49ers grades and projections

This is my Thursday column.

Dear player or coach for the San Francisco 49ers,

This is your final report card for the 2013 season. Show this to your mother and make sure she signs her name at the bottom.

COLIN KAEPERNICK: C+. I assumed you would improve, but you got worse. Somehow you became a less accurate passer, only occasionally hitting a receiver in stride. How did you get less accurate at 26 years old? Even after Michael Crabtree came back, you completed just 59 percent of your passes, 29th-best in the NFL. You can do better. You still are one of the toughest quarterbacks to defend in the middle of the field because you threaten every square inch of it with your arms and legs. But once you get inside the opponent’s 10-yard line and there are fewer square inches to threaten, you fall apart – 54.2 passer rating in 2013. You should have addressed these issues last offseason.

Projected 2014 grade: B. I assume you will improve your accuracy. All you have to do is work on your footwork – setting your feet, not over-striding or under-striding, the fundamentals. I assume you will improve your passing in the red zone as well. Your first two seasons in the NFL ended with you throwing bad passes near the goal line. I assume you don’t want to make it a three-peat.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D+/B+. Without Crabtree, you guys were bad. Anquan Boldin had no help, and defenses could double-cover him. Kyle Williams was terrible and then he got cut. So he doesn’t have to get his mom to sign this report card, although he factors into the group’s grade. Once Crabtree came back, you guys had a very good one-two punch at receiver.

Projected 2014 grade: A. As long as Crabtree stays healthy and the 49ers re-sign Boldin, this group will be good. If the 49ers draft a speed receiver like I think they will, this group could become one of the best wide receiving groups in the NFL.

TIGHT ENDS: B. Vernon Davis had an excellent year. I give him an A-. He scored 15 touchdowns including two in the playoffs. If he wasn’t on the team, the 49ers might have kicked twice as many field goals. But I knock this group’s grade down to a B because the backups didn’t distinguish themselves. Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek caught just 10 passes combined.

Projected 2014 grade: B+. Vance, you need to improve. The 49ers drafted you in the second round last year ahead of tight end Jordan Reed, who had 45 catches this season for the Redskins. You had eight. Make sure you improve your hands and memorize the playbook this offseason.

RUNNING BACKS: B-. Frank Gore is slowing down, we can agree on that. He averaged just 4.1 yards per carry this season, the lowest average of his professional career. Twenty-five running backs gained more yards per carry than Gore. Gore is 30 – he is supposed to be slowing down. So, it’s impressive that he carried the ball so often – 276 times. He hadn’t carried the ball that many times since 2009. And he had to do that because his backups – Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James – were not dependable.

Projected 2014 grade: B-. Gore isn’t getting better. He probably is getting worse. If Marcus Lattimore is healthy and as good as the 49ers think he is, he may offset Gore’s decline.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B+. Joe Staley was elite. Everyone else, you were solid. Mike Iupati missed four games with a knee injury during the middle of the season, and this group still played well without him. Adam Snyder filled in at left guard and made the key block on Gore’s 51-yard run that beat the Seahawks in Week 14.

Projected 2014 grade: B. Starting center Jonathan Goodwin is a free agent and probably will not re-sign. Adam Snyder is set to earn $1 million and might be too expensive not to cut — he’s a backup. So the 49ers could lose two of their top-six offensive linemen. The 49ers probably will replace them with recent draft picks Daniel Kilgore and Joe Looney, who have very little experience.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A. Ray McDonald and Glenn Dorsey were excellent run-stoppers, and Justin Smith was an excellent pass rusher. Aldon Smith is a pass-rushing specialist, so I consider him a defensive lineman. He was the 49ers’ best defensive lineman when he was on the field, but he missed six games while he was in rehab. This group didn’t miss a beat without him.

Projected 2014 grade: A. Justin Smith will be 35 years old, but he probably has one good season left in him. And last year’s second-round pick, Tank Carradine, should give the 49ers another dangerous pass rusher. He missed 2013 with a torn ACL.

LINEBACKERS: A+. NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks were the best linebacker trio in the league. Bowman was the best player on the 49ers, one of the best players in the NFL. And Willis and Brooks both made the Pro Bowl.

Projected 2014 grade: B+. NaVorro Bowman tore his ACL in the NFC championship game and had surgery the other day. Who knows when he can play again and if he’ll be the same dominant player? Without him, the 49ers have a very good linebacker group, but not an elite one.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: C+. You guys were the weak link of the defense. During the final seven games including the playoffs, you gave up a passer rating of 89. Not good, especially considering you were playing behind one of the best front sevens in the NFL. They make your job easier.

Projected 2014 grade: C+. Safety Donte Whitner and cornerback Carlos Rogers, the two most experienced defensive backs on the 49ers, may not be 49ers next season. Whitner is a free agent and Rogers could get cut if he doesn’t agree to a pay cut. If Rogers takes that pay cut and Whitner re-signs, the 49ers’ secondary should be about as good as it was in 2013.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-. Phil Dawson was one of the best kickers in the league, and Andy Lee was one of the best punters. LaMichael James was a very good kick and punt returner. Kassim Osgood, Raymond Ventrone and Darryl Morris were excellent covering kickoffs and punts. Their only big mistake came in the NFC championship game when they gave up a 69-yard kickoff return to Doug Baldwin.

Projected 2014 grade: A. If the 49ers draft a speed receiver, the 49ers would have two good return men, not just one.

JIM HARBAUGH: B-. Until the NFC championship game, I felt this had been your best season, Jim. No, your quarterback didn’t improve and, ultimately, that’s your fault. But, as a head coach your duties are more generalized than just tutoring Kaepernick. You’re in charge of the entire team, and, when it started the season 1-2, you willed it to keep winning, willed it to a 12-4 record in the regular season. You get tremendous credit for that, Jim. But you lost in the NFC Championship for the same reason you lost in the Super Bowl the season before – not using your timeouts at the end of the game, and not scoring in the red zone.

Projected 2014 grade: B. I assume you will spend extra time with Kaepernick this offseason and help him improve his pocket-passing technique. But I get the feeling your offense will not improve in the red zone. I get the feeling the red-zone issues are a symptom of your coaching philosophy. You’re conservative. If you’re in field goal range, you don’t want to risk turning the ball over and scoring nothing. In the NFC championship game, Russell Wilson fumbled on the first play and gave the ball to your offense at Seattle’s 15-yard line and you didn’t let Kaepernick take one shot into the end zone. Gore ran up the middle on first down, Kaepernick threw a screen pass to Michael Crabtree on second down, and Kaepernick ran a draw on third down. About as conservative as it gets. You settled for a field goal when you could have taken the kill shot. You don’t seem daring or creative near your opponent’s goal line.

I hope I’m wrong about you, Jim.

Mother’s signature: ___________________

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

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  1. My predictions for next year…
    We draft a shutdown corner to start opposite Brock – Rodgers is gone
    Whitner resigns after testing market…
    Bowman n Willis will dominate again. Look at how Peterson returned after his ACL?!? And both had same Dr do the surgery
    Our D-Line will be even better… Tank, Ian will add depth
    On Offense we still need to see what we have in Baldwin… with a camp he may flourish along with Boldin, Crabs and Patton
    I love Gore.. but we need a homerun hitter that can take it to the house… hopefully Lattimore will be as good as we all think he is.
    On the fence on James… dude is a play maker but we didn’t seem to use him much. Anyhoo.. only so many touches… TC will be interesting
    Kaepernick will flourish in his 3rd year… the idea of getting Fales is nice n all but Kap will kill it with his current targets and VD will get his 10+ TD’s again

    I agree with Grant the biggest issue was RedZone Offense… it seemed like every game we had the ball early on in their RZ and kept just getting FG’s. So many of our games could have been blowouts if we got 7 instead of 3.

    We need the killer instinct… the eye of the tiger… hit em quick and keep them on their toes.

    1. You forget about Brown and Culliver. Both of those guys are very good cb’s, no need to reach on a CB in the draft at all. WR, Oline, and Qb are the most glaring needs on this team.

  2. Grant,

    In my veiw how Kaepernick so goes Harbaugh. For the HC everything rides on the development and performance of Kaepernick. Harbaugh’s success or failure will be deterrmined by Kaepernick , if Kaepernick wins a SB within the next two years Harbaugh will be hailed as the saviour of the franchise ,if there continues to be lost opportunities Harbaugh is gone.

    1. Not even going to happen. If Harbaugh gets the team to the playoffs every year, win or lose, he’s not going anywhere, coaches of his caliber aren’t readily available.

      Kaep is the one who should be worried, if he doesn’t deliver something next season why should the 49ers resign him? Management can say that Alex was able to take the team in its first season to the NFC championship (and NFC west champ) and basically did the same thing the 2nd year before being hurt. They can say that QB is replaceable, and not worth a 10+ million a year contract, especially when a 3rd rounder won the SB this year, in his 2nd season, by doing nothing more than playing sound, minimal mistake qb-ing and cost less than 1 million.

    2. This organization would be crazy to fire Harbaugh and risk changing the direction of the team since we have been so close.

    3. Hacksaw,

      Are you saying Harbaugh is gone if the 49ers make the playoffs the next two years, but do not win a Super Bowl?
      He is already the first coach in 49ers history to take the team to the playoffs each of his first three seasons on the job.
      If this was the 1980′s or 1990′s with Eddie D calling the shots I might agree that could happen. After surviving the dark ages (40 wins in 8 years with no winning records) before Harbaugh got here I think Jed Y would be nuts not to pay the man.

  3. If you so the video on how the NFL gave the Hawks a Super Bowl, then I expect the league to get the niners a ring.

  4. I think our draft will dramatically change the moves we make Rodgers brown and Whitner are gone we may resign Goodwin but I doubt it here is where I see the team going for the draft
    1st round move up ten spots to grab justin Gilbert osu cb
    2nd round (chiefs) Jordan Matthews wr Vanderbilt
    2nd round Ahmad Dixon ss Baylor
    3rd round traded for first round move
    3rd or 4th Bryan stork center fsu
    Anyone else notice baalke drafts men that look identical to their replacements ie… Reid-goldson, gore-lattimore, carradine-smith

    1. Why would the Cardinals want to trade down with the 49ers in the first round?

      Why would Justin Gilbert drop to pick No.20?

      1. Not at 30, but around 40 I think he’s a good deal. For me the secondary is potentially full of problems, and a bigger problem than WR. Rogers doesn’t fit at his salary. Culliver is coming back from an ACL so he’s not a given, and he is going into a contract year I believe.

      2. I think they still need help even if Rogers reduces his pay, but they would be set up better. At that point my attention shifts to Safety and WR in that order.

      3. The safety class is weak. Really weak. Clinton-Dix and Pryor are the only ones really worth 1st or 2nd round picks in my opinion, and I’m not all that sold on either guy. But because the class is weak I don’t expect many to be taken in rounds 1 and 2, and then in round 3 there should be some decent value guys.

        49ers should sign a safety in FA, whether it be re-signing Whitner or getting someone else. I actually think that is a more important signing than Boldin.

        1. Red flag. Roby should have shadowed Robinson, especially once he started going off. He was a boundary corner at Ohio State. Dee Milliner was a boundary corner at Alabama. Roby tried to shadow Abbrederis and failed.

      4. Watch the video. Robinson doesn’t do much of anything until the game is out of reach. His 2 big plays that accounted for the majority of his yards were a slant against the backups and a screen that he reversed field on against the backups.

        1. I think Dennard or Gilbert could start from Day 1 for the 49ers, but I don’t think any other CB in this draft could. That’s why Rogers may come back at a pay cut.

      5. @Hammer

        “Roby does not have ideal size like Gilbert does.”

        “Which is why I would take him over Roby”.

        You would take Gilbert over Roby based on the fact one is 6′ 200lbs and the other is 5-11 192, one inch and 8lbs? Gilbert has poor technique for the position and he is not as physical a hitter when making the tackle….

      6. Ok, but don’t lower yourself to Grant’s level about ideal size when the difference is an inch and eight pounds. It discredits your evaluation.

      7. Bradley Roby is terrible. He shouldn’t be drafted any earlier than the 5th round. I’ve seen every game of his college career; he was overrated before this past season and completely exposed over the course of 2013.

      8. Grant, its funny, you use Abbrederis as an example of why Roby isn’t that good. I use Roby as an example of why Abbrederis is so much better than he is given credit for.

        I wouldn’t touch Roby in the first round, but as Jack says, moving down to around pick 40 – 45 and he becomes a solid option.

        1. You want Roby and Culliver to compete for the No.1 CB spot? Seems like a lose-lose.

          I like Abbrederis, but not as much as I like 11 other WRs.

      9. I wouldn’t mind Culliver and Roby competing for the #1 CB spot, but they had better be competing against a vet CB as well. If the 49ers don’t either restructure Rogers’ deal or sign another vet CB then I’d be shocked.

      10. He was widely considered the best cornerback in the country heading into 2013 and had a good season, even though the dominant perception might say otherwise. After leading the nation with 17 pass breakups in 2012, he had 13 this season (tied for 10th in the FBS with 1.3 per game).

        @Grant-you want to count on Culliver? A guy coming off a knee injury who can not turn and locate the football?

        1. No, I think Rogers will accept a pay cut and he will compete with Culliver and a mid-round pick, not a top-50 pick. Unless Gilbert falls, which I don’t believe he will.

          1. And if Rogers doesn’t accept a pay cut they will let him go and I think they will bring in a young guy they can get for reasonably cheap like Chris Cook to compete, as well as a bargain older vet. I wonder how much action Tillman will get? If he doesn’t get any bites early in FA I wonder if the 49ers will look to get him on a deal similar to Asomugha… Even if Rogers does restructure they are likely to bring in another FA CB in my opinion – they are very light at the position.

            I don’t think they should draft a CB with their first pick as I don’t think the value will be there.

      11. There’s every indication that Rogers will balk and then walk at taking a pay cut. He wouldn’t do it last year, and I don’t expect him to do it this year…..

        1. Then I’d imagine Fangio and Baalke would want to sign a veteran to replace him. You can’t count on Roby to start from Day 1. He could bust.

          1. If they cut Rogers they won’t have the money to spend on one of the bigger names. I really think Chris Cook could be a guy they show a lot of interest in. He’s got the physical aspects they like, but he was completely miscast at the Vikings. Much like Dorsey was miscast at the Chiefs. The 49ers like to bring in former #1 picks that have talent but under-performed in less than ideal situations.

          2. @Scooter

            Please no mate on Cris Cook. Dude graded out at -8 according to PFF. He’s hurt all the time, terrible attitude and limited to zone with no ball skills. Furthermore, he’s never picked off a single pass in his entire career….

          3. Heh, yeah, he’s got a number of red flags that’s for sure. On the plus side he should come very cheap razor!

            He is a press-man CB that was used primarily in a cover 2 scheme. He was basically set up to fail at the Vikings. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers go after him on a cheap deal, with few guarantees, and let him compete. If he doesn’t work out, no biggy.

      12. There is absolutely nothing in Robys’ game to suggest he’s more prone to bust than any other first round player. On the contrary, other than character concerns, his skill set is close to elite. He’ll be drafted in the first round and you can quote me on it afterward….

        1. did u see him play this year? roby was hot garbage. ask any buckeye fan they will agree. he will be worse than ahmed plummer was for us

          1. Sure did. Did you and your scorned fans realize he had a 31% completion percentage against him in man coverage? You can confirm that with Self-Charting.

      13. Grant, how much do you think they want to spend for one of those corners? Talib would seem to be out of their price range….

          1. I think there is a real chance Tillman doesn’t get much action this FA period. He had a real down year this year and is 32. There are better options available for a team looking for more than a one year band aid option.

  5. New format, Grant ?

    gonna take some getting used to …

    Your grades ? … honestly … I’m surprised they’re that high ..
    ya kno .. given the your grades throughout the season and all ..

    Looking foreword to picking up as much info as I can
    (upcoming season as well as draft prospects) from you
    and the stalwarts of this blog
    (you know who you are)

  6. Can somebody tell me why we didn’t keep and develop Ricardo Lockette all the tools , friends with the QB and they have no deep threat . Why ??

      1. He’s better than Baldwin ,Osgood and at the time of the release Kyle Williams if for no other reason his speed alone would have kept secondaries honest … Seahawks found a way to make him work

      2. They did? I guess if 5 receptions during the regular season and 1 during the post season is considered ‘working’ they did…

      3. He was a really good gunner for Seattle. He made plays that the players the Niner’s kept on special teams couldn’t make. Osgood was their best gunner and they only resigned him when the season was half over. 49′er front office made some very bad choices when they cut the team down to 53 players.

      4. Willtalk – I agree they should have kept him instead of Osgood to play ST. But the original comment was about him being a deep threat WR. No way. He’s a below average WR atm. He wouldn’t have helped the 49ers this season as a WR.

  7. We need beef a center. A 300 plus center that’s looking to hurt someone. I’d also look for a guard to replace Boone, keeping him a as our swing guy instead of Snyder. we need meat and potatoes up front: low center of gravity guys with a bad disposition.
    I’d sign Bolden to a 3 year 12 million contract because Crabtree won’t be back after next year.
    Draft two wr’s, two cbs, a safety, oline, rb, and lb. is their a kicker worth drafting?

  8. Hey, Coach Harbaw….
    That grade you got, that ‘B’…
    It feels like an ‘F’…okay?
    Ya wanna know why?

    Because I earned a Super Bowl ring
    before you did (sez Pete Carroll).
    So even if… that’s a big if…
    if you ever do bring home the bacon,
    just remember: I got mine first, baby.

  9. I think the grades are a little low since we are easily the second best team in the NFL and are pressing the No. 1.
    With that said what drives me nuts is the Red Zone offensive. Need to score at least a few more touchdowns when down there. I agree with Grant needed to take a shot at the end zone on the fumble recovery.
    The other point is I think offensively we lack a killer instinct in the sense of getting up on a team and then pouring it on. Harbaugh seems to want to relay on the defense and is comfortable with close games and is very risk adverse.

  10. I see you took my advice and went deep. This could be the record setter.

    I’m not sure how you give a coach who has 2 NFCCG’s and a Super Bowl in 3 years a B-. Thats’s a record that every other franchise would kill for so I say that’s an A. As far as redzone and late game high pressure failures I personally believe that’s an extension of Harbaugh’s personality. The man is always totally engrossed and gripping about the smallest penalties and situations. I saw him coming unglued because a man in motion was moving toward the line of scrimmage before the snap but it wasn’t called. I think it’s hard for a team to keep their cool under pressure when the head coach can’t keep his cool on a 5 yard penalty on a relatively minor play. Having said all that, Harbaugh still should get an A. He has willed this team to amazing success that I will take every day and twice on Sunday considering where we came from with Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan. I personally believe that the 9er success over the next 3 years will have more to do with Trent Baalke than Harbaugh. We know what Harbaugh can do but I think the jury is still out on Baalke. I give Baalke an Incomplete. We need to see what Lattimore and Carradine do next year plus what he does in this year’s draft. My opinion is that Baalke has a lot to prove and if he doesn’t come through I wouldn’t be opposed to rehiring McCloughan.

    1. This is the most idiotic post I have read in a while! Replace Balke as GM? So your basing that off the 2012 draft where it was an incredibly weak draft where he missed on Jenkins and jame! You do realize that he traded some of those picks for 2013 picks which helped net Reid! The 2011 draft he produced kaep, Aldon, culliver, miller, hunter… In 2010 he produced iupati, Davis, Navarro… Please people let’s stop posting stupid post like replacing haurbaugh and Balke and kaep as our QB cause it makes us sound like a bunch of uneducated fans… Jeez

      1. Jury is out on Baalke whether you like it or not. CK was Harbaugh’s pick. Not Baalke’s. Jenkins damaged Baalke’s credibility. This team returned to greatness on the strength of McCloughan’s roster building – not Baalkes. Dont really care if you agree. It’s a fact.

      2. Houston just asking but how do you know Jenkin was Trents pick? Where did you hear about this news. This is just for my personal knowledge. thanks

        1. Doubt Baalke wants credit for Kaepernick – think only reason we still have him is cuz Harbaugh can’t admit he made a mistake.

      3. “So in essence what they got for Cooper and Gray were two seventh round picks. Does anyone think that was a good trade off?”

        With your reasoning Baalke turned Gray, an undrafted FA into a future pick. Sounds good to me.

        “When Miller was injured they sure could have used Gray.”

        Not really. They already had Dixon as the backup and Tukuafu was a known commodity that had been cut due to injury. Also, they started using more 2 TE 1 RB sets.

        1. I’m still a bit annoyed about Cooper though. I understand it is tough to keep everyone, but what really gets me is they cut down to 5 CBs in the original 53, then cut Asomugha after a few weeks anyway, and then proceeded to spend most of the season with 6 CBs on the roster anyway! I am sure they could have found a spot for Cooper, and in a position they knew was going to be in massive flux for 2014 keeping him would have been the smarter move.

    2. Balke was Scott top scout! Your stating that Scott is completely responsible for most of the roster your wrong! This team turned the corner after Balke took over.. I will tell you what Scott was completely responsible for and that was the head coaches he chose! Would you like to relive that? I didn’t think so.,,.

      1. Dude, McCloughan was responsible for the draft and he built a great roster. He wasn’t the person hiring the coaches. That was the owners. You must be new around here.

      2. Your right Houston, Jed York filled out the check for the coaches! Typically front office decisions like hiring of coaches that’s up to the GM… You got to find a coach and GM that can get along!!!! The GM has to work hand and hand with the coach… Did Scott draft CK, Navarro, Aldon, Reid, iupati, a Davis, sign Whitner, Rodgers, Goodwin, Crabtree and trade for boldin! I didn’t think so! Educate yourself before running your mouth!!! Lol.. School is in session

      3. Don’t make me embarrass you. MCCloughan did not hire Nolan or Singletary. McCloughan built a great roster. Go and do a little research on the McCloughan years before you come at me with your stupidity.

        1. That would be hliarious if it wasn’t sad.

          So Baalke does a very solid 2010 draft, hits a home run in the 2011 draft, and just because of a weak 2012 draft (which still can be at least average, since LMJ, Looney and Fleming are on the team, and the 3rd round trade was really good for 2013 draft) you want him replaced?

          McClougham did ace the 2007 draft, I’ll give you that.
          But how about the 2008 draft?
          In the first 4 rounds, we got a bunch of busts: Balmer, Rachal, Reggie Smith, Cody Walace.

          Not to mention other great “picks” in other drafts like Jason Hill (round 3), Glen Coffee (round 3), Jay Moore (round 4), and Scott Mckillop and Nate “the great” Davis (round 5).

          So stop this non sense about replacing Baalke.

      4. Chicago,

        I don’t know with certainty that Jenkins was solely Baalke’s pick. The fact that Baalke had it written into his contract that he’d have total control of the draft after what he saw with the ambiguity of the McCloughan situation Plus the envelope story make me place the blame of the Jenkins pick totally on Baalke.

      5. Houston, I will wait for you to embarrass me! Don’t get upset about being wrong… You can get away with stupid comments with some people on here, but there are others who know a lot about football… Scott did draft some great players like gore, Willis, staly, Vernon, goldston ,t brown… But those players other then Willis took off after all the other reinforcements came in after he left… He also drafted Alex first overall instead of Rodgers… Should I go on? He did sign Justin smith which has been great but he did sign Nate Clements to 60+ mil… Remember? Look at this last draft that we had, it will go down as one of the best ever I guareentee it.. Reid will be pro bowl caliber player for years to come.. Tank is a beast… Reminds people of JJ watt.. McDonald was a project at TE but he can be very good. Versatile.. Patton is a stud that needs some more experience… Lattimore you should you tube… The guy was the best RB in the country until that terrible injury… A sure fire top 10 pick that we got cause of that injury… Cooper was a great pick that is on the chiefs… All the picks we got this year cause of Balke.. We got one of the two best GMs in all of football… Relax man this is all in fun… At the end of the day we bleed red and gold together!

      6. Yeah, I received that call but it was unclear if they were saying McCloughan or Baalke. After all, Baalke was McCloughans top scout.

      7. Baalke hired Harbaugh. It’s a good mix of McCloughan guys and Baalke guys.

        Houston, I think McCloughan gets the short end so the stick because of the coaches he was stuck with.

      8. I saw an interesting article about The Seahawks front office which implied that Sneider picked Wilson over McCloughan’s objections. I have no ill will towards old Scooter McClueless, as he was called back in the day. But considering that he left the organization just prior to the 2010 draft when Baalke took over, and the Niners could be argued to have had the most talented rosters in the league in 2011, 2012, and 2013, its hard to say “the jury is out” on Baalke. We can all quibble about specific moves but having the most talented roster in the league for 3 years is no small achievement.

      9. I find it hilarious that you give Baalke credit for drafting Cooper when the fact of the matter is that Baalke has final say over the roster and he cut Cooper in favor of A guy who ended up being released. MCCloughan built the core of this team and then he went and helped build the core of the Seahawks. MCCloughan is a great personnel man.

      10. Houston this is where you are wrong again! Cooper was cut because the coaches determined he wouldn’t play on this team so they cut him. Balke attempted to stash him on the practice squad but he didnt make it cause the chiefs picked him up… The decision to cut cooper was on the coaches who thought Namdi still had something left.. He did draft cooper in the 7th rnd.. He also extended Brock who was by far our best corner to a 4 year 16mil deal… Which was a robbery of a contract.. I’m not debating that McClue is not a good GM but he is not on the level of Balke… Balke has made this roster an elite talent base that teams pick up our left overs routinely..

      11. CK=ELITE—- When Cooper was put on the waiver wire it wasn’t because the team didn’t want him. It was because Balke thought he could stash him on the practice squad. The same held true when they waived Marq. Gray. Gray was to be their developmental H back. After he was cut and picked up by Cleveland ( 5 other teams also wanted him) they signed Harper from Seattle as the developmental H back ( so he took up the roster spot which could have been Grays) . Now you might say that they had to make tough choices on both Gray and Cooper to get the roster down to 53. Well that argument is total BS. Balke kept two other players on the roster which they had no intention of keeping. Within the week they traded those two players for a seventh rounder apiece. So in essence what they got for Cooper and Gray were two seventh round picks. Does anyone think that was a good trade off? On reflection it appears that TB thought he could get more for the players he kept and still get Cooper and Gray on the practice squad. Now it is obvious that they needed Gray since they signed Harper of the Seattle roster to replace him. It appears to me that T Balke got too wrapped up into trying to get more picks for the future at the expense of the present. He over estimated the value of the traded players and underestimated the value of Cooper and Gray. When Miller was injured they sure could have used Gray.

        No you don’t have to give Balke credit for Kaep if you give him credit for Jenkins. Kaep was too obviously Harbaughs pick. This argument makes you sound like you are either Balke’s lawyer or PR agent.

      12. CK, not sure why you don’t understand the structure. I can’t make it any more rudimentary for you. Trent Baalke has final say on the roster. Obviously, it’s a collaborative effort with coaches but when a player gets cut it’s because the guy who had it written into his contract that he’d have final say over the roster decides the right move is to cut the guy. The buck stops with Trent Baalke on the roster.

        You can correct my math if you like but if what I’m looking at is complete then the 49ers have had 15 players make the All Pro team in the last 5 years. 10 of those guys are Scot McCloughan pickups and 5 are Trent Baalke pickups. I’m sure time on the job works against Baalke in this stat but its still clear that Scot McCloughan had a huge influence over the current roster. I’m even giving Baalke full credit for the 2010 draft even though Scot McCloughan had a significant influence over the draft board that year.

        1. And you have to think that drafting in the top 10 every year made the job of drafting good players a lot easier for Scott.

          When McClougham had to draft in the bottom of the first round, he got Balmer.
          Not much different than Jenkins.

          Actually, one could argue that McClougham and Baalke are very similar so far in results.

          Both followed a solid draft (2006;2010) with a great draft (2007; 2011), then followed by a very weak draft (2008;2012).

          Let’s see how the 2013 and 2014 draft go down in the next years.
          Baalke at least set up both years in a very good way, stockpilling pick in the first 3 rounds.

          I’m very optimistic on last year’s draft.
          If he does a good job this year we could be great for the next decade.

  11. Columnist Grant Cohn D+
    Grant was a fresh young talent with tons of potential. Initially when Grant came on he drew high praise from the fans. Unfortunately as he settled in and became comfortable his true work ethic showed. Too quick to write the easy article. The type of strategy employed by the lazy to elicit more blog responses.
    Grant employs a dying strategy and unfortunately our long term outlook for him is not good. Grant in his second year showed zero ability to do the hard work. Most of the blame has to go to his father who was there to mentor him but unfortunately has guided him in the wrong direction. His job should have been to go in and win the trust of the men he was to extract information from. In essence, to go in and build trust. Instead he waits for players to slip up so that he can fill his columns with half truths and slanted writeups.

    Grant unfortunately has come across as disingenuous. If only he could like the team he covers as much as he likes the cowboys. Then at least he could fake it. This next year will be Grants third year and will probably be his last. There is a slight chance he can turn it around but that will require him to admit his shortcomings and WANT to get better. I have more confidence in Kaepernick than I do in Grant…….

      1. Actually Grant, he didn’t say that you are in your second year presently. He stated that in your second year you showed zero ability to do hard work. His statement that you initially received high praise from fans and showed promise was in reference to your initial or first year. The statement about your ability to do hard work is in reference to your second year and I assume all those that followed. Haven’t been posting long and most of my limited number of posts have been in your defense. Still in this instant you should have let sleeping dogs lie. In your response to ” Jokers” “tongue in cheek” post, you end up doing the very thing you accuse him of doing. Which is not getting your facts straight. While I have agreed with a lot of your articles that were critical of the 49ers. especially those in relation to AJ in which you turned out to be right. I do feel that in respect to Kaeps regression you are not considering a lot of the variables of this season. His production did regress but was it because of him or the situation he was placed into. That situation being a cause and effect result of decisions made early on in training camp by Harbaugh/front office which hindered his ability to progress this season. Causation is a strong element that is seldom considered. You know for ” want of the nail the ( horse ) shoe is lost” etc. While there were others the most impactful was centered around AJ. The result of which had a major sequential impact far beyond what most could ever imagine.

        1. He’s entitled to his opinion as long as he doesn’t curse. I’m flattered readers like him and you spend so much time thinking about me.

    1. LOL, so much butt hurt. Why do some of you hate on Grant so much? He’s no Maiocco or Branch, but he doesn’t have to be. His style of writing works for this blog whether you like it or not. And IMO he’s a lot better than the Barber/Padecky era.

  12. Ok here is another predication for the 2014 draft to help us secure the WR position as well as the CB/Safety with fast and big players. I like Jimmy G better as a developmental QB. Gains can become a very tough CB in the NFL and Try Boston has the size/speed and the experience to play Safety or Cornerback.


    1. Roby got smoked in that game. I watched it. That is one reason i am concern about Roby. He has great speed but sometimes he just does not show up!!!

      1. Scooter i just love his route running and the natural instinct he has for finding a open area. He also fights for the ball and has a very good burst for his size.

      2. Scooter since you and I like the same WR, what do you think about the following safety options: I am ranking them based on preference:

        1 Calvin Pryor (fast and a turnover machine, hits hard and can play the run and pass)

        2 Denone Bucannon (fast and a hard hitter, Goodbye mr. Hittner!) just kidding i like whitner.

        3 Dione Baily (basically a LB with wheels that has great ball skills and will make big impact plays)

        4 Tre Boston ( could be a great lower pick options, he has speed!!! and the size, we can develop him to back up one of the two starting safeties.)

        I think there is some good prospects for the S position to compliment Reid. in the middle rounds. Except Pryer and Bucannon will be gone by 45 to 50 most likely. Also what do you think about taking Cody Hoffman a huge WR for red zone option. He could develop as a great pass blocking WR as well in the 6th to 7th round.

        1. I watched most of Cody Hoffman’s games this year. Many expected him to go into the draft last year but he chose to stay and break most of BYU’s receiving records. He was projected a 4th round pick last year. His draft stock is falling this year for a lower production from last year. He did miss two games and still had over 800 yards receiving. He is not a burner, if he get his 40 time at 4.5 I would be impressed. At 6’4″ in he needs to put on more weight and he could actually turn into a taller Boldin. He had some amazing catches this year. There might be a question about his work ethic but he was a 2 star recruit and ended up breaking every receiving record at BYU which should say how hard he works.

          1. Hoffman is definitely a guy that is worth a look in the late rounds, but he has a lot of improvement needed in his game. For such a big guy he needs to play more physically and not get re-routed. He also doesn’t have quick feet to create some separation, so he will need to be very strong at shielding the ball from defenders with his frame, and have strong hands to make a lot of contested catches.

        2. 1. Calvin Pryor – 1 of 2 safeties worth taking in the 1st or 2nd round. He’s a good player, a play-maker. But, I think he is more of an early 2nd round talent than first rounder. He wasn’t really asked to do too much in coverage, so hard to say how strong this aspect of his game will be – at this stage he looks like a guy that is best off with the play in front of him so he can attack the ball. He also has poor tackling technique, and can take some bad angles.

          2. Deone Bucannon – A surprisingly well rounded game for a guy that is mostly known as a hitter. However, Bucannon has pretty much the same weaknesses as Pryor, but his tackling technique is worse. To me he’s a 3rd rounder, but he’ll probably go in the 2nd.

          3. Dion Bailey – Should be a late round pick or undrafted. He’s a 6’0″, 210 lbs LB. He didn’t really play safety for USC, even if they listed him as one. Watching film he primarily was asked to cover short zones, not anything deep. His man-coverage was average at best. Any team that takes him is better off having visions of bulking him up to play weakside LB (4-3 defense).

          4. Tre Boston – I haven’t watched much film on him yet so hard to make too many comments. But he’s a FS prospect and the 49ers need more of a SS type.

          Jimmie Ward is a guy I like for the 3rd round. A real nose for the ball, gets around the field and cover as well as tackle.

      3. Also what do you think of Jeremy Gallon from Michigan as a low round gamble for special teams or slot, he is FAST!!! and a play maker.

        1. There are much better prospects available to play that role this year, though will obviously require higher draft picks. I’d much prefer they target a guy like Beckham, Cooks, Herron or Ellington.

    2. Yea, Abbederis is legit with great ball skills, and an outstanding route runner. Robys’ performance wasn’t as bad as hyped. He made an interception covering him, and despite being in good position, Abbederis made some outstanding catches. Roby never lost his confidence in the game which is the mental part of the position. He never backed down even though they kept throwing it his way. I think Bradley Roby is the best corner in this draft. He can play off or press, and hits like a brick….

      1. Jack, I took a look at that film, and also one of his other games. I’m not sure I’m seeing what you are seeing. He doesn’t seem to get his head turned around much and play the ball in the air. He’s alright in press-man, but played a lot of zone and seemed to give up some pretty easy catches.

        I like EJ Gaines as a potential 3rd round prospect.

    3. Roby got beat on the double move badly, but other than that, he had pretty good coverage most of the time when it was man. He had great coverage on the TD catch but didn’t turn his head in time. He’s actually a pretty good player who doesn’t shy away from contact in the running game either.

      1. A good chunk of that was against zone. On the wheel he would have made the play if if arm was just a little longer. : )

    4. He didn’t give up all those yards Grant. He was in zone a lot of the time. He also made a lot of plays on the short routes they tried and also had a pick that doesn’t show up in that footage. I didn’t see a CB getting roasted other than the Double move. He had a tough order and gave as much as he got.

  13. Love that Harbaugh is the 49ers HC. On a week-to-week basis, the 49ers have been the toughest out in football the the last three seasons. A virtual impossibility in today’s salary cap era.

    The 49ers went to the NFCCG three years in a row, with two different QBs. Their season ended only against the eventual Super Bowl winner, in games that came down to the last snap. Their sustained level of play continues to be far better then the Giants and Ravens.

    I’m holding off the A+ though.

    - Late game management needs work. His second game as a 49er coach (vs Dallas in 2011) is a prime example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The 49ers should hire a consultant to help resolve these late game brain freezes.

    - Its smart to instruct players to give short interview answers. Major distractions can emerge from the most innocuous comments. For example… if Colin praises another player, a third player might feel disrespected.

    But Harbaugh and his players clam up in the extreme. Never seen anything like it. Turning players with sunny, nice dispositions into monosyllabic dead fish is not the way to go. Hurts the brand… and possibly increases distractions because all the media has to talk about are those cold, unwelcoming yo-yos the 49ers (seem) to be.

    Harbaugh: A-

  14. Yeah that first play strip fumble by Aldon..we should have gotten 7..That ticked me off..And when we got the ball to start the second half up 10-3..Quick 3 and outs on sequences of plays that I’ve seen time and time again..Philosophy def gonna have to change..

  15. Been watching tape on corners and I think my favorite one in the draft right now is Kyle Fuller, he looks so natural in his movements and is crazy fluid and smooth for his size. Plus he brings some physicality and is a good run defender. Really hope the 49ers grab this kid

  16. Mommy comment by you was creepy and weird, but otherwise it’s a great article. Drop the snarky tone and you’ll get into the A- range. No need to show this comment to your mom or dad.

  17. I’m not a fan of the new layout. I liked seeing the 10 most recent comments on the home page. And everything on the new format is too large

  18. why do you consider Aldon a defensive lineman? He plays from a 2 point stance in the base downs and even drops into coverage.

    1. The stance doesn’t matter. Offenses treat Aldon Smith as a defensive lineman in their blocking schemes. They might leave a running back to block Brooks but not Smith.

      1. Grant, do you really want to debate this one with me again?

        How offenses treat Aldon does not define his position. His responsibilities in the defensive scheme define his position. His gap control responsibilities are those of a WL Backer with outside containment/backside containment. Ends hold the edge but don’t have containment responsibilities. Or simply put if an opposing running back gets outside him the back will get to the second level.

        1. Sorry, you’re wrong. I tried to explain this to you last year. If opposing offenses agreed with you, they would treat Aldon Smith as a linebacker in their blocking assignments, but they never do because he’s a defensive lineman. Leaving a running back to block Aldon Smith one-on-one is not an option. Running backs pick up linebackers all the time, but never Smith. Coaches won’t let that happen because everyone knows he really is a BIG — a DL — not a small — an LB. A key distinction when setting up the blocking scheme.

      2. Grant,

        Teams treated Leonard Taylor like a D lineman in their blocking schemes. Does that mean he wasn’t a LB, either?

        1. ex,

          You combined Leonard Marshall and Lawrence Taylor into one menacing SOB. Taylor was never considered a DE, but he did create his own position.

      3. Ex, It’s ok. Leonard is actually Lawrence’s twin brother. He has achieved great success as an agent for State Farm.

      4. “Ex, It’s ok. Leonard is actually Lawrence’s twin brother. He has achieved great success as an agent for State Farm.”

        lol…thanks for the laughs, Jack!

      5. Jack,

        Just like Chris and Cliff(?) Paul?

        I think it’s a shame that the family tragedy that ripped the two brothers apart early in life is just glossed over in those commercials.

      6. Grant,

        You realize that pretty much everyone sees LT as an LB, right?

        If you want to say that he was a LB that played like a DE, ok. But to unilaterally change his postion? Hmm, I’m not so sure about that.

    1. Like the new format as well,simple is good for us men folk(I love MM for instance but that site is just not fun to read) basic font all good,as an aside Jack Hammer damn you for getting me addicted to the draft simulator site!!!!!

    1. Razor,

      As soon as they signed Harvin (along with the D linemen), I was pretty sure the Seahawks were going to be in cap trouble sooner or later.

      Wilson, Thomas and all those lucky late round and UFAs are going to have their contract come up and then, look below.

      I really like the fiscal discipline the 49ers FO seems to have. It will stand them in good stead, going forward. It may hurt to let certain players go, but if they’re demanding money that doesn’t make sense for their position, then the 49ers are smart to move on.

  19. Going through the shopping list of college receivers, there’s a tendency, at least on my part, to want to pick higher fruit than Abbrederis. There are 8-10-12 guys rated higher. But Abb could end up like a Brandon Stokely-type guy; very valuable to his QB. So in one sim I took Gilbert in the 1st and got Abbrederis in the 3rd. We’ll see, so far the sims seem like wishful thinking.

  20. Todd McShay has

    Ra’Shede Hageman,DT (Minnesota) going to the Niners
    at #28 …

    Grant .. do you like this guy at this pick ?

      1. I questioned this myself. 1st hopefully Benjamin. 2nd CB and SS and than we fill the rest with the backups and practice squad. I would also like us to get a kick returner been saying that for 3 years.

        1. Unless Gilbert falls, I think they should take a WR. If they can get Marqise Lee or Odell Beckham, they have to pull the trigger.

      2. The DT stuff seems to be the result of the draftniks not knowing where Carradine fits in and forgetting about Ian Williams.

      3. From some of the mocks I’ve read, a DL could be the BPA. Whether it’s Hageman or Tuitt, they could be better value there than the need positions. If that’s the case the Niners could take one of them to compete (both would likely be an upgrade on Dial and Jerrod-Eddie) or trade down.

        They won’t reach for lower graded player at a need position over a higher graded one at another. Best case scenario is there is a WR, CB or S at 30 with a higher or similar grade. I’d love to see one of Clinton-Dix, Pryor or Gilbert sitting there personally, but chances are they are all gone.

        1. If a DL is BPA at our pick, I could see Baalke trading down instead of sticking around to take a player at a “solid” position.

      4. I agree taking a DT with their first round pick would be a mistake, but an early round pick on a DT, in a very talented DT pool, makes sense to me.

        The success of the 49ers D all comes from the play of the DL and LBs. Jerod-Eddie and Dobbs played alright as backups this year, but neither guy looks like a starter down the track to me. J. Smith can’t keep going for much longer, and McDonald is expensive and only has two more years on his contract. Adding another good pass rushing and run-stuffing DT to the DL rotation, with an eye to taking over McDonald’s spot in 2016, strikes me as a good idea.

    1. It seeems like McSahy has had us picking a DL for the last few years….maybe he’s thinking eventually he’ll have it right.

        1. Grant:

          He probably doesn’t understand how the 49ers’ DL works

          Some would say that you and he have that in common.

          1. I am in the Fangio-allforfunnplay Camp. I think the defense is a 3-4. Smith and Brooks do what 3-4 OLBs do. They contain the edge on runs, rush the passer and drop back into coverage.

            Sorry if my 9:33 comment seems disrespectful, but it was meant as a good-natured joke. You threw a softball out there, and I couldn’t resist.

        2. I don’t see how the Niners can add another DL with all the depth they have at the position now. Also, isn’t the first “minicamp” a few weeks prior to the draft? The coaches and FO staff will get a good chance to look at Carradine, Dial, Williams, etc. before making final adjustments to their draft board and strategy.

      1. That’s the thing about him, at least when I read his comments about the niners, it doesn’t really seem like he does his homework. He definately knows the prospects but does not take enough time studying the 32 NFL teams.

    2. I love the Hageman pick. It sets up the d-line to be great for the next decade if Carradine pans out. The strength of the 49er team is the line play. Continue with great line play and you continue with winning.

      I would say a great WR can be had after round 1. Of the 5 All-Pro receivers this year, there were 3 first rounds, a second rounder, and a 6th rounder. The scouts can find a speedy receiver after the 9ers pick Hageman in the first. Many projections have Cooks slipping to the 2nd round. There will be quality talent around for the 9ers to pick up.

      1. You know, Houston that is not a bad idea. Why reach for a CB or WR if it’s not there, right? Unless the niners move up to grab one of the top CB or WR.

  21. OMG Grant! You’re insane!

    You actually believe how a defense pass blocks a defender DEFINES that defender’s position???? As opposed to what that player’s responsibilities are in his own defense????? Or the fact that his own coach defines Aldon as a linebacker????

    Please, please, please show me anywhere or anything in football your supports that claim.

    btw. your explanation only covers when Aldon rushes the passer. When there is a “Liz” call (Whitner plays single high) Aldon drops into coverage. When the defense has a Brooks is routinely blocked by Tackles, Tight Ends and sometimes Backs. Do you believe he’s an End too in the base defense?

    “I’ve used the 3-4 and the 4-3 and right now the 3-4 allows us to be more flexible with the increase in formations, sets and offensive approaches,” Fangio said. “In the 3-4 you have two outside linebackers who are half linebackers and half defensive ends,” Fangio said. “They have to be able to rush the passer and set that edge of the defense. But they also have to be athletic enough to defend within the passing game.

      1. yeah, you’re right…I’m sorry actual knowledge of the defense just isn’t good enough for you.

        I’m sorry if you have absolutely no clue as to how the defense works. btw. here’s a challenge for you. tell me what a “Liz” call is and how it relates to both this debate about Aldon’s position AND my issue earlier with your claim that Seattle ran a “Robber” defense in the Super Bowl.

        Hey you’re entitled to your opinion. But I don’t like to see you confuse your poor readers.

    1. You even have that wrong. Liz is when the strong safety drops down in the box in Cover 3 and the free safety plays single high. Rip is when the free safety drops down in Cover 3 and the strong safety plays single high.

      In the Super Bowl, both of the Seahawks’ safeties were frequently playing down in the alleys in a robber scheme, not just one playing down there in a liz or rip. The Seahawks didn’t have to worry about a deep pass.

      Aldon Smith dropped into coverage 8 times in the playoffs. Brooks dropped 20 times.

      1. “Liz” = strong safety deep and the ROLB drops into coverage.

        “Rip” = free safety deep and the LOLB drops into coverage.

        hmm….I wonder why Aldon didn’t drop into coverage more?….I dunnno…do most teams line up with the strong side on the right most of the time???? particularly on run downs (which is primarily when the base defense is used)?

        Also, you haven’t addressed Aldon’s gap responsibilities (which are linebacker containment.)

        If you watched the Super Bowl, one of the Safeties was deep while the other played to protect the seam and in short zone. You saw Chancellor manhandle anyone trying to go vertical on him.

        What’s next Grant? Are you going to tell me Fangio is intentionally lying or mistaken about his own defense? (*flashback to 2013).

      1. no, Grant’s right. I got the Liz/Rip calls reversed. But the principle behind them and the ROLB and LOLB responsibilities holds. meaning that Aldon is an Outside LINEBACKER.

    2. Charles Haley was the Niners “Elephant” in the defense under George Seifert. He was a ‘tweener – between a DE and an OLB, but since he was such a force as a pass rusher and running backs could not handle him in pass protection, offenses counted him as a “big” and he belonged to the offensive line in pass pro. Similar to Aldon Smith today, if OC’s are smart enough to realize that their backs cannot pass block him.

  22. I like the format. It looks a lot cleaner. The only thing is that the comments are a little difficult to follow because of the spacing. But I’m all in if it finally got rid of that error I would get with every other post.

  23. Grant is this new format permanent. Not being able to see the last 5 to 10 posts makes it very difficult to follow the latest thread. I’ve been posting here for many years please see if the latest reader post can be visible.

    1. One thing to note is that when you click on the ‘previous comment’ it doesn’t take you to that comment in the blog.

    2. Biggest problem is seeing replies because there is little indentation with them. The web guys need to move them in a little more and also set it up so you go to the comment you click on the main page.

  24. Grant i really enjoy posting here. I post while at work [please do'nt tell my boss] the previous format allowed me to leave my desk then return in an hour or more and very quickly catch up with the thread. Thank you ahead of time for speaking to the web master……OC

  25. Grant, comment on the new format: I think they could improve it by indenting the replies more than they do. IMO, they are too close to the left border.

  26. This is a lot harder on the eyes. I can only read about five minutes and that’s it. Please return to what the P-D has used for years. It is much easier to read…

  27. Grant i pretty much agree with you on your grades with the exception of O line, DB’s and HC. First O line i have been saying for awhile that they are the most over rated position group in football. They seldom give CK a clean pocket and i believe that they have to get a portion of the blame in CK’s lack of progress this year. Franks Gores lackluster avg especially when you take away his best runs like you love to do is the direct result of an O line that is terribly inconsistent in their run blocking. The 9ers running backs are contacted in the back field far more than avg and thats not because of FG its a poor O line. I will be happy to see Goodwin go he has been far below avg in picking up stunts and blitzs. My O line grade C.
    Your grade for the DB’s i felt was a little low the QB rating they gave up was pretty close to what CK achieved and you described his rating in a negative way in an earlier post, you ca’nt have it both ways. I believe injuries to T. Brown, C. Rogers and E. Wright hurt the progress of the unit but grading on a curve with the rest of the NFL i would give them a B.
    Lastly Harbaugh’s grade of B- i would give him an A-. I believe the difference in our grades has alot to do with what aspects of the job you feel are important. You like many fans and writers put much more weight on the coaching that takes place from the opening KO to the final gun, along with the minimal amount of practice time devoted to situational football. [understand that i'm not including red zone into situational football] End of the game and end of the half are situational football. I grade coaches on the teaching they do starting with OTA’s and mini camps running thru camp into the season. Teaching is 90% of football the differentiation i’m making is between coaching and teaching. The 49ers made their monumental turn around in 2011 in response to Harbaugh and his staff teaching the game [fundamentals] far better than the last 3 staffs as opposed to running far superior schemes. Now JH has to take some responsibilty fo CK’s lack of improvement but like i stated earlier a larger part of that responsibilty falls to the O line. You do’nt come within an eyelash of the SB with a B- coach. I do disagree with you on CK’s grade i would give him a B- but thats too close to quibble.

    1. “First O line i have been saying for awhile that they are the most over rated position group in football. They seldom give CK a clean pocket and i believe that they have to get a portion of the blame in CK’s lack of progress this year. Franks Gores lackluster avg especially when you take away his best runs like you love to do is the direct result of an O line that is terribly inconsistent in their run blocking. The 9ers running backs are contacted in the back field far more than avg and thats not because of FG its a poor O line. I will be happy to see Goodwin go he has been far below avg in picking up stunts and blitzs. My O line grade C.”

      Your description and your grade dont seem to match. C in my opinion is average. You description sounds more like Poor than Average so it seems you should have given them a D. My personal impression is that they were inconsistent. Injuries probably pulled down their play a bit. I’m also with you on Goodwin. I think he is way over-rated. His line calls can be off at times and he is inconsistent with his snapping. Having said that I would go more with a B- due to inconsistency. They can be great at times and they can have some off games.

      1. Houston i gave them a C because they were inconsistent. One play they would open a gapeing hole for Gore on the next play Gore would get hit behind the line. In another situation CK would have all day to find a receiver which would be followed by a play where Iupati or Davis would get beat clean off the line and CK would either scramble or get sacked. After taking your opinion into condideration i will change my grade to a C- but i wo’nt go any lower.

      2. Well Coach, due to the fact that the 9ers were #3 in yards per rush and #3 in yards per game in the regular season and then #1 in both categories in the playoffs and also due to the fact that they were in the top 3rd in the league in Sacks allowed during the regular season I’m moving their grade up to a B+.

        So there.

      3. OldCoach I like our O-line but I do have concerns…

        - Stunning the number of times I see Gore surrounded by D-linemen in the backfield… while his blockers are 4 yards downfield looking for a linebacker to block. The “Man” blocking scheme is a real feast/famine system. Gore gets stuffed. Gore breaks a big one. Time to involve elements of Zone blocking?

        - For all the vaunted size and power, the 49ers seem to have trouble in short yardage situations. The jumbo formations actually work better on first and 10.

        - Anthony Davis has made steady progress in every season he has played… with the possible exception of last season. I didn’t see the growth.

        In the O-lines defense, the loss of Walker (and later Miller) seemed to make it easier to for 4-3 D-linemen to shoot gaps without worrying about getting picked off by wham blocks.

    2. I’m not one for grades old coach, but yours are a lot more believable than Grants. Too many people get swayed by moments during the season instead of looking at the season as a whole.

      Harbaugh getting anything less than a very good ranking is ridiculous considering his ability to get this team where it has gone every year he’s been here.

      1. Come on, Rocket. What has JH really accomplished, anyway?

        Sure, if you choose to pick the low hanging fruit of JH guiding the 49ers to two NFCCG appearances, one SB appearance, and only losing to the eventual SB winner each of the three years, go right ahead.

        There’s maybe five other NFL coaches that might’ve been able to do what JH accomplished. So, is it really that big a deal?

        1. ex,

          According to some on here he gets outcoached. Still haven’t been able to figure that one out and nobody has provided examples. We are stuck with a HC who has won as many or more games in his first 3 years than pretty much any Coach in modern history. Woe is us.

          1. Rocket,

            Yeah, I just don’t get the negativity, sometimes.

            Sure, the team isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn good.

  28. How much of an influence will the 2013 practice squad players have on the draft? In terms of offensive linemen there are Bykowski, Marquardt, and Netter. Is there a possible center lurking in the shadows? Also, the intelligence and raw athletic prowess of Lawrence Okoye are intriguing. In addition there is DL lineman Christian Tupuo from USC (at least on the team website roster). I can’t imagine the team maintains a practice squad without at least some inking that the players possess at least potential.

    Just wondering.

    1. They like both of the OT’s from what I recall reading last year. Marquart in particular was intriguing because he went undrafted due to a foot injury.

      The Center candidates are Kilgore and Looney right now with a draft pick most likely in the mix later on. They also have Ryan Seymour, the OG they picked up off the Seahawk PS late in the year.

  29. 2014 cash value (2014 cap number)
    CB Carlos Rogers $6.6 million ($8.09 million)
    RB Frank Gore $6.45 million ($6.45 million)
    LB Patrick Willis $6.353 million ($6.86 million)
    TE Vernon Davis $5.3 million ($7.34 million)
    LB Ahmad Brooks $5.1 million ($6.6 million)
    LB NaVorro Bowman $4.75 million ($7.05 million)
    DT Justin Smith $4.75 million ($6.94 million)
    RT Anthony Davis $4.165 million ($7.5 million)
    WR Michael Crabtree $4 million ($4.77 million)
    DL Ray McDonald $3.6 million ($5.35 million)
    T Joe Staley $3.4 million ($3.4 million)
    G Mike Iupati $3.1 million ($4.425 million)
    NT Glenn Dorsey $2.65 million ($3.8 million)
    LB Aldon Smith $2.35 million ($4.58 million)
    P Andy Lee $1.9 million ($2.4 million)
    S Craig Dahl $1.65 million ($1.88 million)
    LB Dan Skuta $1.5 million ($1.65 million)
    WR Jon Baldwin $1.4 million ($1.4 million)
    CB Chris Culliver $1.39 million ($1.54 million)
    FB Bruce Miller $1.39 million ($1.4 million)
    CB Tramaine Brock $1.25 million ($2 million)
    S C.J. Spillman $1.25 million ($1.58 million)
    QB Colin Kaepernick $1.07 million ($1.63 million)
    OL Adam Snyder $1.05 million ($1.3 million)
    per matt maiocco. players making more than 1 million. who do we keep?

      1. cash value is what they’re actually getting. cap number is what their contract counts against the cap because of prior restructuring, borrowing from the future for the present. usually when we hear them restructuring contracts with players, they’re doing to create immediate money to sign someone else and pushing the bill down the road. like a credit card, spend now and pay with interest later.

      2. Cash value is how much they will be paid. Cap value is how much they count against the cap. They differ depending on how the team massaged the numbers. Hope that makes sense.

    1. Two easy ones right off the top with Rogers and Gore. Neither will be brought back at those numbers. Baldwin could be cut if they feel he has no room to improve. After that there really isn’t much in the way of bad contracts. They’ve done pretty well at making things fit at their number. I would guess Willis and Vernon could restructure if needed but the team figures to have 15 mill or so available without them doing anything.

      1. rocket,

        The top 51 contracts currently leaves them with around $5mil. You think those moves will open up another $10mil?

        1. I don’t think Rogers will be back, so it depends on what they can work out with Gore. I think they can get close to that with the 3 moves.

  30. Grant the site is now showing the last 10 posts or so and thats great now if when you clicked on the comment it would be nice if it took you to that comment……Thanks OC

  31. I want Baalke to move up and trade with the Raiders. Thing the Raiders would consider taking Lemonier, swapping firsts with us plus a number two and a number three?

    1. Trent Baalke treasures draft picks too much to pull the trigger on a trade like that…no way Sammy Watkins is a Niner after the draft…

        1. If Watkins were to slip into the middle of the first, then Baalke would probably pull the trigger…since he probably will go in the top five, the point is moot

    2. Bayarea in that it would take our 1st our 2nd the 3rd we got from Tenn and 2 4th rd picks to trade picks straight up with the Raiders, i ca’nt imagine throwing in Lemonier would make that much of a difference. He is a 2013 4th rd pick who was seldom used this year maybe he could take the place of next yrs 4th.

      1. I don’t think it will take as much as you think. The Raiders are going to rebuild their offensive and defensive lines. Their goals are to build through the draft and maintain a cap friendly team.
        If you hand them a player like Lemonier it addresses a need with a young cap friendly quality player. Add to that a 2nd this year and a 2nd next year and I think the deal gets done.

        1. Bayarea possibly but it would’nt come close to the trade value chart and most early deals come pretty close. The last second OMG we love this player deals sometimes are way off the chart but thats not the kind of trade you are talking about.

    3. It would be great if that’s all it took Bay, but the Raiders wouldn’t do it. They traded down a few spots last year because they desperately wanted a 2nd round pick. This year they have their picks and a sh*tload of cap room so I can’t see them making a bad deal just to get a couple more picks and a young player.

      Also, the Niners wouldn’t trade up that high for a WR imo.

  32. Grant:

    I’m not a fan of the new format, but I realize that it’s probably here to stay. I’ll try to adapt.

    I see that you listened to those of us who asked you retain the “recent comments” box, and I thank you for that. When I click on any of the recent comments, however, instead of being taken to the individual comment, I am instead taken taken to the top of the page. Can you ask your IT team to fix that? Thanks.

  33. Doing a mock with a bunch of fans of other teams, I’ve pulled a couple trades, traded 94 and 126 to move up and moved down from 77 to 85, and heres what I have so far.

    30. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
    45. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
    54. Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

    Really happy with the haul so far.

          1. Vikings probably should of grabbed him at 8, but I can see why he didn’t. Hes still pretty raw for a prospect, I’ve heard his game compared to Locker and while I’m still a fan of Locker I can see why that turns some people off. QB class is pretty strange this year too, while a lot of people agree on the top 4 or so prospects everyone seems to have their own order among those 4.

        1. Bortles may turn out ok but he’s getting a lot of hype for what he’s accomplished. Reminds me of the Blaine Gabbert love from a few years back. The measurables are eclipsing the play on the field.

          1. I guess it depends on your definition of “#1 Receiver”. Sanders and Maclin seem to be game breaker types to me; which I guess could also mean they aren’t regular go to guys and not #1 receivers.

            The scouting report I quickly read on Robinson compared him to Boldin; a power possession guy. Is Boldin a #1 receiver type? He’s a possession receiver for sure but is he the guy you set out to make the focus of your offense (though the Niners did out of necessity for most of the 2013 season).

            I guess a #1 receiver is one that consistently makes catches and plays (though not necessarily game breaking big plays…though elite superstar #1s do like Calvin Johnson). That kind of sounds like Crabtree to me.

  34. I do’nt think you can make a good guess at the 9ers first rd pick untill the FA signing period is up. If they resign Boldin i do’nt see them choosing a WR, if they resign Boldin and T. Brown they could surprise us all with their pick.

    1. You’re right Coach, but we all know it is going to be a WR, S, or CB. Until visits start being made it’s all just a shot in the dark.

        1. JS is likely in his final year with the team, at least as a starter. McDonald hits 30 this year and is coming close to the end of his contract. Dorsey is only signed for one more year and we aren’t sure just how good Ian Williams really is. Behind them we have Carradine who is a good prospect but hasn’t seen the field, Jerrod-Eddie who improved greatly but still looks like a backup at best, and Dial who was a late round pick. If Tuitt is sitting there at 30, I could definitely see them pulling the trigger.

          Like you, I see the likelier scenario as a CB, S or WR, but I can’t see them taking one of those positions if a better DL prospect falls to them.

          1. They could grab Tuitt at 30, but I think more likely is they grab Dominique Easley with 61 or 77. Kind of like the Carradine pick next year, hes a top 10 talent who is falling due to a bad injury but the 49ers don’t need a DL next year and Easley and Carradine could be a great tandem in the future.

          2. Williams was good enough to win the starting job over Dorsey. Dobbs showed a lot of improvement this year and is likely to be brought back as a restricted FA.

          3. Jack, I keep hearing that Dobbs probably won’t be brought back. Besides, some room will need to be made if they plan on keeping Carradine, Dial, Williams (of of IR) and TJE on the active roster.

            and I don’t know if it would count against the DL allotment of roster spaces but I loved having Tufuaku crushing defenders with lead blocks on offense. Yeah, I know it’s a luxury….

          4. tkamB – right there with you on Easley. How do you replace Ray McDonald down the track? With a guy that also played DT for Florida, was also known for his disruptive play and explosive first step, also had his draft stock fall due to knee injuries, and has pretty much the same physique coming into the pros.

        2. tkam,

          Yeah I could see that. I’ve actually made that pick in a couple of the mocks I’ve done.


          We are talking about the best DL they can put on the field. Dobbs is a useful player but he’s never going to be a dominant Dlineman. The goal has to be getting the best position players you can. If you can get a great DL prospect with the first pick you do it imo, unless there is a better prospect at a position of need.

    2. Yup… Much of the 49ers draft will hinge on who the 49ers retain, and how the walking wounded (Tank, Lattimore, Bowman, Ian Williams) are coming along.

    3. I think they definitely go WR early, even if Boldin gets resigned hes getting up there in age and theres no guarantee they will be able to keep Crabtree when his contract expires. Plus we saw what happened to Kaepernick after Crabtree got injured, they need quality options for him to succeed and our depth at the position is lacking to say the least right now.

  35. Yes the Niners have needs. But the coaches seemed to prefer to play veterans over developing players unless that player has an obvious immediate advantage in competition (or in other words Eric Reid was immediately a better option than Craig Dahl at Free Safety). So the draft strategy will still probably be more Best Player Available then most have discussed.

    While I don’t think the Niners will spend a 1st rounder on a QB, I wouldn’t rule out a high round QB taken if the value is there in the 2nd or even more likely the 3rd round.

    Everyone talks about Cornelius “Tank” Carradine but at this point, he’s just another player trying to make an impact when training camp starts. In fact I think the Niners were disappointed in his development (mostly due to injury recovery) because I think they wanted him to come off of IR last season and never made it. So I don’t think D-line is off the shopping list either.

    And even though they’ve taken Hunter, James and Lattimore in the top 3 rounds the last 3 years, I’d say it’s safe to say that the Running Back situation is far from settled or that they’re completely happy with what they have. So again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a running back taken if the value is there.

    1. I agree across the board…

      What’s your thoughts on CB this year….you think they target one early on…maybe trade-up?

      As for WR the only reason i think we may take one early is because of the AJ pick. It seems like they are looking for that deep threat type receiver which i agree with. We need to start building this offense around Kap….and he loves to go down field so lets give him to decent target…i think we need speed this draft

    2. allforfunnplay:

      I generally agree with just about everything you said, but wanted to point out that Hunter and Lattimore were both 4th round picks.

  36. Hopefully which every WR we draft has that Q. Patton attitude but flies directly to Miami to workout and train with Kap. That will help us out a lot. I know I’m asking for too much

  37. Here is a mock I did over at http://first-pick.com.

    Round 1 Pick 9 (BUF): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
    Round 2 Pick 29: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
    Round 3 Pick 13: Craig Loston, SS, LSU
    Round 4 Pick 5 (JAX): Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
    Round 4 Pick 23 (CINN): Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
    Round 5 Pick 12 (NYG): Max Bullough, ILB, Michigan State
    Round 5 Pick 30: Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke
    Round 6 Pick 11 (NYG): Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford
    Round 6 Pick 18 (DAL): James Stone, C, Tennessee
    Round 7 Pick 26: Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma
    Round 7 Pick 30: Cody Hoffman, WR, Brigham Young

    1. That would be an A+ draft for the 49ers.

      Why would the Bills trade down with the Niners? What’s in it for the Bills?

      And why would Adams fall that far? That seems like Paul-Richardson-Jared-Abbrederis territory.

    2. Very good looking draft Jack. Well done.

      I’m guessing at least one or two good WR’s will fall due to the overwhelming number of them, so Adams at the end of the second isn’t necessarily a stretch.

        1. I gave up the lower 2nd Rounder and the 4th Rounder, but traded out of one of the third round picks with Atlanta to get the 4th Round pick back plus some……

    3. Jack, looks pretty good. My son-in-law, the former Bulldog, is pretty high on Adams and has seen him plenty because he goes to all the home games. Funny, though, he is not a Carr fan. I’m really starting to zero in on Loston. I think you picked him in the right spot. I like his size and his ability to interchange between SS and FS. Not straight-line fast, but has that burst to close which is probably more important.

    4. Nice job Jack, but do you not think that is a lot to give up for a CB that in most other years wouldn’t go so high. He’s a good but not great talent in my opinion.

      Overall that draft covers a lot of the positions of need. If I was to nit-pick, I’d say that when I look at those players I can’t help but thinking that aside from Dennard, Adams and Quarles (nice pick in the 4th round btw), there is an awful lot of JAGs. That may be because I don’t really rate Loston or Williams, so a biased opinion. Also not much in the way of play-makers.

      I really think there will be some good quality players to be had in rounds 3 and 4, and would love to come away with 4 or 5 players through those rounds.

    5. This was my first time trying that website. No trades. Pretty much BPA except for Adams and Loston, but I graded out fairly well. And yes, two DT’s, but one is ready to roll and the other is a fixer-upper, lol.

      Round 1 Pick 30: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida (B)
      Round 2 Pick 24: DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State (A)
      Round 2 Pick 29: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State (A-)
      Round 3 Pick 13: Craig Loston, SS, LSU (A)
      Round 3 Pick 30: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida (A)
      Round 4 Pick 29: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois (A)
      Round 5 Pick 30: Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame (A)
      Round 6 Pick 29: Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford (A-)
      Round 7 Pick 26: Deandre Coleman, DT, California (A)
      Round 7 Pick 27: Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech (B+)
      Round 7 Pick 28: Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State (B+)
      Round 7 Pick 30: Michael Schofield, OT, Michigan (A)

      1. No trades! You’re missing out on all the fun Space!

        Nice draft. I’ve been on the drafting a DT band-wagon for a while, though perhaps three DTs is over-cooking it ;-)

        1. Scooter, LOL, well I just tried trading back with the Rams but couldn’t get a CB I liked. But I still got Jones, Loston and astonishly Adams in the 3rd round as well as the rest of my picks sans Coleman.

  38. Round 1 Pick 25 (S.D.): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
    Round 2 Pick 24: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
    Round 3 Pick 13: Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor
    Round 4 Pick 3 (ATL): Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
    Round 5 Pick 7 (ATL): Terrance West, RB, Towson
    Round 5 Pick 30: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
    Round 6 Pick 29: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
    Round 7 Pick 5 (ATL): Chandler Catanzaro, K, Clemson
    Round 7 Pick 26: Deandre Coleman, DT, California
    Round 7 Pick 27: Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
    Round 7 Pick 28: Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa
    Round 7 Pick 30: Avery Williamson, ILB, Kentucky

    Traded up with the Chargers for Gilbert
    Traded down with the Falcons

    1. Good stuff razor, I would prefer this draft to the one Jack did (no offense Jack, just personal preference!).

      Gilbert and Watkins are good value picks where you have them and help solidify the CB position. Cooks gives the 49ers a play-maker at the WR position. Dixon is a guy that in a year or two could be a really good player – very good athlete and aggressive. And I really like Richburg.

  39. The run on WRs:

    7. Bucs – Sammy Watkins
    13. Rams – Mike Evans
    16. Ravens – Kelvin Benjamin
    18. Jets – Allen Robinson
    23. Chiefs – Marqise Lee
    27. Saints – Odell Beckham
    28. Panthers – Brandin Cooks
    29. Patriots – Davante Adams
    30. 49ers – Jordan Matthews
    31. Broncos – Jarvis Landry

    1. that’s an awful heavy run on receivers in the 1st round. At some point the drop off in how the receivers are rated becomes significant enough for teams to start to wait until later rounds to draft a position.

      1. or to put it another way, I don’t think you want to pick the 9th best player at a position with your 1st round pick. The Niners would have had to value that player over previously picked players at that position.

    2. I don’t see it Grant, but anything is possible. If that many WR’s go before the Niners pick, I would bet there is a better player than Matthews available that they will take instead.

      1. Look at it pick-by-pick. Which team wouldn’t take a WR in this scenario? The Broncos probably have to replace Decker. The Saints don’t have anyone on the outside. The Patriots obviously need receivers. The Chiefs would not pass on Lee. The Panthers need an upgrade in the slot.

        1. you’re erroneously looking at the draft as a pure personnel needs based thing.

          paying a low #1 pick for the 9th best WR (at this point assuming the WRs are graded and drafted in order). it’s poor value. when there are probably other positions with greater talent available.

          I’m not saying that “Best Player Available” is an absolute philosophy. Obviously it isn’t. But your scenario would be “Needs Based Drafting” to the other extreme which would be foolish IMO.

          1. I don’t know. I haven’t really done much pre-draft scouting yet (for some reason, despite the fact that practically everything else I read about football is digital, I still prefer the old school draft magazines for reading about draft prospects).

            It looks like some have projected CB Marcus Roberson and CB Jason Verett to the Niners. I’m guessing that their approximate value is worth the #30 Pick and it’s at obviously a perceived “need” area. Some have WR Kelvin Benjamin falling to the Seahawks at #32. He would be an interesting size choice for the Niner at WR or could be Jon Baldwin 2.0.

            As my earlier post noted, that IMO there are not many positions the Niners wouldn’t consider (well, maybe Fullback) if the value is there. In the late 1st and 2nd rounds I think there will be running back value to be had.

        2. What AFFP said. If that many WR’s are taken a really good player or more is falling to the Niners at another position. I like Matthews, but he’s a second round guy to me. I could see trading down into the second and taking him.

          1. Just don’t see a third of the league taking a single position in the first round, but you’re right. Who knows? Maybe we can get Biff’s sports almanac. ; )

            1. It would be unprecedented, but there are an unprecedented number of underclass potential No.1 receivers in this draft.

              How could the Panthers pass on Cooks? For example.

          2. Grant you see an unprecedented number of underclass potential number1 receivers in this draft. I’m betting those who are really in the know do’nt.

    3. If all those teams take WRs then there will be some outstanding DL talent available at #30. They could easily either trade back or take one of them.

      But, I simply don’t see that many teams taking WRs in the first round.

    4. Grant if the Draft order goes as as you mentioned then for sure there will be some very good defensive talent left. I would not draft a wr if all the other ones you have listed were taken at # 30. I would for sure go for the best player available that can start. As far as i am concern regardless of what Coach Jim H mentioned about the window of opportunity and based on the division we need to build this roster for the future to be competitive. Lets take a look at all the key position:

      1) CB – Brown and Rogers most likely will not be back, even if they do we need some more youth, Culliver is coming back from an injury.

      2) S – Whitner is a free agent and even if he comes back we should plan to upgrade the position for the future by bringing more youth and Reid had two injuries in his first season!!!

      3) WR – Crabtree is a big money free agent, Boldin is not a lock and we are searching for a third option.

      4) Center – we must find a replacement for goodman

      5) G- we need a replacement for next year and more depth.

      6) ILB – We need to plan for Bowmans recovery and Pats age

      7) OLB – We are not sure how Aldon is going to pan out! and we need more pass rush

      8) DE- JS and Ray M are getting old so we need youth and Tank has not even played!

      9) DT – This is one position i feel good about but Dorsey is going to ask for more cash after 2014!

      10)OT – We need a swing OT that can back up both guys and become a future starter

      11) Punter – We need a replacement for Lee pretty soon ( in a few years)

      12) RB – I am concern about our RB situation with Frank and Latti!

      13) TE – VD is getting old and VM was not impressive in his rookie season so we should have more options to develop

      14) QB – we do not have a good back up for injuries or if CK does not workout for us for some reason.

      15) PR – I truly believe we need to upgrade our return specialist position to someone with great ball skills and speed.

      Maybe i am paranoid but based on Seahawks roster for the next few years we have some work to do to stay competitive with Rams, AZ and Seahawks!

  40. I think they should sign Chris Cook as a free agent cb from Minnesota at the right price. Let T.Brown, whitner walk and go after Gilbert with the first round pick and then with with roberson cb with the 1st 2nd and then ss buchanon or wr with the #2 2nd. there are plenty of wr in this draft that can be had in the later rounds that fit our needs landry, m.Bryant, d. moncrief,d.street, and especially trevin reese wr from Baylor with a 23 yards per catch perfect slot wr. The point is they don’t need to tade up for a wideout.

      1. He is not better than Dee Ford and if all those WR”s go in the 1st he may be available at #30 and if seattle taught us anything it is that you ca’nt have to many pass rushers.

      2. But is he better than D Bucannon, Haha Dix, C Pryor, Gilbert, Barr or Mack! I like JM but we need some help on the D as well.

    1. Even if they sign Boldin they will have only 3 WRs on the roster worth being labelled as a WR, and of those their #1 WR (Crabtree) is heading into the last year of his contract, their #2 WR (Boldin) is getting up there in years (and depending on how long they sign him for may also be off contract again shortly), and the #3 WR still hasn’t done a whole lot in the NFL just yet.

      Why would they not look at a WR in the first round, if he is BPA?

      1. I agree. The 49ers should be drafting receivers no matter how the Boldin signing goes. They need a deep threat that can beat press coverage.

  41. If Kaep doesn’t improve in 2014. the 49ers management should looking for another Qb in 2015 to run our offense. The training wheels is off.No more excuses we’re wasting the good talents especially our defense are getting older.

  42. I must say I’m loving these mock draft sites, but it does pay to remember the 49ers are still likely to receive a 3rd round compensatory pick as well. That makes the 49ers 3rd rounder highly tradeable.

    To me, a good draft strategy for the 49ers would be something along these lines:

    Round 1: Either sit pat and take the best WR, CB or DT available, or see if they can trade back to the early 2nd round and pick up a 2015 2nd or 3rd rounder.
    Round 2: Package the Chiefs pick with the 49ers 3rd rounder and move up to around #40 to take another BPA at WR, CB or DT (but not at the same position as their previous draft pick).

    This strategy would likely net them two first round calibre players that have slipped to late first round/ out of the first round. To me WR and DT are the most likely candidates to be BPA, largely because these positions have fantastic early round depth, so are most likely to have first round talent slip this far. But if a quality CB is available then they should nab him.

    With the 49ers 2nd rounder I’d try to trade back to the early to mid 3rd round with the aim of netting a 4th rounder with it. This would give the 49ers 3 3rd round picks (including the comp pick) and 2 4th rounders. With a truck load of picks between rounds 5 and 7 they would then have plenty of ammo to move around the 3rd and 4th round to nab the players they want – and given all the underclassmen there will be plenty of talent to be had in these rounds.

    1. Very well thought out scooter! No need to reach or panic on trading up.. WR draft is very deep and if we play our cards right we end up with 2 nice prospects at wr… Corner and safety will be adressed as well as a QB and RB

    2. Scoot
      Pretty good scenario. The FO frequently seems to me to subscribe to a pattern of drafting strategically (long term) and signing FA tactically (for upcoming season). With that in mind and looking at probable talent at that draft position, WR, CB, and DL seem about right for 1stRd. Re-signing Boldin (hope) won’t preclude a WR in #1 if he is BPA. Now because some WR talent can be had in #2 and top CBs are scarce, my guess is they’d grab the right CB over a WR early. DT is less of an immediate need, but the right guy……

    3. Scooter:

      That’s a well thought out strategy, but I wouldn’t rule out the 49ers trading up to get a player they value much more than what they expect to be available at 30. That probably would CB or SS (as you noted, the depth in early round talent at WR and DT lessens the need to trade up for those positions). I also expect Baalke to acquire a decent 2015 pick at some point in his maneuverings.

  43. Hi Grant. What about the grades for the rest of the coaching staff. Here’s my take.

    Fangio. A+
    Roman. B
    Rathman. C (James and Hunter seem to regress this year)
    Tomsula A+
    Chryst. D (Kap’s lack of improvement in key fundamentals)
    Seely. D. (Too many mistakes by return team in critical situations).
    Davis. C. (Lack of improvement by Macdonald)
    Donatell. D (Secondary was the weak link on D all year)
    Morton. C
    Solari B (Davis seemed to regress this year)

  44. All right, Jack, I went to the first pick site and tried my hand at a draft. Thanks for introducing me to yet another addictive, time-wasting mock draft website.

    I think the site is off with regard to the value it places on drafts picks when trading. It seems to cost far too much to trade up. Trading down, however, can bring in a bounty of extra picks.

    Here’s what I was able to do on my first attempt. Fifteen picks is way too many, but I couldn’t find a way to trade down and get future picks. I also have questions about the website’s valuation of certain players. At this point in time, I can’t see Richburg, Jean-Baptiste, Fales, Huff, Gilmore or Lynch being available where I selected them.

    Round 2 Pick 5 (ATL): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
    Round 2 Pick 24: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
    Round 3 Pick 4 (ATL): Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor
    Round 3 Pick 12 (DET): Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
    Round 3 Pick 13: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
    Round 3 Pick 30: Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
    Round 3 Pick 32 (MINN): Yawin Smallwood, ILB, Connecticut
    Round 4 Pick 11 (DET): Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
    Round 4 Pick 29: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
    Round 5 Pick 30: David Fales, QB, San Jose State
    Round 6 Pick 29: Brent Urban, DE, Virginia
    Round 7 Pick 26: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
    Round 7 Pick 27: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
    Round 7 Pick 28: Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State
    Round 7 Pick 30: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida

  45. Claude,

    Those first 3 picks are sweet. Agree with the sire being a little steep when trading up in round 1. Their ratings are definitely a lot different from the other site rocket posted. Good times though.

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