49ers draft preview

I recently spoke on RotoViz Radio about the 49ers’ approach to the upcoming draft. You can listen to the interview below.

  1. King Solomon can play a “LEO” role in base. Shanny agreed that Thomas indeed could be an edge rusher or the “LEO” in his defensive system. “I believe so,” Shanahan said. “He can line up inside anywhere he wants. With Buckner as your 3T and Armstead at LDE. Nickel might depend on the front. Faced with a base front Armstead may be regulated to the bench, but Staley said he was beastly last year prior to his injury. If indeed he looks like a beast coming off rehab, I would expect to see the “three amigos” all on the field in the aforementioned positions. You could line up King Solomon at LDE as more of a speed rusher with Buckner at the 3T too. Wide 9 formations might be Buckner and either Armstead/King Solomon inside, with Lynch on the opposite side. If you play that variation of the “Bear” look, Buckner and Armstead/King Solomon as your 3T’s, with Lynch outside….

    1. The 49ers could use help on defense and I think Lynch/Shanny deserve the benefit of the doubt so I’ll be happy with whomever they select. However, the 49ers have used a ton of draft capital on the d-line over the past few drafts so I’m hoping they do something to add playmakers. The last offensive skill position player the 49ers selected in the 1st round was AJ Jenkins in the 2012 draft – 5 years ago. The offensive skill position player selected prior to Jenkins was Michael Crabtree in 2009. In the past 10 drafts, the 49ers have had 13 1st round draft picks. They have selected 2 skill position players in the 1st round. They have used 4 of those picks on the O-line which I absolutely love but it’s time to shore up the offense with skilled players who can advance the ball. Get some playmakers who can help the defense out by churning out 1st downs.

        1. No. Not worthy of the #2 pick. But imho Solomon Thomas isn’t worth the #2 pick either. At any rate, my dream scenario is some team with a pick in the top 12 falls in love with Trubisky and trades up to #2 to pick him. Then the 49ers select John Ross or Mike Williams. I know this is probably far-fetched but that is why it’s a dream scenario. If the 49ers must pick at #2 then my preference would be in this order:
          1. Mike Williams
          2. Marshon Lattimore
          3. Jonathan Allen

          The only reason I don’t have Ross in here is his small frame. I’d rather have a big frame receiver than a small frame guy. I wouldn’t select a smaller player at #2.

          1. I think Williams is would be a reach at 2, and a corner has never been drafted that high. Is Lattimore that good? I don’t think so. If you prefer Allen over Thomas, that’s cool. I give Thomas the edge with explosion, constitution and versatility….

            1. Williams would be a reach at #2 considering I think he would be available anywhere from 5-10. I think Lattimore has shut down corner written all over him. It’s debatable but I think he’s going to be amazing in the NFL. I do like Allen over Thomas. The shoulders worry me and I haven’t considered how Allen fits with Buckner, Armstead, Lynch. Thomas may be a better fit. I just like Allen better as a player. He looks like a man among boys in the SEC and that’s pretty damn impressive.

              1. You think the fact that he only put up 21 reps on the bench is a direct correlation to those shoulders?

              2. I saw Thomas play on TV twice. Definitely an impressive athlete. I don’t remember walking away thinking he was a dominating pass rusher. I do remember that he allowed the o-line to get under his pads and drive block him a few times. My feeling is the 49ers don’t need another d-lineman who plays too high – see Armstead, Arik. Thomas is a very good player but I didn’t like that about his game. I feel like Allen uses leverage better and he is absolutely great against the run. They both are probably a bit too light to play interior line in the NFL so they are both going to be DE’s. Given the bench press at the combine, I do wonder if Allens strength is declining or if that’s how strong he’s always been and those 21 reps were about average.

  2. Good stuff Grant. I am reading the 49ers draft strategy the same way you are, as of April 2nd. Subject to change, of course.

    I just don’t see Thomas as the best fit/value with the number 2 pick.

    1. Here is a recap of Grant’s 49ers defensive alignment/assignment breakdown.

      Running downs in the base defense…

      Arik Armstead is the big defensive end on the weak side (the non-tight-end side, think Michael Bennett or Red Bryant)
      Earl Mitchell is the nose tackle (think Glenn Dorsey or Brandon Mebane)
      DeForest Buckner is the defensive tackle (think Justin Smith or Malik Jackson)
      Ahmad Brooks is the defensive end on the strong side (directly in front of the tight end side, think Cliff Avril or Yannick Ngakoue or Brooks Reed)
      Malcolm Smith is the outside linebacker on the line of scrimmage, next to Armstead (think Vic Beasley or Myles Jack)
      NaVorro Bowman is the middle linebacker (think Bobby Wagner)
      Ray Ray Armstrong is the outside linebacker off the line of scrimmage, behind Buckner (think K.J. Wright)

      On passing downs in the Nickel defense…

      Aaron Lynch is the right defensive end
      Arik Armstead is the right defensive takcle
      DeForest Buckner is the left defensive tackle
      Ahmad Brooks is the left defensive end
      NaVorro Bowman is an inside linebacker
      Ray Ray Armstrong is an inside linebacker

  3. Solomon’s not a #2 pick, IMHO. There are plenty of guys already on the roster who could play the LEO position. I think Lynch trades down…it gets more high picks but also opens up a number of players they wouldn’t likely take at #2. I’d much rather see Lynch draft a stout DT later on…like Carlos Watkins. I see the biggest need at the other inside DT position, to play alongside Mitchell.

  4. …I have crap internet, throttled back to 98. Video and audio are out of the question, so it’s always fun to click on an article “written” by a journalist that has no words, that I can’t experiance.

  5. Very professional sounding, like you know what you’re talking about, which is more than half the battle. Thanks.

  6. Rotoviz rocks.

    But I find it annoying that they are doing less and less writen articles and dozens of podcasts now.

    I’ll find time to hear you there, Grant.

  7. Ya I stopped listening when Grant started talking about them picking a corner at 2 or in a trade down. Doesn’t make any sense. He does this every year. I guess one of these years he will be right. Just not this year. Then when Grant used the Raiders as an example when they traded the 3rd pick for the 12th pick with the Jags so they can select Fowler. Problem is that it was the Dolphins that did that for Jordan not Fowler. Can’t wait for the draft…

      1. The team selecting at 2 will be criticized for “reaching.” That’s my iron clad draft prediction. I’m sticking to it.

        1. I don’t think the 2nd best pass rusher, King Solomon is a reach, but that’s me. Usually QB/LT/Pass Rusher & gifted skill positions go in the top 5. Very rare to see a S/RB/LB go that high….

          1. You may be overrating him a little Razor. Thomas is a very good player with a great motor, but he’s not a great pass rusher yet. He is not a natural outside rusher and still relies on power more than anything.

            1. According to Zierlein he has a real chance to be the best defender in the class, and Mayock has him rated as the 2nd best edge rusher. So, it’s not just me overrating him Rocket….

              1. You can take Mayock’s opinion on it and I don’t blame you as he’s the expert not me, but I don’t see it personally.

              2. I don’t see him as an explosive edge rusher Razor. As I said I don’t blame you for taking the word of others over me, but I have to go with what I see.

              3. I see plenty of explosion and athleticism, and verified by combine numbers very similar to Khalil Mack.

              4. Well I guess that means we see things differently and that’s ok. When I watch Thomas I see a very strong guy with good hand movement and motor, but he doesn’t have the bend or closing burst to be a great edge rusher imo. He also benefited from a lot of stunts that freed him up.

                I like Thomas and will have no problem if he’s the pick, but I don’t think he’s as good as some are making him out to be. The combine impressed a lot of people and that seems to have inflated his draft stock significantly.

              5. Disagree. I think he was unstoppable in the bowl game. NC had no answers for him and he closed out the game in the 4th quarter. That’s what you want from your pass rusher. That ignited the recognition and his tape fueled his methodical rise culminated by his combine performance which blew up his stock….

              6. He’s my draft crush. I won’t deny it. He’s got it all, but the important thing is how good he’ll look in scarlet and gold;>)

              7. Thomas is a straight-line interior rusher.

                Shanny disagrees, and so do I. Surprise!;>)

              8. Thomas and Mack are different players. Mack is better rushing off the edge. Thomas primarily relies on his quick lateral sidestep, or bull rush to beat offensive linemen in the interior, similar to Donald. You don’t see Donald as an edge rusher do you?

                I think Thomas is a poor mans Aaron Donald. Donald however, is stronger than an ox (35 bench reps), and at 6’1″, 285 lbs (Thomas is 6’3″ 273 lbs, 30 bench reps) Donald has the advantage combining super human strength with leverage. Solomon Thomas is strong, Donald is stronger, upper body and lower body.

                And yes, on the interior, Donald is more physically gifted thanks to his strength and build.

                Thomas will be a fine pro, but he’s definitely not an “edge rusher”!

              9. I have already stated that I saw Thomas as being over valued. Razor, you are absolutely right that the bowl game is what started his meteoric rise in people’s minds. But if you watch his work through the year it isn’t as noteworthy. He had a great game and was dominant against an inferior and weak UNC OL line.

              10. Thomas will be a fine pro, but he’s definitely not an “edge rusher”!

                Shanny agreed that Thomas indeed could be an edge rusher or the “LEO” in his defensive system. “I believe so,” Shanahan said. “He can line up inside anywhere he wants”.

                I’ll take Shanny’s word for it over yours.

              11. Michael Bennett played 6-technique for the Seahawks in 2013, but he was an interior rusher on passing downs.

              12. Razor, I suggest you take pre-draft statements about particular players with a grain of salt. Shanny would be dumb to to say anything other than something to boost Thomas’ value, considering the 49ers would love nothing more than to pump up his perceived value, and hope a team like Carolina bites, and trades up to draft him.

                But I think you know this.

              13. Michael Bennett played 6-technique for the Seahawks in 2013, but he was an interior rusher on passing

                Yes and Solomon would play a similar role in SF I would imagine. He’s more suited to a 3T role in sub packages than a 6 or 9 as an edge rusher imo.

              1. That’s why you can’t put much stock in combine drills or things unrelated to playing football. When you watch the film Allen is the second best player in this draft imo. Hooker is another guy I’d have rated right there too. Thomas is very good, but his game isn’t quite on par with these two imo. With him you are drafting on what he may become which is an Aaron Donald type 3T.

              2. King Solomon is more explosive and agile than Allen, and all the combine numbers did was confirm that. His medi-valves alerted to potential longevity concerns similar to Jack….

              3. I don’t think the shoulders are going to be anymore of a problem for Allen than any other player who has had shoulder surgery.

                “Jonathan has really played without symptoms in his shoulders, and it’s something that has not affected his performance or function,” Cain told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “It doesn’t have to be treated during the season. And he’s had a couple of great years.
                “This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It’s just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college.”

                Allen is the better player of the two imo. That could change over time if Thomas develops but right now I’d take Allen.

              4. I don’t think the shoulders are going to be anymore of a problem for Allen than any other player who has had shoulder surgery.

                Could explain his average bench press performance.

              1. +1

                That’s where I am leaning AES!

                However, I have a serious draft crush on Corey Davis, if the 49ers do find a trade partner. Davis could be Shanny’s Julio Jones. He’s number 9 on my big board, and I think he’s going to be special! Is he the next Julio Jones? Maybe not, but darn close!

            1. I may be mistaken, George but I do not recall any corner shut down or shut up that’s gone #2. Not even Prime Time!

              1. And Wentz was also drafted to high…Where would you rank him out of 32 qbs?Not being a smart a## ..Serious question..Im personally not high on Wentz..He seems like a capabke starter but nowhere near a talent for what they gave up for him…jmo

              2. Nobodies worth what they gave up for him, but I think they can win a Super Bowl with him. Goff on the other hand, not so sure. His chances increased when they fired Fisher and hired McVay….

    1. I think they will certainly not take Lattimore. If they stay at 2 it’s between 3 guys. Thomas, Foster, Fournette. If they trade down Williams or even Kizer could come into play.

        1. Nope that’s where your wrong. Niners are flush with young corners. Lynch understands that you can’t judge them until they get a pass rush. Fournette is an elite prospect. Lattimore is not. You will be wrong again don’t worrie.

          1. Corners need size and/or length to play outside in this scheme. Only Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson fit the profile, and Johnson can’t play on an island.

            1. Lattimore is barely 6″0 feet. He might be under. He is a good corner but its not what they will do. You will see.

              1. He is exactly six feet. I would be shocked if the Niners drafted an offensive player with their first pick.

              2. I don’t see the special qualities in Foster to give Lynch the justification of taking him at #2. Especially with the injuries, concussions and medi-gate.

            2. CFC agrees with you on Lattimore, Grant but I don’t think he’ll be the one chosen by Lynch/Shanny….

              1. I could see him @#2 but if a team is willing to offer up a couple of good picks for a reasonably small move back then there are enough good players in that range that it’s worth taking the chance of missing out on your first choice.

            3. Hey Grant, would you consider Corey Davis at #8, if the Niners do make a deal with Carolina? He’s #9 on my board, and I think he’s the whole package.

            4. Grant

              Don’t leave out Vinnie Sunserri and Cromartie….both 6′ and 195 to 200 lbs…and both bring some needed ‘pop’.

        2. Im not a fournette fan. Much rather see a trade back or soloman.

          (I appreciate you coment on your articles. I think that is pretty cool)

        3. Just read this and agree with you. I was really high on Fournette at one point, but if they think Lattimore can be that good, a defensive backfield of him, Robinson, Ward and (maybe) Tartt could play a major role in replicating the Seahawk’s SB defense. Use later picks to improve the LB corps, and you might get there sooner than later. RB-wise, Hyde and Hightower could turn out to be a formidable pair.

      1. I’m convinced when you weigh the mass disruption from multiple looks that King Solomon can give you, his non stop relentless motor, situational awareness to include forcing plays away from their intended area. The combination of intelligence, technique, athletic composition, and constitution allow him to collapse the pocket and stuff the run. His character and leadership qualities, all these things combined will ultimately seal the deal convincing Lynch to take the second best player in this draft….

        1. It could very well be Thomas. I like him. He fits the mental profile of what Lynch says he likes in a player.

  8. Grant, could interest in Dawkins and Davenport be as much about planning for Staley’s future replacement as it is in T. Brown’s difficulty with ZBS reach blocks?

    I like Brown. I was hoping when Staley retires down the road, Brown would kick to LT. A new player goes RT.

    1. I’ve seen Brown struggle to lock onto his man while on the move in the run game. It will be very interesting to see the approach Shanny takes. I like Davenport at the top of the 4th, but he may not last quite that long….

    2. Grant (if you happen to be peeking in), do you agree with Greg Cosell that Kizer has “slow eyes?”

      1. Cosell’s takes drive me crazy. None of these quarterbacks are finished products. The key with them is whether they take coaching and how quickly they can make changes. Only way to find out is with private workouts.

        1. The fact that we have a real quarterback whisperer rather than one whose reputation preceded itself, is a comfort to me. That’s why I’m not really worried about who Shanny selects, even if it’s Webb. He knows best and he’ll get the best out of him….

          1. Razor – I agree. I trust Shanahan’s judgement of quarterbacks (and receivers too).

            Alot of draft “gurus” think its a good value to grab a player who’s best year was not his most recent, as long as you can identify the cause for the production drop and its fixable.

            If Shanny likes Kizer, I like Kizer.

    3. B2W

      Like you, I am a Trent Brown fan…I am also a John Theus fan in the search to someday replace ‘Big’ Joe Staley…I see OT draft for quality back-up and competition rather than starter material…..

  9. Here’s my first mock of the year. The Jets trade in front of the Bears to draft Trubisky. Since the Jets are trading up for a QB there’s no special deals being made. There’s a 1000 point difference between #6 and #2. The Jets 2017 second round pick is worth 510 points, given the Jets aren’t expected to do much next year they’ll likely be picking top 10 again meaning it’ll likely be a pretty even trade.

    #6* Jamal Adams – S
    #34 Gerald Everett – TE
    #39 Takkarist McKinley – DE
    #66 Kevin King – CB
    #109 Davis Webb – QB
    #143 Will Holden – OT
    #146 Anthony Walker – LB
    #161 Jessamen Dunker – G
    #198 Stanley Williams – RB
    #202 Brandon Facyson – CB
    #219 Mack Hollins – WR

    *Jets trade #39 and their 2018 2nd round pick for #2

    1. I like your Mock coffee but I don’t see a safety or Corner being the pick. I don’t see Webb being there that late either.

      1. The Titans snag Lattimore at #5 otherwise I might have gone that direction and I agree that Webb is likely gone before the 4th.

          1. The two injuries to top corners has pushed King’s value up, possibly to Seattle. McKinley I’ve seen go as high as top 15 in some drafts, but you’re right. It’s all speculation at the moment. ATM, Mayock has McKinley rated 4th best edge rusher and King 3rd best corner….

            1. I like Fabian Moreau as much as King but I didn’t want to take to UCLA players in the same draft especially so close to each other.

              1. King is the only Big Ten player in the past 20 years to have 12 or more interceptions and 1,500 or more combined kickoff and return yards. His 1,962 combined return yards ranks third in Iowa history, and his 14 interceptions are tied for fourth-most by a Hawkeye. If he can play CB/S/FS or whatever, that just increases his value imho. What are your thoughts on Kazee?

      1. I wouldn’t. That would be 50% of value. CFC has it right. Nothing less than two 2nd round picks for a chance at a pro bowl player at #2.

        1. I’d want more.than 6+39 for 2, but I’d take it if there were no better offers.

          I wrote before my (minimum) compensation would be 50% chart staying within the top six. Trading back to around the 7-14 range my minimum goes up to 75% chart.

          Naturally I want the 49ers to be as greedy as possible, soaking any trade up team for everything they can. But I think its a weak trade back year at 2. Closer to 2013 than 2016.

    2. Nice haul CFC. Is Engram gone in this scenario or do you just like Everett better? Love McKinley and I think he’s a better edge rusher than some who will go off the board before him.

    3. Got to admit I was a bit disappointed at not having a single response to my first draft posted two topics ago thought a trade down and picking McCaffrey in the first would get some outrage,anyway CFC I like your thinking here.Adams would be a great start,like Everett(although Engram would be a killer pick I agree he will be gone at that slot) and Webb as well.Good job!

      1. Hi, HT. I just went and found your mock. I think because you put it in paragraph form it was kinda of hard to recognize as a mock.

        Nice job.

    4. Not sure if it goes without saying or not but I have Jamal Adams as a SS. I just assumed most do as well but I guess others might think of him as a FS.

  10. I would go either Jonathon Allen or Reuben Foster with their #2 in a heartbeat. And if they don’t trade down I think they will.

  11. If you were a defensive coordinator, what offensive player in this draft would be the biggest headache to prepare for? My choices are 1. McCaffery, 2. Ross, 3. Howard

    If you were an offensive coordinator, what defensive player (besides Garrett) in this draft would be the biggest headache to prepare for? My choices are 1. Hooker, 2. Foster, 3a. Adams, 3b. Thomas

    This is not a predictor of who will be the best player, or who I want the 49ers to draft. But its a factor when it comes to valuing players.

    1. If you were a defensive coordinator, what offensive player in this draft would be the biggest headache to prepare for?

      Assuming it’s Shanny’s offense, Tropicana(OJ Howard). He can line up anywhere.

      If you were an offensive coordinator, what defensive player (besides Garrett) in this draft would be the biggest headache to prepare for?

      King Solomon because of his versatility, and having to account for his whereabouts on every snap.

  12. I will respectfully disagree with Grant about the QB position.

    I certainly do not see the Niners going with Hoyer, Barkley and a rookie.

    Everyone knows who I prefer, but like Grant predicted, Cutler may be be an option, especially if Kaep goes to the Cards, Broncos or Texans. If KS goes with Hoyer and Barkley with a spread college rookie, it would just signal that they are tanking for a high draft pick in 2018.

    I am glad that Grant agreed with me that the best option is to trade back, but I disagree that there are no good options or willing teams. Cleveland, the Titans and the Saints all have 2 first round picks. The challenge will be to see how much Lynch can leverage that number 2 pick into as many draft picks as possible.

    I will also disagree that they will take a DB in the first. Hopefully, they can trade back and still get Thomas, but they could trade back to 20 and still get an elite pass rusher or ILB. They may go with the BPA strategy, but maybe they should go BPA that also fills a need. They really need a pass rusher and Bowman may not come back completely healthy, and they did not address the ILB position adequately in free agency.

    Glad Grant mentioned Jordan Leggett, he has been on several of my mocks, and Kamara would be a good choice for RB. Still think Webb is the best later round choice for QB, but would also settle for Kayaa, Peterman, Dobbs and even Jerod Evans.

    Grant mentioned the lack of guards, but Kilgore may be a good option, especially if Zuttah stays healthy at Center, so drafting a guard is not an extreme early round need.

    Redmond may surprise a lot of folks, too, so the need to draft a CB is lessened.

    All in all, the hosts were impressed with Grant’s insights, but we have heard most everything he said on previous posts.

      1. He might be a decent bridge QB. Still would prefer you know who.;p

        2018 will be where they look hard for the future franchise QB.

        Hoyer and Barkley did not get starter money.

        1. Chopped from The Ronettes ‘Walking in the Rain’…

          Seb wants him, and Seb needs him,
          And someday someway wooo… he’ll cheer him
          He’ll wear no. 7, and lots ink too
          And Seb’ll be certain he’s his guy by the things he likes to do

          Like staring down receivers (like staring down receivers)
          And taking many sacks (and taking many sacks)
          And running out of bounds on 3rd down
          And wearing a frown

          (Hoyer) no no he’ll never do
          (Barkley) no it isn’t him too
          They would never, no they’d never, never ever love
          Staring down receivers (staring down receivers)
          And taking many sacks (taking many sacks)
          And running out of bounds on 3rd down
          And wearing a frown

          Sorry, Sunday night and in a hurry.

          1. Hah ha ha, very amusing Cassie, and you might even add “and not moving the chains on 3rd down” .. . Denial is not that river in Egypt, but don’t whisper facts to the eternally smitten Kaep worshipers, still clutching their bag of delusions about what coulda, woulda, shouda been. And as a matter of smudged fact, how dare you besmirch a SB quarterback???

  13. You did a nice job Grant. The trade you referenced was Miami trading up for Jordan, not the Jags for Fowler but we’ll let it slide this time :)

    I agree on a DB likely being the first pick, and I could see Lattimore there, but I’d go for the FS personally. Foster could be the guy there as well.

    1. I agree on a DB likely being the first pick, and I could see Lattimore there.

      First time for everything but I find it most unlikely.

        1. Duly noted. Will be the first time a corner has been taken two, and as far as a safety, I’m not aware of any going higher than Woodson at 4. Hooker is no Woodson….

            1. Quentin Coryatt went 2. Who you say? Exactly. A.J. Hawk went 5 I think, and he wasn’t special either. Then there was Marvin Jones I think went 4. Not a good idea taking Foster there.

              1. Agree. Coming back to DBs though, Charles Woodson was picked fourth. He was pretty good.

              2. Yea, I noted that. I also do not believe Hooker is anything close to Woodson. I could easily be wrong, but the odds say I’m not….

              3. For not playing football very long, he’s sure messed himself up physically after one year of starting. Maybe he should stick with basketball where the physicality is more appropriate for his constitution….

      1. Razor,
        The thing with DB’ is that some of the best have come in the later rounds. I remember one Mike Rumph drafted high that was supposed to cure our ill’s at the position, but that never happened.

        Your DB philosophy could work for the need to draft a LB as well.
        We don’t know where Bowman is going to be health wise come TC and even if he is healthy will he be anywhere near his pre-injury level?

        Ray-Ray does not have a large sample size as a starter to warrant the team passing on an elite LB like Foster. I believe that the LB area still poses enough uncertainty to justify selecting Foster.

        1. Foster has not recorded a single interception nor forced a fumble during his college career, which supports my feeling that he is NOT elite….

          1. That’s not fair. Patrick Willis only had 1 INT and 2 forced fumbles in college.

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/patrick-willis-1.html

            Turnovers don’t tell the whole story anyway. Sometimes all you need is a stop. What he did do is have 115 tackles, 13 for loss, and 5 sacks this year. He is known for big hits, so everything else gets overlooked, He has enough speed and power to play all 3 LB spots.

            He had 7 passes defended in 2015 (tied for 1st in the nation), you don’t get that number unless you are good in coverage. In fact, he may be best suited to play off ball LB. However, with his sideline to sideline range, maybe he should be a Mike.

            He is the most complete LB in the draft. He is excellent against the run and above average in coverage. Will he be a great pro and stay healthy? Who knows? But he is definitely an ‘elite’ prospect.

        2. AES

          I agree heartily on Foster…I think that Jamal Williams is the only player on a par with Foster…Garrett being gone…Foster can and will create Mayhem alongside Bowman….

      1. It happens but the hosts didn’t pick up on it so no harm no foul. You have gotten really comfortable on air though and the piece was solid overall.

  14. I wonder if the Niners could take advantage of Garrett’s talking about not wanting to play for a cold weather team.

    Maybe if the Niners offer their first and third round picks, the Browns may give up the number one overall pick. It does not balance out in the draft value chart, but Browns may not want a player who does not want to play in Cleveland.

    1. Seb

      NO! Garrett is going to be a brown…let sleeping dogs lie…he’s the best…but by that large a margin….Go back to your trade book and get is some 2nds and thirds….

  15. I have indeed confirmed that since the AFL-NFL merger, no cornerback has ever been selected in the top two picks of any draft. I don’t expect that to change….

      1. Oh, absolutely but we’re talking reality. And the reality is there are no trades as of this moment, and we’re speculating as to which player is worthy of the 2nd overall selection. I would contend Lattimore is not that player….

          1. They need a blue chip talent at 2 if they stay there. He is not that IMO… Plus there are bigger needs.

    1. I think it is important to note that most years there is at least one QB taken in the top 3 picks. That pushes other positions down.

      I haven’t done the research to support this, but my guess is QB, OT and DL are the most common picks in the top 3. This year only DL has guys most consider strong candidates for those picks, with Garrett, Allen and Thomas. Those could well be the top 3 picks, but a reasonable chance another position such as CB, safety or LB gets taken with a top 3 pick this year.

      1. Really good point Scooter. This is really different kind of draft as there is only one consideration for the top spot, no QB’s viewed as top options and the draft is really deep especially on the defensive side of the ball. Things could go in a lot of different directions.

  16. Good job Grant..However as much as I like Lattimore ,I saw a stat that the Niners have drafted more dbs than any other team the last three years..
    All though its is a new regime we havent even seen Redmond yet and Robinson has shown promise..Seems like everyone wants to keep drafting D lineman and D backs high..Feels like groundhog day..We need some damn playmakers..I grew up watching offense in SF and still havent seen a competant one since Mariuchi and Garcia.
    We havent had a legit reciever here since TO.
    Like Steve Young said..we are not the Chicago Bears..not the Pittsburg Steelers..
    With an offensive coach like Shannahan we should be building an offense..
    You take Fournette at 2 or trade back and come out with C Davis and Mcaffrey..

      1. I would agree with you if it was just your average back..
        Fournette is a generational back and the perfect recipe for a team with no QB and learning a new offense..
        I know everyone has their opinion but I believe wherever Fournette lands,however many number teams are going to regret passing on him..

        He will be a star

        1. That’s a great point about not having a good QB and relying more on the rushing attack. Fournette and Hyde would give them the best 1-2 in the NFL. I think that pick is more likely then a corner. Thomas, Fournette and Foster would be my guess. Those 3 are the leaders. With Adams as the 4th option.

          1. The highest a Shanny has ever drafted a running back was in the 2nd round, Clinton Portis. No way they take one at 2.

            1. True but C Portis and even D Foster that went in the first were not even close to the player Fournette was..And K Shannahan hasnt drafted anybody before..
              This is his real first draft

              1. Fournette me not hasn’t done diddly poo yet in the NFL. You’re projecting him to be a Hall Of Famer. Is it possible? Could be, but it’s a tough position to make a career out of. Even if he is the next Bo Jackson, we saw how quickly that can end. Not sure he’d even be a fit in this outside zone running scheme, because he’s a power back. Too easy for Shanny to find a highly productive runner late for his system….

              2. Shannahan hasnt drafted anybody before.

                Plenty of documentation regarding the players he liked, and the level of input he had in acquiring those players during draft preparations, not only with his dad in Washington, but in Cleveland and Atlanta as well. Not only that, but the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree if we’re talking football philosophy….

  17. Agree that Lattimore would an excellent pick at #2 would be even more excellent, if able to trade down a few spots or to Carolina at #8 and still get him. He is an excellent CB prospect for the new defense. Fournette is the player a few teams will be willing to trade up for come draft day. Best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson. Will see how hot a commodity his name will be come draft day.

  18. And soeaking of ethyl..can you gassers please not park at the diesel pumps when there are other gas pumps available?

    Thank you

  19. I’m forming a clandestine group that will release a video of Garrett with a gas mask on in a cloud of smoke with a 420 shirt on as soon as the Browns go on the clock;>)

  20. My Top Ten Rankings:

    1.Garrett
    2.Fournette
    3.Thomas
    4.Allen
    5.Howard
    6.Williams
    7.Adams
    8.Humphrey
    9.Hooker
    10. Lattimore

    1. Any 4 of these players could make an impact for us. Allen, Adams, Lattimore and Howard. But I’m adding Foster to the mix. May not be the best player overall, but would be an instant upgrade to our LB corp.

  21. The more there is talk about Carolina taking Fournett, the more I think the Saints will try to poach him. Sean Payton may be wondering if it would be better to have Fournett playing for them, or against them.

    Fournett, being from LSU, has had lots of Saints fans watch him. They may deem Fournett to have once-in-a-generation talent, and depriving Carolina of his services will help the Saints compete for the division title.

    Lynch and the Niners should facilitate a trade by offering 3 players who will satisfy Saints needs. Burbridge, Hightower and Brooks or other non starting players from a pool that the Saints could choose from. Niners would pay part of Brooks salary to sweeten the deal. Saints could give up 4 picks, and the Niners could offer 4 picks, along with those 3 players. Both teams benefit for a win/win situation.

    Niners could offer their number 2 pick along with a 5th(161), 6th(202) and 7th(219) round picks for the Saints 2 firsts(11+32), a second(42) and third (103) round picks. This deal favors the Saints in the draft value chart, but Lynch should jump at the opportunity to trade back. Losing those 3 players will just create space for others to fill.

    At 11, the Niners could still trade back even further, and get even more picks, or if the player they covet is at 11, they could stay put and grab him.

    Maybe the Texans will want to trade up ahead of the Browns and poach a QB that the Browns would want to select. Niners could trade back to 25, and get the Texans first, second, third and 4th round picks. Texans would get the QB they covet, and the Niners would get a boatload of picks. It would favor the Texans slightly in the draft value chart, but 4 for one is worth it.

    In the end, the Niners would trade back twice 23 spots, and have pick numbers 25, 32, 34, 42, 57, 66, 89, 103, 109, 130, 143, 146 and 198.

    Niners would have 8 picks in the first 3 rounds. 10 picks in the first 4 rounds.

    Using the Draftek big board, and trying to select within 5 spots of the rankings, the Niners could select-

    25- Taco Charlton EDGE
    32- Obi Melifonwu SS
    34- Montravius Adams DT
    42- Kevin King CB
    57- Jarrad Davis ILB
    66- Taylor Moton OT
    89- Alvin Kamara RB
    103- Davis Webb QB
    109- Josh Reynolds WR
    130- Eddie Vanderdoes NT
    143- Derek Rivers EDGE
    146- Jordan Leggett TE
    198- Jayon Brown ILB

    2 EDGE, 2 ILB, a SS, DT, CB, OT, RB, QB, WR, NT and TE.

      1. No, no, I SWEAR I did not choose a single ACL player…..

        Guess you are disagreeing with Grant, too. He specifically mentioned Kamara and Leggett in a podcast.

        1. seb,

          I think you have a lot of good picks in your mock. I wouldn’t trade down any further than #12 overall, but we already had that discussion. I respect your draft strategy and I like your picks.

          I read that Obi has been working out for teams as a CB. That versatility would allow them to see if Reid or Tartt can handle SS.

          I’ve liked Josh Reynolds for a while. His combine numbers aren’t great, but his film is. He is a hard worker and is coachable.

          Kevin King and Kamara are perfect fits. Good job seb.

          1. 80, TY.

            I know it is idle speculation before the draft, but I hope the Niners run through many permutations for this draft.

            I have been mocking Obi in many of my mocks because last season, Tartt seemed a step behind and took bad angles. Maybe in this new system he will improve, but it never hurts to have depth.

            1. I think many people see Melifonwu as a Kam Chanceller type player because of his size, but he does not have KC’ fierce hitting style.

              1. I like Cromartie, he has thump, and Tartt does at times, but then you see a play where he is trying to arm tackle.

                I like Obi because he ran a 4.4 forty. He has enough speed to cover the RBs and TEs.

              2. Seb,
                We had Taylor Mays who’s measurables came in at 6’3″ 233lbs, and ran 4.3 40.
                Mays was a lights out tackler – but he cut corners like a 20 ton Mac truck. He was totally unable to take angles.
                Straight-line speed is only good in Track Meets not football.
                Point; it’s not always about size and speed.

              3. True, and Obi had small college competition, but he does have good film from the Senior Bowl. Some say he had great practices before the Senior Bowl.

            2. Seb

              I have to agree with you about Jaquiski Tartt last season…except for the fact that he wasn’t completely healthy until the last 3-4 games of the season if even then. I believe that he will show up this OTA healthy and ready to play ball….I like Obi anyway….

              1. Obi would provide depth, too.

                Sure hope they revamp the defense. Tartt looked like he was reading too much, and not reacting.

          2. Yes, trading back to 25 may be too far, and the best place to be is around 16. There, the Niners may be able to to have several players fall in their lap like Foster, Hooker, Peppers, Reddick, Barnett and maybe even OJ Howard.

  22. Ibthink a bunch of our fan base …like Baalke has fallen into the Parcells mode..Lets just stop with all the defense please..Weve been drafting defense the last 5 years..
    And any offensive picks have been just that…
    V McDonald? AJ Jenkins?La Michael James?

    Is this the SF 49er blog or the Pittsburg Steelers?

    Oh wait even they have on offense thats exciting..Meanwhike you guys want to draft the same guy for the 3rd year in a row #2 overall?!…Or another DB..
    Jesus..when did the NFL go to only 2 positions?
    Cause thats the 2 weve been drafting over and over the last 5 years

    1. Ahem. Maybe you did not watch last seasons’ games, but the defense let third string RBs gallop for 200 yards. The defense set records in futility.

      Maybe you should also remember an adage- Defense wins championships. Years ago, Marino had a high octane offense, but his defense could not fight its way out of a paper bag. No rings. Breeze and the Saints were number one in offense, but terrible on defense. They were not even in the playoffs last season.

      Blame Baalke for the horrific drafts, He whiffed on an entire class. Baalke and his people skills drove away decent FAs like the Niners had the plague. Baalke even re signed Devey, a QB killer.

      Thank Goodness we have Lynch now. He signed 15 free agents and filled most of the glaring needs. Now, he can concentrate on drafting the BPA. The good news is that he signed 3 FA WRs, who have accomplishments and have proven productive and durable. Sure, it would be nice to find another Jerry Rice in the draft, but rookie WRs tend to get injured, especially if they start right away. It would be best if the rookie WRs could sit for a year , study the playbook and gain muscle so they can take the hits.

      This draft is unusual. One mock had 5 DBs going in the first 10 picks. Another Mock had not QBs taken in the first round, while 4 RBs were mocked in the first round.

      Believe me, I hope the Niners gets rid of the stench of Baalke as quickly as possible. Lynch is like a breath of fresh air.

      If this draft was not so deficient in QB talent, I would advocate for a replacement for Hoyer. Too bad many pundits call this QB class weak.

      My mock, which you ripped, had duplicates in 2 positions. Pass rush and ILB. 2 areas of glaring need. It also had an OT, RB, QB, WR and TE, so I did not ignore the offense.

      Sure, you are entitled to your opinion, but the Niners will not get back to the playoffs without fixing the defense.

  23. http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/02/21/nfl-draft-john-ross-iii-washington-wide-receiver-desean-jackson-snoop-dogg

    “If teammates ever want to know where Ross is, best guess is the hot tub. During his year of rehab, he never missed a treatment. He set up solo cone drills on the field at dawn, and waved to assistant coaches up in the windows working wee hours. He spent every practice shadowing Hamdan, a sort of coach’s apprentice. Ross had always watched film, but he never knew how to study it. “Can you show me?” he asked grad assistant D’Andre Goodwin, once a receiver for the Denver Broncos. “And teach me about coverages.”

    “By junior year, Ross was a certified film junkie. He downloaded Huskies film from their server, and watched it twice over. First, he’d ask, What could I do better?”

    “Ross says he has never drank nor smoked. He rarely goes out.”

    “Ross is also a competitor. Washington had two of the top corners in the country in Kevin King and Sidney Jones, and every day at practice they’d fight to face Ross.”

  24. As far as trading back is concerned I am with the consensus of many here, its the best move and I sure hope it happens. If not, my choice are the following.

    1. Fournette – the second best player in the draft IMO.
    2. Adams
    3. Thomas

    Regardless who is the pick is it will be considered a reach. Trade back, Niners.

    1. 2 concerns
      1/ You need to have a trading partner. We don’t know what the preliminary offers or even “feelers” are, if any.
      2/. Since several people with actual NFL drafting experience have said that there are only 15 First Round Talents available in this draft, sensible trade back options are only in the top half of the first round. Trading back further is nonsense.

      1. BT – Yup. So many assume there’s a red trade back button under every GMs desk where he can get chart value or better. The key is a covet player.

        A tale of three trade back markets

        2013
        Oakland traded 3
        Got
        Miami’s 12+42

        2014
        Cleveland traded 4
        Got
        Buffalo’s 9+19(2015)+115(2015)

        2016 – Bull
        Cleveland traded 2+139(2017)
        got
        Philadelphia’s 8+77+100+12(2017)+2018 second

        Charts go out the window near the top of the first.

        My (minimum) compensation would be 50% chart staying within the top six. Trading back to around the 7-14 range my minimum goes up to 75% chart.

        Naturally I want the 49ers to be as greedy as possible. But it feels like a weak trade back year at 2. Closer to 2013 than 2016. But alot can change in four weeks. Only takes one team to fall in love with a QB to increase the value of pick two.

        1. B2W:

          What do you think about the timing of a trade? IIRC, the Browns’ and Titans’ trades last year were executed before the draft. So, if the 49ers were to execute the trade before the draft, they wouldn’t be able to take advantage of a slim possibility that the Browns select someone else besides Garrett. But the tradee would. I suppose that this year the chance is so slim that Garrett falls, that there is probably no additional value. Just a thought I had, but it’s also very likely that there is never any added value simply because it can’t be predicted ahead of time.

          1. A trade could happen before draft day. I’m guessing after the pro days and offseason workouts are done. That way Shanny can complete his self scouting of 49er players, and players like Garrett and Trubisky aren’t risking injury in proday or private workouts.

            Because Shanny and Lynch got a late start, they might be a little behind in their college and internal assessments. I’m thinking a trade between 4-15 and draft day if one happens.

    2. The Harvard chart guys say that one never gets value if one trades up, but then again, Bill traded up to get Jerry Rice.

      Sure hope Lynch can put on his ‘Trader Bill’ hat and wheel and deal.

  25. The best possible outcome is if the team can find a trade partner, or if the Browns do a really dumb move with the first pick allowing the Niners to pick Garrett, barring that I don’t know who is best? Great reservations on Solomon but I’m not sure about a RB,CB or S at #2 either. The WRs are three good ones but to me are Mid rounders. QBs are likely to increase value as we get closer to actual draft, at least I hope so. Otherwise it may be a reach no matter who they pick.

    1. If the Niners stay at 2, King Solomon all the way.

      Even if he duplicates Armstead or Buckner, Maybe the Niners could mimic the Pats and trade one away to get a good draft pick.

      Or maybe swap one with another team who has a player who would fill a big need for both teams.

  26. Both of those were high draft picks #7 and #17. Don’t think you’ll get anything better. In a trade for picks. If anything you’d lose something along the way…

    Trading for a player might be a different matter.

    1. Of course, the Pats traded away players and still won the SB, so they may be hard to emulate.

      Swapping players may be the best course of action. Win/win for both teams.

  27. Trading back is the best strategy, Grant says so.

    How to accomplish that goal?

    Lynch must be up front and honest, and declare that the Niners want quantity for quality. He should postulate many draft trade back scenarios, and hope that other teams can see the logic in making a trade. That is why I have been speculating so much with so many teams. Niners may get less than the trade value chart, but that could facilitate the deal.

    The good news is that teams are greedy, and will covet a player just out of their reach. Right now, the Browns and Saints are the best trade partners because they have 2 first round picks. Saints may be strategically thinking about depriving the Panthers from a player they covet.

    The draft pundits who say there is only 15 elite players may be parroting what they say every year. However, this draft is deep in talent, with lots of WRs running under 4.5, some TEs running 4.6 and a flock of very talented DBs. This draft is deep in defense, and quality RBs could be found in the 5th round. O linemen may be the weakest part of the draft, but there were some 300 pounders who ran a 5.1 forty.

    I think that there may be freakishly good players like Garrett and Fournett, but I see starters going into the third round. If the Niners can trade back and get at least 5 players in the first 3 rounds, I will consider Lynch to have hit a home run. If they can get 7 in the first 3 rounds, I will say he hit an grand slam.

  28. Grant, or anyone
    Reference the discussion on offense player(s) that would keep a DC up at night: Ole Miss TE: Evan Engram belongs in that conversation. Shanahan could use him as an H back in the slot, or on the outside. He.s too fast for a LB and too big for a DB to cover and he’s a good red zone target! If the 9ers trade down for extra picks, he’d be worth trading back up into the late 1st round for. Your thoughts?

    1. I like Engram, but he may be taken early, and he is ranked next to Raekwon McMillen and Zach Cunningham, so I usually take them instead.

  29. Looking at MM’s pre-draft depth chart, a bunch of questions:
    In Theus good enough for #3 OT?
    WR early? Cuz late round may not be much upgrade.
    TE ok for this year in Shanny TE-centric offense? Plenty of room for improvement, and should be a good TE draft.
    RB opportunity? Hyde misses time and Hightower is fine #2 but just ok for #1.
    QB this year in draft? High, middle, low?
    Will DEs flip flop or play mostly RDE/LDE?
    Dial a NT? Maybe mid-rounder in draft?
    Is Brooks Otto? Leo? Sam?
    Carradine?
    Is Eric Reid a SS?
    CB Day 1 or Day 2?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  30. Doesn’t matter how good your corners and linebackers are if the QB has all day to pass, which has been the case for quite a few years. They’re going to draft a pass rusher at #2, either Thomas or Allen. Consider it done.

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