
    24. Cardinals – Alvin Dupree OLB
    25. Panthers – Shaq Thompson OLB
    26. Ravens – Marcus Peters CB
    27. Cowboys – Malcom Brown DT.
    28. Broncos – Cameron Erving OL
    29. Colts – Damarious Randall S
    30. Packers – Denzel Perryman ILB
    31. Saints – Shane Ray OLB
    32. Patriots – Nelson Agholor WR

    What I don’t like about it is that it has too many WR’s and not enough OL. With all of the WR’s going you’ll see a few OLB names going much later then they probably will. Thinking is that a lot of teams felt like they missed out last year on the WR gold rush and that they’ll reach to make up for it this year. Also and I do this every year is that I have all of my trades in the beginning of the round and none at the end. The real thing certainly wont work out the same way as the trades get cheaper and easier to make in the mid to late first round.

  19. It’s fun to see the common themes. I wonder if anyone has told the Falcons that they are trading up to draft Fowler because the entire world seems to think that’s what is happening. Beasley to the Jets and Gurley to the Phins are also popular picks. The Bears pick is either a WR or Shelton depending on who’s mock you check.

    1. I’ve read that a lot of teams think the Falcons will actually look to trade back for an OL rather than up for an OLB. We could all be very wrong on that one!

  20. Gurley will be the best player to come out of this draft when they look back in 3 years. The 49ers would be positioned for the next five years and Kaepernick would never have to become a great QB. Would also make are receivers better. Basically, he would do for us what Lynch does for Seatyle. Don’t think that is lost on Baalke and Jed. If he is there, he’s r pick.

    1. When was the last time the 49ers went for a quick, finesse DL over a power DL in the draft? Is Bennett really a good fit for what they look for?

      1. That’s a good point, but they need all the pass rushers they can get. They have plenty of run stuffers and it’s easy to get more of them.

        1. Sure, but any DL pass rusher they get will likely have some power to hold up in the running game as well. Its why I think Mario Edwards would be more likely.

  21. I’m starting to worry that the 49ers might actually take Armstead. What I can’t figure out, is how so many draft analysts are saying the sky is the limit with AA. He didn’t have production, he didn’t look special on film, and his combine numbers aren’t that great. I just don’t see why he’s getting so much love.

    1. Sadly, I agree on all counts. At this point I’m just hoping it won’t be Armstead, but the closer we get to D day the more I’m worried the mocks and draft rumours are right.

      As far as Armstead goes, he’s not a horrible player, but he’s nothing special. He’s a run stuffing 5-tech. I don’t see a guy with tremendous upside as a pass rusher, or tremendous athleticism. As a result I don’t understand why he’s considered a first round prospect. I don’t think Armstead is significantly better than Henry Anderson who they could likely get in the 3rd round.

      1. Scooter,

        He definitely showed better against the run, but I saw him not able to get off blockers way too often. It’s like some crazy practical joke that he’s getting all this hype.

  22. Been resiting watching Armstead breakdowns. I finally broke down. Here’s what I saw in about 50-60 snaps. I tried best I could to ignore all the assessments I’ve heard, going only on what I see.

    – Athletic up the yang
    – Can knock thicker bodied offensive linemen backwards with heavy hands (an Aldon Smith trait)
    – Great length
    – Great “mover” in space
    – Teams paid him big compliments with double teams. More compliments by calling run plays away from his side.
    – Has the speed to chase lateral runs to down the line. Rare for a guy his size.
    – In chaotic open field situations can run though a mess of defenders to the ball using power and speed.
    – When he gets off the snap in time, he can collapse the pocket and split pass pro double teams

    – The slowest lineman off the snap I’ve ever seen. Ever. If you don’t know his number, just look for the guy that’s still in his stance well after the snap. (Strangely, every 5th play or so he’s fast off the snap, and creates total chaos in the offense).
    – Often he has no idea where the ball carrier is.
    – Often when he does get in position to make a tackle, he somehow misses him. (the opposite of Aldon).
    – Plays too high
    – Raw. Not just “not pro ready”, but raw compared to players with equivalent experience. With two years high school football and three years major college experience he should have better technique and instincts. (Slow learner or distracted by basketball commitments?)

    Will be attractive to teams IF they think his snap slowness can be corrected with coaching. They can use him as an interior pass rushing specialist while he takes (considerable) time learning the rest of his craft. At best, he’s two years from becoming a complete 3-down guy.

    If he becomes the player many hope he will, it will be well into his 2nd contract… reducing the drafting team to the role of farm team for whoever grabs him in free agency.

    Arik’s a likeable Northern California man. He’s one of us. A Sac kid. Its not his fault the east coast media is clueless about the defenses the 49ers run, or defensive line depth.

    He has the tools to prove me totally wrong. I’d be ecstatic if he did. But for now, I want the 49ers to use pick 15 on someone else.

    If the 49ers do choose him, I’ll take comfort in the fact Baalke and Tomsula know 100 times more football then I ever will. And I’ll root for him like crazy.

    1. “….well into his 2nd contract… reducing the drafting team to the role of farm team…”

      A major reason why I’d take Cooper over any other receiver. Barring injury, you get the whole 4 years + 5th year option of high level productivity. At only 20, his body is still developing.

    2. IF Arik was quicker off the snap, I’d say he’s miscast as a tackle. I think he could kill as a 4-3 pass rush end. His long arms, hand punch,power and athleticism would be H.E. Double Toothpicks for an OT to have to deal with.

    3. B2W,

      If the 49ers do take him, save me the bar stool next to you because I’ll be rooting for him as well.

      Having said that, it will definitely be a Maalox moment for me if his name is called for the 49ers (in the first round, anyway – downgraded to an alka
      seltzer moment if drafted in the second). I just don’t like what I see, I mean really, is a 5.10 particularly fast for a 5 tech?

      1. I had no idea what his 40 time was. I agree, if the 49ers take him at 15 I’ll be bummed. Not just by the pick, but but the (seemingly) cursed no mans land of pick 15.

        Its not just me… pundits around the country have mentioned the “2nd round” talent after pick 14. A few GMs too. And just when it seems like a climber (Gurley) might bump a player I like (Parker, Shelton, Gurley himself) down to 15… Shane Ray or Randy Gregory idiot their way out of the top 15.

        And now Seattle’s possibly shopping Irvin to Atlanta. Atlanta will retain their 8 pick of course… but they might be less inclined to take a pass rusher, and a little more inclined to take Gurley or Shelton.

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