Should the 49ers re-sign Boldin?

On one hand, yes, the 49ers obviously should re-sign Anquan Boldin. He is the only receiver on the roster, besides than Michael Crabtree, who appears to be game ready on a consistent basis.

On the other hand, Boldin will be 34 years old next season and could demand a contract worth between $10 and $12 million over two seasons. Not cheap. If the 49ers re-sign Boldin, they probably will have to let Donte Whitner go.

The 49ers could keep Whitner — give him the franchise tag — develop a safety to take Whitner’s spot in 2015, let Boldin go and draft his replacement. There will be eight tremendously talented junior wide receivers who will be available in the first round. The 49ers could hope one of those receivers will be available when the No.30 pick rolls around, or the Niners could try to trade up.

The Raiders probably would be willing to trade down from the No.5 pick, especially if quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater have been picked in the top four. The 49ers could trade their first round pick this year and next year, both second round picks this year and a third rounder this year to the Raiders for the No.5 pick, and take the best wide receiver in the draft, Sammy Watkins.

Here’s how that draft could look:

Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
Falcons: Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (trade up)
Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
49ers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (trade up)
Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn (trade down)
Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Vikings: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Titans: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Rams: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Bears: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Steelers: Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
Ravens: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Jets: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cardinals: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Packers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
Eagles: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Chargers: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Browns:
 C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
Saints:
 Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Panthers:
 Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Patriots:
 Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
Raiders:
 Rashede Hageman, DT, Minnesota (trade down)
Seahawks:
 Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Broncos: 
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

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  1. Of course they should re-sign Boldin. If the choice is between keeping Boldin and keeping Whitner, I’m taking Boldin every time.

    1. Agreed. Look at the last two playoff games that we lost, and Whitner had a hand in losing both. He gave up the TD to Boldin in the Superbowl, and he left his eyes in the backfield to let the scrub Baldwin get by him in Seattle.

      1. Yeah, but Whitner is younger and tougher to replace right now. Is there really a SS in this draft who can start right away for the Niners?

      2. I think there are a few S’s in this draft who could start right away for the Niners. Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Buchanon, Bailey, Reynolds and Dixon to name a few. Obviously you lose Whitner’s experience, but the Niners have already shown they are willing to take that trade off by letting Goldson go last year and replacing him with a rookie.

      3. Whitner is good. He’s an enforcer. But jesus, experienced? He’s undersized and a liability in coverage. His falling asleep in the backfield gave Seattle the first sign of life that it needed to crawl back into the game.

      4. He may not like it Grant, but that’s likely how it’s going to be just like last year. The cap forces teams to make tough decisions and I think they’ve already given their opinion on Whitner by not resigning him already.

      5. Grant Cohn says:
        January 29, 2014 at 10:08 am
        Is there really a SS in this draft who can start right away for the Niners?
        ——————-
        Did you think Reid was capable of being a day one starter last year before or even after the draft? I think a good S is easier to find and replace then a good WR. Just ask the Ravens if they missed Anquan last season?

      6. The main issue with losing Whitner is you lose the leader of the DBs – the guy that helped get everyone lined up. Reid is a smart guy and will eventually take over this role. But it may be asking a lot of him to do it in his 2nd year, especially if he is mentoring a rookie beside him.

        Perfect world the 49ers would be able to keep Whitner beside Reid for another year. But unfortunately probably won’t happen. There could be a few growing pains as a result, but that is today’s NFL.

    2. Yes they are going to resign Boldin, my guess about $6 million per season two year deal, goodbye Carlos Rogers in June, overpaid and slow. Whitner is a good safety but not a great one, he sucked against Seattle. As I posted earlier the Top 10 receivers in the NFL make $9 to $18 mill a season, goodbye Crabs after next season and Boldin is a bargain at that price.

    3. I would take the trade off of the 49ers having a comfortable lead in every game next year instead of having a tight game were the defensive backfield has to try an make all f these lays to keep us in the game.

  2. Pretty simple. Watkins is worth the trade. We need a playmaker on the outside. Add Watkins with a healthy Crabtree and we are dangerous. We sign Watkins means we don’t bring back Boldin though. A lot of this is predicated on what the Rams do. Do they trade back? If it’s rumored that we are moving up, do they grab Watkins just so that we can’t have him?
    If we don’t make this move, then we have to re-sign Boldin IMO.

    1. I disagree Bay. Nobody is worth that kind of compensation in draft picks unless you are looking for a Franchise QB, and a WR in this offense is definitely not worth that imo.

      They will most likely get a good WR where they are. The likelihood of 8 WR’s being drafted in the first round is slim to none and if it did happen, that means some very good talent is falling at other positions.

      If they resign Boldin, they are not forced to focus on WR. Crabtree, Boldin and Patton are not to shabby of a group and they can add to it with a pick in the 2nd or 3rd round.

      I’m reading opinions about the Niners not needing so many picks and that they are deep already, but when you look at it, they really could use a number of reinforcements they could acquire in this draft.

      They will need 1 if not 2 CB’s, 1 Safety, 1 WR and maybe 2 if they release Baldwin which is likely, 1 Center, 1 OG knowing that Iupati is probably gone after next season, ILB with the knowledge Bowman likely won’t be ready at the start of next season, a Dlineman to compete with Dobbs for the last spot, a pass rusher if they don’t feel good about signing Smith long term.

      In other words, there will be a number of spots available and they will most likely trade a pick or two for picks in 2015, so they could dry up pretty quickly.

        1. If Koetter had called a play for Jones instead of White at the end of the NFC Championship, maybe. Koetter forgot about Jones in the second half of that game. Jones was the reason they had a big lead in the first place.

      1. Maybe not, but that trade has prevented Atlanta from addressing needs on both the offensive and defensive lines with relatively inexpensive high level draft picks.

        There’s also no guarantee that Watkins is going to produce the way Jones has.

        1. Both points are correct. But the 49ers have much fewer needs than Atlanta had when they traded for Jones.

      2. Koetter forgot about Jones in the second half of that game.

        Or maybe, just maybe, the 49ers fixed their “communication issues” at half time and took Jones out of the game.

        1. Tarell Brown and the rest of the Niners’ DBs never did anything to force Koetter to stop calling Jones’ number.

      3. So you say. I think Dashon Goldson being where he was supposed to be had more than a little to do with it.

      4. Grant, in the end Atlanta probably won’t regret giving up the farm to get Julio Jones, but right now it’s hurting them…how long were the Saints hurting after Mike Ditka blew his wad to get Ricky Williams? We need to think both short AND long term…there are weapons to be had in this draft…can give up everything for one guy….

    2. The Falcons gave up two 1st’s, a 2nd and two 4th’s for Jones which is less than is being proposed here, but still pretty steep. Now here they are 3 year’s later with a bad defense and Oline, along with a 4 win season. Yes injuries played a part, but you lose the chance to build depth when you trade away that many picks.

      The Falcons are a great example of why you don’t make trades like this.

      1. The Falcons had a bad defense before they got Jones. The 49ers already have a good defense and a good O-line.

      2. Grant,

        By trading all those picks, Atlanta gave themselves less of a chance to improve in those areas, while adding to a position where they already had a top WR in White.

        As I said, all you have to do is look at the Falcons right now to see why trades like that are not a good idea.

        A good motto for NFL teams to live by should be:

        You are never one player away.

      3. Rocket

        Also keep in mind that of all positions, WR statistically has the highest proportion of busts among first round picks.

        Looking strictly from a numbers perspective, Niners may be best off in this draft just picking the best available DB or receiver for each of the 12 picks. There are that deep and strong at all positions.

    3. Watkins would be great, but he isn’t worth such a blockbuster trade. There are other good WR options available this year.

      As rocket points out there are other needs for this team, and giving up all that draft collateral for one player – albeit a good one – doesn’t sound like a good move to me.

  3. I don’t think he would command that high of a salary, plus even though Watkins is a great prospect theres always a chance that he becomes a bust or needs time to develop as most wide receivers do in the NFL. If either of those are true it really hurts our chances to win it all next year and with the loss of draft picks hurts our chances to win into the future.

    1. There are players that you know are as close to a guarantee as possible. Have you watched Watkins play? He’s flat out a play maker. Instinctive. Fast, elusive. What he has can’t be taught. Baalke go show that you are not a bust at drafting receivers. Go get this kid.

      1. Trent Richardson, Aaron Curry were considered some of the safest prospects ever before the were useless in the NFL. There are no guarantees and yes I’ve been waiting for Watkins to come out since his freshman year but I have a hard time justifying 5 picks in the first 3 rounds for one non-qb prospect especially when great wide receivers can be had all over the place in the draft.

  4. This is a no brainer imo. You resign Boldin. He brought way too much to the team to let him go.

    Whitner is already out the door. They could have resigned him and he was practically begging them to do so, but they passed. They will draft a replacement for him.

    Interesting trade proposal, but the Niners would never do something like that. Giving up that many picks is not their style and I can’t see the value in that many picks for a WR personally. This team doesn’t incorporate many 3 WR sets to begin with and won’t ever be confused with a pass first system, so the idea of them trading a kings ransom to move up and draft one doesn’t make sense to me.

    More likely they stay put or trade out of the 1st entirely due to the large number of similar caliber players that figure to be there at the end of the round. They could try to trade up a few spots if they see somebody falling they feel is too good to wait on, but a trade to the top 5 is not going to happen imo.

    1. Rocket,
      this kid will become a true number one. He will allow the Niners to have some flexibility as to whether or not they resign Crabtree the following year.
      We lack play makers that can take it to the house. You know, like Marshawn did against us. Quick strike guys. This guy is that guy.

      1. Bay,

        There are other playmakers who will be there later in the draft. Watkins is good, but there’s no such thing as a can’t miss. If you are going to trade that many picks it better be for a QB you plan to build your offense around; not a WR you add to a run first offense.

        Watkins would help no question, but there are a number of holes you don’t get to fill if you trade away all those picks. The Niners would never make a trade like that imo.

      2. Right. Because that strategy has worked so well for us in the past. We need to make a splash.
        And Rocket, if there are playmakers that fill that bill, name one.

      3. Bay,

        Where has the strategy failed? This team’s core has been built through the 2011 and 2013 draft classes for the most part. Blowing a bunch of premium picks is not the way this team does business.

        This is a deep draft for WR’s and there will be some good options at the end of the first and into the second round and later like:
        Cooks, Adams, Landry, Matthews, Moncrief, Ellington, Richardson, Coleman etc.

        There are always good receivers available in later rounds that turn into good players. I think we have one already in Patton.

      4. You are giving the company line Rocket. But lack definitive answers. We need a splash. Seattle will get better next year. They will get Rice back and a healthy Harvin which makes them dangerous. Real dangerous. To say we will continue to do what we’ve done is lazy and it puts us behind the curve.
        Just like that character in the movie Apocalypto, we can go by the nickname “Almost”.

      5. Smh. The 49ers’s offensive problems don’t stem from the lack of a “playmaker” at WR. Trading away multiple No. 1s and No. 2s to acquire something that’s not needed doesn’t seem like a smart move.

        And why does the team need to make a “big splash”? How does making such a splash help the team win more games?

      6. Grant:

        Watkins would make Kaepernick more dangerous as well.

        Perhaps … if he’s Kaepernick’s No. 1 read. What if he’s the second option?

      7. Bay,

        They don’t need to make a splash. They were one play away from a return trip to the SB. If you think Sammy Watkins is all the Niners need to take the next step, then you haven’t been paying attention.

        This offense doesn’t feature multiple WR’s. It’s run oriented and works out of 1-2 WR formations most of the time. How is Watkins going to come in and make a splash exactly? Will Watkins be able to stop Lynch in the running game? Will he be able to cover Percy Harvin? That is what you are overlooking here.

        On top of that, how do you propose filling all the holes this team will have after FA? When you trade draft picks in the first 3 rounds away you need to fill positions with later picks or in FA which is very hard and costly to do, and rarely works out in a positive way.

        I understand the Watkins love; he’s a great young player, but making a trade like that is not how this team got to where it is now and won’t be how it takes the next step in the future imo.

      8. Rocket and I are on the same page here. Watkins looks great, but relying on one guy to make the difference to what happened in 2013 is living in the past, and a bad strategy. The 2014 49ers won’t be the same as the 2013 49ers. There are other areas that also need to be addressed.

        The draft is littered with good looking WRs this year. If its me drafting, I’m taking two WRs in the first 3 rounds regardless of whether Boldin is re-signed. If Boldin doesn’t re-sign, I’d go 2 WRs with their top 3 picks. I also agree with trading up for a WR to get one of the top 5 guys, but that trade should be to move up 5-10 spots, not to #5. Beckham or Robinson would be guys I’d target in round 1, pending the combine.

        As to re-signing Boldin, a 1-2 year deal worth $5-$6 million a year would be the most I’d go to re-sign him given his age. If he wants more let him go. There is a dearth of WR talent in FA this year so some team might be willing to over-pay for a 34 year old. If the 49ers lose him it isn’t the end of the world, but it does put more pressure on drafting well at the WR position.

      9. remember, Jerry Rice….the greatest ever was selected in the middle of the first round….no one receiver is not worth that many draft picks….what has Megatron won….the last time the 49′ers won they were wise enough to sign Deion Primetime Sanders for a yr to compensate for the very overrated Steve young…..Had the 49ers pulled the trigger and traded a 2nd pick to the Browns for Josh Gordon …we wouldn’t be having this discussion….Baalke and company are poor talent evaluators…..Aj Jenkins, not cutting Kyle Williams sooner, etc….far to many can’t miss receivers are bust…

  5. The 9ers should resign Boldin there are two main reasons.
    #1 WR’s end up as draft busts second only to QB’s
    #2 Trading away too many draft picks is the shortest path to cap hell.

    1. Hear Hear. Draft multiple WRs in the middle rounds and see which one can play. Round #1 is for athletes, *cough* safety *cough*

      1. Colin Kaepernick

        If he can stop turning the ball over 3 times when he plays in Seattle they will win.

      2. So then he will also be required to run for 130 yards? Because defenses can cheat in on us because we don’t have a star playmaker that can stretch the field?

      3. Defenses won’t stop loading the box just because Watkins is on the outside.

        Unless the 49ers dramatically alter their offensive philosophy they will still be in 1 or 2 WR sets 75% of the time and teams will put 7-9 guys in the box .

      4. If you believe Kap is as good as he’s going to get and will not improve as a pocket passer then that opinion is warranted, but I think Kap has only scratched the surface of what he can be and will only get better as time goes on.

        They’ve got good weapons on offense already. What needs to happen is better use of them and the next step being taken by the QB. They will add another WR, but it doesn’t need to be at the expense of that many picks.

      5. Did you guys not just watch the 2013 season? How many passes over the top of a defense did you see? For this offense to function on all cylinders, you don’t have to do that with regularity, but you have to have to threaten it with regularity.
        Having a weapon in place that commands attention allows Harbaugh and company to manipulate defenses to do what they really want to do. Unless we plan on doing something differently, that plan does not work versus the top dog who by the way will have their explosive players back next season.

      6. Davis tied Megatron for catches of 25+ yards on 2/3 of the targets.

        A speed guy outside would be nice, but not at that price.

      7. Bay,

        I agree that having a fast WR to take the top off a defense is nice to have, but there’s more than Watkins available in the draft to accomplish that. You don’t need to mortgage prime draft picks to find a WR who can get behind a defense. That’s also a very small component of an offense that has a low percentage of success.

        Seattle isn’t going to look much different than they did last year. I don’t know where you think this improvement is going to come from other than Harvin possibly being healthy. They have two picks in the first two days, will likely cut Rice due to cap considerations and his inability to stay healthy, and will have to start planning how they are going to sign their core players like Sherman, Thomas, Wilson etc that are coming up for new contracts.

        Just for reference sake, Seattle traded a 1st and 7th last year, and a 3rd this year for an established NFL talent who has proved he can play in the league. Think about what you are advocating the Niners give up for a College player who has no history in the league. Also consider how much Seattle got in production for their money this year from this deal.

        And finally, consider the fact that Seattle is playing in the SB without having Harvin and Rice for most of the season because they have built a deep team through the draft.

        Trades like the one being proposed for Watkins are pure lunacy man. They rarely work out well and cripple the organization that gives up all the picks for quite a long time after.

      8. I agree with Bay Area fanatic. A wideout who can stretch the field will hold the safeties. They either choose to take the outside receiver or Davis. They will also not be able to fly downhill on run plays.

    1. Colin would be very dangerous once he develops better vision. Teams load up the box because they know he can read defenses and just key on a few players. Once he gets better vision, a 2nd round WR would be enough. They don’t need the best WR, they just need Colin to make defenses pay when they crowd the box.
      He’s going to force teams to play more zone because of his threat to run from the pocket, and not the read option.
      He will always be the big question mark until he proves it…

  6. Grant i think if you were asked last year at this time should the 9ers resign Whitner you would have given a very different answer.

    1. I understand Whitner’s limitations. He’s a liability in coverage. Would Bucannon be better in coverage as a rookie?

      1. Yes!
        At Washington State, Bucannon finished with 15 interceptions in four years as a SS, not FS. His measurables are 6’1″, 215 with a 78 in wingspan. He more known for his bone-crushing hits than his tackling technique, well, which sucks. He would have to be re-taught the fundamental and who better than Donatell and our Niner staff. That being said, he is a missile on downhill plays toward the box, no fear. Once those techniques are fixed, he would be a demon at SS with incredible range giving Fangio his “inter-changeable safeties.

        His speed and quickness allow him to have great range while his fluid hips allows him to change direction well. He has experience in man coverage, playing against the slot as well. He breaks to the ball, undercuts routes and can fight and win for the ball.

        A thought could be to have Reid could take over at SS using his intelligence to master both positions of Fangio’s safety roles. Then, Bucannon can go FS for a year learning from Reid. This is only possible because of the way Fangio uses his safeties.

        IMO, Bucannon’s versatility will appeal to Baalke and if nothing else, he would draft this kid with the eye to take over the SS role. In the meantime, he will hone in on his tackling technique, learn the system, contribute on ST and compete for the starting SS position.

        I like this kid alot.

  7. I think the biggest reasons for YES is that 1) Baalke and staff haven’t demonstrated that they can actually evaluate WR talent, and 2) JH’s coaching staff hasn’t demonstrated that they can effectively coach receivers.

    I think on those grounds they HAVE to sign Boldin if they want a product passing game in 2014. The difference in terms of efficiency in the passing with the two of them (Crabtree & Boldin) on the field is indisputable. So spend the money and make it happen. Don’t start from square one with trying to develop a WR so that we can “compete for a Super Bowl” in 2014. If Baalke takes that approach, then we might be doomed next year.

    I’m still optimistic about Q.Patton developing into something. I think he’s shown enough “flashes” to justify some sort of optimism. He kind of fell in the right spot for us and that’s great. But it just seems that Baalke keeps trying to hit the bargain bin or find a “steal” in the draft, and his hopes is that it makes him look like a genius. Sometimes the genius thing to do is the obvious, he doesn’t do that, and that concerns me when it comes to drafting WR talent (or any talent for that matter).

    1. Sorry but I don’t buy this notion that Baalke and co. have shown they can’t draft WR’s or evaluate them. Baalke has drafted 3 WR’s since he became GM and two were in the 4th and 5th round. He blew the Jenkins pick, but to say that pick determines he can’t evaluate a WR is nonsense. Drafting is not an exact science because you can’t measure a players desire and will to play the game.

      1. Again Bay he’s drafted a total of 3 so I don’t buy the notion. He’s also not the one who develops it. He’s blown one high WR pick which is unfortunate, but that shouldn’t label him as somebody who can’t judge WR talent.

      2. Hmmmm. Kyle Williams, Jenkins, Lockette, Ronald Johnson, Braylon Edwards, Patton and anyone else who was either drafted or brought in.
        That could even extend to Tight Ends. Celek? V-Mac? Can this group get it right with receivers that need to come in and make an impact?

      3. Rocket,
        That’s just it, he’s drafted 4 WR’s (or has been involved with the drafting of 4). Crabtree was pretty much a no-brainer. If he doesn’t get hurt probably goes top 3 that year. But Kyle Williams, Ronald Johnson, AJ Jenkins? That’s best he could do, when there have been some very successful/effective WRs come out since Baalke has been at the helm. It’s not so much how many DID draft, it’s a combination of the number of WRs he DIDN’T draft, and the fact that the ones he did draft for the most part SUCKED!

      4. He was not the GM when they drafted Crabs or Williams. They’ve drafted 3 WR’s under his watch – two of them in later rounds – which is too small a sample size to determine his ability to evaluate WR’s.

    2. Rocket,
      until proven otherwise, Baalke cannot identify or develop wide receiver talent. Patton may finally poke in hole in that theory. TBD.

      1. K,

        Other than Crabtree & Boldin, NOBODY made catches worth anything substantial (Gore had 1). So that’s not what I’m basing my opinion off of. What I’m seeing is a WR who goes after the ball when it comes his way, and makes the play. The 1st down in the Carolina divisional round game on the first drive, the catch that sealed the victory in AZ week 17. He has potential to be a playmaker. He still has to prove himself during the offseason and ’14 regular season, but he’s the first WR in a 49ers jersey other then Crabtree & Boldin to actually make a significant play of positive effect in the past 5 years. Maybe he has the potential to be what Manningham was in NY (a guy you could count to catch the ball when it came his way, even in the big moments), or he has the potential to be a serious threat. That remains to be seen, so until then we MUST sign Boldin.

  8. Grant,

    Play this out for us. They trade away their both seconds, and let’s say their 3rd leaving them with Tennesse’s 3rd.

    How do they fill the needs at corner and the safety they are going to develop?

    1. Take the safety with Tennesee’s third, take the center with the comp pick, take the cornerbacks later. I’m not a big fan of the CBs in this draft, anyway.

        1. They could get Ahmad Dixon in the third. They could take Fales with the comp pick if he’s there. If not, take a center, Larsen, and take Jeff Matthews in the 6th. The Niners could take a cornerback in the fourth and fifth — Chris Davis, Antone Exum, Deion Belue, two of those guys.

      1. With the way the 49ers have found CBs in later rounds (Brown, Culliver, Cooper, Morris, etc), you may be on to something.

        Grant – are there no real solid SS in this draft? Seems like an easier fix than needing a FS.

    2. I disagree on your view of the CB’s Grant. I think this is a pretty good class personally, and I can see the Niners taking 2 of them before the draft is over.

      If you trade that many picks you are missing out on some pretty good players in the second round imo.

      1. I like Dennard and Gilbert, but I don’t think any other CBs in this draft can start for the Niners next season, even if Rogers and Brown leave. I think the 49ers will draft two CBs for depth and competition.

      2. With Culliver coming back, they won’t have to start and I think you are undervaluing a pretty good class of CB’s that looks deeper in quality than last year.

      3. I like Watkins. He has the versatility Baalke likes – CB and S experience. Selfless player emphasized by his willingness to make the switch to safety this past season. Plenty of experience against top competition. Decent size and speed. Good in press coverage and can re-route receivers. Active and high energy player. Good 3rd-4th round prospect in my opinion.

    1. Not advocating for trading up to get Watkins, but the 57% screen pass argument is bogus. The same was said about a certain Texas Tech WR who seemed to pan out pretty well for us. Talent is talent, the question is whether or not Watkins eats, sleeps, and obsesses about football the way most of the current Niners seemingly do.

  9. Grant does “their first round pick this year and next year, both second round picks this year and a third rounder this year” mean a total of five picks (2 first, 2 second and 1 third) for Oakland’s #5?

    Watkins looks great but two firsts, two seconds and a third seems pretty steep.

    1. I know Boldin is well worth the money, but I have no idea how his signing would affect the 49ers ability to retain other key players.

      As painful as it was to see key players go last year, the last offseason will be a piece of cake compared to the next two.

  10. Keep Boldin .. (pay da man !)

    Question for Grant .. what if …
    they actually keep Boldin .. and franchise Donte ..?

    What would be the cap hit on this ? … and ..
    is there a possible replacement for Donte who is
    a big hitter and is good in coverage .. who can be had
    in the later rounds ?

    1. I dig! I love the physicality! So far the WRs that we’ve drafted (other than Crabtree) are not physical enough and get beat up at the line of scrimmage. Watkins looks like he can get off the line and into the secondary quickly. That’s what we need. I like Q. Patton and his hustle, but he was getting up off the ground AT L.O.S. too often in the Seattle game.

  11. The cost is always the hurdle in keeping a player but if it can be done then Boldin must stay. He’s everything you want in a football player.

  12. Of course you sign Boldin. I don’t believe for a second that signing Boldin and Whitner is mutually exclusive.

    On the trade up it seems to me that giving up 5 top round picks to move up 25 spots is way too expensive. I checked your numbers against the draft value chart and it’s pretty much on the money but I don’t think it should cost that much. The Jaguars and Browns traded top of the first round picks for much less expensive. The Redskins gave up a kings ransom for RGIII but that’s the Redskins.

    1. The Redskins had/have a lot more holes than the 49ers. We’re talking about filling one, if not, the biggest need with a top talent.

      I just posted that I’m usually not big on it, but I think we get a great solution now and for the next few years (of course, my one caveat is we sign Crab. If not, I throw this idea out ;)

      1. That’s why the Redskins move was so insane. They had significant holes all over their roster and gave up a huge number of draft picks for one player. Now that player is hurt and their franchise will be crippled for several years. They gave up way too much.

        I don’t care how great Sammy Watkins was in college, don’t expect him to contribute “now”. Significant contributions from rookie receivers is extremely rare. WR’s need a couple of years to develop in the pro game. For every great rookie receiver you can throw out I can throw out 5 pro bowl receivers who had shaky rookie years. It just doesn’t happen very often.

    2. Houston,

      The old chart doesn’t apply anymore. As you mentioned, teams last year traded down for much lower compensation than the chart required.

      1. Houston – I agree with you on failed WRs but hindsight is 20/20 and this applies for ANY draft pick. We just don’t know. What is known is that Watkins looks like a top flight talent that doesn’t come around a lot and the 49ers should consider it.

    3. We all knew when they were coming out that Calvin Johnson and AJ Green were fabulous players, AND we knew our Niners weren’t going to get them. Watkins looks great, but I can’t even see the #5 Pick from here. Too far for a trade in 1st.

  13. While I’m not big on giving up that many picks for anyone, Watkins is a very unique talent with the body (big), speed and toughness to compete in the NFC West. If everyone is of the mind set that we’re in a “win now” / “window’s closing” mode, make the trade and get Watkins. You then extend Crab so you have the two of them for the next 3-4 years. Again, the bounty is a lot, but could be worth it to differentiate this team from SEA.

      1. I agree, but like Harbaurgh said, “I don’t believe in windows”. Essentially the window is now. With injuries, salary cap, etc, there is so much uncertainty that planning and building for the future is important. But isn’t that what they’ve done the last three drafts and free agency periods? Plus, our salary cap is about to get blown up with Iupati, Kaep, Crab, and Aldon leaving them with more urgency to get another SB trophy (btw – I love Boldin and would love to keep him).

      2. Panda,

        Holes can develop very quickly due to injuries and FA. Watkins could also come in the first day of camp and tear an ACL. There is a reason you don’t put all your eggs into one basket in this game. Draft picks are gold; you don’t give them away for a shot at one player.

      3. The fact that we have some big players coming up for new contracts is exactly why we should keep the picks, it gives us good depth to not have to overpay players so as to let good players go to keep the great ones. I don’t know about you but when we have to let go some good players(Iupati is gone for sure) I’d have more confidence if we are filling the positions with 1st-3rd round draft picks that we have been developing rather than 4th-7th rounders. So sacrificing 5 of those type players for 1 of them is not in my mind a smart move.

      4. “Draft picks are gold; you don’t give them away for a shot at one player.”

        Unless you’re Mike Ditka….

  14. in 2013 the offense was not very effective without two solid wideouts – against weaker teams we could get by, but against the good defenses in the playoffs we struggled to score 20+ points

    the front office/coaching staff has shown spotty ability to draft and develop WRs – the last one who has made an impact cost us a top 10 pick in the first round

    to dream of going without Boldin, we must dream of obtaining a high level WR in the FA market (expensive) or a draft choice who can start in his first year (probability: low). So what’s the question again? This, unfortunately, looks like a no brainer. Just be thanking higher powers that Kaep doesnt yet cost $15 mm a year.

  15. I say start a youth movement..Kap’s gonna have to develop throwing to other players..Coaches will have to use a multitude of different looks and routes..Vance Mac,Patton,Crab,and..yess Baldwin..Might as well play him more.Draft two more wr’s..Crab’s replacement and a Boldin’s type player. One that can start Now…One that you can work in slowly..Who knows. the wr’s might be on the practice squad..As far as corners and safeties go.Draft two corners and a safety.Whitner is a great leader..but i think we can do better..Now with youth movement..Comes struggle but the team will be better going forward experience wise..Let’s see how good this coaching staff really is..Are they willing to change their ways?Their strategies? Or just go to free agents..for help?

    1. We knock Kap for bein Locked in on one wr..well..This coaching staff seems to Lock in on”their Players” and nobody else. Status Quo..has hurt this team

      1. What status quo? In 2011, the 49ers started several FAs and rookies. In 2012, the team changed its QB. In 2013, the 49ers let Goldson, Soapoaga, and Walker go and replaced them with a rookie, a FA and another rookie, respectively. They also traded for Boldin and made him a starter.

        Baalke and Harbaugh don’t seem to have any problem letting players go and replacing them with someone else.

      2. More fa’s actually..Aldon only started in 2011..Goldson wanted a million more basically..the others were seeking more money too otherwise theyd still be here..Making Boldin a starter.see Moss…see Braylon Edwards.. Aint develop a wr yet..Status Quo im talkin bout is philosophy and scheme..Let’s not give other guys a chance unless there’s an injury or it’s the last resort..let’s run gore into boxes.Let the whole offense revolve around 4 guys that aren’t really major threats but easy to defend.Let’s do the same shift and motions that are predictable and aint fooling nobod..Let’s just win with “our guys”..0-3 my friend.

      3. That extends to the secondary too.Rogers,Whitner,brown,brock,Cox,Spillman..Aint much changed on both sides of the ball..Thats Status Quo Claude..Coaching plays and design too…

      4. Deezybee:

        You’re changing your definition of status quo in the face of facts that tend to disprove your original assertion. The simple fact is that there has been plenty of turnover on both offense and defense.

        As for philosophy and scheme, why would you expect them to change those things? They’ve been winning, and winning a lot, with them.

      5. Yep Rocket u rite..Then lose in the playoffs.If u okay with bein close but not enough year in year out that’s fine..I watched this team lose in similar fashion 3yrs strait..wit two different qb’s..similar circumstances..To me that is coaching..Something is broken.I don’t wanna almost win a championship or come close to competing for one. We lack killer instinct..Again Claude..how much different is this team from last yr? Not very much..The turnover you speak of is mostly on special teams

      6. don’t misunderstand me..I’m not calling for Harbaugh to be fired or anything..But something’s gotta change on the offensive side of the ball..We don’t have enough to win it..That’s obvious to me..Scheme,design,personnel.. It’s gotta change

      7. Jim Harbaugh is too stubborn to change his philosophy…it would have to take something major for that to happen…

      8. Deezybee:

        This year, there were two new starters on defense, a new starter at WR, a new No. 2 TE on a team that goes with 2 TE sets frequently, and another WR whose playing time was restricted only because he was injured. Moreover, the team drafted the replacements for cornerstone players Justin Smith and Frank Gore. None of that turnover has anything to do with special teams.

      9. Deezy,

        I wish they had won the SB last year, just like I wish they had beaten Seattle two weeks ago, but I also know that they lost both games by the slimmest of margins and were in position to win both if one more play could have been made. When games come down to a couple of plays to decide them you don’t go and overhaul what got you there.

        There are improvements to be made, no question about it, but a lot of the improvement will be made by the players themselves including Kap. That is the difference between making those one or two plays that win you the game.

      10. Im all for commitment to excellence but please lets not forget how our beloved team wound up in the toilet for 9 years. After a good season (11-5 or 12-4 i cant remember) we fired Mooch because “he couldnt get us over the hump” and instead hired 7th choice Denis erickson after jim johnson monte kiffin and a bunch of other coordinators laughed at our offer. we then ran our 3 time pro bowl QB out of town to make way for Cody Picket Tim Rattay and Ken dorsey. So while its upsetting that we cant get over the hump now, be thankfull that we at leat made it to the hump to get bogged down instead of midling in mediocrity. By trading 5 top picks we set ourselvs up for failure 2 years from now when our players leave and we dont have viable cheap backups. Only replace a player/coach if there is a better viable option, change for the sake of change is STUPID

  16. Sign Bolden, that’s a must. We obviously see it takes Kap a while to get comfortable throwing to certain recievers. We do need to draft another receiver. One injury to Boldin, Davis, or Crab and it could get ugly. We have enough draft picks to Draft a receiver in the 1st or 2nd and another late in the draft. Make them compete for the 3rd or 4th spots. I also agree we NEED to address our secondary. Whitner is good and has experience but he has to see he can be replaced. Whitner can work with the niners on his contract or we’ll see him down the road. I believe WR should be drafted first and a DB second.

  17. I’m afraid 2 firsts, 2 seconds and a third would RG3-ize the roster and leave the 49ers with a bunch late picks that won’t make the team.

    The Raiders need bodies. My pie-in-the-sky trade:
    Oakland’s #5 for the 49ers first, both seconds and all non-compensatory picks in rounds five, six and seven.

    This would leave the 49ers with Watkins + 3 third rounders and no junk picks that won’t make the roster.

    It would leave Oakland with 3 second rounders and great day-3 leverage. Oakland could even trade the first back and dominate day 2.

    1. Ooops… forgot about the 4th rounder. If Oakland drives a hard bargain, toss that in too. I’m feeling generous.

    2. I was thinking even less. Based on what the Jags and Browns did I would think trading #1s and throwing in one 2nd and one 3rd round pick should be equitable for a Raiders/9ers trade.

    3. So hard to predict. It has much to do with how deep the draft is, and how top-heavy the draft talent is, what the drool factor is for a specific draft spot. In 2012 Washington paid a fortune for RG3.

      In 2013 was far cheaper. Oakland didn’t get much for trading back. It only cost the 49ers a 3rd to trade up to #18.

      The traditional trade value charts show the 49ers would have to sell out for the #5. Many of the newer charts give more value to the late picks.

    4. Yeah… if were giving away that much I want it to be for Clowney.

      The top recievers in this draft are not at the level of some of previous draft’s there is no AJ Green, CJ, Julio Jones, or Dez Bryant… its deep but there isnt a large gap seperateing the Cream of the crop.

  18. Yes. Resign Boldin!! You want to beat Seattle? Stop Lynch… case in point: 1st half of the NFCCG. I would rather beef up the defense in this up coming draft than trade up to get a potential stud receiver.

    1. We held lynch in check for the most part. We could use some secondary help for sure but our offense needs something. I’m not sure if it’s a WR(would help) or coaching strategy.

      1. Lynch has been the catalyst every time they’ve beaten the Niners in Seattle and two weeks ago was no exception when he ran for a 40 yard TD to tie the game.

        The offense needs to be able to run the ball and not turn it over, both of which it failed to do in the last game.

      2. If you watch that play where he broke loose, are D-Line got blown off the football. The entire first drive of the second half we were getting blown one. Our LB’s never had a shot on that play bc the DL were in their laps. The secondary is the last like of defense. They were all scared to tackle Lynch.

        A passing game helps the run game. If we drafted a WR(i don’t care which one just make sure he’s tall and fast) . Wideouts with speed make safeties nervous. If we can keep teams from bringing their safeties into the box it helps our run game. Run now teams do not fear the deep ball. So there safeties can play near the line of scrimmage without repercussion

  19. I don’t see the Niners going after the 5th pick. Maybe they would move up 5 spots, but 25, don’t think so. Oakland got to get it right, don’t see the Raiders trading with us.

    1. As noted top 10 receivers make 9 to 18 million a season this past season. I am sure he will want to be in that category.

      1. He’s not top ten. More like top 20….Therefore he won’t be back in 2015, which might not be a bad thing. It might accelerate Kaepernick’s development.

      1. I loved Busta Rhyme as Sherman’s lookalike a lot, but the Predator as Lynch’s was priceless. Exeter/Manning was pretty good, too, the foreheads definately match, lol.

  20. I think if Bridgewater and Bortles are gone, the Raiders will take Watkins themselves and maybe go after Boyd later — or wait until the 2015 draft for a QB.

    And, yes, try to re-sign Boldin.

  21. This is looking like one of the deepest and most talented drafts in some time with a record number of juniors declaring, yet people are talking about wanting to trade our top line picks away for one player? I just don’t get it. If it was a case of staring at mediocre talent besides that one player, sure, maybe not a bad idea, but the 49ers would be giving up a chance to take some good looking prospects to move up and take Watkins… including some game-breaking talents at WR.

      1. Jack
        Remember we MUST win the Offseason. you know its much longer than the actual season therefore it must be more important

  22. Yes the Niners should re-sign Boldin.
    Will they (can they)? I’m not at all sure. I will say that I personally never completely bought in to the seeming consensus here during preseason that it was a one year stay because of the one year deal. However, I see TB & JH as being adverse to skewing their salary mix. For that same reason I think there’s no chance they would offer the trade that Grant proposed.

  23. The leadership and stability that Boldin brings to the position alone warrants resigning…for the right price. I am not seeing any way that we would be able to keep Crabtree after next season, so resigning Boldin would keep that position from having too much turnover.
    Watkins is great, but he isn’t worth that much. There’s plenty of quality options sprinkled throughout FA and this year’s draft.

  24. speaking of leadership…
    after watching Ankwaaaan share the podium
    with “Kapernicus” (my quotation marks) and
    then helping foil the Niner fans’ hopes… again,
    let him clean out his locker. Go be cool/tough
    somewhere else. He had such a smug attitude.

    Mr. Boldin: you started celebrating way too early.
    Now whatcha celebratin’… hmm? You and the cru…
    Crabtree and Colin. What a disappointing bunch.!

    My name is Richard Sherman and I approve of this message.

    1. Your name is Mud and here’s your story, lol.

      My name is Mud
      Not to be confused with Bill
      Or Jack or Pete or Dennis
      My name is mud and it’s always been
      ‘Cause I’m the most boring sons-a-bitch you’ve ever seen
      I dress in blue-yes navy blue
      From head to toe I’m rather drab except my patent shoes
      I make ‘em shine, well most the time
      ‘Cept today my feet are troddin’ on by this friend of mine
      Six foot two and rude as hell
      I got to get him in the ground before he starts to smell
      My name is Mud

      My name is Mud, but call me Alowishus Devadander Abercrombie
      That’s long for Mud so I’ve been told
      Told that by this sonsabitch that lies before me bloated blue and cold
      I’ve got my pride, I drink my wine
      I’d drink the finest except I haven’t earned a dime in several months
      Or were it years
      The breath on that fat bastard could bring any man to tears
      We had our words, a common spat
      So I kissed him upside the cranium with an aluminum baseball bat
      My name is Mud

      1. Mud needs to go away…he brings ZERO to the blog…I know some will say to ignore it, but that hasn’t stopped it from showing up to spew its ridiculous nonsense…go to the Chiefs blog and profess your love (lust?) for Alex Smith there so real Niner fans can discuss OUR team…

        My rant is finished…carry on everyone…

      2. Nice Primus reference spaceborn… Rock on!! Oh and BTW this cat that’s obsessed with Kap and the niners that never got the love they were looking for from their mother should get some professional help… Quick!! And remember kids… Don’t feed the trolls!!

  25. Sign Boldin for no more than 6 mill.
    No way in hell Baalke moves up to pick five. I’d look for a move similar to last years. The back end is the 49ers weakness and should be addressed before the WR position.
    I’d make an effort to sign Kaepernick in the off season.

  26. Donte Moncrief has the size, speed and ability to beat press coverage. He attacks the ball at its apex. He’s physical and durable. He’s not afraid to catch a ball in front of a hard hitting safety. He’d be a perfect x receiver outside for the 49ers.

    1. I’m not sure I’m quite as high on Moncrief as you are razor. Great physical attributes but didn’t seem to give consistent effort. Also seemed to shy away from blocking, which makes me question his toughness a little. But for a second round pick he’s worth a long look.

      1. Keep in mind he was in Nutts’ offensive scheme, and had less than stellar QB’s. I’m thinking he goes in the top half of the second round Scooter….

      2. Yea slight hitch, but it doesn’t concern me. Donatell should be able to rectify that. He kind of reminds me of a Coltson…

  27. I say just get what you want. I agree with most. Do not sell the farm. We have talent for next year. I like Trents philosp… draft for the future. I have a feeling we will hit with whatever WR. they draft. Because CK will be a better QB.

    Plane and Simple we will only go as far as CK can take us.

  28. Grant, I think most people here agree that we should re-sign Boldin. I guess the next question is, What should the 49ers do if they can not re-sign Boldin?

    1. This year is an odd year in that there is both a strong free agent market and draft at the WR position.

      1. They will most likely go after a bargain WR in free agency Richardson. Here are some potential targets:
        Danario Alexander
        Kenny Britt
        Julian Edelman
        Jacoby Ford
        Darrius Heyward-Bey
        Brandon LaFell
        Hakeem Nicks
        Jeremy Maclin

    2. There is no,”We can’t sign Boldin.” (DISCLAIMER: I know there are things that could happen to prevent us from resigning him) . That’s something we have to make happen for Kaepernicks sake. Even if that means not giving Kap the money he wants. Kap only felt comfortable throwing to him, Crab, and Davis.

  29. How many players do you think will make the roster? actually suit out for games? Trade the picks, get some lower picks back for next year. Bellicheck has been stop piling picks for years, after while your left with average to good players, but no superstar to get you over the top. we have possibly what 13 picks. 13 players wont make this team. Make the trade.

  30. How many players do you think will make the roster? actually suit out for games? Trade the picks, get some lower picks back for next year. Bellicheck has been stop piling picks for years, after while your left with average to good players, but no superstar to get you over the top. we have possibly what 13 picks. 13 players wont make this team. Make the trade.

  31. The moves in FA will clear the view for draft priorities. One draft consideration is that there are more quality receivers than CBs. Depending how the draft unfolds they might choose to pluck a corner ahead of WR.

  32. HAHAHA Lets trade TWO first rounders, TWO second rounders, and a THIRD rounder to move up to #5!!!!!

    Come on Grant, you’re better than that, chances of Baalke doing that are less than zero

    1. You want to get a Quality player you need to make some sacrifice. The last three season all the top players now were taken early in the 1st round and have been productive. Getting a Joe montana and Tom Brady in the later rounds are just pure luck and it’s doubtful it will happened again in the next 50 years.

  33. I think the price in draft picks for Watkins seems a little out this world. I can see the 49ers trading a 1st and 2nd to move up, but not to #5. Based on the success rate of rookie WRs, I’m not sure I make that move.

  34. The Falcons traded their draft for Julio Jones a few years ago… they got a great player, no doubt. But it crippled the overall teams development. They should not sell the farm for Watkins. There are too many other contracts coming up that we need to prepare for by adding rookies.

    I think the Niners should re-sign Boldin to a 2 year 11 mil contract. Let Whitner go, and Draft a WR at #30 like Allen Robinson or Jordan Matthews. Then a guy like Bucannon or Dixon in the 2nd.

    1. Boldin said he wants to stay with the 49ers. The question is can the 49ers afford to pay Boldin a hefty contract for 2 years or so? Especially, Boldin age is going to be a factor in resigning him and he’s going to asked for a large amount to resigned with the 49ers.

      The 49ers have many option they can draft a younger WR in the draft and avoid the disappointment in signing an older player past his prime that will loose a step or two. They’ll need the cap space in resigning some of the key players next season one is Crabtree and Kaepernick. The same is said about resigning Kaep to a bigger contract extension this season, rather then signing kaep in 2014 the 49ers I believe will wait until the 2014 season is over and see where Kaep progression is, before committing to kaep with a large contract extension. It will be a smart move for the 49ers to draft a good QB in the 2nd or 3rd round to back up Kaep, it’s an insurance just incase in doesn’t worked out with Kaep you have a younger QB that you think that can compete for the starting Qb position in 2015.

  35. I think Baalke can consider this in his negotiations…Boldin wants to win or retire. He was prepared to retire before the Ravens traded him. If they had cut him, he would’ve hung it up (*I can’t find the ESPN interview where he said that). So Boldin may say “I’ll play this year for $6M again, but I want to win.” Otherwise, he hangs it up. So I’m not sure Boldin is going to command quite as much. I think they’ll wait to the last minute to act on Whitner because he also wants to win, so we may be able to “have our cake and eat it.”

    1. Boldin will not take a pay cut or give the 49ers a discount. Boldin knows well that he can still play 2 more years in the level his playing right now and he knows that their will be a lot of suitors out there that needs his experienced.

      1. He doesn’t need to take a pay cut…I’m saying he’ll stay pat on his wages $5-6M guaranteed is solid check. I think Boldin is a great player but he won’t command $10M on the market. He won’t go back to AZ because their not going to pay him $6m to be a #3 (They’re committed to Floyd being their future). I think he’ll get exactly what we should offer him, anywhere else that will pay him more will be a team who’s rebuilding and he wasn’t feeling that idea in the offseason, which is why he was ready to retire if he went to team other than the 49ers.

  36. I am so happy that you are a writer and not someone in charge of the draft. The very thought of

    Option 1: Trading picks 30, two second rounders a third rounder AND the niners first next year for a WR is CRAZY!!!

    Option 2- Re sign Boldin to a two year deal, draft a CB, SS, WR, KR, and Center and have your first round pick next year.

    Let the draft come to you.

  37. Niners on the 30 overal pick select best CB available in the second round trade down and select WR Jordan Matthews!!! on the second pick of round tow, select a SS!!!! Obviously resign Boldin!!!

  38. Kelvin Benjamin 3 receptions 62yds 1 TD
    Sammy Watkins 8 rec 68yds 1TD

    Let’s just trade up to get Benjamin, mid first round. Benjamin is 6’5 234 and Watkins is 6’2 205.

    1. If Benjamin is within trade up range (something similar to the trade up for Reid last year), I would have no objection to such a move.

      Note: The foregoing strong opinion is based upon approximately ten minutes of film (highlights) review.

      1. I’m an FSU fan. I watched the kid all year. He’s a taller Boldin….. Maybe not as good but close.

      2. I like the way you think. You get your beast wr and don’t mortgage the future. imagine him punching Sherman in the face. We’d still need a speedster.

    2. Benjamin really gives me pause. He’s a physical specimen but yet he accounted for only just over 20% of his teams receiving yards – in fact he wasn’t even the top receiver on the team. He played with one of the best QBs in college football and most dynamic offenses, and was helped by having other good receivers taking coverage off him.

      He’s a long strider and when he gets to full speed he can blow by DBs deep. But he is all straight line speed. With his size he can dominate jump ball situations, and can truck through arm tackles, but he doesn’t work back to the ball well. DBs aren’t challenged by his route running. He drops way more than his fair share of passes. He’s not a bigger Boldin, he’s a taller Vernon Davis, but with good not great speed. And we’ve seen that moving Davis out to WR hasn’t been successful because CBs are all over him.

      Benjamin also doesn’t look like a savvy receiver to me. He is prone to mental mistakes and concentration errors. In college his size and physical skills let him get away with most of his mistakes, but it won’t be the same in the pros. There was one touchdown he scored against Florida that left me shaking my head in particular – he runs a shallow corner route to the left corner near the goal line yet turned his head to over his right shoulder to find the ball. What the heck was he thinking? The ball wasn’t coming from the fans in the stand. He was still able to get his head turned around and make the play in the end, but it is these types of stupid mental errors that really make me wonder if he’ll ever really get it in the pros.

      1. Benjamin had the highest average yards per catch and 15 TD receptions. That second number is the one grabbing everyone’s attention.

    3. Benjamin is 6’5 230. He runs a 4.5 – 40. That’s good speed. Just as he benefitted from good recievers on FSU, he’ll
      Benefit from good recievers on the 49ers. Route running & his hands can be improved with practice. He can also help us a lot in the redzone. The issues you pointed out can all be improved. He will not be our #1 receiver but could help make the offense better. If we can’t get him, let’s get Martavious Bryant from Clemson. 6’5 200 and runs a 4.3 – 40. He will also be around mid to late 1st round.

      1. What I like about Benjamin is his passion for the game and his leaping ability to go the ball at its highest peak.

        Although speed is a vital asset, I like that Benjamin has the ability to make YAC.
        Not many receivers will get behind R.Sherman but someone like Benjamin can certainly grind him down by running him over.

        Any DB would have to change their tackling style when a 6’5″ 230 lbs man who has been timed in the 4.5 40 range is coming directly at them.

      2. I agree with everything you just said. Also on comeback routes you can throw the ball highe, which Kap has a tendency to do, and he can go get it.

  39. If Watkins was 4 inches taller, maybe this trade makes sense, but I’d rather stand still and take the BPA than use up future 1sts on 6’0 WRs.

    Also, Boldin isn’t getting $10MM unless he signs for 2 years. There goes the whole premise of the column

  40. Trading up into the top ten would be way to expensive. Especially for a 6ft 1in wide receiver. To risky and to expensive. I would rather have Marqise Lee anyway and chances are he would fall out of the top ten and make the trade up expense far more affordable. Lee was injured nearly the entire 2013 season and his performance level dropped as has his pre-draft ranking. But go back to the 2012 season and he looked like an emerging superstar. If Lee falls far enough he would be a steal for the 49ers.

  41. I would rather keep Boldin than Whitner.

    I think Boldin is a better, less replaceable player. I think the amount he demands is more fair for his contributions than what Whitner will command.

    Yes, replacing Whitner will take some skill, but every year the draft brings about a lot of starting secondary members in the middle rounds. I think they can get it done.

  42. Grant,
    if the niner’s packaged Vernon Davis for the Atlanta pick, what draft picks would you need to add to make it work. Atlanta needs a TE with the retirement of Gonzalez.

      1. Atlanta needs a TE to pull coverage away from their wr’s. We’d need to draft a taller one that runs good routes or sign a free agent. Maybe a Stanford TE.

  43. Watkins…wow. That kid can ball! Would love to see us get him but is he worth that price? I like Anquan but letting him go as a free agent with the idea that we could possibly get Watkins is kinda like jumping right into the deep end of a very cold pool. There is no guarantee he would be there at #5.

  44. Grant, what were Xavier Rhodes PFF rankings this season? Just wondering since you wanted the 49ers to trade up to #11 to get him last year.

    1. Xavier Rhodes — 12 pass break ups, 56 completion percentage allowed, 78 passer rating allowed.

      Desmond Trufant was even better — 2 picks, 15 pass break ups, 53 completion percentage allowed, 75 passer rating allowed.

      1. Grant,

        How does Whitner stack up against that? Just trying to gauge his true value. He’s got great leadership skills, and I want equate that with his true playing. We tend to only remember him getting burned (which seems like too often).

  45. Why has everyone written off Jon Baldwin? I don’t think the 9ers have yet.
    I think he could be coached into being a go to receiver like Boldin or Crabtree. He is faster than either one of them and bigger too. Is he really that bad or have we on this blog just given up on him?

  46. I think if we were to spend on the draft it should be on the future SS or a lock down CB…not that’s easy to gauge future success (i.e. Marcus Cooper).

    But Grant you may be on to something…here. We don’t have too many holes on the team, just potential holes and WR & SS are them. We have enough talent on the team that’s ready to step up that drafting a serious WR could be the smartest move. I think Crabtree’s contract will be incentive laden (i.e. games played, catches, yards, etc.). This way he gets “paid” but we don’t truly break the bank. Draft the WR so when Boldin is truly done after next year we have 3 nasty WR to throw to. We need that because V.Davis is getting lost in the passing game. He’s good for the TD, but we need explosiveness in the passing game and that lacked all year.

    The plus side of letting any combination of Boldin, Whitner, Brown, or Dixon walk is that we’d get serious comp picks the following year that we could parlay into higher picks and maybe we go strong for a lock down CB. I think that would make sense since Cully is coming back to compete and Brock stepped up, and we have a rookie that the coaches have some hopes for.

  47. I would like to see them resign Boldin , package Crabtree and James for Josh Gordon. This kid is super talented and with Boldin mentoring him.(not to mention he is still on his rookie contract) James doesn’t fit our team and we’ll get a cheap #1 WR for a few years

  48. I don’t mind the trade idea. Think about the fact we have lattimore, dial, and carridine coming off injuries. They are basically this years draft class. We will still have new players coming in. We also have culliver coming back and don’t sleep on him either, although he better play better than he did in the 13 playoffs!! Make the trade! Get a game changer!!!

  49. Guys don’t get yourself worked up because Baalke would never sacrifice the future for 1 player in the draft.

    1. I don’t know if we can say that. But Kelvin Benjamin is someone I believe we could trade up and draft. Mid first round.

  50. Re-sign Boldin. I question whether or not Sammy Watkins has the maturity to develop into the kind of receiver you trade multiple draft picks for. Would he instantly transition well from running a lot of bubble screens at Clemson to the offense we run? Fact is, he’s a great athlete, but I’m not convinced he’s a polished NFL receiver yet, which he should be, if you’re going to trade into the top 5 to get him. I like Allen Robinson–we wouldn’t have to trade a ton of picks to get him (maybe even get him at 30). He looks like a more finished product to me and still possesses the kind of playmaking ability we’re looking for on the outside. He put up big numbers despite playing with a freshman QB who looked like, well, a freshman QB a lot of the time. I also like Jordan Matthews…1st round talent and production, but probably won’t go until 2nd or 3rd round. Good value.

    1. Agreed, Watkins is not the prospect that AJ Green and Julio Jones were. He is very fast but not that big, and ran a very limited route tree, making his living off of bubble screens and go routes. No one knows how good he is against press coverage in those situations or if he can add enough to his arsenal to counter this. At this point I do not see a huge drop off from him to some of the other prospects.

      In truth I think the wr position in this draft is deep but the top end talent is not all that great.

  51. Based on the formula used by some of the top teams in the NFL giving away bunch of high draft picks is a major gamble and completely short sighted if we want to continue to be competitive in this league. We are in a very tough division with Seattle, Rams and Arizon with bunch of talent on their roster and selling the farm for just one player is insane. You have to think about the next several years not just next year. Also, even if we gave away our first, both second round, and third rounders what makes you completely certain that the rookie draft pick is going to be a true contributor?
    I have no confidence in Trents ability to pick WR and also we are not even sure how Colin is going to develop so why not invest on WRs that have proven to be succesful in the NFL and draft a few raw talent to develop with low risk. We need to continue to build the roster with very good CB, SS, Pass rushers, OL (guard, Center and Tackle), DE, Inside LB, special team ace WR or DBs.

    1. I think what we forget about Seattle is they have MANY key players signed to 1yr contracts. Then they also have two of their best young players with expiring contracts. They can’t sign everybody once Sherman & Wilson get their deals. We saw the money Revis got when he was supposedly the best. Sherman will want more.

      1. Well Clemons and Avril are both under contract including all their DBS! Only Bennett is a free agent and will gain interest on the market.

    2. Seattle went all in this year so If they don’t win, it’ll take them time to recover. Add the contracts for Sherman, Wilson, lynch, Thomas, chancellor and okung; they’ll have problems in the next couple of years.
      This draft is filled with talent and future potential starters. I’d maneuver gently, get my guys all the way to the 5th rds. Trade all your 6 ‘ s and 7 ‘ s away if you still have them at that point. I’m looking for 2 cbs, 2 wr’s, center, ss, lb and a real big back to replace dixon and his salary without dancing in the back field, a Tolbert type player. Crabtree will be gone next year because his value will be at its highest considering the lack of wr depth in the draft due to all the early entries this year. He will get over paid by someone (dallas).

  52. At least now we have the answer(s) to Coach Harbaw’s
    weekly question: who’s got it better than we do?

    1. Denver Broncos
    2. Seattle Seahawks

    Pebble Beach (plenty of ‘early’ tee times available…
    two weeks early, huh?)

  53. Grant,

    If it comes down to Boldin or Whitner, I’d say re-sign Anquan. Reason: there’s considerably less experienced WR depth than S. I’d love to see them both re-signed, but if that can’t happen, Baalke drafts a guy like WSU’s Bucannon. He’s been one of the most consistent S in college…plays the run and pass well, hits hard, the very qualities you want in a young S. Dahl and Spillman are available for depth. You just can’t replace a Boldin with any rookie WR…they can have all the talent in the world at the college level, but not that many shine in the NFL. Baalke drafts one, maybe two, but not as starters.

  54. Why not take a step back and instead of pusuing a place in SB next year, make a plan to go to tha SB when we host it in 2016??, If we a chasing the succes in the short term we will face failure because the lack af preparation and depth in the roster. Slow down next year by bbuilding a stronger team and come back with full force 2015/16 to win at home at Levis Stadium.

  55. It’s a must that Boldin gets signed, but if he’s not one of the go-to guys in critical games, what good is it having him and guys like him on the roster? See the final 49ers’ offensive snap in last NFC title game!

  56. The 49ers priority on Offence should be PASS PROTECTION FROM THE CENTER POSITION. It won’t matter if 26 year old Jerry Rice signed to this roster, if Kap has no time to go through his progressions, it won’t matter.

    Replacing/Upgrading Johnathan Goodwin is a higher priority
    Re-sign Boldin, draft a Center Round 1, draft Jordan Matthews Round 2

    Too much emphasis on a “speedy” wideout… The 49ers had “speedy” wideouts in Hawkins, Williams and Lockette, none of them could get open.

    It’s ridiculous to think Crabtree or Patton can’t stretch the D every now and then, with VD going down the middle and that the 9ers NEED to take someone in Round 1 who can do that.

    This offense can get the job done with it’s current receivers. The fact of the matter is, this current receiving corps only played together for about 5 weeks tops. Give them an entire offseason and training camp, plus bring in a work-a-holic with Jerry Rice’s DNA (Jordan Matthews) and this offense is Top 15.

    1. They have Kilgore and Looney to compete for that position in the off-season. I expect them to bring in a vet during free agency as well.
      I agree with your speed statement but using Hawkins, Williams, and Lockette as examples to back up your statement probably isn’t the best idea.
      It’s not so crazy. Patton is currently the only WR signed after next season and it is no guarantee that we will be able to afford Crabtree then so signing or drafting a WR to help stretch opposing defenses is actually pretty high on the list of importance, which is why I agree with drafting Jordan Matthews.
      The problem is that this offense didn’t get the job done with its current WR corps so there will be some changes.

    2. Right on!!

      I’ve been yelling this at the top of my lungs. There are two very good Cs which I think will be taken in the second round, Swanson and Richburg. Swanson did do as well as Richburg in the Senior Bowl and Richburg is more intelligent and nasty, like Heitmann back in the day. I see C being our choice with one of the two second rounders, IMO.

      Richburg is my man crush this year like Iupati was coming out of Idaho. Heck, I still wear my rookie Iupati jersey with pride every chance I get.

  57. Predictions:
    1. Seattle carries the day on Sunday.
    2. San Francisco Forty-Niners never
    capture another Lombardi trophy until
    sometime after Mister Harbaw’s departure.

      1. PED’s with a sugary candy shell, like they cover Skittles with…

        Here’s a prediction: Alex Smith (yes I dream about him) will continue to be an a$$clown…

  58. Given the depth of this WR class and our deep need at SS, C AND WR, it would be too expensive to jump up to #5 for Watkins. If you are going to jump ahead, it would seem that either Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin would be the WR types we are looking for which would cost us much less still giving us ammunition in the second where the value is. Taking Watkins would deter us from being able to grab that SS and C in the second, IMO. Trading up a bit I can see:
    rd1-Benjamin
    rd2a-Bucannon (after the combine, he will skyrocket into the mid second)
    rd2b-Baptiste
    rd3-Richburg (He may do so well at combine that he may move into 2nd rd)

    Any way, I hope we do resign Boldin as we saw what happened to the Ravens when they traded him away. No rook can match what Boldin brings to the table, period. He too valuable to let walk, IMO.

  59. That’s giving up waaay too much to trade up to 5 to the Raiders. Raiders don’t deserve to be so fortunate either. 2 1st’s, 2 2nd’s and a 3rd? That’s outrageous! No way I’d do that. I think Boldin brings too much to the table and is the MOST important Free Agent the niners have to re-sign. He’s a sure thing, a team leader in more ways than one, extends our SuperBowl window with our core still all in tact, and I think 2 years between $10-$12M is fair (Reggie Wayne got 3 years $17.5M last year). Although I like Whitner, I prefer to lose Whitner if it came down to one of the two having to go. Offense can’t afford any setbacks while the defense is more than stellar and has room to get younger and still be great.

  60. CK tells NY post ” Sherman’s comments were ridiculous. If you have tell someone how good you are then how good are you really?

    Well he was good enough to take half the field away from you and made a play to advance his team to a SB.

    My point to CK, shut up, you lost. Sherman can talk all he wants, they won.

    1. You skipped the part where he says, ” Crabtree had over 100 yards against him the prior year.” or where he says, if the ball was 12 inches higher, Sherman would be the goat right now. ”
      he owned up to losing and now that he finally talks, people are going to criticize him. Now we know why ha rarely talks and why lynch just refuses to cooperate.

    2. YIP, CK is a FU-guy.
      . “If I threw the ball one foot further” it may have been out of bounds, dumbass.
      Maybe it IS better if CK shuts up.
      He gets to kiss his tattoos all summer long…………

      1. You guys make me laugh. Did you ever stop for a second and think that Colin was coached to take that play? He was coached to take that matchup? And that he is so adamant that he would do it all over again because he was taught to do exactly what he did?

        Harbaugh’s offensive sets manipulate a defense to get the matchups that it wants. IMO, that was not the matchup that we wanted. A veteran can disregard what his coach wants done on the field, but can a QB with 1 1/2 years as a starter do that? Especially one that is oozing confidence and lacks veteran savvy? Just some food for thought.

      2. Bayarea maybe he was taught to “take that play” but he cerainly was’nt taught to stare down the receiver never looking off the safety or LB. The problem with the pass was’nt Sherman getting a hand on it, it was not freezing the LB and allowing him to make the int.

      3. Coach,
        we are going to have to agree to disagree. It was single coverage. The linebacker trailed once the pass was in the air. The linebacker had RB in the flat responsibility.
        Basically the play called for Crabtree to win a very low percentage match up.

  61. If it is feasible the niners should trade whatever needed to get Watkins. They have what 13 picks? And of those picks how many will make the 53 man? Maybe 3-4, a wr, ss, corner, qb. Maybe a te as well. So it’s time to make a move and grab what we so desperately need. A play making wr with speed.

  62. Seems we could have addressed all of these issues by going after Gordon last year. I heard the Browns were only looking for a 2014 2nd rounder in return. That probably isn’t correct given the Niners have extra pics and needed a receiver when Crabs went down, and would have most likely completed the trade if it were that easy, but let’s just say they wanted a first rounder in return. Wouldn’t a team rather give up a 1st for a proven WR talent vs. taking a risk on a rookie in the draft? I know there were concerns about Gordon being suspended, but you’d think you would take that kind of risk because the reward would be much greater than the alternative. If they’d completed the trade, they would have more leverage with Boldin and Crabs and they might have been able to ink Gordon to a deal that would’ve left room to sign Whitner. Thoughts?

  63. Few positions command #1 pick. QB, WR, RB, OT, DE, OLB, CB, S. Plenty of good players pick later tah #1. Montana, Brady. Look Niner history of WR picks. Jenkins, Baldwin (trade), Stokes, Woods. Finding the next J.Rice isn’t assured. College stats don’t include level competition. That being said, what position of greatest need. Center is the QB of offensive line, but rarely drafted #1. Assuming none of the current players can take the job. Safety could be another big need as none of the existing players are more than backups or special teamers. As for wide receiver, we need speed and size. We have too many possession type receivers.
    ii wouldn’t trade with Oakland for a Watkins, maybe for Ealy (DE). What we might do is switch #1 with Dallas. They prefer to pick lower (cost) and for extra picks. The question is Evans or Benjamin available or worth moving up. Niners are over the cap. And have many player contract ending next year. We might need to draft to replacements those players. The Niner might even trade down for picks next year , because we have many picks in thd middle rounds. Would help with cap. Also, we have a limited number of open spots. We can’t even hide players on our taxi squad. Other teams watch our picks or free agent picks or wavers.

  64. I think Boldin has to come back, if at all possible.

    Whitener may be expendable, but it all depends on who calls DB plays. If it is Whitner, that may change his value.

    Trading up is wise only if the player fits team needs and desires – which has occurred as of late. Is Watkins a sure fire hit? No one knows and I would not give up that many player opportunities for that possibility. He may not have drive or work ethic to progress at next level or may begin to believe the press clippings about himself. Either way most one, two and threes have contributed nicely to the team so giving them up hurts. Bulk picks are way better indicators of future success than blockbuster deals which make headlines, though rarely work out for the team making such a move.

  65. If the 49ers want to continue to compete in the NFC West, they really need to plan out well this off-season. There are a lot of free agents we have, so they need to determine who is worth keeping and who isn’t. I think Boldin and Whitner both need to remain on our roster.

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