49ers mock draft contest

What is the best the 49ers can do in the upcoming draft if the following two things happen?

1. All of the top-12 wide receivers — Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Davante Adams, Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry, Paul Richardson and Jared Abbrederis – get picked in the first two rounds.

2. No team wants to trade back with the 49ers in the first round.

  1. Assuming all 12 go before the Niners second pick in Rd#2, they still have two shots to make a play on someone. Lots of time left for hunches, but at this moment I’m doubting a 1st Round pick on a Safety; more likely later, IMO.

    1. I agree, I don’t think the 49ers will spend their first round pick on a safety.

      I don’t think the 49ers will spend their first round pick on a cornerback, either, although they probably want to.

      1. Meaning Gilbert/Dennard/Fuller/Verret will likely be gone by that time?

        I’m guessing we’ll see a repeat of last year, where there’s someone who’ll be available in picks 10-20 that they’ll love and trade up for. Evans?

        1. Dennard and Gilbert. I don’t think Fuller or Verrett or Roby or Roberson or any CB other than Dennard or Gilbert is worth a first round pick.

          What if the 49ers can’t find a trade partner this year? The Cowboys won’t be looking to trade down this time. The Chiefs won’t be looking to trade down.

          1. If the 49ers can’t find a trade partner (to move up), then I would expect them to draft a player whose talent they equate with the No. 30 pick (or better) or to trade back to a place where they believe the talent matches draft pick value.

          2. I disagree agree with your take on Verrett. The man is a someone the QBs didn’t want to throw to this past season.
            One possible way that the team could find a trade partner would be through trading someone that they currently have under contract but may not be able to afford to keepn the near future.

          3. Teams look to trade down every year! Where do you get this idea that NO one wants to trade with the niners? Now a division rival I can understand but anyone else I don’t understand tote way of thinking.. Makes zero sense! If your a team that wants more picks because your missing several players t

            1. Which team would want to trade down with the 49ers to pick No.30, and why?

              If the 49ers trade down, they risk missing out on Adams, Matthews and Landry.

          4. I’m asking you why you think that this first rnd of this draft is SO good that every team is going to hold on to there pick… When there is a position like the WRS this year, like safety’s are year ago.. Teams ALWAYS look to trade down.. For you to ask me who is willing to trade with the niners I would say every team outside the top 15 would… Every team from that point on can go in all different directions.. Just like when seatle took Bruce Irvin 16th overall because they where afraid that the niners would take him instead of Jenkins.. I can see Pitt trading back because of there aging defense.. Bengals could trade back as well! Take your pick… It’s like every year you try to out do yourself with ridicoulus statements!

          5. Grant
            One of your colleagues at Yahoo who covers the Titans offered a mock that had Texans taking Bortles #1, and he called the Browns and Niners likely trade partners for the #2 Overall.
            Browns? Sure, up 2 to get a QB they love; it could happen.
            Niners? uh….

          6. Maybe just maybe Pitt believes prior is a better player then dix or that they don’t believe that anyone is worth drafting from the safety position in the first! Second, when you have the draft capital to move up like the niners you can make trades a lot easier… I can understand a little more what you are saying if they didnt have two seconds, 3 thirds… On top of that this draft is not that great! Last years class as a whole was better!

          7. Grant your basing your opinion on every team valuing recievers with first rnd grades! Not only that but your assuming that 1/3 of the teams in the first would for sure take a WR in the first!

            1. I think you can pretty much guarantee 6 WRs will get picked in the first round — Watkins, Evans, Benjamin, Robinson, Lee and Beckham.

          8. Verret is a very good CB. I could see him being the pick. Roby as well. I could also see them taking a pass rusher or Dlineman. WR Is obviously on the table but I can’t see them taking the 7th or 8th receiver when there would likely be higher rated players at other positions.

          9. Grant, you’ve got history backing you up regarding wanting CBs with length. Those are the types of CBs they draft. I like Verrett, but don’t see the 49ers taking him unless it turns out he’s got levers as long as Aldon.

            And I agree with you on the WR front. Missing out on a top WR this year, regardless of whether they re-sign Boldin, could put them in a jam next year when the receiver talent is more likely to look like 2012s “bumper” crop.

            1. The CB I think would interest Baalke the most — other than Dennard and Gilbert — is Pierre Desir. Baalke isn’t afraid to draft a small school player as long as he dominated in college, and Desir dominated.

          10. Yes, I agree with that. I think they will be checking Desir out very closely. His upside sounds to me a lot like a young (pre-Eagles) version of Asomugha. He’ll probably need some time to get up to speed given he’s a small school guy, but he seems exactly like the type of CB Baalke would be interested in.

          1. I think the 49ers want a bigger cornerback to compete with Culliver. Rogers may be their best option. Maybe they 49ers will like Pierre Desir and he’ll be available in the second half of the second round.

          2. It doesn’t have to be a big CB Grant, just someone that can cover and not give up big plays. Or more to the point, critical downs.

      2. February 8, 2014 at 9:41 am
        I don’t think the 49ers will spend their first round pick on a cornerback, either, although they probably want to.
        Why don’t you think they will do what they want to do?

  2. Honestly if Boldin re-signs I’d prefer to take a CB in the first (or S if Whitner doesn’t re-sign). When Crabtree was healthy the passing game wasn’t nearly as anemic as it was early in the season. The pass defense, however, was a possible liability all year long.

  3. Keep it simple: Best player available or try and trade the pick if the value isn’t there. If twelve receivers come off of the board before the Niners pick, there will be plenty of other options.

    1. Good post, Big P

      That’s what it’s all going to boil down to anyway. Put a bunch of well-studied picks together, and they all disappear just before #30. This amounts to mental mastr*******…I think you get the picture. If they took away all of our picks, we still have a team that played for the NC championship three years in a row, and for the most part is still young.

    1. Could also see them reaching for Cody Latimer with one of their second rounders, I’ve seen a couple reports that the NFL scouts like him a lot.

  4. DraftTec has both Beckham and Benjamin falling to SF, and SF taking Benjamin. I keep seeing Gilbert slip past 20 in mocks.

      1. OB looked smooth to me, and in Sr Bowl practices could beat press. But I thought AJJ looked smooth and fast when I first looked at his tape too. I’m still positive towards OB. Benjamin looks to have some speed.

        1. Benjamin has great upside hes just incredibly raw as a route runner, hes predraft hype reminds me of Stephen Hill. I think he falls on draft day.

          1. Eh, hes a little more polished than Hill but I think Hill had better upside. I get why people are falling in love with Benjamin’s size but his routes are just sloppy at this point and he has a real problem with drops.

          2. A better prospect than Hill? You said Hill was the best WR in the draft the year he came out Grant. Benjamin is in trouble now :)

        2. Grant such a short memory?

          You bet me Hill would go in the top 10 and that he was the best WR in the draft.

          How can I give u a hard time if u don’t remember?

          1. I said Jarius Wright was the best receiver in the draft and Rueben Randle was No.2.

            Maybe I’m not remembering correctly.

          2. Rocket,

            For what it’s worth, that’s how I remember things, as well. Even if Grant didn’t like Hill as the best WR in the draft, he wasn’t luke warm on him. He liked Hill, a lot.

  5. Grant, for arguments sake can you narrow down which receivers are available with our #1 pick? You say all are gone by the end of round two but is that because there is a late second round run and most are still there when we pick with our first?

    1. It’s because there are 12 very good WR prospects in this draft.

      Some people think Beckham or Cooks will be available at pick No.30. I think they’ll be gone. Some people think Benjamin will drop. I don’t. After them, the best choices are Adams and Matthews and Landry. I like those three better than Fuller or Verrett or Roby or Roberson.

      1. It might be helpful for you to give the blog your rankings of the WR, S, and CB positions that seem to be the Niners biggest needs. I personally stopped trying to rank college prospects after JJ Stokes.

      2. Hmm if I had to go by who I would pick out of those 3 wrs and 4 corners I think I’d go

        Adams > Fuller > Roby > Landry > Mathews > Verrett > Roberson.

        But like I’ve said before I’m not a fan of Mathews and a big fan of Fuller.

          1. “Too many……”

            The only injury I’m aware of was the one sustained against Mich St, deep knee bone bruise. The only criminal incident I’m aware of, was when he was up in the club and got in a fight. Charges were later dropped.

          2. That does not justify the use of your adverb “too”, and you still have yet to explain it’s significance with respect to injuries….

          3. I never said I didn’t like him, but I don’t think he is a fit for the team. However, if he is drafted and proves people wrong like Reid did, then I will back him 100% Razor.

          4. When someone exaggerates in a negative way to nitpick on a player, it tends to suggest that maybe they do not like the player….If this is not the case, then I stand corrected.

          5. No exaggeration Razor. I just mixed up his injury history with another player on accident. But the character issues are still a waving high red flag.

          6. Because of a bar fight and a questionable call by the official? If that is your criteria for a Red Flag unfurled and flying high, then you have just discounted a good portion of players from your draft board…..

          7. The effort on the field is included in the character as well Razor. Like I said, I neither like nor dislike him. I don’t think he is worth a first or second round pick. If he is still there in the third round, then I wouldn’t hesitate to grab him.

          8. Just like I think that your comment on Jean-Baptiste being overrated is hilarious Razor. Let’s just agree to disagree for now. There’s plenty of time for either of us to change our mind before the draft. ;-)

          9. Not really….Baptiste is projected in the third round by all the mock drafts I’ve seen. Roby goes no lower than 40…..

          10. Late second round Razor because I think he would be the BPA at that spot. And as I said to Scooter, that description is pieces from several scouting reports that I read and then tried to rephrase. I thought about including the negatives with in my description, but I decided against it because it’s info that others can look up on their own.

          1. I should clarify my comment was only that DT would be best value. In that scenario I’d try to trade back to early 2nd round and pick up a 2015 pick. With that pick I would then take BPA at WR, CB or DT (for arguments sake, lets say DT). I would then package the Chiefs pick with the 49ers 3rd rounder and move up to around 40 (I imagine someone around there would take that deal) and take BPA at WR or CB. Whichever position hasn’t been addressed is taken with the next pick. This all assumes a FA safety is signed to start.

          2. Still big board BPA, but factoring in need. So who’s left at CB/WR/OL, and how did they rate them? 2 CBs and 3 WRs rated about the same, which position group will be likely to have talent at the next selection? WR? Then take CB or DS now, WR probably later. I seem to banging on the improvisational theme today.

          3. Grant

            I said it last year, and reitterate it this year…there are a ton of good small college, Div ll, NAIA, receivers out there. Some of them are still in training camps just hoping to get a look 3 and 4 years after graduation. LOAD UP! Put together a WR camp for them and see just what they have to offer. Some of these guys are faster than the top rated receivers, and most of them have better hands than what the niners have drafted over the last 5 years. And pick up a QB who can operate a Pro-style offense….or it won’t make any difference.

      3. I’ll be able to give you an answer in March in the mean time I’m really curious to hear your pre-free agency road map;

        Who goes, who stays, who are the top 5 free agents the 49ers should be trying to sign.

        Are there even 5 free agents the 49ers will be targeting?

        Is there any potential WR that is worth signing over Anquan Boldin?

        1. 1 FA CB name I’ve seen linked to SF is Charles Tillman. He really struggled last year. In 10 games he gave up a rating of 98.1, and 7TD’s.

          1. Rogers probably still is the best option. Xavier Rhodes would have been a terrific option. Reid was a good pick, though.

          2. Depends on how comfortable they would be with Cox in the slot. There’s only a couple options there in FA and Rogers outperformed both this season.

          3. Yes Prime and this was their song at the wedding:


            Jack dressed up as John Ritter while Grant donned the blonde wig for his best Suzanne Somers look and I have no idea as to who dressed up as Joyce DeWitt.
            Don’t you remember Prime? You came with a female mannequin’s head and called your self the Ropers.

      4. I much prefer Beckham to Cooks, plus OB is good in the return game which would then make LMJ not your only return option. I don’t like the tape on Adams as he looks very slow, Landry & Mathews look much better to me against better competition.

  6. It’s the secondary stupid! That’s the weakness. When you don’t get enough pressure up front, and you have a Champion like Wilson in your division whose expertise is running around like Tarkenton, buying time until someone comes free….It’s the secondary stupid.

    In the unlikely event that Grants’ scenario comes to fruition, a highly rated player will be available that no one expected. In that case, there will be more than one suitor calling to move back up into the 1st Round for him or the 49ers can add him to their own roster….

    The 49ers have enough ammunition to snipe players they desire up and down the draft board, and Baalkes’ crew needs to methodically pick them off by any and every means possible. This draft is crucial to the 49ers if they want to continue to challenge the Seahawks for the west supremacy…

    1. Razor

      What does it matter who we draft as long as Harbaugh refuses to let them on the field. He’ll always wear down our starters for a 7 point lead and then play conservative and lose it in the 4th quarter. PLAY ‘EM!

  7. If Lee, Beckham and Cooks were gone and the top CB’s were gone and the Niners could not trade out of the first then I would say safety or even interior offensive line. Someone like David Yankey or Calvin Pryor. If a ton of WR’s and CB’s go before 30 then a quality player at another position will fall to us.

  8. By the way Grant, I agree with you about Lee, Cooks and Beckham. I love those three guys and would be thrilled with any of them in the first IF one fell to us.

    I think Cooks is one of the most underrated players in the draft. I watched him a lot at Beavis U. Every team threw the kitchen sink at Cooks because he was OSU’s only great weapon but he caught a ton of passes anyway. I read recently that he is an extremely tough and hard working player–reportedly he has NEVER missed a game in his life from Pop Warner through D1 college football. Thats the kind of player we want. Cannot wait to see him at the combine.

  9. IMHO, the only picks worth taking in the first rounds are the highest paid players at free agency. for example: qb, cb, LT, rb, wr and pass rusher; unless there’s a stud blue chip prospect. my reasoning is based on the teams ability to keep those potentially expensive players longer under the rookie contracts. Cheaper labor for critical positions.
    that being said, if the 49ers can’t find their wr, my first reaction would be to trade for Josh Gordon. that only makes sense if he signs an extension that makes financial sense since he plays a high cost position. In return, the 49ers should not give more than a 2nd, not because he’s not worth a 1st but because the Browns already got the early benefits of his rookie contract.

    If the 49ers can’t get there wr in the draft at all like Grant was stating, then draft the best available at all of the critical positions listed above. find a speedster off the street or an undrafted player.

    1. That’s because he faced questionable competition, and the spread offense with him being Carrs’ favorite model to drive….Deceptive speed but certainly not elite. I’ve got him as the 10th best wideout at this time….Looks like he tends to leave that football hang out in the open on some of his runs. He’ll have to clean that up at the next level. How is he in press coverage?

    2. I like Adams, I think he’d be great for us in the redzone as he has fantastic body control. I have him as my 6-7 rated WR, close to tied with Cooks, higher than Benjamin, Landry, Mathews, etc.

    3. His play against USC has me worried. He had a nice stats day, but he has trouble against their coverage, which leads me to believe that he would be eaten alive by the Seahawks secondary.

  10. The 49ers should be able to move up in the first round, just not too far – somewhere between #20-25 – if they feel there’s really good value there. I suspect their first pick will be either a corner or wide receiver – whichever one is more impressive – with a preference for cornerback. I’d like to see them trade draft choices for moving up where possible, since they have a solid roster, especially factoring in those who didn’t play or hardly played last year – Lattimore, Tank, Culliver, Lemonier, Dial, etc. – so they don’t need a lot of new bodies. On the other hand, Baalke has done well with sixth and seventh round picks, so who knows. My main concern is that he’s been awful at picking receivers so I hope they have a better receiver evaluator this year.

  11. Not seeing any love for Joyner. He’s small, smaller than Verrett, but both those guys are football players who make plays. Their attitudes and instincts fit a lot of what Baalke likes despite their lack of height. Much depends on where they fall.

  12. Grant says “No team wants to trade back with the 49ers in the first round.”

    Did not know you knew every coach and General Manager so intimately, that you can make such a sweeping generalization.

      1. Other than a trade like Washington did for RG3, it seems like many draft trades are about opportunity as the draft unfolds. Did TB know he was going to trade with Dallas for Reid before the draft? My guess is no, but they may have had a discussion or two beforehand to feel each other out, hoping to not give away who they were targeting, just gauging value/cost. My guess is that’s how 1st round swaps work. As one team gets on the clock, they try to squeeze out the terms of the deal to their best advantage.

      2. Grant, I think they can move up 5 to 7 places, especially with the extra picks. Would it be so hypothetical that the Niners pick a offensive lineman in the first round? I believe the O line was very overrated? They need to get better in that position, especially if Kaep is going to try to be a better in the pocket, also need some guys that can bring in bigger holes in the run game.

  13. I have to gut feeling the niners will move up inside the top 5 and select Sammy Watkins.. They give up a first this year, a second this year, 2 thirds and a first next year… Niners aquire the player that can dominate that secondary from seatle for years to come… It’s already being rumored that the niners have the amunition to move up to # 2 overall… Remember that the niners are pissed and would like to make a statement this draft! Rams, jags, raiders all looking to trade down!

      1. He is very good!!!! There not to many players like him with the combination of speed, acceleration, power from the WR position in all the NFL! He would make this offense a power house..

    1. I don’t know razor, this kid looks like he could be a julio jones type player. Size and speed. But i dont see a wr this fast and good, getting past the raiders. Lol

      1. Trading up for Julio Jones didn’t get Atlanta where it wanted to be and has left it unable to fill several holes in the lineup. Trading two No. 1s, a No. 2 and two No. 3s for one player risks doing the same to the 49ers. There are a record number of underclassmen coming out this year; the draft is going to be deeper than usual in top tier players. The smart play is to draft multiple such players, not just one.

        1. The problem you are having is that your not taking into account that our roster from top to bottom is 10 times better then Atlanta! Atlanta should not of done that trade.. Although Julio is a beast they didnt have a defense.. Niners have everything at there disposal.. Makes a lot more sense for the niners to take a chance then Atlanta… But this logical thinking is too much for uneducated fans to understand! Lol

          1. Wow. You just called us uneducated in the same comment in which you (a) confused “your” and “you’re,” “there” and “their,” and “then” and “than” and (b) wrote “should of” instead of “should have.”

            That’s so ironic, it has to be on purpose, right? If so, congratulations. That’s PFT Commenter level trolling.

    2. Watkins is good but not worth that kind of compensation. The Niners are a draft focused team. There’s zero chance they would make a deal like this.

    3. 5 high level picks for a single player? Wow, that sounds smart. Why not just give up Aldon Smith, CK, Vernon, and Crabtree as well. I’m sure Watkins can beat an entire defense on his own so the 9ers don’t really need all those other guys.

      This is idiotic. Watkins is a very good player but the incremental difference between Watkins and the other WR’s available isn’t all that great.

  14. Grant… What about taking a good slot corner in this draft. Brock has proven he can man up on the outside and i fully think culliver having taken off the whole year, he would be fully healthy. We get beat in the slot a whole lot. If we wanna conquer the likes of harvin, austin, and others, lets match speed for speed. We can find physical in later rounds, but speed kills. A bigger boost would be if we could find a size, and speed cb. My personal choice would be gilbert from ok state. This man can ball. Hes big enough to hit n be physical outside and fast enouggt to play the slot… If he’s available in the teens, ii could see the niners trading up again. Especially since wehave been red shirting draft picks. We have deptg on the line, lb, ooffensive line, rb, we even have depth at corner but not legitimate star. We have the picks to make a splash. I believe we will

    1. Gilbert might be the best case scenario for the 49ers, I just get the feeling no team will help the 49ers out in the first round this year. A hunch.

      1. Grant:

        You keep repeating that no team will help the 49ers out this year, as if trading down is a matter of doing a favor for the other team. It isn’t. Teams make trades when they perceive that the value they receive is equal or greater than the value they give away. If the 49ers offer another team something the other team values more than its own pick, that team will trade with the 49ers.

        1. Yep. It’s not about trying to keep a team from trading up. It’s about gaining more picks and believing you can find a similar caliber player with the lower pick.

          1. Happened last year and this draft is deeper than last years was. I think you are overvaluing players and teams interest in getting extra picks.

            1. There is a lot of top-end talent in this draft. I don’t see why a team would want to trade out of that and go back to No.30.

          2. If you are sitting there in the late teens or early 20′s and see Dlineman falling that you think you can get with a lower pick, why wouldn’t you do it and get an extra pick in the process?

            There are always teams that want to move down Grant, especially in a deep draft like this one.

          1. I don’t understand why people talked themselves out of Allen last year. Sure, he had a slow 40 time, but he was a stud in college from Day 1 despite playing with terrible QBs. He’s a great athlete, could be an NFL safety.

          2. The same thing applies to Patton. How did a good WR like him rated as a second round pickup fall all the way down to the fourth round?

          3. K. Allen had the disappointing 40 because of injury, and I think the injury questions lead to his slide, but he still went in the 2nd.

          4. Aside from the injury which saw him run a terrible 40 time, I think Allen was downgraded last year because all he did in college was run short routes. No benefit of the doubt was given for having to play with a terrible QB that could only hit short passes. It made people (including myself – I thought he was a 2nd round talent) question whether he would be able to execute a full route tree, and get open at the intermediate and deep levels.

      1. Grant:

        It’s a complete 3 round mock from SB*Nation, and I don’t think the author is a 49ers fan. That said, I hope Baalke would use some of his draft capital to jump in front of Green Bay and Philadelphia to grab Bucannon or Dixon, rather than waiting and settling for Bailey.

        1. A lot of mocks, including all the draftniks on NFL.com, have the Niners taking a D-lineman at 30…aren’t we pretty deep at D-line?

        2. Any team drafting Bailey early is going to be disappointed. He has all these raps as being good in coverage, but he’s only good playing short zones. He’s a weakside LB, not a safety, and at 6′ 210lbs he’s too small to play LB in the NFL.

      2. ok .. I’ll admit.. I may be doin’ a
        little of that “thinking wishfully” … but ..
        I like the Jordan Mathews pick (#56)

    1. Do you have a short list of players and their positions you would be targeting with your recommended course of action?

      1. Use the pick from the trade for Cooks and the other 2 seconds to get Fuller.

        Really need the combine. Baalke really likes length and that data isn’t out for everyone yet.

          1. To me the value is easy to see. Top defenses have top line pass rush and run stuffing ability in the DL and LBs, including great rotation. The DL backups last season proved they were good enough to spell the starters and not look out of place, but they are solid guys, nothing more. They aren’t guys that really keep piling the pressure on the opposing OL when the starters are having a breather.

          2. That’s where the addition of Carradine should help. If you want more pass rush it needs to be a DE. The 49ers don’t ask their DT’S to rush the passer much.

          3. That’s not true Jack. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald are both expected to rush the passer and collapse the pocket.

            Carradine will be a nice addition to the rotation spelling Smith. A guy like Hagamen or Tuitt would be nice to spell McDonald, as well as versatile enough to backup at NT if they only suit up 5 DL.

          4. Jack, even if you ignore that both are listed as DTs by the 49ers, and in 4-man fronts they are traditional DTs, the type of player you look to draft for McDonald’s spot is typically a college DT. If I meant NT I would have said NT.

          5. If my memory serves Baalke said Dial was drafted as a NT. That is where I see his future. He’s not much of a pass rusher.

            1. Dial seems more like a five-tech, Ray McDonald’s position. Red Bryant’s position. Dial’s height and length would serve him well at that spot. He probably could play one-tech as well, but I think he’d be better suited for five-tech.

          6. Yours is probably better than mine. Still disagree on the likelihood or need at the spot. In 3-4 defenses the responsibility for pressure usually lies with the LB’s. Yes, I consider Aldon a linebacker. ; )

            1. In an under front, it’s more important for a three-technique to be able to rush the passer than to stop the run. That’s why the 49ers are developing Tank Carradine to play that positoin — he’s a natural pass rusher, like Justin Smith. The run stoppers play the one and five-tech. Justin Smith had a negative run defense grade this season on PFF.

          7. Grant, you’re right about Dial’s length seeming better suited to the 5-tech. When he was drafted I assumed that is where they envisaged him. But I’m pretty sure they said afterwards they see him as a NT.

            Given he is almost purely a run-stuffer, NT probably is the better position for him despite his length. The 5-tech for the 49ers needs to be able to generate some pass rush to push/ collapse the pocket. If they are relying on Dial to be that guy, then its definitely a work in progress.

            1. That makes sense. Jerod-Eddie is the second-string five-tech. And the Seahawks have a tall one-tech — Tony McDaniel. He’s 6-7.

          8. I agree with Scooter. A DL like Tuitt would be an upgrade on their backups and could be groomed to take over from McDonald in a year or two.

            Dline wouldn’t be an ideal first pick but reaching for a lesser player is a bad option.

          9. Jack, I’m not saying the position is a need. It is not. While unspectacular, they have capable back-ups.

            All I’m saying is that in a year with so much talent at the position it seems to me like a great idea to draft a talented guy that can rotate with/ spell McDonald this year and next year, and eventually take over from McDonald when his contract is up after 2015. A DL capable of rotating often and have no let down will mask a lot of ills in the back 4.

  15. So, assuming no trades happen (which they will in some way, but for the sake of the conversation) I think the following would be a solid draft:
    Rd 1. Odell Beckham, wr, good chance hes still there at 30 and is a true speed receiver and return man that we need.

    Rd 2. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, cb. Probably need to trade up a bit here, but he is the big long armed corner that Baalke covets

    Rd 2. Deone Buchannon, ss. Big intimidating safety that is also a threat in coverage, gives the niners two imposing and interchangeable safetiess with him and Reid

    Rd 3. Best available Center

    Rd 3. Josh Mauro, de. Is this the year we actually draft out of Stanford? Big strong athlete that could bolster the d line ranks and learn under Justin Smith.

    Rd 3. Best available middle line backer. This would give us valued depth in case Wilhoit walks and Bowman needs extra time to heal

    Rd 4. Zach Mettenberger, qb. An injury here probably causes the quarterback to fall into our hands, giving us a solid no. 2 to develop .

    Obviously mock drafts at this time of year are a complete crap shoot, but if we got any of these guys in May I would be very happy

  16. Everyone wants a cb, and if gilbert drops far enough to make a play on i agree, but i think the 9ers already have their outside corners in brock and culliver. i dont see whitner sticking around since he took a big discount when he signed last time, he will be looking for his ladt big contract. I also see us letting rodgers walk, so immediately we have holes at SS and slot corner. for this reason i wouldnt reach for a corner if grants scenerio plays out. Unless you are looking to move culliver to SS or think that he or brock would make a better slot. Can culliver play strong safety (I believe he played free at SC)? If grants scenerio comes true then unless one of the top 5 wr are there at 30, then I would try hard to trade back into the early 2nd.

      1. Be a nice consolation prize. I think I like him better than Purifoy or Roberson. If the 49ers sit and wait, Dennard, Gilbert, and Roby will be gone imo. Verrett may still be there with size concerns. Verrett or Fuller at 30 with no trade partners Jack?

        1. The niners will trade up in the first rnd people! Forget about staying at 30! Do not listen to grant he is clueless when it comes to the draft! Those of you that have followed his unbelievable track record at predicting and grading the niners picks in the past would know.. Niners should not of drafted Reid! They should of stayed where there’s at and take Cyprien instead…. Tyler Wilson will be the steal of the draft for the raiders… Niners draft 2 corners with there first two picks in last years draft! Etc etc etc……..

          1. @CK

            Kiper, McShay, Mayock, and every NFL GM who ever made a pick is also wrong at times. If these guys are right 30% of the time then they are great. At least Cohn has the bravery to publish his opinion. Until you start your own blog and publish your opinions why dont you go have a coke and a smile.

        1. My concern with Fuller is his injury history – he gets hurt a lot. Jean-Baptiste is getting overrated just because big CBs are in vogue. He’s not as physical as his size suggests, he doesn’t move very well laterally. He needs to fall into the perfect fit for his style of play (e.g Seahawks).

          For all Baalke’s preference for length at CB, they still look for guys that can turn and run, as well as close quickly on the play in front of them. Jean-Baptiste doesn’t look a good fit to me.

          1. I think your spot on with respect to Jean-Baptiste. Roberson is the guy I had concerns about always being wounded, but I was not aware of Fullers’ propensity for injuries. Gonna have to do more homework…lol

          2. I don’t think they care about size as long as the guy can play. Brock is not a big CB and just signed a 4 year extension.

            I like Fuller, Purifoy, and Roberson as possible 2nd round options.

          3. Rocket, they do have a recent history of drafting length at the position. Guys around 6’0″ that have long arms. But they also need to be able to run, and flip their hips. Stiff-hipped guys they stay away from.

            Brock is only 5’10″, but he was an UFA. They picked up Morris as an UFA last year too. But when it comes to drafting CBs, they have tended to go with height and arm length.

            1. Jean Baptiste will get overdrafted for his size, but he was inconsistent. Baalke should let someone else overdraft him.

          4. True but they haven’t drafted many CB’s so I’m not sure we can form a pattern. Brock and Morris are both on the roster so the obviously aren’t adverse to acquiring smaller CB’s.

            I’d prefer they look at taller CB’s too, but a kid like Verret bucks that trend.

          5. I agree on Jean-Baptiste. He’s big but that’s where the Sherman comparisons end. He didn’t look that great at the Sr bowl either.

          6. I’m potentially being too harsh on him, but when I look at Jean-Baptiste I see Mike Rumph.

            What I will say about him is that for his size he is a more fluid athlete than you’d think. That is not to say he is a fluid athlete though. And he does have decent ball skills – his WR background is evident. But he’s not as aggressive as a guy his size should be.

            For mine he’s a guy that would be an intriguing pick around the 4th or 5th round. But the hype machine is in full swing and I’ll be surprised if he makes it past early 3rd round.

          7. I’m not saying that he should be a starter from day one though. The team can draft or sign another CB and let Jean-Baptiste develop for a year, unless of course he earns a starting role during training camp and/or the preseason

  17. The poll question is a tough one to answer. I voted no but that is based on an assumption that better value is likely to be available at another position. If someone like Gilbert is available then sure, take him.

  18. I don’t think DT/DE is out of the question if the BPA at 30 is this position.
    The reason I think that is the Niners are movin towards a more 4-3 defense. This will give them more disguise and flexibility with Brooks and Aldon Smith. Also, if Bowman isn’t healthy.
    Like they say, you can never have enough pass rushers and this draft is deep at WR and CB so two maybe three can be found in rounds 3-6.

        1. CK=E, i would not give up the farm to go up for Watkins. He is a very good WR but to my opinion he is not a franchise WR that could change the game as the number one!!! I would take the following WR anytime:

          Mike Evens – He should be the number one

          1. Mike Evans has a unique set of skills that could possibly make him a fantastic NFL wide receiver. He also is a Me First guy that pouts and has a bad attitude even when his team is winning. I love the kid as a player but I worry that he’s not a very good teammate.

      1. Maybe not to pick #3 .. but .. I’m thinkin’ ..
        if the Jags do .. indeed, trade out of that spot ..
        could be other teams might be inclined to do the same ..

        And, extrapolating .. it’s possible a more optimum spot
        could open up for the Niners …

        (hey … it could happen !)

  19. The brake down as I see it he 49ers need a speed receiver and big 6’5 or 6’6 receiver for the red zone the biggest needs as i see it. Plan 1 Odell Beckham is a big play receiver kick returner punt returner can streach the field or Masques Lee they are the key if one of them falls to 30 get one of them then Landry in the second round and Coleman in the second or third round. Plan 2 If Beckham and Lee are gone then take Jarvis Landry he is a clutch receiver best third down receiver in collage he will out play many of receivers taken before him. I would take Davonte Adams or Donate Moncrief in the second then take Brandon Coleman at 6’6 225 beast could be the answer in the red zone Brandon will go in the second or third round me be as good as Evans at a bargain price. Here is the bottom line WR is the deepest postion in the draft. We need to up grade are offense cash in this year at WR postion. We will still have lots of picks in second and third round to get DBs or any other postion we need to fill. I am advocating for 3 receivers from this draft. Odell Beckham,Marquee Lee, Jarvis Landry, Brandon Coleman,Davonte Adams, Donate Moncrief 3 of these WR in this draft and I am loving it.

  20. If all the WRs were gone by #30? In order…
    - Trade 2014 picks for 2015 picks. The 49ers need to make room for Tank and Lattimore
    - BPA… A plus if it deprives Seattle of a player they are targeting?
    - Safety or Cornerback
    - A good Tight End if one falls to #30
    - A good DE/OLB pass rusher. You can never have enough
    - Depth at O-line, especially if it deprives Seattle of getting the man they covet
    - Trade pick(s) for existing NFL WR (who?)

        1. Haven’t had time to review all the WRs. I’ve seen several on Watkins, Benjamin and Evans and like them all. Still waffling on Lee (Curse of the USC receiver and all).

          Not so much trade down, but forward to 2015 if the trade values are good.

  21. Grant’s hypothetical is a bit pointless, as I would need to know who’s there before I would pick one. The “he’s gonna be gone by then” statement is always in play. I don’t think 12 players in the same position gave ever been drafted in the same round. Anyway, at 30, I don’t reach for a WR here. There’s no value. With all the “top” WR gone, I can come back in the second or third and get one. WR is deep this year from top to bottom and the big value is later in the draft, plus other teams have got their “guy”, which allows me to pick whoever. I would be excited to get Matthews(Vandy), Bryant (Clemson), Moncrief(ole miss), or Street (Pitt). Heck, we could probably pick up 2 of them from late 2-4. Great value picks.
    At 30, if 12 teams have picked WR’s before we pick, there are some players that must have dropped. If Gilbert and Dennard are gone, I wouldn’t go CB, as those are the only ones worth a first rounder. I wouldn’t go safety, although I might be tempted in Pryor was still there. Buchanon in the second is a better value. I might look at Swanson to replace Goodwin, or even Yankey to potentially replace Iupati, if we can’t resign him.
    I would think that one of Mack, Barr, or Early would slide, because if 12 teams are picking WR, and another 4, at least, teams are picking QB, I would grab one of them. I would even consider ILB, with Bowman’s injury and Willis’s age/injury concerns.

    Finally, I’m not sure why there is this sentiment that teams won’t trade picks with Baalke, just because it’s the Niners. Teams don’t care who they trade with, as long as they can improve their own team. We’ve traded a bunch with Dallas, a team with which we are historical rivals. Teams constantly trade with the Pats. If front offices that won’t make deals just because the teams don’t like each other are doing themselves a disservice. If Seattle wanted #30 and was willing to give up a 1 and a 2, why wouldn’t you do it? I might hold it hostage, but I would still make a trade.

      1. yes but you really need to be more specific as to which of those 12 are actually available when we pick at 30 otherwise it’s too ambiguous.

  22. Sorry, let me rephrase and go by position group and assume P, K, starting QB, RB (devalued position)is off the board for Baalke.
    OL – big, powerful, and couldn’t get going in the playoffs. Average in pass pro and can’t run the screen game. Starting OC is retiring/a FA, Kilgore got arrested for being too drunk to walk. Backup OG is unproven, backup OT is average at best. I would look at Swanson in the first if he’s there, Richburg in the third. Yankey in the first or Su’a-filo in the second, if they are there.
    TE – if Ebron is there at 30, I would draft him. Fast pass catcher, Vernon 2.0. I don’t think MacDonald was bad, I don’t think GRo used him very well.
    WR – already said, go into late second or third with those guys I mentioned before, looking more into Paul Richardson.
    CB – Culliver coming off an ACL, Brock is above average. No depth here. Draft 2 of these guys. Go get Gilbert or Dennard in the first, Fuller or Roby in the second. Stanley Jean-Baptiste or Desir in the third. Stay away from McGill.
    SS – Whitner maybe too expensive. Dahl is not a starting safety. Pryor in the first, Buchanon in the second, Dixon in the third, Loston in the fourth.
    OLB – can’t have too many pass rushers. Lemonier showed promise. Skuta is a STer. Barr, Mack, or Early. Ford would be an option, but he is tiny to fit into Fangio’s OLB/DE sceme.
    ILB- only if Mosley is there.
    DT- NT has depth and Fangio has one on the field 40% of the time. You have to look at RayMac’s position and Dial isn’t impressive as a potential starter. I wouldn’t draft Nix, but the temptation at 30 might be too great. Hageman is interesting as a prospect, but is too inconsistent. Jernigan is slow off the snap, I would stay away from Truitt. If Donald is there, I would take him in a heartbeat. I don’t think there is a Justin Smith here and Tank is on the roster.

  23. Grant Verret is one of my most favorite CBS in this draft. He is small but boy he plays big!!! Just take a look at his film and you will see this guys is all over the place. I love his football IQ and the way he plays. I know this is not a popular opinion but i would take him at #30.

  24. Here is my second mock draft for 2014:



    PICK 19
    A quick WR that can leave his opponent in the dust, but isn’t afraid of catching a pass in traffic and even shows the capability of fighting for a contested throw. Great shifty and fluid route runner with the ability to adjust it if need be and play outside or in the slot. Nice hands. A nightmare as a returner for the other team to handle.

    PICK 30
    A hard-hitting playmaker that makes his presence felt despite his short stature. Diagnoses plays extremely well and is like a magnet when it comes to locating the ball, as he seems to be in on almost every play no matter where his original position on the field was and has the capability of making a play on the ball, whether it be an interception or knocking the ball away. Quick feet and a very smooth backpedal allows him to shadow his opponent or make up ground if he bites on the double move. Great in man coverage and excellent in press coverage.



    PICK 57
    An excellent pass rusher that is also capable of bull rushing an offensive linesman and would be a great complement to Aldon Smith. Anticipates the snap count well and can come firing off the ball from a two or three point stance to go along with having shown the ability to diagnose a play, especially screens, and is an underrated run stopper. Has a strong work ethic and will play until the whistle blows which can allow him to make an impact play. A great block shedder. Raw in terms of being a coverage blocker, but shows the willingness to do so and has even been lined up out wide.

    PICK 61
    A physical specimen that excels in man coverage due to his great fluidity plus hips and overall body control. Has incredible speed that allows him to keep up with the receiver he is shadowing and can mirror the route. Is willing to dole out the punishment to those who try to test him and makes the receiver earn the catch. Is a former WR, which allows him to keep an eye on his assignment while glancing back at the QB and tracking the ball well. Superb hands that can snag the ball out of the air and, with his speed, make a big play. Delivers a powerful punch at the LOS that throws the receiver off his route and timing, forcing the QB to look elsewhere.



    PICK 67
    A talented and durable linesman with experience at the center, guard, and tackle position. Has an ordinary build that hides his athleticism and strength, but can stand to get a little stronger. Strong as a run blocker and even better as a pass blocker with the speed and agility needed to quickly cover ground laterally and get to the second level. Shows the nastiness needed to play the position but knows how to shut it down and kill his opponent with kindness after the play is done, allowing him to get into their head. Appears to know what is going around him and how to best attack a play. Played against weaker competition, but held his own in a game against Alabama.

    PICK 77
    A potential #1 WR that lacks elite speed but plays fast. Usually went up against quality DBs and was able to best most of them. Has a deceptive stop-and-go pattern that he uses in his route-running to catch his opponent off guard thus allowing him to get ahead of them in the route which works in his favor due to the quick first step he has. Wasn’t asked to run an extensive route tree, but shows the understanding of his route and added variations to it in order to throw off the DB assigned to him. An aggressive pass catcher with strong hands that will fight for the ball in the air or in traffic, but is also willing to contest the throw if the DB has a better chance at it. Not a great blocker but has the intangibles needed to become one.


    PICK 103
    A tough passer that has the best footwork of the QB prospects. Deadly touch and accurate with his passes, allowing him to fit his passes into tight windows or his receivers in stride. Stands in the pocket and throws well under pressure even if it means taking the hit, but is also an able scrambler that can buy time in order for a receiver to get open. Average arm strength is negated by being a great decision-maker with the ability to put the passes where only his receiver can catch them. Strong confidence level allows him to control the tempo on offense. Has experience under center and in the pistol and shotgun formation but strictly a West Coast style QB. Has the intangibles needed to wrench the starting job away from a struggling or injured QB.

    PICK 112
    A scrappy playmaker with great ball skills. Fluid hips along with nice flexibility and a smooth back peddle that allows him change direction and stay with his assignment but possesses the acceleration speed needed to recover if the receiver is able to shake him or avoid his jam at the LOS. Diagnoses the play well and has the soft hands to intercept the ball if he has a chance to make a play on it. A man that is happy to hit with a thud. Needs to add some meat on his bones but has the frame to do so. Played at both S and CB in college and has the capability of playing either one at the next level at the team’s preference. A gunner on special teams his freshman year and could easily reprise that role again. Very coachable. Older brother of Sammy Watkins.

    PICK 125
    A big man that moves quicker than what you would expect. Has a ridiculous run defense motor that allows him to get to the RB with pure momentum or an interesting spin move. Uses his raw strength to unload on his blocker in the passing game. Very coachable and classified as one of the biggest sleepers in the draft. Has the willingness to drop the weight, as he lost nine pounds in between the Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl.


    PICK 143
    A veteran leader with the physical tools needed to one day start in the NFL. Good athlete with great mobility. Powerful lower body strength and flexibility in the hips that allows for good explosion off the snap while also bending his knees at a good angle for an ideal pad level when blocking. Run blocking is strength but solid in pass protection as he shows the patience and footwork needed here. Was considered a second or third round selection before he suffered an gruesome leg injury in the Belk Bowl that was sickening enough to warrant ESPN not showing how the injury happened in replays, so health is a major question, but could be a steal if cleared by doctors.

    PICK 158
    A small boulder with a powerful stiff arm that deals a good pop to a defender across or in front of him, enabling him to gain more yards. Has an impressive leg drive that makes it hard to bring him down and excellent vision that allows him to see a play develop and cutting lanes at the attack point and the second level, and does a good job of lowering his shoulder to gain more yards after contact. Ran east-west at Western Kentucky, but may be more suited to running in between the tackles at the next level. Effective as a route runner in the flats or the wheel route and has decent hands that allow him to corral a pass.


    PICK 189
    An intriguing CB prospect with a frame and skill set that may be better suited at SS yet will be a project either way. Love to hit hard when defending against the pass or run. Keeps his eyes on the QB in order to know which receiver to hit. Good tackler with the intangibles needed to become an interception machine as well.



    I know that many will think that I am nuts for trading Michael Crabtree, but I do have some good reasons for doing so.
    1. He is most likely going to want a contract on par with Percy Harvin’s, and I don’t think that he is worth because…
    2. He can’t stay healthy. He is a difference maker when he’s on the field. I repeat-WHEN HE’S ON THE FIELD. The problem is that he only has one full season of health on his resume while in the rest of them he has dealt with injury plagued seasons. Is he really worth a big contract when he has trouble staying on the field?
    3. The team has some big decisions to make after this season and the next, with the top two priorities probably being Kaep and A. Smith. And that’s just for starters. Here is a list of those who will be needing a new contract or resigned in 2015 and 2016 (at least who I think the team will still want):

    WR Michael Crabtree
    OLB Aldon Smith
    DT Glenn Dorsey
    QB Colin Kaepernick
    S C.J. Spillman
    CB Chris Culliver
    C Dan Kilgore
    FB Bruce Miller
    DE Tony Jerod_Eddie

    TE Vernon Davis
    OG Alex Boone
    DT Ian Williams
    OG Joe Looney
    LS Kevin McDermott
    RT Luke Marquardt
    DE Lawrence Okoye
    CB Darryl Morris

    Some of those guys are small fish but most of them aren’t. Something will have to give sooner than later and trading away Crabtree would save the team $3.5 million in cap space.

    1. That’s as well done of a mock draft as you will ever find! Brilliant and time consuming.. Thanks for taking the time to do that… Very good!

    2. You’re having a laugh if you think anyone would give up that much for Crabtree. The same reasons you want to trade him are the same reasons no team will give up 2 firsts plus for a possession receiver coming off an injury and into his walk year. Boldin, who is/was healthier, cheaper (versus what Crabs will want), and more productive than Crabtree, was traded for a sixth rounder. We are realistically better off letting him walk and getting a comp third.
      Why trade Brooks? He’s very productive and reasonable.

      1. Those same reasons didn’t keep keep Garvin from being traded last season Jon. It is however contingent on whether Boldin stays or not.
        I like Brooks, but the fact of the matter is that the team is going to have to cough up some money for some key players, including Aldon Smith. The fact that Brooks is coming off a great season makes this the best opportunity to unload his contract.

    3. Wow Midwest, I love your draft! You selected several of my favorite players in your mock:


      Boy I wish we could get all these players. but there is no way anyone would give us so many draft picks for Crabtree in his last year of contract and coming back from a serious injury. Great Job

      by the way how do i change my blog pic! i fogot

      1. Thanks Jack. Normally I would agree with that sentiment, but I think this and next year’s draft plus the upcoming contract situations may dictate otherwise. This draft is very weak at the safety position which could make resigning Whitney or another vet as a stop gap a bigger priority than usual. Then we turn to next year and find the WR class looking dismal, which means that we may have to find two or three WRs in free agency or the draft this year with one being Crabtree’s eventual replacement because I don’t see how we will be able to afford him going forward. Add in the big pay days that Kaep, Smith, Dorsey, and Davis (to name a few) will soon be looking for and it all adds up to some big time headaches that the team needs to do its best to avoid.

          1. One is still going strong while being over 30 and the other is productive if he can stay on the field long enough. You’re right Jack. He is a lot better than Crabtree, not just better.

          2. Just like I can’t change your wafting every now and then Jack. And don’t compare me to DS. He believed that Crabtree was a bust and I didn’t.

          3. Wafting. Nah. Please show me where I said Willis should be released. You won’t find it. It was a question. There’s a difference.

          4. And please point where I said that Crabtree should be released Jack. You won’t be able to. My suggestion to trade Crabtree is just that, A SUGGESTION. And it is contingent on what Boldin does. I don’t know how many times I have to say that. before it sinks in.

        1. I agree that we should be looking to take advantage of this year’s WR depth and plan for a Crab succession plan. I’d stray from FA’s unless we pass on Boldin and instead go for someone like Emmanuel Sanders. Even then, it would be one or the other and we should still plan to draft two WRs this year. With all the extensions coming up, having a potential replacement for Crab makes difficult decisions that much easier.

          In regards to signing Boldin or instead going after someone like Sanders, I think my preference would be to resign Boldin. Admittedly though, that’s mostly for sentimental reasons. I also appreciate the leadership he brings to the team. However, if we went the Sanders route, his speed and skillset would allow us to focus more on the bigger target and possession-type receivers in the draft.

        2. Big deals for Dorsey and Davis? Trading top flight guys because they are in a contract year isn’t a way to build a championship team.

          1. Jack, completely unrelated to contracts and who they may/ may not keep down the track, do you think Willis’ play has regressed these past two seasons?

            Statistically his level of performance isn’t as high as it was, but for mine that is largely a factor of being asked to cover TEs more regularly and by having an excellent partner that makes a lot of the plays Willis used to be required to make. Niggling injuries haven’t helped either. This coming season with Bowman rehabbing a knee injury we may see the best of Willis again.

          2. They will if Boldin resigns with the team Jack. He brings durability and a leadership quality with him, both of which Crabtree has yet to show. I don’t see a way that the team will be able keep both. But as I have said, it is all contingent on Boldin signing or leaving. If he leaves, then Crabtree should be held onto.

          3. Is a “niggling injury” not a term used in the US? If not that comment will seem mighty strange!

            Basically just meant that he has picked up a lot of small but persistent injuries that have hampered him some these past two seasons.

          4. @Scooter

            I was going to ask if that was a common term down under. In the US, they normally would use the word “nagging”. Same meaning…..

          5. Scooter,

            I’m not sure it’s a regression in Willis’ play as much as it’s Bowman just being so good.

            The start of 2014 will be interesting because in all likelihood Bowman won’t be ready to go. We saw the defense not really miss a beat when Willis missed extended time back in 2011. How will they perform without Bowman?

      2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ahmad Brooks taking Bowman’s place in the middle, especially if Lemonier shows he can handle lots of snaps at OLB.

      1. You may be right Rocket. Two first round picks for an injury-prone WR seems a little much. Maybe switch one to a 2015 seventh round pick instead.

    4. Once again, lots of thought has gone into this mock, good work MidWest.

      As has been pointed out, trading Crabtree to replace him with a rookie isn’t a great idea. You’d be hampering Kaep by taking away his best WR. This draft should be about adding another WR weapon for Kaep, not taking some away, as well as finding guys that can take over from Crab/ Boldin down the road.

      Looking through the players, I like most of the guys you’ve got in there, though some of the guys are probably a tad overdrafted.

      And, um, even though I know you like him, I think your write up of Jean-Baptiste is waaaay too excitable. If that was all I knew of him he’d be the #1 overall pick! :-P “Physical specimen”, “excels in man coverage”, “incredible speed”, “superb hands”… I hate to say this MidWest but you are over-rating this guy’s abilities in a big way. Watch his game against Penn State and see what a real receiver does to him (and one with only average speed mind you).

      1. That info is from various scouting reports that I did my best to state in my own words Scooter. And like I told Razor, I’m not basing my mocks on who I like but who would best fit this team and who could be the best option at each pick, then I look at the highlights available on the player to see if the scouts are correct or not, and then finally base my decision on what I conclude. I have let it be known that my draft crush this year is Jordan Matthews, but I don’t see how the team will be able draft him.

        1. Fair enough MidWest. My comment was simply based on the write-up you gave of him, which sure sounds like you rate him very highly. Rod Woodson would have had a tough time living up to that write-up ;-)

          I think he is a better fit for a team like the Seahawks that plays a lot of press-man. The 49ers play it some, but typically prefer their CBs to play a little off the WR and keep the play in front of them…

    5. Pretty good insight mwd..I don’t think they’ll trade crabtree..But a good gm does look at his options and beyond current draft yr..The truth is..They do need to look for Crabtree and Boldin’s replacement..Whether off the practice squad,draft or free agency.Although..It’s hard for this coaching staff to think beyond unproven commodities over proven..

    6. I feel you but, Crabtree is Kaep’s go to guy, Harbaugh highly regards him, and if he is really that injury prone would teams be willing to trade a top 20 pick for him?

      If we make any trade it could be for Clowney with Jacksonville who needs a lot of picks. I think we trade McDonald or an rb (gore, hunter, james) and our #30,56,61 (maybe even next years 1st or 2nd). Carradine, A. Smith, Clowney, rushing the passer is the definition of hell. This type of pass rush allows our corners to be average which they are, and get away with it.

      I don’t like drafting corners and I don’t think Baalke or Harbaugh do either. Its just an inconsistent position to begin with so why waste a high draft pick on someone that can be inconsistent. In the past ten seasons, is there any corner drafted in the first round that is elite, other than Peterson?

      It may seem unrealistic but considering that Jacksonville and Cleveland don’t have running backs or a very solid roster it makes perfect sense for them and for us.

      1. Hi Dillon and welcome to the blog.
        I don’t that trading that much for one player is a good idea. One of the things that has made this team so good is the depth at each position and the mountain of picks that allows Balked to draft a instant starter or potential replacement down the road. Making that big of a move could set this team back.

  25. Whew. You don’t add by subtraction. Keep what you’ve got (to the extent you can) and build on it with drafts , udfas, & fa’s.

    1. I agree. Giving up Pro Bowl quality players for unproven college kids doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I like the picks but not the cost.

  26. In this draft I would love for them to see what they could get for Anthony Davis in trade. Davis is the weak link on the OL, IMO. They would probably improve the right tackle position with Boone, and could play Kilgore or Looney at right guard. Thoughts, anyone?

    1. Hmmmm. I’m not with you on that. Harbaugh has a running team and AD run blocks well. Also, you don’t add by subtraction. What would SF get in trade? Draft picks? We have draft picks, and they’ll bring rookies to the roster, as in OJT. Remember, an OL’s overall performance is based upon cohesion, and that comes over time from working together.

      1. So true. Even if you don’t like AD, he signed to a long term deal, so the Baalke believes in him. I don’t know if we can do better, but we can do a whole lot worse. Better to draft or sign a guy for competition…best man wins. This team isn’t built for pass pro. Which begs the questions, should we change philiosophy? Gore is on his last legs and Hunter/Lattimore are unknowns. Do we spend a higher draft choice on RB? Ride it out? Even by drafting WR, they aren’t going to get on the field much if we resign Boldin.

  27. Grant, I want to thank you for this blog! This is the type of conversation that I really enjoy and attracted me to this site. Reall football talk! I have no clue about draft prospects and the principles behind drafting base on team’s needs. Thanks guys for all your inputs, and time putting it together! Maybe in a couple of years I’ll have the knowledge to join this type of conversation. Untill then, I’ll enjoy my time in the sidelines :)

    1. Dude, if you think anyone knows anything about football, you’re mistaken. Jump in with both feet. That’s the way to get involved. For the most part, posters on the blog are relatively polite and can teach you stuff. It kills the time until the season starts

        1. I agree with SoCal .. ricardo ..

          While disappointed with the outcome of this season ..
          I’m having fun with this offseason ..
          The stat-junkies and the guys who track every
          college football player ever played .. are a wealth
          of knowledge, as well …

          Thanx go to Grant .. for giving us this place to hang out..

          Yeah .. what SoCal said…

          by all means .. jump in with both feet !

          1. I agree…I don’t come here as often as I’d like to, but I do have a good time when I do…you don’t have to be a genius in the nuances of football, or a stat geek (although I love the fact they are here) to be welcome here…you just have to love football and our beloved 49ers…say what you want about Grant (and he makes me smh every now and then), but I for one like that he’s not an out of his mind homer…he may come off as a Niner hater sometimes, but that’s ok…he, along with all of us, make this blog interesting…it definitely helps me to unwind and forget about the grind of the real world…kudos to Grant and all of you that post your comments…keep it going…and GO NINERS!!!!

  28. Picking at #30 is not an enviable spot, as it leaves us susceptible to the scenario Grant suggests. And with two 2nd-rounders, we’re able to add depth, but not necessarily a difference-maker or immediate starter/impact player.

    That makes me feel like we have two options: trade down to pickup an impact player who fills an immediate need (i.e. CB to replace Brown/Rogers and compete with Cully; a safety to take Whitner’s spot; a WR to start opposite Crab if Boldin is gone) or draft with an eye toward the future.

    So, if we trade down, it must be targeted and to acquire a player who starts day one and saves us money by not resigning one of Boldin, Whitner, or Brown (and cut Rogers). Something along the lines of a top-3 WR, Dennard or Gilbert to play CB, or Pryor to play opposite Reid.

    The other option is to move quick to resign the players we want back and figure out how the draft can inject depth and some future competition and/or replacement scenarios. I’m in favor of bringing back Boldin so we don’t need to rely on a rookie WR to boost our offense. And with the possibility of Crab leaving in 2015, I’d say take advantage of the quality of depth in the draft this year by grabbing two WRs in the first three rounds: Landry and then Moncrief later, or Allen Robinson and then Huff later. Both are different types of receivers and could compete for playing time as a 3rd/4th option, while they both then team with Patton to be primary options the following year if/when Crab cashes in somewhere else.

    Mixed in with those two picks, I say take the best corner available. We know we have a potential starter in Cully, but having someone to compete with him and/or play nickel will be vital to our defense next year…not to mention saving money by cutting Rogers.

    So that’s three of our first five picks.

    With the other two, I’d go for one more DB and then take a flyer on someone who’s stock has fallen due to injury (Easley?). The rest of the way we go with depth or trade out to acquire more picks next year.

    This scenario also assumes Whitner is back. If he’s not, then we should use our third and fourth-round picks to either move up or acquire a third pick in the second round. That would give us four of the top 60 prospects to plug holes with, one of which would then be a safety.

  29. Really like all the mock draft scenarios over the last few days.
    I’ve found out over the last 5 years that I may have hit on 1-3 players total over that span so I certainly don’t have a corner on the market (lol), but I’ll give my mock (1) as I see it.

    When I set my mock I usually work on my idea players needed to supplant our biggest foe in the league/division/conference.
    In this case our biggest challenge is Seattle.

    My 1st pick begins with a big surprise.

    1. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech.
    Why? Because if we’re going to get past Seattle it may have to come by way of a great-hands, over-powering hard to tackle TE. Kam Chanceller has gotten into VD’ head over the last two seasons and has virtually rendered him useless when we play Seattle. I love VD, but Kam has his number and VMac is not going to develop fast enough to make a difference at the moment.

    2 (a). Brady Roby, CB, Ohio St.
    Could become a viable candidate for heavy playing time especially if Culliver is not ready/slow to return from injury.

    2 (b). Davante Adams, WR, Fresno St.
    Great size, speed, and outstanding college stats make him very attractive at this pick.

    3 (a). Weston Richburg, C, Colorado St.
    If he’s here at this pick, it’s a steal.

    3 (b). Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech.
    Good speed rusher and very smart/good linebacker instincts to make plays on defense.

    4. Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida.
    Great speed to go with his aggressive cover skills. A bargain if he slips this far.

    5. Andre Williams, RB, Boston College.
    An under the radar type runner who could be a pleasant especially if M.Lattimore is not ready in 2014.

    6. Jon Halapio, OG, Florida.
    Great size and strength. Starter almost throughout his college career, team captain who is a strong leader. Hoping he slides this far, but he might be long gone at this pick.

    7 (a). Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley St.
    OK, I admit he is a long shot. But the kid has size, speed, smarts, and runs very good routes to get open. Reminds me a little of Broncos Eric Decker.
    7 (b). Russell Bodine, C/OG, North Carolina.
    Good pick if he’s still on the board.
    7 (c). Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt.
    Good coverage CB with good speed and size.

    *1st mock and subject to change up to a few days before draft (lol).

    1. While drafting a TE may be a surprise, the rationale still makes sense and fits into what we need to do. Kaep needs targets. And if VD lines up more as a receiver, this does not become a redundancy. (As an aside, I’ve seen the Seahawks linked to Amaro, and it would be that much better if they were banking on getting him.)

      And sandwiching that pick and a WR with a CB of Roby’s caliber could make for a very productive draft.

      I’m assuming Whitner gets resigned in this scenario?

      1. Davis has shown he isn’t much chop when split out as a WR. He’s a TE, no point trying to make him something he isn’t.

        Having 3 top line TEs on the roster is overkill – while they do use 3 TE sets the 3rd TE doesn’t see that much action to warrant a first round pick. Drafting Amaro is akin to giving up on VMac entirely, and it is way too soon to do that.

    2. Great job AES but I don’t think a TEAM that early is a good idea unless the team is planning to unload Davis or McDonald after this season.

      1. MWD,
        Thanks for your take.
        I couple of weeks ago I was of the opinion that we needed to draft a large/fast WR type to match Seattle’ physical DB’ and also beat them down field. I was not giving the Seattle DB’ the credit that they have really earned; and that is that they are the best in the league at the moment.

        And although my pride and competitive side wants for us to draft a WR that cannot be manhandled and stick it to the their DB’s, in truth, I can’t put this on or expect a rookie WR to come in and put an end to Seattle’ DB reign on us.

        So with this in mind, I am now looking at attacking Seattle from a different front. I like what the Patriots did a couple of years ago by going with a two TE alignment on certain plays to press the defense from inside rather than the outside. Hence, my choice for Jace Amaro as our 2nd TE. Amaro can do damage from the slot (which he is familiar with @Texas Tech) and allow VD to run more routes on the edges where his speed and size could be maximized.

        Again, I’m making my draft pick of Amaro based on the team (Seattle) that we need to supplant to get to the SB.
        A WR like Davante Adams (my 2nd pick in rd. 2) could be a nice WR who could be a good fit for us as well especially if he’s available it this point.

        1. Not a bad take AES. I don’t agree, but I can definitely see it from your point of view and the potential benefits as well.

  30. With regards to the Carlos Rogers contract, and whether he will restructure, it is worth keeping in mind that last year he knew that if the 49ers cut him they would only save around $1 million against the cap (which wasn’t going to be enough to replace him with) and he was going to be getting $1.75 million from the 49ers regardless (guaranteed portion of his contract), so all he would need was an average contract from another team and he’d have been ahead. 49ers basically had no leverage.

    This year the 49ers stand to save $5 million by cutting him, and he is scheduled to make around $6.5 million in salary and bonuses. None of that is guaranteed. The 49ers have much more leverage this time around. Last year the top FA CBs got around $5 million per year in their contracts, and these were young guys in their 2nd contracts. Rogers will be lucky to get that sort of contract in FA. So very conceivable the 49ers are able to get him to restructure this year.

    1. Scooter,
      Restructuring to keep Rogers seems to send a message that the team is not fully committed to Culliver.

      I think that that Rogers has run his course as a 49er and its time for him to move on. I would like to see Whitner come in with an open mind and possibly restructure.
      After seeing his good friend D. Golston going for the big contract by sacrificing a chance at the playoffs and SB appearance and playing for a struggling team, Donte may think twice about moving on just for more money.

      If we can keep Whitner, we have a very formidable DB backfield with Brock, Brown, Culliver, Reid, Eric Wright, CJ Spillman – along with draft picks and possible free agent signings.

      1. I’d understand that feeling of non-committal, because Culliver has not demonstrated the ability to turn and locate the football and attacking it at its highest point….

      2. AES, that formidable backfield assumes Tarell Brown and Eric Wright are brought back. Both are FAs. Brown will be looking to cash in this year after he no doubt feels the 49ers stuffed him over this year. Wright was passed over for Cox at the end of the year without much explanation by coaches as to why.

        If they can bring back Brown at a reasonable price, I agree they should let Rogers go. If they don’t, then keeping Rogers is a good move if they can get him to reduce his salary by $1.5-$2 million.

        Whitner for mine is the 49ers most important FA to re-sign given the lack of talent in draft at safety.

  31. I don’t think baalke stays at 30..he’ll probably trade back..he believes in quantity..course I say trade our first and third for Josh Gordon. Or…First,third and fourth..to get Cleveland’s second.

  32. I found this question and answer interesting:

    If Whitner isn’t re-signed, is Eric Reid moved to SS and a center fielder type of FS drafted? (Elio Acosta Jr.)
    The most likely scenario if the 49ers lose Donte Whitner is they would go after someone similar to Eric Reid so they can play mirror-image safeties. They can have two safeties who are interchangeable, as far as playing coverage and coming up in the box for run support. That kind of versatility would give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio more options with his scheme.

        1. Craig Loston is similar to Reid(33 5/8 inches), however 30 1/4 inch arm length might be a concern for some.

          Deone Bucchanon is a player I like, and his wingspan was the widest of any safety at the Senior Bowl. 78 inch wingspan, with arms measuring 31 3/4 inches.

          1. Loston really struggles in coverage, and I worry that he is too stiff in the hips and torso to ever really be any good in coverage. He’s not the same athlete that Reid is.

          2. You’re right Scooter, he’s not quite the athlete as Reid, but he’s similar in that he’s got a well-built frame, good instincts for the position and is a fearless hitter.

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t think they’d get much. Maybe a team looking for a punt/ kick returner would have some interest.

      1. Yea, and they better make sure they have someone that can handle those duties in training camp before they trade him….

    2. Not sure they would trade any player until they get a better idea of what they have in training camp. Similar to what they did with Haralson and Johnson….

    3. They wouldn’t get enough for LMJ to make a trade worthwhile. Might as well keep as the return man and see if there is some way you can actually incorporate him into the offense.

  33. Grant,

    I already know I’m going to get a lot of crap for this, but this is purely hypothetical. The goal is to keep up with the Joneses, in this case it’s Seattle. They proved that they were able to win the Lombardi trophy with a game manager.

    If you’re Trent Baalke, you’ve already targeted David Fales in the 2nd or 3rd round. He could be your game manager on the same kind of contract that Russell Wilson and Kaepernick has right now.

    So you could potentially live without Kaepernick since he’s going to ask for a lot of money next year. If you were to trade him now before the draft, what do you think the team would get. David Fales can hand off the ball to Gore and Lattimore. Maybe learn how to run the one-read offense. Or at the very least, do the Russell Wilson scramble drill to find the open WR.

    The Niners can then extend contracts to the other players they need to keep on defense, again, win like Seattle. Strong Defense. Good running game, an QB that doesn’t make mistakes.

    If, Grant, Kaep doesn’t progress as much as we hope next season, would it be better to ship him off now? He would not have as much value next year if he doesn’t learn how to read defenses. And he will be 28.

    Before the Kaep is God group chastises me, I’m not asking that we do that, I’m curious what the team can get for him. If he’s as elite as they all think he is, what would someone give up to have him?

    He has to be worth more then a 2nd rounder that we got for Smith, right?

    So Grant, If say, an AFC team, like the raiders or Cleveland were to offer a 1st rounder, would you make that trade?

    Then you get your top ten WR with their 1st round pick, another first rounder to get a CB/SS, then take your game manager QB in the 2nd or third. Meanwhile you can spend all your salary cap money elsewhere for years to come.

    Potentially, the team could compete for at least a playoff spot. Fales is a SJSU grad, so there will be some excitement in the new arena too!

    His Niners #10 jersey will sell like hot cakes!

    1. From your posts, it seems you enjoy being the one that gets crapped on…..after partially reading,(I had to stop to clear the tears of laughter from my eyes), I anticipate you are correct and will need a shower….

    2. Fan interesting take but the Niners cannot start over with a rookie QB. This team is so close to getting back to the SB, why start over now? Kaepernick has an entire offseason and regular season to get better and show he is an elite QB.
      If after next year we are still taking about bad throws, bad decisions , and inability to read defenses, then it is a huge organizational problem as to what to do next. For now, it’s about getting better coaching in situational plays, and him working his fundamentals.

      1. Prime time,
        It seems like a crazy notion until you start looking at the numbers and the salary cap, and how Seattle was able to win the SB.
        It would be a gut check chess move. I would love for the Niners to win it all next year because it’s SB 49!!!
        It’s just food for thought.

        Let’s play crazy for a minute, Kaep’s trade bait. Which team in the AFC would take him?
        Here are the teams that could use a QB

        Here are the teams that need a QB in the AFC.

        1. Houston
        3. Jacksonville
        4. Cleveland
        5. Raiders
        11. Titans.
        18. Jets
        19. Miami

        What’s Kaep value? The Jets could potentially make that trade. They give up on Geno Smith. Take Kaep, then franchise him, and they could compete for the title. They have decent players around him.

        You only trade Kaep for a top 10 pick. I don’t think he’s proven that yet, but there’s gotta be a sucker like the Raiders who would make that trade!

        1. I don’t like the idea. Just add the missing pieces around him and keep the continuity and coach him up.
          He is nothin like Vick and at some point you have to pay your QB top dollar.

          Wilson will demand a huge salary and I personally don’t think he is a very good QB. That defense is simply awesome and so is ours so why not continue to add younger, hungrier, competitive pieces.

        2. I toyed with the idea of how many draft picks a Kaepernick trade would garner when 49ers were shopping Alex Smith. At the time Kaepernick’s reputation was at its highest. Greatness seemed an almost certainty to many.

          I was thinking RG3 level trade bait of about 3 first round picks for Colin. I wondered what would be better… Colin + two 2nd round picks, or Alex + three 1rst round picks?

          Now the point is moot. Colin has one less year on his cheap rookie contract, and its clear he has more to learn about pocket quaterbacking then we realized at the end of 2013. He’s our QB now for the long haul. I still feel pretty good about it.

          (This is not about Smith vs Kaepernick. I like both for differing reasons.)

          1. So if you were Baalke and a a team offered the Niners 3 first round picks, like the RG3 deal, would you take it? This is under the assumption that you would talk Fales in the 2nd or 3rd.
            And that you would follow the Seattle model of a suffocating defense and strong running attack. Seattle’s line didn’t have as many 1st round picks like the Niners either, they just had Lynch who didn’t go down easy.

          2. Fansince77… I hadn’t considered if the offer was made now. My scenario had Alex still under contract, which reduced the need to use one of the acquired picks on a QB. The luxury of at all intrigued me… an established QB on an already talent packed team with 2 first round one draft picks… for three years in a row.

            Would I make the trade today? I’d think about it, but probably not. Depends on many things… like the draft position of the team doing the trading and if Harbuagh liked one of the QBs in this draft.

      1. This is not about Kaep but the team as a whole for next season. If Kaep is going to demand a lot of money next year, is he worth it?

        It seems like a bumper crop for WRs this year, why not cash in? If the Niners can get Fales, a local guys, and a top ten WR, could they mimic the Seahawks? They can spend all their money on their defense.
        I wouldn’t trade him either, but with all this mock draft stuff, I just wanted to ask a hypothetical question.
        What do you think Kaep’s worth, when you look at his strengths and weaknesses?

        1. U just cant stick any qb back there fan.We’re gonna have to pay alot of guys..but Qbs aren’t interchangeable like wr’s and rbs..virtually you’d be starting over wit that decision

        2. Fan77,
          Sometimes your takes have a slice of logic and sometimes your takes have a slice of psychotic (lol).

          The games best game manager/defense reader Payton Manning just got his lunch (and perhaps his legacy as one of the games best ever) stolen from him by the c-hawks.
          So, you’re trying to convince me that a rookie like Fales can conquer Seattle and get us to the SB?

          C’mon Fan, just come clean, you really don’t care much for Kaep do you? How could you possibly want a 3-4 rd. QB pick to replace a proven young QB with only 1.5 seasons in his career with a NFC Championship comeback win and almost a SB comeback win on his resume?

          You’re starting to scare me bud (lol).

          1. And here comes the response from Fan saying he doesn’t hate Kaep… despite only ever saying negative things about him and talking about how to replace him :-P

          2. AES,
            I don’t hate him like some of the Smith haters do. I didn’t say trade Kaep for a 3rd of 4th rounder, but to trade him and get a 1st round pick that you can use to fill a major need, like WR, or CB. Follow this logic, and see if it’s not as psychotic as it seems.
            Seattle won with Russell Wilson last year! They got to the divisional round and were a made FG from making the championship game.
            So… if the Niners have a chance to take a 3rd round QB, a local guy who can put butts in seats, then trade Kaep who, despite all his potential, we really don’t know if he will turn the corner.
            If he’s really elite, then the Niners can get a 1st and maybe a 2nd or 3rd.
            Anyways like I said it’s just hypothetical. Something to discuss of beer, or my case, 12 year old scotch on the rocks….

          3. Fan77,
            I didn’t know that the 49ers were having an issue with selling-out games. If your scenario holds true, then perhaps Fales would be the answer to get the franchise back on its feet again by as you say ‘putting butts in the seats.’

            You’re more than welcome (as is everyone) to opine on here, but as you know by now there will those who agree and disagree with our takes.
            With all due respect, I disagree with your take.

          4. Fan,

            Let’s pretend you don’t have an agenda based on the history of Alex Smith, and actually look at your idea in Football terms.

            What you are suggesting is trading a dynamic young QB just entering the prime of his career, who has won more than 70% of the games he’s started, led his team to a SB appearance and NFCCG appearance in a season and a half, and has done so while continuing to learn the nuances of playing the QB position in the NFL.

            Your idea for replacing this player is by drafting a late round caliber QB, who has played against second rate competition for the majority of his College career and who would take at least a year or two to reach an acceptable level of NFL play if he actually ever did, which is questionable at best.

            This is what you propose for a team that has shown they are SB contenders right now. Do you honestly think your view isn’t slanted just a bit?

          5. Fan:

            Not to pile on, but it was ridiculous when bay stated that Harbaugh made the switch to Kaep in part because it would increase ticket sales (and jersey sales), and it’s equally ridiculous for you to suggest that they should draft Fales because doing so will lead to increased ticket sales. Under that thinking, they should sign Tebow right now.

            As AES noted, the 49ers seem to be doing fine selling out games even without the huge boost that fales would provide.

          6. Claude,
            The basis of my conversation really was about the trade value of Kaep. What is he worth in draft picks, in lieu of the big contract he is going to ask for. So if someone was willing to give up a first rounder this year, and whatever picks they throw in, is it worth, considering that Seahawks won it all with Russell Wilson and a strong defense. Could the Niners potentially make their defense stronger, and get by with a 3rd round local QB that guys like Grant and Jack like.
            If, say Kaep only gets marginally better in the pocket, and doesn’t take the big leap, then the book on him is that he’s Michael Vick 2.0. If he does get a lot better, then they have to pay him and then lose a lot of their core players on defense. If this is a WR deep draft, then they can trade Kaep, fix some homes, get by with Fales and maybe even win it all, much like RW in his first year.

        3. You have such an agenda, dude, it’s hilarious. Reminds me of Rudy Guliani running for President; no matter what the question was, the answer was always: “9/11, blah, blah, blah”. Yours? AntiKap, AntiKap, AntiKap. Reboot and bring something fresh some time.

    3. Fan Since 77,

      The notion that the 49ers can do without CK because he’s got a bump in salary coming is nothing less than ridiculous.

      If you meant to say, CK is good, but isn’t worth the money he’s going to command when he signs his new contract, or extension, as the case may be, so the 49ers should trade him now, that wouldn’t be completely laughable.

      You can’t trade players simply because they’re going to get a sizable raise.

      1. Fan 77,

        And what makes you think Fales = or > Wilson? In his first year, no less? I realize you’re talking in the hypothetical, but even a discussion about different scenarios has to bear some hint of being possible to be interesting.

        The idea that Fales will come in his first year and be the equal to, or the better of, Wilson, just makes no sense whatsoever.

        In fact, I haven’t heard such an out on a limb statement since some predicted the Cowboys would go to the Super Bowl.

        Also, the if the 49ers even considered trading CK, I guarantee you it would take way more than one first round pick. Way more.

        You seem to be operating under the misconception that high first round picks are automatic. News flash, they aren’t. Not even close. You can look it up. There’s a shockingly high bust rate for all draft picks, even those in the top ten.

        And, no, I don’t belong to the CK is god group. I do think he’s very good and is still improving, and, since he’s the QB of my team, my tendency is to want to keep him, but if the 49ers were made an offer they judged too good to refuse, I would trust their judgment.

  34. It is hard for me to believe that there won’t be a change in the OC this off-season. I think that after last year’s Super Bowl, TB concluded Roman needed to improve or move on. To me that was why he hired Mangini. Putting a top defensive expert on the OC’s staff was precedent-setting but understandable under this scenario. I put the loss to Seattle on Roman, not Kaepernick. Thanks primarily to CK, we won the first three quarters in a terribly hostile environment. Our major offensive problem, season-long, was inadequacy in the red zone, and that’s on Roman. We should have had more points on the board going into the fourth quarter, and even though we didn’t, our QB should not have had to win the game by passing into the end zone. It was just dumb strategy, similar to the final series against the Ravens the year before. I cannot believe that York and Baalke don’t see it that way, and that’s why I think this is coming.

    1. I think that after last year’s Super Bowl, TB concluded Roman needed to improve or move on. To me that was why he hired Mangini.

      I don’t think you have a very good grasp on who is responsible for selecting the coaching staff.

      Our major offensive problem, season-long, was inadequacy in the red zone, and that’s on Roman.

      You don’t it could have anything to do with the players failing to execute? Why not?

      … our QB should not have had to win the game by passing into the end zone.

      He didn’t have to. He could have thrown to one of the two receivers who were actually open on the play. He chose to make that throw.

      I cannot believe that York and Baalke don’t see it that way, and that’s why I think this is coming.

      I think you are going to be sadly disappointed.

    2. George,

      I have my doubts about Roman too, but the offense they run is Harbaugh’s, don’t kid yourself. They struggled in the Red Zone at times through out the season, but overall were rated pretty high in Red zone production.

      At times we all tend to fixate on points in a game and use those moments as an overall impression of the game, if not the season. I believe Grant has done that with his grades and view of the Coaching staff and QB, and I also have done it at times when frustrated by the lack of creative passing scheme as I see it. The truth is this team wins games George. They do it ugly at times, but they win a lot more than they lose, and we are left the past two seasons breaking down one or two plays that were the difference in winning a Championship or getting there. If you are only one or two plays away, then you are doing more right than wrong, and the goal becomes figuring out how to make that one more play to win it all. I have confidence that this Coach will figure it out, because he’s given me no reason not to.

      1. The thing that got me about the red zone offense is it should have gotten better as the season went on and Crabtree came back, but it got worse.

        1. What was the difference in their Red Zone ratings with and without Crabs Grant? I don’t have the info in front of me. If it was worse with Crabtree, that would lead me to believe they put too much onus on incorporating him into the Red Zone offense instead of continuing with what was working prior.

          1. The 49ers scored TDs on 63 percent of their red zone trips without Crabtree — 22 for 35.

            The Niners converted 42 percent of their red zone opportunities with Crabtree — 13 for 31.

        2. Once inside the 20 it’s as though they feel they have 3 points and don’t want to give those up, and they run the ball at a higher rate as a result.

          1. Which is why they’re good between the 3-yard line and the goal line — 83 percent last season including playoffs — and bad between the 20-yard line and the 4-yard line — 42 percent.

        3. Grant,

          Do you think the defenses the 49ers played might have had something to do with the red zone offense getting worse after Crabtree came back?

          Also, isn’t asking a lot for a guy coming back from a ruptured achilles tendon to the panacea for the entire offense? I realize he played well upon his return, but you can’t think he was back to his pre-injury level, can you?

    3. Grant, your statistics about their red zone success with and without Crabtree are amazing. Yes, you would think the percentages would have been the opposite. Dumbfounding!

    4. When breaking down the red zone numbers and how they pertain to with or without Crabtree I think you need to take into consideration a few things:

      1) Sample size – They played 11 games without Crabtree and 8 with him.

      2) Strength of opponent – Over those last 8 games they played Seattle twice, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Arizona. Seattle gave up the 2nd fewest red zone TD’s, Carolina was 3rd, Tampa Bay was 7th and Arizona was 14th.

      In the first game against Seattle without Crabtree they were 0-2. In the next 2 they were 2-7. In the first game against Carolina without Crabtree they were 0-1. In the rematch with Crabtree they were 2-4. In the first game against Arizona without Crabtree they were 1-4. In the rematch with Crabtree they were 2-5.

      3) Game situation – In the second Seattle game they were only 1-4, but one of those “failed” red zone attempts happened to end in the game winner. In Green Bay they were only 1-4, but one of those resulted in the game winning field goal as time expired.

      1. Strength of opponent is a factor. Something else to consider — did the 49ers’ coaches add any wrinkles to the red zone offense after Week 11 in New Orleans?

    5. Obviously you have to weigh situations in regards to the Red Zone efficiency, but a drop of 20% with Crabtree is pretty substantial. Is it as simple as relying too much on Crabtree in those situations, or is it all on the opponents they faced? A change in mindset in certain games? Tough one to figure out without having the numbers in front of me.

    6. I didn’t notice any new wrinkles after that point, but I can’t say that I noticed any prior either with the exception of 1 play.

        1. When you lose the last game everything is fertile ground for plowing. My comment was meant only to point out some areas to consider when looking at the difference between the numbers.

          While the red zone % decrease is a negative, the fact they were getting there more often is a positive as well.

            1. What is the excuse for the Niners going 1-for-4 in the red zone against Green Bay in the Wild Card round? Even 1-for-3 is bad. 2-for-4 is nothing special. Green Bay gave up TDs in the red zone 59 percent of the time last season.

  35. I believe that the 3 positions that we need to fill is WR, CB & CTR, now the best thing that San Francisco could do is trade their 1ST Round pick (30th)with Atlanta for their 2nd Round place(5th) and their 4th Round pick. This would give SAn Fran 3 picks in the 2nd Round & 3 in the 3rd Round. This would allow San Francisco to select CB-Stan Jean Baptiste of Nebraska, then we could select with 25th pick SS-Duanne Buchannon and with the 3rd pick (30the) we could select CB-Keith McGill. Then with the 1st pick in the 3rd round (No. 13) We could select WR- Martavis Bryant, then select WR-Brandon Coleman & then select C-Bryan Stork. This would allow them to solidify all three positions and select a quarter back, definsive line, Linebacker and return specialist with the remaining slots. We would definitly need to get a Offensive guard and tackle.

  36. Defense more often than not, wins championships. Don’t believe me? Ask Peyton. The 49er defense must get better on the back end. I just don’t see the 49ers taking a wide receiver in the first round, much less trading up for one…..

    1. That is why I believe that we should pick 2 big CB (both CB are 6’3″ and between 205 and 220)with top 15 in their areas, and 1 Strong Safety (which is the same size as Reid (6’1 and 215)with the first 3 picks and then pursue the offense in the 3rd round. We can still get a speedy receiver and a big receiver in that round along with a really good center.

    2. Razor, I agree with you. But none of the top-rated CBs are all that tall. One guy who intrigues me, though, is a FS, Calvin Pryor. He’s 6’2 and 208 lbs, but he’s clocked at only 4.6. I’m concerned they are not going to be able to draft a safety or corner who will play next year, even if they trade up. Maybe they will surprise us and pick a guard or tackle first.


      1. I like Calvin Pryor too. If he runs in the 4.54 range, he’ll be long gone….As I said below, intelligence will be one of the deciding factors, along with athletic ability, etc. The combine will help refine our evaluations…..

  37. I’m with you fansince77. I posted something similar the other day. The 49ers have to look at how they want to build their team. If Kaep gets 18mil, say goodbye to Iupati, Aldon, and possibly Crabs. Kaep would have to be the type of QB that could carry the team with lesser WR’s and a weaker D. He isn’t that good of a passer. They could look at trading him now while he still has value. His contract is going to force the issue. Then you could keep the rest of the team intact. Maybe, they could get a mid first out of Kaep and a second next year. Then we could grab a CB like Gilbert and then a WR like Cooks with our own 1st rnd pick. In the second, take a QB like Garoppolo. Then take Fales in the 4th and then trade one of them in a few years if Harbaugh is so great at developing QB’s. Eventually, you keep on of them long term but not one that thinks he’s elite but isn’t. He’s a great runner not a passer.

    1. Jobiwon,
      Yeah I didn’t see your post so I didn’t mean to steal it. It’s a new formula of building a team not around the gamble of an elite QB, but having a solid defense, which is the nucleus of this team anyway. If Kaep had didn’t implode on the 4th quarter, if the Niners lost simply because they got beat, then I don’t think you can consider trading him now. But he’s 28 next year, still a runner not a passer. Do you really want to give 18 mil to a guy whole will expose himself to more opportunities to get concussed?

      1. I didn’t think that you did. I only meant that I was thinking the same thing. I can’t see giving Kaep big money. I’d be happy to keep him if he took a contract like Alex got and then see how he improves. He won’t so I believe the team will be forced to trade him.
        I liked Kaep but soured on him this year especially after enduring the 4th qtr of that last game.

      2. Fan,

        He is 27 next year at the end of the season. He’s 14 months older than Wilson. His age is not a factor. For not being a passer, I sure saw him make a lot of great throws, and that running ability is the only thing that kept the 9ers in the Seattle game.

        1. Grant:

          The new format makes it more difficult to track conversations and determine to which comment a reply is directed. Any chance the IT guys could set it up so that each reply would be linked to the comment it was in reply to? Niners Nation does it with the “^up” link.

    2. Jobiwon,
      Yeah I had high hopes for Kaep, and then I started having my doubts after the Rams game, when the team went back to Gore and he was asked to be a game manager. I’ve been tough on him, never really soured on him as much as some people think. I just didn’t drink the kool-aid about how great or elite he is. Talk is cheap. I think an Alex type deal would be fair, he had everything set for him to improve and it seems like more of his flaws got exposed when he played a good team.

  38. The 49ers coverage is one of the most complicated in the NFL. They have a multitude. For this reason, if the 49ers want to replace Whitner through the draft, he’ll have to be smart. Could Ed Reynolds be the first Stanford player drafted by the Harbaugh regime?

        1. I don’t know the plan Razor, but Reynolds is a FS who rarely played in the box at Stanford. Not sure if he fits what they are looking for in a replacement for Whitner.

        1. Claude,

          Not at all. The only question that I have with Reynolds would be his ability to play inside. The 49ers safeties are interchangeable for the most part so not sure if Reynolds fits for them.


          Of course. All pro football players need to be football smart. Book smart? Not so much.

          1. Jack:

            Got it.

            The 49ers safeties are interchangeable for the most part so not sure if Reynolds fits for them.

            What about the SS candidates like Bucannon, Dixon, Ward, Loston, etc.? Are they versatile enough to be interchangeable, or are they all pretty much SSs?

            Also, while Fangio like his safeties to be interchangeable, does he really have that with Whitner? Whitner strikes me as much more SS than FS.

          2. @Hammer

            Some positions require more intelligence than others. Whitner is very smart, and has to be to know the multitude of complicated coverages that Fangio likes….Sherman is another player whose intelligence plays a big part in his success…

          3. Loston may be the best choice in the draft. I wouldn’t rule out a CB being drafted as a SS though. The team could sign a stop gap while the converted SS gets a feel for the position.

        2. I don’t think there is a certain prototype the Niners require in a SS. Both Safeties are similar in what is asked of them and the more they can do the better. I don’t think they’d have any issue with bringing in somebody viewed as a FS to play SS if their defense. They want better coverage ability than Whitner brings imo, and with all the two deep the Niners play, coverage ability is most likely prioritized higher than run stopping in this defense.

    1. If you want a better coverage SS than Jimmie Ward is your guy. He’s the best coverage safety in this draft. He’s also an interchangeable FS/SS. Good coming down and taking the slot, but also can play deep zones well. He also has one of the better tackling techniques of a safety in this class (actually wraps up ball carriers) and does a good job timing his arrival in the passing game to break up the pass with a shoulder hit.

      The only knock on him I have is he doesn’t attack the line of scrimmage the way you’d like to see when he diagnoses run.

      I could definitely see him taking over the dime role as a rookie and long term playing next to Reid, once he’s been coached up about attacking the ball carr

      1. I like Bucannon too. He needs to improve his tackling technique, but that is what coaching is for. He’s not as fluid as Ward in coverage though.

        1. He also seems to not put in the desired effort at times either. In some of his highlights, I saw at times where he would let someone else make a play on the ballcarrier even though he was in the vicinity.

        1. Whitner’s positioning there is how they do it at Stanford too. Reynolds almost always lined up deep like you see here with Whitner. I don’t see them going that direction unless the plan is to move Reid to SS.

      1. That’s less than I thought. They play a lot of two deep but I didn’t realize they had Whitner back that often. Even more reason to take a better coverage Safety.

  39. That is why Buchannon is a better fit for the niners, has has the smarts to play Vic Fagios D. I believe that if we could draft these two (CB-Stan Jean-Baptiste at 6’3″ and Keith Mcgill at 6’3) we would be alot better/ Upgrade at Safety. they can learn from the veterns that already there. Terrell Brown, Chris Culliver & Brock can help develope them to making the most elite secondary to none. With this group we can help advance past Seattle in the Conference.

    1. McGill is tall, that’s it. He doesn’t hit with authority and is stiff in coverage. There are better tall prospects out there.

        1. Yes. I’d be very happy if the 49ers grabbed him, but will be interesting to watch how his stock moves following the combine.

        2. I agree. The knock on him will be strength of competition. Baalke has done a decent job with DB prospects. Needs to study WR.

          1. He’s working with Tony Baloney. If he’d stayed in school another year, he would have probably been in the first round conversation….Good closing speed, instincts, size and length. Reminds me of Tillman.

  40. One thing to remember, Crabtree was out so the defenses would double up on Boldin and Davis. All of the other receivers would either drop the pass or just not get open. That is why they had to rely on the running game or Kap had to run. Once Kap gets in rythym with their receivers then it will be different. kap has to rely on all of his receivers than having tunnel vision for Crabtree.

  41. What if we stayed at #30 and Drafted Kelvin Benjamin/ Odel Beckham Jr in the first round then in the second round we trade the 24 th pick and Mario Manningham and move up to select Stan Jean-Baptiste. Then we could use the 29th pick in the second to select Duanne Buchannon. 3rd Round we use the 13 th pick to select a Martavis Bryant, second pick for a center (Bryan Stork) & the 30 the to select a Jimmy Garoppolo (East Illinois or Mettenberger (LSU). 4 th- Select OG-Brandon Linder (Miami).

  42. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the 9ers will resign Boldin and for a surprisingly low amount will resign T. Brown. Then they will surprise everyone with a 1st rd pick that will be neither a DB or a WR.

    1. What about Whitner old coach? If they do not address the secondary or wide receiver, then I imagine they go into the trenches and either grab a dude like Hageman or Swanson….

      1. i think they might address their need for a safety in the 2nd or 3rd round. If Grants prediction of 12 WR’s going in the first rd comes true i believe there may be some incredible players who will fall into the late 1st.

  43. Two more out of the box predictions, If Michael Sams falss far enough in the draft [rd 6 or 7] the 9ers will draft him and use him as a situational pass rusher [you can never have too many pass rushers] Secondly if he comes cheap the 9ers sign Jonathan Martin. He could fill the swing tackle spot this year and give the team low cost flexibilty for the future.

  44. If Top Tier WR’s and CB’s are gone by the time SF picks, assuming they can’t find a trade partner in Tennessee, NYG, Cincy, Buffalo, Atlanta, should they go after a Top Tier player at another position of need where there is not as much depth in the draft. Like SS Ward (if they don’t nab him I don’t know if they’ll take a SS at all), DT Louis Nix III, Jernigan, TE Ebron if by some chance is available would you guys agree with taking him? Otherwise we’re prob looking at WR’s available: Adams, Landry, Richardson, Matthews, Bryant (2nd Rounders IMO) and CB’s available: Roby, Verrett, Fuller, McGill, Gaines, Roberson, Hampton (2nd Rounders IMO) What are your thoughts guys?

    1. A few reactions, just opinions:
      McGill is a project, not worth a 2nd, maybe a 4.
      Ebron too high for SF needs at that position.
      I think there are some SS prospects around Rd3.
      Nix? He’s good, classic “0″ Technique guy, but Williams-Dorsey-Dial might have that covered. Besides, Vic seems to like penetrators on the nose.

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