49ers pre-Combine 7-round mock draft

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) gets set for a play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The NFL Scouting Combine starts Tuesday, February 27, and runs through Monday, March 5. This event will help reveal which players the 49ers plan to draft.

Until then, this is my best guess as to which players the 49ers will take.

Round 1, Pick 10: TRADE. To the Buffalo Bills, in exchange for picks 21 and 96, plus their first-rounder in 2019.

Round 1, Pick 21: Isaiah Wynn, C/G, Georgia. Wynn can play left guard as a rookie, and move to center later in his career.

Round 2, Pick 59: Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE, Kansas. Armstrong can start immediately at Leo as a rookie. He is similar to the Leo for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Yannick Ngakoue.

Round 3, Pick 70: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida St. McFadden is a tall corner with long arms who fits the 49ers defensive scheme.

Round 3, Pick 75: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas. Jefferson can play next to Reuben Foster, or replace Reuben Foster if he gets suspended.

Round 3, Pick 96: Luke Falk, QB, Washington St. Falk can compete with C.J. Beathard to be the backup quarterback next season.

Round 4, Pick 128: Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma St. Ateman can replace Pierre Garcon as the starting flanker in 2019.

Round 5, Pick 143: Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa. Wadley can be the third-down back as a rookie.

Round 6, Pick 185: Cole Madison, G/T, Washington St. Madison is a mobile lineman who fits the 49ers zone-blocking scheme.

Round 7, Pick 228: Tray Matthews, S, Auburn. Matthews can play special teams and replace Eric Reid as the backup strong safety.

Round 7, Pick 240: Matthew Thomas, LB, Florida St. Thomas can play special teams and replace Reuben Foster on third downs if Foster gets suspended.

This article has 310 Comments

  1. Deja-Vu, feel like I’ve been here before. Luke Falk? You’ve got to be Falking kidding me! Hercules Mata’afa over Armstrong for mine. He has the violence, speed and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Everything Saleh desires in his Leo….

  2. There is no way the Niners are drafting a qb in the 3rd . That is totally absurd. Who in their right mind would burn a 3rd on a qb to compete for 2nd string. There will be plenty of serviceable veterans who get cut in August if we truly need a backup. Ill chew my arm off if this happens.

      1. Nice mock for this point in time. However, Lauletta instead of Falk, but not in the 3rd. 4th or later round pick (the later the better).

        1. If Lauletta drops to the 4th I’d burn a pick on him. There’s some footage of Shanahan joking with Lauletta a Senior Bowl practice. I think the Patriots might take him earlier.

      2. I do not see Shanny carrying 3 QBs in the final 53, and I don’t see Shanalynch cutting a 3rd round pick. But I guess this mock pick can be fodder for a blog post on a potential trade deal for Beathard that Grant will post in the dog days of April…..

      3. Back that statement up with proof!! When else has Shanahan taken a QB in the top 3 rounds to compete for the backup job? I’m anxiously awaiting. You produce to dumbest mocks I’ve seen on the web…and there are a lot of them. At least you’re great at SOMETHING…

          1. Bethard was not drafted to compete for a 2nd string you duffess. He was drafted with the hope that he could run Shannaham’s offense and compete for the starting job. Our QB was Hoyer, not JimmyG. Do you really get paid to say these things? geez

      4. Okay. But is this completely accurate in spirit? Last year Shanahan thought he was drafting a potential starter to initially back up Hoyer. The circumstances are quite different now.

        I think it is more likely that we use that pick on another G, Edge, LB … or the heir apparent to Kilgore . Perhaps even draft the heir apparent to Staley who is no spring chicken.

      5. Definetly not a fan of yours but this is undoubtedly my favorite 49er related mock.Love the Isaiah Wynn , Malik Jefferson and Akrum Wadley picks.

      6. Several good calls here, Grant, but they’re not taking a QB before the 5th round if then. Book it. Yes, D. Armstrong is the man and the one they’ll target above others mentioned by others..

      7. You are nuts Shanahan is a lot smarter then you and smarter then you will ever be when it comes to football
        What a joke .
        You work fot the Press Democrat. Give us a break.

  3. How funny is it that I just posted this a couple hours ago on your last thread Grant? Great minds think alike, although your Luke Falk pick seems a bit out of left field, lol. I also have McFadden in my latest mock, although I keep going back and forth between him and Kameron Kelly out of S.D. State.

    Posted 2 hours ago:

    There is a kid in this draft class who is tailor made to play the LEO role in the 49ers scheme, and nobody’s talking about him. One NFC director of scouting : “Don’t read too much into that sack total this year. They didn’t really cut him loose this year. I like the talent and he will help himself at the combine.”

    The Kansas Jayhawks’ Dorance Armstrong is a guy to watch at the combine. Armstrong could fit as a 4-3 end or 3-4 rush linebacker in the pros, but a team would probably be best served by lining him up wide to take better advantage of his explosive traits as a rusher (as in the LEO).

    Matt Miller: The best prospect you’ve never heard of? Kansas EDGE Dorance Armstrong has elite potential and athleticism.

    At 6’4″, 250 lbs, Dorance Armstrong has a long, athletic frame with room to pack on added mass. Armstrong is one of the most athletic players in this draft class. His arms drop down to his knees, and when he strikes, he’s like a python, wrapping up and constricting his prey. He has the speed, quickness, agility, and acceleration to cause problems at the next level. As a speed rusher, he may be the best in class. Armstrong routinely beats tackles off of the edge and uses his excellent bend to turn the corner and sack the quarterback. He dominated the field in 2016, with 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. His lower body strength is very good. The true junior is known as a pure pass rusher but improved his run stopping ability dramatically in 2017. He has experience playing against high powered, pro-style offenses, being in the Big 12.

    Watch out for this kid in Indy. Armstrong will likely have an excellent combine, which could see him shooting up draft boards in April.

    1. If I’m the Niners and I’m drafting a QB this year, I’m targeting the Richmond product, Kyle Lauletta with one of their last couple picks.

      1. I think the 9ers pick up a QB later in the draft. Of course, there’s always the undrafted free agent opportunity too.

    2. “Your Luke Falk pick seems a bit out of left field.”

      I created the opportunity for the pick by trading down.

      The 49ers shouldn’t miss out on this excellent QB class.

      1. Falk crumbled under pressure, and constantly failed to deliver passes from his platform, along with a chinese knockoff watch for an internal timer at the college level. How the hell do you think he’ll fare against the NFL athletes he’ll face? Let me answer that for you; abysmally….

              1. I think you have me confused with Cubus. I haven’t even studied Lauletta, and you just said that Falk and Cousins are physically similar. They’re not. Falk is a weak noodled arm. Cousins threw a 59 on his velocity test….

              2. You put Lauletta in your mock draft and wrote this: “Maybe this kid from Richmond, Kyle Lauletta has more upside than Falk, and more worthy of a late draft pick for Shanny’s offense….”

                Cousins doesn’t have a big arm. He’s a rhythm passer.

              3. Alex Smith did not throw anything close to a 59 mph ball. Cousins did. Kaepernick did. You’re out of your mind if you think Cousins doesn’t have a live arm….

              4. You’re basing your entire opinion on that one stat from the Combine. No one would say Cousins has a cannon. He has B-plus arm strength, like Garoppolo.

              5. Alex Smith is more on a C+ level of arm strength. While he’s not on the same level as Rodgers, Cousins can really drive the ball. His arm is underrated.

              6. Ha! You are so wrong, Grant. You should quit. The more you wiggle in quicksand, the more you sink. A couple years ago, ESPN had a stat that said only 4 completions of footballs thrown 60 yards in the NFL in the last 10 years and one of them was Rodgers, and the other was Cousins….

              7. Grant, I posted a play where Cousins threw the ball 60 yards on target to Jackson. You show me where Alex Smith threw the ball 60 yards through the air….

              8. The difference between Cousins and Smith is velocity. Smith could possibly throw it 60 ( I doubt it but it’s possible) but it would be a high arching throw. Cousins could get it there faster with less air on it. Cousins arm is significantly better than Smith’s.

                Alex had a pretty decent arm before all the shoulder injuries. He lost some RPM’s after that.

              9. Smith still seems like he has b-plus arm strength. His issue always was unwillingness to pull the trigger. But he improved that part of his game last season.

              10. Cousins velocity of 59 mph is right there with Kaepernick’s, and the throw I posted, Kirk didn’t even step into it. He threw it flat footed….

              11. That’s ok, Grant. Cousins’ ball velocity is right there with Kaepernick’s.

                As for me saying, “Maybe this kid from Richmond, Kyle Lauletta has more upside than Falk, and more worthy of a late draft pick for Shanny’s offense….The operative word there was “maybe”….

              12. Willingness is part of the deal. One of the best attributes Cousins has is he is fearless when it comes to throwing down the field. Garoppolo possess’ that trait too from what I’ve seen.

                I think Alex became more conservative due to the shoulder issues though. He was never a bombs away type of QB to begin with, but Norv Turner said Alex was a great deep thrower the year he coached him. Once he suffered the shoulder injuries, that part of his game pretty much disappeared.

              13. Garoppolo actually didn’t attempt or complete many passes longer than 20 yards last season.

                Smith became conservative because of Harbaugh. In 2011, Smith felt he’d keep the job as long as he didn’t turn the ball over. Then, they started winning.

              14. Very early on in the process, Grant. The only tape I have looked at regarding Lauletta was the senior bowl….

              15. Anybody that’s watched Cousins’ play at Washington has seen him throw deep early and often. That’s what was so much fun about watching him play….

              16. ”You’re full of it. I think that was #80’s comment”

                Geez, I’ve never even mentioned Lauletta. I just said last week “who cares” when talking about this year’s class since we have Jimmy. I only spoke about Luke because he’s in Grant’s mock and I liked him last year FFS.

                FFS = For Falk’s sake.

              17. Garoppolo actually didn’t attempt or complete many passes longer than 20 yards last season.

                He threw some and into very tight windows at times. He strikes me as somebody who believes he can fit it in anywhere. Cousins is the same. Alex is not.

                Smith became conservative because of Harbaugh. In 2011, Smith felt he’d keep the job as long as he didn’t turn the ball over. Then, they started winning.

                That could have had something to do with it, but imo the shoulder was a big part of it. He stopped throwing it outside the numbers for the most part and rarely went deep. It was the same thing in KC for much of his time there and Reid wasn’t telling him to check down.

              18. I’m not so sure Garoppolo believes he can complete tight-window downfield throws. He completed only one or two last season.

              19. https://www.thescore.com/news/1451512

                “A key aspect of Shanahan’s offensive system is the deep passing game, especially using play action. And Garoppolo already excels in this area.”

                “Huge play from Jimmy Garoppolo to Marquise Goodwin for 31 yards.” #49ers pic.twitter.com/JuASDiFwpv

                “Jimmy Garoppolo throws a perfect deep pass under pressure to Carlos Hyde, who slowed up and couldn’t bring it in. Should have been a touchdown.” #49ers pic.twitter.com/B94ObAgWfX

                Imagine Jimmy having a good receiving HB. I remember he threw some nice balls to Juice.

              20. He didn’t air it out as far as he could have.

                Ha! Grant, you’re too much! Looked to me like he gave it everything he had, and Hill had to stop and wait on it….

              21. Passer rating is greatly affected by Ints. Smith doesn’t throw many so he has a very good QB rating. He was definitely better this year than he was previously as far as throwing it intermediately and deep, but it’s still not his strength. Having Hill constantly running routes without a DB within 10 yards doesn’t hurt either.

              22. Every NFL QB can throw the ball at or near 60 yards in the air. I would say almost every high school QB in my area can throw the ball at least 50 yards in the air. My son who is in High School has above average arm strength but I wouldn’t say great arm strength and he can get about 55-60 yards. The measure of a QB isn’t how far they can throw it. A 50 yard pass is pretty easy for most QBs. It’s throwing that 20 yard Out to the wide side of the field where you have to really drive the ball to the receiver to prevent the CB from jumping the pass that is the hard throw for QBs. That throw takes real arm strength with a lot of velocity.

            1. The fact is Falk has been compared to Cousins by some scouts.
              Everybody is jumping on this kid from Richmond’s bandwagon the past week, so I’m glad Grant didn’t go with the trend at least.

              It did get me thinking, because in a six year process it’s certainly viable to draft QBs in the first 3 rounds, and use them as trade chips. I for one was not impressed by Beathard as a passer,and thought he threw a pretty funky ball.

              The 49ers have rarely drafted WRs in the first 3 rounds since Rice left and Owens took over. Meanwhile a team like the Steelers seems to draft one every other year. It’s just strange to me that the team that started the West Coast offense and was the best passing team in the league to ever do It, has strayed so far from their roots of success. So on that note maybe the Niners should be drafting QBs and WRs every year or 2, instead of DL. Especially if it’s a player other teams are sweating. Theres a handful of big receivers this year that seem to fit in that 3rd round slot.

      2. Fair enough Grant. I certainly don’t hate Falk as a prospect. I do like the trade scenario, and I like your mock, by and large. Armstrong seems like the perfect fit at the LEO, and should be there for the taking in round 2, unless he absolutely blows up the combine. He’s a little raw, but when he adds a couple more pass rushing moves and technique to his repertoire, he’ll be the prototype LEO specimen! I’m 100% sold on Wynn, and wouldn’t hesitate to take him at #21. I’ll be watching ILB Malik Jefferson out of Texas, closely at the combine. I like the kid out of South Carolina who Razor drew my attention to, Darius Leonard. The 49ers need to add another ILB and he could be nice value in the 3rd round. The 49ers definitely need to address their lack of size at WR, so I like Ateman in round 4, but I’d substitute Tate for Atemen, unless Ateman proves to have much better long speed at the combine. I like Wadley as a change of pace RB, but if the Niners don’t re-sign Hyde, shouldn’t they look for a little more size at RB? They do have McNichols, who goes about 215 lbs, but other than that they have smallish, change of pace RB’s, although Breida does seem bigger than 195 lbs.

        * You haven’t given up on our man Joe Williams, have you?
        * Any thoughts on how far Nick Chubb may fall due to his devastating knee injury?
        * McFadden has good length at CB, any thoughts on Kameron Kelly? He’s a big physical CB with experience at Safety.

        1. “If the Niners don’t re-sign Hyde, shouldn’t they look for a little more size at RB?”

          Shanahan didn’t seem to need or want size at RB in Atlanta. I think he wants a receiving threat out of the backfield more than he wants size. Breida, Williams and Mostert each can run the ball on first down and second down.

          Are you talking about Chubb’s knee injury from 2015?
          I’m curious to see how fast Kelly is. I doubt the Niners would take a 4.5 corner before the 5th round.

          1. Yes, Chubb’s injury in 2015. I know he’s been productive since he recovered, but it was a heck of an injury, some questioned if he’d ever play again.

            Kyle did draft Tevin Coleman – 210 lbs, in 2015 and signed UFDA Terrance Magee – 220 lbs, while in Atlanta, and Freeman isn’t tiny, he’s a stout 206 lbs.

            I think Kelly runs a sub 4.5, but I agree with that.

              1. Hey Grant,

                49ers first round mock – Brett Clancy, Drafttek.com: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

                “Realistically, Wynn may be more of a trade-down target for the Niners. But as a plug-and-play starter with Pro Bowl potential at a critical position of need, San Francisco could do worse with the tenth pick.”

                Clancy fails to mention Wynn’s versatility. I love the idea of plugging Wynn in at Guard this season, with a potential move to Center as the heir apparent to Kilgore down the road. I still like Billy Price for the same reason. And who knows, maybe the new and potentially improved Joshua Garnett, with his slimmer, trimmed down physique, can flourish in this outside zone and become a quality starter at one of the Guard spots? I’m not holding my breath but you just never know. I’d also consider Brandon Fusco on another 1 year deal, at somewhere around the league minimum plus roster, and per-game active bonuses.

                What to do with Tomlinson? He’s due $1.7 million this season, but no dead money from what I understand. If that’s the case, I think he’s gonzo!

              2. Why not a “my 49ers 2018 pre-combine fantasy-land dream draft”, just for giggles right? A man can dream:

                9) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State.
                59) Isaiah Wynn, OG/OC, Georgia
                70) Auden Tate, WR, Florida State
                74) Darius Leanord, ILB, S.C. State
                124) Dorance Armstrong, DE (LEO), Kansas
                134) Kameron Kelly, CB, S.D. State
                170) John Kelly, RB, Tennessee
                201) Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, DE, Toledo
                214) Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond

              3. Saquon Barkley is one of a kind. At 5’11”, 225 lbs, his athleticism is seemingly superhuman! 4.33 – 40 yard dash. Powercleans – 405 lbs. Squats – 525 lbs – 5 reps. Here’s the thing: He’s not just a superhuman athlete. Saquon Barkley is the perfect NFL RB prospect in every sense of the word! He’s not simply an all-time great talent. He’s as complete a RB who has ever played the game. He’s a generational talent and the greatest NFL running back prospect I’ve seen in my 37 years scouting NFL talent, with the possible exception of Barry Sanders. However, if I had to choose between the two, I’d choose Barkley!

                What could Kyle do with a talent like Barkley, who seems tailor made for his outside-zone schemes? EVERYTHING!

                Pairing Barkley with Jimmy Garoppolo would give the 49ers the top QB/RB pairing in the league, and one of the best pairings of all time! Getting Barkley out it space, 1-on-1, is basically game over. What makes him the perfect Kyle Shanahan RB prospect? While other backs are forced to downshift as they read the line of scrimmage, plant, then shoot away, Barkley is fluid enough to do it all in one motion, gaining speed as he cuts up field. That’s rare. It leaves linebackers (and often safeties) eating his dust, and they have no chance to recover. They must match him stride-for-stride, read the play the same way, and have the same athletic ability. It’s this ability makes Barkley one of the most explosive NFL outside-zone running back prospect ever to lace on cleats! As the line kick-steps one way, Barkley has three options: A) Bend – cut the ball back, B) Bang – slam it behind a lineman, or C) Bounce – bounce the ball to the outside until the defense is able to get numbers over.

                Barkley simply has it all! As a runner, receiver, returner, and, heck, even as a pass protector, Barkley is elite in every facet of the game. Watching Barkley rush, truck, shimmy and shake his way through a defense is more of an experience than it is an evaluation. Watching history formed in real-time is simply mesmerizing! Watching history formed while wearing Scarlet & Gold, would be a dream come true!

              4. I’m doing a position by position breakdown for the 49ers. I’ll evaluate their current starters at each position, needs, and their best options for filling those needs when it comes to 2018 draft prospects.

                I’ll start with the most important position of all – Quarterback.

                QB: As we all know, the 49ers inked Jimmy Garoppolo to a 5 year deal. The 49ers now have a franchise caliber QB to build their team around. All I’ll say about Jimmy is that, through 5 2017 starts, he looks like the next in line of great starting QB’s for the San Francisco 49ers, picking up where joe Montana and Steve Young left off. He seems to be everything you look for in a franchise QB, and I think he deserves extra credit for signing a 5 year contract structured in a way that should allow ShanaLynch to continue to add talent in the coming years, while building a perineal playoff contender. Penciled in as jimmy’s backup next season is CJ Beathard. CJB played admirably last season, especially considering his rookie status, and an offensive roster in the early stages of learning and developing within Kyle’s scheme. While CJB showed tremendous grit and toughness, he also showed me limitations, and after Jimmy took over as the starter, those limitations were magnified and became all the more obvious. He’s a little slow at processing, and he lacks ideal arm strength. He’s hardly a statue, but his functional mobility is average, and he has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. Some of his shortcomings are things he improve on, but I’m not sure he’ll ever be a bonafide starter, or a guy I would feel confident leading the team into the postseason. I think the team should continue to look for an upgrade to backup JG, and if their is a prospect who intrigues Kyle, the 49ers can be justified in using a mid-to-late round pick for his replacement.

                2018 mid-to-late round QB draft prospects the 49ers might consider:

                Kyle Lauletta, Richmond: At 6’3″ 215 lbs, Lauletta is on the smaller size of average for an NFL QB. His arm strength is a question mark. However, the Richmond quarterback is also a product of a family who spent significant time around the Naval Academy and the football program there, and he has developed outstanding leadership qualities as a result. Heralded by scouts as team leader and elected team captain twice, Lauletta showed his leadership qualities during Senior Bowl week. And he capped the week long audition for NFL teams in strong fashion, thriving amid more heralded passers from the North team. That group included Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and Wyoming’s Josh Allen, and Lauletta was chosen as the game’s Most Valuable Player. The Richmond product is a pro-style QB, with good accuracy and mechanics, and may be an ideal backup QB for Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers.

                Riley Ferguson, Memphis: A panel of NFL draft experts rated Ferguson as the No. 9 quarterback in college football this season. Riley Ferguson is a tall quarterback, 6’4″ with quick feet, but he could stand to gain a little weight. He has a good arm and is able to push the ball vertically. Over two seasons at Memphis, Ferguson threw 70 TDs and just 19 INTs. He set an American Athletic Conference record with 38 touchdown passes to go with his league-leading 4,257 passing yards in 2017. Riley played in a lot of pro-style concepts in college, and he is extremely confident in his ability to run an offense. He will have to improve his field vision at the next level. At times he can lock on receivers, however, he got better as the season progressed, and Kyle has a way of simplifying the way a QB sees the filed, making him a QB with potential to develop into a quality backup and even a future starter.

                Logan Woodside, Toledo: Woodside isn’t the biggest guy, listed at 6’2″ and 210 pounds. However, during the last two seasons after redshirting in 2015, the Toledo product completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 8,011 yards, 73 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. In fact, Woodside led the FBS with 45 touchdown tosses in 2016. While he doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, Woodside is an outstanding touch passer and adept deep thrower. Woodside needs to improve his overall pocket presence, but he’s a pure passer who will be drafted late in the process only to become a reliable backup or potential starter if given a chance.

              5. Marcus Peters expects turnovers when the Rams face KC next season. He seems to be infering that the Chiefs’ new QB, Patrick Mahomes, has a propensity for making poor decisions, resulting in INT’s. I concur. Sure, he’s young. But the kid just cannot help himself. I expect him to throw a lot of INT’s moving forward. For all of Alex Smith’s shortcomings, he protects the football. Mahomes …. not so much. I think he’s going to be a turnover machine in the coming years. we’ll see.

              6. Wouldn’t surprise me if Mahomes looks like a potential stud, but with a lot of room for improvement early in his career (think 10 games). Then the rest of the league will have tape on him. The fans will be patient for a while, but within 2 to 4 years they will be pining for Alex. Sound familiar?

  4. Nice mock. Soooo hard though without knowing what FA brings.

    My guess is in FA the 49ers will add big money OG + CB. Also a DE if possible, though pickings may be slim without some cap casualties.

    Draft I agree OL will be the first pick. Trade down if possible, if not take best OL available anyway. If they don’t get a FA DE then 2nd round pick will be DE. I am not sold on Armstrong though. He has one pass rush move.

    After that I expect it will be offense mostly, + mid round LB and CB.

  5. Looks pretty good to me. We are all taking shots in the dark at this point and I haven’t even scratched the surface of the guys I want to look at before the draft, but some good players on this list from reputation and need for sure.

    1. Grant

      Well, that’s nice…I don’t necessarily agree with many, or even any…but it’s a great precurser to keep the other teams guessing….some great reputations as well as some dark horses….Nice job Grant…it’ll be fun to watch unfold

  6. Armstrong looks the part, Grant. At this point I’m just asking for sacks, something as elusive to a Niner fan as good QB play had been before KS.

    1. The only way to get sacks is to have coverage mid to deep. Once we have some shutdown CB’s, or current D-linemen will kill it. Without CB’s, we will continue to kill and wear out our D-line. The last six years, we have ignored CB’s and settled for mediocrity. We need one more shut down corner and a decent backup. Once that happens, our d-lineman will be in Valhalla!

  7. Good work Grant.

    Like the trade, but would take C/G Billy Price over Wynn. Love the Dorance Armstrong pick. I think we’ll sign a CB in free agency, but McFadden would be a good choice if we don’t.

    “can play next to Reuben Foster, or replace Reuben Foster”

    Foster really did screw us didn’t he? SMH.

    Falk needs a Shanny/Sean Payton type to succeed. I think we could get him in the 4th. I like Ateman, but I don’t think he’ll be there in the 4th. Flip Falk and Ateman’s 3rd/4th round selections.

    “and replace Reuben Foster on third downs if Foster gets suspended.”

    Foster really did screw us didn’t he? SMH.

  8. This draft is trash. We will draft CB and WR first. This has been a glaring need for years and we finally have a front office with the ability to see and find talent unlike blind as a bat Baalke. There are plenty of FA , O and D, linemen that are proven. If we do not pick up a WR in FA, then we will draft a big bodied WR in the 2nd. We need weapons and I’m sick and tired of drafting big men (O and D lineman) in the first round. First round will either be a RB, Saquon Barkley, or CB, Denzel Ward or Josh Jackson. And, I’d be surprised if we use a high pick for RB since the Shannahan’s have a knack for finding Gem RB’s.

    Also, there is no way in hell we are going to waste a 3rd rounder on a QB. That pick will be used to replenish our O-line which has been disappointing for a few years.

  9. Rare feet: Roseville’s Kolton Miller plans to impress at scouting combine

    Offensive linemen aren’t much of a draw when it comes to the 40-yard dash.

    Kolton Miller, however, promises to bring a bit of flash to the event. The Roseville High School graduate and UCLA tackle has crossed the finish line in under 4.9 seconds in the past and said he expects to be in the 4.9-second range Friday when offensive linemen are timed at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

    That would be a rare feat for any offensive lineman, much less one who is 6-foot-8 and 314 pounds.

    Of the 40 offensive linemen who ran the 40-yard dash at last year’s combine, three had a time below 5 seconds, and two of them weighed less than 300 pounds. The last 300-plus pounder to run under 4.9 seconds was 6-6, 309-pound Taylor Lewan, who posted a 4.87-second time in 2014 and was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 11th pick that April.
    Sac Bee

  10. Guys..guys……listen…trade up with colts…get Chubb…you give them this year’s 1st and one of our 3rd. With our second snatch Ward if there…if not the bpa. The rest o-line , lb,and ol

    1. Edge rushers are hard to come by and none in FA. The best pass defense is a pass rush. The next nearest ability in the draft to Chubb is questionable. I agree move up and grab Chubb but going to need more incentive before the Colts bite. I would include Garnett and Armstead in that deal, as the Colts need help in both of those positions.

      1. I like it UC. Very creative offer. I’d love to see the Niners move up for Chubb if he is still there at #3. It’s really him and then a large gap to the next guy in line. If we really want to secure a pass rusher he’s the guy to go after.

      1. I like to have a competition between the two. White is looking like a late 2nd round, 3rd round pick. And Tartt was injured. It creates a two deep depth without having to spend $5 million to bring back Reid, and none of the free agent safeties excite me.

      1. The concern with White is he doesn’t have the straight-line speed such as to be excellent in man-to-man right now. But his frame is perfect for an in the box safety, and he has shown good instincts in stopping the run. And he makes up for his lack of speed by playing very good bump and maul at the line to counteract. He looks great covering tight ends with his jamming technique, I just wouldn’t want him to cover slot receivers or quick “scat backs” who can avoid the jam at the line.

  11. Not a bad draft, but I would say Rashaad Penny instead of the QB in Rd 3.
    I’m sure 49ers will get a LB in FA as a mentor and insurance for Foster. Posluszny could make sense.
    Of course will go after a CB and an OG as well.

  12. I actually agree with this draft philosophy. The QB is the most important position on the team, if the team develops a stable of stellar back ups they can be traded for future picks or most importantly give us a good back up to our franchise qb. That being said, I would support Mike White or Laudetta in round 3, or Falk in round 5.

    Love the Wynn kid, he can even play swing tackle in a pinch. Hopefully Buffalo will make the trade down.

  13. Nice mock Grant. What do you think of mine?

    Round 1, Pick 10: Tremaine Edmonds, SAM, Virginia Tech (6-5, 236, 4.71)
    Round 2, Pick 59: J.C. Jackson, CB, Maryland (6-1, 193, 4.40)
    Round 3a, Pick 70: Marcel Ateman, WR, Oklahoma St (6-4, 220, 4.56)
    Round 3b, Pick 75: Tegray Scales, MIKE, Indiana (6-0, 230, 4.65)
    Round 4, Pick 128: Sean Welsh, OG, Iowa (6-2, 296, 5.08)
    Round 5, Pick 143: Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford (6-1, 195, 4.53)
    Round 6, Pick 185: Mike Love, LEO, South Florida (6-4, 260, 4.67)
    Round 7a, Pick 228: Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State (6-5, 310, 5.20)
    Round 7b, Pick 240: Mark Walton, RB, Miami (5-9, 205, 4.50)

      1. “Excellent mock, Grant H. Where’d you get those 40 times?”

        They’re projected 40 times via Walter Football and a few other draft sites. I also placed these guys IAW the projected rounds that these players might be drafted. Also, I took into account what size players that Shanahan covets so those measurements line up too.

      1. Myles,
        Tremaine Edmunds (OLB or SAM for the 9ers) is the Strong Side LB who can rush the passer and still drop in coverage, not EDGE.

        1. Grant H…..Edge/OLB/SAM. Same thing. Depends on 3-4 to 4-3 defensive formation. D. Ware is a Edge, but runs SAM in 4-3. My overall point is that we are deep in D-linemen. 49ers need CB’s to give the D-line time to get to QB. I get with the potential loss of Reid, we will have a hard time running big nickle packages. But, we need cover guys. Our DB stock is all but gone. We have plenty of great D-lineman………..

          1. “Edge/OLB/SAM. Same thing. Depends on 3-4 to 4-3 defensive formation” – Myles

            My understanding is that an EDGE/DE in a 4-3 system is different then a 4-3 OLB. (size and speed is the difference). My case for T. Edmunds is that he’s not being drafted as our 4-3 EDGE rusher but our OLB who occasionally rushes the passer. He would be replacing Eli Harold on the depth chart as our SAM and our LEO/EDGE will hopefully be Ziggy Ansah. He’s a risky FA option but not a ton of good ones to be had.

          2. Myles,
            All of our good D linemen are on the interior. Because we don’t have an edge rusher, qbs are not contained, and easily escape by simply dropping further back or taking a few steps to a side.
            Fangio almost never had great db’s, but because he had great D linemen across, the dbs looked pretty good.
            There is a reason edge rushers are so coveted.

    1. Edmunds is my (way too early and will likely change) draft crush. Saw a draft breakdown of about 50+ snaps. Came away a little disappointed. Slow to react-n-run. Poor run fits. Gets swallowed by guards.

      My (too dang early, probably wrong) Take – Needs to be in a simplified “sick-em” role to take advantage of his athleticism. At least in year one.

      But many love this guy, for good reasons. He’s only 19 years old. And its only one game breakdown. His highlights show incredible range, closing speed. I need to see at least 70-100 more snaps.

      1. The thing with Edmunds is I don’t think he will make a good MIKE. As you noted, he can be a little slow to react and not find the right hole to fill. I think he is much better a prospect as a SAM. But how high do you take a SAM?

        1. That really depends. Bruce Irving was a Sam backer and was taken in the first because of his perceived ability to get after the QB.
          We all get caught up in the base D But most the time we are in a Nickle package. So the question is where does he fit there?
          I see him as a very good coverage line backer, specificly in zone, but don’t view him as a pass rusher.

  14. Liking the top of this mock. Pick 21’s a nice spot for offensive line. 21+96 gets around pick 17 in case there’s a “faller” Lynch would have considered at pick 9.5. (making the 2019 first rounder a freebie)

    I’ll comment about picks 2-7 when I get more familiar with the players.

    I’m all for adding quarterback talent when its there. If Garoppolo has a healthy career, the backup can be traded. The same way the Pats convert backups into draft capital. I’m liking Kyle Lauletta.

    No matter what the roster is like, I’m always for adding pass rushers and developmental quarterbacks.

            1. That’s me.

              I understand he’s not just like Garoppolo. Jimmy is more thick bodied. More zip on the ball, even when off balance. But KL is worth an eyeball.

              1. Who’s to say that an NFL program won’t thicken KL up somewhat. In terms of zip, I want to see what his speed is at the combine.

  15. Carter, Mayock feels differently:
    Mike Mayock: Six QBs in play for first round of 2018 NFL Draft

    TomD’s TaKe: Haven’t figured out why in a ‘QB’ labeled draft people refuse to see the big picture of the NFL as a passing league. This is not a joke, teams will move up this year from Rd. 2 to take QB’s.

    By Chase Goodbread
    College Football 24/7 writer
    Published: Feb. 26, 2018 at 03:27 p.m. Updated: Feb. 26, 2018 at 04:40 p.m. 0 Likes | 0 Comments

    1. This is the type of draft Bill Walsh would trade down twice in the same round to build his team.
      If John Lynch doesn’t doesn’t trade down twice in the 1st Rd, I’d be surprised–unless Chubb is there.

  16. Somehow, I feel lost without having to wade through Seb’s many, many mock drafts. By this time he would’ve been approaching triple digits.

    1. Sigh, since you keep begging me to post a mock, I will oblige you.
      I only posted so many mocks during the previous year because John Lynch blithely stated he would consider every option. I notice that this year, he has not repeated that statement. Still, since he followed my advice on 9 out of 10 things to do during the draft, I feel that he has learned and evolved, and really does not need further input. His biggest job will be to hit some more home runs in the later part of the draft, like last season.
      The fact that most posters, even TrollD is advocating trading back, and he even went further to stipulate trading back twice in the first round, I feel as though my draft strategy has gained general acceptance. This year, now that they signed JG and do not need a QB, the Niners have more flexibility and do not need to trade back, or jump forward. The improved play of the O line due to JG, and the return of Garnett means that the O line is not a dire need. Even though DK re-signed, I did not like the way he was driven back into the pocket. Maybe it would be better to draft a Center, and let DK move back to Guard. Garcon is coming back, so the WR position is strong, even though the Niners should try hard to sign a FA WR who is battle hardened and battle tested. Watkins may be a good signing because it would weaken the Rams.
      Maybe the best course of action should be to draft at the assigned positions and go for the BPA.
      Still think the Niners need to retain veteran talent and leadership, so they should try hard to re-sign Hyde and Reid. Hopefully, Lynch can attract some talented FAs, and I hope they spend most ( up to 10 mil) of the salary cap. Signing Frank Gore would also provide veteran leadership, and his blocking skills would help JG avoid sacks.
      Interestingly, Grant has postulated a trade back with Buffalo, and that may be the best formula for success, although I think the Niners would be happy with a 2019 second round pick instead of a 2019 first round pick. Personally, I do not think Buffalo would spend that much, so I would trade back with Buffalo’s 22nd pick, along with Buffalo’s second round pick (53) and their 2019 second round pick, for the 9th or 10th pick of the Niners.
      I would also make a blockbuster trade. The Niners should trade 3 players to the Raiders for their first round pick. Gruden wants to win right away, and counting on an unproven rookie is risky compared to obtaining 3 proven veterans that fill 3 weaknesses. Raiders will want quality, and good value, so the Niners must give up good players. The Niners should trade Foster, Ward and Breida for that pick number 9 or 10. Maybe they could get away with trading Jeremy McNichols instead of Breida, and maybe the Raiders could throw in a later pick to help balance out the trade. Foster is a talent, but he does not fit the Niner’s ideal for high character guys. Ward is superfluous due to the emergence of Colbert, and Joe Williams may easily replace Breida. The Raiders will improve, and fill 3 huge needs, but that first round pick will help the Niners build a strong foundation for the future. It is a win/win situation, and both teams may make it to the playoffs. Who knows? The Niners and Raiders may meet in the SB, so the Niners can crush them and destroy the dreams of the Raider fans.
      So, after those 2 trades, here is my mock, with the Niners picking at 9, 22, 53, 59, 70, 75, 128, 143, 185, 228 and 240. I used the CBS draft prospect ranking, and tried to pick within 5 spots of each draft number.
      9. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE
      22. Denzel Ward, CB
      53. Rashaan Evans, ILB
      59. Billy Price, C
      70. Uchenna Nwosu, OLB
      75. Kerryon Johnson, RB
      128. Hercules Mata’afa DE
      143. Javon Wims, WR
      185. Sean Welsh, OG
      228. Jake Browning, QB
      240. Natrell Jamerson, FS
      No matter what, the whole draft status will change after the Combine, then also change after Free Agency. Still, this is my best guess at this time, with kudos to 80 for Price, and Razor for Mata’afa. I strongly disagree with Grant about Falk, and think Browning is a superior choice, especially as a later round pick. The emergence of JG means that the Niners do not need to spend their precious 3rd round pick for a backup.

      1. Ha! I forgot about the blocbuster trades. You failed to imprint them on my psyche.

        “so the Niners can crush them and destroy the dreams of the Raider fans.”

        Noice. I hope we get them late in the season so we can eliminate them from playoff contention this season.

        “kudos to 80”

        You’ve always been gracious with your kudos for other posters. Kudos for giving kudos. I try to do the same. Kudos to Mid on Dorance Armstrong.

        Browning went back for his senior year.

        1. 80, my bad. Did not know about Browning. Duly noted. Falk was rated at 232, so the Niners could wait and take him at 228, and save their third round pick for a position of need.
          I should give out a shout out to B2W for his Ward advocacy , I also like him.

        1. That’s like deliberately shoveling horse manure onto your porch and then being surprised by all the flies. We’ve had mostly football talk here since December and it’s been decidedly better. Leave the weasel in his den.

    1. Good pickup for the Bills. When he is on, he is a #1 shutdown. Interesting to see if he comes back from the injury to his former level.

  17. I haven’t followed college ball enough to either know sh!tt or make comments about each players suitability, but I like your idea about the Niners trading back for with their first. Basically because that was what I think they should do.

  18. The more tape on Derwin James I watch, the more convinced I am that he could be the pick if players like Nelson and Fitzpatrick are off the board….

    1. Can Derwin be converted to a corner in Cover 3? If the Niners think he can, I’d be happy with the pick. The guy is a tremendous athlete. Otherwise, he’s competing with Tartt, who I think has a bright future. Given Colbert’s ascension, I don’t think safety is an area of need. We need a RB, but it’s a deep class and I doubt Barkley will be there. Minkah will also likely be gone. I like the idea of getting JG another weapon, but that can probably wait until Rd2. Trading back, particularly if we can get a high pick next year makes a lot of sense to me, and so I see where Grant is going. I think we’ll want to draft an OT next year, with Staley aging and TB becoming an UFA. Having another 1st round picks would provide a lot of flexibility.

      Now, it’s easy to poke holes in mock drafts. Personally, I don’t think Ateman will be available anywhere close to where Grant has him going. I also don’t think we’ll take a QB that high. Shanahan had meaningful input on some of the picks last year and they seem mediocre thus far (e.g. CJ, J Williams). Lynch will be making more of the picks this year.

      If Nelson, Barkley, and Minkah are gone, trading back makes sense. From my perspective 9/10 is a little high for a guy like Josh Jackson or Isaih Oliver. But, the combine could shake that up. Finally there is T Edmunds. Is he Anthony Barr 2.0? Tempted

  19. “Until then, this is my best guess as to which players the 49ers will take.”

    It’s easy to forget this mock isn’t who Grant likes the most (though I imagine his own assessments guide the mock). It’s his best early guess about who Lynch and Shanahan like.

    Grant, everyone – Assuming Chubb, Nelson, Fitzpatrick, Barkley are off the board and no trade back… who is your pick at 9 or 10? The one you would take of you were GM?

    I’ve been making noise about Edmunds, but if push came to shove I’d pick Ward. Not the ideal height, but a good player at an important need position.

        1. You’re assuming James is just a SS. He’s not. He can play any position except for defensive line. That’s why he’s a matchup dream….

              1. “I’ve seen him play FS, SS, OLB, Edge Rusher, and inside linebacker.”

                Looks like a luxury piece to me. Where will the majority of his reps be? We already have a box S.

                Is he going to start at MIKE or WILL? I doubt it.

              2. Oh, he’s a luxury piece alright. A luxury any DC would love to have. Before his knee injury he was a top 5 pick. I think he’s worthy of the 10th overall selection, and an argument could be made that he’s the best athlete in the draft.

                Here’s another one: https://i.imgur.com/T4qsnAT.gifv

              3. The crème de la crème or the icing on the cake is that he’s said to be an Alpha dog, and leader of men in the locker room and on the field. He’s the main ingredient in creating the type of culture Lynch wants….

              4. You still haven’t answered. Where will he start (probably S)? And then Brodie’s question. “What happens with Tartt?”

                Why make Tartt redundant like Armstead?

              5. James will play multiple positions. It’ll be up to Saleh. If he wants to put him at corner or on the slot, a LB covering the running back, tight end, two deep, single high, edge. Where ever he feels he needs him to nullify an opponents matchup nightmare. Limited to his imagination, really. James is a devil in disguise, and I have my doubts about Ward’s future on this team….

              6. We have Williams in the slot. We have Tartt in the box. We have Ward and Colbert at single high. He will mostly play S, we have three starter quality Safties. Taking James would be S overkill. It may also keep us from getting a top notch CB like Jackson or Ward, or a top LB like Smith or Edmunds.

              7. Yep, that’s your opinion and I respect it. But I think you’re focused on the wrong scheme, and missing out on the brainchild of creativity. I truly believe Saleh might pound the table for James, and I can’t think of a valid argument to refute him….

              8. To each his own. I think Saleh wants an edge rusher and another CB more than another Safety, albeit a versatile Safety. We’ll see.

              9. I’m so looking forward to the combine, and I plan on keeping a keen eye on him… among others of course.

              10. Keep an eye on Jackson’s hips when asked to flip them during the exercise. I think his lack of fluidity will limit his ability to reduce separation. I’m gonna guess he runs a 4.58 forty or thereabouts….

              11. Will do. Walterfootball (FWIW) projects his 40 time at 4.51. I think his length and instincts will mask some of his lack of speed and fluidity. But a bad 40 time could knock him out of the 1st round.

        1. The scheme fit puts Jackson over the top for me. Ward is a better overall prospect, but Jackson is a playmaker too. Jackson reminds me of a better version of Witherspoon. Jackson/Witherspoon both have “island” potential in Saleh’s D.

    1. Razor, #80 both make sense. Edmunds is my current “crush”, but Ward would be my push-comes-to-shove choice at this very moment. This is very likely to change several times until draft day.

    2. I’m thinking Josh Jackson given his size fit with the scheme. Though, I will say Billy Price may be worth the 10th pick when is all said and done; he could start at either Guard or Center.

  20. You’re essentially saying they trade a top ten pick for another qb. After just signing JimmyGQ and drafting Bethard in the same round last year. Trippin

  21. Grant,
    Very nice haul.
    I would make a couple of changes.
    Replace D.Armstrong with Duke Ejiofor (great motor) and if we can’t sign a FA OG, I would draft Wyatt Teller from V. Tech.

  22. I like the trade back but if Nelson falls, Lynch has to take him. I like the Malik Jefferson pick in the 3rd. I very much dislike the Falk pick. This kid does not have the basic skill set needed to even be a backup in the NFL. You’re either burning this years 3rd rounder or last years 3rd rounder. No Way Shanahan keeps 3 QBs and no way either Beathard or Falk makes it to the practice squad. Some team will pick them up. Other than that, I think you hit all the teams big needs.

  23. ”’If”’ Denver signs Cousin then the Niners trade back offer to Buffalo will be a mute point as the Bills and the Broncos will make that trade. Either the Niners move up and get Chubb or they stay pat and take the BPA. If, if, if……

    1. undercenter, that’s what Chad Reuter’s mock indicates. It could be that the 49ers won’t be in a good spot for trade backs.

      The Bucs, Bears and Browns (at pick 4) could also entertain trading for the Bills 21+22. If Denver gets Cousins and we lose the Coin flip, it could be five teams that could trade down with the Bills.

      As of now I’m rooting for Lynch to win the Coin toss, and the Vikings to sign Cousins.

      1. Brodie, I was hoping that Cousin goes to an AFC team like the Jets definitely not the Broncos. Winning the coin toss would help with a trade back and it doesn’t just have to be with the Bills. Till FA’s are signed I really cant say much about anything. We just throw out ideas and see what sticks.

  24. The issue with this mock like many others is that it doesn’t take into account the philosophy of Lynch when it comes to free agency. He likes to fill as many holes as possible so he can go best available in rnd 1. This year on the open market the two positions that the Niners desperately have to address happens to be a strength. Corners and Guards. Niners will come away with a starter opposite Witherspoon and a upgrade at guard. So a guard in rnd 1 UNLESS Nelson drops( won’t happen) is out of the question. Second all these mocks with Ward is a waste of time. He does not fit what they are looking for with an outside corner. So IMO that will leave 3 players if they stay put at 9/10.. 1. Edmunds 2. Smith 3. Ridley… I mention Ridley because he separates very well. I think he is the type of Receiver who can intrigue Kyle if the other options are gone.

  25. Some one wrote they wouldn’t draft a third round quarterback to compete for back up second string ? Do people forget where Tom Brady was drafted in 2000? Enough said.

  26. I know everyone (including myself) has talked about the 9ers trading back to garner more picks, how bout a little out of the box thinking and a trade up. The 9ers trade with Indy at #3 exchanging their 1st this year, their 1st next year as well as their 3rd #75 this year. Then draft Bradly Chubb. As long as they sign a FA CB this could make their D unstoppable.

    1. I recently proposed trading #70 (or #75) to move into the 5-6-7 range for Chubb. A single third is all I willing to give up at this point.

      Some have said Chubb’s the hot commodity in part because of high demand and weak supply of Edge rushers. I’ll get into draft breakdowns in March. If I’m blown away by Chubb, I might go for offering 9+59 to move up. Near the top of the draft, deals below/above chart are more likely to go down.

    2. Old Coach – I am on the get Chubb bandwagon so is Rocket, and Brodie seems to like it also. Yup, I am with you Coach, along with a good CB FA signing, Chubb would go along ways to making this a solid defense. Myself I am willing to give more but eh I don’t put in the time to figure out all the trade details.

        1. Sure are. Alex Okafor to replace Eli Harold still makes sense to me, but going to have to draft an edge player pretty high.

          Unfortunately I think the needs on the team are still too great to give up draft picks for one guy. So for mine that edge player will have to be someone other than Chubb. I do like Mata’afa, but his lack of experience on the edge certainly gives me pause.

          1. Scooter and anybody else,

            I know you like Hercules, but what do you think of Dorance Armstrong?

            He looks the part. He’s not a one year wonder. He seems to be tailor made for the LEO if his reaches his potential. I love his speed and explosiveness. He has good bend. He uses his hands well. He had 4 batted passes as a freshman, so he has good timing when he can’t quite get to the QB.

            He needs to incorporate more pass rush moves though. His strength has been questioned (I will be watching the combine). He’s not great against the run, but I can see us using him as a situational pass rusher this year and potentially a 3 down End by year 2 or 3 as he adds more muscle mass.

            1. Well, he kind of is a one year wonder. This past season wasn’t particularly great for him. I understand the excuses for this being he wasn’t used as much as a pure pass rusher and teams were doubling him, but it doesn’t change the fact that he wasn’t very productive this past season.

              My main concern though with Armstrong has nothing to do with the stats. It has everything to do with his skill set as a pass rusher. He is a pure speed rusher. And don’t get me wrong – he has good skills as a speed rusher. But I think you need to be very special (Von Miller) to make it as a really dominant pass rusher with just speed. Not sure he is that.

              1. Thanks. I think what he does well (speed rushing) will translate to the NFL pretty quickly as he played against pro style offenses in the big 12. His lack of production in 2017 is worrisome, but he wouldn’t be double teamed much playing beside Buckner. But yeah, he’s got areas he needs to improve on. He’s a high ceiling/low floor guy. I think he’s worth the risk for a day two pick.

          2. I know you are interested in Okafor and I’ve been resistant due to his injury and lack of production for most of his career, but we may have to look at it.

            I dont’ want to give up a ton of picks, but I’d be willing to give up a couple and maybe some players as Under Center was suggesting. Maybe we can use Armstead and/or Garnett as a trade enhancer to move up along with our first and another pick or two. He’d fill our biggest need on defense imo and is the best in this class by a wide margin.

            I don’t know how I feel about Mata’afa honestly. He played inside on passing downs most of the time and that is the last thing we need on this team. At his size he could move to a Leo position but he’s never done it and I don’t know how I feel about taking a flyer on another guy who would be asked to play a spot he hasn’t before.

            1. The thing with Okafor is that I don’t see him as the Leo. He’d be the Otto, that can also play DE in nickel. Would still need the Leo though. I agree Chubb would be great, but just think it will cost too much to move up and get him.

              With Mata’afa, its not true that he hasn’t played DE before. He just mostly played inside. My main concern with Mata’afa is he basically has no technique. He’s all athlete atm. He will need to learn technique to consistently beat OTs in the NFL. But in terms of raw talent I think Mata’afa is one of the more impressive edge prospects.

              1. Mata’afa has that first step explosion, and flexibility. Two traits that are paramount when projecting an edge defender. Technique can be taught, and that’s why they hired a pass rush specialist in Kiffin….

              2. Yeah I meant we might have to look at Okafor as a replacement for Harold as you suggested.

                Mata’afa hasn’t rushed off the edge much in his career. I think he was even playing NT on a 3 man line at times when I watched the USC game earlier in the year. He’s strong but I don’t know how good he will be as an edge rusher. He excelled with his motor and quickness against interior OL and the last thing we need is another guy who is better from the 3T on passing downs. As you mentioned he has a lot to learn if he’s going to play outside and that concerns me especially if using a pick on day two.

              3. He’d start out as a rotational pass rusher, where his first step and flexibility will enable him to disrupt the pocket. Let him learn the nuances of edge angles and hand usage in the meantime. He’s a gamble worth taking imho….

              4. On day 3 sure, but too big a gamble for me on day two. We also have a similar sized guy already on the roster in Pita T so I don’t know how interested the Niners will ultimately be. I read an article where Rob Rang said his best position in the pros maybe as an ILB in a 3-4. Looks like a really hard working kid with a good motor from what I’ve watched but I’d be hesitant to view him as the answer to our Leo problem.

              5. That’s ok. Everyone has an opinion. I like Kemoko Turay as well, but his medical evaluation will be key. Shoulder issues. That’s why I’d prefer Mata’afa, and if he kills it at the combine, which I have no reason to think he won’t, he will not be around on day 3. If I’m the GM, I think he has plenty to work with to roll the dice on him….

              6. I’m interested to see how fast he is. He doesn’t look all that fast from the games I’ve watched but it’s also hard to tell based on where he lines up. Seems like he has a good get off though.

              7. I don’t think Mata’afa will have a great 40 time, but I expect his 10 yard split will be very good.

              8. His acceleration from his lateral step if fantastic. Once he’s in the backfield, he’s a bringer of evil.

              9. If he kills it at the combine, I expect him to come off the board mid 2nd round. That means we’d have to anticipate a move up, maybe with Dallas to get him….

              10. I’m with rocket on this one.
                I hate drafting guys in the first 2 rounds that I have to project at other positions.
                Hercules is twitchy as an interior gap shooter but is he that fast as a nickle DE? Can he use his hands to keep longer armed OTs off of him? Does he have the necessary bend needed to play the edge?
                He is one of the few prospects where the combine will be huge for him. His height, and arm measurements, vert, 10 yard split and 3 cone drills should help a lot with determining where he will go.

          3. Scooter_ McG (or anyone else)

            Psychological profiles aside , what would it take to get a bit more production out of Aaron Lynch ? It has been bandied about that he is (when motivated) one of the best edge rushers in the entire league…Here we are seeking edge rushers in FA or the draft when we have one or more (Eli Harold) of the best already on our roster….What’s it going to take ? It seems like a tremendous waste of talent (and Money)….I’ve seen their ‘clips’, and am amazed why they aren’t playing….I’m not asking for smart-ass answers ….just serious opinion…..Thanks….

    3. I wouldn’t give up that much for Chubb. He is a good DE but is no where near the pass rush prospect the past DEs that came out have been ( Bosa, Garret, Clowney, etc).

      I think the niners would want that kind of production if they were to give up a first for him.

  27. Why not; my pre-combine, pre-free agency mock draft. At this rate, I will have as many mocks as Seb…

    (I previously posted this, but for some reason I don’t see it, so here I go again. I apologize if it shows up twice).

    Using fanspeak.com’s draft simulator, where the computer picks for all the other teams while I pick for the 49ers (the computer used random draft boards for teams, including the draft board I used), and using the fanspeak.com draft board (just updated today, February 27th), here are my picks:

    TRADED Pick #9 for the Chargers 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks (computer made the offer to me). Turned out to be worth accepting, as the Colts ended up taking Quenton Nelson with pick #3!

    Round 1, Pick 17. G/C Billy Price, Ohio State.
    Round 2, Pick 48. Edge Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State.
    Round 2, Pick 59. TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State (at this point, this was too soon to pick the next tier of wide receivers, and the cornerbacks I wanted were gone; for example, Carlton Davis went a couple picks before this. Goedert is better than Kittle, and definitely better than Celek or Paulsen, given Jimmy G a great weapon).
    Round 3, Pick 70. CB Quenton Meeks, Stanford.
    Round 3, Pick 74. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State.
    Round 3, Pick 84. S Kyzir White, West Virginia.
    Round 4, Pick 128. OT Geron Christian, Louisville (Equanimeous St. Brown went one pick before at 127; Kyle Lauletta went at pick 107).
    Round 5, Pick 143. WR Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State.
    Round 6, Pick 184. QB Mike White, Western Kentucky.
    Round 7, Pick 227. LB Azeem Victor, Washington.
    Round 7, Pick 240. OT Greg Senat, Wagner (I forget who identified Senat as a dark horse candidate, but I am also a fan).

    Overall, some good. Definitely missed on some players I liked that went earlier than I expected.

    1. Computer is very generous. Picks 17+48 alone is enough to get to 9 by chart. Pick 84 I’d a freebie.

      Liking Price. Like Mata’afa’s quick inside pass rush. Hope to see more edge rush footage be long armed tackles.

  28. So it looks like Sam Darnold won’t be throwing at the combine. I’m curious at what others think with regards to this decision; especially since it looks like the other 1st rounders (Rosen, Allen, Mayfield, not sure about Jackson or Rudolph) will be throwing. I would think it might cause some teams to pass him by, but probably won’t hurt him that much.

    1. The teams are going to see him throw at his pro day and the film is there to look at. Throwing at the combine is not a big deal. The agents always advise against it and some guys get chastised for not taking part but it never has any affect on where the player is drafted.

      1. Agreed. I would think these QBs have been heavily scouted anyway. The Combine is still important if a player has injury concerns. The interview process can be huge too (Rosen).

        If I were there as an athlete, I would be networking with the media types. It may lead to less hit pieces, and it could lead to a media job after my athletic career is over.

      2. I tend to like Quarterbacks willing to take the risk of throwing at the combine, knowing that the results will not be ideal given they are throwing to unfamiliar targets. I like the risk taking, and I would also know to take the results with a grain of salt.

      1. 80,
        I would take Duke Ejiofor over Armstrong.
        Love Duke’ motor and he can use multiple techniques to get to the QB. Armstrong, is very good but he seems to rely mostly on speed which makes him predictable. I wouldn’t be disappointed if the 49ers went with Armstrong, but I just believe that Ejiofor has more to offer.

      2. #80:

        I would also take a look at Josh Sweat out of Florida State. The athletic ability is there, just needs to produce.

        1. Sweat’s medical evaluations will make or break him. I believe he may have the same degenerative knee disorder that Myles Jack had….

  29. CassieBaalke,

    Will Seb dazzle us with a post free agency Mock and what free agents does he think Shanahan will sign ?….Only a few weeks .

    Free Agency Dates:

    March 14 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2018 on all players who have option clauses in their 2017 contracts.

    March 14 The 2018 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
    The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.

  30. 49ers-Raiders coin flip will take place on Friday at 9:30 am PT (12:30 p.m. ET) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
    3 hours ago • 1 comment
    By David Bonilla

      1. TomD

        I just saw that on Maiocco blog, and was interested in your opinion….I only saw him in a couple of games, but his balance seemed good, and he’s 315 lbs…a good ‘swing’candidate at both Tackle spots…? Guard …?

        1. OREGONINER,

          Yeah, the swing tackle element has been mentioned. Small sample size to analyze as he was injured in ’17.

          $4 mil is guaranteed so the O-Line coach is on the hook for this, who obviously went to bat for him. Other than that, Oregoniner, there’s little film to form an opinion….A positive is we have an O-Line coach confident enough to coach this player up, so Lynch and Shanny are building a solid coaching fraternity.

    1. WTF? Uggghh is right Faith. I have to admit, this one’s a head scratcher. Maybe Gilliam’s deal is very, very light on guarantees. I sure hope so because the 49ers can, and should do better! I don’t get it!

      1. Could be insurance against what’s out there now. Once FA the draft and roster cuts occur, Gilliam could be a camp casualty—SOP.

    2. Backup swing OT – handy to have. A bit more money than I would have expected, but he’s got a fair amount of starting experience and is very athletic.

      1. Scooter

        Thanks for skipping the ‘knee-jerk’ response as to Gary Gilliam….I don’t see how some folks on here can make such brutal judgements with so little tape available….He could become a starter…

  31. How 6 QB’s Could Go in the 1st Rd. (Which again, bodes well for a 49er trade down to the postion players).

    It’s nearly impossible to predict how the NFL draft will go down, and that’s especially true this early in the process. The combine gets underway on Tuesday, which means we don’t yet have a ton of information on the players’ athletic profiles…

    The central theme to this draft centers on quarterbacks, a talented group of signal-callers often compared to the fabled Class of 1983, when six passers including John Elway, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly came off the board in the first round. This year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see five quarterbacks chosen on Day 1—that’d be the most since 1999, by the way—and there’s a chance that this year’s group matches the Class of ’83.


      1. That hurts me too. We desperately need a G that can be a dominant run blocker while also being above average at pass blocking. But with Ansah being tagged, would we now throw that money at Norwell? Did I just jinx it and Norwell will be the next player to get tagged?

  32. WTF….seriously lynch????? Garry Gilliam to a two-year extension….. worth $8 million with $4 million guaranteed…..for a back up

    and they couldn’t pay – CB Davis’s guarantee is $3.5 million, his base salary is $5 million, and the maximum he can make on his one-year deal is $8 million.

    I have a bad feeling about this FA period…….

    1. I’m expecting alot of these before the draft. Go into the draft with gaping roster holes plugged, and/ or there’s something they like about him.

      1. It makes sense, especially on O line. There are no good swing tackle deals in FA market, and rookies O linemen not in the first round invariably need a couple of years of pro football experience before making meaningful contributions.

        Digging a bit deeper into Gilliam, I find that the was a tight end all his career until his senior year when he was converted to a lineman. In high school, he qualified for state track and field championships and won a conference championship for the javelin. The Seahawks liked his athleticism and added him as a UDFA and he played all three years of this contract there. Gilliam’s tape must have impressed the Niners’ coaches with his potential in ZBS that they paid him $2.2M last year, and they probably think he made significant progress to warrant the contract.

  33. Could Garry Gilliam’s return to 49ers trigger Trent Brown’s exit?….

    TomD’s Take: Pick 9 or 10—- Mike McGlinchey anybody ?

    By re-signing Garry Gilliam to a two-year deal Tuesday, the 49ers have an experienced veteran at the ready if incumbent starter Trent Brown struggles to return from shoulder surgery or perhaps is made expendable.

    With Brown’s recovery likely to limit him through the offseason program that runs mid-April to mid-June, Gilliam likely will slot into the first-string spot at right tackle. Gilliam’s deal is worth up to $8 million, half of which is guaranteed, NFL Network reported.


  34. Andrew Baggarly
    ‏Verified account
    39m39 minutes ago

    The pride of Stanford University is @sfgiantsbeat. But they are also fond of Austin Slater, who just hit an oppo jack.

    Henry Schulman
    Verified account
    49m49 minutes ago

    Shaw hit the ball hard to left against a righty. Shaw hit the ball hard to left against a lefty. #SFGiants

  35. Reviewed Dorance Armstrong highlights. Very quick.

    What I find unique about him is his “bend” move is a step or two later in the rush, almost behind the quarterback. Usually that’s a win for the OT, but his high apex bend is really sharp.

    It goes against pass rush dogma that if your deeper than the quarterback’s drop back you need try a counter move. Armstrong keeps going, but with a sharper curve.

    I’ll be watching full game breakdowns later.

    1. Momentum is a key factor…

      “Momentum space is the set of all momentum vectors p a physical system can have. … In particular, if a function is given in position space, f(r), then its Fourier transform obtains the function in momentum space, φ(p). Conversely, the inverse transform of a momentum space function is a position space function.”

  36. Matt Maiocco‏Verified account
    Follow Follow @MaioccoNBCS

    On today’s NFL waiver wire. . . the Saints claim former #49ers OL John Theus off waivers. To make room for him, the Saints release former 49ers LB Gerald Hodges.

    Brian M
    ‏ AFNinerFan
    5m5 minutes ago
    With Foster possibly in trouble, wouldn’t be a bad idea for SF to bring Hodges back.

    1. TomD

      It was my first thought when I saw that he had been cut…Would he want to come back here ? I seem to recall that he left for no good reason…DAMN ! the guy was good…

  37. Latest Mock Draft :

    9.* Buffalo Bills – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
    Projected trade of 1.22 and 1.23 picks with SF.

    21.* San Francisco 49ers (VIA BUF) – CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
    Projected trade of 1.9 pick with BUF.

    22.* San Francisco 49ers (VIA BUF, KC) – WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State
    Projected trade of 1.9 pick with BUF.


  38. Apologize if this is a duplicate post. Papa John’s is parting ways with the NFL… So, which pizza outfit becomes the new official NFL pizza?

    1. Chuck E. Cheese: Target the youth.
      Papa Murphy’s: Papa familiarity.
      Little Caesars: Proletariat choice.
      Domino’s Pizza or Pizza Hut: Name recognition.

      My money is on Domino’s or Pizza Hut.

  39. Would love to see Grant participate in two or three position drills at the combine. If Rich Eisen can run the 40 every year, Grant–being younger I presume–could put on a show.

            1. Wow,
              If true, that just makes no sense to me.
              Rather than just paying him for a 5th year, they would franchise tag him, thus increasing his salary and make the entire thing guaranteed.
              Not only does this make him more expensive to them, it makes him less attractive to other teams as he will be more expensive for them and it means they wont have the franchise tag available for any other athletes on their team.
              Maybe I’m missing something, but if it’s as I see it, the Bears front office is trying to win the Darwin award.

              1. In their defense, the timeframe for using the 5th year option was before last season started. At the time he had been a disappointment and was considered a potential roster cut. He then had a good year, but its too late now to use the 5th year option.

    1. Undercenter
      * Also, hire all officials full time, not just 21, and train them all year round. Nothing worse than officials deciding
      the outcome of a game.

    2. UC,
      Couldn’t agree more. I hate watching some nonrenewable PI’s march a team down the field.
      In my opinion either make it 15 yards and automatic first down. Or a 5 yrd spot foul, with no guaranteed first down and but a replay of the down.

    3. I wouldn’t change the PI rule. Imagine it’s end of game, your team’s wr has their man beat for a 40 yard td, the cb just tackles him. You only get 15 yards instead of where the interference occurred. Your just telling team’s like Seattle to keep beating up their opponents without having to really play defense. Would u rather give up a 40,50,60 yard td or just take a 15 yarder. Your basically saying who cares, just grab em. Taking defense right out of the game. Bad idea.

      1. Steel you can reverse your scenario and put your team on defense….. Remember a game can not end on a defensive penalty so you get another shot and another and another if it continues to happen.

        1. That’s true, but you could be taking a sure td away from a team just to give them 15 yds and a 1st down. It doesn’t make up for the loss. Again your telling teams, if u get burned, tackle and grab them. Your only giving up 15 yards. So if I’m my own 35 I’m passing deep to Goodwin who just beat his man, the defender reaches out and grabs him calling a pi. Now instead of that td or being in scoring position, I’m only in the 50 with a 1st. No thanks, I want my yards. Make the d earn it. If u take out that part of the pi the defense will have a hell of an advantage.

        2. Also, it won’t continue to happen. They got what they wanted the 1st time, which was stopped the score. There is no need to do it again. Mission accomplished.

          1. I disagree.The offense has every advantage there is right now.
            Furthermore the scenario you described is kind of a strange one… normally if a player is going to get burned badly it happens around 15 to 20 yards downfield when they are transitioning from their backpedal. I’m not as concerned with this… as the defender will hold in this scenario regardless of the penalty.
            The ones I hate are the contested plays down the field where they are battling for the ball. Teams that have struggled to move the ball all day suddenly go from their own 40 to the opponents 15. How did the offense earn that? This is far more common and drives me nuts.

            As to the defenders will hold all the time statement, I disagree. This can easily be resolved by more strictly enforcing the rule and since they won’t be making such game changing calls they can do so without altering the games outcome as much.
            Furthermore, these rules have been implemented in college. And those offenses don’t seem to be hampered by it.

            1. I agree Shoup. The bottom line is there is still a major penalty for the infraction; it just doesn’t give the offense a major advantage on what is usually a questionable call.

              They’ve used the 15 yard rule in College for awhile now and there has been no issues with it from what I’ve seen.

              The only other option if they don’t want to go this route is to allow Coaches to challenge it once a game. That would at least give a team a chance to get an egregious PI call overturned.

              They could also go to a two tier penalty in which non intentional PI is 15 yards and intentional is a spot foul but that again is leaving it in the hands of the officials to determine in real time which is often a problem.

              1. Rocket.
                I thought about the 2 tier 1 as well. It could be similar to how the face mask penalty works with one being inadvertent.
                They could do away with defensive holding and lump that in with inadvertent PI’ s… larger “intentional” infractions could be 15 yard, spot fouls. Both could carry the automatic first down.

              2. U you call 15 yards a major penalty? 15 yards and a 1st does not make up for scoring position or a TD.. if they change the rules and your favorite team gets screwed then you will be singing a different tune. I never said they will hold all the Time but if a man gets behind them, your darn right they will hold or grab or tackle them.. they stopped a score in other to give up 15 yards and a 1sr down. Which gives them 3 more downs not to screw up. Even force a turnover. So yes I’ll take that spot foul. Even though dontae Johnson was beaten so bad last year I still wouldn’t change the pi spot foul. It doesn’t help the offense. Just will give them more chances to score but also give the defense a chance to force a turnover

              3. Listen to the Rich Eisen podcast this morning. They will explain the same senario. But this is just my opinion

  40. 9ers 2018 F/A’s:
    OG Andrew Norwell: 26 Y/O, 5 yr. $60 Mil. ($12 Mil P/Y).
    OG Justin Pugh: 27 Y/O, 4yr. $26 Mil. ($6.5 Mil. P/Y).
    CB Malcolm Butler: 27 Y/O, 5 Yr. $65 Mil. ($13 Mil P/Y).

    * 9ers trade pick #9 and #70 to Buffalo for picks #21 and #22
    #21: LB Trumaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech.
    #22: RB Sony Michel, Georgia.
    #59: C Isaiah Wynn, Georgia.
    #75: DE/OLB Dorance Armstrong, Kansas OR OLB Hercules Mata’Afa, Washington St.
    #128: CB Travis McFadden, Florida St.
    #143: TE Tony Fumagalli, Wisconsin
    #185: ILB Christian Sam, Arizona St.
    #228: OT Greg Senat, Wagner OR DE Ade Aruna, Tulane.
    #240: CB Jaylen Dunlap, Illinois.

  41. +1 UC
    Cassie ,if you put the bench press on Grant ,all you’ll do is pin him to the back board . LMAO .
    All the run drills , that’s ok .

    Grant doesn’t look to be the big hitter type . Did grant play football ,and at what level ?

    That would be funny 😂😂😂
    I hope your not going to have him compete against anyone ,lol

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