49ers projected 2016 depth chart

Here’s what the 49ers’ depth chart will be Week 1:

OFFENSE

LWR: Torrey Smith, DeAndre Smelter

SWR: Bruce Ellington, Eric Rogers

RWR: Quinton Patton, Aaron Burbridge

LT: Joe Staley, John Theus

LG: Joshua Garnett, Brandon Thomas

C: Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin

RG: Zane Beadles, Marcus Martin

RT: Trent Brown, Fahn Cooper

TE: Garrett Celek, Vance McDonald

HB: Blake Bell, Vance McDonald

QB: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Jeff Driskel

RB: Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, Kelvin Taylor

 

DEFENSE

BASE FRONT

LDE: Arik Armstead, Glenn Dorsey, Ronald Blair

NT: Ian Williams, Mike Purcell

RDE: Quinton Dial, DeForest Buckner

LOLB: Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold, Ronald Blair

LILB: Michael Wilhoite, Gerald Hodges

RILB: NaVorro Bowman, Gerald Hodges

ROLB: Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Tank Carradine

 

NICKEL FRONT

LDE: Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold, Ronald Blair

LDT: Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair

RDT: DeForest Buckner, Tank Carradine

RDE: Ahmad Brooks, Tank Carradine

LILB: Jaquiski Tartt, Dontae Johnson

RILB: NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite

 

SECONDARY

LCB: Tramaine Brock, Rashard Robinson

FS: Eric Reid, Jimmie Ward

SS: Antoine Bethea, Jaquiski Tartt, L.J. McCray

RCB: Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker

NCB: Jimmie Ward, Keith Reaser, Will Redmond

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Phil Dawson

P: Bradley Pinion

LS: Kyle Nelson

KR: Bruce Ellington

PR: Bruce Ellington

    1. Kaep was injured. His performance suffered because he needed 3 surgeries to fix his injuries. Kaep is not participating because he is rehabbing.

        1. With Devey and Pears acting like turnstyles. I still think that Kaep was initially injured when he was blown up near the side line during the Viking game. After 28 more sacks, he was further injured.

      1. I have a good friend who works for and is around the team ALL the time (Since 2011). Trust me… Kap is not very well liked by his teammates

    1. There is a lot of truth to Kaepernick losing the 49ers locker room last season. However, Colin is universally well liked by his teammates. He’ll have an opportunity to win them back this summer.

      Bottom line, Chip Kelly is going to start the QB who he thinks hives them the bast chance to win in 2016.

      I foresee an epic QB battle in camp this year, and I think the competition between Blaine and Colin is fairly evenly matched coming in. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

      And for those of you who think it’s a forgone conclusion that CK7 will get the nod, because of the difference in salary, I don’t think that’s the case.

      Colin’s $15,890,753 salary was absolutely a factor to consider for the front office PRIOR to this point. However, unless Kap is traded, the team has already committed to his salary. Kap’s salary is already 100% guaranteed for 2016, (not counting the roster, and workout bonus portions of his contract, which totals $1,525,000) so I highly doubt it’s going to be a factor when Chip chooses his starting QB in July or August.
      In other words, the team has just over $18 million invested in their top 2 QB’s this season, no matter who’s their starting QB in September. As a matter of fact, Chip can make a very favorable impression on the locker room, right out of the gate, if he chooses Blaine over Kap despite the difference in salary between the two. What a great message that would send to his players!

      Next March, Colin’s salary will once again become a major factor for the FO to consider, if he hasn’t already been traded. But as we stand now, Colin’s salary has already become a non factor for the upcoming season.

      1. 49 one thing going against CK is he has never been a very good practice player.
        He’s a gamer but that’s about it. I guess it will depend on what Chip values more in evaluating during camp and exhibition games!

  1. Grant, nice projection. I can see Tiller giving Thomas and Martin alot of competition for a roster spot. I think Gerald Hodges might beat Wilhoite for the starter spot.

    1. I’m with you B2W… Not sure why so many are down on Tiller all of a sudden. I know he kind of doesn’t fit the scheme, but the guy played really well last year. I just see a lot of good competition on that interior OL, should be very competitive. I’m really pulling for Thomas to show why he was considered a 1st round prospect at one point.

      Same w/ Hodges, I think once he learns this system, just based off his athleticism alone should be able to easily beat Wilhoite.

      Everything else is very solid. I wonder if any other WRs from last year make some noise (White, Anderson, etc). Also interested to see if Busta can breakthrough, seems like such a weapon.

      1. I’m very curious about White and Anderson. I think Jerome Simpson could be a youth movement causality.

        Surprise threats to make the team – Anderson (Busta), Cajuste, Hayne.

        Surprise cuts not on everyone’s radar – Ellington (can’t stay healthy, Tomsula questioned his work ethic), Miller (role, though Miller might not be a surprise candidate), Patton (needs to develop a clear and unique competency).

          1. I hope they trade away Miller and Patton to get some future draft picks, but they need to do it before TC or the other teams will just wait til they are cut, and get them for free.

      1. Thomas and Martin could get the Joe Looney treatment… 4 training camps and three full seasons before Baalke can decide whether they’re worth keeping around.

      2. Grant

        Is Trent in charge of selecting the 53 from the 90 or just providing the coaches with the 90? I can’t imagine Trent would overrule Chip on a position as vital to Chip’s scheme as Guard. To that point, I believe Garnett was a Kelly selection, and Trent relinquished 2 cherished draft picks to acquire him.

        If Kelly wants Tiller, I suspect someone else will be cut. Perhaps Theus or Cooper will have an “injury” in camp.

          1. Last year, Baalke was meddling with the coaching by determining who plays. Hence the Hayne cut on the team bus and his insistence on playing cut couch potatoes as RBs. Also the dogmatic playing of Devey until Kaep was injured.
            This year, I hope he has learned his lesson, and will allow the coaches to play the the players they want to.
            The very fact that Chip got a big say in the selection of the first player in the draft means that Baalke has lost some of his supreme power.
            Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  2. Anyone know when the 49ers will do their group rookie introductory press conference? Will they wait till rookie mini-camp?

    1. Rooke minicamp “first or second weekend after draft”

      “Clubs may elect to hold a three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.”

      “Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which may begin on May 9. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-draft rookie minicamp.”

      OTAs May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2

      http://www.49ers.com/news/article-2/Full-List-of-Dates-for-49ers-2016-Offseason-Program/96ea0294-53c3-4605-920e-e3af86481d6a

  3. 12 DB’s is pretty excessive, but it could happen. I hope Tank or Harold step up and show enough to overtake Brooks in the Nickel.

      1. Did you read that article about O’Neil being a Ryan disciple and the shift of focus from superstar LBs to superstar DBs?

      1. Stopping the run in nickle is key. If you can’t, teams will force you to put Willhoite or Hodges in, then throw against the ILBs any time they want to move the sticks.

        Lynch is a stout OLB. Blair is strong, can hold point, stack-n-shed. Harold now bulked up. Tank is a classic 4-3 DE. This nickle might be able to stop the run…

        Lynch DE, Armstead DT, Buckner DT, Blair DE
        Bowman ILB, Tartt NILB,
        Ward NCB, Bethea SS, Reid FS
        Brock CB, Johnson CB

        Concerns – Lacks a classic “quick twitch” Von Miller type edge rusher. Still might have trouble stopping runs.
        Good – Has decent pass rushers at every line spot. All are good run defenders too. Carradine and (the now bigger) Harold should be able to set the edge rotating in.

        Basically the Niners are looking like a classic Big Nickle with true DE’s on the edges that can run defend too.

        1. The quality of the run defense will largely be down to the quality of the two DTs in stopping the run. It will be up to Armstead and Buckner to show they can be quality players against the run, or they will find themselves being subbed out for guys like Dial, Williams and Dorsey except on 3rd and long.

          1. I’ve got this feeling Williams and Dorsey begin the season on PUP, and Dial will man the nose, flanked by the Twin Towers….

              1. Not having Williams or Dorsey would indeed hurt the run D, but I think razor could well be right. Has to be a pretty good chance neither is available to start the season. And Dial would be the next best option at NT, most likely.

                Lets see if Armstead’s additional bulk helps him anchor and disrupt in the run game.

              2. I saw a photo of Armstead, and Grant was right. He’s put on close to 15 pounds of pure muscle….

              3. I agree Armstead needs to anchor better. I’m sure there will be growing pains with Buckner too. Buckstead’s careers will hinge on their ability to keep pad level low and anchor. If not they might be very expensive role players.

                Dial played almost a full season at NT in 2014. The run D was pretty good. Williams and Dorsey’s injuries might open a (temporary) roster spot for TJE or Percell. Ramsey was a college wrecking ball, but he couldn’t stay healthy.

                I really regret Baalke passing on Billings.

        2. Hodges’ strength is in pass coverage. He’s weak against the run, not fast, taking bad angles. At least that’s according to most scouting reports of him as a prospect. The 49ers are obviously high on him though, as shown by his switch to Drew Rosenhaus.

      2. I think they’re betting that Chip’s O will force teams to throw the ball to stay in games.

  4. I agree but for two spots in Draughn and Tiller. Maybe not the best fit scheme-wise but we should be able to find room for football players.

  5. Don’t overlook the Andersons . I think Dres and Rory Busta both have as shot at the 53. They definitely will be on the practice squad.

  6. I wouldn’t mind if both Patton and Ellington get cut. Neither provides anything for our team.

    I still say the best recipe for Kaepernicks inaccuracy is tall WR’s:
    Smelter-6’2
    Anderson-6’1
    Campbell- 6’1
    Rogers- 6’3
    Smith 6’1
    Simpson 6’2

    1. JF,
      Patton will be on the bubble and could possibly be cut if Rodgers and Smelter have a good TC. I know the Q hasn’t really had an opportunity to shine, but he hasn’t shown that he has any type of ceiling when he has played.

      I like Ellington because he provides help on Special Teams. Kelly likes larger WR types but he might make an exception BE because of his versatility.

        1. I hope so. I really liked him as a 4th round pick last year. What I find fascinating is how at the time most people were really excited about drafting him last year, yet despite everyone knowing he’d sit out a year he has become something of a forgotten man.

          He’s effectively another WR draft pick this year, but with the added bonus of a full NFL season and offseason learning and developing his body. They have added both Smelter and Burbridge to the WR corps. I think Smelter is a guy that could surprise and win the starting job opposite Smith.

          1. I agree with you Scooter. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Smelter won the starting job….

          2. Barring injury I have little doubt that Smelter will be a top producing starter in the NFL. It might not be until he’s on a team with a better QB situation but regardless it’ll happen at some point.

            1. Not sure I am willing to stick my neck out quite so far as that, but I do agree he looks a guy that could be a very productive starting WR.

          3. I’m looking forward to seeing Smelter play. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities in that offense at GT but he looked pretty good when he did get a chance.

    2. Patton was very productive in a college offense at La Tech very similar to Chip Kelly’s offense. Also, Jeff Driskel played in an offense at La Tech very similar to Chip Kelly’s offense. If the Driskel pick is any indication, then Patton has an edge on the other receivers.

      I also like Ellington as the return man.

  7. It is factual that Baalke has redo his efforts in the following areas due to poor drafting that has created a shortage at the following starting and backup positions (required for depth):
    1. RB 2. LB 3. CB 4. QB 5. DT 6. DE 7. WR 8. TE 9. OL. The Sheer numbers are so large when typed this way to simply look at this train wreck is astounding. Baalke better hope his picks work out this time and that Chip is the second coming of the genius or he’s gone!

    Others are aggravated by Baallke’s repetitious drafting: 49er Webzone’s Al Sacco below:

    I think he’s (Baalke’s) stuck in 1987, dreaming of himself in some meeting listening to Bill Parcells talk about how to build a football team. The game has changed.
    Baalke, however, treats his skills positions like afterthoughts, and it absolutely drives me crazy. So when the Niners passed up on someone like WR Braxton Miller to select a rehabbing CB Will Redmond in the third, I was ready to throw my phone across the hotel room I was staying in that night.
    The seventh round is a good time to take a chance on someone, so Baalke decided he needed another cornerback to compete with the nine they already have. Actually, CB Prince Charles Iworah is very intriguing as he runs a 4.3 40 (that’s really fast), but again, how many freaking cornerbacks do you need?

      1. So what, every players from Stanford or another college known for its academics is going to do a Borland (who wasn’t from such a college anyway)? When should the Colts expect Andrew Luck to retire? The Steelers had better ready themselves for DeCastro’s pending retirement. What will the Eagles do when Ertz gives the game away soon? The Seahawks will be on a downward spiral shortly when Sherman and Baldwin quit.

  8. Grant, you left off Andrew Tiller. He started the last few games at RG ahead of Brandon Thomas. He would be ahead of both Thomas and Martin at OG, either side. And as the incumbent starter might be considered ahead of Beadles.

  9. Jeff Driskel
    6-4, 234, 4.56, 71.6 accuracy percentage, 64.1 accuracy percentage under pressure, 39.1 deep pass accuracy percentage, 20.4 deep pass attempt rate.

    Carson Wentz
    6-5, 237, 4.77, 72.2 accuracy percentage, 56.0 accuracy percentage under pressure, 37.5 deep pass accuracy percentage, 19.2 deep pass attempt rate.

    2015 stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

    1. Driskel has all the traits necessary to be the starter in 2017. His intelligence and intangibles are the question marks as to whether or not he’ll be successful….

  10. I wonder how the 9er draft would have played out in they had signed Josh Norman…all those DBs…

  11. Ellington will be known as a RB in Chip’s offense, like Darren Sproles. Hyde, Taylor, Harris/Draughn, Ellington.

    1. I would even give Bruce Miller a shot at his college position of LB. We all know he has the mental makeup of a LB, why not give him chance to hit instead of being hit.

    2. There was an article mentioning the possibility of him moving to TE.

      The problem I think they’re going to have with trying to force Miller into the offense is that he’ll become a tell. They wont be able to use him as a regular fixture on plays so when he does come into the game it’ll be a tell to the defense that they’re likely to be running and likely to his side.

  12. DeAndrew White will be a breakout out player, how did no one mention him?!?! But yet you guys are high on random rookies! Smh

  13. I think Hayne will beat someone out for a spot. Maybe Mike Davis?
    Chip hopefully will know how to use Hayne’s gifts properly so he can flourish in some kind of a playmaker role.

    1. Hopefully, the new coaches will be smart enough to utilize Hayne properly. Last year, when they put in Ellington to call for fair catches while behind, I felt like they gave up, and did not try to win. Hayne specialized in catching kicks in traffic because there are no fair catches called in rugby.
      Hopefully, the new coaches will devise plays that have Hayne catching quick swing passes out of the back field, so they play to his strengths where he can make the first tackler miss.
      Maybe after they assessed the RBs, they thought that Hayne was good enough, so they did not consider that a position of need. Hence waiting until the 6th round to select a RB.

  14. Niners should target teams like Indy, who just signed 20 udfa, and the Chargers, who has to play against the Broncos and the Chiefs.
    Indy drafted a bunch of O linemen, but few skill players. Niners should bundle players to get a 2017 second round pick. Maybe Patton, Lemonier and Miller for a second. They should offer Davis, Draughn and Gaskins for Gore.
    Chargers lost a WR, TE and safety. Niners should offer Patton, Vance MacDonald and Antoine Bethea for a second round pick.
    Baalke loves to accrue picks, so they should create a pool of 15 players who are on the bubble, and offer them to other teams who have a desperate needs, or are just missing a few key players to get over the hump into the playoffs. Chip needs to assess the roster, and decide who is expendable. If they keep everyone, there will be talented players cut, so they should try hard to get maximum value, or just be content to lose them, and allow other teams to get them for free after the 53 roster is set.
    Additionally, the Niners should set aside a couple slots on the roster, and poach at least 2 players from other teams when they do the 53 man cutdown. They should target teams like Seattle, Arizona, Broncos, Pats and Carolina. Since they play 4 of those teams, the players acquired will give valuable intel, too.

  15. As impotent as our draft haul might be at least we didn’t have the Panther’s draft. SMH on wtf they were thinking. First they let Norman go and then they use 3 of their 5 picks on CB’s.

    1. Oh and not to mention using their first pick on a DT when they were already more then locked up at the position.

    2. Yeah, except that same FO built the team that went to the SB last year… they now have another talented DL to rotate in (and potentially replace Short next year if they are unable to agree an extension), and plenty of competition to replace Norman. That D is the strength of the team, and will remian strong this year you would think.

      1. The article that I was reading mentioned that it wasn’t a lack of defense that cost them the SuperBowl but the lack of ability to keep the Bronco’s defense away from Cam and that they should have invested in their offensive line.

        1. That may well be true, but that team was still good enough to get to the SB. Largely on the back of its D. And that unit looks like it will remain a strength.

  16. We’re entering a 2nd round of free agency as teams make cuts to veterans that just lost their positions to newly acquired draft picks.

    Very likely thrifty Baalke will make a pickup or two from this new pool of cast offs. I expect we’ll see an ILB added at this point.

    Does Boldin not having signed anywhere at this point increase or decrease the odds of him re-signing with the 49ers? I think the chances have gone up. If he was truly a hot commodity he would have been signed by now or will be within the next few days by a team that missed out on a receiver in the draft. If he doesn’t get picked up then I expect his two best options are to re-sign with us or sit out the first part of the season and hope that a contender loses a receiver to injury.

    1. I actually disagree on Boldin. I think they really want to give the young guys an opportunity. Signing Boldin just continues to hold them back.

      I think they only sign Boldin if the young guys stink it up during TC and preseason.

      1. :) We’re not disagreeing about anything. I was merely looking at his options and not really commenting on whether the team should sign him or not. I mean even if only in the strictest sense his chances are higher of being re-signed simply because he has yet to be signed elsewhere.

          1. I hope they re-sign Boldin just to show they want to retain veteran talent..
            They should re-sign him because of his leadership, and veteran savvy.

            1. If he is happy being a backup or role player then sure. But I’d hate to be stifling the development of a young WR just so the 49ers can show they want to retain veteran talent. Boldin is not the future of the 49ers.

  17. Deforest Buckner

    “In the weeks before this year’s draft, Buckner visited the set of “Sports Science” to undergo testing designed to measure different aspects of his skill set.

    The show concluded that Buckner, who stands 6-foot-7, 291 pounds, delivers a half-ton of force when exploding off of the line of scrimmage. That’s more power than a headbutt from a bighorn ram.

    Another nugget learned from the video is that Buckner’s vertical jump of 36 1/2 inches is two inches higher than New Orleans Saints wideout Brandin Cooks, who Buckner outweights by more than 100 pounds. Cooks was a first-round draft pick in 2014.

    “There’s really no other way to put it,” John Brenkus states, “DeForest Buckner is an athletic freak.”

    http://www.49ers.com/news/article-2/5-Things-to-Know-about-49ers-DL-DeForest-Buckner/99c47d6a-8bb4-45df-9d35-8d8275105860

  18. On Aaron Burbridge:

    I was putting away the PFF draft guide and decided to take a final look at their wide receiver stats and rankings. They noted they ranked Burbridge a 5th round pick, and then I looked at their metrics and found something very surprising to me, given where Baalke picked him.

    First of all, of the wideouts in the major programs, Burbridge was the most targeted, with 146 targets. The guys ahead of him were Tajae Sharpe (UMass) and Keyarris Garrett (Tulsa). Here are the targets on some other guys:
    Carroo 56
    Coleman 116
    Doctson 108
    Miller 38
    Thomas (OSU) 83
    Treadwell 122

    Ok, but how did he do on the metrics PFF published in the draft guide? This is what really impressed me, given where we got him:

    Yards per route run: 12 out of 51
    Carroo 1/51
    Coleman 3/51
    Doctson 2/51
    Miller 43/51
    Thomas (OSU) 24/51
    Treadwell 27/51

    Deep receiving catch rate: 4/51
    Carroo 2/51
    Coleman 28/31
    Doctson 9/51
    Miller 13/51
    Thomas (OSU) 19/51
    Treadwell 18/51

    Slot receiving catch rate: 12/51
    Carroo 43/51
    Coleman 6/51
    Doctson 1/51
    Miller 35/51
    Thomas (OSU) 45/51
    Treadwell 33/51

    Not so impressive, though:
    Drop rate on catchable balls: 41/51
    Carroo 15/51
    Coleman 47/51
    Doctson 27/51
    Miller 7/51
    Thomas (OSU) 24/51
    Treadwell 38/51

  19. Here is my early prediction for the roster:

    QB: Kaep, Gabbert, Driskel
    RB: Hyde, Hayne, Davis, Taylor
    WR: Smith, Smelter, Patton, Burbridge
    TE: Bell, Celek
    OT: Staley, Brown, Theus, Cooper
    OG: Beadles, Garnett, Pears
    OC: Kilgore, Martin
    FB/TE: Miller
    WR/RB: Ellington
    TE/WR: Anderson
    Interior DL: Armstead, Williams, Buckner, Dial, Dorsey
    Edge DL: Carradine, Blair
    Edge OLB/DE: Lynch, Brooks, Harold
    ILB: Bowman, Hodges, Wilhoite, Armstrong
    ILB/S: Tartt
    CB: Brock, Acker, Redmond, Robinson, Reaser
    CB/S: Ward, Johnson
    S: Reid, Bethea, McCray
    K: Dawson
    P: Pinion
    LS: Nelson

    Notable cuts: McDonald, Harris, Draughn, Tiller, Thomas, Purcell, TJE (though I expect both TJE and Purcell will start the season on the roster with Williams and Dorsey on PUP), Bellore.

    1. This is a pretty bold roster prediction Scoot. I think Thomas gets another year regardless to prove himself, almost untouchable unless he stinks it up really bad. A Vmac cut is very possible with the plethora of young talent they’ve been building, although I think Chip will really like his size and athleticism and try to utilize him. I like Tiller and if he can maybe cut down the weight might be able to fit and provide good depth on the interior and should be kept over Pears. But if they decide to part with him I wonder if he has any trade value.

      I’m with you on Hayne. I think Chip will like him a lot.

      1. My thinking on VMac is based on what he had at Philly. Ertz is an athletic TE with pretty good hands, and Celek is a savvy player that can catch and block. I think Bell is best suited to the Ertz role, and Celek’s role can be filled by his brother and potentially Miller. Anderson meanwhile can play as a move TE, fitting in the slot on occasion and backing up Bell.

        VMac is a pretty good blocker and is athletic for his size, but his hands are an issue. I don’t think he can be relied upon as a pass catcher, which makes him unsuitable for that Ertz type role. He could be retained to play more of the Brent Celek type role (more of a blocker), and I think it will come down to between him, Garrett Celek and Miller for that spot.

        Thomas will need to really show something this offseason to stick. I think he is fighting it out with Theus, Cooper, Tiller and Silberman for one of two backup OG/OT roles. The other spot goes to Pears as I highly doubt he is let go as he is the only real veteran backup they have on the OL (though one could argue Martin is now a veteran too). With a lot of young guys on the OL, including two likely starters that are either a rookie (Garnett) or 2nd year player (Brown), a veteran backup will likely be wanted while the young guys develop.

        1. I like your roster but I believe Rodgers will surprise every one and make the team and be productive in chips offfence.

  20. Here’s Maiocco’s take on why the team moved up to select Garnett. I agree with his assessment except that I still think the 5th year option was a factor (especially, since guards haven’t typically gotten second contracts during Baalke’s tenure):

    “Stanford guard Joshua Garnett is the one player the 49ers wanted at that stage in the draft. He’s they guy they coveted, and they were clearly concerned another team would select him. (Perhaps, the Seattle Seahawks?)

    “We looked at the next seven or eight picks and who was sitting there and their needs, and for us, why not?” Baalke said. “We like the guy. We like him a lot. We had that kind of value placed on him. Let’s go get him and let’s not sweat it out over the next seven picks.”

    You never really know if a player would or would not have still been there.

    Remember, A.J. Jenkins? OK, we can all agree that he was a horrible draft pick. But a lot of people wanted to say the 49ers reached on Jenkins because they could have taken him with their next pick. Well, apparently, the St. Louis Rams had other ideas. They reportedly had him targeted with a pick three spots later.

    My point is, nobody really knows for sure when these players are going to be selected.”

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/49ers-mailbag-gm-baalke-hot-seat

    1. This touches on what really annoys me when people say they could have just waited and still got him, and thereby wasted picks to move up. We have absolutely no way of knowing that. If the 49ers truly coveted the player then it makes perfect sense to go up and grab him.

      The funniest part is that a lot of the people complaining about this move are the same ones that complain about hoarding picks, or on missing out on players because they didn’t try hard enough to move up and get them (yikes, the number of times I have heard people rip Baalke for not moving up and grabbing Kelvin Benjamin, shish!).

      I can understand people questioning whether Garnett was worth grabbing at that point. Personally I would have been fine staying pat and if they missed out on him so be it. But the 49ers clearly placed a higher value on him than I do, and I have absolutely no qualms with the decision if they really like him.

      1. Scooter, maybe you do not direct your ire at me since I said first that the move was strategically advantageous because Seattle picked an O lineman 3 players later, and it was a good thing to deprive them of the opportunity to select an Outland Trophy winner.
        However, I did a Mulligan draft with the assumption that they stayed pat and did not move up, because it is speculative, and the Niners would have benefited from having those 2 picks. I wanted to maximize my theoretical redraft.
        I still think it was a shrewd move, because even though Seattle did not mention Garnett in their blogs and team page, it would not be the last time a team ignored a player so as to not tip their hand. Niners did not interview Bucker, even though Chip recruited him.

        1. This was not directed at you, or at least not intentionally. To be honest I hadn’t paid attention to whether you thought the trade up was a good one or not. Very much a catch all comment for those that are bemoaning the idea of trading up because they believe Garnett would have been available at #37.

          Not everything revolves around you.

          1. Actually, your second paragraph is not me at all, because I am always speculating on trading back and moving up, just trying to improve with wheeling and dealing.
            Still, if Garnett had gotten past the Seahawks, none of the subsequent teams would have wanted a guard, based on their needs, and none did draft a guard.
            Even if Garnett were taken, I liked Spriggs, or Chris Jones, who was taken with the 37th pick.

            1. Even if what you say is true, and none of the teams between 28 and 37 wanted Garnett, the 49ers are not the only team capable of trading up.

              I also liked Spriggs and Jones, and would actually have taken Spriggs over Garnett (though Jones I probably wouldn’t have since they took Buckner at #7). That really isn’t the point. It doesn’t matter who we liked. It only matter who the 49ers liked. They liked Garnett more than those two players. Enough so to believe trading up was warranted. And I have no problems with that move if that is the guy they coveted, and thought was too good to miss out on.

              1. Well, at least they went bold and got the player they coveted. Too often, in the later rounds, it seemed as though they were content to see players selected ahead of them, and missed out. I think Mike Thomas was taken just before they picked.
                In this draft, if they had taken Cardale Jones instead of Rashard Robinson, and Paul Perkins instead of John Theus, I would have given them an A.

      2. “This touches on what really annoys me when people say they could have just waited and still got him, and thereby wasted picks to move up.”

        Thank you Scooter! That annoys me to no end. The entire draft is a gamble, but teams go through months and months of work on their boards, so if they have their guy that’s a need, rated very high, and worth (in their eyes) the extra picks then why wouldn’t they do it. Especially if they have any reason to believe that the next few teams could take him.

        Talk all you want about the player, the position, etc. But to try and say he would have still been there or it was a reach is ridiculous and quite arrogant in fact, unless some of you guys here have your own scouting consulting firms that we’re not aware of.

        1. Yeah I agree. If you truly want the player then go get him. I have no problem with the trade up. It’s about the player being worth the trade up now and that remains to be seen.

    2. Cubus-Scooter_McG – The Garnett pick was classic Baalke. Baalke likes to “reach” to secure his targeted player early. Grab BPA later.

      Kelly mentioned it the other day. If you have too many targeted (need) players, a GM can wind up making alot of bad deals in the course of a draft. So every draft Baalke allows himself one.

      Baalke seems to choose a single early target player, then goes BPA. This way he (feels) more in control of the remainder of the draft. He can’t be forced into making dumb trades. Not saying this always works, but its his aim.

      “Reach” examples….

      – He traded up for Anthony Davis, even though most thought AD would have fallen to his original spot. He was also criticized my national pundits for taking Iupati high instead of trading back a few spots, then grabbing him.

      – Many ripped Baalke for not trading back and choosing Aldon Smith. (turns out Dallas was eyeballing Aldon)

      – Stood pat for AJ Jenkins, though many saw him as a day two pick.

      – Traded way up to 18 for Reid. Many complained (perhaps accurately) Reid would have dropped to 31.

      – Surprised everyone by “reaching” for Ward

      – 2015 was a little different. He did BPA in the first. His true target player (Tartt) was in the 2nd round. Baalke said he refused some lucrative trade back offers to secure Tartt.

      – He did BPA with the top pick again (Buckner), but moved back into the first for Garnett, who many thought would be at 37. Then kicked back and let the board didcate the choices. As usual.

      I’m fine with the Garnett choice. Kelly sometimes calls pulling guard gap scheme runs to punish teams for crashing DEs onto the inside zone (the way screen passes punish reckless pass rushes). His dual Gap/ZBS skills are perfect for Kelly’s system.

      1. They are labelled “reaches” by pundits only. Baalke does not trade up for a player unless he believes they are worthy of being taken there.

        If Baalke has a number of players he has rated at a similar level available when they are getting close to their pick, he waits. If it gets to their pick and they still have a number of players available they rate similarly, he will look to trade back (e.g. Armstead last year, Tank in 2013) if he can, or otherwise just make the pick. If there is a guy they rate more highly than the rest of the guys left on their board as it is getting nearer their pick, he will look to trade up (e.g. Reid, Davis, Garnett) rather than risk waiting and losing them.

        I am sure there are plenty of instances where they have either tried to trade up or trade back that we have no idea about too.

        But don’t buy into the idea that Baalke is reaching for players beyond where they have them rated just to secure them. He is doing it because they have those players rated there, even if others do not, and is not willing to take the risk of losing them by gambling and moving back or standing pat. And the reason he is not willing to take that risk is usually because they need to fill that position (e.g. Reid, Davis, Garnett).

        1. “But don’t buy into the idea that Baalke is reaching for players beyond where they have them rated just to secure them.”

          I didn’t say Baalke takes players higher than where he values them. That’s why I put the word “reach” in quotation several times. “Reach” is pundit nonsense.

          What I am saying is he will trade up to nail down a single targeted player early. He will take this player close to board value, instead of risking losing him, hoping for a greater bargain. Safe early. Risk later in the draft.

          He won’t be draft pick greedy with this player. When the target player’s within Baalke’s value range he executes a trade up. But that doesn’t mean he will take a player at a spot higher than he values them.

          Once that player’s secured, he lets the value bargains fall to him.

          The whole idea of Baalke’s “Target first, let BPA fall later” is avoiding being forced to reach for players beyond where he has them rated.

  21. Grant, on your twitter you say PFF projects the 49ers to pick 4th next year. That isn’t true. Read the article and it clearly states the order is based on Las Vegas odds to win the SB. No projection is made by PFF in terms of where teams will be drafting.

  22. “Seahawks to start out Germain Ifedi at right guard…….“As of right now he’s going to line up at right guard and (J’Marcus) Webb will be our right tackle,” Schneider said Wednesday, in an interview with Mitch Levy on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle.”

    confirms what most assumed……we stole the G seattle wanted

    1. confirms what most assumed……we stole the G seattle wanted

      No it doesn’t. A few Niner fans are obsessed with wanting to believe they pulled one over on a hated rival but it’s simply not the case.

      If Seattle had truly wanted Garnett they could have stayed where they were and drafted him. Instead they were trying to trade down with two different teams – one of which would have dropped them to the second round – which means they had a large group of players they felt were at the same level on their board.

      This idea that the Niners took a player Seattle wanted is Niner fan fantasy. Seattle moved down because they didn’t value any particular player at that spot.

  23. I agree.
    Seattle ignored Garnett kinda like the Niners ignored Buckner.
    Too bad they were greedy and wanted to get an additional draft pick AND get the player they wanted, but they saw both Garnett and Ifedi were available. They knew they could trade back and still get one of those players, but the Niners got ahead of them and snagged the prize from under their nose.
    Ifedi may be a good player, but when they use adjectives like, lazy, sloppy, unreliable, struggling, complacent, and talk about poor habits, late and wild hands with a tendency to grab and how he needs to improve, I think Garnett is far superior.

  24. Oscar Aparicio (NN and Better Rivals) posted an article about his study of Baalke’s drafting strategy related to SPARQ, including comments on Cajuste.

    “Wide receiver Devon Cajuste has a pSPARQ score that puts him near the 94th percentile of NFL wide receivers. This means, statistically speaking, if Cajuste were to make the opening day roster there would be only 10 to 12 wide receivers in the NFL more athletic than the rookie. The Stanford Cardinal was the 5th ranked wide receiver based on pSPARQ this year, behind athletic phenom Moritz Boehringer and first-rounders Josh Doctson and Corey Coleman. To put things in perspective, Cajuste is almost two inches taller and 34 pounds heavier than Doctson. But Cajuste was just .07 seconds slower in the 40-yard dash, and .12 seconds slower in the short shuttle.”

    But that’s a small part of the article. He does an indepth analysis of Baalke’s draft strategy re SPARQ. There seems to be a pattern where he might be using SPARQ in his evaluation of UDFAs.

    http://www.ninersnation.com/2016/5/4/11588734/sparq-strategy-trent-baalke-49ers-udfa-signings-devon-cajuste

  25. I would be surprised if we have 3 QBs on the 53 man roster. Either something will happen with Kaep, they’ll be an injury, or Baalke will have Driskel get a “foot injury” to stash him as he’s done with plenty of other rookies. I could envision the same thing for Robinson as they ask him to hit the gym for a year, which would allow them to keep Cromartie.

  26. Good start Grant.

    I’m thinking Hodges will be “forced” to start due ILB’s inability to cover (in base).

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