5 under-the-radar 49ers who could have big impact

Click here to read my Sunday column.

  1. Nice article Geant, I am very high on Eric Rodgers, I think he will have a great year, I knew nothing about chris Rodgers or the new c, I appreciate the info, this new coaching staff has no problem moving people around and doing things there way. Going to be interesting . Are you still thinking. Buckner will be weak against the run? I think he is stronger then you think and will be a beast! Keep the good articles rolling!

    1. Buckner’s role in 2016 will be the same as armstead’s. He will play in sub packages like the 4-2-5 Nickel, the 4-1-6 dime and the 3-3-5 nickel. The starters, I believe, will be armstead, dial and Mike Purcell. At least until I am Williams returns

        1. I wouldn’t be so sure Buckner will follow Armstead’s rookie year path…for one, he’s the better of the two players. For another, O’Neil could easily start Dial at NT ’til Williams and/or Dorsey are ready. I see Purcell more as a b/u across the DL. However it shakes out, I’m pretty stoked at the talent and depth in that group. Blair will be probably be an X-factor guy.

  2. Agree, this was an informative write up. Looks like the acquisition of Eric Rogers may turn out to be a good one. Let’s hope so.

    When I heard about the move of A Balducci to center I was intrigued and am glad it’s working out.

    All these players look pretty good at this point. Course Hayne looked great in the preseason too…

      1. Why don’t you ask that question to every NFL team who has been running OTA’s forever? There is considerable benefit to it even without pads. Cmon Htwaits, you really didn’t ask that did you?

        1. It’s more about conditioning and education right now. As even chip has stated many times now, it’s not about winning positions right now. You can’t properly evaluate a football player until the pads come on and things get physical.

        2. This is largely position dependent. For linemen it provides little value in terms of evaluation… its very helpful for them in terms of mental reps, learning protections and what not.

        3. Have the coaches been shearing what they are learning with you are Grant? Of course I didn’t ask the question you replied to.

          you => the fans

  3. As usual, you ruined what might have been a good article with your catty little negative comments about Hayne, who had great ability but played under Tomsula’s “I don’t know what to do with you offense”. You should get a job with the Enquirer.

    1. I think Paraag Marathe told Hayne he would again be relegated to the PS because analytics said that he was no good. I do not fault Hayne in the slightest to want to play in the Olympics, because others recognize and appreciate his skills.

      Hopefully, the Niners will grant him an unconditional release so he can play for a team that wants him, and will utilize his talents. Instead, the Niners will pull another AD and not let him come back, unless it is into the doghouse.

      1. Seb,

        That’s pure conjecture on your part, or at least a good portion of it is. Hayne is obviously a fabulous athlete, superior in many ways, though the NFL learning curve may have proved too steep and he found a good way to save face. I find no fault in his attempting nor in the 49ers experimenting. I think they could have used him more creatively, but that was true of a number of other players too. Even so, I am not in the front office, nor are you and all we can do is guess and speculate.

        1. I did not claim that it was the facts set in stone. I started by saying I think PM did that, so it is just my opinion.

          However, it was telling to see Marathe stand up and talk about intangibles, when they are the antithesis of analytics. Sounds to me that Marathe was desperately trying to retain Hayne, after Hayne told them he was going to leave.

          I agree, it is pure speculation on my part, but conjecture on a blog site is pretty common. We will see what happens after the Olympics. If the Niners play hard ball, I expect Hayne to sign with a Rugby club and get to play a lot, instead of being benched and left twisting in the wind on the Niners.

            1. Yes, I did not talk much about Hayne until Grant brought up his name. He is probably needling me because he knows I am such a Hayne fan.

              I agree, we need to move on.

              1. “He is probably needling me because he knows I am such a Hayne fan.” Let me suggest that it’s highly unlikely Grant thinks of you or any of us when he writes his columns.

              2. Seeking attention once again. Thinking the author is some way engaging you alone. Sad Seb, sad!

          1. That is a truly scary thought. It would indicate that Paraag Marathe has more power over the roster than Baalke or Kelly which I simply cannot see.
            As to the intangibles comment, I would speculate this might be because Hayne has no sample size, no college stats and only a few plays in the NFL. There is no empirical data that can be used that has any worth with such a small sample size.

      2. :eyeroll: You just like to make up really stupid stuff, don’t you? He’s got a shot at the Olympics. Good for him.

        But the bottom line is that Hayne was not special as an NFL athlete. He wasn’t exceptionally fast (4.5 range). He wasn’t exceptionally big for his speed. He really wasn’t all that great as a punt returner.

        Sure, he looked good against Guys Who Will Never Play in the NFL. But against the real deal, he was just not all that and a bag of chips and he really lacked NFL skills. And it showed.

        1. Hayne, for his size, was comparably as fast as Hyde, who many touted as elite. He has a knack to make the first tackler miss, which is a very unique skill, and he tore up the preseason. Too bad there was a clear bias against him, the coaches did not know how to utilize his skills, and he was not only cut on the bus, the FO threw him under the bus.
          I admire a player who had the guts to accept a daunting challenge, and follow his dream. He did play in the regular season and made first downs, even with a putrid O line.

          Hopefully, once the Olympics is over, he can gain his release from the Niners and go to a team who will give him a fair chance to play. However, I bet they treat him like they have AD, so he will be forced to go back to play rugby in Australia.

          1. Only someone out of touch with reality would believe there is even the slightest chance Hayne will play again in the NFL. That ship has sailed. If there is one thing NFL executives hate, it’s a player who quits on his team. And make no mistake, although Hayne handled things far better than Anthony Davis handled his retirement, Hayne is still viewed as a quitter, whether it’s fair or not (I think it is fair to call him a quitter, because he quit on his team in order to pursue his own agenda).

            And for what it’s worth Seb, the 49ers FO has absolutely handled AD correctly. The vast majority of executives believe the 49ers are right to take a hard-line stance with Davis, or any player who retires without proper notice, and then uses social media in order to try and manipulate the situation.

            Sebnynah, I am certain you are not qualified to tell any sports executive how they should manage professional athletes.

            “Hopefully, once the Olympics is over, he can gain his release from the Niners and go to a team who will give him a fair chance to play. However, I bet they treat him like they have AD, so he will be forced to go back to play rugby in Australia.”

            You, taking a jab at the 49ers FO about how they handle AD, is like Rush Limbaugh, giving diet advice. Not long ago it was “Chip Kelly should beg Kaepernick to play for him, and even go as far as trading Gabbert, to prove his loyalty to Kap”, and now this?

            Just curious Seb, exactly how do you disapprove of the 49ers dealings with AD, and what would you do differently? Keep in mind, you’ve got dozens of other employees who are aware of the stupid social media comments AD has made and are watching how you handle him.

            Most people familiar with Hayne’s situation believe that he saw the writing on the wall. Based on the new system, and experienced players ahead of him, his chances of making this years roster was worse than last season. And, while Hayne was viewed as a world class athlete, he was never viewed as a world class football player. He’s a guy who got an opportunity last season that very few are fortunate enough to have in this world, and he failed to make the most of it. Assuming he might eventually develop with enough hard work and devotion, if a team was patient enough to afford him the opportunity, by the time he does, he’ll be a RB on the wrong side of 30 years old.

            It was never going to happen for Jarryd Hayne. And I believe that, if Anthony Davis wants to play again, he ought to kiss the ground Jed, Trent, and Chip walk on. Davis left the team hanging at a very bad time 24 months ago, and anything short of forcing Davis into a Game Of Thrones style Walk of Atonement, is letting him off way to easy, IMO.

  4. Good write up.Rodgers going to do some very good things this year.
    Treggs also sounds intresting,very fast.Martin has also been dreadful,hope Balducci beats him out.

  5. That lede paragraph was a cold slap to the face for a Sunday morning. You have my attention now. Your opinion piece just became a bit more sticky.

  6. I hope Treggs makes the team, and both he and White become the punt and kickoff returners, so Ellington will be freed up to be able to play more slot.

    1. Not all 3 of those guys will make the roster. The South Carlolina Gamecocks experiment has been a failure for the 49ers so far I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ellington cut. Apparently Treggs and Kelly have a history and we know Kelly loves players from the PAC12.

      Even though Ellington has the most experience it becomes irrelevant with the new coaching in addition to his lack of any sort of significant impact. Add in the fact that Patton can play the slot and contribute on ST and Ellington could very well be in his way out.

      1. I think Ellington will fit very well into the Chip Kelly offense. His main problem is his durability issues. Ellington did very well with those quick slants and fly sweeps, but making him a punt returner that called for fair catches with room to run even while behind in the score was a head scratcher.

        Hopefully, Chip will use him properly, and he will get a chance to shine.

      2. Coach has talked a lot about Ellington not so much Patton. Patton hasn’t shown a lot. Ellington needs to stay healthy.

  7. Yea, I really like Balducci’s chances against Martin, and Rogers over Patton. Treggs over Ellington would not surprise me in the least. Cromartie is interesting as a Safety, but I’m wondering how McCray is doing, Grant? He’s fast as well, and can be a devastating hitter. I think special teams really missed him….

  8. “You get the feeling Kelly knew about Rogers and pointed the Niners in his direction.”

    One of your peers has an article that points out that Kelly has been in contact with Rogers since while he was still in Philly and that when he was hired by the 49ers he called and told Rogers that he was going to be his firs signing.

    “The Dallas Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2013 but cut him before the season started.”

    The Patriots also put him through a workout in December last year but chose not to sign him. I guess they decided they didn’t need a receiver.

    You don’t really mention how Cromartie could have a big impact this year. You simply say that he doesn’t have any experience at the spot and that they’re moving him there. That doesn’t exactly sound like an endorsement that he’s going to somehow have a meaningful contribution there. I realize Mr Davis that you like fast players but again, does that equal having a big impact at Free Safety on this team?

  9. Now now everyone lets pump the brakes on Rogers. If you look at his highlight tape, what’s the one thing that sticks out?

    He’s super frail and needs to add some muscle. He will struggle against press coverage as a result. No doubt he will be able to make some plays but I’m not expecting for than 50 grabs 700 yards and 5 TDs

    1. In my response to Grants suggestion that he’ll be a week 1 starter I pointed out that not only did he not stick with Dallas but he also had a recent workout with the receiver needy Patriots and they chose to pass. Not a good sign for a guy who’s only real positive resume fact is that he’s played well in the College Football League.

  10. Patton has more stupid penalties than he’s made plays. They are clearly rebuilding so its a good time to jettison that kind.

    1. That is why I think they should trade Patton now, instead of waiting until the 53 cuts and losing him for nothing. In fact, they should also trade MC and CD, or keep them and trade Reaser and Acker.

      1. Sebnynah, honestly, you really need to stop with the notion that the other 31 NFL teams are looking to trade for players who are obvious fringe players, on a roster many believe (not me personally) is one of the least talented rosters in the league. Not to mention that players have yet to put on shoulder pads this off season.

        Let me make this clear. Teams are simply not looking to make trades in May. Not with the new structure and guidelines of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. And on the rare occasion a team might need to find a player, they are likely not looking to fill a roster spot with a 49ers castoff.

        While I appreciate your effort to think outside the box, this particular idea is unrealistic, and you have worn this idea out at this point.

        SO PLEASE, STOP WASTING OUR TIME! FINDING A TRADE PARTNER WILLING TO GIVE UP ANY ASSET WORTH ACQUIRING, FOR A FRINGE PLAYER, OFF OF A LOSING TEAM’S ROSTER, BEFORE LATE JULY, IS A PIPE-DREAM, AND AN IDEA NOT WORTHY OF THIS BLOG!

        1. 49, I know you and many others do not consider trading players to be a worthwhile endeavor, but if you want to improve the team, it should be considered.

          I would much rather try to get something for a player now, than wait until the 53 cutdowns and lose them for nothing. Trading now would allow the other teams to have those players during the training camp, instead of waiting until the last second and get players who have not studied the playbook.

          Believe it or not, it is not illegal to trade players during the off season.

          Believe it or not, other teams are looking to improve their teams, too. Baalke should get off his behind and start wheeling and dealing instead of watching hockey games.

          Bundling picks will get a higher draft pick, but even if a players are traded for 6th or 7th round picks, next year, the Niners could bundle those picks to move up in the draft.

          I know, you would rather stick your head in the sand and do nothing. I, on the other hand, would rather think outside the box and make deals that benefit both teams.

          Defeatist attitudes like you and others in the peanut gallery possess is just what the Niners do not need at the moment. Chip should assess who they want on the squad, then establish a pool of players who the Niners are willing to trade. Last year, they did trade away players, so it is not outside the realm of possibilities that it could be done this year, too.

          I do not want to trade only fringe players or scrubs, but starters and ones who have played, like Bruce Miller, Vance MacDonald, Marcus Martin, Patton, Reaser, Davis, Draughn and others. They are not chopped liver, but talented players who might fill a need on another team.

          Wasting time? Maybe you should stop doing that by being so antagonistic against trying to improve the team.

          1. Finally, I wish to point out that teams like Jax, Tennessee, Browns and San Diego are also losing teams, so those Niner players may be a big upgrade.

            Teams like Indy, Ravens, Saints and Atlanta may be confronted with teams within their division that will be hard to compete against until they dramatically improve their rosters. I could easily see the Niners trading Thomas, Davis and Lemonier to Indy for a second or third round pick because Indy did not have a lot of draft picks, and have huge needs to fill, even with all of their draft picks and free agents.

            Texans may be having second thoughts about Brock O, so if Thad Lewis shines in the off season, Gabbert may be good trade bait. Denver, too.

            1. Yep cause guys with less than 2yds per carry, zero sacks and no starts help teams win.

              Seb this is what we all hear when you start talking bundles, Hayne, Kippling, Atr of War, back stabbing leaks, busses, your 10 points for the offense. Please remind me you just want to win.

              https://youtu.be/k6p1Ck0ab80

            2. The point about Brock is ridiculous. They just Paid $18 million for him. They lose big if they cut him. Thad is a clipboard holder.

        2. Also, the Niners should consider swapping players. Maybe a player does not fit the Chip Kelly system, but another team has a glut of players at a certain position, who would fit well in Chip’s system.

          It may be a good way to improve both teams, because it is unrealistic to propose only one sided deals.

          Bruce Miller is a prime example. If the Niners could get an ILB for him, it might benefit both teams.

          1. Suggesting swapping players or trading players for a draft pick isn’t what people criticise you for, Seb. Its the idea that by bundling the likes of Thomas, Davis and Lemonier the team could get a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Ludicrous.

            My thoughts on the matter of trading players – right now it makes little sense. Chip should not be making snap decisions on which players on the roster can and can’t help him. That is what TC is for. If towards the end of TC it is becoming obvious that a player like, say, Miller, McDonald and/ or Patton aren’t going to be what Chip is after, then they should look to trade them.

            Realistically no team will give up a 2nd or 3rd round pick for a player another team doesn’t want unless they are star calibre. Even bundling the players above would not net a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Just leave it at the 49ers should look to trade them if and when they determine they have no use for them. And be happy with whatever they can get.

            1. Scooter, you should be glad that I went from 4 to three players. I also mentioned that it may be easier to conduct single player trades, but the compensation is less.

              Of course, if it were easy, they would do it all the time. When I advocated the 3 player trade, I included players who would fill huge needs. I do not advocate 3 just to get as much draft capital as possible, it has to benefit both.

              Like the San Diego proposal. They lost Floyd to retirement, Ladarius Green went to Pittsburg. I proposed Quinton Patton, Vance MacDonald and Bruce Miller to the Chargers for a second. Miller would greatly aid Melvin Gordon, and Vance and Patton would help replace losses.

              I know, it is much to have you affronted by my long shot suggestions. Your blast of indignation fill this site.

              I will leave you with a quote from RFK.-‘ Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly’

              1. And I am suggesting, as is everyone else, that a 2nd for those players isn’t going to happen. Patton and McDonald would only be let go because the 49ers don’t feel they are good enough. Why would the Chargers want the 49ers cast-offs for anything more than a late round pick? Miller might interest a team, but as a FB he is unlikely to garner much in return either. Doesn’t matter if you bundle the players, you still aren’t going to get much back. But no matter what anyone says, you seem to believe differently. Whatever.

                And, as 49reasons and I outlined, now is not the time to be making these trades. Chip and his coaching staff need to take the time to evaluate the players. It might well be that all 3 guys end up being players Chip wants on the roster. He won’t know that until he’s had a proper chance to see these players and how they go in his system. If the 49ers had already decided all 3 guys were not useful, they should have offloaded them before now. But hey, if you think the 53-man roster is already set in stone, and they know these guys aren’t needed, then good on you for being ahead of the curve.

                “I know, it is much to have you affronted by my long shot suggestions. Your blast of indignation fill this site.”

                Yeah, that’s me, affronted and indignant at your suggested trades. Can someone even be indignant or affronted over these suggestions? Maybe the players could be. I certainly don’t feel insulted by them. If anyone here is feeling indignant or affronted, I once again suggest you look in the mirror. Or look up a thesaurus about the meaning of the words.

              2. Scooter, Patton was productive and helped on ST. Vance is a great blocker, and has the size and speed to be the prototypical TE. His only flaw it his catching ability, and maybe he can establish rapport with Rivers. Bruce Miller, along with Vance, were starters. Bruce could also protect Rivers and he would open holes for Melvin Gordon to run through like he did for Frank Gore. That is 3 talented veterans for a future draft choice. Maybe you think they are only worth a third round pick, and I would say that may be acceptable.

                You also have to look at it from San Diego’s perspective. 3 veterans could instantly help whereas rookies may need time to study and get stronger. SD has a daunting challenge, because they are in the same division as Denver, the SB Champs and KC, who is also a playoff team. They will also have to contend with the Raiders who got a lot better through the draft and free agency. If SD is content to stand pat, they may be content to be cellar dwellers again.

                If I were a player, some blog post advocating a trade would not upset me. If some players were that sensitive, they would be a basket cases when the real rumors start flying. I am glad that you are not upset, and can articulate your displeasure without going all emo. I know we have gone round and round, but you seem to disagree without being disagreeable. I hope you have seen that I refrained from advocating a 3 player deal until some were postulating getting rid of various players. I do not advocate 3 player trades every post, though some feel like I do.

              3. “Patton was productive and helped on ST. Vance is a great blocker, and has the size and speed to be the prototypical TE.”

                Sounds like good reasons to keep them and see what they can do in this team, no? Or at least give them a chance to earn their spot.

                “That is 3 talented veterans for a future draft choice.”

                If they are so talented, why are the 49ers looking to get rid of them? Don’t the 49ers also have needs at WR and TE? All three guys are very much in the mix to start for the 49ers this year, as far as I am aware. If the 49ers don’t believe so, on units that are very much uncertain at best, why should the Chargers feel the need to spend a high draft pick on them? How is a guy that wasn’t good enough to compete for a spot on a bad team with openings at the position going to be an upgrade for the Chargers?

                Looking at it further, two of the guys you are proposing are on the last year of their rookie contract. The Chargers would be trading for one year rentals. And those rentals are guys that aren’t even established starters in the NFL. So while they may provide some benefit this year, they are hardly certainties to start for the Chargers. And they don’t get the long term benefits of trying to develop them. For reference, the Broncos traded for an established starter and talented veteran TE on a 1 year rental from the 49ers last year, at a time when they actually truly had a need for one, and spent only a late round pick on him.

                “I hope you have seen that I refrained from advocating a 3 player deal until some were postulating getting rid of various players.”

                Yes, I see that. And as I have said, I don’t have any issues with the idea of trading players. Just not right now. Its not the time to be doing it, for the reasons I have mentioned.

                And multi-player trades are very uncommon for a very good reason. It is difficult to find a team that truly wants more than one guy you don’t want, and is willing to stump up more draft capital for a ‘bundle’ of players. It is a lot easier to find interested trade partners when doing it discretely (and yes, that is discretely, not discreetly, i.e individual and separate units).

                If and when the 49ers determine some of their vets are not needed/ wanted, I certainly do hope they try and trade them off as a first option. But not until they have given them a chance to prove themselves in camp. And I also strongly think you need to lower your expectations regarding the draft picks they would get in return.

          2. Regarding 49reasons argument against trading in May, this builds on what I said above. Just like Chip shouldn’t be making snap decisions about players right now, the same can be said for any team. Each team needs to evaluate what they currently have and what they feel they are missing. Can’t do that properly at this time of year.

            1. Why do you guys even give Seb an explanation? All it does is give way to another 2500 word response which we have to scroll down to! Please stop feeding the attention seeker!

          3. Seb, you may just be too stupid to understand that trades don’t happen in the NFL. They are very, very rare. Teams just wait for bottom of the roster guys to be cut and then will pick them up for nothing. Do you even pay any attention to the reality of how the league conducts this kind of business? Your ignorance about this is just astounding.

            1. So change will never happen? They do multi player deals in other sports. Football, with its large rosters, are optimal targets for multi level trades.

              Look at last draft. They proposed and executed a six draft pick deal, and a 5 draft pick deal. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that there could be a 3 player deal for one draft pick. It has happened before, but I admit it is a rare concurrence.

              Just because they are not smart enough to think up such a deal does not mean that such deals are prohibited.
              Maybe I am misinformed, and lower level teams are not trying to get better, because tradition keeps them in their place. Frankly, I would do what Jed said and would be trying everything in their power to achieve greatness by not settling for mediocrity. Of course when Jed said he would not poach a coach from ND because he would never do anything to hurt his alma mater, maybe he was just kidding.

              Maybe you are misinformed, because the Niners executed 3 trades during the off season last year, so trades do occur. Just singly, and not bundled.

              1. Sebnnoying I’m starting to get arthritis in my hands having to scroll down so many of your posts.
                When will the storm just blow you away?

              2. Do us a favour, pull a Jack Hammer and start your own blog. Call it Sebnnoying’s Storm blog!

              3. Prime, there you go again, telling posters not to feed me, then engage me again. SMH.

              4. Prime, you really do not know how to behave in a civil manner. Telling me to shut up just makes me want to engage you. Let me start by reminding you how you once wrote that Kaep took the league by storm. If you want to still act like a spoiled brat, I will continue all day and night to haunt your posts. Your call.

              5. Seb has all the traits that DS94EVR had. I think they’re the same person, especially since Seb was referencing Star Trek the other day. DS9 stood for Deep Space 9, one of the Trekkie nerdlabs of the 1990s.

                I remember that guy was autistic, and Seb seems to have serious autistic or asperger syndrome qualities.

                Seb, you have a severe dysfunction that makes you socially inept. Autism or aspergers, which is it?

              6. JC….. The so called seahak fan DS/Mary would be my bet for DS…
                The nerdy sci fi talk…
                The picking of a team that IT knows is hated the most on here…
                The cancer curse IT was going to put on me or my family…
                The circles of questions knowing nothing about football…
                The Harbaugh hate…
                The ck hate…
                The alexsmith love…
                Way to many similarities not to be that freak!
                DS/”Mary” will be back to annoy again. Read the similarities when IT returns from under its troll bridge. :-/

              7. JC, I have not watched a single episode of DS9, but in my youth watched all the original Star Trek series.

                Socially inept? Yep, many posters on this site think they can hurl insults and post screeds without looking inept and pathetic. They let a poster get under their skin and become unctuous and smarmy, and think they are saving the world by trying to drive away a faithful die hard Niner fan.

      2. Too much Madden, not enough sense. Teams just don’t trade for fringe players this time of year as they have plenty of their own to sift through.

        1. Teams will have a hard time keeping quality players on their own teams and will cut some decent vets. Additionally, marginal players will be had for no cost with a bit of patience. If they don’t work out, nothing lost, if they do great upside. Trading at this point only has downside for the trading partner which is why you almost never see it, bundle or no bundle. The fact other sports do it means nothing apples and oranges…

  11. Thanks for the article Grant.
    Hayne was a hopeful and we all knew that he was nothing more than a long shot at making it.

    At his age perhaps he felt that it would be harder to make the team, also given the fact that the running backs that relegated him to the (Vaughn, Harris) bench along with MD and rookie KT no doubt played a big part in his decision.
    But I can’t ever call a person a quitter for trying to cross over and play a game he’s not familiar with.
    Here’s where you and I disagree, you call him a quitter, I call him a courageous athlete for leaving his country and the comforts of his sport to try and fulfill a dream.
    That’s just my thoughts on Hayne.

    Regarding the other players mentioned here. I agree that Rodgers is the starter come September and that Kelly will get a feather in his cap for finding him.

    I really don’t know how to process the UDFA having a chance to help the team. Are these players really that good, or our current drafted players that bad?
    TBD

  12. It looks like some of Baalke`s picks will no longer be on the team this year,the NEW coaching staff is cleaning dead weight that Baalke has drafted over the years….hmmmmm….well Baalke your days are looking to be numbered”here are some of Baalke `s picks who are on the bubble of being ex-9ers;VMac,Patton,Martin,Lem,Reaser,Davis(RB)..to name a Few.

  13. Grant, thanks for another column.

    It seems like Hayne saw the writing on the wall. Is a Fijian Olympic tryout really an upgrade over the 49ers? Um, on second thought…

    “Patton, a former fourth-round pick who has no standout characteristic.” That’s our Mr. Medium. His determination and hustle makes him hard to fire.

    Ellington better show some durability. Tomsula hinted at his need to spend extra time working out to prevent injuries. Its sounding like he’s putting in the work this camp.

    If Redmond’s ready to go week one, it has to be the cleanest ACL tear in history.

    It sounds like they’re experimenting with Ward at corner because they want him getting more snaps. I’m thinking of Ward is a starting CB/SCB and Reid goes down, Ward moves to free safety.

  14. Seems like I’ve rea/heard little regarding Tarrt. Speculation has been that he will be a key player for the 49ers in a hybrid safety/ILB role, yet I’m not aware of any coaches speaking of him in that role, if they’re speaking about him at all. I’m surprised because Tarrt has been “floated” as a reason that the niners didn’t draft an ILB. Baalke also said he didn’t believe that ILB is a position of great need. Many, including me, assumed it was because of Tarrt. But is it because they feel that Hodges and Bowman as the starters with Ray Ray and Wilhoite as backups are good ILBs.

    1. Cubus, did you see the NN article on ILB’s? I found it interesting that Hodges, Wilhoite and Armstrong all played saftey in college. It fits with some with what your saying. They already have 3 converted safeties.

      1. Good point, Wilson. Still, have you heard much talk about Tarrt from the new coaches? Maybe it’s too early and I’m just being impatient.

  15. Under the radar players that could have a big impact

    – Bethea. He shouldn’t be under the radar, but for some reason he is. He will show why the players voted him MVP of the 2014 season.

    – Dorsey. People forget how good he is. If he’s healthy and not a youth movement casualty he will contribute big in the 2nd half.

    – McCray. Punt/Kick coverage fell way off after he got hurt last season. McCray’s a bullet. He will make a few highlight reels this year.

    – Hodges. Because he’s more under the radar than he should be.

    – Hyde. Its crazy to think Hyde’s under the radar, but he is. The season hinges on Hyde staying healthy all year.

    – Torrey Smith. QBs had a 117 passer rating last year. Kelly won’t let him fall off the quarterback’s radar this season.

    Note: Smelter is no longer under the radar. All the positive chatter makes me nervous. I have high hopes for him. He’s the MVP of high hopes. I hope the hope doesn’t jinx him.

    1. I like the list and hope that a combo of Harold/Carradine could be added….. I am curious to see how Brooks performs this Spring.

    2. Brodie, I think you are misunderstanding the definition of under the radar. The only player on your list who, IMO, is flying under the radar is Dorsey.

      Expectations are high for Hyde. Smith is expected to take over the role of the #1 WR. Bethea is expected to continue to be the leader of the secondary, and isn’t sneaking up on anyone. Hodges is the clear favorite to become the starting ILB alongside Bow. And McCray is one the the teams best Special Teams players.

      1. From the 49ers own perspective, they are not underrated. From intense 49er fans like us they are not underrated. But from casual fans and media?

        My standard is measure is this question: Is media and fan chatter about a player equal to his relative importance to winning? By that standard Bethea, Dorsey, McCray, Hodges, Hyde, Smith count as under the radar.

        How many casual fans are aware Bethea was elected the 2014 team MVP by the players? The defense was ravaged by 8 players on IR in 2014, but Bethea (under Fangio’s guidance) kept them in the top five. A great performance.

        Relative to his importance, Bethea’s very much under the radar.

        Yes, McCray is one the the teams best Special Teams players. I said so in the original post. But casual fans and media are barely aware of him. When he went out last year ST coverage tanked.

        1. Fair enough Brodie. My definition of “under the radar” is a little different than yours. However, I’m not question your knowledge about this teams roster, as you are one of the most knowledgeable posters on this blog.

          1. Thanks! More important than symantects is the fun of discussing what players can and can’t do. If it weren’t for the insane schedule I’d be pretty optimist about the season. I’m excited to see what this squad can do.

  16. With all the predictions of who will make the team does anyone have predictions on who will be cut?

    I am going to guess that McDonald is on thin ice and if both Carradine and Harold perform well into preseason I would not be surprised if Brooks is cut.

    1. Players who may not make the final roster:

      DeAndre Smelter, Quinton Patton, Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser, L.J. McCray, Nick Bellore, Corey Lemonier.

        1. +1 George.

          I think we witnessed Harris “breakout” during the 2 games he played for us last season. He was easily the most explosive offensive player on the roster for a during those 2 games. His ball security was fantastic, and he played with the type of energy that guys fed off of. I’ll be shocked, and disappointed if he get’s beat out by Draughn.

          While neither player had much of a sample size with the 49ers, to compare with, Harris’ numbers were far superior to Draughn’s.

          DuJuan Harris, 2 games:

          Rushing – 27 carries for 140 yds, 5.2 avg, 6 first downs, 0 fmbl
          Receiving – 14 targets, 9 receptions for 97 yds, 10.8 avg, 5 first downs, 0 fmbl

          Shaun Draughn, 6 games:

          Rushing – 76 carries for 263 yds, 3.5 avg, 13 first downs, 1 fmbl
          Receiving – 32 targets, 25 receptions for 175 yds, 7.0 avg, 7 first downs, 0 fmbl

          In terms of career stats, again, DuJuan Harris’ statistics are superior:

          Harris: Rushing – 4.2 yd avg, Receiving – 9.9 yd avg
          Draughn: Rushing – 3.5 yd avg, Receiving – 6.5 yd avg

          And talking to a couple people inside the organization, the feeling is that, while Draughn is a consummate professional and fundamentally sound, Harris is considered the more dynamic play maker with a higher ceiling.

          However, in the end, I think they both make the cut and Mike Davis is the odd man out. My roster prediction for the running back depth chart …..

          HYDE
          HARRIS
          TAYLOR
          DRAUGHN

          1. “And talking to a couple people inside the organization.”

            Not the first time you have tried to lend credibility to your statements by suggesting you have inside knowledge. How high up are we talking, or is this just water cooler gossip by some low level staffers.

          1. If McCray’s healthy I think he’s almost a lock. He could push Nick Bellore off the squad. He’s that good of a coverage player.

      1. Grant,
        Sounds about right, but it also only vilifies Baalke’ recent history of poor drafting as the bulk of these players were picked by him. If players like VMac and Kaep fail to make the team Baalke’ arrow will be pointing down in bright red!

      2. I think Smelter has to be really bad for him not to at least make it through this season. I’m certainly not calling him a bad receiver but Baalke does tend to hold onto guys he shouldn’t longer then he should so I think Smelter gets at least one healthy season on the team. If he starts becoming a healthy game day scratch then I will agree that next year he’s a potential cut. Brandon Thomas probably falls into this category as well.

        I think Mike Davis’s and Marcus Martin’s third round selection will earn them at least one more season by default.

        I’d agree with Patton, Lemonier, Reaser, Harris, Bellore and McCray as potential cuts.

          1. I don’t like Burbridge’s chances of making the team. And Treggs will need to win the PR job to make the team.

            1. Why don’t you like Burbridge’s chances to make the team? I get the sense the Niners see him as a good fit in Kelly’s system.

              1. Hmmm, actually, my roster math was out. I think he can make the team as the 6th WR.

                I currently see them going with either 5 or 6 WRs. If 5, as follows (in no particular order): Smith, Patton, Smelter, Rogers, Ellington. The 6th spot Burbridge could well take.

                Wild cards are Cajuste and White, while Treggs could get a spot if he wins the PR job.

              2. This is a team that took 3 years and 4 training camps to realize Joe Looney wasn’t working out.

                This is Smelter’s real rookie season. I haven’t seen any of his OTA action, but its sounds like the 49ers are fond of him.

                All I have to go on are Smelter’s sparse college footage, but his speed (relative to size), body control, hands, RAC and blocking are enough to think he sticks as long as he isn’t really horrible.

              3. Smelter and a lot of these players were drafted for an entirely different system. The new coaching staff may cut players who don’t “fit.”

              4. Well, seeing that they just drafted him for Kelly’s system, I think that’s a solid assumption. lol

        1. Yep, pretty much how I see it too, CfC.

          You didn’t mention Acker, who I think falls into the ‘considerably more likely than not’ category of making the team. He struggled some last year, no doubt, but he was still good enough to start a lot of games.

          In terms of % chance of making the roster, this is how I currently see it:

          DeAndre Smelter (90%), Quinton Patton (75%), Marcus Martin (90%), Brandon Thomas (75%), DuJuan Harris (25%), Mike Davis (75%), Kenneth Acker (75%), Keith Reaser (25%), L.J. McCray (50%), Nick Bellore (25%), Corey Lemonier (10%).

            1. Always a possibility when the team changes scheme, but Acker has consistently outplayed his draft position in TC. He’s got the right attitude, just needs to learn how to play press. His starting experience will be useful as he makes that transition.

              1. Acker is better in zone coverage than man coverage, and the Niners are playing mostly man coverage this year.

              2. Acker is better in zone because that is what he has most experience in. But he’s actually a pretty good athlete (as evidenced by playing CB/WR/KR in college). It will be up to him to learn how to play press man, but as I said above, he’s done a good job so far of standing out in TC and preseason in previous years.

          1. “You didn’t mention Acker,”

            I left him off my probable cut list but I didn’t have a solid reason to back it up other then something similar to what you did. He seems to have potential but so far has been inconsistent. I think the team will be willing to give him at least 1/2 of a season if not a full one to show he can be counted on from week to week, or not.

  17. After watching two practices, here’s my latest 53-man roster prediction:

    1. Blaine Gabbert
    2. Thad Lewis
    3. Colin Kaepernick
    4. Carlos Hyde
    5. Shaun Draughn
    6. Kelvin Taylor
    7. Torrey Smith
    8. Bruce Ellington
    9. Eric Rogers
    10. Aaron Burbridge
    11. Bryce Treggs
    12. Devon Cajuste
    13. Garrett Celek
    14. Vance McDonald
    15. Bruce Miller
    16. Blake Bell
    17. Joe Staley
    18. Zane Beadles
    19. Daniel Kilgore
    20. Josh Garnett
    21. Erik Pears
    22. Trent Brown
    23. John Theus
    24. Fahn Cooper
    25. Alex Balducci
    26. Arik Armstead
    27. Ian Williams
    28. Quinton Dial
    29. Glenn Dorsey
    30. DeForest Buckner
    31. Ronald Blair
    32. Mike Purcell
    33. Aaron Lynch
    34. Eli Harold
    35. Ahmad Brooks
    36. Tank Carradine
    37. NaVorro Bowman
    38. Gerald Hodges
    39. Michael Wilhoite
    40. Ray Ray Armstrong
    41. Tramaine Brock
    42. Jimmie Ward
    43. Chris Davis
    44. Dontae Johnson
    45. Rashard Robinson
    46. Will Redmond
    47. Eric Reid
    48. Antoiine Bethea
    49. Jaquiski Tartt
    50. Marcus Cromartie
    51. Phil Dawson
    52. Bradley Pinion
    53. Kyle Nelson

    1. Your predictions for the 53 is terrible! Reach after reach. Cutting Marcus Martin already is idiotic. Balducci making the team at all is a stretch. I’m sure Razor will agree with you on that one. Leaving out Smelter is way off as well. Mike Davis will make it over Draughn as well. Draughn is here on a 1 year contract. Plus he has been a journey man his whole career. He performed decent last year but he will not be kept over Harris or Davis. Davis gets kept.. I can go on and on but what’s the point.

      1. I think Pears will be the starting right tackle. The team seems to want an experienced tackle next to Garnett.

        1. Agreed… unfortunately. If he doesn’t win the starting RT job I still expect he will make the team as the primary backup.

        2. I am hoping for a miracle, and AD is welcomed back with open arms. Then Pears is expendable with Brown as the backup.

        3. So, Grant. Would you mind stretching a bit more and tell us who is going to be on the practice squad?

    2. Is there anyone easier to get past waivers than an UDFA that is making a transition from DL to OL? Balducci will have to clearly win the backup OC job to make the team. Won’t be easy for a guy learning the position from scratch. Don’t care how good he looked in shorts, until we see him actually blocking in pads against a DL he is complete projection atm.

    3. No Marcus Martin or Brandon Thomas? I’ll agree to disagree on that one. Unless Thomas’s ACL is completely done, he will suprise alot of people. That man was a monster when healthy in college. But if that knee hasn’t gotten any better, id agree with you. One thing is for sure, there will be alot of competition this year in camp.

      1. With that said, Tomsula also promised competition. But with the weekly 46 and final 53 he put out there, it’s safe to say his competition was rigged

        1. Funny how Boone was relegated to LG when he may have been more of a help at RT. Of course, he took Brandon Thomas’s natural LG position. Now Beadles has the LG spot, so BT may have to take the RG spot, but where does Garnett play?

          All I can say is, I am confident in Flaherty because he built 2 SB O lines.

          1. Seb, I think just because a guy is signed during the free agent period doesn’t mean he’s a lock to start. Especially with this new “competition thing”. Unless it was Tomsulas team. See pears and Devey. But those guys do have s jump on Thomas because they are healthy. We shall see wich battle is won

            1. Steele, I agree. I just observed Beadles lining up at LG, so maybe Garnett will supplant him once TC starts. Competition will settle the matter. Beadles was a pro bowler, but stunk up the joint last season.

              I like Staley, Garnett, Kilgore, Tiller and Brown as the starting O line.

          1. Depends on the preseason. The Niners are working hard to develop Thad Lewis while Driskel works with special teams. Driskel isn’t getting much QB instruction.

            1. I think the Steelers might be a team with interest in poaching him, regardless of his preseason production….

              1. Or the Texans. I think they are having buyers remorse over BO.
                7 starts and they pay him 18 mil.

              2. Come on Sebnnoying lets see if you can break your record of posts today? I figure you got at least 150 in you today?
                The question is what other moron beside yourself will read them?

              3. Prime, since you want me to post, I will oblige you.

                This one is about shaping your opponent.

                Sun Tzu said that one of the best ways to defeat your opponent is to shape him. In other words, use strategies that control the opponent and make him do things that they would not do otherwise.

                Bill Walsh said he shaped the Bengals in the SB when they were driving to score the winning TD by John Taylor. He did it by first keeping them in their base defense. He did not want them to substitute or shift into a nickle. Then he put a man in motion to overload a side, and used Jerry Rice as a decoy to draw the double coverage. That left John Taylor in a one on one situation, and the rest was history.

                Chip should also shape the opposition. If the defense stacks the box and dares them to pass, Chip should employ a 4 receiver set and spread them wide. This will force the defense to unstack the box, hence shaping the defense. Then, by putting the TE in motion, it will force the defense to react, and Kaep should exploit the weakness in the defense, maybe by gashing them up the middle.

                Chip understands that principle because when he runs the up tempo, no huddle scheme, he is not letting the defense substitute.

            2. Driskel isn’t getting much QB instruction.
              ———-
              Did they give up on him already? ;)

    4. Grant,

      What’s your reasoning for keeping McDonald? How is it you see Cajuste making the 53 with his injury issues? How do you justify Balducci on the 53 and not Practice Squad?

      1. McDonald is one of Gabbert’s favorite receivers. Cajuste’s injury is minor. And Balducci can beat out Martin.

        1. “McDonald is one of Gabbert’s favorite receivers”.

          There’s something about that statement that seems so wrong, on many levels.

          “Balducci can beat out Martin”.

          That’s what I’ve been saying!

        2. Couldn’t Celek take McDonald’s production? Or Miller for that matter? I would imagine that if Cajuste fails to impress he has to be PS material. Balducci would have to beat out Martin to get the job, I agree with that.

          1. I think Celek will start at tight end and get a couple of targets per game, and McDonald will start at H back and get 5 or 6 targets per game.

            1. Since Blake Bell converted from QB to TE, do you think Jeff Driskel, who is 6’4″ and 234 lbs, could also be used as a speedy pass catching TE like Carrier?

              1. I’d laugh so hard if they do. I’ve been saying he is a TE masquerading as a QB for ages!

    5. Only 3 RB’s? With the idea that both Ellington & Miller could take carries in a pinch?

      Grant, you really think Draughn beats out Harris based on what? Receiving? Pass protection?

      1. Kelly kept only 3 RBs his first two years in Philly. He kept a fourth RB last year because he also was a returner (Kenjon Barner).

        Draughn will beat out Harris because of receiving. Modkins and Kelly throw to running backs a lot, and Draughn is a big target with long arms and big hands who can make the first guy miss. He’s similar to Theo Riddick who caught 80 something passes last year under Modkins.

    6. My before TC final roster prediction which is worth nothing other than Grant did it so I will too:

      QB – (3) Gabbert, Kaepernick, Lewis
      RB – (4) Hyde, Davis, Draughn, Taylor
      TE – (3) Celek, McDonald, Bell
      WR – (6) Smith, Ellington, Patton, Rogers, White, Smelter
      OL – (9) Staley, Garnett, Kilgore, Thomas, Pears, Brown, Martin, Beadles, Tiller
      DL – (7 ) Armstead, Blair, Buckner, Williams, Dial, Jerod-Eddie, Purcell
      OLB – (4) Lynch, Brooks, Harold, Carradine
      ILB – (4) Bowman, Wilhoite, Hodges, Armstrong
      CB – (6) Acker, Brock, Reaser, Robinson, Ward, Johnson
      S – (4) Bethea, Reid, Tartt, McCray
      ST – (3) Dawson, Pinion, Nelson

      PUP – Dorsey, Redmond

      Practice Squad – Driskell, Cooper, Theus, Balducci, Burbridge, Rush, Anderson, Treggs

      1. Not sure Williams is going to be ready by week 1, could start season on the Reserve/NFI. With him out I’d add in Cromartie to the backfield. Williams absence will probably save TJE’s spot for now but it might not. Lemonier still has a chance of beating out Carradine and I think Miller makes the team.

        1. Williams may not be ready, but I haven’t heard any updated info on him. If he isn’t ready then he likely starts the year on the NFI list.

          I don’t think Lemon makes it. Carradine offers pass rush potential he does not.

          Miller was tough to leave off, but I don’t see a great fit in this system for him. He’s not as athletic as the TE’s in front of him and the TE’s aren’t used as blockers very often in this offense, so it’s hard to see where Miller fits in.

  18. The whole mic’d up thing would alot more fun if they mic’d up owners, general managers, oligarchs, heads of state and so on. That, and mandatory gatoraid dumps for the losing teams owner. Right on the 50 yard line. Opposing team’s cheerleaders do the ritual dumping.

    1. B2W, the Gatorade dump on the losing team’s owner’s head is a fantastic idea, but there should be a special clause for any owners of NFL teams that have gone from annual contender status to 5 wins or less in only two seasons.

      Those owners deserve special consideration, and so instead of a nice Gatorade,dump, they would have the contents of one of their own stadium’s parking lot port-a-potty’s dumped over them at the 50 yard line. And I say we add a clause that says the owner’s GM joins him there.

      I would gladly pay the ludicrous price for 49er game tickets to watch that happen to Jed York and Trent Baalke 8 times this Fall..

      1. I’d reserve the port-a-potty dump for owners that moved ridiculously far from their namesake cities.

  19. It seems like a lot people are reluctant to Rogers because his production came in the CFL.
    Although an inferior league to the NFL I can say through watching him the last couple years I think he will be a valuable addition to the WR Corp.
    This guy is a gamer. He’s got great leaping ability and good hands. Not blazing speed but good seperation speed. He could easily start opposite T. Smith.

  20. Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Enjoy the freedoms protected by your local service members, and show them your appreciation when the opportunity presents itself….

    1. Razor,
      Great call.
      Our Arm Forces are the real hero’s of our country. My thoughts and prayers go out to every active service member serving around the world.

      Heartfelt thanks to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice – thank you for our freedom.

  21. Agreed. A big thanks to all who served and our eternal gratefulness to those who paid the ultimate price.

  22. I think it would be a mistake not to keep Dujuan Harris on this team. The flashes I saw last year he reminded me of a mini M Lynch. He had good hands and could be the best YAC RB on the team IMO.

    1. Kelvin Taylor will take Harris’ roster spot. Draughn will be the primary backup because he’s a good receiver.

  23. I think of my uncle, who crawled over unexploded shells dragging a wire to re establish communications that helped turn the tide of battle, and marvel at such a quiet person who rose up and became a hero, yet never talked much about his war exploits.
    I also think about my wife’s grandfather who started a letter apologizing for not writing more often because the Jerries had them under constant bombardment. He was in the battle of Guettar, and was in one of the first anti tank units to stop a Panzer attack.
    They, and many others did their duty, but once back home, they built careers, had families and tried to forget the horrors of war.
    We owe them so much.

      1. I also wish to acknowledge and Honor the courage of a certain poster who trained to to do his duty, even though it meant his certain death, yet he cavalierly trained to walk out of Russia.

        Sir, I salute you!

          1. Sir, you are too modest. Sometimes just doing your duty is enough to be considered heroic, and a true hero is humble.
            My uncle did not consider himself to be a hero. He did not man a machine gun, he dragged a wire across the battlefield. He just said he was lucky. He said he was scared shiftless, especially considering the 2 others who tried and failed before him.

  24. 1. Shaun Draughn – The talk has been all about Hyde, but he has yet to have a true breakout game and has suffered injuries during his first two seasons. Another injury – plagued season for Hyde could open the door for Draughn who has a skill set that could excel in Kelly’s system.
    2. Eric Reid – Concussions and average play have been the norm for Reid since his rookie campaign. Playing for a new contract and in a new system could help him to return to his Pro Bowl ways.
    3. Ronald Blair – Willams and Dorsey keep getting injured, so this could open the door for a diamond in the rough like Blair.
    4. Eli Harold – Harold added some meat to his frame this off-season. If he hasn’t lost his speed while improving his technique, then Brooks could wind up being an expensive backup.
    5. Erik Pears – He’s an awful player on the OL. But the team drafted Josh Garnett to play next to him and it could be what Pears needs in order to have a good season.

    I figure I’ll take heat for that last one, but considering the overall play of the RT last season, a good season at that position would have a huge impact.

    1. Really nice list, Mid. Well thought out and considered. I strongly agree on Reid, who I think has indeed become something of an under the radar player after last season, but has the talent to be a top line player if used properly.

      While I disagree on Pears, I certainly won’t be giving you any heat for naming him. He isn’t a good RT, but he was made to look a lot worse than he is by playing next to Devey. Its possible that with more consistent and reliable play next to him, and in an offense like Kelly’s, he may be serviceable.

      1. I’d prefer Brown over Pears, but coming into the OTAs out of shape isn’t a good sign.

    2. I don’t get all the Draughn love. The guy averages less that 3 yds per carry. He is BG’s favorite target short of the 3rd down marker. He catches well and is a servicable back up. I don’t expect anything more from him. I wished we would have picked up a better RB in the draft or FA. What skill set do you think he has that wil excel in Chip’s system? He’ll do well on screens, I see him having trouble making clear fast cuts and decisive running.

        1. I looked at Riddick’s stats, very similar to Draughn’s. So the opposing team will know we’re running a screen every time Draugh’s in the game then? He doesn’t scare anyone running. I have a lot more hope in this offensive group of coaches than last year.

          1. Being a receiver out of the backfield doesn’t mean the team always runs screens. Sproles was a big part of Kelly’s offense in Philly, and Riddick a big part of the Lions offense last year. The 49ers will want to have a player that can play that role this year. I had hopes Ellington would be that guy, but looks like they have other plans.

            1. Thanks I get it Scooter. He’s a role player with a very specific skill set. That’s good for the team. I was trying to find out what people saw in him. I was assuming people were thinking he was a good #2 back. That was on me. I don’t see him as Sproles though. He’s much more like Riddick from Detroit. Good comparison Grant. I would prefer Ellington back there in this role as well.

              1. Wilson, I think that Ellington, being a point guard previously, has soft hands and can catch the ball. He would be a good third down option.

                Do not think Draughn is the answer. There is a reason why he was cut by 7 teams.

                Maybe since Hayne has left, they can give LMJ a tryout. He might fit into the Chip Kelly system.

              2. Seb, LMJ didn’t even get a chance in Philly with Kelly. How many teams has he been cut by? He’s not NFL material and rather than working harder he complains on Twitter. No way Baalke brings him back.

              3. Wilson, I concede it is a long shot, and Baalke may be the obstacle to overcome, but LMJ used to play for Chip, and would fit into his system.

                I guess if they really want to win, they should be trying out all sorts of players. Before games, Walsh would have tryouts of not just a few players, but upwards to 50 players. Once, he had almost 200 players trying out just before a game.

              4. Seb, fitting the system and talented to play a similar system in the NFL are two different things. LMJ hasn’t made it in the NFL. I think Chip knows he has better options.

                Seb we all like Walsh here, BUT not everything he did was perfect. Don’t turn the guy into a diety. First stop with the “if they want to win.” Everyone in this business wants to win. Second is whatever crazy thing you put behind “if they want to win” they need to follow your advice. If they don’t win it won’t be because they didn’t try out 200 players before each game.

                I think it’s a colossal waste of time for him to be trying out 200 players before a game. This is why you have a practice squad and shop the wavier wires. This team needs to learn its new schemes and coaches. They need to find their best talent from the drafts and FA. They have plenty to do without wasting their time on 200 guys who were driving a bread truck the day before. Aren’t you the one who was constantly bagging on the 49ers for playing “guys off the street” last season when Hyde went down? Can’t have it both ways.

                Did Walsh ever find anybody worth adding to the roster? Probably not.

              5. Wilson, since Bill Walsh was the architect of 5 SB rings, I will put him on a pedestal. When he was going through that 2-14 season, he was desperate to find decent players. I did not say the Niners should have 200 player tryouts, I wanted a tryout for one player- LMJ.

                Walsh did perform miracles, and took a 6-10 team to 13-3 and a Super Bowl win. Obviously, he found enough upgrades to do that, although I will concede he was extremely lucky to draft his Defensive Backfield, with Hicks picked up as a FA.

                When the Niners have 13 mil in cap space that they did not use because they did not spend just to spend it, and sat Hayne while the PR called for fair catches while behind, I am perfectly comfortable saying that they did not try to do everything in their power to try and win.

                In fact, when Jed smugly says that it is not a bad thing to lose because they are rewarded with a higher draft position, I will claim that they did not mind losing.

              6. Seb stop it. LMJ will not be welcomed back. You might as well invite Brandon Jacobs back.

                You’re moving into fantasy now. Walsh built his team through the draft not picking up wavier wire left overs. Again you’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth because you railed against them for picking up those guys last year at RB.

                LMJ won’t help us win. Last year York was foolish and arrogant. He was quoted as saying they’d go 10-6 after they got ride of JH. He wanted to win and thought he made great decisions. We know now it wasn’t foolish. He still wants to win. Making bad decisions doesn’t mean people don’t want to win.

                He’s a bit like you right now. Out of touch with reality. He thought he could have a bargain basement coach and roster well under the salary cap and still win. He thought Baalke’s roster was great and any dummy could coach it. You can claim what ever you want, it doesn’t make it true. The coaches want to win, the players want to win. Do you ever find a silver lining in things when they go wrong? That’s all Jed was doing. Just stop.

                So if LMJ comes back it shows we want to win? I am moving on Seb.

    3. Mid, I must admit Pears did play better once Devey was benched, but he did even better when he switched to guard once Boone was injured. Overall, I think Brown did better, so if he can beat out Beadles, maybe he could start at RG if Tiller and Thomas do not shine, and Garnett earns the LG spot.

  25. So, with Dion Jordan applying for reinstatement, and it being a fairly slow news day, what are people’s thoughts on the 49ers trading for him?

    This is in no way me advocating such a trade. However, the pros I see are:
    – Highly gifted athlete.
    – Plays a position (OLB) the 49ers didn’t really address this offseason.
    – Can play in coverage, something O’Neil asks his OLBs to do.
    – Showed some pass rush ability in college, though has struggled in this regard in the NFL.
    – Very familiar to the 49ers current coaching staff as well as Buckner and Armstead.

    Cons are:
    – Suspensions for substance abuse are a major red flag, obviously.
    – Hasn’t played well for the Dolphins (though he also wasn’t really played to his strengths, being asked to bulk up and mostly play as a 4-3 DE).
    – Has had his share of injury issues, in particular shoulder injuries.
    – Unknown what the Dolphins would want in compensation.

      1. He was a fantastic player as a hybrid DE/OLB for the Ducks. Superb athlete for the position with the speed and athletic ability to cover as well as get after the QB. I think he’d be a natural fit at OLB.

        The question would be whether he would be of much use in nickel/ dime, which is of course what the 49ers play mostly. Would he be a good fit as a DE in nickel fronts? Or could he potentially play as the SAM LB in nickel? If he has his head on straight he is the type of hybrid athlete that you would probably try and use in multiple roles.

          1. I think he can play as a LB in nickel. I wouldn’t put him at MLB, but as either the WILL or SAM, sure. Probably the SAM so he can cover the TE.

    1. Dion Jordan should be an OLB, for a 4-3. Let him use his speed and agility to cover tight ends and receivers. Miami did everything wrong with him. First they practically dislocated their shoulders reaching for him and then as you mentioned they tried to bulk him up. Given his WR/TE background and relatively low production as a DE in college plus his injury history it makes much more sense to let him stand up and play coverage as a 4-3 OLB.

          1. Irvin and Mack have the athletic ability to play LB or end. Not sure you would want both guys playing OLB in a 4-man front at the same time though.

              1. Typically on a pass play in their 3-4 alignment, the 49ers would only send one of their OLBs after the QB, with the other guy in coverage. If Jordan was playing OLB for the 49ers, he would likely play more coverage than rushing the passer, allowing Lynch to do what he does best.

              2. I say it below but to me his best value is as a coverage man. If you think he’ll be covering a lot of receivers and tight ends in their base package then sure I suppose he can have value but as a run stopper or pass rusher which is what he’ll find himself doing most as a 3-4 OLB then I don’t think he’s well suited.

                Here’s a little blurb on him from PFF: ” He was an ordinary performer when asked to put his hand in the dirt last year, but excelled in his 46 snaps dropping into pass coverage. He didn’t drop into coverage more than 10 times in any one game, but it’s notable that his three games with the most coverage snaps came against Carolina, New England, and Pittsburgh; three teams that feature their tight ends.”

              3. Typically on a pass play in their 3-4 alignment, the 49ers would only send one of their OLBs after the QB, with the other guy in coverage. If Jordan was playing OLB for the 49ers, he would likely play more coverage than rushing the passer, allowing Lynch to do what he does best.
                ———————
                Opens up a lot of problem being restricted with an OLB who’s only value is coverage on passing downs. They’ll know where the pass rush is coming every time among other things. Play him on base down s and now he has to contend with stopping the run.

              4. I see him as very similar to Anthony Barr, and completely agree that if they tried to make him a pass rusher the majority of the time he would be wasted. But like Barr, that shouldn’t mean he never rushes the passer as his speed and athletic ability can be hard to handle when done sparingly.

                But yeah, the base 3-4 has used one of the OLBs in coverage a fair bit (typically the 49ers would send one OLB, usually Brooks, to cover the flat, or if a WR/TE/RB split out on the OLBs side of the formation would play a short zone on that side of the field). O’Neil is also well documented to employ his OLBs in coverage. Having Jordan would give the 49ers an OLB that is good in coverage, which they don’t currently have.

              5. “Opens up a lot of problem being restricted with an OLB who’s only value is coverage on passing downs.”

                The 49ers were the same when Fangio was in charge. Aldon would be the one rushing the passer the majority of the time, with Brooks playing a pseudo SAM LB role. Unless the opposition was smart and sent a receiver out to the slot on Smith’s side, which would force him to split wide and play coverage.

                Jordan isn’t a great pass rusher because he doesn’t have much power in his game. But he isn’t a complete waste as a rusher. If he was covering 60% – 70% of the time on pass plays and rushing the passer 30% to 40%, that would be fine. Any good DC would want to make use of Jordan in a variety of ways to maximise his athletic ability. Like the Vikings do with Barr.

              6. He becomes a weak spot in a 3-4 anytime the offense isn’t passing. Could he technically play the spot, probably. Should he, no.

                I don’t think it’s any mistake that he ended up on a 4-3 the problem is they put him in the wrong spot. Put him a spot that plays coverage more then it plays the run/pass rush and he could still have value in this league.

              7. Consider this:
                Dion Jordan’s Weight

                2012 college football season – 240 pounds (CBS Sports)

                2013 NFL combine – 248 pounds (official NFL combine website)

                2013 NFL season – 260 pounds (Miami Herald)

                2014 NFL training camp – 275 pounds (directly from NFL.com)

                Bring him back down to the high 240’s and let him play OLB in Miami and I promise you’ll have a totally different result.

              8. Yeah, look, not disagreeing with you for the most part. Like Barr, Mingo and Manny Lawson, he is most likely best off as an OLB in a 4-3.

                However, I do think he can play 3-4 OLB on a team that doesn’t mind using their OLBs in coverage. You appear to be suggesting he is no good as a pass rusher at all. I disagree with that (as do the folks that reviewed Jordan’s play after this rookie season: https://www.profootballfocus.com/rookies-in-focus-dion-jordan/ ). He’s not great, but he is ok. He’s a speed rusher, so asking him to take on OTs with power won’t work. But he can still be an effective rusher so long as its a bit of a change up rather than a steady diet.

                Against the run, sure, he’s not the best. But again he’s also not dreadful, either, when playing as a LB. He was bad at the Dolphins, but then he isn’t a DE and asking him to hold up like one was their mistake. He would be best playing in a run and chase role, but really what he needs is to be kept relatively clean so he can use his athleticism. He needs a big DE next to him that can eat up blockers.

      1. Jordan is better in space one on one with a TE or receiver then trying to get past an NFL offensive lineman. You’ll never get what you want out of him throwing him at the line.

    2. I’d take a flyer on Jordan if the asking price was a late round pick. Other than that, no. He’s Manny Lawson. If that is what you expect then you’ll like him.

      1. Now, which potential starter or back up would you be willing to give up to get Jordan? At this stage in the game the team would give up a talented young player or a possible contributor. I’m not sure if Jordan has that much upside and does Miami still retain any of his rights?

          1. Thing is Mid,I don’t think Lemonier makes the team even as a back up. Suppose we take the likely team members: Arik Armstead, Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, Glenn Dorsey, DeForest Buckner, Ronald Blair, Mike Purcell, Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold, Ahmad Brooks, Tank Carradine, NaVorro Bowman, Gerald Hodges, Michael Wilhoite, and Ray Ray Armstrong. This list is from Grant but I think it’s a pretty fair assessment of the interior line. Who are you willing to lose here? I’m not sure if the risk is worth it. I know that Brooks is trouble but his production is still pretty high and his cap figure is high so I’m not sure if the team will cut him unless there is some young that shows so much promise it makes him expendable. Would that player be Jordan?

            1. Both Williams and Dorsey are good chances to start the season on PUP. Once they come back, Purcell will be surplus to requirement (don’t need four guys on the roster capable of playing NT, nor 3 guys that are best suited as NTs).

              Jordan could take one of Williams/ Dorsey’s spot until they are ready to come back, and once both are back, if Jordan is playing well they can let Purcell go.

              1. Good points Scooter though there are a lot of ifs here. Not sure the scenario plays out but that would be the ideal. I am just not as sold on him. Granted I’m an east coast guy so maybe that has something to do with it.

        1. EC9er,

          I’d let him compete for the 4th OLB spot with Carradine. I agree Lemonier won’t make this team regardless. Not sure what it would take to get him but I wouldn’t offer more than a late round pick. He’s had some issues off the field along with not living up to expectations, so his stock is not very high right now.

        1. Not me. If Jed wants to win, he should kick Baalke in the behind and get AD back by alleviating AD’s concerns. Baalke is letting his emotions hinder the team.

          AD is a road grader, and helped Frank Gore run for 1000 yards for 4 years. He also helped the Niners reach the SB, played in a SB and several playoff games.

          I am still concerned about the concussion history, but resting for over a year probably helped a lot.

          1. Why do people think AD will be any good when he returns. He has been known as a somewhat undisciplined and lazy player, showing up to training camp at 363 lbs.
            Additionally he is a blocker that may not fit this scheme as he is more of an in line power blocker that struggles in pass pro. If he is not as good as a run blocker and is already a below average pass protector… what exactly does he add? This becomes even more significant if he shows up out of shape.

            1. AD, if he wants to play again, should be in shape. If he wants to play for Chip, he better run his arse off.

              If AD comes into camp out of shape, he will not make the team, so I expect he is competitive enough to know that he has to work hard and stay in shape.

              He may not fit the Chip Kelly system, but maybe they should promise him that they will trade him away to a team of his choice, so they get a second or third round pick instead of nothing.

              Obviously, the Niners have been squeezing him financially and making no promises, so AD is unwilling to put himself under their control.

        2. I was thinking AD’s chatter about returning was posturing in the event of a conflict over prorated contract money. But now I’m thinking he’s simply crazy.

  26. Kudos to the Golden State Warriors – down 3 games to 1, came back to win 3 games in a row to take the series.
    Heart of Champions!

    1. Man, AES. Those last two games just about killed me. It’s a good thing I don’t have a weak heart.

      Cleveland is well rested; I worry that the team is tired. But a series win like this should keep the Warriors amped for at least a couple of finals games.

      1. Cubus,
        Agreed. Up until the last two games the Warriors looked like a team playing completely out of character. Taking quick shots and getting beat inside by the Thunders big frontline looked to be the perfect game plan at beating the Warriors.

        But once we beat them at home on Saturday with Klay’ insane shooting, I felt good coming back home for game 7.

        Steven Adams emerged as a big time player with his toughness and physical play around the basket. Sitting him down in the 4th qtr was a little surprising to me especially given the fact that we were starting to get rebounds after their first missed shots as opposed to the Thunder getting second and even third shot attempts after missing their first shot with Adams in the lineup.

        Very good series, but now it’s time to stop the machine which is LaBron James.
        Should be fun!

    2. I like how Kerr said first thing that he thought OKC was an extremely talented squad, Billy Donovan did a fantastic job coaching them and they won by the skin of their teeth.

      It was nice to see a coach praise his opponent, and be humble. Hope Kelly and his staff can emulate Kerr.

      1. I want to give praise to Steven Adams. He showed good sportsmanship and class by congratulating all the Warriors, even Draymond.

      2. Great, now go find a Warriors blog and ruin it for them too. Oh and while you’re there, stay.

        1. Great, now go find a Warriors blog and ruin it for them too. Oh and while you’re there, stay.

          HAHAHA! That almost made me spit coffee all over my screen.

  27. For the past two months, the former Oregon star has worked closely with San Francisco-based trainer Tareq Azim, whose holistic program strives to “maximizing humanity” in his clients, a group that includes Marshawn Lynch, a gaggle of MMA fighters, pro cyclist Andrew Talansky and San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York.

    – Mark Sessler

  28. The Alex Smith trade netted the Niners 5 players. Three of them are still on the team. Tank, Hyde, and CFC’s favorite – Lemonier. Borland and Johnson were the other two.

          1. I’m afraid that moment is long gone unless Hyde turns into a 16+ games a year work horse. If he replaces Gore in the record book, we win!

        1. It was a better trade for the Chiefs but they still haven’t won anything and I think Alex has hit his ceiling as a QB in this league. Would have been a better deal for the Niners just based on the picks they received, but because Baalke blew them for the most part, the edge goes to KC.

      1. I think if you didn’t know BG’s history and just heard him give interviews/speak, you would think that he has the makings of a good QB/leader of football players. I’m hoping for significant improvements from him this year. But in the interview he talks about taking what the defense gives you with the occasional explosive play when it’s warranted. My question is, will he know when it is warranted.

        Also, we can’t have another season of 3 and out because he threw short of the sticks. My hope is that Kelly will not accept that like Jim “You can’t be afraid to punt” Tomsula did.

        1. Gabbert is a smart guy with athletic talent, but expecting him to become a good QB when he’s never shown that in College or the pros is wishful thinking. At some point you have to look at the body of work and understand the guy is what he is.

          1. That might have been why he had no suitors, except for one. Trent Baalke. At least the Dolphins pretended to be interested in Alex Smith. No one, but Baalke showed interest in Gabbert….

            1. True, but either way you gotta give credit to Baalke, say what you want about BG he’s one of the top back-up QBs in the league, well worth the 6th rounder we gave up.

              1. I’m not sold on Gabbert either so which of the guys currently on the team has the best upside or the most likely capacity of leading the team to where they need to go: G, K, D or L?

              2. Is none of the above an option? I hope Kap can rediscover his game, but I’m not expecting it. That leaves a couple of journeymen caliber vets and a 6th round rookie who I don’t even see making the team.

                This team will be looking for QB’s next year.

              3. Chip isn’t afraid to play more than one quarterback. If somehow Gabbert wins the job and Kaepernick does not retire, he’d better not continue to throw short of the sticks or he’ll be benched….

              1. Razor, I agree. With Bell as TE, Chip can run the flea flicker, and maybe even do multiple laterals to confuse the defense. Maybe even Driskel can be utilized, and since Ellington was a point guard, he has good ball handling skills.

                Maybe, and I am only speculating, but Chip may use the lateral to get the ball away from threats and danger from the pass rushers, and create multiple launch sites for passes downfield.

                Instead of teeing off and rushing to a spot, the defense will not know where the pocket will form, or who throws the ball.

          2. Yes, but the body of work is on the upswing and for that reason I believe he deserves a chance. But if he does not improve and plateaus this year, then the team needs to get serious about a new QB. They should probably get serious regardless. I don’t consider Baalke’s efforts since CK was drafted as serious attempts.

            1. I’m with rocket none of these guys inspire confidence. Never wanted to get on the Kap bandwagon, too many fundamental flaws and I don’t see them improving with the other guys. would like to see a kid with hunger and sound fundamentals.

              1. First, I want to see Kaepernick driving the Chip Wagon, and then we’ll reassess where we are at the position….

              2. East, I am optimistic. Chip is the key. If he can run his scheme, the Niner offensive malaise may be reversed.

                Chip is happy that he has not just Kaep, but 3 mobile and fast QBs. The accuracy issues may need to be resolved during TC. He also has a young strong and fast defense. Hope the Mangenius effect wears off, and they can stop reading and just react.

                Hyde, when healthy, is a beast, and the receivers are talented, but inexperienced.

                Cards have an aging QB, Ifedi may be a bust, and Goff is going to get the Alex treatment.

                If Flaherty can build another SB quality O line, the Niners may do well. Still, with the hardest schedule in the league, and the difficult division, the Niners face a daunting challenge.

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