49ers’ thinking flawed in drafting all those torn ACLs

Click here to read my Thursday column

  1. Good read Grant! Can’t take chances with guys previously injured. The draft is already unpredictable as it is, why make it more complicated.

    1. And how many guys have failed in the NFL that came in perfectly healthy..how many sure fire 1st round picks never panned out.

      There is no way anyone can say that these guys, with ACL issues, would have had success had it not been for that knee injury. Trent Richardson was a colossal failure and he has, to my knowledge, never had any major injury history…so one can not say that a guy like Lattimore would have succeeded without the injury.

      You take chances in the draft. The odds of success are limited, and with a shelf life of 3.5 years, most picks aren’t panning out anyway, but if you hit on a 1st round talent in the 3rd or 4th who only fell because of injury it makes it all worth it.

      Its easy to point to the half dozen failed ACL picks (even though some are looking to start, some are on other teams and still playing) but what about the success Baalke has had through the draft? We can not criticize him for a few misses when you had major success with guys like Boone, Reid, Davis, Iupati, and the vast amount of others who were prominent in this teams run from 2011 to 2014. And at least he didn’t get stuck with the albatross that was Nnamde Asumougah in 2011 (everyone laughing at Baalke signing Akers at the time…)

      1. The draft is a crap shoot. The odds are not in your favor. When you take a player with a severe injury it lowers the odds even further. Baalke had a lot of success in the 2011 draft and has been trending downward ever since. He deserves every bit of criticism he gets.

          1. How do you shoot snake eyes.
            If you’re referring to dice, isn’t it “rolling snake eyes?

            That’s not even a colloquialism, Seb. It’s like mixing metaphors–like saying, “that’s water under the Golden Gate,” instead of bridge.

            So, my only conclusion was you purposely inserted the word, “shooting” into the phrase, “snake eyes,” to continue sneaking in your arsenal lexicon you c-o-n-t-I-n-u-o-u-s-l-y bother this blog with. Find other phrases, Seb, althought I’ve already stated I never am disappointed in you because I never underestimate how low U can go.

            And don’t thing you’re going unnoticed, Seb, other’s, esp., CassieBaalke have had fun with your special brand of arsenal phraseology.

        1. But if it turns out you hit on one of those players and end up with a Frank Gore, 1st round talent that fell to the 3rd because of multiple knee surgeries, and the guy gives you 8+ years of pro bowl play, does that not justify the other picks? (yes I know it was Scott Mc that drafted him).

          Its not like Baalke is selecting 3rd round talent w/knee repairs in the 3rd round.

          And again, 90% of nfl players don’t have a career that spans past 4 years. Rounds 1 – 3 are are where starters are picked, after that you are looking at backups and projects.

          Yes, 2011 was his high point, but does he not get credit for Trent Brown, Armstead, Ward, Hyde, Lynch, Reid…and McDonald and Tank are coming into their own. And lets not forget Borland, had the guy not gotten so scared, there’d be no talk of Ray Ray/Hodges/Wilhoite…The guy made some bad picks, or picks that just didnt work out, but thats all gms. Even the genius had some very unproductive drafts and lots of guys in drafts who never even played 1 down.

            1. Walsh almost had a loss of a draft class, look at 1982, only starter was Bubba Parris. 10 picks…1 starter. And this was one of the greatest eyes for talent ever.

              Or the 1999 draft.

              The draft is the ultimate crapshoot. But overall, he’s done an above average job all things considered.

          1. emjay,

            If you are going to use 2nd day picks on injured players, they’d better turn into big contributors. Day 3 picks aren’t as bad, but still very low percentage gambles.

            You also need to be hitting on your other picks at a higher rate than Baalke has. We have players he drafted on this team, but few are difference makers and/or quality starters.

            Of the players you listed only Hyde, Lynch and Reid have shown the potential to be above average starters, and Hyde has yet to stay healthy. Players like Ward, Armstead and Brown might be good, but are still early in their careers and the expectations are based on potential.

            There are very few Pro Bowl caliber players on this team right now. We have to start seeing tangible evidence that the young players on this team are going to develop into something more than roster depth.

    1. Considering the frustration over the lack of an edit feature, I sure am glad I do not have to deal with NN and their blog site revamp.

  2. This really illustrates the heart of the Baalke problem. He tries so hard to outsmart everybody that he gets too cute and basically ends up beating himself. In almost every case, if Baalke has simply taken the highest rated player on the board WITHOUT AN ACL TEAR, he would’ve gotten more value. Heck, he could’ve thrown a dart at the draft board and done better.

  3. Let’s not forget Darnell Docket who was a FA but should be considered part of the overall flawed strategy.

    The real problem with the the ACL experiment is that it puts the Niners in a 3-4 year hole at critical positions. Year 1 is the rebab year. Year 2 is the disastrous non performance year and year 3 is drafting and developing a new player. Consider Baalke’s attempts to replace Iupati , Cowboy and Boldin. He brought in B Thomas, Tank, Dockett and Smelter respectively. None of those players have worked out and now we are still searching. Tank is still a work in progress .

    Major changes are necessary. Baalke needs to go and Denise York should realize that her is not of the same caliber as her bro.

  4. One needs to also factor in the recovery time. It has taken Tank 3 years to recover, and he still is not starting.

    Baalke assured us Redmond would be ready for TC. He was not. Redmond was shown flexing his knee on the side lines the last game, so it sure seemed like it was bothering him.

    It takes over a year for most ACL tears to heal, and over 2 years before the player is close to where he was before the ACL tear. It is much better to draft a healthy player who can produce immediately.

    This Baalke knee strategy just does not pay off, even if it is ‘good’ value.

    Just like Baalke and his ‘good’ conversations.

  5. Grant – Well done. Nothing but facts. 49Reasons is right now consulting with his medical team to provide his counter-arguments. Baalke is the greatest, that is the conclusion upon which he bases his facts.

  6. I don’t necessarily have a problem with Baalke having “tried” the ACL strategy. After a few years though, it became clear that the risk/reward ratio was too high. That’s one of the reasons why I believe that Baalke is “tapering” off the use of that strategy. As far as I know, he only had one ACL pick in 2016, Will Redmond. I do think that he truly believed Redmond would be ready by TC (probably led to believe that by the team doctors).

    The problem I have with Baalke and his team is the utter lack of ability to draft the skill positions. Hopefully, the addition of Gamble (and perhaps some other scouts) will help this issue next draft. It seems like 2017 is the draft for skill positions.

    1. The problem with Baalke all those drafts is that too many picks allowed him to gamble. It almost seems like his theory is throw a whole bunch of crap at the wall and see what sticks.
      How can any team afford to cut 3rd and 4th rounds picks when you are in a rebuild?

    2. Cubus,

      Baalke’s problem with ACL is that he drafted too many of them, and too high.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you on the issue of ” Baalke and his team’s utter lack of ability to draft the skill positions.” This is the reason I wanted him gone along with Tomsula, despite his good track record with D linemen and DBs.

      However, Baalke has his fans. Here’s an anonymous scout quoted in SI:
      “If they were in a different division, these guys might be able to turn it around and have a good year. [General manager] Trent Baalke is a top-flight football person. You have to look at the circumstances of what happened to get them from making three straight NFC Championship Games to where they are now, which is a team coming off of a 5–11 year. It was a perfect storm. It would be crazy to move on from Baalke, to make him the scapegoat for all of these unusual circumstances that occurred over 18 months. Another ownership group would snap him up in a minute.”
      http://www.si.com/nfl/2016/09/07/nfc-scouting-reports-overrated-underrated-players

      I would definitely like to have Baalke back as the 49er scout for DBs

  7. Maybe someone can help me see the relevance here. Matt Maiocco already touched on this topic with a well put together piece that didn’t need a snarky Santa Rosa Doctor who has never performed a single high caliber or high profile repair of any athlete to offer his opinion. Are budget cuts that bad at the PD that the only phone call you could make was to a small town DR with no body of work to draw from?
    Next, what is the purpose of the article? Is Trent Baalke now deferring to the PD for career mapping?
    If you’re going to write something please at least write something new. It can’t possibly be that hard to find a story about the upcoming season and matchups.

    1. This is relevant because I rarely read MM, who generally toes the line and does not say much.

      Well, at least you did not call him a quack, but from real life experience, the Santa Rosa doctors are very well qualified and do quality work. The real quacks are the Niner docs, who told Kaep to ice his shoulder.

      1. Years ago in Santa Rosa my oldest son was treated by a former Seattle Mariners physician who worked on Randy Johnson. His practice in SR was strictly sports related.

        1. Our youngest son had four done on the same knee by a well known Orthopedic surgeon on the peninsula. The first one was “no contact” soccer, and the next three just happened for minor reasons. As the doctor wrote, some knees have the wrong structure for a good ACL repair. The first three were almost annual.

      1. Aw c’mon! When your doctor tells you something you don’t want to hear, you find a different one who will tell you what you want to hear. Where ya’ been?
        ; >)
        Also, Santa Rosa is a third world wilderness, coyote country.

        1. Brotha, You don’t know anything about rose town. Grant if you want a sports medicine opinion in Santa Rosa you should ask Dr. Ty Affleck he is one of the most respected experts in sports medicine in the United States.

          1. OC! Dude, I live in Petaluma and been in the county 40 years; I know rose town just fine. I was being sarcastic about Matt’s take, and if you read your Gaye Lebaron history columns you’d recognize that “coyote country” was what the Big 4 called it when they decided to abandon their north coast rail line. Damn, give me some credit here.

            1. BT, OC, Seb, Houston… Born in Marin. Fam moved to Santa Rosa in 1963. I’ve been outside Healdsburg since 98.

              You know you are a Santa Rosan if…

              – You know Pepper the Town Marshal
              – Had sweets from Townend’s Candy Shop
              – Swam at the Terrace Plunge
              – Saw Hugh Codding’s elephant in the rose parade
              – Had Gaye LeBaron spread a rumor about you
              – Remember the pre 1969 quake, including the indestructible Cal Theater
              – Cruised 4th street back when it had 2-lanes
              – Sampled every Gravenstein fritter in all the Italian restaurants (the ones in Occidental too) to see who made the best one

              1. I cried when they closed Fiore/Grace on Mendoino. I just heard George Fiore opened up another Music Box in Montgomery. We drank our lunch at F/G at least three times a week from the early 80’s until they closed.

              2. Whine
                In the late 70s and early 80s my wife had to send one of her tellers over to F/G to bring the bosses back to work after liquid lunches. Especially Thursday’s and Friday’s.

              3. Don’t forget the RP drive-in or the hippie hot springs at The Geysers and Warm Springs Canyon. Dead free concerts at Olampali.

              4. I was robbed at those hot springs. We caught the guy red handed, he ran away, but we just waited til he came back to his car. We subdued him and took his drivers license. We promised to give it back if he could lead us to a gas station to get air in a tire. Unlucky for him, there was a sheriff’s patrol car there.They knew all about him, so they believed our story.

        2. WTH? I was born in Santa Rosa. Then we moved out to the woods. We were in the 2nd house ever built in Rohnert Park. That was definitely coyote country at the time. That place is now a thriving metropolis. You haven’t seen hick town until you travel to Oklahoma. Now THATS wilderness. Grant needs an opinion from Doc Cletus in Ochelata Oklahoma. Only then will Baalke’s strategy be definitively refuted.

              1. Big AF base in Altus and not much else. My son was sentenced there twice to learn new aircraft. Before I visited him I Googled restaurants and out of the top ten, six were closed.

              2. I worked for a CWO4 in Nam who’d been a buck sergeant on Guadalcanal; talking Old Corps. Anyway, he reminisced once about living in Whittier before WWII and having to drive 40 miles into L.A. just to get his mail.
                An old timer here in P-town (still living) told of being a boy in these parts. His mom ran the gas station in Lakeville (now the Tin Bar) and he’d play out front. A couple of times a day he’d run inside and yell “Car coming!”

        1. I agree, have to go to experts for this stuff. General physicians aren’t as experienced – Tore my ACL playing soccer years ago but never got it fixed and just got used to living with a knee brace for any athletic endeavors. Last year it started to bark at me so I finally got an MRI and my family doc said I had the ACL tear and two meniscus tears. With the nature of my injury he said my athletic days were over and I’d be stuck with cycling as my only form of exercise because “a surgeon would go in and fix the ACL, but just remove the meniscus because it’s so badly torn.” I was severely disappointed, then went to a sports surgeon in Napa who’s done a lot of work for Sharks players: he looked at my MRI and said that with me dedicated to rehab, he could get me back on a soccer or any kind of field within a year because my tears weren’t that bad.

      2. “Dr. Gary Furness is a doctor for the California Athletic Commission. Who are you again?”

        For boxing not football. World of difference. Kinda like the difference between your son and a real journalist.

      3. Lowell,

        I’m sure Dr. Furness is a lovely person and a family friend, but it sounds like he isn’t a surgeon.

        I wonder if the stats that he used to form his opinion account for athletes that don’t rehab properly, or don’t even try to come back to their sport. It would also be interesting to know if the stats are for all level of athletes, or only professional athletes. The stats I’ve seen indicate that the higher level an athlete is at, the higher their chances for a successful return after an ACL surgery.

        This isn’t to say that Dr. Furness doesn’t have a point, but it is an opinion. One that many other orthopedic surgeons don’t agree with (I married into a family with multiple pro and college athletes and have direct experience with this issue).

        I was more in favor of Baalke’s ACL draft strategy than I am now, but I don’t think it’s as crazy as Grant claims, and three, not two, of the players are still on the roster (Redmond is still a 49er). Also, a player who came in exchange for one of the players is on the team. So, depending on how you look at it, 4 of 7 players drafted with ACL’s still hold spots on the team, not 2 of 7.

    2. Matt,

      Just a guess on my part, but somehow I think you would have been much more receptive to the Dr’s opinion and the article in general, if it had been favorable toward Baalke’s drafting of the injured players. The article was educational and showed a clear problem with Baalke’s drafting strategy. Good information here.

      1. I agree that Baalke has used poor judgement in drafting ACL tears. You’re correct, it did show great information and a clear problem with Baalke’s drafting strategy. Got up feeling feisty and used the article as an opportunity to be snarky myself. Good call rocket. The article itself does have valuable information.

  8. No disrespect intended to Dr. Gary Furness, who I am sure is a fine doctor, but getting the opinion of a family physician in Santa Rosa for the treatment of professional athletes is somewhat comical, Grant.

    Also, really getting sick of the “Click here” linkage. What is this, the world wide web in 1999? Spend 5 minutes and write a better lede to click on than that. Sheesh.

    1. No disrespect! You’re implying that he can’t read and understand medical literature and you say no disrespect. Priceless.

      1. No, but you know there are specialists in these fields…its why James Andrews is visited by athletes across all sports, professional, collegiate, fake. You don’t go to your family doctor to diagnose your heart condition, no matter how many articles he has read.

        1. He was citing statistics. I’ts like saying you have to be a professional statistician to understand the scores of the games. He gave no medical opinions whatsoever. You need a specialist for a medical opinion not to read and understand statistics. Even we can do that.

  9. Yeah, I’d get s second opinion from a major market orthopedic surgeon as well. Someone who, you know, actually performs these procedures.

        1. The problem with going to an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine clinic is they have skin in the game, and every reason to promote ACL repair as dependable and successful.

          1. Still, I’d take the opinion of a specialist who has performed 1,000s of them over a GP who stayed at the holiday inn express

  10. The studies overwhelmingly show the correlation between ACL tears and future risk. The odds of tearing the ACL again or suffering from other related issues are substantially higher than with healthy athletes. Yes, athletes can recover, but it simply is not a smart decision to continually invest resources into injured athletes. It may be Baalke’s legacy as the 49ers GM.

    1. I remember when Jerry Rice tried to return too soon from an ACL tear and ended up breaking his knee cap on a TD catch. I think he returned in a game against the Broncos. Rice had an amazing game and he was the miracle man but then broke his knee cap. The 49ers tried to say the broken knee cap was not related to the ACL injury but all the medical experts came out and said it was common to have that injury when trying to return too soon. Definitely correlation between torn ACL and other leg injuries. One of you industrious young men can check my facts there but that’s what I recall.

        1. I thought the claim is that players with ACL tears and repairs aren’t any good after their injury, not that they shouldn’t come back too soon.

          I agree, players shouldn’t return from ACL surgery too soon. They should take their time, rehab diligently and return to the field only when ready.

          BTW, let me ask you guys, how did Rice do after his broken knee cap and ACL healed?

      1. One thing we need to recognize now is ACL surgeries nowadays are way more effective than 10 yearss ago. Rehabilitation is far more advanced and between physio, chiro, massage, and strength and conditioning programs, athletes are able to heal so much better.
        I’m not saying the 49ers should draft injured players but the ability for athletes to recover is a lot better.

  11. Even outside of the ACL guys Trent Baalke has a terrible success rate drafting.

    He is just not very good at it.

    Even worse at acquiring free agent talent.

    All in all for the 49ers to get better Trent Baalke cannot be the General Manager.

  12. Finally, the media is writing about what I have been saying for the past three years; quit drafting injured players!!! It doesn’t pay off. Baalke keeps saying we’re getting good value for these players in lower rounds, but not if they never play, or play at such a low level that they aren’t contributors. Most of Baalke’s ACL players have been absolute busts!!! And since rookie contracts are usually only 4 years, if a player is finally productive after 3 years, you’ve lost most of the player’s contract value by the time he is eligible for free agency. Better to pick healthy players who have the chance to be productive in year 1.

  13. Would be an interesting comparison to list all the players Baalke drafted with ACL tears and count the number of plays those players actually played and then overlay that on the amount of money the 49ers paid those players to determine the cost per play. Then do the same thing for non-ACL tear players drafted around the same round and determine their cost per play. Would be a lot of work to come up with that statistic BUT:

    There’s your business case for firing Trent Baalke.

    1. Houston,
      Another interesting comparison would be to compare Baalke’s ACL draftees VS ACL players drafted by other teams. Is it the ACL injury or is it that Baalke is drafing the wrong ACL injuried players?

      1. Well there’s the rub coach. No other team drafts ACL players at the rate Baalke drafts them. I don’t think you can make that comparison. Baalke could argue that he’s stock piled picks so he takes chances other teams don’t take because they don’t have as many picks. My rebuttal to that is that Baalke has wasted the picks he stock piled. Since 2010 when Baalke ran his first draft for the 49ers, the 49ers have picked 69 players. That’s the most draft picks by any NFL team in that span. The average number of picks for NFL teams in the span is right around 56 players. In contrast, Arizona has drafted 49 players. Carolina has drafted 46 players. The Jaguars have drafted 49 players. The Steelers have drafted 59 players. All of those teams have far superior rosters to the 49ers. Baalke can say he used some of his stock piled picks on long shot injured players. The problem for Baalke is he’s had the most picks in the NFL since 2010 and he has built one of the worst rosters in the NFL with those picks. There are no 2 ways to slice it. Trent Baalke is a bad GM.

  14. I’m not saying I don’t agree with the sentiment of the article, but it would be much more compelling if you talked to a orthopedic surgeon or a doctor of sports medicine. A family physician? Not exactly his area of expertise.

  15. Finally, someone says it. There is absolutely no defending this stupid strategy. Redmond is still technically a Niner. We’ll see if he ever gets back to 100%. So if we’re generous and we include him, then 60% of those ACL picks were wasted picks that never amounted to anything. That’s 4 draft picks wasted and possibly 5 if Redmond doesn’t get back to where he was. Tank is starting to look great, but as others have pointed out, we’ve had to wait 3 years for him to start producing. I’d rather have a healthy guy that can give some competition instead of taking up space in the hopes that one day he might contribute. Baalke has put together some good Defenses, but he needs to stop drafting ACL hopefulls or find another job. Just because Frank Gore worked out doesn’t mean everyone will. Wake up and start drafting players to win now, not potentially 3 years from now. What I’m curious about is how much money has been wasted on players who never started a game for the team. That dollar amount alone should be enough for the Yorks to contemplate getting rid of Baalke and promoting Gamble. What boss in any other industry would let their manager waste millions of dollars and keep their job? That, and getting rid of a winning coach and only having 1 starting receiver after years and years of drafts. Unfortunately, it seems like the Yorks got their revenue monster stadium (with no shade) and don’t really care about winning now. Time will tell.

    1. If you include Redmond, which you should, then it’s four of the ACL players drafted that represent players still in the roster. Thomas was traded for Kerley, and Kerley is the starting slot receiver.

  16. I usually defend drafting NFI players, but I still like this article. Its fact based, and explores the grey area by asking “The player’s cleared to play, but to what degree will the injury slow for the rest of his career?”

    There’s only been one player that (clearly) didn’t make it because of the college injury, Lattimore. But does that mean the rest are 100% healthy? Likely not. “Cleared to play” may not mean the player can run, cut and jump like he used to.

    I will still battle misconceptions when they pop up. My favorites are whenever a player gets hurt, fans yell “another A-C-L pick”, but none of the players that went IR in 2014, 2015 were “redhsirts” or “ACL picks.”

    Below is what I wrote a few days ago. (please forgive the paste)

    – – – snip – – –

    I’m not philosophically against drafting NFI players or injured players if…

    1) The team had a packed roster + multiple late round comp picks that will likely get released after camp anyway

    2) The pick’s at least three full rounds more talented than the draft slot.

    3) The player has an excellent body of work to scout

    4) The player is not seen merely as a “bargain”, but is scouted for talent and scheme fit just as thoroughly as any other player.

    5) The medical reports clearly indicate recovery, with player/agent willingness to be re-tested

    6) The player seems extremely motivated

    7) The injury occurred in a situation typical of causing injuries… and NOT while making a routine play.

    I was not happy about the Redmond pick this season. For all I know he will turn out great, but there was lost of ready to go defensive talent in this draft, and some good running backs too.

    – – – end snip – – –

    1. I was not happy when Redmond was chosen (remember, I’m the guy that likes and defends NFI strategies).

      Redmond was a high third rounder (68 overall) in a draft deep in defensive talent. Many anonymous GMs and scouts said picks around 68 would be mid-late 2nd rounders in other drafts.

      If Redmond was healthy, where would he have been taken? Is that enough of a draft position increase to risk pick 68?

      I like Garnett. The trade was (37th, 105th, 178th) for KCs (28th, 249th). But how high could the 49ers have gone in the first if they packaged (37th, 68th, 178th)? Paxton Lynch? Treadwell? Kenny Clark?

      That said, I hope Redmond kicks butt. I hope he’s great and proves me 100% wrong. He’s a 49er now. One of our guys. And he’s talented. Love the way he knives in on run support.

      Also credit Baalke for at least doing a roster doh-see-doh by waiting till cut down before putting him on NFI. He avoided the “season ending” tag, and made space for Harris.

    2. B2W, this is another opinion piece, not a fact piece. The only difference is this time it is the opinion of a doctor, not just Grant.

        1. Not sure what you are lol’ing about.

          This really was an excellent opinion piece, as it got an opinion from someone in the medical field. But if you are saying that the stats he gave are fact, then please provide the supporting evidence.

          1. I’m lol’ing that you challenged Dr. Furness’ credibility and expertise because you disagree with him. That’s petty.

            1. Fair enough. I shouldn’t have said it wasn’t a fact piece. There are most certainly facts in what the good doctor says.

              And I don’t doubt his credibility as a doctor or as a sports medicine professional. The stats he gave I have no doubt are based on stuff he has seen, read and discussed with others in the field.

      1. Scooter – With all due respect the Dr. gave no medical opinions but merely cited published statistics. If you question his conclusions, you need to get an expert opinion you would need a professional statistician and not another doctor.

        1. And, Grant gave no opinion other than, given the statistical probability of success (again not a medical conclusion) it is unwise to gamble on ACL players.

        2. “With all due respect the Dr. gave no medical opinions but merely cited published statistics”.

          He did? Which ones?

          What he did was give some statistics. He gave no indication of where they came from. He most certainly didn’t cite them.

          Did Grant give the doctor time to go back and research to find the relevant statistics? Is he a specialist in this field that he will know the statistics off the top of his head?

          1. Scooter,

            There’s a reasonable chance that the good doctor cited stats that include all levels of athletes, some who didn’t rehab correctly / diligently and some who didn’t even attempt to return to heir sport of choice.

  17. OT, but want to post a mea culpa. I was duped by Fox news, and bought into their claim that Kaep converted to Islam.

    I am sorry that I posted that erroneous information, and will consider the sources more closely when posting in the future.

              1. I admit I made a mistake, and no, religion should be separate from sports.

                However, considering that they kneel and pray at the 50 yard line after every game, religion does creep into the sport.

              2. Yes your question is valid. I was appalled and offended by the question in the press conference even though it was directed to Colin.

    1. And you should stop reading Media Matters or Think Progress too. The Islam rumors didn’t begin with Foxnews. It wasn’t reported on their site. The only person who mentioned it is on one of their idiot talk shows. The lefty sites dedicated to lying about all things Fox took something that started on the internet as rumor and used it for politics. You definitely should consider your source and in today’s media there is no pure source.

      1. It is pretty well confirmed by numerous surveys that fox watchers are the least informed and most frequently wrong to put it nicely. So does fox turn you into an idiot or do idiots seek out fox?

        1. Do you always just regurgitate what Media Matters makes you swallow?

          Let me type for you really slowly. All of these media stations are pushing their own agenda. There is no balanced news anymore. There is misinformation coming out from all of these companies at the same rate. Trying to claim viewers of any single station are more or less informed than any other station reveals the poster as a delusional ignoramus.

          1. Houston,

            That typing crack sounded funny at first, but, then, when you think about it, it makes no sense.

            How quickly you type your posts have nothing to do with how fast they’re read.

    2. Speaking of all this Fox stuff, “Outfoxed” is a great documentary about how Fox news works. Even though most of you already seem pretty educated on this.

      1. In the heat of the flag brouhaha, I thought I heard that mentioned.

        I watch Fox to get opposing views.They are anything but fair and balanced. MSNBC seems to be preaching to the choir, so I try to balance things out. They can be pretty entertaining, too, how they twist themselves in a knot to downplay Trumpisms.

        1. The media twist themselves in a knot to downplay Dumbisms and the levels of lies surrounding the government and Lieary.

  18. Indy’s Times, Tests: How I Evaluate Them

    By Bill Walsh

    PSX Draft Insider Special

    Also see: This Year’s Indy Results

    MEDICAL HISTORY

    (This is an area that is also made available, in varying degrees, at the Indy workouts. In the 1990s, medical history is of major importance and anything unusual should be scrutinized).

    It’s important to do extensive research on a player’s health or past injuries. It is not uncommon for a college to mask the history of injury. The trainer and others are so loyal to the player that they are not going to do anything that might damage him. So they are not going to give a complete medical history.

    On another vein, I had a player we were interested in but who was surrounded by strong rumors that he had a problem with alcohol, that he was an alcoholic and drug user. In every part of our investigation on the campus, the situation was white-washed, showing he had absolutely no problems whatsoever. We took that player only to find out within months that we had a chronic alcoholic with some other drug problems as well.

    So there is a systematic approach by the schools to protect the player and you have to understand that.

    But if a player has been in and out of the training room, even with minor injuries, and been unable to practice on given days and missing parts of games and missing a whole game here and there, that has to be a serious factor when you are thinking about committing a high draft pick. It wouldn’t eliminate a player, certainly, but it is definitely a consideration.

    And joint injuries are going to re-occur, generally, and then develop arthritic problems. So you have to watch for those types of things.

  19. Kelly hopeful Dorsey could play Monday. That would be huge, especially if Armstead’s ready.

    On the other hand, Chris Davis and Keith Reaser are doing individual conditioning on the sidelines. Injuries? Move Ward to Slot makes sense, but who goes outside? Robinson? Johnson?

  20. I noticed that Kerley will be the slot receiver and punt returner. I hope they do not pull another Ellington. If Kerley is the slot receiver, let some one else handle the punt returning. Less chance for injuries.

      1. That looks horrific. All they really need to do is close off the top end of the two open ended breezeways…put a banner beneath (like they do on the facade of the stadium)….and get fans who aren’t such pansies.

        FYI, Mondays game vs LA (odd to write that) a high of 74 predicted, probably a lot closer to 65 by game time. Whaaah

  21. “Trent Baalke has drafted seven players with torn ACLs”

    He drafted 44 players in that period.
    Four ACLs picks are no longer 49ers.
    One failed explicitly because of his ACL. (but how many gray area players that were officially declared healthy, but never came within 95% original functionality?)

    Some may be “3rd and 4th rounders”, but on closer examination….

    Name – Overall – Draft

    Tank Carradine – 40 – 2013
    Will Redmond – 68 – 2016
    Brandon Thomas – 100 – 2014
    Marcus Lattmore – 131 – 2013
    Keith Reaser – 170 – 2014
    Trey Millard – 245 – 2014
    Deandre Smelter – 132 – 2015

    I’m forgiving of later picks, especially in seasons where the roster was packed and the 49ers were saddled with a high number of comp picks.

    But I’m not happy with picks like Redmond (68), Thomas (100) or Carradine (40). That’s where healthy starters are waiting to be plucked. That’s also prime trade bait for moving up in the first or second round.

    Millard (245)? Who the heck cares.

    I’m holding out hopes for Tank and Redmond. Reaser easily justified his 170 draft slot.

  22. Fishers Quotes vs Ryan Salamoto

    ”Shad’s (Rashard Robinson) going to be a good player in this league. We liked him coming out and so it’s just a matter of getting experience.”

    “We really liked Jimmie coming out in the draft. Thought it was a great pick for #49ers, where they got him.”

  23. “But I’m not happy with picks like Redmond (68), Thomas (100) or Carradine (40). That’s where healthy starters are waiting to be plucked. That’s also prime trade bait for moving up in the first or second round.”

    Brodie, I’ve see a lot of smart comments on this site, and this is up there.

    I stopped thinking Baalke was the cat’s meow a while ago, probably later than most, but let’s consider these three.

    Carradine was 40, very high. The main reason he hasn’t justified being picked 40 was the recovery time, yes, but also because they developed him the wrong way. That was really a bad miscalculation, all Baalke. He needed another Justin Smith and miscast the player. Asking him to gain a lot of weight as well as to play a new position never made any sense to me. Nevertheless, here we are. He was considered probably the best pass rusher in his draft. Now we get to see.

    Redmond at 68: Can a quick twitch athlete fully recover from an ACL? I’d like to be optimistic but think this was a bad bet.

    Thomas at 100: Well, we got Kerley out of the pick, and he is a starter and a key part of the offense. I have no reason to think he won’t produce in Chip’s offense. However, he’s probably seen his best years, and, in Thomas, we needed a starting caliber guard, desperately. It’s a bit ironic that our draft pic after Thomas was Ellington. Life is funny sometimes, no?

    Having read what I just wrote, the best case I think is that Carradine becomes a terror and Kerley stands out this year and next. (I think Ellington, who clearly can’t hold up, is backup material.) The jury is out on these two.

    I think the Baalke ACL strategy belongs in the dust bin of history.

    1. Thanks George!

      I think there will be fewer NFI picks in the future.

      – Comp Picks can now be traded. That’s huge.
      – The 49ers are no longer losing high numbers of free agents, there won’t be as many comp picks, if any, in the next few seasons. Expect far fewer than the 11 and 12 pick draft classes we’ve been getting.
      – The roster is far from talent packed. Not like 2013-2014. Less need to draft-n-stash if you have roster holes.

      NFI picks make less sense if a team has a depleted roster. Notice Baalke “only” drafted a single injury player in 2015 and 2016.

      I’m not philosophically against drafting injured players, but only with late picks, not top 100. The talent relative to draft slot ration needs to be much better too.

      1. Brodie:

        I seem to remember that Marcus Martin had some type of injury when he was drafted (knee, I think). Do you remember that or am I just misremembering?

        1. My recollection was Martin was healthy, but he was taken in the same draft as Thomas so people lump them together.

          I think Martin had a training camp owie, or early season one in his first year.

    2. George,

      Carradine: what formed your opinion that moving TC to tackle was all Baslke? If I remember, both Fsngio and Tomsula were involved heavily in that choice, too.

      Redmond: The time he spent in the field in PS, he looked pretty good. In hindsight, I don’t like that pick, but maybe we should edit to see what he does on the field.

      Kerley: He’s 27 years old, so, for the 49ers sake, I hope his best football isn’t behind him. It might be, though.

      B2W,

      Your recommended approach to drafting injured players makes sense. I hope, as you say, there will be fewer j jury picks, going forward.

      You know what I find funny? All the credit the Raiders are getting for drafting Joseph. By some of Baalke’s harshest critics, no less. Either it’s bad to use early picks for a player, or it’s not.

  24. Additional late round picks with injury issues.

    Nate Byham, Curtis Holcomb, Ronald Johnson, Jason Slowey, Darius Fleming, Carter Bykowski, Kaleb Ramsey,Trey Millard.

  25. Nice read Grant. Tells one doctor’s opinion very well.

    However, I think the idea of avoiding all players with an ACL tear because of the risk fails to consider the inherent risks in drafting players. Until somebody actually does the statistics behind success rate of players with and ACL tear (and not just Ballke’s picks) against players taken at the same slot in other years, all of this remains conjecture as to whether the strategy is wrong.

      1. So Lattimore, for example, was picked 131..following him we have Devin Taylor, Levine Toilolo, Sanders Commings, Denard Robinson, Earl Wolff, Jesse Williams, Tharold Simon, Montori Hughes, Stepfan Taylor,Oday Aboushi…the list goes on and on…all guys who basically did nothing, outside of Robinson, in the NFL. Its not until 29 picks later at 160, Zac Stacy, that you get a player worth anything (yes Joseph Randal was picked ahead but that’d be a different “Baalke draft” story). And even then Stacy had that good rookie year but nothing in the 2 years that followed and is now a free agent.

        Almost 30 players, drafted by almost 30 gms, none of them really did anything. If Lattimore had recovered, we’d all be talking about how that was a gem and you could list off the 30 players around him who failed.

        You won’t win the lottery if you never play it.

          1. I am assuming you fact checked the doctor’s facts, to make sure what he said was accurate? Otherwise it was just his opinion.

            If you didn’t, there was indeed a study done of NFL players between 1998 and 2002, that showed at the time around 20% never came back. And that of those that did, their performance was about 1/3 less than it used to be (though the measure of performance was somewhat subjective).

            I’ve not seen anything done more recently.

    1. The problem is Baalke’s taking these guys right after they’ve torn the ACL so he’s got no idea what he’s getting. That’s bad business in any industry.

      If a guy tore his ACL as say a freshman and has shown he could come back that’s different

      Baalke’s basically buying ammunition from AEY.

    2. Scooter:

      I know little to nothing about horse racing. But I’m wondering, how many horse races make it back from a leg injury? Maybe there’s no chance if it is a thoroughbred, but what about other types of racing?

        1. Depends on the injury, cubus.

          But these are very different points. Horses don’t have access to the same range of surgeries, medicines and care available that humans do.

          1. I know this is sort of a side discussion. But are you saying that horses that run in the top races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, etc.) don’t have the best medical care available? Or is it more that their careers for these types of races are relatively short; hence, given the recovery time it isn’t worth it.

            1. Almost all race horses that break a bone or do a serious leg injury during a race are put down on the spot. This not because of money, but because the chances of survival from such an injury are low, and the horses can go through great suffering. Its very different than it is with humans.

    3. I think Scooter makes a good point…. So what’s the success rate of Non-ACL picks Baalke has made…. the point is maybe its not the ACL, its that Baalke is just terrible regardless.

            1. Agree and I think he started to do that this year for sure and some are saying last year as well. As I said before, I think he was strongly led to believe that Redmond would be ready for TC. He stated that in response to a reporter’s question. I don’t remember him ever saying that before about another injured draftee.

              1. 1- grant do you think you should have addressed him as dr instead of Gary?

                2- 2/7 is about 29%. I’ve seen these numbers somewhere but I don’t remember where. But I believe the overall success rates of drafts are not much better if I’m not mistaken. I think I read somewhere that first round picks have a 20% success rate.

            2. Redmond is still on the roster. He’s an unknown.

              Success rate, if you want to call it that, is 2 out of 6. What’s the average success rate for draft picks?

              What is the success rate of other teams drafting ACL players?

              1. Scooter,

                By my count 35 of the 51 players that Baalke selected from 2011 to 2015 played at least 1 snap during the regular season.

                That’s much better than the 2 out of 6 for the ACL guys. And the contribution made by Carradine is paltry for an early 2nd round pick.

                Also, has any other team even come close to drafting this many injured guys?

              2. Its too small a sample size to have any statistical relevance.

                How have other players that were drafted after an ACL injury their last year of college football fared?

                Gurley is the obvious positive. Willis McGahee too. Sean Lee comes to mind, though he has struggled to stay on the field.

                Other guys have had some measure of success in their comeback, such as Bruce Carter and Aaron Colvin, though with Carter an argument can definitely be made he isn’t the same player he once was (of course, since we never saw him in the NFL pre-injury, we also have no way of knowing how true that is). Michael Mauti was a 7th round pick with significant knee issues that has managed to stick around in the league as a backup LB.

                Da’Quan Bowers has been dreadful. But he still played five seasons. Maybe it was due to his knee that he was no good. Maybe he just wasn’t that good. Who knows? Same with Ryan Broyles – at least he played 3 seasons, and his main issue was staying healthy after his initial injury in college.

                Until we actually see a proper analysis, its all conjecture. For all of that, I am not suggesting it is a strategy that should be propagated. Just saying the evidence in incomplete as to whether players with ACL injuries should be completely avoided.

          1. Philosophically I don’t have a problem with an occasional acl pick in the 4-7 rounds for someone that should be a top 1-3 round pick. However, when you combine it with the way he drafts in general it’s a problem. When the team was loaded with talent it was fine to gamble on an acl for a top talent. Redshirt them for a year or two and then Maybe you have a great player.

            The problems are our team no longer has top end talent. And the second problem is that he typically drafts back quality players. The only “stars” he drafts are in round 1 and the Acls.

            The formula is broken at keeping team even with high end talent.

            Betwen old age, injuries , free agency he is losing more quality players than what we are bringing in.

            A company goes bankrupt this way. Just like we are going bankrupt on talent

      1. Regardless, players who have torn their ACLs have careers that are 2-3 years shorter on average than players who have not torn their ACLs, and 20 to 30 percent of all players who tear their ACLs never return to football.

        1. Where did the good Dr get his stats? Were they recent? I have a problem with “players who have torn their ACLs have careers that are 2-3 years shorter on average than players who have not torn their ACLs, ” because there is a very popular stat that says that NFL players on have an average career of 3 years. So, with the above quote, I have the same question. Where is he getting his numbers? What average career number is he saying is 2-3 years shorter? Where did he get that number from? How can we rely that any of the numbers he gave are accurate?

  26. I don’t see the problem in taking a chance on an ACL case. That’s what 6th and 7th round draft picks are for.

  27. Grant – I really like your analysis and your professional opinions with statistics to support Far too many of the MDs performing the ACL repairs think their procedures will surpass the statistics of successful returns to the field. I think it is the God-like edifice they have. Regardless of the type of repair to the ACL, it takes 18-24 months before the player returns to form, if at all. The mental battle is another aspect with which the player has to deal.

  28. Just don’t point your finger where it’s unwarranted when blaming me.
    Remember it takes 2 to tango and if that does not work, mind your own business and if that doesn’t work, go feed your horse and don’t worry about it!

  29. The draft board isn’t linear, it’s logarithmic. Taking smart risks on ACL injuries could pay off in theory. A mid 1st round pick is worth 15x that of a mid 4th round pick on a typical draft board. So even if one of Baalke’s picks paid off, he would have won. Unfortunately for him and us, one hasn’t paid off yet.

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