John Lynch says the 49ers “haven’t been able to come to a (contract) agreement” with Carlos Hyde

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

49ers general manager John Lynch answered questions at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday morning. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.

 

What’s it like coming here with a quarterback?

“It’s pretty good. I remember very much, I was just thinking about it over here, last year that was a primary focus, finding our guy. It was one of the first things after [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I got together, we talked about the culture we want to set and all that, but I think we both agreed you have to find that guy at that position. It’s of such premium importance. It didn’t happen in the Draft process last year, but some fortuitous things kind of broke our way during the season. I really commend Kyle for his patience once we got [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] and allowing him to take time to learn his system the best he could. Everybody was saying, ‘play him, hey you traded for him, let’s play him.’ He made sure that he was at a spot where we were setting him up for success and then he went in and as we like to say he balled out, he played really well and he made our team better. Then it became a focus let’s get him locked up. I think it was a deal that worked out for everyone. We’re very appreciative to Jimmy and [sports agent] Don Yee and his team that we were able to do it so swiftly. I think that’s a huge bonus for us that we have him locked up going into free agency. I think it makes it a place where a lot of people want to be and we’re excited about that.”

Looking back, last year when we were here you described not having a quarterback as liberating.

“Well, we didn’t have a quarterback on our roster at one point. I’m always an optimist and I was trying to be one there. But, the idea was that we could shape it as we wanted to. We were able to do that. I think what’s even more liberating is having Jimmy under contract.”

What did you like about him?

“Well, we had studied him. One of the things that Kyle and I did is we spent a lot of time when we first got there together, actually [former NFL head coach] Tony Dungy was the guy who said that the best thing for you to do is close your door with Kyle is watch film and talk ball. And so we did that. Kyle had a lot of tapes together at each position and this is what you look for. Some of the clips that were showing up, various guys at the quarterback position, but Jimmy was a guy. I had broadcasted Patriots games and studied him a little bit. But, that tape I kept watching and the physical skills were noticeable and his ability to quickly get rid of the ball efficiently and accurately and all those things. So, we started watching more, there wasn’t a whole lot to watch, but what you watched you really liked. It’s well documented, we don’t like talking about it a whole lot, but we made some efforts right away to try to do something and they were re-buffed quicker than I could ask and so we kind of just moved on. During the season, like I said, some things broke our way and he became available.”

What is it about him that you think can set him up to have long-term success and that last year wasn’t just a flash?

“I think the physical traits. He can really quickly process and get rid of the football in a fashion that I would say is elite. But, then you go and study the makeup of a guy and the only way to do that is to see him around his teammates. To me, the best leaders, the best quarterbacks, they make everyone around them better. We watched our team, I will say that it coincided with we had played a bunch of young guys, we had gone through just a brutal series of injuries, so it also coincided with young guys getting experience and us getting healthy as a team. But, there’s no mistaking that when he came in and started playing it lifted our team and it lifted everyone around him. And then, just his makeup, his work-ethic, he never left the facility. Yes, he was trying to learn a new system and he needed to, but his diligence, the way his teammates just kind of liked being around him, he’s one of the guys, even though he’s not just one of the guys, you know? That whole deal we watched it and it became clear in our minds that this is a guy that we wanted to move forward with and we’re pleased that we’ve done it.”

There are team that go 20 years without a star quarterback. Do you feel like you guys hit the lottery and that one just fell in your lap?

“We also know that there’s a lot that remains. The story is not yet written. And Jimmy knows that. That’s one thing that he’s very cognizant of, that we’ve got a lot of work to do. And we’ve got a lot of work to do as a team. I think [former NFL head coach] Bill Parcells said it best, you are what your record says you are. We were a 6-10 team, we were 1-5 in our division. Did we finish strong? Absolutely. I can tell you that in Tampa when we were trying to turn it around, there were years we finished strong. That doesn’t guarantee success the next year. So, it’s back to try and improve our franchise in every way we can and it’s back to good old fashioned hard work to make sure that we do carry the momentum that we had forward into next year.”

I know every year is different, but what are some of the things that you can take from that finish and carry into next year?

“Well, I think the most positive thing is we had a lot of young players. We were playing 15, 16 rookies throughout last year and they performed really well. They’re guys that fit what we want to be about as an organization. Watching that take place and watching that develop, that has us very excited. Are we still a work in progress? Absolutely. We still have work to do. That’s part of the great challenge. We’re very excited. We want to continue to improve our team through every vehicle that we’re allowed, free agency, re-signing our own guys. We talk about Jimmy, but [DB] K’Waun Williams was last year, [C] Daniel Kilgore our center, [DL] Cassius Marsh is a guy who came to us midstream last year and we got him redone. [OL] Garry Gilliam is a swing tackle that we just re-signed. We want to keep that going. We want to reward our own players. So, every means necessary and at our disposal we’ll use to try to improve our team.”

When you watch defensive backs nowadays, how does that change your evaluation or how different is that for you to evaluate because you were a safety?

“It’s all part of it. The game is much more spread out. They throw the football much more. It’s played much more in space. And so, you better have players who can operate in space and who can do a number of different things. [Alabama DB] Minkah Fitzpatrick is a guy that is highly thought of, and we feel the same about him, but that versatility that he brings is something special. We drafted a kid, [DB] Adrian Colbert, last year one of the things that drew us to him is that we knew he could play corner and we knew he could play safety. That kind of flexibility gives you a lot of options. We also knew at the least he was going to be a very effective special teams player. So yes, those things, versatility, is always a good thing and it’s something I think everyone’s looking for.”

 

Is it to the point where if you’re a defensive back and you can only do one thing, you better do that exceedingly well?

“I think that’s always been the case though. I think versatility has always been an important part of the game. I do think there is an element though the way the game is being played that you have to be able to do a number of things very well.”

What did you think of QB C.J. Beathard’s performance as a rookie and what do you think his upside is?

“We think very highly of C.J. I can tell you one of the reasons that it was, I wouldn’t say easy, but easier for us to be patient and Kyle was making those decisions with Jimmy was that C.J. was playing well in our mind and was improving each and every week. C.J. has handled this tremendously well, with a tremendous amount of class. It’s motivated him to become even better, to continue working on his craft. We love his makeup, what he’s all about. My message to him, become the next Jimmy Garoppolo. You keep playing well, good things will happen for you. He understands that. I think having been around football in his family, and congratulations to his grandfather [Bobby Beathard] for his induction into the Hall. I was a Charger fan growing up and so I know C.J. is proud of that, but I think that background has prepared him for, yeah there is going to be some adversity when it looked like things were going so well that could have been hard for a young man to take, but he responded in the fashion that we thought he would and I think there’s exciting times ahead for C.J. Beathard.”

What’s the outlook for the young guys from last year in TE George Kittle and WR Trent Taylor?

“Those are good players that we got in mid to later rounds. Again, go back to, I really credit Kyle, they have such a feel for what they want, the position traits, the skills that fit those positions. And so, that allowed us to identify some guys like that that we knew at the right time we wanted to pull the trigger on. Both those guys developed. I think for George, his talent is pretty unique. I think he’s going to continue to have to figure out ways to stay on the field, stay healthy. The injury bug did hit him. That does happen with a lot of rookies, it’s a long season, but we’re very high on him. Trent Taylor has a skill, he can separate, he can get open. When you have a quarterback like Jimmy that can put it on you, that’s a pretty good combination. So, we’re real excited about both those players. They happen to be roommates, so yeah that worked out well for us.”

 

Are you going to use Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency as part of the recruiting pitch?

“Would you? Yeah, I am. We are. Yes, absolutely.”

Does having Jimmy G accelerate or jumpstart your timetable of turning you from a rebuild to competing?

“Like I said, we’re very much a work in progress, but our goal is to be a team that competes and competes for championships. That’s why I got into this thing. That’s why we got into this thing together. That’s what we talk to our players about. But, I think the important thing, and what Kyle does a great job is just focus on what you can control and that’s our effort each and every day to become that team. Timetables, I’m not going to do that, but yes having a quarterback it makes you better. He made us better last year and we expect that going forward.”

With what we’ve seen from running backs such as New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara, what has that done for the value of running backs in the Draft as far as how high you should take them and what do you think of the two from Georgia?

“That whole dynamic of that postion, in many people’s mind losing value. But I think much like a quarterback, when there’s a great one it’s tough to deal with. I know that from having played defense. Is that changing? I don’t know. I think everyone’s got their own perspective on that. But, that is a position where you can affect the game in a great way. And so, as for the two young men at Georgia, both really good football players. I think the coolest thing is that they were both talented and great competitors but they were each other’s biggest fans. I think they’ll both have bright futures.”

Speaking of the running back position, I guess you told the local media this week that you guys are still talking to RB Carlos Hyde. Are you still thinking of bringing him back and if not, what have you seen out of RB Matt Breida and also RB Joe Williams?

“We’ve had discussions with Carlos all the way through the season. We haven’t been able to come to an agreement, but those discussions are ongoing. This is a great opportunity. His representatives are down here, we’ll continue to talk. I kind of yesterday was making a general statement about all of our free agents. We have an opportunity and we will talk to all of them right down to the wire. I wouldn’t say anything is imminent there. As for Matt Breida, he was a guy we identified in free agency. I really credit our scouts and our coaching staff for doing that. He’s a good football player. He’s made of the right stuff. As for Joe Williams, he got injured last year, but there was a reason we were excited. Now he’s got to make that come to fruition on the field. He’s got some skills that are unique and explosive and now he’s got to put it together and make it happen.”

When you evaluate Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, how do you reconcile the fact that you are in great shape with a young quarterback, with the fact that we’re talking about probably the most electrifying athlete in college football?

“Well, I think that’s one thing, while last year maybe it was a primary focus, the quarterback position, I don’t think we can just turn a blind eye to the quarterback position. I probably won’t be watching those drills as closely as I was this time last year, but we’re looking at all these players.  Lamar is a unique athlete, a special athlete, and I’m excited to see what happens with him. I really am.”

You played for Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. You also came back from the broadcast booth. What do you think about him coming back?

“I think it’s great for football. I think Jon brings a lot. He brings a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement. He’s tireless in his work ethic. I loved playing for him. It was a short tenure I had with him, two years. One of those years I was pretty banged up, but I loved playing for him and I think the league is better when he’s involved in it. As for the broadcasting element, I’m sure like my experience, you see the league through a different lens when you’re in those buildings. He did games like I did and you get to go meet with head coaches, you get to go meet with general managers and quarterbacks. You can really learn a lot if you just listen. I think Jon has flirted with this for a long time. I think he’s excited. I’ve talked to him. He is excited. I’m just looking forward to competing with him in that coin toss tomorrow.”

With Lamar, are you evaluating him as a quarterback?

“I think his success at the quarterback position speaks for itself. I think everybody has their own opinions and to each their own how they’re looking at someone. But yes, I would say we’re evaluating him as a quarterback.”

Last year you made the first big splash of the Draft trading back and letting the Bears take their quarterback. This year you’re a little bit further back of that area of the first half of the Draft. Is that an opportunity with guys like Lamar Jackson might be in that top-tier quarterback where you’d be willing to move back and make a play to get some more value?

“I think we demonstrated last year, I really felt that I’d be much more conservative in the Draft but some things fell out way. I think you always keep an open mind. Sure, we’d certainly be willing to move around a little bit if some people covet some guys, not only at that position, but any other position. Unless we feel so strongly about a player that is available at our disposal. I’m not trying to evade the question, but there are so many options. I think you evaluate all of them.”

How do your roster needs match up with the Draft?

“I think through and through. You can always get better in this league. We do have some positions that we’ve targeted that we need to improve on. I think they’re fairly obvious as to where they are for some people. We’ll do that. We’ll try, as I said earlier, by any means available to us to improve ourselves.”

How do you and your scouts and coaches typically use your 15 minutes?

“That’s the challenge. It’s 15 minutes, so how can you be most effective. We try a variety of things. One thing you try to do is break the ice. I think you don’t hold it against a kid that he’s been coached, because all these kids are coached now. But really the ones that come off the best are the ones that are really authentic and are their true selves and honest. I think one thing you could do is try to break the ice with some personal stories, some humor, to try to get them to be themselves. But, a variety of techniques like other people use, just good old conversation on what’s important to them, on why they love the game of football and things that are important to us that you try to glean from them. We throw film on sometimes. That’s a great avenue to have them explain what they were doing. You can tell a lot. Some players have instant recall and can tell you not only what their job was, but everybody else on that field what other guys struggled to communicate that. Does that really vault up a player or kill a player? No, you don’t want to make your evaluation solely on that. But like everything, it’s part of the process.”

With Cassius Marsh, what do you think might have worked out for him in San Francisco that didn’t in New England?

“You know, I think he found an environment that number one fit his skillset. We have that LEO position, that edge rusher, and everyone’s looking for an edge rusher. Maybe it was a better fit for him in terms of the scheme and then I think he just felt comfortable in our culture and our locker room. He played well for us. When guys play well and we can see a future for them, we’re going to do our best to sign them and we did a deal that I thought was fair for him and fair for us. It gives him a lot of upside if he really performs and we think he has an opportunity to do that. Now, it’s incumbent upon him just like every other player to go make that happen. But, we’re pleased to have him a part of us moving forward.”

 

Is he just a pass rusher for you?

“He’s also a great special team’s player. He could play some SAM linebacker, but really, we see him as an edge rusher.”

(inaudible)

“Yeah. I could tell you we don’t have him in our 60 interviews. I marvel at those guys. You talk about maybe it being undervalued. I don’t know if that’s your question, but I’ve watched teams when they lose that guy in-game and it is panic mode. It’s certainly important. That job and that role is often overlooked, but so critical to a team’s success. It’s extremely important and I’ll be watching that guy closely.”

This article has 92 Comments

  1. Ready to go tomorrow morning, and watch these young men compete. Sounds like the 49ers might be planning on signing a high priced offensive lineman, given the report they are looking to bump up Staley’s salary….

    1. Listened to Better Rivals podcast last night. Good choices at guard in free agency and the draft. Andrew Norwell would be great. He’s young would would fit into Lynch’s goals of using free agency for sustained success. But he would cost OT money for sure.

      1. At a potential price of $15M-$16M a year for 5 years as the highest paid guard in the league? I’m not so confident.

        1. Given the highest current OG contract is for $12M a season, I think you are overstating the likely financial obligation to sign Norwell.

          1. Ok, maybe Norwell will settle for $13M per year. But he will want a long-term contract and I think that Shanalynch will look for front-loading with 2 to 3 year contracts for this position while looking to draft for long-term option.

            1. Norwell is a long-term option; he is only 26. If the Niners sign Norwell, which is my preference, the drafting of a guard in my opinion is to address the question mark that is Josh Garnett.

              1. Entirely possible if they can get a cheaper deal by paying more money up front, e.g., 5 years, $55-$60M with $30M guaranteed, most of which would be paid out in the first two years. I think they would want to have cap room to resign some of the players currently under rookie contracts in 2-3 years.

  2. “I don’t think we can just turn a blind eye to the quarterback position”
    Agree with Grant. I think the 49ets carry three quarterbacks on the roster this season.

        1. I thought there was a chance Price would fall to us at #59 prior to the injury. If it’s anything serious, he’ll definitely fall now, IMO. Also of note, my backup plan in case Billy Price goes earlier than I project, was OC/OG James Daniels out of Iowa, 6’4″ 295 lbs. He’s just measured 33 6/8″ in arm length at the combine, which will only boost his stock. Isaiah Wynn is still my top choice, with a trade down scenario. I think the only OG worth taking top 15 is Nelson.

          1. My biggest draft crush ever, Saquon Barkley, comes in a little bigger than expected at 6’0″, 233 lbs. He looks ripped! I cannot wait to see how he performs at a yoked 233 fricken pounds! Here we go!!!!

            Sony Michel came it at 214 lbs. Nick Chubb at 227 lbs. Chubb’s knee reportedly checked out well during his physical.

            Notable 2018 RB prospects, bench press (not the most important event for RB’s but ….):

            Barkely – 29
            N. Chubb – 29
            Michel – 22
            Guice – 15
            Scarbrough – 14
            K. Johnson – 11
            R. Jones – DNP

              1. That would a classic war. Nelson has the strength and hand moves to stop Donald but Donald has NFL exp and tricks up his sleeve. Nelson would win out. Nelson will be coached up by the best coaches and hopefully some All-Pro to learn all the moves, then see him in a year. He’s right now a plug-n-play OG, he just needs to learn the new plays and he’ll be great. They said Nelson stopped at 35 reps on the bench press and had 10 more in him but he didn’t want to show off, lol. He’s a humble guy but a beast on the field

        1. This could cause Price to drop a couple of rounds if it’s serious.

          http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2015/05/will_beatty_injury_what_is_a_torn_pectoral_muscle.html

          I obviously haven’t examined Mr. Beatty, but if he tore the tendon off the board, then that often requires surgery to repair the tendon back to the bone, because it won’t fix itself. The process of healing takes many, many months, first let the tendon heal, then get the flexibility back in the arm, and then get some strength in the muscle back after it heals, and that process often does take 5-6 months as a result.

          1. Wow, Jeremiah just said Corbett moved himself into the 1st round. Not so sure about that, but I could see top of the 2nd. Gonna be real interesting to see where Orlando Brown goes, and I could see him falling out of the 1st round….

      1. Partially torn pectoral muscle per the latest.
        It’s a setback but nothing that should linger, he should still be a high pick but will most definitely be at most a day 2 pick now.

        1. I thought James Daniels would be a perfect fit at Center for Shanny, but we’d need to trade down. Austin Corbett would be a decent consolation prize in the 3rd round….

  3. Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson was asked what his mindset is in the trenches: “I want to dominate all of my opponents, and take their will away to play the game.” Music to my ears.

    Orlando “Zeus” Brown with only 14 reps on the bench? You’ve got to be Falking kidding me.

    Will Hernandez 37 reps on the bench. For perspective, 26 reps is an average for OT’s.

    1. Got to love Nelson, he’s funny but dead serious about dominating and taking their will away to play the game, lol. That’s my boy! The opposing defender every weekend would say, Falk.. are you serious I have to be crushed all day by this beast.

      1. I loved when he talked about how he likes to put guys on their backs when they jump to block passes, and then fall on them. He says it discourages them from doing it again, so his quarterback can complete passes. Dude is the real generational talent….

        1. You got that right..the real generational deal. One analyst even said he would be a future Hall of Famer… wow! ..Now who wouldn’t want to draft a future Hall of Famer at #9/10, lol..Not sure about all that, but you don’t know, I think he’s a future All-Pro. I watched most of his games this year. On one play a good size linebacker came in on a late blitz and Nelson stuck his arm out straight across the guys chest and with that one arm picked him up a bit and body slammed him into the turf. Then when the guy bounced, Nelson squatted and with both arms shoved him hard back into the ground for a couple seconds. Like a Gorilla pouncing on a monkey. I could hear that LB yelling out,..”get me out of here.” That play is on some you tube highlight videos of him.

  4. Niners considering reworking Staley’s contract. Good thing Joe has bought in and respects KS/JL. I think a new deal gets done. I doubt Joe would have taken less for Kelly and Baalke.

    In other OT news, the Niners met with Kolton Miller. I don’t think Trent Brown is in the team’s long term plans.

    1. 49ers giving Joe Staley a raise, decline to negotiate an extension for Trent Brown.

      Trent, are you listening? Hope the offseason workouts and rehab are going well.

      1. Do you think we could get a 3rd for him? I’m thinking 4th because of his injury, but the dude looks like a monster and can still be really good in a different scheme.

        1. he might join the ex-pat 9er OL fraternity in ARI…it’s a run scheme fit….
          come to think of it– Garnett would be a fit there too…

          1. You could be right. I think they kick the can down the road for a year WRT Garnett. But we have to get zone blockers in all five OL positions at some point.

            1. and 2017 TC hinted that both Garnett and Brown couldn’t “hit their marks” in Kyle’s OZ scheme…I think the Garnett “body transformation” is a ruse, “NFL trade spin” if you please…
              surprised Hyde’s possible deal looks to be fading…might have to ask for A1 sauce to go with my crow patties on Hyde…

              1. Scheme question marks like Armstead and Garnett could be used to move picks up. I could see how a player like Armstead might appeal to Fangio. If the 49ers wind up picking 10th, but see a player they love at pick 8, the Bears might go for it.

                I’ve not given up on Armstead, but I think the 49ers will continue to miscast him was an outside defender. He had his flaws as a 4tech, but still has value as an inside pass rush specialist (if he bulks back up to 293lbs that is).

        2. Shanny is talking him up as the best pass blocking OT in the game and he has some good film. I think I would aim higher than a 3rd for him.

      1. As a UCLA alumni and devoted UCLA football fan, I have one word in regard to any interest in Kolton Miller: “NOOOOOOOOOOO.”

        UCLA had one of the worst offensive lines in football (which makes Rosen even more impressive in my eyes).

      1. Why I don’t see it.

        He probably won’t be available.
        Hyde will likely return.

        Why I could see it.

        Generational talent.
        Fits our scheme like a glove.

        1. See, problem is, I don’t agree with the last two statements. He is an amazing athlete. But I don’t think he is a generational talent as a RB – he plays like he believes he is Barry Sanders, but I don’t think he is quite the player Sanders was.

          For mine he absolutely NEEDS to play in a 1-back system. A FB will just get in his way. And he doesn’t take the gap presented to him if he doesn’t think it is a home run hitter. That is completely opposite to what Shanahan wants. So I really don’t think he is a system fit at all.

          1. I know we disagree on whether or not Barkley is a generational talent. Our minds are made up. It depends on what Shanny and Turner thinks. Given that most scouts and analysts love him as a prospect, it’s not a stretch to think that KS and BT might feel the same way about him.

            WRT scheme fit. I could just copy and paste 49’s comment. Sure there are similar backs to had later on, but they’re not projected as top 10 picks for a reason(s).

            Having a three down back that can run the OZ, receive, and block would be nice. As good as the offense was under Jimmy, it can get better. Having a legitimate running game will open things up in the passing game, including but not only play action passes. Barkley is also a reliable target.

            1. We all cherry pick to build up or tear down prospects. People talk about the few bad games Barkley had. But here’s a cherry pick for you all. The Michigan game.

              The Wolverines entered the game ranked 11th against the run. Michigan’s D could be considered a “pro style” D. They were only giving up 86 YDs a game. Barkley’s first 3 carries produced 89 YDs and 2 TDs. Penn St. blew out Michigan 42-13.

              https://www.landof10.com/penn-state/film-room-saquon-barkley-perfect-running-back

              “Once he’s at the line, he’s a wizard, His patience, vision, and ability to slink his body in and out of the smallest of crease is magical.”

              It’s fine if you guys don’t think Barkley is all that, but you guys are talking as if he will likely be a bust, or that he’s comparable to day 2 and day 3 HBs. I respect everyone’s opinions and I ask for them regularly to help with my evaluations, but I think you all are way off on Barkley.

              1. If your takeaway from my comments is that I think Barkley will be a bust then I am not getting my point across very well. Not what I am saying.

                What I mean is I don’t think he will be a generational talent in the NFL like Sanders was. I think he will be a good player, but likely a very high variance player from play to play, week to week. And I think he will be best served playing in an offense like the Saints (wide open, primarily a 1 back system) rather than a system like the one Shanny likes to run.

              2. I never suggested Barkley was going to be a bust, only that he’s being overhyped. I’m in full agreement with Scooter that he’s not a fit in this offense. I am on the record that I feel Sony Michel, not Saquon Barkley, will end up being the best running back from this draft class when all is said and done. Just my layman’s opinion, which isn’t meant to piss anyone off or hurt anyone’s feelings, and quite frankly, probably not worth spit…;>)

              3. “If your takeaway from my comments is that I think Barkley will be a bust then I am not getting my point across very well.”

                “I never suggested Barkley was going to be a bust”

                Noted.

                https://www.lockedon49ers.com/sf-49ers/nfl-draft-scouting-report-saquon-barkley/

                “Top-10 talent that fits the current NFL style of play. Barkley has the size to carry the load and receiving skills to not just stay on the field every down, but be a true weapon in the passing game. He has a near perfect set of tools for Kyle Shanahan’s inside/outside zone running game.”

                From Bleacher report.

                In Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Barkley’s vision and speed would dominate running inside and outside zone.”

                Barkley is coachable and has great work ethic. He can adjust to playing with a FB. He is decisive when he sees a hole. When the holes haven’t been there, he’s looked bad, like all HBs. So he should try to push forward for a short gain. He would coached to do that and he has the frame for it.

          2. (SORRY, THIS GOT POSTED ON THE WRONG COMMENT THREAD).

            I don’t agree about the impression that he is an all or nothing type of runner, looking only for the home run. I believe that he has the talent to succeed in any system. I am more of the opinion that I would not want to draft a Running Back in the first round given all of the other holes the 49’ers have.

            I will stare in awe at his combine numbers though. Already measured at 6′, 233 lbs, and just did 29 reps on the bench (I’ve actually seen videos of him doing more than 29). He is anticipated to run less than 4.4 in the 40. Videos of him doing 10 reps on 500 lb. squats is jaw-dropping.

        2. What makes Barkley the perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s system?

          While other backs are forced to downshift as they read the line of scrimmage, plant, then shoot away, Barkley is fluid enough to do it all in one motion, gaining speed as he cuts up field. That’s rare. It leaves linebackers (and often safeties) eating his dust, and they have no chance to recover. As the line kick-steps one way, Barkley has three options: A) Bend – cut the ball back, B) Bang – slam it behind a lineman, or C) Bounce – bounce the ball to the outside until the defense is able to get numbers over. Defenders must try to match him stride-for-stride, read the play the same way, and have the same athletic ability, which they don’t. It’s this ability makes Barkley one of the most explosive NFL outside-zone running back prospect ever to lace on cleats!

          Barkley simply has it all! As a runner, receiver, returner, and, heck, even as a pass protector, Barkley is elite in every facet of the game. Watching Barkley rush, truck, shimmy and shake his way through a defense is more of an experience than it is an evaluation. Watching history made in real-time is simply mesmerizing! Watching history made while wearing Scarlet & Gold, would be a dream come true for me!

          1. And LEGENDARY scout and NFL talent evaluator, Gil Brandt had this to say: This (Barkley) might be the best running back to come out of college since Barry Sanders.

            And I think Barkley has the goods to be better than Sanders, he’s that good, IMO.

            Time will tell, but mark my words, Barkley is the quintessential NFL RB prospect, and will lead the league in all-purpose yards by the age of 23, in any system! You heard it here first.

            1. Its 100% an accurate statement. He might be.

              Edit: That came across as me saying it was a flippant statement by Brandt. What I meant is he very well might be. I’m not discounting that possibility at all. He really is an amazing athlete. But I think the way he runs he either needs to be the next Barry Sanders or he is going to be a player that has very high variance in performance week to week.

              1. Barry was fun to watch, but I’d rather have Emmitt Smith if given the choice between the two.

              2. I said the exact same thing the other day. Home run hitters are exciting, but bread and butter backs keep the chains moving all day.

              3. I hear you Scooter. I can’t argue with the fact that you just never know how an NFL prospect is going to adapt to the NFL. Nothing is a given. No such thing as a sure thing. But Barkley hasn’t experienced anything on the level of NFL coaching either. Read my post below. Bobby Turner is a wizard of a running backs coach.

              4. As for Emmitt, great runner, but also a product of dominating offensive lines, and not quite as good as his numbers would suggest. Certainly not the GOAT, and certainly not the talent Barry Sanders was.

              5. Emmitt Smith was every bit as good as his record shows. He was the perfect back for Dallas, and a big part of why they won a lot of trophies.

                Its easy to fall in love with the highlight reel players like Sanders (and Barkley), but great workman RBs like Smith are imo far more valuable to a team.

              6. I used to hate Emmitt Smith for all those 3rd down conversions he’d make against us.

              7. I have to disagree with the board on the Sanders vs Smith debate.

                As to the whole Smith didn’t take losses.
                That’s a lot easier to do do when you are playing behind the best line in the history of the NFL and never get hit behind the line of scrimmage. It also helps when the Defense can’t commit to stopping the run because you have a hall of fame qb and receiver on the team.

                Barry didn’t have the luxury of playing with a good qb or good lines for the majority of his career. Even with Defenses selling out to stop him he produced, and when they finally put a good line in front of him he ran for more than 2000 yards and averaged more than 6 yards a carry. For all those negative yard plays, he still averaged 5 yards a carry for his career and never averaged less the 4yds per carry for a season, (his lowest season average being 4.3). Emmitt meanwhile had 6 seasons where he averaged less than 4 yards per carry, had 11 seasons where he averaged less than Barry’s career worst ypc, and only bettered that mark in 3 years out of his 15 year career.
                He was incredibly consistent for someone who was so inconsistent and struck more fear in the hearts of defenders than any running back I have witnessed. (With, respect to Jim Brown and Walter Payton who were before my time or finishing their career when I started watching football.)
                I shudder to think what Barry could have done if he played on a roster as talented as Dallas’

              8. Didn’t Smith have the NFL record of most TD’s in a season at 25?

                Didn’t Smith miss only 7 games in his 13 career years with the Cowboys, as a more punishing style runner?

                Didn’t Barry only have one TD in his 6 game playoff career, while Emmitt scored 21? Smith took it to another level in the Post Season.

                Smith was used more in goalline and short yardage scenarios which affected his average, whereas Barry had more longer runs for TD’s. Barry simply was a feast or famine runner, and not someone who would grind out the game, and help avoid 2nd and longs or 3rd and longs. That’s just my personal preference over the human highlight reel running back. I’d rather have Walter Payton too over Barry, and he didn’t have that great of an offensive line….

              9. To those who would rather have E. Smith to Barkely- I say one thing. While Smith was a great back, he is much too old to play now. He probably wouldn’t even make an NFL roster today.

            2. If Barkley fell to 9.5 the 49ers would have two good choices. A great running back, or lucrative trade-back.

              1. Yah, tough call Brodie. I’d be sick if they passed on Barkley by trading back, but it’s a the kind of deal they can’t turn down ……..

            3. Scooter, they said the exact same thing you are saying about Alvin Kamara just last year. Good athlete but “needs to see running lane develop and is missing a feel for reading progressions of his blocks. Makes inconsistent decisions on stretch plays. Doesn’t hit the open hole when it’s there. Can be his own worst enemy on third level”, yada, yada, yada.

              NFL coaching can do wonders for developing RB’s. Put Barkley in a room with Bobby Turner, and give him a full training camp, and forget about it.

              1. Sony Michel is the next Alvin Kamara and wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up being the best back in this draft when all said and done….

              2. Remember Razor, Kamara absolutely blew up the combine, for what that’s worth. Not sure Michel is the athlete Kamara is. Of course, there’s certainly a lot more to being a great RB than athleticism. I really like Michel though, and for me, he might be the second best RB in this deep class. I’m torn between him and Jones II. Those two are neck and neck for me, but a distant 2nd to Barkley.

              3. The icing on the Saquon Barkley 10 layer cake is who he is as a person. Amazing young man. Humble and hardworking. Smart and unassuming. Wants to be great, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Just a real good kid.

  5. I don’t agree about the impression that he is an all or nothing type of runner, looking only for the home run. I believe that he has the talent to succeed in any system. I am more of the opinion that I would not want to draft a Running Back in the first round given all of the other holes the 49’ers have.

    I will stare in awe at his combine numbers though. Already measured at 6′, 233 lbs, and just did 29 reps on the bench (I’ve actually seen videos of him doing more than 29). He is anticipated to run less than 4.4 in the 40. Videos of him doing 10 reps on 500 lb. squats is jaw-dropping.

    1. “I don’t agree about the impression that he is an all or nothing type of runner”.

      Why? What evidence do you have to suggest otherwise?

      1. For one, outside of his god-given talent, he’s worked very hard to become great at all the little things, like pass protection and blocking. He’s not a selfish, me-first kind of player who’s looking for the glory, and isn’t willing to grind it out and take the yards as they come. And he’ll learn real quick that you have to be willing to take what you can in the NFL, because he’s a guy who takes coaching to heart, and does the work required.

        He’s everything one could ask for in a running back and I want him wearing Scarlet & Gold. I can only imagine how unstoppable the 49ers offense would be with an all around talent like Barkley paired up with Jimmy. Who needs offensive linemen or receivers with those two guys doing their thing in tandem? lol, I’m joking of course (sort of).

      2. 1. In regard to whether he would work in our system, even though Penn State did not employ a fullback in its sets most of the time, Penn State’s running game runs a lot of zone blocking combinations and tackle options, relying on Barkley to make the read on where to run. As we’ve previously discussed, there is a difference between a read option, inside zone, and outside zone blocking scheme, but all require the “runner” to be able to read the blocks and make a decisive cut to the hole they will run through. Barkley does this in the Penn State system, and it translates; having the zone blocking occur before him, and having the vision to decisively cut.

        2. I haven’t found all the stats, but as to the specific point I made about him being more than just an “all or nothing runner,” the question becomes how often do you see him making zero or 1 yard runs because he is spending too much time in the backfield waiting for a big gain? From the games I’ve seen, I haven’t seen him suffer loss of yardage, or minimal gain, because of indecisiveness or waiting for a larger hole to develop. I don’t know if there is a stat that quantifies that readily available, but I haven’t seen his minimal gains being because of his desire to “wait” for the large breakout run.

        3. As to Razoreater’s question about why he doesn’t fight for yardage like it is his last carry, I believe there may be several explanations: (a) the way he “fights” for yardage doesn’t involve bowling over a player, but rather sidestepping them or flying over them (as evidenced by his numerous hurdles over defenders). I think he does that because of his unique vision and fluidity to do all this (for example, there is a play against Iowa, where he hurdles over Josh Jackson, yes, that Josh Jackson, and should have been stopped by the safety coming in and hitting him squarely in his thigh/hip during his hurdle; Barkley just bounced off and kept going; to me, that is fighting for extra yardage without making it look like he did); (b) by all counts, his “football” intelligence is off the charts, so his knowledge of what advantage there may be in expending effort on a particular play might be a factor (playing “smart”); and (c) he knows he is being used 30-40 times a game (running, receiving, returning kicks), and at some point there is a need to conserve energy in college since it is not paying you the millions you would get from the NFL.

        4. Also, I fully anticipate Guice to have “eye-popping” numbers at the combine this week as well. Maybe not Barkley numbers, but still amazing.

        Even with all this, as I noted, I would pass on Barkley because there are more pressing needs that bear addressing where the talent level for the particular position is commiserate with Barkley’s talent at Running Back (for example, Nelson at Guard, or Chubb at Edge, etc.). At some point, you have to ask is it worth more for an extra 300 yards rushing and 200 yards receiving every year (the difference between 1,600 yards a season Barkley may do and 1,200 yards a season a Penny or Jones II or Dion Lewis in free agency may do), or to get an All-Pro guard over a league average guard (the difference between Nelson and Garnett)? Which is why, while I agree his talent at least suggests he is a Hall of Famer, I might have to pass him up for a player I believe will be a Hall of Famer at another position.

        1. Barkley had a very high % of runs that were 0 or negative yards. He is the quintessential home run hitting type of RB.

          1. Again, but how much of that was because he was waiting to make the home run gain, or because there just wasn’t anything there? From the games I observed, rarely was it because he was trying to “go deep.” I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just saying it was more because there was nothing to run to for 3-4 yards.

            Also, think of it this way: who among Penn State’s offensive line is a future NFL starter? A lot of times, Barkley is getting hit in the backfield immediately because the line has missed a block or been beaten by the defender.

              1. If our OL is as bad as last year in that regard in 2018 I will be highly disappointed.

          2. Yep, dude gets claustrophobic between the tackles. He makes head scratching decisions based on the information he processed, which maybe due to him putting his faith in his athletic instincts….

    2. Which begs the question, why doesn’t he run like a combine warrior? Guice doesn’t possess the eye popping numbers, but boy does he fight for yardage like it’s his last carry….

  6. Goal line carries shouldnt affect yards per carry that much.
    As to Td’s I don’t heavily judge running backs based upon them. They are largely based upon opportunities near the goal line. The year before last Blount lead the nfl in rushing touchdowns with 18 and no one would say he was the best running back in football that year.
    And as for how much better he was than Sanders as a goal line back… he only averaged one more rushing TD per year. When playing behind the most dominant O line I have ever seen… I’m impressed at a level of “meh”.

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