Grading the 49ers draft — not a total failure, but close

To read my take on the 49ers draft, click here.

  1. I’ll give Baalke credit for sticking to his draft philosophy even though it will probably cost him his career as a GM. Obviously, he believes in his philosophy even though it’s been proven to be a complete and total failure.

    1. I think that the differences of opinion results from a different perspective of evaluating a draft. One camp seems to think that you grade each individual pick and then kind of come with an average. (I think Baalke is in this camp) The other camp believes that the individual grades are not as important as the total overall grade which attempts to measure the impact on the TEAM AS A WHOLE. Like some have argued, how many Amstead clones do we need on the team? It’s a fair question. So, I would argue that Buckner is an A pick, but when viewed in a team context it’s like, what’s going on here? The same for all others. Garnett is an A- pick some say. But to a team that can’t pass block, how does he help? (Our running game did not suffer from lack of blocking, it suffered from lack of depth at running back. As became painfully clear when we ended up taking guys out of the stands to try to run the ball and at times they did fairly well). I’m in the camp that says Baalke could have taken all A picks and still get the D- Grant assigned him, and I think that it is what underlies Grant’s position onthe matter. Baalke has no feel for the game or people relations. It’s like he read about draft techniques in a Drafting for Dummies book. He goes, we recover. Until then, we argue with each other. Are we having fun yet?

      1. WineCountry,
        That’s an outstanding post. There has to be a balance between team needs and ‘best player available’ approach. For example, Garnett may be a solid guard, but they just signed guard Zane Beadles as a free agent. The cumulative effect of these type of moves leads to an inferior roster.

    2. Yes, Baalke is a failure but it will not cost him his job.

      His boss agrees with him and is his best friend.

      His job is safe!

    3. Say what you want……….bottom line is T.Baalke is better than 90% of the current GM in the league

      IN BAALKE and SAP I TRUST

      1. Oneniner:

        “Better than 90% of the current GMs in the league.” Exaggerating a bit, eh? Schneider is far superior than Baalke, and he does a lot more with the handful of picks he has on hand each year.

  2. Hey Grant,

    You should become a GM of an NFL franchise, since of course you know more about nfl talent than Baalke. It cracks me up how the media (including NFL network and ESPN) are dooming the niners after this draft. Players have to be coached first and then show on the field what they are made of

    Like you can measure heart and desire by just looking at the players measurables? No, you cannot. I am one who is waiting for info from the offseason workouts and OTA’s

    Grant, you should send your resume asap to Jed, so he can hire you right away – then we start bashing you for all your NFL talent accument.

  3. I finally had an opportunity to spend some time evaluating the 2016 draft. I was going to start by posting my favorite, and least favorite picks of the 49ers draft class. However, low and behold, Grant Cohn posts one of the worst draft grades I’ve seen post draft so far, and, since my grade(s) are on the opposite end of the spectrum, I figured it would be best to counterbalance Grants opinion, and start here.

    To be honest, my overall grade for this draft class has teetered between an A- & B+. Sunday, I was at a solid B+, and by Monday, and was up to an A-. I’ve gone back and forth since then, and I think I’m settling on an A-, which is right in line with one of my favorite authors, sports writers, and analysts, – FOX SPORTS Senior National Writer, and co-author of the book – “Strength of a Champion”, PETER SCHRAGER.

    Before I get into mine, here is what Peter wrote:

    “San Francisco needed to get tough and big up front on both sides of the ball and address their defensive backfield. They did that with DeForest Buckner, my top-rated defensive player; Joshua Garnett, arguably the best run-blocking guard in this class; and they got Ronald Blair, a big bull out of Appalachian State – in the fifth round.”

    “They also hit that cornerback need with three guys loaded with potential in Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson and Prince Charles Iworah. I would have liked to have seen them take Connor Cook in the third round, but they waited and got Jeff Driskel in the sixth. A few years back, the young man was the highest-rated high school quarterback in the country. Maybe Chip Kelly can help him fulfill that potential.”

    Schrager gave the 49ers an “A-“ for their 11-man draft class.

  4. From the get-go, opinions are like you-know-what. Grading any team’s draft at this point is totally ridiculous. Why? You nor anyone else has seen these players on the field. None of us have seen them getting coached. I think it was a good overall draft. Why? For starters, Baalke built up both trenches…and that can never be a bad thing. Obviously, I’m most excited about Buckner and Garnett, but don’t sell either Theus or Cooper short. The former was a 4-yr starter at GA…any player who has that on his resume has to be a pretty good player. I actually like Cooper a little more, because like Garnett, he brings some nasty. Defensively, Ron Blair is a heckuva player…the kind of defender we’ve seen Seattle draft for years. Both Mayock and Jerimiah gushed about him. The other thing Baalke did was draft 3 CB’s…all of them have speed and cover skills. Robinson was challenged at LSU to stay in school, but seems to have straightened himself out. Per both Mayock and Jerimiah, Redmon could’ve been a late 1st or early 2nd rd pick had he not injured his ACL. Since he had that injury mid-college season, he’ll be ready for training camp. Now, for the skill players…Burbridge was the leading WR in the Big 10…he fights for the ball, has good size. Driskel is a good developmental QB…great size, quickness and athleticism. Kelvin Taylor is a workhorse RB…over 1300 yds, tons of touches and zero fumbles. To be fair, we won’t know for a while how good this draft class is. But, IMHO it’ll be better than many think. The UDFA class also has talent…Cajuste, Faniaka, the Liberty K…these guys can all play. Sorry, but I don’t buy the notion this is a bad draft…way too soon to tell anything yet.

    1. I agree with you F. But we have to have something to write and talk about!

      The main reason I give this draft such a high grade, is that could easily see 9 or 10 of these guys, not only sticking, but actually becoming above average starters in this league for years to come! When the final round came and went, it became clear to me that Baalke and Kelly had a few goals in mind, and they stuck to that strategy and game plan throughout the entire draft.

      1) They wanted to get stronger in the trenches right off the go. Well, they drafted top rated DL, DeFOREST BUCKNER, and best run-blocking interior OL in this draft class, Stanford’s JOSHUA GARNETT, right out of the gate. A little later they went back to the trenches with 3 consecutive picks (142,145,174) grabbing one of the biggest defensive steals of the entire 2016 class in DL BLAIR (whom Baalke says they envision playing all along the DL), followed by 2 offensive lineman in THEUS & COOPER. I get the feeling at least 4 of these players will contribute right away, meaning they just greatly improved their ability to wage “trench warfare”, and obvious goal of Trent and Chip’s! GRADE: A-

      2) They wanted to stack the CB position with high-ceiling CB prospects who excel in man coverage, and boy did they do just that! Baalke selected 3 CB’s all loaded with potential, in first-round talent WILL REDMOND, the long, talented, press corner RASHARD ROBINSON, and speedster, PRINCE CHARLES IWORAH. Adding these players to a position group that already had a couple promising players, and at least one proven player, and IMO moving forward, the CB position will be a deep, talented group for 49ers for years to come. GRADE: A-

      3) Skill positions? I think a lot of people felt like the 49ers ought to draft a QB, a WR, and a RB at some point in this draft. JEFF DRISKEL, who was the highest rated high school QB in the country, is a freakishly athletic quarterback who seems to fit Chip Kelly’s offense really well. I don’t think there is any question he’ll beat out Thompson and Lewis for the #3 spot, so that’s a good pick. AARON BURBRIDGE is an underrated WR, who is a fairly well polished route runner with excellent hands, deceptive speed, who can lineup at all 3 spots. I like that pick a lot! And finally, prodigal son, RB KELVIN TAYLOR, son of the Pride of the Jags, and member of the exclusive 10,000 Yard Club, Fred Taylor, is a highly polished RB with really quick feet, great vision, and outstanding fundamentals. He’s ready to compete for the #2 RB spot, right away, making him another really good pick, IMO. GRADE: B+

      1. The main reason I give this draft such a high grade, is that could easily see 9 or 10 of these guys, not only sticking, but actually becoming above average starters in this league for years to come!

        You can’t be serious?

          1. 49reasons,
            7-8 draft picks sticking would be considered an great haul imo. If 3-4 draft picks get some extensive to moderate playing time this year I would upgrade this draft to an excellent haul.

            It’s ridiculously early to start grading draft picks or a draft class before these players have even had a chance to hit the practice field yet.

            We just don’t know what we have in these players at the moment. If Bledsoe wouldn’t have got hurt in NE how would the Patriots know what they had in Tom Brady. Same goes for Kirk Cousins in Washington.
            When all is said and done, we might be singing the praises of our 2nd and 3rd day picks who could rise up to become our future stars.

            Let’s review this draft class in a couple of years when we get a much better player evaluation and perspective.
            Right now it’s a big: TBD

        1. Why not? Blair, Redmond, DeFo and Garnett could all be week one starters.
          I get it,Baalke hasn’t been great. But no sports team in the history of sports had the offseason of retirements, turmoil and departures like the 49ers did 2 years ago.
          Let’s give him that at least. He lost a lot of starters, possible hall of famers as well that year!

      2. Good post but your statement”Fred Taylor, is a highly polished RB with really quick feet, etc>>” He is old and fat like me now, not quick but hopefully is son Kelvin is quick and so forth!!

          1. My bad! I did misread! I proof read all the time so I should of read it twice! I still like your thoughts! Hope Taylor is productive!

    2. F,
      You make some good points. One drafted player I forgot to mention in an earlier entry was Burbridge. I’ve always liked Burbridge’ mental makeup. As you say, he fights for the ball.

      If the ball is in the air he will contort his body and make the adjustment needed to give himself every opportunity to make the catch. Simply put; the man is fearless!
      I see him not only making the roster this year, but getting some valuable snaps as well.

      Boldin and Torrey will be the established starters, but unless Smelter makes a big splash in TC, it could come down to Patton and Ellington having to fight off Burbridge to keep their jobs.

  5. Does anyone know how many other GMs have sole authority to determine which players dress for games? I know Seb frequently refers to the time when Baalke told Hayne on the team bus that he would not be suiting up. But there is a larger issue IMO. The result of Baalke’s decision was to tell the HC in no uncertain terms that he was to use another player to fill whatever role the HC had envisioned for Hayne in that game. How does a HC deal with that when his job is to have players get enough reps in order to fulfill their duties on the field. IOW, how does a HC game plan when he literally does not know who his game day players are. If Baalke told Tomsula at the beginning of the week then there is no reason to be concerned. But if he waited until the last minute to tell Tomsula (which seems likely because Tomsula would have told Hayne himself earlier) that is unforgivable. Is it possible that the problems with Harbaugh were not between Jed and him but between Baalke and Harbaugh, and Jed merely let Baalke win the power play? I’m sure we’ll never know. I can understand why the GM would be given the final say as to who is under contract, but I think a system that let’s him pick who suits up for each game is one that is bound to fail.

    1. First off Whine, quite putting much stock on Sebnynah’s posts. He has a hard time separating fact from fiction.

      1. WC, I am glad you brought up the perspectives that I surmise, because they are relevant to this case.
        Baalke did meddle. For instance, He was mad at Boone for holding out. When AD retired, I was begging for them to move Boone to RT because Football 101 states that the 2 best O linemen should be the tackles, because they control the edge. Yet, Baalke punished Boone by refusing to let him play RT. they stuck him at LG, and the right side doomed the season, and only succeeded to get Kaep injured.
        The whole saga of Hayne was all Baalke because he cut him on the team bus.
        Then his stubborn insistence to play cut couch potato RBs instead of Hayne was frustrating. I was infuriated when Baalke kept Hayne on the PS, and used Ellington to call for fair catches while behind. It was almost as if they wanted to lose to get a better draft position.
        I remember media people asking Tomsula about Baalke coaching up the DBs. Tomsula looked slightly peeved.
        Baalke had better get his behind off the field, because last year was a disaster. He should stop meddling, and allow his coaches to coach. He especially should allow his coaches to coach the players they want to play. Baalke’s job should be to assemble a team, and hand those players over to the coaches so they can do their jobs. Looking over their shoulder, micromanaging the roster and determining the depth chart Should be the last thing Baalke does.
        I am glad that Chip got the majority say in the first 2 picks. I can unequivocally say that Baalke picked Redmond because he loves ACL players. Robinson was a reach, a risk, and a blunder. If they want to win with class, this is the last player they should have picked. Chip may have gotten a say in selecting Driskel, but other than that one, the rest of the later picks were Baalke’s.

    2. That’s astonishing. I knew Baalke has authority on who makes the 53. I didn’t know he determined the game day 46 too.

    3. I don’t believe that Baalke did that with Harbaugh and I don’t believe he’ll do that with Chip. Tomsula couldn’t even pick his own coaching staff. So if Baalke felt that he needed to help Tomsula with the 46, then I have no issues with it. It’s clear that Tomsula was in over his head…

      1. I agree with this statement. If you look at how Baalke handled the coach introduction pressers for both Tomsula and Kelly, you see a big difference. With Tomsula he hovered over him like a mother hen. With Kelly, you sensed that Baalke considers him an equal and he deferred to Kelly’s responses without feeling the need to add or correct Kelly.

        1. So when they said Tomsula was their man it was just more Jed/Baalke BS? Sounds like you now agree with many posters that nobody would work for those two loonies so the only choice was Tomsula. And now were talking up another guy that nobody else wanted after he was fired. I’m having trouble with the logic here.

    4. can anybody beside Seb verify the cut on the bus story? i have never seen this story proven to be true

        1. The link worked when I posted it but now it’s behind a pay wall. Seb is right if you Google it there are several reports of the event.

      1. I hope you can at least acknowledge that it did occur once you are now informed of the true facts of the case. It is all archived, but I just rely on my memory. If someone can point out that it never happened, I will be happy to stand corrected.
        Maybe you could use the internet and Google – Hayne cut on Bus. I bet you will get a hit.

        1. You are correct. The link I posted was a Google “cached” link that goes to a snapshot of the article that is stored on Google’s computers. When you click the one I posted, it goes to the current page which is the newspaper’s pay wall. This is the first sentence: “Jarryd Hayne was on the team bus when they decided to throw him under it.” He was cut to make room for Kendall Gaskins and Gaskins did not play in the game. His first action was a week later when he got 2 touches. For the season, he played in 4 games and got 16 touches for 38 yards.

          1. Thank you, WC. I forgot about Gaskins.
            I just remember Draughn and Harris, both cut couch potatoes, and Davis, who before the last game had 24 yards in 25 carries.

            1. I also remember a coach who confidently declared that Draughn had-‘complete mastery of the playbook’ after 5 days. He then whiffed on a block to allow a sack.

    1. I’m …intrigued .. but, not overly excited by
      this years draft class ..

      While I think the first three picks were solid .. and
      some of the later picks were of the “meh” variety ..
      giving a draft “grade” .. (for any team) .. is an exercise
      in futility ..

      (unless you wait a couple years) … because ..
      one can only hand out these “grades” .. based on
      what is ..perceived .. as various prospects
      potential …

      And .. (for me at least) .. I see “potential” .. from
      some of the guys we got as UDFAs …
      (Balducci.. Lenny Jones .. et al) ..

      If either of these guys “stick” … I’ll be a happy camper !

      Grant .. whenever the Niners allow the press in
      to view the camps .. I’d appreciate your view on
      how these “underdogs” are doing ..

      thanks

  6. Aside from the fact that it is too early to judge anyone’s draft, the notion that this was a bad draft is idiotic at best. Any team going through a rebuild is best suited to address the trenches first. Build the team inside out. Since FA, Baalke has added 2 guards and 3 tackles. Adding the best lineman on both offense and defense is a great start. It’s apparent that the defensive coaching staff is planning on using Tartt more as a linebacker in their nickle and dime defenses. They’ll move Ward back to FS, which would require the team to have someone else who can play the nickle. Last season, Brock had to move inside when Ward couldn’t. Adding more talent in the defensive secondary is NOT a bad thing and saying so is silly. Robinson is the type of corner that this team is short on. He’s 6’2 woth long arms and elite speed for his size. Yes he’ll need to gain weight and strength so he won’t contribute much immediately, but next season he’ll fight for a starting position and has the skillset to be the teams number one corner with proper coaching and strength and conditioning. Blair will be a rotational player immediately and will force out a TJE or Dorsey. He may even be able to add about 20lbs and be our NT. This guy is a monster and will make it onto the field this year. Every player doesn’t have to be a starter immediately for the draft to be a success. I see 5 of the 11 picks playing as rookies and making an impact. We added a backup swing tackle for this year and the other will probably be depth at the guard spots. I have the team going 7-9 this year with the chance of doing better. They’ll lose some close games due to mistakes being made by a young team, but 2017 is when they’ll truly compete for a playoff spot whi isn’t a bad thing…To completely rebuild the team and make the playoffs within 3 years is a great timeline…

    1. You can check my math on this but I think Baalke has run the past 5 drafts. In those drafts the 49ers have had 50 picks. Average of 10 per year which is a huge number. Of those 50 picks the 49ers have selected 13 “trench players”. That’s 30% of their draft capital spent on players who play on the lines. By far that is the most picks for any position group. The next closest is DB’s where Baalke has picked 11 DB’s (22% of his draft picks). This doesn’t even take into account the number of trench players or DB’s Baalke has brought in as a FA over the past 5 years. So the natural question is:

      Why do the 49ers need to rebuild the trenches first if Baalke was even slightly successful in the draft? Why have the 49ers picked 26 players on the line and at the DB position in the last 5 drafts and those are both major areas of weakness that needed to be addressed?

      1. Hit it right on the head Houston. He continues to use picks in the same areas because he keeps missing on them. His record over the past 5 years is the worst in the league.

        1. Too bad last year, all his FA signings pulled a disappearing act. This year, they avoided the Niners like the plague. Baalke’s big claim to fame is re-signing Devey.

        2. Wow, Whine, that’s just exactly what they did when Fangio was winning all those games from 2011-2014!!!

      2. Absolute truth. When 9ers were great, many players were drafted. Quite a few of those should be making impact now. They are not.
        We do have a large margin with the salary cap though, don’t we? Thats money his boss does not have to spend on the team. Denver has virtually no salary cap margin……………

      3. Its not that far out line for trench players when you consider 8 of the 22 (36%) starters would be considered trench players. In addition teams will always have a fairly high turnover ratio here just based upon the nature of the position along with FA.

        1. ok, so the software still has a few bugs…meant to reply to Houston above. one word was all i wanted to waste on the travesty we refer to as the 49er draft. Baalke is clearly comfortable only with positions where size, wingspan, and hand size are the sole determinants (conveniently likely missing out on a Bryant Young were he in this draft). this team doesn’t need a resort lineman, with the #7 pick you expect a guy who can come in and create some havoc by about game#2. as for Jed aka Fredo of the Debartolo family, all i can say is that i’ve seen a lot of rich kids who couldn’t get hired by a real firm, and Fredo going back home to mess up the family business fits the bill. shoulda stayed in Vegas and kept your mouth shut, Fredo

    2. Antoine: “the notion that this was a bad draft is idiotic at best.”—the opposite is also true: the notion that this was a great/good draft is idiotic at best.

      Cognitive dissonance is rampant in this site after every draft.

  7. I give him a B and ultimately think he saved his job by drafting two potential pro bowl players and another potential starter. Rounds 3 and 4 are where you hope the player develops into a starter in a year or so. Both Redmond and Robinson have NFL caliber potential, and that’s all you can really ask for at that point. The run on LB’s started in the 4th round, I believe. Baalke got great value/potential with Redmond/Robinson/Blair and then again with Driskel in the 6th. I also think you are ignoring the defensive scheme changing and Tartt playing the Hybrid Wolf. As far as the trade up for Garnett, it was genius. 1st+2nd+4th+6th=Buckner/Garnett/7th Round pick. So they got the best defensive lineman and the best guard, while paying below blue book value by 28 points. Plus, as it has been reported, the Seahawks are trying Ifedi at guard. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not….

    1. Razor ..

      so.. does this mean you think the rumor about
      the SeaChickens wanting Josh Garnett
      to be true ?

      1. What’s not to want? The Seahawks needed a guard just as bad as the 49ers. I shudder to think what Cable could have done with Garnett. He’ll have his hands full with Ifedi at guard….

        1. Like I was telling CFC, I think Ifedi is a poor fit for guard due to movement limitations pulling and leading. I think he’s a RT for a non ZBS team and Seattle found themselves trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with this selection….

          1. Seattle has not taken the traditional road when it comes to drafting and developing OL. They have taken DL and made them into OL and seem to focus more on athletic ability than anything else.

            I know you guys love the idea of it, but the Niners didn’t steal Garnett away from Seattle. It makes no sense to take that view point. They traded down because they had a number of players that they rated in the same category. That is why every team trades down. They could have taken Whitehair if they truly wanted a plug and play OG, but they didn’t. They obviously see Ifedi as a guy they can develop into a better long term option.

            1. I was never a fan of Whitehair. I thought he was weak and a finesse offensive lineman. Garnett has the nasty disposition you like to see, and I don’t think either Whitehair or Ifedi has it. The fact that they chose Ifedi over Whitehair speaks volumes, considering they needed a guard and not a RT best suited for a non ZBS team. I think they made a mistake trading down, and I think that will become obvious as these players’ careers unfold….

              1. The fact they chose Ifedi means they like the potential he brings. The fact they traded down means they didn’t have Garnett rated any higher than a number of other players on their board. Whether the made a mistake or not is to be determined.

            2. I beg to differ. I think Seattle ignored Garnett just because they did not want to tip their hand. Schneider just penciled in Ifedi at RG, so Seattle was going to pick a guard, which was a huge need for them.
              If you read the scouting report on Ifedi, he has potential, but also many flaws. Watching the game tape on him, it sure looked like he would do well, then get beaten. It also looked like he would take off plays, and was grabby.
              It makes perfect sense that Seattle was greedy, wanted an extra third round pick for moving back 5 spots, and they were guaranteed to get either Garnett, Ifedi, Whitehair or Spriggs.
              Do not know why Denver moved up. Maybe they thought that the Cowboys or Browns would move back into the first to grab Lynch ahead of them.
              Alll in all, I think the Niners staged a coup to poach a player ahead of a rival, without paying too much for him.

              1. Believe whatever you want to believe but the idea that the Niners poached somebody is ridiculous. Seattle was willing to trade back as far as the second round. They didn’t target anybody at that point, in fact it means they had many players on the board with the same rating and felt good about any of them enough to trade back.

          2. I don’t think there is any question that the Seahawks would have prefered to draft Garnett, as opposed to a raw prospect who is being asked to kick down an play a position that is foreign to him.

            This pretty well confirms the theory that Seattle preffered, and was targetting Garnett!

            1. You not thinking doesn’t confirm anything other than you want to believe a theory that doesn’t make any sense.

              1. It doesn’t match your narrative so naturally it doesn’t make sense to you. It’s a definite possibility and that makes sense….

              2. It’s not my narrative Razor. It’s looking at the situation objectively.

                Why in the world would Seattle trade down if they truly wanted a specific player? Teams don’t risk losing a targeted player to add an extra pick near the end of the 3rd round. If you truly covet a player in the first round you take him.

                Trading down clearly shows that Seattle wasn’t focused on one player. It shows that they had a pool of players rated in the same area on their board and felt they could get one of them at the end of the first or even into the second.

                We have no idea what they thought of Garnett, but we know they had Ifedi rated where they took him.

              3. Because Tom Cable is a very talented offensive line coach. He’s able to get more from less. Garnett was surging up draft boards going into day one. I’m sure Ifedi has some trophies on his dresser, but he does not have an Outland Trophy(The Best). If the 49ers had not moved ahead of Seattle, they would have taken Garnett because he was the best. They decided to be settlers instead. Cable+Garnett=Trouble for a young defensive line whom Grant predicts will have difficulty stopping the run. Cable+Ifedi=More mediocrity and overachievement….

              4. This response doesn’t explain how you think the Niners took Garnett from the Seahawks though. You are saying you feel Garnett was the best and Seattle would have taken him if he was there but that isn’t the question. The question is why would Seattle trade down if they truly wanted Garnett? Also, how do you know Garnett was surging up draft boards? Did you talk to GM’s around the league?

              5. For a ZBS team, the Seahawks missed out on the best pulling guard in the entire draft and settled for Ifedi. That’s either a complete breakdown in scouting or a miscalculation or too much dependence on Tom Cable’s services….

              6. Razor,

                You can question their scouting all you like, but the fact is they don’t share your view or they wouldn’t have traded down. Obviously they had Ifedi and likely a few other players, rated in the same area and were comfortable with a number of options or they wouldn’t have traded down. The fact is, there is zero evidence that they were focusing on Garnett at all, and certainly were not usurped by the Niners for his services. If they had truly wanted him, they could have had him.

              7. Grant, you have to be mobile for a ZBS and Garnett is very adept at blocking on the move….

              8. Garnett is a better fit for inside zone than outside zone. The Seahawks run both, but they run a lot of outside zone.

              9. Garnett is more than capable of getting to the edge and executing the OZR, a staple in Chip’s offense. Remember the mauling lead block on Huskies safety Jo Jo McIntosh on that screen pass to fullback Daniel Marx?

              10. Rocket, you do not take into consideration that Seattle moved back, and gambled that Garnett would still be available, but did not anticipate the Niners would jump ahead of them because Baalke does not do that very often.
                Seahawks were greedy for another third round pick, but it backfired on them. Niners scored a coup and poached a local kid (Puyallup) that was on their radar because Seattle really needed to upgrade their O line.

    2. Razor,
      I said going into the draft that Baalke needed to hit a grand slam i.e. four possible starters in order to save his job.
      Well, we can almost guarantee that he will have two possible starters in Buckner and Garnett and see players like Ronald Blair and Redmond, Prince, Robinson, Taylor and even Burbridge getting snaps this year.

      If the day two and three draftees get on the field this year Baalke will come out of draft smelling like a rose.

  8. I mainly regret passing on Billings. The day three position redundancy is a puzzle. I’m otherwise happy with the draft.

    Buckner – Good
    Garnett – Good
    Driskel – Good. Arm strength is a concern
    Blair – Good. I hope the way he keeps his pads low while attacking the LOS is an inspiration to the BuckSteads.
    Taylor – Good. The more “tape” (youtubes) I watch, the more I fall in love with his foot quickness and seamless change of direction behind the LOS.

    1. People mention how Goff’s eyes and feet are in sync. Same goes for Taylor. If a run’s stuffed, he instantly (and I mean “instantly”) makes a cut in the proper direction. Its clear he watched film with his dad.

  9. Grant

    I get that you think DB is a position of strength on the 49ers and I agree with you, actually, but to say the 49ers should have drafted an ILB or EDGE in Rd3 is naive. This class was bad for both positions, and particularly at EDGE, the 49ers have a surplus of talent with question marks based either on bad coaching, stupid Baalke decisions (projecting Carradine as Justin Smith instead of EDGE), or both. There was nobody better than Blair available in Rd3 to fill the potential EDGE role, and they got him in the 5th anyway.

    What I don’t get about your analysis, what is disturbingly one-sided about it and reeks (as usual, when you’re assessing Baalke) of bias and derision, is that you don’t point out that at least one really good evaluator (Daniel Jeremiah specifically) stated that Redmond was a Rd1 talent. Likewise, you fail to point out that Robinson is being compared to DRC, and would project as a shutdown outside corner. You put the two dudes on blast without praising them at all. That’s not good.

    Also, you describe the Rd5-7 players as “backups.” Of course they’re projecting as backups! That’s what you get in those rounds. But, in fact, Blair is being described as a huge get, maybe a steal, as is true of Burbridge; and Taylor is being referred to by some as having the quickest feet, best vision, and top ball-security in this draft class. Also completely ignored by you is that Jeff Driskel came out of high school as the top-rated QB in the country, has size, smarts, and accuracy, and will give Kelly someone really good to work with.

    You make it sound like adding Theus and Cooper, both of whom can fill swing roles all across the OL aren’t great moves, and you point to a position, RT, that is already filled by Trent Brown, who, mark my words, is a Pro Bowl candidate in 2016-2017.

    Finally, you totally ignore scheme. I sent you a link to a very worthwhile article on O’Neil and how his D shifts away from superstar ILBs to superstar DBs, and you clearly ignored the content, which I’m sure you read.

    In short, what you’ve just provided us with is below you, and I’m insulted that you would put something like this out for public consumption. It’s good for the Trump crowd of know-nothings, but really a terrible part of the canon of Grant Cohn. Shame on you.

    1. JC, Grant’s approach sells papers, I guess. I think it was a good draft.

      Buckner — potential starter in high priority position of need/likely to contribute this year
      Garnett — ditto
      Redmond — potential starter who would free up Ward to be more productive and improve the secondary/likely to contribute this year
      Robinson — apparently unstable kid with first round talent in high priority position of need — unlikely to contribute this year, maybe never
      Blair — potential rotational player in high priority position of need/likely to contribute this year
      Theus — potential swing tackle/unlikely to contribute this year, maybe even bound for PS
      Cooper — PS player
      Driskel — potential back-up QB/likely to contribute this year as QB3
      Taylor — PS player due to Hayne, Davis, Draughn, and Harris being ahead of him
      Burbridge — potential rotational player at slot WR, will possibly bump Patton off roster/possibly headed to PS
      Iworah — PS player; I can’t see a guy this short ever contributing unless he switches to RB or WR

    2. Plus 1 JC!

      Here are all 11 of Grants live grades, which average out to a high B+ (total):

      BUCKNER – Grade B
      GARNETT – Grade: A
      REDMOND – Grade: B
      ROBINSON – Grade: B
      BLAIR – Grade: B
      THEUS – Grade: B
      COOPER – Grade: C-
      DRISKEL – Grade: A
      TAYLOR – Grade: B+.
      BURBRIDGE – Grade: A-

      2- A’s
      1- A-
      1- B+
      6- B’s
      1- C-

      Total: a high B+ average

      Even though Grant give’s the 49ers high marks, almost without exception, throughout the ENTIRE draft, he turns around and does this:

      Final draft grade: D-minus

      And Grant wants us to take him seriously? SMH

      Really Grant? Really?

      1. OK I stand corrected. I don’t see a Grade for the 49ers last pick, the speedster CB Prince Charles Iworah.

        So here is the revised list of Grant’s live grades:

        2- A’s
        1- A-
        1- B+
        5- B’s
        1- C-

        Yes, I know you revised your initial grade for Robinson, after the fact. Here is your original assessment:

        Robinson (6’1″, 171) ran a 4.39 at his Pro Day, and has 32 1/4-inch arms. He has ideal traits for an outside press-man cover corner. But in college he played only 20 games, and he played zero in 2015. He’s a project:

        GRADE: B. An extremely talented cornerback who needs to add weight and get stronger. The Niners still need an inside linebacker, but should be able to get a good one in Round 5.

        UPDATE: After digging deeper into Robinson’s file, I see he was arrested in 2015 for breaking into an apartment, he failed multiple drug tests at LSU and struggled to remain academically ineligible before LSU suspended him indefinitely in 2014. He hasn’t played football since then.

        Weren’t there any injured corners the Niners could have taken instead?

        REVISED GRADE: D.

      2. 49er, I was wondering when someone was going to point out Grant’s blatant hypocrisy in completely reversing his opinions from his draft day grades to this angry post-draft rant! Thanks for stepping up.To anyone that’s followed along with Grant’s “reporting” it should be obvious that he completely changed his tune over the course of just 4 days. I guess he sat down with daddy and got lectured about the evils of ever trying to write anything positive about the team he’s supposedly “inside” of, and then decided to do a complete 180 on his draft grades. What a joke.

    3. Well, Johnny, heres some more hate-mongering, Bernie “how you going to pay for it” speechifying……….Bulky’s had 5 years to replenish this team. Hes failed. In the real world, he’d be fired for lack of production. Or become a politician.
      He gets no benefit of the doubt.
      Or, to put it another way–where are the all-pros from those 5 years?

      1. Where’s the development been? Why didn’t the young guys get to play on the SB and NFCCG teams. Why did Hyde get 83 carries his rookie year? Why is their astonishingly talented, playoff winning QB now pegged as a malcontent with no hope of resurrecting his career? Etc … the whole team is dysfunctional, and it’s not all Baalke. Jed can’t keep himself from meddling, especially in the media; Harbaugh absolutely refuses to play nice and/or get along with anyone (ask Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman, Alex Boone, USD, Stanford, his former kindergarten pals, his brother, himself, etc …), and Tomsula was the most incompetent, worst coach in the history of the NFL, followed closely by Mike Singletary.

        The only highlights in this horror show were Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, two seasons of Aldon Smith, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore for a year … and of course, the reason they won all those games, Vic Fangio.

        1. Mr. Johnny—
          The fact that Baalke is horrible and the coaching staffs have been either horrible or remiss—these are two things that are mutually true. and ultimately, its a reflection of the York family. First Sr., then Jr.
          But if Baalke had drafted just one “Lott”…..or “Rice”………or “Montana”–or any of the other many notables….just one…..you could not keep them off the field.
          He never has. Not in 5 years.

  10. Everybody grades the draft after it’s over. It’s what we do, and yes you can’t accurately decide if it was successful or not until a few years down the line, but you can absolutely look at the players taken and give an opinion.

    I gave the draft a C, but share most of Grants concerns in the article. Adding 3 CB’s two years after adding 3 CB’s is an admission you screwed up the first time. You have decided they either aren’t what you thought or you are desperate and can’t wait for them to develop. Whatever the case, this team is loaded with young CB’s and who knows if there is a starter among them at this point. Too add to that, he added two more CB’s at the expense of other need positions. This team has needed an ILB since before Willis even retired. Not one pick used on the position. Anybody remember watching this defense get gauged by TE’s and RB’s who beat the inside coverage regularly? Anybody remember how badly this team was at the second level against the run? Anybody remember how bad this team was at rushing the passer? Yes Buckner will help in the middle and Blair has potential as a DE in the sub packages, but to not draft even one true OLB rushing prospect?

    Baalke threw multiple picks at the same positions he’s thrown multiple picks at previously. He continues to ignore the offensive skill positions until late in the draft or not at all. This guy should have been fired along with Tomsula, but has pictures of Jed with a goat apparently. He has had the worst draft record in the league over the past 5 years and just added more of what he already had in this draft. We aren’t going anywhere until Jed gets his head out of his butt and realizes he needs to start over at the top.

      1. A bad run defense just got worse by adding 2 excellent DL’s. Another brilliant assessment Grant, right up there with your B+ grades during the draft that suddenly turned into a D- after the fact.

        2 words:

        NICE TRY

        1. Buckner won’t play in the base defense, and teams will run at him in the sub-packages. He can’t hold up against double-teams.

          1. Grant

            So your expectation is that, in a passing league, teams will just decide to run through the 49ers for 16 games, and the team simply doesn’t have the personnel to combat that?

              1. Ahhh, yes, that is true. But they will be back at some point. Are you suggesting that NT was actually their biggest need?

              2. No, I’m suggesting they neglected to improve a run defense than already was poor.

      2. Oh, come on Grant! Where do you come up with this stuff?

        Here is what Pro Football Focus has to say about Buckner’s run stopping ability. According to PFF, Buckner has their 8TH HIGHEST GRADE in this class, for interior linemen against the run:

        – Can get low and move blockers in the run game
        – Strong when taking blockers on head up and moving them backwards to clog running lanes
        – Has good vision as a run defender, finds the ball
        – Big tackle radius allows Buckner to make plays up and down the line of scrimmage
        – Makes plays on the backside of run plays. Quick enough to beat backside cutoffs against zone schemes, can penetrate and blow up plays when given favorable shade and here is some

        Admittedly, Blair will need to gain a few pounds, if he’s going to get as much playing time as Baalke has suggested. However, he has ELITE strength, as he recorded the 2nd most reps on the bench press for all DL, outperforming notable strongmen like Billings, Rankins, Buttler, & Mkemdiche. He also plays with incredible pad level!

        Here are some bullet points from his scouting reports:

        PFS: calls Blair an ELITE RUN STOPPER, versatile enough to play inside or out

        NFL.COM: says Blair is able to set a strong edge, who attacks and stresses the seam of double team blocks with power in his legs and accelerates down the line to squeeze cutback lanes against the run.

        CBS Sports: calls him a physical, aggressive tackler who strikes with authority – uses his arms to wrap, with strong wrists to finish once he makes contact with the runner.

        BLEACHER REPORT: says Blair DOMINATES on rushing downs. He uses his leverage well to stack up blockers before shedding them to attack the ball carrier. His instincts and awareness keep him in the game on runs inside the tackle box, and he works down to the ball with a high success rate.

        1. I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize Blair had 34″ arms, or I might have mocked him to SF.

          He adds depth all over the DL, and is one of the picks that really swayed my opinion of this draft class. He’s one of those sleeper picks we see every year, thanks to the small school, who flies under the radar, only to explode onto the NFL scene when he gets his opportunity!

          Ronald Blair has the intangibles to go along with his physical talent. And thanks to his versatility, I think Baalke hit a home run with this selection!

          1. He’s too small to play in the base defense next season, and not enough of a pass rush threat to play on third down.

            1. grant, your so “wishy washy”! I remember you on your soap box every year saying we need to draft a cb round one……like 3 straight years ( we never did)
              still with many questions I the secondary, you seem to think were set! that couldn’t be farther from the truth! And seattle proved the value of a good secondary in todays league.

              You also say that everyone other than DB &JG project as back ups in 2016…..well so does every other player with the exception of about 20-30 out of 200+ players drafted!!!!!!!!
              And you see DB as having issues to work on before he becomes a fulltime starter…….THE ONLY PLAYER WHO WAS NOT CRITICISED for needing to work on something in the seconds after they were drafted…….Ezequal Elliot!!!!!! they just criticized the position he plays, saying they would never draft a rb I round one!!!!!!

              way to waste your time grant ( and ours)

              1. ps. you go on and on about ILB……but we have Whilhoite!!!! He’s n ot getting beat out by anyone drafted in the 3rd round or lower……PERIOD!! that guy is a beast! yes he lacks speed to chase down rb’s and height to cover te’s ……..we will need to find someone special to do those things…..like first round, top 10 maybe……kinda like that Patrick willis guy!!

            2. We’ll see. Trent likes his nose tackles on the small side, as long as they can bull rush, and are stout at the point of attack. And Baalke has already said he envisions Blair playing anywhere along the line in their nickle packages.

              In terms of physical build, he is very, very similar to the 2007 Outland Trophy and Lombardi trophy winner, GLEN “The Swamp Thing” DORSEY.

              Sure, Blair played at around 275 lbs last season. And he’s 6’2″, which is short for edge rusher. However, his official weight at the combine was 284 lbs (Dorsey was 294 lbs), and coaches/scouts believe his frame can support 295-300 lbs without much effort. As a matter of fact, if you line him up next to GLEN DORSEY, they have the same height, the same build around the shoulders, the same arm length, and Blair has slightly bigger hands (massive 10.25″). However, Glen Dorsey has more weight around the midsection.

              Like Dorsey, Blair is as strong as an old oak tree! Blair destroyed the bench press event with 32 reps at 225 pounds, which was second-best among defensive linemen and fourth-best among all players. And he plays with fantastic pad level as well.

              1. No Grant, he’s a rotational player who can play over the center. It gives them another guy who can play there, based on his Hulk like strength and very low pad level. IMO, even though Dial graded out fairly well at NT, he’s too tall for the position. As you know, 2 of the most important qualities a NT can have in order to “grow roots” and clog up the center is strength and leverage. Blair has Hulk like strength, and one thing that jumps out on tape is his outstanding pad level, and understanding of leverage. Most teams prefer their 3-4 NT’s to weigh in the 325-335 lb range. Not Baalke. He’s always preferred smaller, more nimble NT’s.

                Do I expect him to play Nose this year? Certainly not early on. We’ll see about William’s leg, but both Dial and Dorsey have experience there, and it’s Purcell’s natural position. However, Blair has future potential at NT.

  11. My problem with the article isn’t the grade given; that’s mostly a matter of personal opinion. Two people looking at the same draft a lot of times will have two completely different “grades”. It all depends on how you yourself view the players chosen in relation to the factors you deem important. Often during this time of year people throw out a lot of terms like “need” and “value”, but those things really change depending on who you ask.

    My problem (if you even want to call it that) is the premise. If you’re expecting a bunch of draft picks to automatically solve all a team’s issues, you’re probably going to be disappointed more often than not. Can you get immediate return on investment from some of these young guys? Sure, but generally that’s not how the draft works. If the 49ers are going to be successful it’s going to be on the back of the development of previous drafts, not necessarily this one.

    I don’t think they’re “punting on the season” per say. I just think they probably realize that the only way this thing is going to get turned around the right way is through the draft, which in and of itself takes time. Fans won’t like it, but that’s the reality of the situation. So my advise: sit back, watch these guys develop, and be prepared to wait. And who knows, if Chip can get some production out of the QB position maybe they can win a couple more games they shouldn’t.

  12. Among those picks Grant ranks so poorly is Jeff Driskel who he says here is nothing but a back up player. By the way, even if the 49ers got the best quarterback pick in the draft (and I mean the best fit for them even on Grant’s terms) he would be playing back up for this team which is clearly in a rebuild mode. They’d be foolish if they started him and Grant knows it. (Think Jim Plunkett).

    That being said, I have cut and posted Grant’s comment right after Driskel was picked:

    “With Pick 207, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel.
    Driskel is a big quarterback (6’4″, 231 pounds) who can run (4.56). He’s a perfect fit in Chip Kelly’s offense, which depends on a mobile quarterback. Driskel has the talent to become the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2017. GRADE:A.”

    Grant seems to hate the 49ers so much he criticizes a pick even when he initially said it was a very good one. Note to the Press Democrat: This is what you get when you hire a Raider fan to beat write for the 49ers.

  13. Wow Grant you have truly out done yourself with regards to negatively spinning pretty much everything, even at the risk of contradicting any previous statements you’ve made.

    Let’s review your Grades during the draft:
    1st: B; A
    3rd: B
    4th: B (later revised as D)
    5th: C-; B; B-
    6th: A-; B+; A
    7th: B

    So that makes:
    A= 3
    B= 6(5)
    C= 1
    D= (1)

    So all that somehow in your head gives you a final grade of a D minus, wow and I thought my Physics professor was tough…. was their a mid-term or final that was like 80% of the grade. Didn’t bother to read the whole article so I’m sure you attempt to justify your reasoning somewhere in there.

    Never cease to amaze me, or surprise me for that matter.

    1. It was a weak draft. It’s always a weak draft with Baalke. A couple good players and 7-8 wasted ones.

      I stick to my recommendation that Baalke get as many 1st and 2nd rounders as possible. It’s not as easy to mess those up. Even if he picks a player for the wrong position or wrong scheme. There are better odds that it will atleast be a player with good physical tools.

      1. Grant

        That’s absurd and you know it. Buckner and Garnett add probowl talent to 2 positions of weakness last season. Taylor is an immediate improvement over everyone but Hyde, and Blair is impactful also. And Theus and Cooper mean Devey and Pears are no longer around.

        By the way, I know you said you hated Jacoby Brissett (you loved Tyler Wilson and David Fales?):

        http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000659917/article/parcells-says-jacoby-brissett-in-same-mold-as-patriots-greats

        1. Next season Garnett will be a liability as a pass protector and Buckner will be a liability as a run defender.

          1. You’re still operating as though Chip Kelly isn’t here. Pass pro on his offense is not conventional, and when other teams are trying to keep up, they won’t be running the ball, so whatever perceived weakness you project onto Buckner won’t apply.

            Clearly, nobody can predict the future, but you could at least acknowledge that the team is no longer operating in the Harbaugh, Tomsula, or Fangio molds. To continue to ignore this in your writing is, I believe, holding you back.

              1. And in 2014 they were 15th and 2013 they were 23rd.

                Is it the scheme or the talent? Do the Eagles have a Bowman or a healthy Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey on their roster??

              2. Grant,

                Didn’t you argue with Rocket, that total rushing yards is irrelavent when judging the Eagles offense, and that yards per rush was the metric to use?

                How is it that you’re now using total rushing yards as a way of judging the Eagles rushing defense?

              3. We have last season’s Eagles’ defensive coordinator?

                Or are you saying Vic Fangio was just a Harbaugh puppet?

              4. Grant,

                That’s interesting, but you didn’t answer my question.

                Why did you use an argument you called irrelevant when used by someone else against your position a few weeks before?

          2. Both players could not be more pro ready or more schematically friendly, plus Buckner will not have to miss time like Armstead did last year, from what I’ve heard. Garnett was key to opening up the run game for Kelly. I’m pretty sure he told Trent, if you get nobody else, I have to have those two players….

          3. Both players could not be more pro ready or more schematically friendly, plus Buckner will not have to miss time like Armstead did last year, from what I’ve heard. Garnett was key to opening up the run game for Kelly. I’m pretty sure he told Trent, if you get nobody else, I have to have those two players….

              1. Hinges on Kaepernick. If he explodes in this offense, then it’s a spoiler or wild card team with 8, maybe 9 wins. Mr. Hyde needs to remain available and live up to the hype too….

              2. I think it hinges on Baalke stopping meddling with the coaching, and Chip restoring some competency in the coaching.
                The players do have talent, but if Faherty can forge the O line into a cohesive unit, they can finally demonstrate those talents.

              3. Thats one thing I believe your overlooking, Grant–This teams coaching staff has to be light years better than last years Jed-friendly staff.

              4. Well, with all the QB questions, playing in the NFC West and having the toughest schedule, you may be right.
                However, Seahawks lost Lynch and had a terrible O line, Carson Palmer showed why he has not won it all, and the Rams have Fisher.
                I am expecting Kaep to come storming back. Chip has done well with immobile QBs, and now he has three mobile QBs.
                The past coaching staff is long gone, so it can only improve, since it was one of the worst last year.
                If Baalke stops meddling and allows the coaches to coach, I envision this team doing better. Maybe even 8-8. If Kaep wins back the starting job, maybe even 10 wins and a shot at the playoffs.
                However, seeing how petty, mean and vindictive the FO is, they might bench Kaep out of spite in an effort to be rewarded the first pick of the draft.

            1. Razor,

              Do you think replacing Dial as a starter was this teams biggest priority? How much better does he make the defense truly?

              1. Dial will man the nose and be flanked by The Twin Towers, while IDub/Dorsey begin on PUP. Purcell/TJE are career backups….

              2. I think Dial is a better fit where he was, but we’ll see. How much better do you think adding Buckner makes this defense?

              3. Probably right, but Dial played well when he was tasked with the position before. I think by adding Buckner, this defense just got stronger up front and I imagine Bowman was one of the first to show his appreciation. Everyone’s job behind the defensive line just got easier….

              4. The key will be when it comes to obvious passing situations. Buckner and Armstead will be counted on to collapse the pocket and they have to do it consistently.

              5. Y’all are acting like Harbaugh/Fangio are still here and the starting 3 DL are going to get 95% of the snaps.

                Um, snap out of that line of thinking. Rotation is going to key this defense.

          4. Everyone is focusing on the trees and no one sees the forest except you, Grant. How any sane person can say our miserable offense from last year will be anything other than slightly less miserable is beyond me. Defense, defense, defense – which one of our new studs on defense are going to put points on the board. Maybe Baalke expects our special teams to put up the points. It would be like the Giants drafting nothing but middle infielders and then assigning each one with an A or B. These are team sports guys.

            1. This is the most absurd comment I’ve ever seen. Not only will the 2016 OL make the 2015 OL look like a bunch of pop warner kids, but the 2016 offensive coaches will take full advantage of the 49ers offensive personnel, which now, finally, includes speed at every position, including QB. Stop already.

              1. Initially perhaps. Since you brought it up, can you provide PFF’s pass blocking score for Mr. Boone?

              2. What exactly are they going to do to take full advantage of this Offensive personnel Pork?

              3. Rocket

                Well, for one, they’ll use a lot more spread formations, and will actually pass the ball around to the WRs a little bit. Second, they’ll also pass the ball to guys coming out of the backfield a lot more, whether that means Hyde or Ellington or whomever else goes back there; White, Rogers, Smelter.

                What do you say they will do, “exactly”?

              4. I think they will try to run Kelly’s system with lesser talent than he had in Philly.

                My question to you was related to your comment about taking advantage of the 49ers offensive personnel. There has been no indication that there is much to be taken advantage of.

              5. So, you say that with the minimal offensive positions we added our offense will be significantly improved. We have a quarterback who has been hiding in plain sight for 2 1/2 years and a guy who flamed out last year. We added no depth at running back. We added two guards to the previous inept crew that was assembled by….well… oh yeah, Trent Baalke. Johnny when people give their opinion which is based on speculation, just as yours is, it is absurd to believe that your’s is superior just because you think it is so. A simple I disagree would be more appropriate. Needless to say, I disagree with your opinion. Time will tell. I believe that Gabbert will never excel at QB. He plays too scared and since he will have Colin waiting the in wings, he will be pressured even more to play that way because the job is his to lose. And Colin is a gifted athlete who is damaged and who knows if he can recover. I don’t mean this as a personal comment to you but you know what really is absurd. The books set the line based on who is betting on what. When you see that the 49ers have the worst odds (100 to 1, tied with the Titans and Browns) you see the result of a whole lot of bettors all over the country telling us what they think of our team with total objectivity. Let’s just say that right now, I have way more people thinking like me than you do.

              6. There is a differnce between something not being a strength, as opposed to a weakness.

                Garnett’s strengths are in his run blocking. Does this mean he isn’t good at pass protection? NO. You don’t win the OUTLAND TROPHY if you are a one dimensional OG who cannot protect against the pass rush. Duh!

                Same goes for Buckner. You don’t become PFF’s top rated Interior DL if you are one dimensional and cannot stop the run. As a matter of fact PFF is obsessed with Buckner because he is such a dominant all around DL.

                PFF: “While pass-rush is probably his strength, he’s a problem in the run game as well”

                Garnett is a far better run blocker than Boone and a somewhat better pass protector as well. And while Bukner’s greatest strength is his ability as a pass rusher, he’s a superior run-stopper when compared to Dorsey, TJE, Dial, and Carradine, so yes, the 49ers un defense has also improved through this draft!

          5. Grant, I beg to differ. I think that getting 2 players in the first round that could and should be starters make all the later picks less significant. I think they picked well with Blair and Cooper. In the third round, the Niners should have chosen any of the subsequent players picked after Redmond- Yannick Ngakoue, Bronson Kaufusi, Darian Thompson, Jonathan Bullard, Kenyan Drake, Keivalrae Russel, Shilique Calhoun and Shon Coleman. Also, Le Raven Clark, Braxton Miller Kyler Fackrell and CJ Procise could have been taken.
            Instead of Robinson, they could have taken Cardale Jones.
            Instead of Thune, they could have taken Paul Perkins.
            The late round picks were decent, but not spectacular.
            For those whiffs, I downgraded the draft to a B, but Redmond, Robinson and Thune do have potential. If any of those players earned a starting job, I would upgrade from a B to an A-.
            Still, no matter what, getting 2 first round starters does not doom this draft to be a D, much less a D-. If anything, displeasure with the mid rounds would result in only a C- at worst.

          6. Ok, I’ve been quiet the offseason. I didn’t want to add to the vitriol about Baalke and the front office, however deserved.

            Let’s remember the draft is a crapshoot and none of us know who will be a pro bowl player in May.

            Many were in love with Goff and the ND wonder kid or Adams though I’m not sure they have the mettle for the NFL. I may be wrong though. Have to wait and see. As for our current picks, I doubt their as pour as Grant says they are nor do I believe we have 2-3 pro-bowlers. Hope I’m wrong on the last one though.

            I do like we are building from the inside out and putting pressure on the edges. I thing that will bode well for the future.

      2. Lol! The draft is for the future. If they were relying on this draft class to win them games they were doomed anyway. And besides, both Buckner and Garnett will be big contributors this year, and I don’t think its out of the realms of belief to think a few of the other picks will contribute too.

        This is a rebuilding team. No point drafting to pick up some cheap wins (if that is even possible) at the expense of better talent for the future.

        1. They had 11 picks and got two contributors for 2016. They punted on another season. You can praise that if you’d like.

          1. There were no good ILB/OLB available after Rd2. Maybe they could have drafted a different RB, but they liked Taylor and everyone knows why. The secondary is going to be the most important position group on the defense, and it is therefore smart to create competition there. Brock and Acker will be gone, maybe Bethea too. Cromartie was better than both CBs above late last season, and there is a clear affinity here for length.

            Baalke wants the following:

            DJ & Robinson/Cromartie on the outside
            Ward/Redmond in the slot
            Reid/Ward at FS
            Reid/Tartt at SS/ILB

            Cromartie, Robinson, Redmond, and Reaser will fill out the non-starting group.

            Versatility, length, and superstars.

              1. And yet Cincy are eyeing him as a backup and STs player this year. Guess they get a fail grade too! ;-)

              2. Nick Vigil is good? Is he better than Hodges? Better than Tartt for this scheme?

              3. Tartt is a coverage specialist. Hodges is terrible against the run. He has bad instincts and discipline.

              4. Maybe. I like him as a prospect. But then I really liked Hodges as a draft prospect too.

              5. Vigil is better than Wilhoite and Hodges.

                I found it curious that the Bengals run a 4-3 defense and Vigil was scouted as a 4-3 OLB as his best fit. He’s not fast, takes poor angles and he’ll of course need to get stronger. He’s got potential but he won’t be contributing much this year….

              6. I’ll keep an eye on him during this season Grant, but I doubt he would have beaten Wilhoite or Hodges. Maybe, but doubt it…..

            1. Pork I guarantee you will see some very good ILB’s come out of this draft and some will be after round 2.

              1. Grant,

                Yes, but now you’re comparing one draft slot to multiple players who were picked after. It’s a very successful selection that can withstand that kind of comparison.

          2. We’ll see how many contributors they have this year.

            Would Vigil have beaten out Hodges or Wilhoite for a starting spot? Will he be a better player than Redmond long term?

              1. Odds aren’t that bad he can return to his previous form, actually. Lots of players have done so. The mistake is assuming guys drafted with knee injuries that don’t pan out do so because of the knee injury. More likely they just weren’t as good as thought.

              2. A repaired knee is unstable. Redmond has terrible odds for a meaningful, long-term recovery.

              3. With only 7 starts under his belt that just may be the case as well. Not a lot to go on.

              4. A repaired knee is unstable?

                Apparently, all knee injuries are the same, and the knee never becomes stable again, according to Dr. Grant Cohn. Can you refer me to that medical journal article Grant?

              5. Some, yes. Quite a lot that continue to play at a very high level too though. The severity of the tear and how well they can clean it up is a factor. All reports suggest Redmond’s was a clean tear and is healing well.

              6. Not true. Guys reach full recovery from these injuries all the time. The problem is, guys with these types of knee injury are more likely to suffer a 2nd knee injury. That’s the problem.

                But so what, knee injuries are a part of football now. You still have almost as big of a chance at tearing a ligament with clean knees as you do with a surgically repaired knee.

                If you want Baalke to take all players off the board who have surgically repaired knees in college, you’re not going to be able to compete with other teams.

              7. This is the exact thinking that leads Baalke to make the same mistake every year.

              8. “A repaired knee is unstable.”

                I tore my ACL and meniscus in December. It sucks. I can’t imagine cutting on it right now, at 3 months post-op, but this type of injury, especially without the meniscus tear, is nothing like what Bowman or Lattimore experienced. Of course there is a risk with returning to action, but if Redmond’s tear was clean, without other complications (such as shorn cartilage or splintered bone fragments), then he might even come back stronger, due to all the physical therapy that a recovering patient has to endure.

                Here’s the thing: because of the immobility, the medical team prescribes a full-body recovery routine, which includes exercises that stimulate muscle groups all over the lower body region. I wonder how much Will Redmond relied on natural ability up until his injury, and how comprehensive Mississippi State’s training regimen was. My sense is that a guy like Adrian Peterson returned STRONGER than before because he put all his energy into recovery, learned all about his various muscle groups and how they work together, and then busted his a** like never before. It’s just one idea, but it’s experience-based.

                Everything I’ve written still depends on Redmond coming back in due time, and not rushing his recovery. I still think he won’t play a down in 2016. But neither his career nor his long term performance are in the kind of jeopardy Grant says.

              9. You’re wrong about ACL repairs, Grant.

                There is a long list of players who have come back from ACL injuries.

              10. Go talk to a doctor. The odds are against a football player making a meaningful long-term recovery from a torn ACL.

              11. Grant,

                Who said Thomas’ inability to get on the field is because of his knee injury?

              12. Like JC said, knees are tricky and take time. It also depends on the severity of the tear and the extraneous meniscus, cartilage and tendon damage. Hope he doing well with his recovery.
                However, with the advances in medical science, some career threatening injuries can be repaired. Look at Bow.
                My friend had knee surgery 30 years ago, and he has a scar 14 inches long. Nowadays, they have just 2 small incisions.

              13. ex,

                The advances in knee surgery have been tremendous, but it still doesn’t guarantee a 100% recovery. For all the successes, there are more stories involving players who don’t regain full strength. It is based on how the individual recovers and rehabs and the viability of the ligament after surgery.

                One thing you have to remember is that no matter how well things go in surgery, the stability of the knee is compromised. It could hold up well for x number of years, or it could be a source of constant pain and instability. We just don’t know where Redmond will fall into that equation. So far the track record hasn’t been good in regards to the players Baalke has selected coming off of knee injuries.

              14. Rocket,

                Where did I ever say there was a guarantee that Redmond would fully recover? All I’ve said is that the odds are in his favor.

              15. Where is the evidence (besides Lattimore) that the problem for the past ACL draftees has been their knees?

              16. Name one player other than Gurley drafted fresh off an ACL tear in college who has been a success in the NFL.

              17. Rocket,

                You are flat out wrong when you say the stability of an ACL repaired knee is necessarily compromised.

              18. Grant, I’m a big defender of the misunderstood “Redshirts” or “ACL Pick” approach. For talented teams with non trade-able late comp picks and limited roster space, it makes total sense.

                (I’m always not crazy who Baalke picked though. Too many straight up assessment/scheme fit failures among the “redshirts” )

                But I’m agreeing with you on this one. Pick 68 is almost a 2nd rounder, and this draft was one of the deepest in memory for day two talent. Baalke past over Andrew Billings, Nick Vigil, Nick Kwiatkoski, Tyler Ervin, C.J. Prosise and so on. (I saved the list you made the other day of players the 49ers skipped. That’s a great format.)

                I’m not condemning Will Redmond. He could turn out to be good. And its a two-fer if it works, allowing Ward to back up safety without leaving a hole in at slot CB.

                I would have grabbed Billings at 68. Jonathan Williams would have been my possible ACL pick at Pick 145 instead of John Theus.

              19. How many guys fresh off an ACL tear in college have succeeded in the NFL? The success rate seems lower than 5 percent.

              20. Grant,

                Obviously, it’s not a good thing for a player to be injured, but the prognosis for a player with a simple ACL injury returning to effectiveness, is very high.

                94% of college starters who have ACL injuries return to the field.

                You’re saying that only 5% of college players drafted after an ACL injury are successful in the NFL. You realize that is only one in twenty, is that really what you’re thinking?

                There are some issues with your question:

                Firstly, how are you defining successful?

                Secondly, most college players drafted aren’t successful in the NFL, with or without an ACL injury. How is it possible to know which players didn’t make simply because they weren’t good enough?

                In the mean time, here is a list of NFL players that did OK after an ACL injury:

                Von Miller
                Melvin Ingram
                Chad Greenway
                Thomas Davis
                Chris Clemons
                Dominique Easley
                Geno Atkins
                Ray McDonald
                Chris Harris
                Darelle Revis
                Eric Berry
                Brandon Meriweather
                Tyrann Mathieu
                Travis Benjamin
                Tom Brady
                Philip Rivers
                Jamaal Charles
                Frank Gore
                Adrian Peterson
                Jeremy Maclin
                Reggie Wayne
                Donnie Avery
                Rob Gronkowski
                Heath Miller
                Joe Thomas
                Bryan Bulaga
                James Carpenter
                Marshal Yanda
                Maurkice Pouncey

              21. I asked how many players drafted fresh off an ACL tear in college other than Gurley have been successful in the NFL.

              1. Grant

                I’m going to see the surgeon for the US National Ski Team today. He also consults for a couple of college football teams. What specifically should I ask him?

              2. Will do! You’re really commanding this page well, by the way. Obviously on your game.

              1. Certainly Buckner, Garnett, Blair, and Taylor. Burbridge should have a small role and Redmond will be a rotational slot guy day one, as soon as he is healthy, which could be as soon as week 1.

                This draft will really start paying dividends in 2017 and beyond.

              2. Blair can play every position along the DL. He’ll need to put on some weight, but guys like that find a way to contribute.

  14. While I agree it is maddening that Baalke continues to draft injured players, and “ignores” positions of need, it is obvious that he doesn’t believe LBs, QB and RBs are positions of need, in spite of what has been reported.

    Here are my theories. I don’t know if they are correct, but I think they are reasonable.

    Solidifying the OL should improve QB and RB play and in turn, defensive play because in theory, the defense can more often play with points on the board.

    Improved DL play should improve LBs – even those who are developing.

    As is cliche, “Everything begins upfront.” Solid draft based upon what Baalke felt the team needed. But why he drafts so many CBs is still a mystery.

    1. Some good points made here, but have you given some thought as to why we are still trying to solidify the trenches? Same guy has been drafting for this team for 7 years now with complete control of personnel. He’s been trying to solidify the trenches for awhile. At some point the guy making the picks needs to be pulled onto the carpet and asked why we continue to have to use pick after pick on the same areas and why there are so many needs.

      Baalke doesn’t deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt anymore. He hasn’t earned it.

      1. “Baalke doesn’t deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt anymore. He hasn’t earned it.”

        Excellent point Rocket. Long gone are the days where we would make statements like “I don’t like the pick, but in Baalke we trust.” This draft wont and shouldn’t make or break Baalke. What should is if his higher draft picks of the past 3 or 4 years start or don’t start producing (Tank, VMac, B. Thomas, Martin, Hyde, Lemonier, even Reid). He has to be held accountable for that.

          1. Rocket,

            You make a good pint about Baalke having to redraft the same position repeatedly, but hasn’t he actually been pretty successful in drafting OL and DL players in early rounds? A Davis, Iupati, Armstead, A Smith were good picks. Brandon Thomas and Marcus Martin don’t look so good (but they’re both still young, so it’s not over for them, yet). I may be missing players, here.

            It seems his more pedestrian OL and DL picks have come in the middle (Thomas in the third may actually slot on this list, depending on the definition of “middle rounds”) and later rounds.

            1. ex,

              You make your money in this business with the later picks. You should be expected to hit on first round picks which is where all the players you listed were taken. Those players are all from his first two drafts as well. The problem is his record over the past 5 years has been abysmal.

              Martin and Thomas were both 3rd round picks. You can’t miss on both and expect to be given the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they both take a big step forward this year, I hope that is the case, but so far it’s not looking good and he’s just used two more picks in the 5th to offset the possible mistakes made on those players. It’s the same thing with the CB”s. Two years ago he took 3 of them. 2 of them didn’t get on the field until last season and here he is throwing 3 more into the mix, two with picks that need to yield a quality return.

              There are just too many picks being wasted ex. He hasn’t drafted high end players and he’s seemingly missed on numerous day two and three picks.

              1. He seems to have hit on Brown in the 6th and Lynch in the 5th, Kilgore in the 5th, Culliver in the 3rd late….

              2. None of those players are great players Razor. Neither are most of the first rounders he’s selected. Lynch is the best out of the group you listed and he’s a decent starter, but when you look at the team as a whole what you see is a lot of average to below average talent.

                Have you read this yet:

                http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/49ers-dead-last-nfl-draft-return-over-last-five-years

                He’s not only missing on a high number of picks, but the ones that are sticking aren’t resulting in anything more than average to below returns. At some point there has to be a reality check done and the realization that this team has accumulated zero blue chip talent. That is why the drop off has been so severe since the retirements and FA losses.

              3. You don’t get “great” players in the 3rd Round and beyond. You get developmental players that have potential starting traits….

              4. Razor,

                I included first rounders not just the players you listed, and you can find great players in the 3rd round and beyond. The Seahawks have built the nucleus of their defense on that. Look at the Niners roster and find the blue chip talent. It’s not there. There is the hope of potential players and the guys who could probably be great if they could stay healthy, but there is a dearth of top end talent on this team.

              5. Rocket,

                If NFL GM’s “make their money” in the later rounds, why is it that players drafted in the 4th round or later have about an 80% bust rate? This is with a bust being defined as starting < one season and playing in < 40 NFL games. This very generous non-bust threshold is a long, long way from "blue chip" level performance.

                http://datascopeanalytics.com/blog/the-chance-of-a-bust-in-the-nfl-draft/

                Here is an article that has a graphic evidence of how rarely "blue chip" players are actually selected in the later rounds:

                http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/25/sports/football/picking-the-best-in-the-nfl-draft.html?_r=0

                Looking at the players drafted in the 2010 draft shows that over their first five years, players drafted in the 4th through 7th rounds started only 12.6% of the 80 games available for each player to start. We're only talking starting,not being a pro bowler, or however you define "blue chip talent".

                I guess not many NFL GM's "made their money" in 2010.

              6. Rocket,

                The Seahawks were lucky beyond anything the NFL has ever seen previously, when they hit on Chancellor and Sherman in consecutive 5th rounds. For them to draft two perennial All Pros and probable future HOF players with two straight fifth round picks was something along the lines of a 1 in 250,000 shot (could be longer odds, actually). So to refer to that sick twist of fate in a discussion of expected draft performance of NFL GM’s doesn’t seem to make much sense.

  15. Grant,
    “guards are easy to find”…
    Well the last time we had an all-pro guard is when we drafted Iupati with a high pick.

    The guard position has been lacking since Iupati has been gone. If Garnett is as good as his awards and acknowledgements bestowed on him assert, then he makes perfect sense for a team that is sadly porous along the OL.

    Also, not one guard (of many last year) asserted himself throughout the entire season in 2015. There are NFL guards and there are NFL elite guards – we won’t know right away, but perhaps Baalke hit the sweet spot with Garnett.

    I mentioned last Sunday that although I feel we had a good draft, I feel that Baalke also left some darn good players on the table that could have provided some help in 2016 and going forward.

    But even though we didn’t draft the sexy and more well known players, players like DeForest, Garnett, Blair, Redmond, Prince, Taylor, and Driskel may become household names in 2-3 years.
    As in every draft, we will just have to wait a couple of years before making a more knowledgeable call and grade.

  16. Sorry Grant, but this is a load of rubbish. The entire premise is built on not taking an ILB merits a failure grade. Quite ironic, given back in late December you posted this:

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/4981446-181/grant-cohn-49ers-future-on?ref=TSM

    What changed?

    And labelling the Redmond pick a failure because not only was it not an ILB, but it was also an ACL pick. Because guys with ACL injuries can’t recover. That would be a great story, except it clearly isn’t true. You don’t have to look far around the NFL to find guys that are having or have had excellent NFL careers after ACL tears. Using the recent 49ers picks as a guide is simply taking the low hanging fruit. How many of those guys haven’t worked out because of the knee injury they suffered? Only Lattimore comes to mind. The draft is about adding talent for the future, and Redmond was a good talent that fell to the 3rd round. Good pick. Just as good a pick as you said he was right after they made the pick, might I add. In fact, from memory you even said it was a good move not to take an ILB ahead of him, as the ILB talent available wasn’t as good as him. What changed?

    Now Robinson I agree was something of a head scratcher pick. But again, its about adding talent for the future. You know this. So not sure why you all of a sudden think they needed to be finding starters for this year in round 4. Not many of them to be found. Robinson showed he has a lot of talent at LSU. Sure, he needs to build his frame, but worth noting one Tyrann Mathieu (another troubled LSU DB that has so far turned himself around and become a good NFL player) put up only 4 reps on the BP. And which ILB were they going to take there that was going to start anyway? Which prospect at that point was a better talent than Tartt, Hodges and Wilhoite?

              1. Ok, what changed between December 26th and now regarding Tartt being the future at ILB?

              2. So why is it now a bad thing, when on December 26th it was a good thing?

                “Tartt is a missile, one of the hardest tacklers on the team.”

                “Inside linebacker seems like the best spot for him.”

              3. I think he would struggle in space at strong safety. Inside linebacker is his best spot, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a good run-defender from that spot. He’s a coverage specialist.

              4. True, but as you point out he is also a hitter. Nickel LB role should suit him.

              5. I can easily see Tartt as an adequate run defender at ILB in most situations, as long as he’s kept relatively clean.

          1. Ok, next question. How is it you went from believing Redmond was a better pick than the LBs available to thinking he was a huge mistake? What changed? If anything the information about the prognosis on his knee has improved the question marks in this regard, as it sounds like it is all going very well. To the point he is expected to be ready to go in TC.

            1. I talked to a doctor about ACL tears. Redmond tore his ACL in October. He probably won’t be ready for training camp.

          2. Ok, next. Instead of Robinson, which player should they have drafted that will be a “contributor”?

              1. Wait, Zack Sanchez, another CB, would have been a contributor. But Robinson will not be?

                Is another rookie mid round RB really the answer at RB? Wouldn’t that be the same situation as you have lambasted them for at CB, for taking another young guy to supplant a guy they took recently to play that role in Mike Davis?

              2. Robinson is weak and hasn’t played in a year and a half. He won’t contribute next season.

                The Niners need a running back who can carrry the offense if/when Hyde gets hurt again. Taylor couldn’t carry an offense in college.

              3. Mathieu was weak and hadn’t played for a year too. He worked out alright.

                “Taylor couldn’t carry an offense in college.” Davis did though. Why isn’t it ok to draft CBs when they have young guys on the roster, but it is ok to draft RBs in the same situation?

              4. Mathieu was a great college player. Robinson wasn’t even good. He started eight games, allowed a passer rating of 115 and intercepted just one pass. He has a long way to go before he contributes in the NFL.

              5. Davis can’t carry the Niners’ offense. He proved that last season. He was historically bad. The Niners need as many quality running backs as they can get. The Seahawks drafted three this year.

              6. Also, regarding Rashard Robinson, another statistical view per Jeff Deeney from PFF:

                “Rashard Robinson’s coverage numbers from 2014: 195 coverage snaps, 11-22, 219 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 1 PD, +1.1 coverage grade.”

                So while the passer rating against him may not look too good, he still graded out positively. FWIW, Zack Sanchez didn’t even make PFF’s draftable list.

              7. And FWIW, PFF graded Redmond as a 4th-round prospect and Robinson as a 6th-round prospect, while grading Kenneth Dixon and Paul Perkins as 2nd-round prospects.

              8. I generally agree with Grant on the late rounds. The early rounds were probably good for the team long term, but reflect a capitulation on next season.

                In terms of Redmond, IF(?) he was a late 1st round pick pre injury as many have suggested and we got him at 68, then we can think about the probability of recovering in relative draft points. The 68th pick is worth 250 draft points on the conventional board and the 29th pick is worth 690. 690 / 250 = .36. If he has a greater than 40% of recovering, we got a deal. Obviously it’s a bit more complicated because he could come partially back and thus it would represent even a little better value.

                Just one way to handicap the injury (pun intended)

  17. Garnett may be a liability, but likely will still be an improvement over what they had a year ago. I think we see a decent improvement in the offense this season. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 more points per game on average.

  18. I was having a thought about how the D may line up in nickel. It appears we are all of the belief the DTs in pass rush situations would be Armstead and Buckner. But quite rightly there are some concerns about how this may hold up against the run.

    How about this as a nickel solution on non 3rd and longs?

    Play a 4-2-5/4-1-6 with an over front, with Buckner at RDE, Dial at 1T, Armstead at 3T and Lynch at LDE? Tank and Blair can rotate in for the ends or at 3T on occasion. Once Williams is back, he can also play the 1T.

    At LB, would be Bowman and Hodges/ Tartt, with Ward at NCB.

    1. That’s one of the issues I have in taking these guys with back to back 1st rounders. Both offer pass rushing potential, but run defense is questionable, especially when both are on the field together.

      I think we’ll see something along those lines Scooter. Good observation.

      1. Can someone help me understand? I keep hearing that Buckner will struggle against the run but PFF had him 8th in the nation against the run with a grade of +29.8. Am I missing something?

        1. Leo,

          He’s going to get doubled regularly in the NFL and when it happened to him in College he didn’t hold up well consistently.

        2. Here’s what PFF says about Buckner in their draft guide:

          “Big tackle radius to make plays up and down the line.”

          “Does not anchor well against double teams. Power teams can create movement at the point of attack.”

          “Part of his inability to anchor is due to size, will play with high pad level at times and can get moved off the spot.”

          “Can run right at him.”

          1. And here is the part you left out. Buckner has their 8TH HIGHEST GRADE in this class, for interior linemen against the run:

            AND:

            – Can get low and move blockers in the run game
            – Strong when taking blockers on head up and moving them backwards to clog running lanes
            – Has good vision as a run defender, finds the ball
            – Makes plays on the backside of run plays. Quick enough to beat backside cutoffs against zone schemes, can penetrate and blow up plays when given favorable shade and here is some

            You don’t become Pro Football Focus’ TOP RATED DL and win The 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, if you are weak against the run Grant. These accolades are reserved for players who are good at everything!

            But I think you know that.

      2. Thanks rocket.

        I think Buckner will be fine in time as a run defender, once he bulks up a bit and learns some more as an NFL player. Just like I think Armstead will be improved against the run this year.

        But for this season, they will likely need to protect him a bit against the run, which is why I think moving him out to effectively play 5/6T DE on the right with Dial or Williams at 1T next to him in an over front would help. The over front would also appear to suit their DL personnel atm, and would make the rationale behind drafting Blair and playing Tank as a 5T/3T more understandable.

        1. Makes sense as the 5T seems to be his most comfortable and effective spot anyway from what I saw of him on film. Having Williams next to him would allow him some leeway to freelance a bit more too with Williams being able to handle the double teams.

          1. I thought he showed some effectiveness against double teams, but I think a big part of his game were his hands. In hand to hand combat, he displayed the ability to set up his opponent and free himself. I thought his bull rush was his best move, and I think he’ll be a force to reckon with once he cleans up some of the little things….

  19. Grant

    I understand your somewhat ‘incredulous’ “Without Boldin ?” But I agree with Jack on this one. Like everyone else on here, I accept that Anquon is a man among boys as a receiver…when QB is in trouble, he throws toward Boldin hoping for a 50/50 completion. Almost like when we had Gore to go to in the run game,…they both want the ball…EVERY ball which ended up with lopsided stats favoring Gore and Boldin over the other RB’s and WR’s We need to balance those targets out among the rest of the team…and make them earn their pay…I’d still love to see AB in Red and Gold, but I believe that we’re going to spread it around this season…yes, without Boldin…

  20. Interesting conversation. I’d give the draft an overall C+. The undrafted free agent circus hasn’t ended yet. A mix of players across the league will become available through releases–some anticipated, some not. A trade or two could develop in the many weeks ahead. Yes, I’m wondering what went down on the ILB matter, but I suspect we’re not done there. Too, we could have done a bit better in the middle rounds, but this is what we have. If we were still dealing with Tomsula and his staff of teachers, we’d be toast at best. Let’s see what mid-July looks like.

    1. C+ is pretty harsh, considering the GM is your dad.

      BTW, is your mom an Komodo Dragon, or something? I only ask because you look nothing like Trent.

        1. One of the best moves I’ve made recently was to stop following him on Twitter. He belongs at TMZ.

          1. TK? Yeah, He hates him some Jed, that’s god sure. And I mean real hate. I would love to know what Jed did to TK.

          2. TK? Yeah, He hates him some Jed, that’s for sure. And I mean real hate. I would love to know what Jed did to TK.

  21. I totally agree with Grant this draft does not add to the probable 4 wins the 49ers will get next year.

    It was still a good draft though because there are 2 to 4 players that will be on the roster in year 3.

    A lot of Baalkes drafts you cannot say that about.

    To criticize the draft for not adding to the 4 wins total is to miss that that’s not the strategy.

    If it was they would have bought in credible free agents this off season.

    The whole point I believe is to get a top 5 pick over the next few years of each draft and be good in 2019.

    Nothing the 49ers have done has pointed to winning soon, including this draft.

      1. So true!! I agree Grant, the are being successful at the actual plan.

        The NFC West has arguably the best secondaries the league has ever seen and to not select a Wide Receiver or Quarterback with a first or second round pick but once in a 7 year span of drafting you really can’t be serious about winning.

        Even if this Guard they drafted is good we may not know for a while because all the 49ers will see is cover 0 and cover 1 till they prove they can pass with these 4th and 5th rate receivers with 10th rate Quarterbacking.

  22. It’s absolutely amazing to me that any fans that are paying attention even passingly to the 49ers moves of the past 2 years or so since “the mass exodus” think they are trying to win right now.

    Grading this draft that way yes, it wasn’t good.

    All I am looking for now is how many players will actually be on the roster from a Baalke Draftbatbthe beginning of year 3.

    By that standard, I think this draft is a success!!

    I have seen him do a lot worse, see 2012.

  23. Smelter tore his ACL on November 29th and missed his entire rookie season.

    Redmond tore his ACL on October 17th. Odds are against him playing next season.

    1. When there’s an ACL tear, doctors recommend a period of immediate immobility for a minimum of 2-4 weeks to allow swelling to go down enough to reduce complications in surgery. If that’s the case with Redmond, he wouldn’t have had surgery until November. The absolute soonest most players can return to field action (practice, contact, cutting) after such a procedure is 9 months, which puts Redmond’s return realistically no sooner than the beginning of September. Baalke is a proven liar. Unless Dr. Andrews is pushing the recovery envelope (and he might be doing just that, as the goal is a more complete, rapid recovery, now nearing 6 months, according to some) in Redmond’s case, he won’t play in 2016.

        1. Hmmm, I still disagree with this. I am a very firm believer in the idea that you draft for the future. If they believe Redmond will make a full recovery and that when healthy he was the best talent available, it is still a good pick even if he doesn’t see the field this year.

          Let me put it another way. If Jaylon Smith’s injury was the same as Redmond’s (i.e., a straight up ACL tear with no nerve damage), would he have been a good or bad pick in the 2nd round? To me he would represent good value in the 2nd round if the knee injury was a straight ACL tear. The fact it wasn’t and he also has nerve damage makes me wonder what the Cowboys were thinking, but if he does make it back he is a great talent drafted well below where he would have gone if healthy.

          The idea that the 49ers are a 3rd round pick away from being competitive this year just doesn’t sit as anywhere near believable to me. The best course of action is to draft the best talent available. As to whether they did that we will have to wait and see.

          1. I don’t think the Niners should have spent a second- or third-round pick on a player with a repaired knee. Too risky.

            1. Grant what about Gore, two bad knee’s and his workload is more demanding of the knee’s then a CB and if my memory serves me correctly he was a 3rd round pick.

              1. Undercenter,
                Great example. If Gore would have been drafted this year at #3 with the known knee injuries, Baalke would have been run out of town.

                We just never know what we have until these young players get a couple of years experience under their belt. N.Bowman wasn’t regarded as an elite LB (he won all big ten honors) coming out of college but he became an all-pro (AP) by year two.

                I think we’re a little shell shocked with Baalke’ underwhelming drafts over the last few years but we can’t add this one to that category until we see these players after a couple of years in.

        2. Why do you refer to him as a nickelback if it’s true that he played 88% on the outside in college?

          1. He played outside 88 percent in 2015. In 2014, he played nickel. And Baalke said he’d be a nickel on the Niners. He’s smaller than their prototypical outside corner.

            1. I believe the eventual plan is for Ward to move to FS, Reid to SS, and Redmond NC, while Robinson replaces Acker outside….

              1. I think Reid’s coverage skills aren’t as good as Ward’s. Reid would seem to be a natural fit at SS, with an advantage of being able to cover. Tackling and hard hits was his specialty coming out of LSU….

              2. I agree razor. Reid to SS in his future, if they stick with him beyond next year.

  24. It’s possibly Baalke’s final year, so he went all in on his strength–Defense, and lately those mid rounders on D have failed him–TomD.

    This from Pigskin:

    Well, at least you can’t accuse Trent Baalke of not being cognizant of his strengths and weaknesses.
    The general manager of the San Francisco 49ers has taken a lot of heat the past few years for how badly he’s bungled drafts at quarterback and wide receiver, so he responded by taking, in order, a defensive tackle, a guard, a corner, a corner, a defensive

    How are they supposed to score over 17 points a game, exactly? Who’s supposed to make a play on defense? Why are they continuing to build a roster that will emphasize running the ball and stopping the run when the NFL has been a passing league for almost two decades now?

    In the end the 49ers exit the draft the way they’ve entered it, with neither a franchise quarterback nor anyone of note for that hypothetical person to throw it to.

    If Baalke thinks he can avoid criticism for taking the wrong skill guys simply by not taking any at all, he’s in for a rude awakening.

    1. W A K E U P IT’S A PASSING LEAGUE TRENT.

      SOMEONE CALL EDDY TO SLAP JED FOR BRINGING US 1920’S FOOTBALL

  25. I went to 4 games last year and like everyone else
    was totally bored and disgusted with our offense-or should I say lack of offense. If Jed and Bakke could possible less hope for the new year-, they have succeeded in my opinion. They get nothing
    out of free agency and or the draft on offense, wow! Five years of really poor personnel moves and this is where we are at=nowhere!

  26. Grant, I know you went negative to drive the conversation and generate posts, but I saw your draft day grades, so I wonder why you flip flopped so quickly?
    Of course, the first day draft grade is the most important because these players are the cream of the crop. later picks are crap shoots.
    Since the first day was an A, the next two days would have to be Fs for the final grade to be a D-. The second day was risky, and many better alternatives could have been found, but the third day was decent. Therefor, the worst grade should only be a C-.
    I still give the draft a B grade.

    1. They drafted two contributors, two gambles and seven backups, and the team is no better than before the draft. That’s a D- grade.

      1. I think your ILB criticism does not take into consideration that the ILB position in the draft was very weak this year.
        I studied them and my biggest impression was that they were very slow, or undersized.
        I still beg to differ about the Niners being no better than before the draft. Letting Buckner fall into their lap was extremely fortunate. Maybe they should have traded back, but he is a solid pick. Not overpaying to move back into the first was a bold move. The strategic significance of snatching Garnett from under the Seahawk’s nose should not be downplayed. Getting Garnett significantly improved the O line, a critical need.
        I will concede that the rest of the picks were Meh. However, getting 2 starters did improve the team

        1. I don’t think Buckner and Garnett will improve the team at all in the short team. Nick Vigil is a good ILB who was available in the mid rounds. So is Blake Martinez and Nick Kwiatkoski.

        1. Buckner will help the pass rush and hurt the run defense next season, while Garnett will help the run-blocking and hurt the pass-protection. Still a 4-win team.

            1. Actually, it will be interesting to see how well the Niners develop defensive linemen without Jim Tomsula. He was fantastic at developing them.

              1. Armstead did not play significant time until the middle of the season.
                Still even with AA, the pass rush was anemic.

              2. Azzinaro has two first round draft picks to develop, so he’s at an advantage….

              3. Was he tho? Did he develop Smith and McDonald, or did he just develop Williams, TJE, and other such wondrous contributors?

            2. I agree. Flaherty helped win Super Bowls. Azzinaro was smart enough to recruit Buckner, so he recognizes talent. He also did well at Oregon.

          1. Did you type that the OL should expected to be the same on a net basis as last year with a straight face?

              1. The Boone of last year? Yes.

                Aside from that, it will be a huge upset if the OL as a unit isn’t at least somewhat better this year.

  27. Buckner is a Blue Chip talent. Garrnet was the best guard in the country. The rest of the picks are up in the air. Just like for all the other teams. You never know. We wont know for 3 years. The key is the first two picks. They nailed those. To say there not better after the draft is moronic. Adding Buckner is Massive for this Defense. Adding a great run blocker like Garnett was very smart.

    1. On Rashard Robinson “he looks like a pole” Ha! I hope he starts doing Tartt and Reid’s work out routine. Or dips into Eli Harold’s smoothie powder. 6’2″, 171 lbs? Is it PI if agust of wind blows him into a receiver?

      1. Maybe he’ll be ready in three years? This is me sobbing. I was able to rationalize the pick before I listened to their comments. It kind of reminds me of Baalke signing Pears.

        1. George,

          Don’t be too upset. I like the BR podcast, but let’s face it, they’re nothing more than two diehard fans, drinking beer while being entertaining.

            1. I just listened to the podcast. The most interesting thing I heard Neumann say is that he is encouraged by Baalke’s direction in selecting defensive players. He doesn’t lament that Baalke seems to be ignoring ILB. He says that Baalke is focusing on defensive players that affect the passing game. He thinks that ignoring ILB and run-stuffing defensive linemen makes sense given that the professional game is focused on passing as evidenced by the amount of time defenses spend in sub packages. Sub packages amount to two-thirds or so of the defensive plays. Buckner and Blair to rush the QB and CBs to defend passes is where Baalke’s focus was not on ILB or nose tackles.

              1. Cubus,

                The problem with that is two teams in the division feature run oriented offenses. Even if you are in Nickel 70% of the time, you still have to be able to hold up against the run and the Niners proved last year that they could not. Not adding anybody at the ILB position was a leap of faith or just plain stupidity. Not improving the outside pass rush was also a big mistake imo.

                I get that many are excited by the prospect of having the twin towers up front, but this team could not cover TE’s and RB’s last year and did nothing to address that. They are hoping Tartt is the answer even though there were mixed results last year. At the very least you should bring in some competition. As it stands they have 3 viable ILB’s that could play in base and two of them are backup caliber players. Even Bowman is limited in pass coverage. I just don’t see the logic in ignoring the position in the draft.

              2. Instead of trading up for a guard, the Niners probably would have been better off staying at 37 and taking Ragland.

                Buckner (or Tunsil/Conklin), Ragland, Calhoun looks a lot better than Buckner, Garnett, Redmond.

              3. And if the other team has no passing game you can do that even without a good defense. Kinda like the Browns did to us last year.

              4. “the Niners probably would have been better off staying at 37 and taking Ragland.”

                Yup. Tunsil, Ragland and Calhoun should have been our first 3 picks. These players would have been a better combination of bpa/need then what we got plus we could have kept our 4th.

              5. I don’t see how you can be certain about Tunsil, Ragland and Calhoun. Tunsil had character and injury concerns. Ragland is a two down linebacker with a medical condition. Calhoun was lauded by Grant as a 1st rounder and Jones as “terrible”, but Jones was taken in the 2nd and Calhoun was still on the board in the 3rd round….

              6. Rocket: As I was writing that post, I had a feeling you would be one who would respond and respond exactly as you did :)

                I actually have some of the same concerns that you do and see a certain irony in the fact that Baalke and Kelly want to orient the offense towards the run game and the defense towards the pass game.

                To me it is a question of swinging around a pendulum. If your defense is oriented towards run stopping, then on average the defense is probably not as good at stopping the pass (especially when you have the poor draft track record that Baalke has). And vice versa. So, if you just look at how much time is spent in sub packages and the relative amount of pass yards to run yards offenses rack up (I think that would be about two or so), then I can understand why they are swinging around to the other side of the pendulum. Still, if you say they could have forgone the Robinson pick and taken an ILB, I certainly wouldn’t argue that. I just can’t see Robinson succeeding in this league not with his lack of strength and weight and what appears to be lack of desire to study.

              7. That’s easy. The film shows Tunsil to be in the discussion as the best offensive lineman in the draft. If he develops into a top starting tackle then grabbing him at #7 wouldn’t be a steal but it would be top value for the pick. At #37 Ragland is easily in the consideration as BPA plus he fills a major need for this team. We could have hit on both sides of the coin while maintaining the picks that we gave up in the trade. Pretty much ditto for Calhoun. Scooter and I have both said he’s possibly one of if not the best 3-4 rush LB’s in the draft and if that’s even remotely true then grabbing him with our third pick would have been a steal. Taking one of the best player available and addressing a key need.

              8. CFC, nobody agreed with you, Scooter and Grant on Calhoun. That should be a red flag. Ozzie passed on Tunil. In fact, I remember a conversation with you, where you argued against drafting Tunsil because of Joe Staley. Regardless, Brown instilled enough confidence for them to wait until the bottom to find their swing tackle. Baalke struck gold with Brown last year….

              9. Cubus,

                I’ve become predictable? That’s disappointing;)

                Here’s the problem I have overall with this draft. They added two players who will replace two of the better performers from last year (Dial will still play but his role will be diminished especially if he doesn’t play NT), while virtually ignoring the areas that needed a higher caliber talent. They are essentially relying on the same players who struggled last year to fill the same holes. There is always the possibility of these players improving and playing better, but to not use a single pick to offset the chance they don’t is crazy to me.

              10. Razor,

                CFC, nobody agreed with you, Scooter and Grant on Calhoun. That should be a red flag.

                I believe he was one of the top rated pass rushers on PFF’s list. He was definitely a great option at an area of need in the 3rd round.

                Ozzie passed on Tunil. In fact, I remember a conversation with you, where you argued against drafting Tunsil because of Joe Staley. Regardless, Brown instilled enough confidence for them to wait until the bottom to find their swing tackle. Baalke struck gold with Brown last year….

                Brown was active for 5 games the entire season and started 2 at the end of the year. How does that instill enough confidence to ignore the position until the 5th round. How is that striking gold exactly?

              11. Rocket:

                Yes, but Baalke has said that ILB is not a top need. The plan is to shift the defensive focus. When you here people talk about “base” defense, it really isn’t a base in any conventional sense any more. The game has shifted (even though it’s actually been a passing league for quite a number of years) and he’s thinking he needs to shift the defense as well. I can understand the “experiment” but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

                I guess I find it a bit surprising that it is taking

              12. Fail on that last post. “hear” instead of here and strike the last partial sentence.

              13. I’d have been stoked if they had drafted Calhoun in the 3rd. I think he was excellent value there.

                However, I also think Redmond was good value in the 3rd. Probably not as good value as Calhoun in my opinion, but my opinion is just a hack’s opinion. In the end they drafted a player that appears to be quite talented. I am good with that.

                Same goes with Garnett. I’d have gone a different direction, but he looks a good talent so I’m fine with the pick.

                Robinson left me scratching my head a bit, and again I would have gone a different direction there, but same principle applies – he’s a guy that supposedly has quite a bit of talent according to a few reports. He’s one of my least favourite picks of the draft, but then I thought Lynch was an unnecessary risk too.

                As much as I’d like to think I know better than Baalke, I’m pretty sure I don’t. :-P

              14. Scooter,

                There is no question Baalke and every other GM/Personnel Director in the league have far more information and resources than the armchair wanna be scout. The bigger question becomes whether that individual truly has the ability to pick the best player. That is the key and Baalke’s track record shows he often does not.

                You just questioned every pick he took while also saying he player taken is talented. You are a humble and honorable guy, but Baalke hasn’t shown he has a better eye for judging talent than you have. He’s shown that even with all the advantages and resources he possess’, he gets it wrong more often than he gets it right.

                I will always defer to the guys who get paid to do this for a living, but the blank check of respect for Baalke is over. He has to earn respect now.

              15. I think it is unreasonable to expect anyone to always take the guy that ends up being the best player, as I know you do too (though your comment suggests otherwise). Every GM should be fired if they are held to that standard.

                Baalke has done a poor job of replenishing the talent on this team the past few years. I am not trying to defend his record. But at the same time I certainly don’t expect him to always take the players I think are the best value at each pick. As you say, he has available far more resources than I do, and also far more experience and knowledge on the subject matter.

                End of the day Baalke shouldn’t be judged for this draft today or even this time next year. He should be judged in 2-3 years time. Which is why we can say his 2012 draft was abysmal, his 2013 draft was pretty darn poor (only 1 full time starter and a few role players), and his 2014 draft is only looking ok at this point (2 starters, 1 retired would have been starter, and a couple of guys that have had starting/ key role experience but look best suited to backups/ role players at this point). And no real high impact players at this point outside of Hyde, who keeps getting hurt.

              16. No I don’t expect him to take the right player every time, but I do expect more than he has accomplished. I would bet most teams would have fired him already.

                At the end of the day it’s about picking productive players. The teams that can do it the best win. The teams that draft the way Baalke has don’t.

                I’m not drawing a conclusion on this draft. I’m saying that Baalke has lost the right to get the benefit of the doubt on his picks. They should be questioned..

            2. Every GM passed on Calhoun until the third round, regardless of who had whom where. He was about as great an option as Harold was last year at about the same spot. I wouldn’t expect too much from him this year….

              Brown worked his way into the starting job last year and Baalke saw no reason to think he cannot take ownership of the position. Staley seemed to agree…..

              By the way, Baalke must have known something that neither you nor I did to have moved up for Garnett. Suffice it to say, the 49ers got the best interior offensive lineman in the draft and the Seahawks did not….

              1. Cubus,

                I still think Wilhoite or Hodges winds up playing a lot of snaps and if so, they should have tried to find a better option.

                Razor,

                Who knows what Baalke was thinking. What I do know is that Seattle didn’t think highly enough of Garnett to take him and instead traded down. They also had Ifedi ranked at least as highly as Garnett for the very same reason.

                It appears they got a pretty good prospect in Garnett. Whether he winds up being the best interior offensive linemen in the draft remains to be seen.

              2. Razor,

                Was he? Again, you don’t know where he was ranked on NFL teams boards so saying he was the highest ranked interior player is fine, but it’s your opinion. I make statements like this too if I truly believe it, but in this case I don’t see a solid case for that statement to be made. I think Ryan Kelly was probably the highest ranked interior OL in the draft.

              3. Outland Trophy – Nation’s most outstanding interior lineman

                Morris Trophy – Top Pac 12 lineman

                USA Football Fundamental Player Of The Year – Joshua Garnett

              4. The tape always tells the truth, so when I match the awards with the tape, I find out who’s lying….

              5. Well maybe the tape told Indy that Ryan Kelly was the best interior player in the draft? Maybe it told Seattle that Ifedi was a better prospect than Garnett? We don’t know and that’s the point. College awards are College awards and often don’t represent the consensus view of the player at the next level. I think Garnett will be a good player for us, but I’m not going to start saying he’s the best anything until I see him play at the NFL level.

              6. Ryan Kelly was the best center in the draft and I would have loved to have added him. I’m sure Luck became luckier with the selection….

      2. “Or dips into Eli Harold’s smoothie powder. 6’2″, 171 lbs?”

        I’m the same height and weight and I wouldn’t last two seconds out there and neither probably will he.

    1. B2W,
      What’s the deal with Greg Hardy, is he done as a football player.

      If he wasn’t such a disrupted character he would easily be the edge rusher this team needs.

  28. It amazes me how many people live in denial. Look York took over, fired mooch, gutted the team to get under the cap, hired absolute clowns on the cheap, to save on bottled water. I watched the first Nolan coach the niners and he was at least viable as a candidate, his son is unemployed and is dumb enough to admit he didn’t draft Rodgers because he was too cocky. ( funny on that criteria Walsh would never had drafted Lott rice and Montana) His idiot son hired Tomsula over harbaugh and they now have Kelly ( paying him less than philly did) because no be wanted him. We are millions under the cap which the Yorks happily pocket. The 49ers under York have no intention of spending $ to win. If they did they would have fired Baalke with Tomsula. What team would keep a gm who turned mccoughlans/ harbaugh’s team of pro bowlers into sheer garbage in 2 years? we are now in many eyes including Vegas, the worst team in the NFL . That’s being generous.

  29. While some are panning this Niner draft, I will just ask 2 simple questions.-
    What team in the draft got 2 starters in the first round?
    Is the Outland Trophy winner the best interior lineman in college?

    1. I think it was a B to B+ draft. I see four players likely to be contributors soon. Buckner, Garnett, Redmond, and Blair. IMO they all have the tools to be very good. I also can see Driskel having a meaningful career, even if it’s as a good QB2. To me Theus has the makings for a good backup. Taylor and Burbridge look like they can play, but can Taylor beat out Davis or Burbridge crack the talent we already have at WR? I think Robinson, Cooper, and Iworah are PS material.

      1. Sounds reasonable.
        I have Cooper higher, but that is only because he was one of my 3 draft predictions to be correct. ;p

        1. Well, what matters is that Baalke picked him. So you can crow all you want. And maybe there’s something missing from the material I used. I got only one right.

          1. Hmm maybe its the water. Need to drink more because Chip says you cannot help but get smarter just drinking the water and breathing the silicon valley air.

          2. George
            I, too, got just one right — Buckner because it seemed like an obvious choice at that position. I also thought that Kelly would pick Cajuste (not a Baalke type player) in the 6th round if he was around. Didn’t think that a talent like Cajuste would go undrafted. He came to play at Stanford because the latter was the only school that would let him play receiver. He would probably have been drafted had he played TE in college.

          3. I was so mad when the Rams snagged Mike Thomas just before the Niners picked, because I might have had 4 correct selections if they had chosen him.

        2. There’s also someone I forgot to mention, Cajuste. Technically not a pick of course, but he’s someone Kelly might really like and employ.

    2. Seb – Is this a trick question? Who else had two picks? This is how you start to build a winner: Frank Gore, second year Pro Bowl, Vernon Davis (had to wait for 4 years to make first Pro Bowl because of QB issues), Joe Staley, first year Pro Bowl, Patrick Willis, first year Pro Bowl, Mike Iupati, first year All NFL West and NFL All Rookie, Novorro Bowman (3rd round), All Pro first team first year, Eric Reid (pre concussions) Pro Bowl first year. Then, of course there was Justin Smith acquired as FA then went to 5 consecutive Pro Bowls. Those are impact players. The two guys we got have tremendous measurables but are projects like in flip a coin whether they can make an impact before 2017. Us old guys don’t have that much time to keep waiting and hoping that a FO with an abysmal track record (come on man) is going to make progress while tinkering around at the edges. No offense, but I think you and others are a tad too optimistic. As long as us fans keep quiet, Jed will sail along pretending to be making us better. At the end of the day, the only way that he’ll change is if we somehow force him to by voicing our discontent and staying home from the games. I think the guy with the airplane and the banners is going to have a breakout year.

      1. WC, of course it is a trick question, because the Niners were the only team to have 2 picks in the first round. There may be several teams to get 2 starters with their first 2 picks, but the Niners definitely got 2 starters, because those players filled huge needs.
        I am sorry, but I am optimistic. After reaming the FO for most of the off season so far, I have turned back to my old sunny optimistic self. I just needed to let off steam.
        I will not declare 23-0 like some delusional fans, but I am truly hopeful because they did do well in the draft, Chip is light years better than Tomsula, and even though I predicted he would leave, the Niners still have Kaep.

        1. Yea, remember when I had to slap you across the cheek because you went into a tirade of lament over Kaepernick’s departure? Seems so long ago….

            1. I guess I’m just a grumpy old man. Those 3 Harbaugh years got me all excited and then as they say on Wall Street, it’s back to trend.

              1. I think we are all spoiled by the Glory Years, when the Niners were in the SB hunt every year. Then we were tantalized by the JH years, only to see everything crash and burn.
                Oh well, Hope springs eternal, and maybe we have another very smart coach….If Chip can resurrect Kaep’s career, I will can him a genius.

              2. You have a right to be Grumpy Whine Country. Since the Yorks took over we’ve seen one short run of great football and a lot of incompetence over the rest. My spirit was broken last year when they fired Harbaugh and replaced him with Tomsula. That move alone told me we were headed back into the dark days. The rest of it just piled on.

              3. Rocket,

                I knew something had changed you.

                I fear that you’re going to end up like the reverend in caddy shack.

              4. ex,

                No chance of that. As frustrating as it’s been to watch this mess unfold, it is still just a hobby with little meaning in the grand scheme of things.

  30. I’d love to see what Ronald Blairs actual weight is. Depending on where you look he’s either 270 or 284.

    1. I’d love to see what Robinson’s actual weight is too. 171lbs at the combine, but according to him he is in the low 180s now.

      FWIW on Blair, he was 284lbs at the combine but dropped to the mid 270s for his pro day (and tested a lot better at that weight). Sounds to me that like Tank he can’t handle adding too much weight without losing his speed and quickness.

  31. Listened to Baalke on KNBR during morning drive. Nothing particularly new, but he made some points worth mentioning:

    They definitely considered Tunsil when he dropped but didn’t bite.

    One consideration in sticking with BPA even when they turn out to be CBs is that significant consideration is being paid to coverage personnel since they are going nickel or dime on two-thirds of snaps (and, I suppose, any excess minutes of defense in Chip’s scheme).

    Baalke didn’t think that any of the ILBs available on their board was better than the players they have currently (despite what other expert scouts like Grant here may think).

    Baalke mentioned that there were 6 receivers that the Niners were interested. 4 went in the first round and the other two in the first half of second round (Sheppard and Tyler). (Maybe he meant that he would have drafted one of those had they fallen to the third.) He said that after those 6, there was a significant drop off in their estimate. Anyway, I don’t trust Baalke on WR. He did mention something about being burnt on WR in the past.

    1. I agree with Baalke with respect to the ILBs after Deion Jones, but Tartt is pretty much the same player. I understand the thought process and agree with it until proven false….

      1. If they wanted a starting ILB this year from the draft they had to give up either Buckner or Garnett.

    2. Regarding his ability to draft WRs, I suspect he got it right on Burbridge, but we seem to have a lot of talent at the position, especially if you include Rory Anderson and Cajuste, and it may have been a wasted pick. Who knows though. Here’s a repost of something from me a couple of days ago. I don’t know how many noticed it. Maybe it’s garbage; if so, I apologize.

      On Aaron Burbridge:
      I was putting away the PFF draft guide and decided to take a final look at their wide receiver stats and rankings. I saw they ranked Burbridge as a 5th round pick, and then I went on to their metrics and found something very surprising to me, given where Baalke picked him.
      First of all, of the wideouts in the major programs, Burbridge was the most targeted, with 146 targets. The guys ahead of him were Tajae Sharpe (UMass) and Keyarris Garrett (Tulsa). Here are the targets on some other guys:
      Carroo 56
      Coleman 116
      Doctson 108
      Miller 38
      Thomas (OSU) 83
      Treadwell 122
      Ok, but how did he do on the metrics PFF published in the draft guide? This is what really impressed me, given where we got him:
      Yards per route run: 12 out of 51
      Carroo 1/51
      Coleman 3/51
      Doctson 2/51
      Miller 43/51
      Thomas (OSU) 24/51
      Treadwell 27/51
      Deep receiving catch rate: 4/51
      Carroo 2/51
      Coleman 28/31
      Doctson 9/51
      Miller 13/51
      Thomas (OSU) 19/51
      Treadwell 18/51
      Slot receiving catch rate: 12/51
      Carroo 43/51
      Coleman 6/51
      Doctson 1/51
      Miller 35/51
      Thomas (OSU) 45/51
      Treadwell 33/51
      Not so impressive, though:
      Drop rate on catchable balls: 41/51
      Carroo 15/51
      Coleman 47/51
      Doctson 27/51
      Miller 7/51
      Thomas (OSU) 24/51
      Treadwell 38/51

    3. Baalke said the linebackers were looking good (praise is SOP), but also suggested Bowman was approaching pre-injury (huge). Kelly also mentioned Bowman was looking better another year away from his injury.

  32. 2015 DL: Dorsey–Williams–Dial

    2016 DL: Armstead–Dial–Buckner

    Upgrade in talent. Severe downgrade in run defense.

    1. Initially you’re probably right Grant, but I think it improves steadily enough that by the time Williams and Dorsey return, the situation will not be as “severe”….

    2. Baalke says he wants Buckner to play around 305-310. Reports say Armstead looked really big standing next to Buckner. Did Arik put on major muscle, or was he always bigger than Buckner?

      They both need to work on pad level, but the added bulk should help in the run game.

      Anyone have a good idea of the defense O’Neil will deploy? I read it was over;y complicated last year. His system made run defenders confused about gaps. But Armstead recently said the practices were straightforward, aggressive, beat the guy in front of you.

      O’Neil could show some 4-3 looks, having Bucksteads hitting single gaps from time to time.

        1. My fuzzy memory knew of the report, but forgot the reporter. Sorry for missing that.

          The similarities in Buckner and Armstead has advantages, but naturally some liabilities too. I imagine O’Neil will try to scheme towards the strengths. They they can 2-gap, I’m wondering if one of them will hit single gaps from time to time.

          Ronald Blair hits gaps quickly, and knifes in with low pad level (at least in the highlights I saw). The combination can really cross up defenders.

      1. Uncle Buckner’s hands are a foot long and he uses them very effectively in hand to hand combat, there in the trenches…..

    1. No, because the coaching staff alone gives them a couple more wins. Again, if Chip Kelly’s offense is peanut butter and Colin Kaepernick is the jelly, this team can win 8 or so games….

        1. Grant – I agree this is a 4 win team which kind of answers the question for us. I hate to be overly pessimistic but with the trouble they have had winning on the road (except for the Harbaugh years), I don’t think 4 is even a lock.

          1. That’s a good point. This team got embarrassed on the road by the Browns. They would have gone 0-8 on the road if the Bears’ kicker made that chip shot.

            1. Again…there is no comparison between last year’s staff and this year’s. What the team did and did not do last year does not matter at all going forward. Move on.

          2. Niners are in a good position. Teams will take them lightly, so maybe they can steal a few more wins.
            Being expected to lose so many games will just make the winning all the more satisfying.
            GO NINERS !!!!!! SIX !!!!!!.

            1. Oh, hello. You are the poster who doubted Hayne getting cut on the bus, yet remain silent because you do not want to believe the truth.
              Still expect some acknowledgement, or are you the new tag team troll to haunt my posts?

              1. Seb don’t you now think Hayne was just used as a feel good story/marketing ploy?
                I mean you can’t really believe he beats out Harris,Draughn, Taylor or Davis?

              2. Prime, if the Niner coaches are not smart enough to be able to utilize his skillsets properly, I hope he moves to another team who will be able to do that.
                Funny, I did not feel good about how he was treated, and If Hayne helps them win, it will help with the marketing. Story?, more like a tragic nightmare
                At the very least, they should let him return punts. He does not have to worry about blocking assignments, and he demonstrated in the preseason last year that he can make players miss, and is no pushover.
                Chip should devise plays where Hayne takes a swing pass, so he will have the ball and be one on one with the safety. If Hayne can make him miss, he could go all the way.
                Hayne may be a big factor in deciding if the Niners improve, or stay mired in mediocrity.

              3. Seb he’s a non factor. Only because there are so many more options before him. He is still in learning mode and now he has to learn another entire new scheme offensively.
                Also you can’t just dress a guy in today’s NFL just to be a returner. I guess you could but Hayne isn’t that good to be a one position guy on game day. Chip is all about versatility. If a guy can play multiple positions he mostly likely will dress game day.
                At first it looked like a good idea but he looked really tentative late on the year. Maybe another year on the practice roster will help.

              4. Hayne should be a gunner on ST, he is big and fast. He also has shown that he can make first downs, so he is an instinctual runner. From what I have seen, he can catch the ball, too. That sounds pretty versatile to me.
                Finally, he brings his rugby skills to the team so he is a whiz at laterals, which if Chip is smart and innovative enough, will incorporate into the game plan.
                Too bad the former coaches could not think their way out of a paper bag, so they wasted his talents. I hope the new coaches will try everything in their power to win, and not be content to lose.

        2. I don’t know Grant, they’ve upgraded the running game with Garnett. A key component to Kelly’s offense. They solidified the defensive line with The Twin Towers. I’m very interested in camp reports about Smelter, and think he has plenty of talent to inject into the offense. This will be a make or break camp for players like Patton and Ellington….

        3. No, the Seahawks are weaker than last year. They’ve lost their two best OL off of a OL that was sh-tty to start with. Plus they’ve lost other depth, and the biggest loss of all: Lynch.

            1. Seb: Ifedi and Odhiambo will shine under Tom Cable. The Hawks didn’t lose anything by trading down. They have a heck of a coach in Cable.

              Their OL was in shambles last year at the beginning of the season and they improved with a bunch of undrafted scrubs. They will have a stronger OL this year.

    2. It’s hard to speculate on if they are the least improved team or not, but in terms of overall talent, they haven’t improved much.

        1. But if your looking at it from a rebuild perspective, the needle is throttled.
          I think we keep underestimating that this is a rebuild. Its going to take 2-3 years before we can evaluate this draft and this coaching staff.
          Its clear they are focused on rebuilding the lines on both sides of the ball. The departures of Boone, Iupati, AD, Cowboy, Aldon Smith, Wow! Thats a tremendous loss and will take a huge influx of talent to replace those guys alone. Now add the fact your having to play new players in a new scheme, thats really difficult to say if they have gottent better talent wise.
          No fan or columnist wants to say patience is the key here but thats the reality.
          Its going to be a boring 2 years for anyone involved with this team. Sorry but true!

          1. Prime,

            It is a rebuild, but who says you can’t rebuild by drafting other positions too? They need a lot of players in different areas so why concentrate most of your picks on 3 of them and pretty much ignore the rest?

            1. Because the need is so great. There is a serious lack of talent at every position.
              Better to solidify the lines which to me will help compliment the lack of talent at the skilled positions.
              I appreciate Baalkes philosophy in this approach. By next year the 49ers can focus on the skilled positions.

              1. Prime,

                Right and who’s to blame for the lack of talent at every position?

                He’s had numerous drafts to solidify the lines and has used a number of picks in an attempt to do so. What makes you think he has gotten it right this time?

                Why ignore other need areas like OLB to take a CB with 7 career starts and coming off of a torn ACL?

                What makes you think he will focus on the skill positions next year when he hasn’t done it before?

              2. His 2012 class is why the 49ers find themselves in the situation they are in. That and the early retirements. As for OLB, they can move on from Lemonier, but the book is still open on Harold and Carradine. Lynch will be a year removed from back surgery and his arrow is up. Next year they might have an opportunity to draft Carl Lawson from Auburn, and when healthy is better than Spence. They now have the two premier 3-4 ends for the next five years. It’s all about best player available and how they fit, not only in the scheme but in terms of how much their 2nd and 3rd year players are projected to improve….

              3. Im not giving Baalke a free pass. What Im encouraged about is the input of Tom Gamble and Kelly in this rebuild.
                Also the fact they are targeting players in certain position groups they have rated as best available.
                Yes they needed an ILB and OLB and much more. But they valued OL, DL and the secondary this draft.
                To me this draft wasnt one in which Baalke could reach for the skilled positions. He needed this draft to solidify the lines so that the foundation is set for the next year of the rebuild. The RB’s, WR’s, pass rush and possibly QB.
                Point is we have to trust the 49ers have a plan. A plan that really we know nothing about.
                But I do like the direction of the oline which now looks much improved. As well as the dline which looks very stout for the next 5 years or more.
                Still lots of work to be done and playoffs is probably 3 years away.
                Yes its not ideal and maybe Baalke does not last till the end of the year. Who knows. All im saying is a rebuild is painful with lots of question marks.

              4. Razor,

                It’s not just the 2012 class. That was bad, but we have not benefited from most of his 2nd and 3rd round picks the past few years either.

                Buckner is a heck of a player, no argument, but we are still left with a team that isn’t going to improve much in the areas they really struggled in last year unless some under achievers turn things around.

              5. Rocket dont forget, Kelly is no Tomsula. Coaching has also played a huge factor in the past 2 years. That included Harbaugh as well.

              6. Prime,

                Baalke is still the guy in charge of personnel. He has always had input from others and he makes the final decisions. I don’t see anything different in this draft than he has done before. In fact the first pick is exactly the same as last year, and the multiple picks on CB’s and Olinemen is the same strategy used two years ago. He doesn’t go outside his comfort zone and his comfort zone has yielded questionable returns. You can say he’s solidified the lines, but I’m not sure he has. He essentially replaced Dial with Buckner, and replaced Boone with Garnett. On the list of areas of weakness, Dial and Boone were pretty far down the list. Blair looks to be a decent prospect but is more of a run defender at this point, and they took to OT’s who look like they will be vying for a swing Tackle position. I’m not sure the Lines are all that solidified personally.

                As to the idea of trusting that the 49ers have a plan, all I can say is: What has Baalke done to lead you to believe he has a plan and with the results we have seen how can you trust him? I said this earlier and I’ll say it again here: he has not earned the benefit of the doubt. He should be doubted with what he’s done.

                Even if he survives to lead another draft and goes against the grain to focus on the skill positions, what faith do you have that he can find talent at those positions? The guy can’t draft a WR to save his life. He’s drafted two QB’s in his history and one was due to his HC pushing for him. Other than Hyde, where is the RB talent he’s drafted? Where are the pass rushers?

                I always knew there was some problems with Baalke’s talent evaluation and drafting, but the realization that he is the worst over the past 5 years and the continuing trend of drafting players in the same positions he’s used multiple picks on previously because they haven’t panned out, opened my eyes to the fact this guy doesn’t have a freaking clue as to how to build a team.

              7. Rocket, I agree with everything you’re saying about Baalke, in fact I’ve said it in the past as well.
                He needs to hit some home runs. But the picks he chose this year are not glamorous but really out of necessity.
                The 49ers are married to him. It’s clear he can do no wrong in Jeds mind and in hiring Chip, he probably gets another 2 years.
                I think this year he also gets a clean slate with what happened 2 years ago and now with a new coaching staff.
                Time is on his side. He hasn’t earned a thing with this franchise but because of all the turmoil and turnover, he gets another chance.

        2. Barring misfortune, the OL should be significantly better that what the 49ers had most of last season. That’s huge, by itself.

        3. Barring misfortune, the OL should be significantly better that what the 49ers had most of last season. That’s huge, by itself.

            1. Grant, I asked you earlier what Boone’s 2015 pass pro score was so we have some metric by which to measure Garnett’s performance in 2016. Makes it easier to know whether or not you are correct in your assessment….

              1. PFF on Boone: “Boone has historically been good in the run game, but his first negative run-blocking grade came in 2015 with a switch to the other side of the line.” Also “At his peak in 2012, Boone was one of the best guards in football, and while he hasn’t really hit that form since, he remains a capable starter who surrendered only three sacks and 17 total pressures last season (2015)—almost half as many as Sweezy”. My humble opinion FWIW, Boone wanted off the clown car and clashed with Baalke. He got what he wanted – a chance to be with a winner – and I think his numbers will improve.

              2. BTW – I would say that getting off the Clown Car was also on AD’s mind at the time he “retired” and, were it not for TB, he would have already committed to return

              3. I agree, Baalke is allowing his emotions dictate his actions. Obviously, he is not welcoming AD back with open arms and is putting the squeeze on him financially along with keeping him from trying to move to another team out of spite.
                Now we have leakers stating that AD went crazy, when in actuality, he was suffering from concussion issues. When someone states he is walking around in a fog, and complaining about headaches, the best course of action is to put that player on IR so he can recover fully.
                If Baalke was smart, he would not be giving AD more headaches.

            1. Seb

              I will only say that I’m glad you’re not in charge of San Quentin…the prisoners would be running the prison….Football is a lot like life…there are lines that you have to walk inside of…I loved Boone, but his tendency to walk “outside the lines” has been documented from his first days as a niner…AD just lost his desire…Clown car…?…Don’t sign contracts you dont intend to keep…

              1. Oregon, in sports, as in life, there will be unexpected developments. AD did not anticipate the concussion problems, and to all who have followed his saga, AD was severely concussed with lingering side effects.
                I do not fault AD in the slightest for his decision to retire. I do fault Baalke for throwing up roadblocks that made him reconsider playing again.
                San Quentin? Off on a tangent, I would sell San Quentin to the Buck Trust for a major retirement community, and establish a new prison in the Sierras, carving out of granite an escape proof facility while exploring for the Mother lode. Use prison labor to make it economically feasible. They could also tunnel under the Sierras for a major road and railway system, which would save tons of energy and also make a weatherproof way to travel east and west. If they hit the mother lode, it would pay for everything, even eliminate any budget deficits.
                I know, its just another grandiose plan, but I am a Californio, and think big.

              2. O – “Don’t sign contracts you dont intend to keep…” Are you talking about the contract Jed signed with Harbaugh? Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so they say.

    3. I think the 49ers will be clearly improved over last year, but could have less wins anyway. In some divisions I would put the 49ers at 8-8. The meatgrinder schedule (and absurd travel dates/times) dampen my win/loss predictions. 4-12 sounds about right.

      The 49ers were worse than a 5 win team last year. (side note, Jeff Fisher said if they won the last game vs the 49ers, they probably wouldn’t have been in position to move up for Goff.)

      1. Brodie – I sadly agree with Grant’s and your 4 win assessment. When the optimists think about 8-8 I’m afraid that they are forgetting two things. From Mooch till today only one coach has been able to get the 49ers to where they were competitive on the road – JH. Last year would have been 0-8 if the Bears had not missed a chip shot FG. Also, JH was 8-8 in his last season. The talent today may be equal to what JH had but is certainly not better. So, we are supposed to believe that a new HC (who was just fired), installing a new system, with a new DC (replacing Fangio) from THE worst team in the NFL, is going to put up better numbers than JH did. As they say in the home of the Silicon Niners, I think their brains are in an infinite loop. (And those same people are often saying I’m nuts!)

  33. In the NFL everything starts in the trenches. I know fans want to blame everything on the QB when things go bad and give the QB all the credit when things go well. In reality, no matter how good your skill position players are, the team will still not win without a solid O line and D line. Baalke addressed both sides of the LOC with Buckner and Garnett in the first round. Nobody can find fault with the first two picks. Even Grant gives him an A for these.

    After two excellent picks in the first round, it seems awfully nitpicky to downgrade him to a D overall based on the remaining picks. I happen to believe a good pass rush can make average corners look better than they are so I would have tried to find a pass rush specialist in the 3rd round. Obviously Baalke believes that great corners can make average pass rush look better so he loaded up on corners. Reasonable minds can differ on what is more important. A pass rusher or a cover corner. It is a chicken or the egg question.

    As for the fifth or sixth round picks who cares. Most of these guys will probably not even make the team.

    I give Baalke a solid B+ for this draft.

    1. Don’t get Scooter and I started on what’s more valuable, a shut down corner or sack demon. It can get very convoluted….

      1. Ha, but I do love to make the case for the pass rush! But that’s one of the things I like about this draft, they upgraded both.

  34. SPARQ percentiles of the 49ers draft picks:

    DeForest Buckner: 54.2
    Joshua Garnett: 29.9
    Will Redmond: N/A
    Rashard Robinson: 2.9
    Ronald Blair: 88.8
    John Theus: 23.4
    Fahn Cooper: 8.1
    Jeff Driskel: 87.7
    Kelvin Taylor: 4.0
    Aaron Burbridge: 8.7
    Prince Charles Iworah: 71.0

      1. K

        Thanks for asking…I haven’t got clue ONE. Does anyone else think that maybe we have toooo many abbreviations ? It seems futile spending more time interpreting the abbs than what they represent…yuk…yuk…

  35. Also Grant, have you got a good look at Smelter lately? I’m interested in if he looks like he’s benefitted from the 49ers strength and conditioning program too….

  36. Grant

    I just got home from my 3 month post-op appointment with my ACL surgeon, and I asked him the following question:

    What impact would a straight ACL tear have on the future of a 22 year old NFL player, both in terms of likelihood of return to the field and likelihood of return to pre-injury performance?

    He said, to paraphrase in all truthfulness, that there is an 85-90% expectation of a 100% return to pre-injury performance, but that the 100% figure is somewhat nebulous because the numbers used to measure performance, tenths of a second in speed, loads exerted in transitional moves, etc … might be noticeable to machines, but are generally not noticeable on a human scale. He said that what seems to happen most often (and he cited Jerry Rice) was that a player comes back too early and reinjures a graft that is not yet fully vascularized, or alternatively, for some unknown reason, a player comes back and then tears the other ACL. So, in 85% of cases, a career ought not to be noticeably affected, even in the NFL, at least in terms of the expectations as generated by physical measurements. What exists in a man’s head, and I’m speaking from personal experience here, cannot be measured, but there does exist a significant fear of repeating the terribly debilitating event.

    I followed up his answer with another question:

    Does a focused physiotherapy routine ever result in increased performance post-recovery?

    To this question, he said that in his work with the US Ski Team, where they commonly measure power loads through the thighs and lower body muscles, that the focused rehab results in greater performance about 50% of the time.

    So what does all this mean? I’d say that you have cases like Adrian Peterson, Navorro Bowman, and Jerry Rice, where exceptional talents happen to coincide with exceptional work ethics inside of once in a generation people. If the knee is torn, whether it’s a clean ACL or something much worse, as in Bowman, there is an 85% chance of a 100% return; the real variable is, I believe, in the person himself. Who is Brandon Thomas? Who is DeAndre Smelter? Who is Tank Carradine? Who is Will Redmond?

    Bowman has told us he is Peterson and he is Rice, so great was he last season. I’d expect him to come back faster, stronger than last season, simply because the knee is now fully healed.

    If Thomas, Carradine, and Smelter were ever going to amount to anything in the NFL, the ACL shouldn’t stop them in 2016, whereas with Redmond, a return in 2016 would actually be foolishly asking for another ACL event, whether in the injured knee or the other one.

    How do you see it?

    1. Thanks, this touches on something at the end that I was trying to get across yesterday. How often can the failure of Baalke’s ACL picks be blamed on the injury vs the player themselves? Only Lattimore’s career was really curtailed by the knee injury. The other guys appear to move fine post knee injury.

      Rather than worrying about whether Redmond’s knee will be any good, we should be more worried about whether the kid has the talent. From what I have seen on film, he looks pretty talented. And a lot of scouting reports seem to think the same thing.

      1. His entire game is based on quickness and burst. Foolish to think he’ll regain the same level of quickness and burst he had before tearing his ACL.

            1. That’s not true at all. Skiers travel down mountains upwards of 80 MPH changing directions, landing enormous jumps, all of which puts enormous load into the knee.

              1. Sorry, skiing is not comparable to football. It’s comparable to bike riding.

              2. Grant

                You’re being a donkey and you know it. Bicycling is a non-impact sport.

                I’ve been cleared to ride a bike since 2 weeks post-op, just got cleared to run today (3 months post-op), and will be cleared to return to, waitforit, skiing and soccer, at 9 months, if everything goes well.

              3. If you put lateral load on your knee while you’re cycling, you’re doing something wrong.

        1. Grant,

          Repeating the same incorrect information over and over, doesn’t bake it true.

          There is a chance Redmond won’t be what he was pre injury, but the odds are in his favor.

            1. OK, whatever you say. What was i thinking? How foolish to believe direct information from highly skilled surgeons, instead of listening to you.

              1. If you think an ACL tear is no big deal for a football player, you deserve Trent Baalke.

              2. I think what everyone is saying is that today’s medicine /healthcare makes ACL injuries less career ending

          1. No, but he’s been about 25-30lbs heavier than he used to be and playing a different role. By design.

            We’ll get a much better idea as to whether his knee has been the issue in terms of his explosiveness this year.

              1. No, just not one to jump to conclusions. Too many players come back from knee injuries fine for it to be as big a red flag as you suggest. The more likely factor as to why guys that are drafted with knee injuries don’t succeed is the same reason why most draft picks don’t succeed. They just weren’t talented enough in the first place.

                What I will say is that confidence is a big factor, and young guys have a steep enough learning curve as it is. If a player isn’t 100% confident in their knee and also trying to learn how to be an NFL player, I am sure it can make them look a lot worse than their actual talent level is. And once a player’s confidence is shot, goodnight.

              2. I can see the return of players to be able to play at a high level again, but like Grant says, there seems to be a slight drop off from before he was injured.
                That is why I do not like the ACL picks. It is better to get a fully healthy player, instead of gambling that the player will recover sufficiently .
                The high risk/high return probably fits analytics well, but I want a steady, and marked improvement instead of a boom or bust scenario.
                To analogize, it is like buying a used car that has been in an accident. It is better to buy a car that has not been in an accident, than getting something cheaper, but may have problems down the road.

              3. Gore played a season in college after tearing his ACL. He had proven himself before the Niners took him.

              4. Gore played at Miami at the same time a Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis. Virtually everyone who has commented on the subject insists that Frank Gore was the best of the three. Also, as Grant points out, Gore returned to play BEFORE he was drafted and was ready to compete for a position as soon as he arrived for his first TC. (Indeed, he was fairly productive in his first year and was Pro Bowl in his second) That is not wing and a prayer situation. When you are in the mode that the 49ers are in, why would you even want to gamble on an unknown like this? Arguing the theoretical probabilities of the gamble paying off, when there are perfectly healthy athletes on the board is like fiddling while Rome is burning.

              5. Grant,

                What are you talking about? We never saw Tank Carradine as an NFL player, how in the world can anyone know what he would’ve been as an NFL player had he not been injured?

        1. He certainly did not. When you think about it, it’s amazing that he’s even on the field, let alone making 150 tackles….

        1. I agree. Many athletes in all sports can recover from any injury. It really is mind over matter.
          Like JC said,it’s all about the players mindset.
          If Dan Marino, the worst athlete to play the QB position can recover from the deadliest injury in all of sports (Achilles tendon tear) then it really is about the individual!

          1. Prime

            I tore my Achilles in 2012 and the ACL is significantly worse, but yeah, what you’re saying.

              1. How long ago? It also depends on where it tears. If it’s in the middle of the tendon, it’s nowhere near as bad as if it’s at the base, where it will shear off part of the bone in the heel bone. That one’s nasty.

              2. I tore medial meniscus’ in both knees. My left knee they removed two pieces of torn cartilage the size of 50 cent pieces. There’s nothing that I can’t do. I can run and cut, whatever I want. I don’t even think about it. The surgery for the left knee was in the ’80’s too….

    2. JC, Thomas was a conundrum. He may have been fully recovered from the ACL, but Boone took the spot he was drafted for. Then, when Boone went down, Thomas maybe could have started, but he injured his ankle. Still do not know if he is able to win that LG starting spot, but since Boone is gone, he may be in the mix. However, the Niners traded up to grab Garnett, and he plays LG, so Thomas may be sitting again.
      Thomas cant catch a break.

  37. Another horrible article…shocker. Started when he tried to make the trade up for Garnett look bad, saying SF gave up 3 picks for him. Did they not get a 1 and 7 in return?? So they basically gave up a 4th for a guy that should be an instant starter as a rookie…I’ll take that. No to mention SF comes out ahead in the trade value chart.

    Then Grant goes onto rip the later round picks because they are going to be backups. What late round picks are ever counted on to be starters for any team?! Also since when is loading up on DB’s a bad thing in a league where you line up in nickel 70% of the time? Daniel Jerimiah had Redmond as a late 1st if healthy. I’ll take his opinion over a Cohn’s any day.

  38. I love predictions. And predicting. Games and records that is. I never go with draft predictions because let’s be honest NOBODY knows what the hell they’re talking about until these youngsters play. So I grade by what the team needs not the player. And without getting an ILB I give Baalke a thumbs down! He will be fired next season and we can move on from this guy and focus on hating York only. :-) happy cinco de mayo faithful! Adios!

  39. The 49ers face the leagues toughest schedule this year, Jed and his family sit on approx. 60 million in cap space…Think this will change? Think again PSL holders, while reading this report:

    Moneyball Is Changing the Way NFL Teams Assemble Their Rosters

    By Mike Tanier , NFL National Lead Writer May 5, 2016

    In the 10 years that I’ve been affiliated with Football Outsiders, I’ve seen analytic principles go from scoffed-at voice-in-the-wilderness theories (Running backs wear out quickly? Nonsense, nerd) to conventional wisdom (What kind of crazy Texas billionaire blows a top-five pick on a running back who will wear out quickly?). But this offseason and draft saw an explosion of analytics principles at work. “Moneyball,” for want of a better term, is reshaping NFL rosters.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2637858-moneyball-is-changing-the-way-nfl-teams-assemble-their-rosters

  40. NEW TOPIC:

    I just read the Driskel article over on MaioccoCSN, which states Driskel has 4+ years running a zone-read offense. So here’s the question:

    Since no 49ers QB is the incumbent, and none is thought of as a proven commodity, what’s stopping Driskel, who has physical and intellectual traits almost identical to the other 2 guys, from being the Game 1 starter?

    Thoughts?

    1. I asked him his goal for the season. He said, “learn.” Doesn’t sound like he’s competing.

      1. That’s a good answer for his first day at the facility, but I wonder what happens once he starts to display his QB skills in training camp.

    2. Kaep is bigger, stronger, faster, can make jaw dropping throws, has been in the Super Bowl, has playoff rushing records and has a 4-2 road playoff record.
      Hard to dismiss those facts. Once he was injured, he did not do that well, but was also hampered by cheap coaches that gave cheap results.
      Gabbert has a 5-28 record, once lateraled when the RB was not looking for the ball, has the tendency to throw short of the sticks, and has never sniffed the playoffs.
      Driskel is a green rookie. He has never played a snap in the NFL. He was a total failure at Florida, and resurrected his career at La Tech playing against lesser opponents. He should sit behind Kaep and Gabbert, study hard, and get a lot stronger.

      1. I know I’ve challenged you about Kap before, but all is good. That being said, how about having a little fun with this?

        If Kap gets the job, I’ll change my name to Kap Is My God for six months or, if he’s later benched because he sucks, until that time, whichever is less.

        But if he doesn’t get the job, you change your name to Kap’s a Loser for six months or, if they give it to him later because Gabbert sucks, until that time, whichever is less.

        What do you say? If you want to negotiate this, I’m all ears.

        1. Naw, I like my name. Also, I do not feel the FO is behind Kaep, unless it is to stab him in the back. I think Kaep is here because Chip wants him badly.
          They may cut him on the team bus.
          George, I hope you are feeling better, and the Draft brought you a little happiness.
          I am happy with it, even with the redundant picks.
          Thank you for giving me kudos for getting 3 right in the draft, but I think there were a few others who did as well. Of course, I proposed many mocks, some very far fetched. However, my last mock was the one I will crow about, because of those 3 hits. Some will say that it was just lucky guesses, and they may be right.

          1. Seb, I’m feeling much better, thanks. I enjoyed the draft and, as you know, liked our picks on the whole. I can’t believe, though, that Baalke spent a 4th round pick on Robinson. That has bust written all over it. But I think the draft will help, plus the new coaching staff. Also, I have hopes for a healthy Hyde, Tank, Martin, and Thomas. And I think Kelly will find ways to use Hayne, which could be big.

            I think getting three picks right is good, because the draft is so unpredictable. Kudos to the others who hit on some of theirs. The one pick I got right was Blair, which makes me smile because he was relatively unknown and a number of people are now lauding the pick. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the PFF draft guide, and I’ll buy it again ($10).

            1. George, I totally concur on your take about Robinson. He had so many red flags, he looked like a semaphore.
              Redmond may have been a gamble, but Robinson was such a head scratcher, especially with all the other players who were available, and a better choice.

        2. Niner I spoke with today said job is definitely Gabbert’s to lose. Everyone loves the guy and no one Kaepernick. Described him as a loner.

            1. Seb – It’s really hard to see how Kaep regains his footing on this team. In a well functioning franchise, the 49ers would have cut their losses and let him escape but I think they wanted Kaep to go like Harbaugh did and just walk away from his contract Unfortunately either Kaep or his agents would have no part of that. Instead the Days of Our Lives soap opera continues on for us all to enjoy. Another problem with letting Kaep go is that Baalke would have been forced to find an heir apparent for Gabbert since betting the farm on him is really not smart. So the soap opera continues and the nightmare I am having is when I change the channel I still see the same program on every channel. Whether or not the leak is accurate, I never believed that it would be anything other than Gabbert’s job to lose. There will be no real competition.

      2. He also throws at trainers on the sideline and throws a far less catchable ball than Gabbert and doesn’t throw lofted touch passes. But his results for 2 seasons are undeniable.

  41. “Anytime a player gets injured, there’s the possibility that they never reach pre-injury form again,” Baalke said. “That’s a reality of what we do. But at the same time, it goes back to the risk-reward and the work you do. What’s your research? You can minimize the risk by doing a very good job in researching the injury, in researching the individual. You increase your odds of a positive outcome by being thorough.”

    Says the guys who’s oh for six.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap2000000353475/article/san-francisco-49ers-at-forefront-of-redshirting-trend-in-nfl-draft

  42. How many players drafted fresh off an ACL tear in college have succeeded in the NFL? Todd Gurley is one, although we’ll see how long his repaired knee lasts.

  43. Spent Some time with a 49er today and few interesting things I learned:

    1) kaepernick is not liked much in locker room, keeps to himself and when things don’t go his way, becomes a problem. Does not expect Gabbert’s starting to be well handled by Kaep.

    2) expects Gabbert to start, says he is an awesome dude, everyone likes him, freak athlete, will become elite.

    3) Anthony Davis went a little kray, kray before he retired. People sensed something was wrong.

    4) Not excited about rebuilding. Actually said, “hoping to win a couple games this year.” That was a little painful to hear, but at least an honest assessment

    5) called losing Willis, Borland, etc the perfect storm.

    6) I told him my thoughts about draft, told him Driskel may end up being the steal of draft. He said he is interested in seeing what he can do.

    1. Was this a 49ers player or other speaking? Am I the only one that believes this team can actually compete?

      1. It depends upon what you mean by compete. Obviously they need to solidify the oline and mount a decent pass rush. No team can compete without that. But even assuming they succeed in doing that, they are fighting learning a new system on both sides of the ball, having a tough schedule, and being in a tough division.

        1. Ha! Or what George said a day earlier.

          BTW, George, after hearing the BR podcast, I’m also not so thrilled by the Robinson pick. It seems there were better options at that spot. He could still develop, but e looks like he’s hot s long way to go, both physically and mentally.

    2. Daniners,
      Not saying that I don’t believe that you were with the 49ers as you state, but I do have a hard time believing that any player on the team would say “hoping to win a couple of games this year” as factual. That seems like a very strong and dangerous comment by a member of the team.

    3. Trying to guess which 49er you talked to (assuming your comment wasn’t sarcasm)

      – His comments about Borland, Willis, Davis means he was a 49er before the 2015 season. That rules out all 2015 rookies and FAs.
      – “Him” rules out Denise York or Joan in payroll.
      – Assessment of the teams chances not overly rosy or company line

      I would have guessed Boone but he’s gone. I’m guessing Staley? Brooks? Boldin? Miller? Dorsey?

      1. B2w, please do not listen to this leaker. He may claim that he was there, but if Jed has an iota of common sense, he will tell the whole team and organization to stop leaking, or this season will be doomed before TC.
        Leaking smears about Kaep does not help the team, and these vicious leaks will help tear the team apart.

      2. He didn’t say it was a player. Whole bunch of people it could be that are in and around the team.

        1. Still, the very fact that some one is leaking dirt AGAIN just tics me off.
          Why wont they ever learn?
          Jed should put up a big sign that says- LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS.
          Then he should send a memo that says – If one has nothing positive to say, they should not speak at all. Bill Walsh never spoke badly about a person, or organization. If the Niners want to win with class, they need to act with class.
          Leaks can only hurt the organization. Look at how leaks caused the Niners to lose their winning HC. Look how the leaks almost cost them their SB QB.

          1. Meh, best way to stop the leaks is to win. People rarely have negative things to say when things are going well.

            49ers lost their winning HC because of friction at the top, not because of leaks. The leaks happened because of the friction. Annoying, but not uncommon.

            1. Scooter, your take on the JH situation is your opinion, but I remember all the leaks, and those leaks were not gushing with praise.
              Maybe you think that leaks and smears are just the standard operating procedure, the MO of the organization, but many other teams do not let leaks out, and keep everything in house.
              That is, if they want to win.

              1. I remember the leaks too. But it wasn’t the leaks that led to Harbaugh leaving. It was the friction (which also led to the leaks). Plain and simple.

                The leaks were merely a symptom, not the cause.

              2. No, it was their MO. Paraag just considered it as business as usual. The leaks led to the friction, and the further leaks were like pouring gas on the dumpster fire.

              3. Right, so JH and the rest of the FO got on fine, then all of a sudden Paraag just decided to start leaking stuff about it not being fine for no reason. Ok.

              4. No, the reason was they wanted to get rid of him, and thought they could win without him. Look how that turned out.
                Parrag did not decide out of the blue to start leaking things. It was a carefully planned out smear campaign, because JH wanted to be paid well, and Jed and John were too cheap.

              5. Yup, the leaks were the means to justify their ends. The leaks themselves were not just a symptom, but a whole mindset.
                Using leaks are a cowardly and dastardly way of conducting business. It is what cowards do because they are afraid to honestly confront an individual. They leak behind their victim’s back, and since it is usually an insult or pejorative, it is a stab in the back.
                You may call leaks merely symptoms, I call them evidence of malice and defamatory behavior. The cause, or motivation, can only be derived from Jed, but maybe he thinks that leaks and smears, being just symptoms, are perfectly fine to do to anyone.

              6. Don’t for a second think I am trying to defend the leaks. Not a fan at all, and most certainly not a fan of how things went down with Harbaugh. Above all else to me it is just unnecessarily malicious. Unfortunately some people just operate that way. I have had to deal with them at work in the past, and the 49ers appear to have them at some of the highest levels of the organisation. I also suspect they have them at other levels of the organisation, including within the player group. Too much information getting out that sounds more like it comes from the locker room than the office suites.

                However, it doesn’t change the fact that the leaks were not the reason Harbaugh left. He was let go because of friction between he and the front office.

                It also doesn’t change the fact that nearly every organisation has individuals that engage in this practice. Some organisations deal with it harshly, some like the 49ers don’t (because they would be hypocrites if they did). But one thing in sports organisations that is almost always true is that teams doing well tend to have a lot less leaks and teams doing poorly tend to have a lot more. Basically, disgruntled employees lead to increased leaks.

              7. Well I hoped you did not condone those practices, and am glad you stated otherwise.
                I agree with your last statement. Winning organizations have very few leaks, and dysfunctional ones have floods of them.

              8. Scooter, I will concede there was friction even before the leaks. Just after the SB, I think that TB and JH had a loud argument right after the game. Took them 2 years, but there was friction all during that time.

              9. Seb

                Of course everything you state is unproven speculation….you DO remember….”This meeting is for men only… ” Don’t you ? JH was no saint, and was constantly sticking his finger in TB, or Jed’s eye for his own gratification….Incidentally, after getting his hand slapped by the NCAA for trying to run a ‘camp’ in Florida….He is now trying to run a ‘camp’ in Ohio….Urban Meyer territory. He IS good at screwing up…

              10. I never said that JH was a saint, and that comment about men was probably made long after he knew he was going to be mutually parted with.
                I guess I just liked the winning and playoffs.

          2. Kaep is a different story. It does appear he feels somewhat hurt about some of the stories that have made their way to the media (amongst other things). Though I think the bigger issue/ reason for wanting to leave for him has been losing his job, losing the coach that believed in him, and not having his teammates stick up for him. The stories in the media and inability to retain talent I am sure also play their part, but to perfectly honest I think they are pebbles compared to the boulders of losing his job, his coach and teammates’ trust/ respect.

            1. Maybe another boulder was the fact that they insisted he play while injured, then blamed him for a poor performance, even though he was injured enough to have 3 surgeries to repair the damage.

              1. Yep, that was part of the losing his job aspect. He no doubt believes it was wholly unfair.

              2. Instead of giving him proper medical treatment and a competent diagnosis, they benched him, then ostracized him. Kaep may have lost his job, but it was like they cut him on the team bus. There are more people than just Kaep who believe it was wholly unfair.
                In fact, I think it was low class and reprehensible.

              3. I know you do.

                While I don’t like what the 49ers have done with Kaep, I think Kaep is also responsible for a lot of his troubles, and should take some ownership of it. He lost his job because he wasn’t playing well. He is ostrecised by his own doing. If he wants to change those things, he has to work at it. And for all we know he is.

              4. On NN, some posters are insisting that Kaep apologize for wanting to leave.
                I, on the other hand, want Jed to apologize to Kaep, because sending the leaker to negotiate a pay cut was not only obtuse, it was insulting, and evidence of Jed going back on his word.
                The worst thing in the world for the Niners, is to go into the season with a fractured locker room. They should clear the air, and get everyone on the same page. To me, installing Kaep as the starting QB would be a good first step, and might give the locker room some structure. Kaep should not lose his job he lost due to injury, and since he is the highest paid player on the team, the FO obviously thought he was the starting QB.
                Chip, as HC, needs to lead. He should tell the whole team and FO that he thinks that Kaep gives them the best chance to succeed, so he should install him as Starter until another player markedly out competes him. It is a logical hierarchy, and will cause the least amount of disruptions.

              5. Fans wanting Kaep to apologise for asking to leave is ridiculous. It’s part of not only football, but life in general. What I want him to do is his best to win back the trust of his teammates, work his butt off to become the best QB he can be, and not be a distraction for the team.

  44. If it’s a fair competition and Kaep’s mind is right he will easily win the competition. If the team was so high on Gabbert they would resign him to a decent extension considering it’s his contract year. The reality of the matter is that Chip wants one year with Kaep. He makes the call when it comes to the QB.. Players will follow if they win…

  45. I have faith in B. Gabbert…..He will shock most of you doubters…….#7 will start the season IR……

    1. Seb – It’s really hard to see how Kaep regains his footing on this team. In a well functioning franchise, the 49ers would have cut their losses and let him escape but I think they wanted Kaep to go like Harbaugh did and just walk away from his contract Unfortunately either Kaep or his agents would have no part of that. Instead the Days of Our Lives soap opera continues on for us all to enjoy. Another problem with letting Kaep go is that Baalke would have been forced to find an heir apparent for Gabbert since betting the farm on him is really not smart. So the soap opera continues and the nightmare I am having is when I change the channel I still see the same program on every channel. Whether or not the leak is accurate, I never believed that it would be anything other than Gabbert’s job to lose. There will be no real competition.

      1. I don’t know why this got posted twice. Now my PC is broken along with my TV. Somebody please wake me up from this nighmare!

      2. WC, I beg to differ. Gabbert is not an elite QB. He is serviceable and has improved, but counting on him to carry the team is like mining for fool’s gold.
        Gabbert could easily have been 0-8. He won the Falcon game because Quinn went brain dead and did not go for it and settled for a FG, which cost him the game. Gabbert should have lost the Bears game because the kicker not only missed an extra point, he missed an easy chip shot. They beat the Rams because they blocked an easy FG.
        You are counting out Chip. I can only figure out that the only reason Kaep has stayed is because of Chip. Jed’s minions have leaked and smeared him. Baalke wants the last vestige of JH purged from the organization. Chip was rumored to have some friction between him and Baalke, and the main logical reason was because they differed over Kaep. I would even wildly speculate that Chip threatened to quit if Kaep was let go, because Chip sees Kaep as his best chance to succeed, and Chip wants to win badly. Chip is probably drooling over the fact that he not only has a mobile QB, he has 3 mobile QBs.
        Chip is smart. He will utilize Kaep properly to maximize his talents. Once healthy, Kaep will stop throwing the ball at the receiver’s feet. With an improved O line, a healthy Hyde and Hayne to be a change of pace back, the offense will be able to sustain drives and keep the defense fresh.
        You may be right, and Gabbert will become the starter with Kaep languishing on the bench because Baalke insists on it, but I think Chip wants to win and will play the QB he saw march a team to a SB.

        1. Well I hope you’re right. I completely agree that Gabbert is never going to be the answer. I’m just worried that too much damage has been done for a reboot on Kaep.

          1. Now that Devey is gone, How can I not be anything but giddy with optimism. The O line just got light years better. That will help not only with pass protection, but also with the run game. With Hyde, Taylor and Hayne, maybe Kaep just needs to hand off the ball for the Niners to do better.
            I also like Cajuste, and Treggs may open some eyes. Smelter will help out in the run game, and Vance will not be asked to catch the ball since Celek will start.
            Its all sunshine and roses to me.

  46. Jordan Devey released! Now that’s how you start a day… Sorry for him but he was awful to put it kindly.

      1. I’m seeing a much better line this year. My prediction for this year is that Marcus Martin wins the center job and that Brandon Thomas takes over for Beadles at some point.. This unit will be the most improved.

    1. That’s good news. Thanks. I assume that’s the Garnett pick. My spirits will really soar when they say to Pears, “You’re fired!”

  47. First off trading up at the end of the first round with the current CBA makes all the sense in the world because you get an extra year on the contract for a starter. Also this draft is definitely built around Kelly & what his needs are. Pre-Harbaugh and 2011 most people wrote the Niners off as well. I think Kelly is going to be a huge X factor & will put these pics in the proper position and help the team do better than expected. I think the
    philosophy is definitely changed and linebackers are not as big of a factor for us as DB’s and secondaries for this coaching staff. And I would argue and agree that if you look at both Seattle and the Niners of the 80s that good defensive backfield play along with pass rush is far more important than middle linebacker play in the passing era. And though early on in the draft I was not happy about the skill positions not being addressed. I am interested to see how our 36 round picks turnout and think they may have found a couple of sleepers at wide receiver and running back that could help in the long run. Not to mention at least one of their free agents – WR Stanford-could be a potential sleeper it is definitely someone that should’ve been drafted earlier on.

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