Corner is the market

This is my Monday column.

Here’s what the 49ers have to do in this year’s draft.

Trade up. Twice.

First, for a cornerback. The 49ers lost two starting corners during free agency – Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown. The Raiders signed Brown and the Niners cut Rogers.

Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver are the best cornerbacks the 49ers have left. Brock played well last year, but he has started only seven games in the NFL. Culliver didn’t play last year – he tore his ACL during training camp – and he has started just six games in the NFL. Neither Brock nor Culliver is what you call an elite talent.

There are two elite cornerbacks in this year’s draft – Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State, and Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State. To get one of those two, the 49ers have to find a trade partner that owns a high pick in the first round and needs multiple players to restock a depleted roster.

The Raiders, the Browns, the Vikings, the Bills or the Titans.

Combined, the 49ers’ top-three picks – Nos. 30, 56, and 61 – are worth 1252 points on the NFL’s draft-pick-trade-value chart. The Titans’ No. 11 pick is worth 1250 points on the chart. Fair trade.

The Titans are terrible and own just six draft picks this year, plus they hired a new coaching staff this offseason. New coaching staffs usually like to bring in droves of their own new players. The Titans probably would be thrilled to turn one draft pick into three.

And with the No. 11 pick, the 49ers would take whichever cornerback they like best. I like Dennard a little more than Gilbert, but both are terrific.

Next, the 49ers have to trade up into the second round and draft a wide receiver, a fast receiver who can complement the Niners’ two possession receivers – Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. The Niners also need a big receiver who can replace Crabtree in 2015 if the 49ers don’t re-sign him – he will be a free agent after 2014, and probably will want top dollar on the open market.

So, the Niners need a big, fast receiver who can be the No.3 guy as a rookie, and can become the No. 1 guy in the future. Are there any receivers like that available in Round 2?

Yes. Jordan Matthews.

6-3. 212 pounds. Ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the Combine. No. 1 receiver the past three seasons at Vanderbilt. Most catches in SEC history. Fifty-eighth-best prospect in the draft according to CBS Sports. Jerry Rice’s cousin.

The 49ers have two third-round picks, Nos. 77 and 94. Together, they’re worth 329 points on the trade value chart. The Chargers’ second-rounder, pick No. 57, is worth 330 points. Fair trade. The 49ers can give their two third-rounders to the Chargers in exchange for the Chargers’ second-rounder, and then take Matthews.

Even after those two trades, the 49ers would have six more draft picks. Plenty. If the 49ers don’t make those trades, they would have 11 picks. Considering how good the 49ers roster already is, and the rookies who “red-shirted” last season (Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial and Marcus Lattimore), and the free agents the 49ers just signed (Antoine Bethea, Eric Wright and Chris Cook), the Niners would waste a significant portion of their draft if they were to use all 11 selections.

Some of those 11 picks wouldn’t make the final roster. If the 49ers want to make the biggest impact they can in this draft, they have to package their picks and trade up in the early rounds for franchise players. No sense in drafting players just to take up space, knowing before they even report to the first rookie mini-camp that they will be on the waiver wire in early September.

If the 49ers make shrewd trade-ups and wise choices during the first three rounds of the upcoming draft, they will be in a better position to unseat the Seahawks and to win the Super Bowl.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for the Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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  1. March 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm
    I love how 49ers fans think Baalke can trade up every year and get whomever he wants.
    —————
    Here’s what the 49ers have to do in this year’s draft.

    Trade up. Twice.

    1. I think the Niners can make it work with the Titans in Round 1. Why would the Titans care if it puts the Niners over the top next season?

      1. are either of those guys a “once in a generation” Deion Sanders type of talent worth making such an expensive trade?

        1. See that’s the problem with Grant……

          He “thinks” he knows what’s best for the 49ers.

          He couldn’t hold Baalke’s chonies much less do his own job @ The Demo.

          1. I couldn’t do Baalke’s job either, but I recognize that he has made a lot of roster mistakes in the last couple of seasons. We are not judging TB’s abilities in respect to us, rather in comparison to other GM’s. We constantly evaluate other people in positions though out our lives. We should expect more of them than we expect from the average person. Every person has strength’s and weaknesses. TB has shown himself to have his share. Just because you and some other’s can not recognize them does not prove they don’t exist, rather it only implies that you are incapable of recognizing them. There are variable aspects involved in any job. While we might not be as capable as the front office or coaching staff in all those area’s we can certainly recognize specific area’s that this front office/ staff seem to be clueless too. One area I can see TB has problems in is not in his ability to acquire resources but in how he maximizes the utilization of the resources he has. He seems to be much better at trading than he is in cost effective buying.

            1. Will
              One of those percieved TB weaknesses seems to be drafting a WR he has drafted 3 and 2 of them are no longer with the team AJJ and RoJo and QPat is unproven. So given that Id want him to have as many cracks at it as possible and not reduce it to just 2 picks where he would have to hit it out of the park on both picks. By giving him more picks it gives a greater margin of error

              1. I go into more detail in some of my later posts but— But I would agree with Allforfunplayer opinion that if you have a real need then you have to go for a ‘ near as possible to a bullet proof prospect” by trading up. You have to acknowledge that you cant judge potential talent and go for as sure fire a pick as possible at the top of the draft. But you have to pay the price. ( draft picks ) I think that the Niner’s will only get a top receiver drafting high. But the price should be lower because of the added value of the lower picks due to the strong draft class. Wasting a lot of picks on receivers in hopes of hitting on one is too big a gamble to take when you really need one. That’s what you do when you have the luxury of depth at a position. You have to go for the closest to a sure thing you can get and those are at the top of the draft.

            2. I’d rather have twice as many picks that would allow for me to make mistakes than other GMs that make as many mistakes with less picks. However, I believe he will trade up but I don’t know if he is as willing to give up as many high picks to make it happen. He has done well with defensive players, so I don’t think he will trade half the bank to move up for a db. He might do it for a hands down great wr.

              On the other hand, I think db is a bigger concern this year than a wr. I know we need both but with more picks, the more likely we can hit on someone who is good.

        2. See, that’s the problem with peoples thinking! This isn’t 2009! What makes it expensive? Draft choices? Did the AJ Jenkins pick/blunder break the bank? No, you get rid of him and move on. We’ll have possibly up to 13 picks with compensatory picks. They won’t all make the team. Anything past the 4th round will be wasted so trade up and get who u want. Some teams need those picks. So trade up and fill your needs with 49ers. That’s how you succeed in this league. We got 2 choices
          1- sit back and let the draft dictate us or 2- let us dictate the draft. This is how you build a team in today’s league. They’re cheap their first 4 years. It saves you from the Ryan Leafs of the world. My opinion!

      2. The question Grant isn’t whether they can make it work, if they want to bad enough they could trade to #1. The question to answer is why would they make that move. You’re trading 3 other players for 1, that’s putting a lot of value into that position. Is it really necessary? Are the picks at 30, 56 and 61 so far removed in talent that they are worth the sacrifice?

          1. uhmm…okay…why? i’m taking your word for it?

            according to scouting reports, his speed seems to be the biggest question mark. he didn’t have the greatest 40 time at the combine but seems to have made up for it at his pro day

            hasn’t really faced top flight competition (i guess he’s being dinged for not playing in the SEC or Pac 12?) more comfortable in man to man coverage than zone (which the Niners play a lot of).

            If you’re going to make such a costly and dramatic trade, don’t you want a near bulletproof prospect?

              1. i don’t watch highlight reels. or watch a few games of college football for specific players. that’s not how you evaluate players.

                most of the information comes on plays that a player isn’t even involved in…did he do his assignment correctly? a guy can get beaten or he can dominate his opponent and the play happened on the other side of the field.

                I don’t have access to coaches’ film. And even if I did, I don’t have time to watch it. And I don’t have the indepth football experience to break down reads and position tactics and techniques.

                So I’m not arrogant enough to think I’m a scout when I can just read scouting reports. To think I’m a scout with a worthwhile opinion on prospects with just a little research and a neophyte understanding of football would be foolish.

              2. Denard was outstanding on a great defensive team vs so so WR competition in the Big 10. (only 3 big 10 wr in top 50 wr of this draft) and with questions about his speed its questionable to trade 3 picks for him. While not a great fan of Roby i wouldnt be the least bit surprised if he turns out to be a better pro that dennard. Unless there is a cant miss prospect there is safety in numbers, draft 2 CB and 2 WR and hope 1 pans out of each group

          2. So in yesterdays blog you made light of the idea of trading up. What happened to you wanting to draft Brett Smith at #2 ?? You’ve gone 180 degrees since yesterday, and then you suddenly take the opinion of others, as your own when it suits you. No credibility, dude.

        1. I agree there are other Good CBs in the draft,like Fuller,Phillip Gaines,E J Gaines and others like Verrett to name a few and there is a need for 2 wr s(looking at the future) which can be filled with the first 3-4 draft picks we own.I would not trase that high unless it was for sammy watkins.

          9looking to the future

          1. the above post was supposed to be toward Grant wanting to trade our first 3 picks for a cb….Not worth it, draft is too deep.I believe our first 4-5 picks should be used on 2 cb s 2 wr s and a safety and from there i wold be trading those remaining picks for future picks next year or moving up in the draft because of the talent on the team not much room for 11-12 picks.

        2. Why would they make that move? The position the 49ers find themselves in relation to the conjunction of Need, draft strength and the relative availability of assets make this the opportune time to trade up.

          I think ” Need” is obvious although the relative degree of that need in relation to each of the two positions ( WR and DB) is still arguable. Now the fact that the strength of the draft matches with the area of need for the 49er’s is indeed fortuitous for them. Then added to that is the number of picks available which gives them the ability trade up if they chose to do so.

          I would add that the relative over all strength of this draft it would make lower picks more desirable than normal, so that the regular numerical value to each pick wouldn’t necessarily apply. It should take less picks to move up since the relative strength of the picks doesn’t drop off that much. Not only would this be the opportune time for teams in need to fill their rosters by moving back in the draft but it would take less picks for those wanting to trade up to do so. This is a draft when it’s smart to move back so the opportunity should be there for those that need move up.

          Now CoffeeforClosers—You ask the questions ” Why would they make that move” and ” Is it necessary”? Also are the picks worth the sacrifice? Now I am not arguing that Dennard is worth it, only that they should move up, even twice if possible.

          I agree with Allforfunplay in that if you move up it should be for a near bullet proof prospect. The cost-per-risk must be factored into the equation. Of course the degree of “NEED” plays an important part. I mean would they have traded up to get Reed last season if their need wasn’t so important. They couldn’t gamble that he or another starting quality safety would be available at their regular position.

          Although their immediate need for a CB might trump the immediate need for a WR, I would put the draft of a receiver as more important for this draft for two reasons.

          1. The team has not done well in drafting receivers and it is important to recognize things you are not good at so that you might be able to compensate when the opportunity presents itself. It will be some time before the Niners will be picking at the top of the draft order. The Niners have been good at getting value farther down in the draft that they at least can develop at every position except WR. They are not going to get a top receiver except through trade or a high draft pick. Good speed speed receivers are scarce you cant just get them everyday like a possession receiver. How long have the Niner’s been trying to get one? Their need is what tempted them to gamble on AJ.

          2. This is the draft when everything lines up for them. There are good receivers available plus the means to more up to get them. Because the draft is strong and later picks more valuable it will take less to move up. The Niner’s also don’t have the available roster spaces. Grant also forgot about Luke Marquardt. Another player who slipped because he was injured and also spent last season on IR. Plus the possibility of Okoye panning out. The Niner’s have always been good at getting quality players in the latter rounds. Where are all those roster spaces going to come from? They will lose players on waivers. This should be a quality not quantity draft.

          Are those picks worth the sacrifice? I mentioned the cost-per-risk ratio factor. The Niner’s can not afford to not get good players at CB and WR. Just like they needed to move up to get Reed to increase the odds at success because of real need, they also need to increase their odds in respect to those positions this year. When you have a real need at a position you can not afford to gamble. Is it worth it? When you are in the desert, thirsty and in need of water are you concerned about over paying for that water? Right lets crawl a little farther perhaps I can get it for a couple bucks cheaper. The price of something always depends on the circumstances. The need for those positions will always be there but this is the most optimum time to fulfill those needs especially when we are considering all the variables involved.

      3. Grant, I think Detroit will draft Gilbert at #10, but I think there would a good shot at Dennard at #16 which is 1000 on the chart. Trade #30, #56, #125 worth 1007 points and the 49ers keep their original 2nd and keep both 3rd round picks. That would likely still get you Matthews in the 2nd and a couple of good players in the 3rd.

        1. #16 seems at the realistic outside range. I wouldn’t pull the trigger until on the clock, so I understood the landscape.

      4. Grant,

        Long time reader, first time commenter. I couldn’t agree more with you here. Trading up is the only way to make the secondary competitive, and if we don’t, it could be a disappointing season. Both Dennard and Matthews are day one starters. Adding Dennard to the mix with Culliver and Brock would give us speed, physicality, and youth at the CB position, freeing up Reid and Bethea to do what they’re best at — finding the ball. I view moving up as a must. Something inside me says that they only do it once and snag a CB, trading back with some of the later picks to load up for the 2015 draft.

  2. Depends on who wants our picks. And how much they plan to blackmail us. I hope they get some good players. I bet they draft a linebacker somewhere between three and five…

    1. I think this draft dictates a better market for lower picks than normal. It should, (except for teams targeting specific skill groups like the 49ers) make the demand for trading down an easier sell. Especially to teams who have multiply needs and generally weak rosters. Ironically they are the ones usually with high draft picks. This is a distinct trade advantage for teams with established rosters and fewer holes who would want to move up. It should generally take fewer or lower picks than usual to move up this year.

  3. this stinks of rash desperation. and the all to common “thrill of the deal” type of mentality….”gotta make a deal…gotta make a move”. Didn’t you just write a column praising Baalke for being patient in free agency? let’s step back and think this through. If the Niner’s biggest need is at Corner, Do you really think a talented ROOKIE is the answer for the 2014 season? If you counted up all the Corners taken in the top 15 of the draft over the past 15 years, how many of them would have graded out as non-liabilities in their rookie years? Sure there are some hits…but it’s not common. What’s most likely to happen? The rookie corner might get in on the Nickel package (MIGHT…if they beat out Wright, Cook or whomever and/or possibly get buried on the depth chart (that never happens on the Niners) So if the Niners have such a huge need at Corner in 2014, why desperately trade up if it probably won’t make an immediate impact in year one? (yes we lucked out with Eric Reid…do you want to gamble again?)

    1. AFF, like you I don’t like reaching this much, but, unless Baalke can pull another rabbit out of the hat like he did with Rogers, I’m not aware that they have a starting-caliber player as back-up in case Brock or Culliver goes down. Tell me another solution and I’ll listen.

  4. The reasoning here is fine, if the other teams choose to play. I don’t call this necessarily a draft strategy because it’s too dependent on variables. But I would call it a couple of arrows in the quiver to take into the Draft. They’ll need to prepare dozens of these arrows.

  5. Grant is right for the most part. Why not consolidate some picks and get a Day One Impact shutdown corner?!? We are in it to win it NOW… not 2-3 years from now. And like he also said.. no way we draft and use 11 players. If Baalke n Coach really like someone they should go for it now. Esp since this kicks off a brand new year in a brand new stadium

    1. Why not consolidate some picks and get a Day One Impact shutdown corner?!?

      I can think of two reasons.

      1. The 49ers have 5 of the first 94 picks in what is by all accounts, the deepest draft in at least 10 years. There are three rounds worth of guys with legitimate NFL starting talent. Grant’s proposal turns 5 such players into 2.

      2. It is not at all clear that either Dennard or Gilbert is a shutdown corner.

      This doesn’t seem like the year to package picks for a big move up, especially for a CB.

      1. It’s funny how it’s never the year to move up but it’s always a deep draft.
        The reason the 49ers acquired all these extra picks is for drafts where they have enough to move up while being young at key positions. This is that year.
        4 maybe 5 guys from this draft make the team. What happens to the other 9 guys?

        1. Prime:

          It’s funny how it’s never the year to move up but it’s always a deep draft.

          I don’t ever remember reading/hearing this kind of consensus:

          Mike Mayock: “From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve even in probably ten years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a Top10 pick last year.

          So I think there’s more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked this year and you can get a quality player through three or four rounds.”

          Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert: “The deepest draft I’ve ever seen.”

          Jason Licht, the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM, who has 20 years experience: “The whole draft is really strong. Best draft I’ve seen.”

          Dennis Hickey, the new Miami Dolphins GM: “This draft class…best in a while.”

          Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman: “There’s so many good players that you’re going to get good players in the third and fourth rounds, for as deep as this draft class is,” Spielman said.

          The reason the 49ers acquired all these extra picks is …

          … much more complicated than you suggest. But I don’t think you can rule out the possibility that Baalke did it, at least in part, because he wanted as many high round picks as possible in a draft that was going to be this loaded with talent.

          4 maybe 5 guys from this draft make the team. What happens to the other 9 guys

          I think you’re exaggerating, but that’s a different issue. I have no problem with using later picks (rounds 4-7) to move up for targeted players in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounds. If this draft class is as deep as the professionals seem to think it is, however, the smart play would be to use as many of the picks in rounds 1-3 as possible to draft players. Why settle for 2 eventual starters when you could select 4 or 5?

          1. Keep in my mind, it’s a draft. No certainty whatsoever of potential starters. But the reward is less risky with a top 10 pick especially at the corner position.
            Dealing away 3-4 picks for a top quality corner/WR in this draft for the Niners makes perfect sense.
            Stock piling picks makes no sense for this organization when looking at the depth chart. They are rebuilding (maybe) the secondary and a premier corner to come in and play in situational spots behind Culliver and Brock is ideal.
            Like I said to Rocket, there is a surplus of picks. What are they gonna do with 13 new players? Cut 4, cut another 3 on the current roster and you have you still have 6 more to compete for a spot. Math makes more sense to trade up, this year especially.

            1. Don’t forget Prime, the 49ers will get some compensatory picks for Anthony Dixon, Mario Manningham, Tarrel Brown,Donte Whitner, and possibly Carlos Rogers.
              This all depending on if they themselves sign any free agents which is does not look like they will and move instead towards the draft to fill needs.

              1. I don’t think they will FDM. One key free agent that is still out there is Osgood, and I believe that he will be resigned due to the departure of Dixon. That would give us five FA signings versus five FA departures. The only way that will change is if Cox, Goodwin, or McCoy sign elsewhere and we don’t add any more free agents.

          2. claude,

            As much as I detest doing this, I have to agree with you. It is a deep draft. More importantly it’s a deep draft in the need positions for the 49ers. I see them staying put in the first round and maybe packaging picks to move up in rounds 2 & 3 and then stock piling more picks for next years draft.

      2. Claude,

        I agree. Given the difficlulty (some might say randomness) in connecting on any given draft pick, even in the first round, it might be better to keep and use the multiple picks.

        Having said that, I would support a trade up if it wasn’t too costly and was for the right player (which I’m inferring you might agree with).

        I can’t remember there being two extreme trades up, by one team, in one draft, before. I doubt TB would ever use such a strategy, especially not in this draft.

  6. How come everyone keeps assuming that Crabtree is going to walk?
    .
    I mean, Iggy isn’t saying that…but the inference is there.
    .
    Every blog I read that pertains to the WRs hints at Crabtree leaving after his contract is up.
    .
    Why?
    .
    Is it because he held out his first year?
    .
    Or maybe because he wasn’t thrilled with Alex (not) getting him the ball regularly?
    .
    I’ve not read a single statement of his that leads me to believe he’s not happy in SF.
    .
    Yet, everyone assumes that he wants out and/or we won’t pay him enough to want to stay.
    .
    Honestly, if I’m Crabtree, the lack of faith from the local media and fanbase might tip the scale for me to move on–not the organization.
    .
    Try warming up to the kid a little and give him the benefit of the doubt.
    .
    He’s not a trouble-maker, he plays tough, and he seems to want to win just as much as any other guy on the team.
    .
    .
    .
    ~ALOHA~
    .
    .

    1. Crabtree is a HUGE priority for the niners! He is hand cuffed with kaep.. He will get an extension around 45 mil over 6 years.. Book it.. Iupati will be let go.. He could be traded on draft day.

    2. Robert,

      I hope they can re-sign Crabs, but I have doubts it will happen. Not because I dislike the guy, but because he’s most likely going to ask for more than the Niners want to pay and if somebody else feels he’s worth it, they’ll let him go rather than paying him more than they think he’s worth.

      1. There lack of finding recievers in the draft up this point is another sign of the importance of crab… He will remain a niner..

      2. That seems to be the general concencus…but who knows exactly what the Niners will want to pay?
        .
        I mean, not only is it premature RIGHT NOW to speculate what will happen after the season ends, (Crabtree could go 80-1400-15 OR he could be extremely ordinary OR he could blow out his other Achilles) guys have actually been predicting his departure for the last couple of seasons.
        .
        It seems I’m always reading, ‘When Crabtree’s gone…’ etc, etc,etc…
        .
        I’m just curious as to WHY guys have so much doubt that he re-ups.
        .
        .
        .
        ~ALOHA~

        1. Crabtree will want top 10 money, when he’s top 20. If I had to wager a bet, he’ll be playing for Jerry next….

        2. Itis not a matter if the niners want him, but can they afford him cap wise, you have to chose who you are going to let go to get both him and Kaep and Aldon to stay on the roster.

      3. Michael Crabtree is worth it for the niners because he plays on a time with a great defense and a fantastic running game. Usually he gets maybe 5-8 throws his way because the niners are usually ahead and trying to milk the clock. What makes him in my mind one of the most valuable receivers in the game(Boldin is great at this too) is when that pass finally comes his way its usually on a big third down and he makes the catch. Calvin Johnson for all his greatness plays on a team that is always behind and throws the ball 40 times a game, so even if he drops that clutch throw people think he is great because of his 11 catch 125 yard performance. Crabtree’s value to the niners will probably get him a fair deal to say. I don’t think the niners should trade up. I like Verrett and I think the niners should draft him at 30. Though I love the Jordan Matthews selection. He reminds me of Jordy Nelson. He also has produced in the SEC

    3. Robe: I think the reason some seem to think Crabs won’t be here next season is
      he will ask to much plus the niners won’t have the cap space, but I hope they find
      a way to keep him.

    4. KR
      I cant speak for anyone in this room but myself but IMO Crab leaves because he will want to get paid. Why do i think that? because in his rookie year before he had done a single thing he believed that he deserved top 5 money. Despite the fact that he was picked 10 he was so convinced that he deserved the $ alloted to the 5 spot that he held out well in to the regular season (and by doing that got an extra year tacked on to his contract keeping him out of free agency one year longer womp womp). Now that he has tasted sucess he will no doubt want top 10 WR money and I just dont see the 9ers willing to pay that for a player who had 1 1k season so far (2014 notwithstanding) and seems to allways get hurt. Not to mention he had MC Hammer help negotiate his contract and that slimeball deion in his ear as an advisor. My best guess as to where he is going: Dallas (that is unless they have to dump Romo and his 27 mil cap hit for 2015)

  7. Done.

    Make it happen grant

    Seriously though this not only seems like a perfect scenario but also seems very likely when considering Baalke’s draft history.

    Grant could you see a scenario where the would take a WR first and CB second. Although i know your way makes more sense considering the depth at WR and lack thereof CB.

  8. I thought this was suppose to be one of the deepest drafts in years. I am not hearing that the talent at the top is that much better, with a few exceptions, than the talent in the 2nd or 3th rounds and let’s face it most of this is projections any way.
    So it would make sense to try to draft as many players in the first three rounds as you can with the hope that some of them can be starters and you avoid the potential whiff factor of going for one player when there are lots of talented players in the draft.

  9. If they traded a bunch of high picks for 1 player and that player was a bust, you would be tearing them apart for the move.

    Not wise with such a talent rich draft.

  10. Word on the street is Baalke is looking to enter into contract extension negotiations with Cullivers’ people….

    1. That would be very Baalke like. Get him signed early while his value is lower than it likely will be a year from now. That would also mean they believe he’s 100% healthy now.

      1. Yeah, that would be good move in my opinion. He’s had his struggles, but he’s also proven to be a handy CB. All reports are the knee recovery has gone well.

        1. According to Baalke, he’s been working extremely hard, matured and looks great so….have to take his word for it.

  11. I’m all for trading up twice, as outlined in my latest mock, but I don’t like the idea of giving away their first 5 picks to get just two players. Maybe if they get a 3rd round comp pick.

    I think more likely is a trade up to early 20s for one of the next tier of CBs. Or, one guy I have dismissed since they signed Bethea, is Jimmie Ward. They could sit at #30 and get him, then trade up in the 2nd to get one of the borderline 1st-2nd WRs. Yes, Ward is a safety. But he has extensive experience in the slot and is good at it. He could still be a good pick up with a mind to taking over at SS down the track.

    1. That is precisely why I used next years first, and moved up to 19. I wanted to have that extra pick this year and retain those 2nd Rounders…..

    2. Interesting concept Grant. While I don’t think they would go to that extreme in a talented draft like this, Baalke has traded up in the first round 2 out of the past 3 drafts so there is a pretty good chance it will happen again if he sees the right player falling.

      I’m hoping they use at least 4 of the top 5 picks though. I really see this as a chance to add core players at lower draft slots than they would get in other years. This could be a draft that stocks the shelves for awhile.

      1. It’s got to be quality over quantity for the Niners in this draft. Dennard would be so much better than Roby or Fuller.

        1. It’s got to be quality over quantity in the draft for the Niners this year

          In a draft this deep, you can have both if you don’t do anything foolish.

            1. Grant,

              Have you ever looked at the percentage of hit rates for draft picks? I would rather take a chance on a late first and two seconds, rather than one first. You would have a much higher aggregate hit rate, with the added bonus of landing three players, instead of one.

              If you get really lucky (see Seahawks, Seattle; with Dick Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Maxwell they had about a 1% chance of hitting on any one of those three, and they hit on them all, which was literally a one in a million shot) you might find two or three good players. If you trade up to get Evans, for instance, he better be close to Megatron to justify the move.

              I can’t see and I don’t want the 49ers to do it.

        2. Grant,

          Dennard is very good, but I’m not sure I see the same sized gap between him and the others that you do. No doubt he and Gilbert are the consensus best of the group, but I think the difference between them and some of the others is minimal and not worth giving up so many picks.

            1. Yes, and this is how they summarize him:

              COMPARES TO: Keenan Lewis, New Orleans Saints – The expectations of rookie cornerbacks are often unrealistic. Dennard isn’t the second coming of Deion Sanders, boasting the elite agility and speed to singlehandedly shut down half of the field. He’s a steady, competitive defender who will provide gritty, physical play on the perimeter, projecting as a quality starter for years to come.

              I’m not saying Dennard isn’t good or that he wouldn’t be an asset for the 49ers. I’m just saying that I’m not wild about trading 1 first and 2 seconds for a guy meeting that description.

              1. Some fans are not happy but his salary was so high that most fans realize it was the right move.

            2. ESPN has Gilbert ranked first with a grade of 93. After him Dennard comes in with a 92, Roby 90, Fuller 89 and Verrett 88. Very close from top to bottom and all are ranked as 1st round prospects.

              That doesn’t mean CBS or ESPN are the authority on how this will play out, but it shows that there isn’t a Revis or Deion in this class that towers over everybody else and that like many other positions, CB has a deep group of talent.

              There will be some good CB’s getting drafted in round 3 that would be 2nd rounders in other years. That’s why I want the Niners using as many of those top 5 picks as possible.

              1. therefore i would not give up three picks to pick Gibert when the difference between the top 4 to 5 players is not much.

              2. Agreed, as Harbaugh has been known to say, “More is more.”

                Let the 49ers land as many good prospects in the draft as possible. It will be a good problem to have if they have too many good players to fit on the roster.

                BTW, Cooks, for instance, isn’t guaranteed a roster spot. He’s subject to being cut if he doesn’t show improvement in OTAs and TC.

    3. Yeah. Bethea signing is for the present, it eases the urgency but doesn’t remove the need for a SS. The young man develops at his own pace in understanding the Pro game, and Safeties, like LBs, can contribute on kick coverage teams while they learn.
      Claude’s point about the depth of this draft’s quality is well taken. It actually also supports the efficacy of a team trading back for more choices; whether its the Niners or a team trading with the Niners.

  12. The last thing they are going to do is trade five players for two in a draft class that is this talented in the top 100. It’s amazing they actually pay you to cover this sport considering how truly little you understand it. If anything they will trade down from that first pick, not up. There are 40-50 first round talents in this draft. Your explanations sound like they are coming from some amateur fantasy football site.

    1. And how would they trade down if it’s the dumbest thing in the world to trade up in this draft?
      By some people’s logic here, it would be foolish for any team to trade up, but I bet you a zillion dollars, there will be many trades. And those trades are made by guys who know what they’re doing…..and the Raiders.

  13. At #11 there should be some fantastic players. I’m all for trading up this much draft capital if the corner is a true “shut down” guy that can take out WRs one-on-one. Its a huge competitive advantage.

    If the corners are very good (but not really shut down), trade up a little like for Reid, but don’t sell the store.

  14. Grant, exactly! The Niners absolutely have to trade up because of the need to get an impact rookie but more importantly, the abundance of picks. At some point cutting your 5th, 6th or even 7 round picks is insane. As well, trading them for future picks in the comin years makes no sense when you have a roster ready to win now.
    Package up those picks and move into the top 15 or 10 or even 5!

    1. Prime,

      The problem with that theory is you aren’t trading the late round picks to move up; you’re trading 1st and 2nd day picks that could net some very talented people.

      They can trade some of the later picks to move up in those rounds or for picks in 2015. I don’t see the logic in trading 2nd and 3rd rounders in a draft like this however.

      1. The Niners don’t need anymore depth so those 2nd round picks or 3rd round picks might not play let alone dress on game day anyways. The Niners need a starting nickel or a starting slot WR.
        The logic behind this approach is you use your accumulation of picks acquired that net you what you need right now on a ready to win team. The future is already in great shape. The cupboards as they say are full, now they need a home run type of player.

        1. Prime,

          This is the NFL. You always need more depth and the 2nd and 3rd round guys selected this year could be taking over for current players in the next year or two. The Niners can find what they need and more in this draft without moving up and giving away picks imo.

          1. Your not giving away picks. You are using a surplus of acquired picks to get a higher value guy that can come in and play day one.
            Look at the depth chart and practice roster, there is depth there. Also the 49ers are deep and young at starter positions.
            Again this roster has two holes and they tried to address it in free agency but couldn’t because of cap reasons. The reason they have cap issues is because they have locked up young guys at key positions. Now they need a cheaper alternative and that’s through he draft. They have 13 picks.
            Do you really think there are 13 holes to fill this year or the next three years? If so where and who?

            1. Prime,

              The point is giving away picks in a deep draft is not a smart idea. If you can get 1st round talent in the 2nd round why in the world would you trade those picks away? Dennard is good, but he’s not some once in a generation talent you trade away a bunch of picks for. You will get a similar player in talent later. Maybe not as polished, but that is what you hire Coaches for.

              The depth chart shows that some positions are thin such as CB, S, and WR. Others show that by next season this team will need possible replacements for players like Iupati, Crabtree, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, NT etc. Alex Boone will be going into the final year of his deal as will Aldon Smith. There is a constant churning of the roster in the NFL and you need players that are ready to step in either for injury or to take over as future starters. If you go into a draft thinking you need two players, you’ll find out very soon that was not the case.

              I’ve never said they will use every pick and they most likely won’t. They currently have 11 picks including a compensatory in either the 3rd or 4th round. 4 of those picks are in the 5th and 7th round. Those are the picks that are unlikely to make this roster and that the team will try to trade for picks next year or to move up in a subsequent round. They could also trade one of the first 6 picks to move up for a player they covet, but in a draft as talented as this one, I think the proper course of action is to use as many of those picks to stockpile talent as you can.

              Think about it for a minute, We need better depth at S where we currently have guys better suited for ST’s. We need at least one CB, possibly two, we need a WR or possibly two, we need an OG unless they think Looney is next in line, in which case they will have resign him as his contract will be going into it’s final year. You see how this works? You are never set with your roster in the NFL. You live and die by your drafting and depth. You never give up a bunch of picks imo, and definitely not in a year where the draft is the deepest it’s been in a decade.

  15. “Darrelle Revis (2007, 14): 6-0, 204, 4.35 (fastest verified time), 10-5 broad, 38-inch VJ
    Patrick Peterson (2011, 5th pick): 6-0, 219, 4.31 (fastest verified), 10-6 broad, 36-inch VJ
    Stephon Gilmore (2012, 10): 6-1, 190, 4.38 (fastest verified), 10-3 broad, 36-inch VJ
    Darqueze Dennard (2014): 5-11, 199, 4.38 (fastest verified), 11-2 broad, 36-inch VJ”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/nfl-draft-scout/24478213/pro-days-michigan-state-cb-dennard-shows-explosivness

    1. Wow, sounds like Dennard really blew up his pro day if he ran 4.38s 40 and had a 11’2″ broad jump. Speed and explosiveness are the only concerns for Dennard, but those numbers should quiet any critics.

        1. If that’s the case, then I’m all in on Dennard as the primary target….Quite a difference from his pro day.

  16. Baalke likes to “win the chart” whether he trades up, back or forward. Last year he traded…

    31, 74 for the Cowboys 18. +80
    34 for the Titans 40, 77*. +140 (*2014)
    61, 173 for the Packers 55. +36
    93, 216 for the Packers 88. +12

    Total gain +268. A 66th overall value.

    1. I agree that Baalke likes to win the chart, however there are times to disregard the chart and this draft is one of them. Whether its a big move up like Grant is proposing or a smaller move up to get a second tier WR/CB, Baalke has to fill specific needs. If he overdrafts or overspends on a trade-up its fine as long as the guy he gets (at least one WR and one CB) can play.

      1. Yes. Baalke recently hinted there are times to disregard the chart for certain players.

        Also, the very top of the trade value charts lose their relevancy. Talent varies from year to year. Last season teams trading down didn’t get much. This season teams trading down from the top 5 are in line for a bonanza (if they choose to trade).

  17. One word: NO. This draft is full of talent, especially in the first-third round range, and Baalke has a great knack of finding quality talent in any of the rounds. Keep the picks and trade up and down, but mortgage the draft for two players. That kills a team.

  18. Anyone know what the average number of BP reps CBs put up at the Combine?
    .
    Apparently, Dennard put up 15 reps.
    .
    .
    .
    ~ALOHA~

    1. NFL.com has the best complilation of combine results. CBS.com has the easiest rankings to access. Ive found these two sites to have the best free data.

        1. Ok here’s some Bench’s:
          Dennard 15
          Verrett 19 with torn labrum
          Fuller 12
          Desir 11
          Purifoy 6
          Jean-Baptist 13
          Gilbert 20
          Watkins 22
          Roby 17

          Those are most of the top guys. Aloha!

          1. Mahalo for the stats!
            .
            He’s definately going to have to get stronger to be a true press CB at this level.
            .
            .
            .
            ~ALOHA~

  19. I agree with Grant on this one. The Niners biggest current, and long term needs, are at corner and receiver. This draft is great for teams devoid of talent and/or lacking depth, but terrible for a team like the Niners. You all can keep talking about how “deep” this draft class is, but that means very little in regards to what the niners need. They have very few (if any) holes to fill, and simply have too many picks. They need to bundle those picks to trade up, or try and grab a player from another team. They will most likely only be able to keep half of the players that they draft if they choose to keep all of their draft picks. On top of that, who knows if the players they draft and keep, will get any playing time given the niners roster and depth. Hence, the notion of “wasting” those players and picks is definitely a possibility.

    If you all want to harp about the “depth” of this draft, and taking advantage of it, go root for a team like the Vikings or the Raiders. If you want the Niners to be successful and maximize the talent on their team given their draft picks and current depth, you’ll understand that the driving force behind Grant’s column/argument is spot on.

    1. Now that I think about it, the Niners don’t really need to draft anybody this year. They might be better off trading most of their picks for another 1st rounder next year, or multiple first rounders next year.

  20. This draft is deep in the Niners weakest areas-WR’s&DB’s. It doesn’t make sense to trade 5 for 2 in this instance. And if 1 or both of your picks gets injured or disappoints you really look like an idiot. I like J. Mathews,too- try this.
    Rd.1-Jordan Mathews
    2a-Deone Bucanon
    2b-Pierre Desir
    3a- Kelly McGill
    3b-Donte Moncrief

  21. I don’t understand how someone can call anyone elite that has never played a down of professional football and played lockdown football against the best.

    I remember guys like Milliner (Jets) and the kid on the Raiders (Houston) struggled in their first year and Milliner was benched at one point.

    There is no evidence at all that either of those guys will be “elite.” Maybe a high celling or a lot of promise but to call a college football player “elite” helps this writer lose credibility in my mind.

    Oh, and Baalke has all the keys to the draft. He gets what he wants…haha.

  22. I tried your plan with the Titans and they hung up the phone. Jerry took my call, and we did some business……

    Round 1 Pick 16 (DAL): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 13: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (A)
    Round 3 Pick 30: DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 29: Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 30: Bryan Stork, C, Florida State (A)
    Round 7 Pick 27: Dri Archer, WR, Kent State (A)

      1. “I don’t think Dennard or Matthews will fall that far…”

        Heh, I don’t think any of the guys in that mock fall that far. But some guys will fall. It is a deep draft.

        1. Baalke tends to target players. Whom do you think he’s targeting this year? The Dennard-Matthews combo makes sense to me.

          1. If the claim that Verrett isn’t a target due to his height is true, then Baalke won’t target Dennard because of how short his arms are.

            1. MidWest, you have to let the short arm thing go. Baalke has been clear he was referring to OL, DL and LBs – the guys in the trenches that need to keep the opposition from getting into their body.

              Look at the arm length of the CBs the 49ers have drafted/ signed in recent times (I couldn’t find Brock or Asomugha):
              - Perrish Cox: 30”
              - Dax Swanson: 30 ½”
              - Carlos Rogers: 31”
              - Chris Culliver: 31 ¼”
              - Eric Wright: 31 ¾”
              - Chris Cook: 32 ½”
              - Marcus Cooper: 32 ¾”

              As you can see, it is very much a mixed bag between short and long arms for the position, highlighting that arm length just isn’t that big a concern when it comes to the CBs they go for.

              1. MidWest, you have to let the short arm thing go. Baalke has been clear he was referring to OL, DL and LBs – the guys in the trenches that need to keep the opposition from getting into their body.

                Only if the notion of Baalke only going after big CBs is let go by others on here.

              2. “Only if the notion of Baalke only going after big CBs is let go by others on here.”

                Where did I say they “only” go for big CBs? I have said multiple times they have a preference for big CBs, and I don’t see Baalke sitting pat to take Verrett when there are 4 CBs that fit his preference with first to early second round grades. History backs up that Baalke prefers big CBs. History and Baalke’s comments also support that arm length is not a key criteria for the CBs they go for.

                When they start signing a bunch of smaller CBs I’ll let go of the notion they prefer big CBs. When they start signing CBs that only have 32″ arms or longer I’ll let go of the notion that arm length isn’t a factor in their decision making for CBs.

            2. I have said multiple times they have a preference for big CBs, and I don’t see Baalke sitting pat to take Verrett when there are 4 CBs that fit his preference with first to early second round grades. History backs up that Baalke prefers big CBs. History and Baalke’s comments also support that arm length is not a key criteria for the CBs they go for.

              History backs up Baalke picking up bargain bin reclamation project CBs Scooter and not the other. Rogers, Asomugha, and now Cook all fit into that catergory.

              1. I also never said anything about you saying that they only go after big CBs.
                Baalke does have a preference for them but he also has a preference for players with long arms yet is willing to go against his preferences if he finds a steal in free agency or the draft.

              2. “History backs up Baalke picking up bargain bin reclamation project CBs”.

                Yes, but they are also all bigger CBs. I mentioned this in the previous blog too when you made this argument. Its not as if Baalke couldn’t get bargains or reclamation project CBs that are under 5’11″. He made a choice, and it is a consistent one.

                Anyway, yes, they may take Verrett, but I think that would be a backup, less preferred option. I’d be very surprised if Baalke didn’t rate Dennard, Gilbert, Roby and Fuller ahead of Verrett as they fit his preferred style of CB.

              3. Dennard and Gilbert are going to be long gone unless the 49ers mortage the draft for them while Roby and Fuller are prime candidates to be drafted too high.
                I don’t think Baalke would see Verrett as a less preferable option, especially considering how the speedster slot WRs have been this team’s Achilles heel.
                One thing to keep in mind with each of those guys (Rogers, Wright, Asomugha, and Cook) is that they were either considered as busts or players that had nothing left to give. I have also gone back and looked through the list of free agent CBs in 2011 and 2012 yet cannot find one example of a bargain bin deal that was under 5’11″ that could have come cheaper.

              4. I just looked back at what I have posted and the tone wasn’t exactly the greatest, so I apologize to you Scooter and Razor as well.
                Note to self: don’t post when you are sick.

          1. I’d be good with Dennard and Matthews, for sure, but would hope they also get some other players in the 3rd round. If that combo costs them all their picks in the first 3 rounds then no, not a good move in my opinion.

            1. For the Niners, Dennard+Matthews > Roby+Matthews+Jones+Bryant.

              Quality over quantity for the Niners this year.

              1. I disagree.

                Roby+Matthews+Jones+Bryant would be better than just Dennard+Matthews. Quality AND quantity is best.

              2. Bryant is not quality. He is a combine hero. Jones would have very little impact his rookie season on the Niners. Dennard is such a better player than Roby.

              3. Bryant isn’t a great WR, but he does require a defense to respect the deep ball. His acceleration and speed is highly impressive for a guy that height. And he has shown a good ability to make contested catches downfield.

                He’d provide the same option Randy Moss provided. He’d make a nice decoy for the 49ers to clear out the underneath areas, plus give Kaep a good option for a couple of deep shots a game.

    1. Razor,
      Like your picks. But I think only 4 of the players on your list would be a strong possibility.
      D.Jones
      C,Jones
      B.Stork
      D.Archer – he could be this years T.Y. Hilton.

  23. I agree with you on this one Grant. The Niners are not going to sign any free agent impact players so we have to get them through the draft. If we don’t trade up we’ll have a bunch of draftees being cut in late August and maybe some good building block, developmental players but NOBODY to help us win NOW. We need to beat the Seahawks now, this year, and win the SB while our core is still intact. We won’t do it with 6-7 maybe good but not starting players. A shot at two players with real potential to make a short term difference is worth the gamble. Grant’s right on this one guys… Its great being in the playoffs but I want to destroy Seattle, win our division and win it all to break in the new stadium.

  24. Watkins I’ll bet is the guy Baalke is eyeing closely. Similar to Culliver who also played safety, but looks to be better at cornerback…..

  25. I don’t know why everyone thinks Trend Baalke is a GM!! Jim is dame good coach!! They should get rid of trend and some else. Remember when everyone thought that (Scott Pioli ) was a good GM for the patriots what has he done since he left(noting)!! So I don’t why they don’t get an impact players to win now not 5 yrs from now. They save all these picks and they don’t even play cause they can’t on the field. Spend the money now if you want win!!! If you don’t hire back Nolan, Singletary, Dennis Erickson!!!! 4-12 record again

  26. Have to disagree with the statement that those are the only two elite corners. Verrett is the best cover corner in this years draft. And that’s something most of the analysts agree on. Only knock is his height. 5’9″ and a 1/2. But he does have a 38′ vert to help. Niners should go verrett. Idc if mocks have him as a nickle. He’s far too good.

    1. I would take Verrett any day with his raw athletic ability and big heart. Just take a look at his leaping abilty and how fast he recovers.

  27. A. Boldin should not be the starting WR opposite Crabtree. Vernon Davis is a one trick poney. Teams know our scheme and tendencies of CK.

    We need a difference maker or two on offense and this is the year to stack up some impact players and make up for the botched drafts of late. CK must develop but we need to give him targets that suite his needs.

    I say we mortgage this draft for 4 to 5 player we will keep on the roster. Maybe even stress next years draft if value is there.

    We must win now, go Niners!!!

          1. Claude and Rocket,

            Well, with so many years of failure, especially recently, it is understandable, right?

            Oh, wait…

  28. Grant, thanks for sharing your draft ideas. I can not wait. The excitement of thinking about the draft is already becoming overwhelming. I believe you bring up some good points however your draft strategy is all based on speculation and the idea that either Dennard , Gilbert or Mathews are for sure future hall of fame players or complete game changers. Again, I am not an expert but just an athlete that loves the game of football so maybe you are right but I do not agree with your opinion. Despite the talent on the roster it would be a huge mistake for this organization to give up 5 of our picks in the top 95 to pick 2 players with the hope for them to become starters. Even if you were going to play the numbers game the risk is much higher since you are picking college players that has never played a single down in the NFL!

    If you take a look at the Sea hawks secondary or the best ravens team they were able to build through the draft by identify the best players in each round with out gambling the whole house money. Now if you are certain that all those three players will become major contributor then i can understand the strategy but how can you?

    This draft is too deep to give up 5 players in the top 95 for just two players. We need to continue to improve the depth of the roster with youth and talent rather than just picking a few players that might become NFL caliber contributors. Again, I am not sure Gilbert is the best DB in this draft ans would stay put and pick Verrett, Fuller, Desire, Gains, Joyner, Watkins or Hampton. As far as the WR goes i would go after Odell beckham or even A Robinson over Mathews and would not give up two draft picks unless its either Odell B or Mike Evans.

    We have 11 picks but Trent can still move around the board with out giving away all the picks and even trade some of the picks for next year.

  29. I would be tempted to trade up for Dennard or Gilbert, but nobody else. I think that Verrett or Fuller would be great picks too, so I wouldn’t mind staying put. I would also be happy with Roberson, Jaylen Watkins, Purifoy, and several other cornerbacks that are projected to go in later rounds.

    ANYONE but Roby, that’s all I ask.

    1. Its funny you said that i am not a fan of Purifoy! Nothing impresses me with his game. Roby had a much better 2012 that 2013 so not sure what happend.

  30. I’d be totally ok with Verrett at #30. I saw a mock with sf grabbing Benjamin at #30 and Seattle getting Ford. I’d take Ford.

    1. Brotha i would take ford over Benjamin any day. But its easy to play with house money when its not yours. LOL

  31. No player in the draft is ever a sure thing there is always the chance they won’t live up to expectations. Don’t put all your stick in one WR/CB, draft 5 corner, 5 WR, and one QB. Increase your odds. There is always a hidden gem in the late rounds so why not increase your odds of success. Those are really the only positions the 9ers need to address so go all in.

  32. Grant,
    You NAILED it! I’ve been saying this for the longest time, the 49ers need to package those picks and take a couple of impact players. I personally would’ve gone for a wide receiver first, but I think the need for an elite CB merits going for a CB first.

    As for WR, I think the team feels Crabtree is part of the long term solution. Losing him AND Boldin in the same year or even successive years (assuming Boldin plays out his contract) would be devastating to our offense across the board. I think having TWO “#1 WRs” is ideal. We do need speed but, we mostly need reliability and productivity. I think Baalke has been burned by rookie receivers enough, that he’s going as close to a “sure-fire” (I know nothing is guaranteed) as he can this year..,,at least I hope.

    Gonna be another exciting draft this year!

  33. draft needs to look at 2015. Big contracts up for negotiation. CK, Aldon, Iupati, right? I doubt we can keep ‘em all. May need to draft QB, G, OLB plus Bowman is out and Justin Smith might retire so we’d need a DT and maybe an ILB not to mention a safety (wasn’t that a 1 year contract). Oh yeah, isn’t Crabtree contact up next year too? I forget.

      1. Maybe they don’t think that highly of gibert or denard. I’m willing to bet that’s why.. just like you were adamant about the niners moving up for Milner last year as well as trufant.. Then according to you the niners made a mistake moving up for Reid when they could of got Cyprien.. So on so on……

        1. That was back during the draft. Reid proved me wrong by the end of the Packers game on Opening Day.
          And I never suggested the team move up high for Milner because I thought he was overrated and still do. That was Star Lotulelei that I wanted the team to move up and draft.

          1. Mid west I was not referring to you. I was talking about grant.. I was bringing up what he stated time and time again.

            1. Sorry about that CK=E. This blog format that we now have makes it difficult to understand who is responding to what post.

              1. Not a problem mid west! This format sucks.. I wouldn’t attack your opinion you seem educated on football. Hopefully our niners get 2-3 impact rookies that we can depend on. In my opinion I wouldn’t rule out a RB in the second. They messed around with Toby gerhart.. I would not be surprised if they went after Carlos Hyde or Kadeem Carey.. To pair with lattimore in 2015.

      2. Or they were just suckers. DRC is overrated and not even close to being worth that much. I also don’t think signing him rules them out of drafting Gilbert. Dennard isn’t even worth mentioning because he will be off the board before the Giants pick.

        1. DRC isn’t a CB, he’s a HSE (High Speed Escort). He’ll run with anybody all over the field, but that’s about it. He might make a play on the ball, and if he gets tangled up with the receiver they may both go to the ground, but he won’t actually tackle anybody, especially a TE or RB, and he doesn’t play Team Defense. I was surprised at all the interest from Coughlin and Rex who’ve always liked tough guys.

  34. here is why you dont trade up twice as you propose grant–it just about kills any chance you have to get brett smith, or even david fales

  35. i think jordan matthews falls to rd 3 because of all the undergrad talent at receiver coming out…the thing about matthews is, alot like sammy watkins, so many of his catches came off screens …maybe he can produce on more conventional nfl routes…but im not sure it shows on the games ive watched him play (which are few i will confess)

  36. The Raiders aren’t looking as bad as they did earlier in free agency. Picking up James Jones could be a heck of a steal, especially if they can get a decent LT and QB during the draft.

  37. Off topic, but I think you can add Mike Glennon to the list of names that could be the backup QB on the 49ers in 2015.

    1. Really? What makes you say that? I think that he showed promise last year. Lovie made a mistake by just saying McCown was the starter, but Glennon should still be there.

      1. I agree but I don’t think Lovie Smith does. Cutting Glennon’s legs from right out underneath of him is eye-opening to say the least.

              1. No argument there. Glennon did a decent job despite what was going on around him and yet he’s not being given a chance to progress further. That’s why I think he could be traded or looking for a new home in 2015.

  38. Texans trying to trade Schaub with the Browns and Raiders both showing interest. That says a lot about this year’s top QB prospects.

  39. I want a minimum of a starter quality CB and WR out of this draft. Don’t want to overspend and sacrifice other needs but Baalke needs to do what it takes to fill the 49ers two most basic and important needs without selling the farm.

    1. The niners need to move up twice. They have to gamble and they must get a starting CB out of the draft or else it is the same ol same ol good teams tearing the miners up thru the air. It happens every year and if the niners would of had a shut down corner these last 3 years we’d probably have 2 more SB trophies.

      Several playoff teams got much better in FA and the niners are worse than they were last year. Our secondary n’t good enough last year and they are worse now. We either get a great CORNER this season or we will fall short again. Just putting the facts out there as I clearly see them.

  40. If this draft were not so deep would it even be question of not trading up?

    Because this draft is deep it’s tempting to wait and grab five solid players. But don’t let the depth cloud your view. The Niners NEED two impact players; 1 CB and 1 WR. Period. Must agree with Grant on this one.

    It would be nice to fill in to another WR (which ever the top pick doesn’t get you either speed burner or red zone height), a backup QB, a center, a SS, another CB. Nice to have. But these depth needs/picks ain’t getting the Niners over the top now. In fact, the team will not be able to keep all of them due to roster space.

    Think top needs now, not vanity picks later. And it’s still the red zone execution – coaching and Kap’s performance.

  41. Wow, I’m delighted that Grant sees what I see in Matthews – are we the only two? He seems like a great fit for the team, he’s reportedly highly intelligent, a character guy. Years of experience against top competition, against which he performed superbly. Despite the combine time, he’s not regarded as having top-level speed, but neither was Jerry. I think he falls to mid-2nd, and they get him.

    Two trade-ups would be nice if they can get the partners to agree – but as to CBs, while Gilbert and Dennard are generally regarded that highly, I would be surprised if Harbaalke agree. They have their own idiosyncratic way of evaluating guys – both Aldon & Reid were seen as stretches where they got ‘em, and look how they’ve turned out. Of course, so was Jenkins, and … Anyway, just based on their history, they likely have someone else targeted for that crucial CB spot. Evidence of this is they let Brown go for only $3.5m/yr, 1-yr deal. They must really believe they’ve got his replacement in their sights, which they likely wouldn’t be so confident about if it involved trading all the way up to 11.

    This fan’s guess: They pull another Reid-style move into the low 20s (likely their 1st & 3rd) to get their CB, then their 2nd & another 3rd (or both 2nds) to move up in the 2nd to get Matthews. Just one fan’s wild guess, when so far Harbaalke have consistently surprised me in all three drafts.

    1. In my opinion Matthews might be the safest and most bust proof player in the draft. At minimum he will become quality starter at a very early point in his career. At max I have visions of him being this years Keenan Allen.

      1. Completely agree on Matthews. Definitely a low floor kind of guy. Only question mark is how high is his ceiling?

  42. I know a lot of the fan base is a little uneasy about the CB situation, but have you noticed who doesn’t seem to be concerned? The 49ers. If the 49ers were so concerned with the CB situation, they could have re-signed Brown or signed Thurmond. They would have had to approach a player or two to restructure, but they could have done it. I’m happy to see that the 49ers appear to have a plan. They’ve made a misstep or two, but they’ve made a TON of great moves.

    I agree with the concept of trading up (in general) as I think the 49ers can only absorb 5-6 drafted players on the roster. That said, I don’t think you take the drastic moves that Grant suggests. The 49ers really do not need any starting players this year, but I think they can get 3 players in the first two rounds that can contribute significantly (might start) and potentially start next year. If there is a player they have targeted, I think they could trade one of the 2nd round picks to move up a bit in the first. I don’t see the 49ers trying to trade up beyond the #15 pick…just doesn’t make sense to me.

  43. Agree they need two CB’s…don’t agree they need to trade up to get them. That is, unless they decide Gilbert’s a must-have, which with the depth in this year’s class, I doubt it. They can just as easily stand pat to get their first CB, Fuller would be ideal, good size, fine all-around CB and has almost 33 ” arms. Their second I’d like to see McGill, Desir or Jean-Baptiste…all good sized guys with longer arms. Now that Baalke’s signed Chris Cook to play press coverage, it’d make good sense to get another big CB to do likewise.

  44. The capital of the late round choices is pretty limited. TB had more left at the end last year that he’d expected to be able to deal. One strategy would be to package the later picks with mid picks to move higher in those Day-2 rounds. It would be slightly less expensive than moving up in Round #1. Also, if 2014 is an unusually good draft year, does Trent trade away this year’s choices for 2015 choices? Maybe only if it helps projected Cap position.

    1. The 49ers only have 32 players signed for 2015 once you take off the practice squad and camp fodder guys. I think we will see Baalke turn some deals for additional picks next year.

          1. Yep. Look at what Baalke did last year. Traded up in round 1 and moved around to get his targets while also grabbing more picks for this year.

            Easily can see him doing that again.

    1. Grant-
      Did you see the comment yesterday on here from the Niner fan in Wyoming? He watched all of Smith’s games and sees him as a 7th/udfa guy. It seems the consensus of the ratings I’m reading is 6/7. Gems can be found with outlier opinions but I dunno on this one.

      1. Umm, come to think of it, Trent & Jim’s opinions on Gabbert might be outlier opinions around the League! ; >)

        1. We all have certain people who’s opinion we take as fact on certain subjects. For me when it comes to the NFL there is no greater source then Pat Kirwin, right or wrong I will believe anything that guy says. OK, ok not really but I’m exaggerating to make a point, I really think the guy knows his stuff.

          With that said Kirwin has always supported Gabbert. Injuries and poor coaching, although he had to tip toe around saying the latter, is why he believes he has struggled to this point.

          I don’t know if Kirwin is right on this one but I’m actually a little excited to see what our coaches can do with him.

          1. CFC,

            I’m a big fan of Pat on Moving the Chains. Great show and he is a wealth of knowledge about the league. Having said that, he has been off on a lot of players he’s been high on and was fired twice as a personnel guy so he’s got his limits too. I do hope he’s right on Gabbert though. If they can turn this kid around it would give them another chip to work with although they’d have to resign him after the season to do it.

            1. Yea I drafted him in like my first draft, but heard some bad press about him from his coaching staff and let it taint my decision process. One things for sure, Smith has the same size chip on his shoulder that Kaepernick does. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be the best quarterback in the draft, IF he was under the instruction of Harbaugh….

            2. Grant – I’ve seen Smith play for the last few years live – he would be a foolish high round draft choice. Look up how many MWC championships and bowl games he won. Late round draft choice…maybe. Sorry – he is a nice guy, but not even close to being an NFL quality QB.

            3. So has Smith taken over from Fales on your list Grant?

              I am intrigued but not before day 3, and I’d be shocked if he’s off the board before round 5. At that point I’d be all for taking him.

              1. I like Fales a little better. I think Smith will rise because he’s younger than Fales and a better athlete than Fales.

              2. I like Smith’s athleticism and he has good movement in the pocket. He’d be a nice pickup with their 5th rounder if available.

  45. Extended the mock up through #158

    (first 3 are unchanged from yesterday)
    #30 Stephon Tuitt – I would play him at DT. He’s not my Justin Smith replacement.

    #50 (49ers send #56 and #125 to Miami) Trent Murphy. Play him at OLB. Murphy replaces Brooks after ’14. Brooks’s cap hit jumps to over $8M in ’15 and ’16 plus we have to extend Aldon Smith who is likely to earn more then Brooks. The Packers want Murphy too so we need to trade in front of them and the Dolphins seem to be our friends at the moment.

    #61 Jordan Matthews – People are worried about his speed when they should be paying attention to his hands. Harbaugh likes receivers with great hands. I also like his height and his ability to go up and get the ball. And how can you go wrong drafting Jerry Rice’s cousin on the 49ers?

    #77 Jaylen Watkins – What’s the point of a ‘deep’ draft if you aren’t going to take advantage of it’s value? The mid rounds are replete with good prospects and I think Watkins is an excellent one for the slot.

    #94 Marion Grice – Some will say this is a reach but I think it’s a steal. I like his size, could stand to put on a couple pounds or so but I also really like his ability to catch the ball. I don’t know if he can block at all but if not I think I know a certain 49ers RB coach that can help him out with that. I’m very excited about this player, the only other player I like more is the one I take next.

    #158 Ben Gardner – This is my Justin Smith replacement. If he hadn’t torn his pectoral muscle he would be in the round 1 or 2 conversation. It’s easy to assume I want to pair him back up with Trent Murphy but I see Murphy playing on the other side behind McDonald this year and someone else next. That could change if Aldon either decides to leave in FA or gets into trouble again. Gardner will mentor behind Justin and replace him next season. Gardner is the steal of the draft if we can actually get him at #158. In future mocks I will almost certainly move up or take him sooner. He’s lighter then Justin but not by much at least not by much of his listed weight. Gardner is a freaking football stud just like Cowboy and I can’t think of any better replacement.

              1. I don’t see him in Ray’s role. He replaces Dorsey. McDonald sticks around for another year until we draft Ray Drew to replace him next year.

              2. I would suggest looking at the D lineman they can select this year that won’t impact the 53 man roster.

              3. So you’re thinking a #30 pick is too high for a guy who’s on the field for 24′ish snaps a game? Ok, legitimate thought I can only counter with conjecture. Sometimes who you have dictates how you line up. Possibly with a stronger player to offer in that position the team finds a way to get him on the field which means they line up not quite as often in packages that would normally have taken Dorsey off the field.

              4. Getting a guy like Tuitt, Hageman or DaQuan Jones makes sense to me. A guy that can back up the NT and 5-tech spots, and eventually take over at either.

                I understand there are plenty of bodies already on the DL, but the quality of the depth is only ok. Carradine will hopefully come in and be a quality backup for J. Smith. And having a high quality NT/ 5-tech would help make the DL formidable, even if there were an injury.

              5. Murphy would have the hardest time starting in 2014 but the others could. In my scenario the 49ers dump Dorsey and replace him with Tuitt; starter. Nothing says that Mattews couldn’t beat out Patton; starter. We need a slot corner and again nothing says that Watkins couldn’t step into that role; starter.

                I doubt Murphy would unseat Brooks or Smith in 2014 but Brooks’s contract could make it a tough decision for them.

              6. Dorsey was one of the best NTs in the NFL last season. The 49ers won’t spend their first-round pick upgrading him, especially when they have Ian Williams under contract for two more years.

              7. In what way was he one of the best NT’s, what stats are you basing that comment on?

              8. Besides you said it yourself, he only played 442 snaps. Not hard to statistically look good when you have a small sample to work with.

              9. Williams was an UDA that was only good enough to earn a fairly meager contract extension and then he spent the year on IR. I like the guy too but I think people’s expectations are a bit high on him.

              10. Well, since he looked good in training camp when they’re running around not trying to hurt each other I’m sure he’ll do fine against starters on game day.

              11. Not sure why you are so keen to get rid of Dorsey CfC. I thought he was very good last season, and PFF ratings seem to back that up.

                McDonald and Dorsey are two of the most under appreciated players on this roster. The roles they play aren’t big stat roles, so I think some people assume they mustn’t be doing much. But I can assure you the likes of Willis, Bowman, Brooks, Aldon Smith, Reid and Whitner have benefitted from those two guys plugging gaps and occupying blockers.

                I agree the depth can be approved though. It is decent now, but the DL is the cornerstone of this D, so making it great would be beneficial.

              12. It’s not an indictment on Dorsey as much as I think it’s the better business decision. Tuitt only has to be as good as Dorsey and I don’t think that is necessarily hard for him to do, I think it’s even very possible he’s better. I think you can swap out Dorsey, who is probably gone after this season anyway, now with an equal or better younger version player at the position.

              13. The fact that you think a rookie can be as good or better than Dorsey is an indictment on Dorsey in itself…

                Like I said, one of the most under appreciated players on the roster along with McDonald.

          1. I think Watkins is deserving of the recent rise up draft boards, he was well and truly underrated previously, but when all is said and done I’d be surprised if he went before the mid 3rd round. And to be honest, the team I think is most likely to draft him before then is the 49ers.

              1. Hmm, that is possible. He’s got a nice skill set. And would suit the man coverage system of the 49ers nicely.

  46. Woah the most amazing thing just happened. I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to I had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A picture of this; the 49ers 2015 starting front 7. This is what I saw:

    Ray Drew – Stephon Tuitt – Ben Gardner – Aldon Smith
    Trent Murphey — Navarro Bowman — Patrick Willis

    It was truly a thing of beauty.

    1. CFC, when I first started reading your comment I didn’t have my glasses on and misread what you were hanging and had quite a different vision, lol.

  47. Grant -

    Like your trade scenarios. However, I think you got the order wrong! A trade up to pick 11, you might, just might get a shot a Sammy Watkins. That depends on how the draft board settles with QB and LT. When you look at the top 10 teams, four need QB’, four need LTs and two definitely need pass rushers. So, there is a chance that the best WR in this draft Sammy Watkins could be there for you at 11.

    If not Watkins, the Mike Evans at pick 11. Draft him before St. Louis can get him at pick 13. Alternatively at DB, a lot of good DB’s are going fall in this draft to the mid-rounds. I’d keep an eye on Bradley Robey, who could fall because of off field issues or Keith McGill (Balke likes to turn college CB projected as NFL FS back to NFL CB’s – see a la Brock and Culliver). These

  48. I see your point Grant..Cornerback is an immediate need..but like most have said.its a deep draft..Id think we could do better trading back..not much differences from sitting at 30 and moving back to 40-50s and get three second rounders..then move around and snag another third.There are starters in first four rounds..If the niners can get five or six of them..theyd be in business..2wrs..2corner..1safety..1lb or 1de..

      1. I would like to see if he is 100%and can improve on his dismal NFCCC and Super Bowl performances before they decide to commit to him long-term.

    1. One point of interest regarding Culliver – in all the talk about who could play the slot, it is easy to forget that last offseason prior to his injury there was a bit of talk that they saw Culliver as a potential slot CB option. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him given a chance there this year.

  49. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHjCRb49ER0

    You asked what I see from Hageman that makes me believe that he is Balmer 2.0 Razor. Well, this link shows why I think so. His motor is very inconsistent and I don’t see a sense of urgency in his play. He was owned through most of this clip by one OL, which is not good considering his size. He also had the QB dead to rights early in the clip and allowed him to slip away for a TD. He also seems to be more suited at DE but is too much of a plodder to be able to generate any type of pressure. This kid has bust written all over him.

    1. Remember, he started out as a tight end, and converted to defensive line and ended up working himself into one of the best in the country. For the first four years of his life growing up with a mother who was battling drug addiction and then being placed into the foster care system after being found in a closet in a crack house, Hageman overcame a lot to just get to where he is now. That’s intestinal fortitude, and I believe Tomsula and the veterans could help him realize his huge potential. You have labeled him Balmer 2.0 and your entitled to your opinion, I just happen to disagree with you……

  50. Grant, they announced compensatory picks last year on March 18. Any idea when they will be announced this year?

    I was confident it would be a 3rd rounder, but recent chatter has indicated the pick might be a 4th rounder. This will throw a wrench into some of my my trade-up scenarios.

    1. Piecing it together… compensatory picks are usually announced at the annual NFL owners meeting. This year March 23-26 in Orlando.

  51. Interesting stuff from Kelvan Benjamin’s pro day.

    “At 6-5, 240 pounds, Benjamin has generated some buzz as a potential “Joker” tight end conversion. In adding two pounds and posting an impressive 17 reps of 225 pounds Tuesday, those projections could gain steam for some.

    Whether as a tight end or wide receiver, Benjamin’s length and strong hands certainly made him one to watch Tuesday.

    Benjamin enjoyed a “pretty good positional workout overall,” a league source on hand told NFLDraftScout.com, soaring high to pluck passes easily. He did drop two passes, though one was characterized as a “bad ball.”

    Benjamin, a potential late first round pick, is not an explosive athlete but accelerates smoothly, showing the ability to track down passes that initially appear out of his reach.”

    1. I definitely agree with this. I think his best bet is going to a team that is happy to move him around, splitting out wide, playing as an H-Back, etc, to create mismatches, get the ball in his hands early and let him run, with the occasional deep ball.

  52. “Based on tape study, NFL Films’ Greg Cosell believes Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin is a ‘slightly’ better receiver prospect than Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.
    Cosell called Evans a ‘measured mover,’ while Benjamin is a superior athlete with more vertical explosion when the ball is in the air. ‘I remember watching Benjamin run by Florida’s corner, Loucheiz Purifoy, on a deep post — and Purifoy can run, he’s in this draft as well — and Benjamin definitely showed a burst with the ball in the air,’ Cosell said. ‘Which is something you definitely look for when you look at vertical routes. … You don’t need to be a 4.4 guy to do that. You know Jerry Rice did that exceptionally well. And Jerry Rice was never a 4.4 guy.’”

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/9321/kelvin-benjamin

    1. Benjamin seems the more natural, fluid runner… but for a big guy he hits the ground too easily after contact.

      Though lighter then Benjamin, Evans plays bigger. He keeps his feet after contact and knocks defenders around like bowling pins. He’s only 20. Still a growing young man. (Benjamin is 23)

      Both receivers chest catch too often.

      I think Benjamin is the gamble pick. He could be a megatron-ish WR and red zone weapon… or just another big tall guy with so-so hands and sloppy routes.

      1. I like the way Evans catches with his body square and uses his long torso and arms to reach out and grab the football. By doing this, he freezes his defenders and then accelerates by them.

    1. I would like to see them get OBJr. number one, then Cooks, but if not, then target guys like Bryant, Richardson, Moncrief, Janis later on…..If I was a betting man, Baalke is going to look for Jaylen Watkins in the late second round for his slot corner.

        1. Yes, but they also need a deep threat that can help clear out some of the bodies in the box. They really should be looking to get two WRs this year.

            1. Matthews as the deep threat? I know he ran a 4.46s 40 which was impressive, but he’s not a guy I’d expect teams to really worry about beating them deep…

              1. Its been a little while since I watched any film on him, but I recall thinking he didn’t look as fast as that and seemed to be mostly a short and intermediate route runner…? More of your typical possession WR with some ability to get deep, rather than a guy that teams fear deep. Might have to go take another look.

              2. Mattews would be a perfect compliment to OBJr., or Cooks, guys that can take the top off. Mattews is smooth and fluid, but he’s not explosive or sudden, and doesn’t have top end speed on the field….Love him though. Kind of a bigger Landry, although I didn’t count on Landry running that slow, because he did not look like it on the field.

              3. Terrible comparison. Matthews has the speed and ability to average more than 16 yards per catch, like Jeffery.

              4. Yeah, that is my impression of Matthews. Good player, would be very happy to get him, but they’d still be wanting a deep threat complement.

              5. I’ve always liked Matthews. Someone said he was better than Benjamin, and I disagreed with that.

          1. Two WRs sounds good. One speedy, the other big and physical. This concentration of WR talent might not come around for a while.

      1. THANK YOU!!!
        .
        You’d think though, with football being almost year-round, these guys would have enough to write about without having to fabricate drama.
        .
        And yet they still do…
        .
        .
        .
        ~ALOHA~

  53. Not sure about “explosive.” Say you have two receivers of similar size. They both run 4.43 forty. One has a 1.47 ten yard split. The other has a 1.52. Which is preferable?

    My first reaction is grab the guy with the faster split. On the other hand Rice was known for his acceleration late in routes when the ball was in the air.

    Any preferences?

    1. Getting up to full speed quickly puts pressure on the CBs straight away, and can help open up the comeback routes and underneath routes.

      However, the guys that typically get open deep will have that extra gear when they pass the DB.

    1. That would be fun, and fits with what they’ve been looking to do in free agency.

      Restructure a few deals, bada bing bada boom.

    2. DeSean Jackson hmmm…now this is a guy who could cause problems for those big Seattle CB’s and pump up the return game. That’s a lot of money to have to fit in though. Interesting to think about…

    3. There’s also a rumor that the 49ers have asked about Danny Amendola which (along with this rumor about Jackson) I take with a grain of salt, especially considering the team can pick up Beckham, Cook, or Herron for much less strain on the cap.

  54. The thing I’m looking at is where where the biggest dropoff in talent will be next year. In reality we didn’t loose to much with Rogers and culliver should not be a dropoff in talent from Brown. Yes we need a CB and a WR go groom but I don’t want to blow all our draft capital we have worked up over the years in this draft that is full of studs. Seattle has proven you don’t need 1st round talent at the cb position to have a great D. Finding an upgrade over Rodgers will not be hard. Finding a replacement for the the talent hole left by navorro will be. Qb , Ilb, OL,Rb, C, even DE are all positions that could use depth and help us win games. The fact that we had such a quiet FA should speak volumes about balkes confidence in our current roster. If we find ourselves in the opponents red zone at the end of a championship game like we have the past few years I really hope we have faith in our running g game to shove it down their throats. This is our team identity and we shouldnt stray too far from it.yes we need a WR too but smith got us as far with less and Crabs Boldin and VD is a pretty decent 1 -2 -3. I don’t know that Kap can even find a third receiver so making sure we have a dominant Run Game and bad boy ILB needs to be a priority if we want to get home field advantage.. Which is really what will likely be the biggest deciding factor next year

  55. “Derrick Gunn of CSNPhilly.com reports that, while the Eagles aren’t actively shopping Jackson, they’re listening to teams that are calling up with offers. According to Gunn, calls have come from the Patriots and the 49ers.”

    would be nice if they could trade a 3 or 4 for 2 yrs of his services……….

  56. Why are we so excited about trying to buy someones else’s headache? We’ve had capable receivers on the team and there have been countless examples given of all the times Kaep missed wide open shots to them so what makes you think Jackson is going to somehow make things different? We don’t have the OC or the QB to justify trading away draft picks for a receiver. Give us a pass happy OC and a QB that looks for his targets and oh wait now we’re the Eagles but yet they don’t want him, so again, why do we?

  57. As is evident from past posts I am a big fan of Justin Gilbert. But I would not give away the farm to get him or Darq. Dennard. Particularly in this draft.
    One of the values I put on Gilbert was that I thought there was a chance he could fall into reasonable range for a move up by Niners that would make sense. He has some small negatives such as tackling. But a move up to 15 is just too costly for Justin.

    Why?
    Biggest reason as particularly discussed by Rocket, Chicago and others here; this is a very deep draft. Furthermore many of the players at the top have question marks (see QBs for most ???) where as there are many finds / potential gems further down. For example at CB there is Missouri’s EJ Gaines likely at round 3 or small school wonder Pierre Desir at rd 4 maybe 5.
    WR depth (especially in early rounds) offers an even more compelling reason to hold onto those top picks. According to Mayock and others, there are at least 7 WRs whom are first round worthy. That says that there should be a top WR available at 30 or with small trade up for that red zone WR game changer. Wait on the CB. Grab DBS in 2 through 4 and one or more are sure to stick.

    Yes the Niner’s have needs most of all at CB but this should not trump going best available in such a rich draft. A GM needs to go with what the draft offers them. This draft says throw the mud on the wall and see what sticks rather than throw everything at one or two big gambles. Who might get injured no less and then what?

    Yes some will need coaching up and may start mid season or even later. Gilbert is smart like Reid and could be an Instant starter. But what if he goes down like Mathiew (Flalcons). Depth at CB is important due to injuries and special teams value.

    Yes the Niner’s don’t have much room for a large Rookie class. But salary cap, age and pending contracts say draft a large group and figure it out later. Make some preseason trades of expensive veterans for future picks as the keepers rise.

    The Niners have a number of needs to fill with 1 through 4 rounds. Not only CB but WR, Safties, center, back up QB, etc. Maybe package all those 7ths to make a small move. But this rich draft says go for quantity in first 4 or 5 rounds and see what sticks. Maybe Niners loose a Marcus Cooper or two (see last year) but in the end they fill holes, find some gems and steals (ala Belechick), save cap room for Kap and build for years beyond this one.

    1. Grant, I get part of your logic here in making the big trades but not this mostly deep draft class. I am going to agree with Rocket, Chicago and others that the depth should trump. Oh and I should add Belichick to that group as I bet he trades down and finds the gems and even 2014 starters in those mid and even lower rounds. This draft is made for him. Lets borrow a page.

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