Left field

Every year, Trent Baalke makes at least one draft pick that comes out of left field, like the A.J. Jenkins pick or the Vance McDonald pick or the Corey Lemonier pick.

Predict one player Baalke will pick out of left field this year, and explain your reasoning for the pick.

This article has 277 Comments

  1. Why was the Vance McDonald pick out of left field? The 49ers were in need of a 2nd TE and Vance was mocked to go somewhere in the 2nd-3rd round?

  2. Why was the Lemonier pick out of left field?

    Didn’t he drop a bit in the draft? I think he was projected as a mid to late 2nd. If you see a guy like that fall and he fits the scheme, why not?

    As for Jenkins and VMac, yes definitely out of leftfield.

      1. I was surprised by the McDonald pick. There was some big names falling off the board before Baalke traded up to 55. 51 David Amerson CB, 52 Jamie Collins OLB, 53 Margus Hunt DE, 54 Jamar Taylor CB.

      2. Well, the 49ers did already have depth at CB with Brown, Rogers, Culliver, and Brock. Although it was a need, it wasn’t at the top of the list IMO. With the depth we already had at CB, no 2nd or 3rd round CB was going to come in and unseat Rogers or Brown in their first year.

        On the other-hand, a 2nd TE was a huge need after Delanie left town. And we had virtually no depth at OLB behind Brooks and Aldon. After watching our pass rush slow down in 2012 at the end of the year, getting depth to help with the rotation was also a very big priority. Moreso than CB IMO.

      3. Grant,for 3 straight years now, you have been convinced we are/should/will take one or more cb’s early!
        for us, the cb position is like the rb position throughout the league. we just dont value it that high and believe in quantity over quality.

        After we lose the NFC championship game with a wr stat line of: 1 catch for 3 yards……..you had to be the only person that didnt see drafting a wr in the 1st round coming!
        and after losing deane walker………your also the only one shocked we took a te early.

        every niner fan seen those picks coming a mile away!!!! but you describe them as “coming out of left field”!!!

  3. Grant define “out of left field” did you mean a player the 9ers never met with or a position that they were’nt expected to draft for or something else.

  4. What does out of left field mean?

    Baalke picked someone that was unexpected based on players available and team needs? OR
    Baalke picked someone higher than most analysts and other teams had the player rated?

      1. Baalke could surprise everyone by drafting a player in a non-need position even if that player is projected to go exactly where the 9ers selected him. For example, Baalke could pick Antonio Richardson from Tennessee in the 2nd round. Richardson is projected as a 2nd rounder so he would be drafted where everyone expects him to be drafted but he’d be a surprise because thats not necessarily a need position for the 9ers.

        1. Houston,
          I was going to say the same thing. I think at least with there first pick that it is likely that Baalke go with Best Available and not the most pressing need. And that best available may not even be in a need area at all.

          The three best CBs will likely be well off the board and so they draft some stud player in a lesser or non need position that fell to them.

          If one of those 3 corners or one of those 2 top safeties does fall within reach then we will see some trading and that won’t be a surprise.

  5. Mike Pennell might be such a player, I wonder about reporting every move the team makes prior to the draft, hate to give other teams a heads up.

  6. Montana olb Jordan Tripp in round 3 (to be starter during Bowman rehab, versatile backup, and potential successor to Willis)… will be seen as somewhat of a reach with many bigger named SEC backers available but very similar type player to Kiko Alonso (and Bowman) coming out of college.

    1. I just read about prospects but these guys that no one mentions sound interesting to me: Telvin Smith, Carusan Reid, Charles Sims.

    2. Jordan Tripp is not a pure inside linebacker. He played outside in college. NFL teams may try to move him inside, but he doesn’t have the fluidity to play ILB. He won’t displace Bowman. I’d rather see the 49ers go after Shayne Skov in the 4th round.

      1. Complete agreement with you……Shane Skov would be a great choice, as would Ed Reynolds…I like Skov’s intensity, intelligence and ability to find the football (not to mention his ability to lay the wood)….Reynolds is also one of those intense players that plays smart and sees the field well. Both Stanford guys, so having a brain in their heads isn’t an issue….tough to miss on Stanford players.

  7. Not entirely left field, but I think Baalke trades up for Marqise Lee.

    – Baalke values film over combine stats. Lee has the second best WR film next to Watkins.
    – Baalke drafts players based on their best college season, not necessarily their most recent (Reid, Aldon Smith, Tank).
    – Baalke likes players that fight through injury seasons in college (Reid, Aldon Smith).
    – Baalke is a nervous first round drafter. Don’t be surprised if he “reaches” for Lee instead of waiting for him to fall to 20-25s.
    – Baalke covets flexibility. Lee lines up in a variety of WR spots.
    – Baalke completes “60-65%” of the big-board together before the combine. Lee’s name was frequently heard early this year and last year, but seems to be the forgotten man, like Reid last year. In 2011 Aldon Smith was lost in the shuffle with all the chatter about Peterson and Von Miller.

      1. Grant Cohn states March 25, 2014 at 10:40 am:

        Lee makes me nervous. Knee issues, and below average height, weight and speed.

        1. He does make me nervous, mostly the knee. But he was a monster his first two years in college. Better than Watkins.

          1. Grant – You do not seem very high on Watkins. Thoughts on Mike Mayock’s quote: “He’s one of the best wide receivers I’ve seen on tape in the last 10 years.” which Matt Miller of NFL draft scout retweeted and said “Completely agree”. Many “experts” are saying he is the best since Julio and A.J. came out. Meanwhile – you compare him to Torrey Smith.

              1. Its a pretty universal opinion on Watkins. And who is to judge Manzel until we see him play in the league?

              2. Walters Football has Bortles, Bridgewater, and Carr ahead of Manziel. I have a sneaking suspicion that Manziel is actually going to be a star in the league.
                We’ll have to wait on this one.

              3. I think he’s going to get pulverized. I don’t think he has the accuracy to be successful in the NFL and when he tries to run I think of Cosell’s comments about him about how he runs first and then tries to figure out where he’s going to go. NFL defenders are going to eat him alive.

              4. Mayock just changed his mind a couple of days ago to move him up because he was thoroughly sold on the Johnny’s pro day mega show.
                Actually Mayock could not get those accurate well timed deep throws out of his dreams.

              5. Ok here is one out of left field for you.
                Based on Harbaughs comments a couple of days ago the Niners take Manziel in the first round. He falls close enough for a move and the Niners’ take the bait.
                Manziel as a scrambling out of the pocket passer QB makes sense as a backup to CK since they don’t miss a beat on offense with a QB switch.

              1. In other words, he’s no Fleener right? Watkins is special. He’ll produce right away.

            1. I would agree with Grant on this. After watching his game tape he doesnt jump off the screen the way CJ, Julio, or Green did. his big plays were often made off of bubble screens and the like. I also didnt see the seperation skills or hands that those elite recievers displayed.
              Looking at game tape alone, I would take Lee over Watkins but his numbers really scare me. They seem to display a different player than the one I saw as junior. Did the knee injury signifigantly slow him down?

      2. Lee has a nack for getting behind a defense that only Watkins matches. When you ask the cold, hard question “what capability can this player bring that we don’t have already?” Lee makes sense.

        I’m not saying Lee will be the best pick or that his knee will be fine, but when you watch his film its amazing how little chatter he generates.

        Lee is a gamble. If he is durable, he will be a steal. If not, oops.

    1. This actually really make sense. I think Lee has likely dropped a bit on most boards due to his poor 40 time and his senior year. I know the Jets have been thrown out there as a likely team but that could be fluff. They did add Decker and Ford this off season. So I could see them going defense.

      I would love this pick. Im an SC fan and have been watching this kid closely the last few years. If he didn’t have that fall out his senior year he would be a top 10 pick for sure. He would be a great addition to this offense.

    2. Although I like Lee, I’m not so certain that we need to trade up to get a WR. There’s a ton of depth in rounds 1 and 2, and we could still find someone pretty good by standing pat. If we did move up, I wouldn’t mind giving up a 4th or 5th to move up 5-6 positions or something like that. But I wouldn’t do it if it was going to cost us a 3rd rounder like last year.

      1. I agree with all the criticisms and concerns about Lee. I’m just playing the “left field” based on Baalke’s past draft tendencies.

        I compiled a draft profile on Baalke’s tendencies I’m going to post in May.

        If Lee’s knee looks horrid in camp, they could stash him on NFI for a season. That would allow the 49ers to keep him under his rookie contract for another season. (They blew the extra year by activating Tank last season, but they have Marcus for another 4 years).

          1. Yes – same principle as Lee. And as we’ve discussed previously he has a lot of similar traits to Culliver, who we know Baalke likes.

          2. I don’t know enough about Roby to say whether he fits Baalke’s tendencies or not. (actually, that sounds like Reid last year…haha)

          3. Just watched some saved youtubes of Roby.

            2012 was fantastic. He tackles so aggressively I had to keep checking to make sure he wasn’t a safety. Fluid, fast, rangy, ball skills.

            2013 was paltry. A few illegal hits (these are highlights?) and a special teams play or two.

            The question with Roby is the cause of the fall in play. If he had an injury he successfully dealt with, then he would be a great addition. That’s the key.

    3. Lee at #30 would be Grand Larceny. 15 months ago he was the best WR in College football. The knee injury is a concern but he came back and played with it and has had a lot of time to recover now. Fully healthy he would be top 15 pick. That’s a gamble I would take if he’s there at #30.

    4. You stole my thunder,M. Lee has slid some sites are implying he could be available w/o trade.Take that card to the podium pronto!

      1. Lee may very well slide to 30, but Baalke is a nervous first round drafter. 90 percent certain isn’t good enough and Baalke does not care if people think he “reached” (Reid, A. Davis, Jenkins) .

        Baalke will sacrifice a 3rd rounder to move up and nail his targeted player . Then he gambles and waits or trades back later for BPA.

  8. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Donte Moncrief. I know that he’s being projected in the 2nd round (like AJ Jenkins), which is why this pick would be a surprise one. He fits the 49ers to a T.

    – 6’2 220 lbs
    – Good blocker
    – Runs a 4.4 40
    – Played against good competition in the SEC
    – Smooth route runner and can get separation

    I think he’s a guy that is really under-rated in this draft.

    1. I like the fit too. I’ve seen him consistently graded in the 3rd so drafting him higher than #61 would definitely be out of left field.

    2. Hop on board the Moncreif wagon Dan ,banging that drum for a while here-thats my guy. If we got Marqise Lee in the first and a CB backed with Donte Moncreif in the 2nd -I would morph to a human happy face!

      1. Same here… a nice combination of polished skills with Lee, and physicality of Moncrief.

        Moncrief is part of the youth brigade at only 20. He’ll be stronger, faster and more refined down the road.

        1. Moncrief could develop into a dangerous X receiver. But I doubt the 49ers draft an X in the first two rounds. The Niners have a bigger need at Z.

          1. I keep having to go look up “X” and “Z” receivers. One lines up on the line, the other back a yard or so. Y is the slot guy right? I keep thinking Moncrief will be a 3rd rounder. A gamble pick. Like so many of these super-young WRs, we never quite know how they will adapt to the NFL.

            Bradin Cooks September 25, 1993, age 20
            Donte Moncrief, August 6, 1993, age 20
            Mike Evans August 21, 1993, age 20
            Allen Robinson, August 24, 1993, age 20
            Sammy Watkins, June 14, 1993, age 20

            Davante Adams, December 24, 1992, age 21
            Odell Beckham, Jr. November 5, 1992, age 21
            Jarvis Landry November 28, 1992, age 21
            Jordan Matthews, July 16, 1992, age 21
            Paul Richardson, April 13, 1992, age 21

            Martavis Bryant December 20, 1991, age 22
            Marqise Lee, November 25, 1991 age 22
            Jeff Janis June 9, 1991, age 22

            Kelvin Benjamin, February 5, 1991, Age 23
            Jared Abbrederis December 17, 1990, age 23

          2. Grant,
            I think the bigger need is X or split end. Q, Crab, and Patton are all better fits at flanker. That’s why I keep touting Moncrief.

            1. Patton seems like a slot receiver to me.

              Crabtree could be gone after next season. Boldin probably will be gone in two seasons, and he’s the same wherever you put him. He’s going to get no separation and use his big body to win the contested catch.

              1. If, in two years, I had Patton at Z, Moncrief at X, and Cooks at Y I’d be stoked.

                I would like to see Crabs re-signed though.

              2. I agree with you about Boldin. Crabs to me is a flanker because of the run after catch ability. Patton seems to have some versatility though.

              3. For mine Patton’s best bet is to bulk up a little and learn as much as he can from Boldin. He’ll never be the same type of “box-you-out” receiver Boldin is, but he’s got decent speed so if he gets a bit bigger and learns to use his body better he could be a decent flanker.

              4. I think Patton has more YAC ability than Boldin. That’s why I have him at flanker in my scenario.

              1. Any receiver with good change of direction skills can play the slot and have a huge advantage over the defense. Generally I don’t like to get too into type casting positions because I want a more multiple, unpredictable offense. But guys have to be used according to their strengths until they become more well rounded players.

  9. My first reaction to the article is that it reminds me of an assignment from a JC instructor, but it’s a conversation starter. My second is to figure out Left Field. OK, so ‘unexpected’ or ‘unpredicted’, I guess. The assignment then is to predict the unpredicted? But wait, wouldn’t any answer then immediately disqualify itself, LOL? Just trippin.
    In answer I suppose taking a position group, let’s say OL, or QB, higher than any of our mocks have them.

    1. Kiper just mocked him to the 49ers in the 3rd.

      “San Francisco 49ers

      Top needs: CB, WR, C, DL

      Round 1 (30) CB Lamarcus Joyner, Florida St.
      Round 2 (56) C Marcus Martin, USC (from KC)
      Round 2 (61) WR Josh Huff, Oregon
      Round 3 (77) DT Dominique Easley, Florida (from TEN)
      Round 3 (94) CB Nevin Lawson, Utah St.
      Round 3 (100) QB/TE Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (Comp)

      Analysis: This draft sequence is something of a bet that the offensive line remains relatively stable if I get the needed help at center (Martin), and that even if NaVorro Bowman takes his time coming back, the linebacking corps will remain solid. The early priority is grabbing a capable corner, and Joyner can provide impact right away as a Tyrann Mathieu-type, a guy who can play corner, particularly in the slot, and provide time at safety. Huff isn’t a burner, but he’s more of a developmental project than some other receivers who will be taken in this range. Easley is an early-first round talent coming back from yet another knee injury, but at this point in the draft, getting that kind of talent is worth the shot. If he can spell Ray McDonald and Justin Smith effectively, everyone gets better. I like Lawson as a sleeper and possible corner help, and I love the idea of letting Jim Harbaugh work with Thomas as a developmental project at either QB or tight end. (Thomas really could pull off the conversion if he wanted to.)”

      I’m not super high on this mock myself.

    1. Ooooooh, yeah! Bitonio would definitely be a candidate for Baalke to pull a surprise move on. I’d be happy to see him added to the 49ers in late 2nd/ early 3rd.

    1. Could this be a subtle indicator that they are shopping Cousins…I could see someone giving up anywhere from a 2nd-4th rounder for him, and skins desperately need picks.

      Or McCoy could just be fighting for their 3rd string spot.

  10. Trent Murphy. Since Taking Tuitt with the #30 pick with my first mock and Murphy second I’ve change that and moved Murphy to the first pick.

    Murphy will be the first pick not because it’s the biggest need or he’s the best player in the first round but he will be taken because Harbaugh wants him and if the first round is the only place to get him then so be it.

  11. Left field pick:

    #129 the 49ers seclect Grant Cohn UCLA. Grant might not have all of the intangibles or skill sets that you look for in a football player, at any level, but word on the street is that he’s pretty quick in a straight line, in shorts. Throw in some 250lb linebackers chasing him and I bet he’s even faster. This is what Dexter Holland had to say about him; “he’s pretty fly for a white guy.”

  12. I am going to say Dominique Easley taken in the 3rd round with the pick we got from the titans. He is 1st round talent that will drop because of injuries, future replacement for Ray Mcdonald. Also think it could be Antone Exum in the 4th/5th round to be groomed to be the future safety next to reid.
    My mock:
    1-30 & 3-94 move up for beckham or Cooks for speed and deep threat
    2-56 & 2-61 move up to late first to get Verrett to play slot and replace Rogers
    3-77 Dominique Easley DT/DE
    3-100 Jordan Tripp LB
    4-129 David Fales QB-I think harbaugh wants this guy
    5-170 Antone Exum S
    7-242 Cody Hoffman WR to compete with Baldwin
    7-243 Ryan Hewitt FB/TE to replace dixon and harbaugh gets a stanford guy
    **I think they will trade one of their 7th round picks and not keep all 3.

  13. Dri Archer.
    The obvious would be the return specialist ability. The surprise could be Archer being an X-factor on offense.

    Another surprise (although not for me) would be drafting a TE. VMac is a slow developer and the offense calls for someone who could be productive when their number is called.

      1. Why You Left Your Previous Job:
        Fired because I hate lefties.

        I don’t think anybody would ever live that down.

        1. It’s not fair to the rest of the team or the equipment men to also have to lug around a set of left handed footballs. They should learn to throw with their right or get out of the league. Dirty lefters make me wanna wretch!!

          1. Yep, and we had a left-handed QB that only guidedus to one Super Bowl? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! If he would have been right-handed, then we would have won the Super Bowl every year. Down with the southpaws!

      2. It’s a lefthander’s burden to bear. We are always suspect. In sanscript it’s the same word for both “left” and wicked”. The savior sits at the right hand of God, on the left is the angel of death. Two left feet. “goofy foot” (left foot forward) surfer. Don’t get me started on “droit” and “gauche”.

        And whoever heard of a criminal nicknamed “rightie”? (observation stolen from Jerry Seinfeld).

        I can only imagine the professional softball pitcher’s aversion to underhanded dealings.

        1. So, it’s just pure, unadulterated racism? How can you stand to look in the mirror every morning?


              1. They should be pitied, imagine a group of people that are stymied by spiral notebooks and 3 ring binders.

              2. Yes. He greets them happily when he is on their right side and sneers at them if he is on the left handed side.

  14. Left field huh? Then let’s go with a trade up for OLB Khalil Mack. The reason? The team is not for sure if they will be able to keep Aldon Smith once his contract is up and they draft his eventual replacement. Another reason is that the team could release or trade Brooks after this upcoming season due to his large salary increase, and they could possibly shift Smith over to the LOLB position since he has a some experience playing there.
    With the drafting of Mack, they would have an OLB with the motor and power to tire out those assigned to block him, making this LB corps even stronger than what it already is. Now that is a scary thought.

    1. “You can’t teach 6-5,” I was told.
      Yea, that’s a reason to draft a guy, he’s tall.

        1. I know but of all the things to say about the guy and he mentions his height, as if that’s the best part about him.

      1. Benjamin was on Path to the Draft last night. I was very impressed that he mentioned not getting in off the field trouble as a priotity. Cooks is on tonight.

      1. How often does a team draft OLBs in back-to-back draft, especially when they already have two established ones? Yet that was what the 49ers wanted to do in the 2012 draft.

  15. 30 percent of Beckham’s receiving yards and 60 percent of his TDs came against Alabama-Birmingham and Furman last season.

  16. Grant Cohn, TE, Press Democrat, 7th round.

    “All of the players are looking forward to him coming onto the field,” said Trent Baalke. “We think he’ll bring a lot of fire to spring mandatories. Anthony Davis said Cohn will bring something special to (so-called) non-contact drills. ‘We be drillin’ Cohn’ were his exact words as I recall…”

  17. Iggy:
    I already named my ‘left field’ pick weeks ago.
    It’s Louis Nix DT Notre Dame.
    I think he falls because of the knee injury.
    He’s a cross between Wilfork and Ngata.

  18. With no safety help, Auburn CB Jonathon Mincy held Odell Beckham to five catches for 59 yards and 0 TDs on 9/21/13.

    Mincy currently is the 33rd-ranked CB in 2015 on CBS’s NFL Draft Scout.

    On the other hand, Kelvin Benjamin beat Louchiez Purifoy so bad, Florida benched him for the rest of the game.

    1. Just watched that game. Purifoy is/was extremely over rated. He shows that his slow 40 time isn’t a fluke(no closing speed) and his best trait, which is physicality, is ineffective against a 6-5 240 lb WR.

          1. Concentration drops, looking upfield too quickly. That’s easily fixable. The point is he dominated the entire Florida secondary unlike any other wide receiver did this year.

              1. He’s shown the ability to get behind defenses. Very impressive at his size. He can help in the red zone and the middle of the field. Can the smaller receivers?

              2. His stiff hips limit his speed and being able to change gears. Plus he isn’t physical enough for a man his size. The Seattle secondary would eat him alive.

  19. Ok finally my first shot at a mock draft.
    Senario #1 8 or more WR’s are picked before the 49ers spot at 30 and the 9ers take the BPA. Senario #2 and the more likely senario.
    The 49ers trade out of the first rd #30 for the raiders #36 and 107 in the 4th rd.
    Rd 2 #36 Jason Verrett CB TCU
    49ers trade picks #61 and 77 to T.B. for pick #38
    Rd 2 #38 Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
    Rd 2 #56 either Terrence Brooks S\CB Fla St or Lamarcus Joyner CB Fla St.
    Rd 3 #94 Zach Mettenberger QB LSU [if the 9ers havent extended CK by draft day, If they have then….]
    Rd 3 #94 Keith McGill CB\S Utah
    Rd 3 #100 Christian Jones ILB Fla St.
    Trade pick #107 to Cleve for pick #145 in the 5th rd and cleve 5th rd pick next yr.
    Rd4 #129 Terrance West RB Towson
    Rd 5 #145 Ed Stinson DE Alabama
    Rd 5 #170 Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley
    Rd 7 Ben Gardner DE Stan
    Rd 7 Dexter McDougle CB Maryland
    Rd 7 Jeff Mathews QB Cornell
    Well what do you think?

    1. There is your left field move, Baalke trading out of first round.
      it is unlikely but possible if offers cannot be refused.
      To many good WRs could drop to 30 making that the right field move.

    2. I don’t think the team will draft four CBs Coach. I also don’t think they will draft Mettenberger after trading for Gabbert. Harbaugh seems to like having three different styles at the QB position.

      1. Midwest all of the CB picks other than Verrett and Joyner can play Safety and in fact will probably end up at S. I only think they might pick Mettenberger if negotiations with CK are falling apart by draft day.

    3. Good stuff old coach.

      One area I’m not enamoured with, much like rocket’s yesterday, is there is no speed WR being added (unless you count Janis, but he’s too raw to contribute much this year), nor a guy to do kick/punt returns (unless you see Matthews doing it – he has some limited experience).

      Other than that:
      – I tend to agree with MidWest that 4 DBs is going a tad overboard. I’d go Joyner over Brooks (I don’t understand the love for Brooks, but that is just me), and I’d play him as a hybrid SS/slot CB if they took him.
      – Not sold on Terrence West. I’ve read a few scouting reports on him questioning his vision (missing cut back lanes) and outlining he has a tendency to dance behind the line. Vision and decisiveness are two of the most important aspects of a RB for me.
      – Two DEs?

      1. I think 4 DBs makes perfect sense in Old Coach’s mock. If the top 4 maybe 5 DBs get grabbed early (as expected) then you grab BPA (hopefully a WR) and then shop till you drop for DBs in the next two rounds.
        You then hope at least one of those 4 is a fast coach up learn and can start this coming season because you will need them.
        As far as the WR issue I think it is likely that a very good and fast WR is available at 30. If not then some other talented player not to pass up will be there. There is more than 29 blue chip players in this first round.

        1. Why 4 DBs?

          The 49ers already have 5 CBs on the roster that suited up for the team at some point in the past 2 years, + have signed Chris Cook. They also already have 4 safeties returning from last year’s roster and have added Bethea to replace Whitner. I get that not all these guys are locks to make the team, but adding 4 DBs (and 3 in the first 3 rounds) is overkill.

          1. A. you can never have enough DBs due to attrition and special team needs.
            B. If you cannot get one of those first 2 maybe 3 corners (as they will go early in first round and are not worth the reach) then you grab several were this draft is deep and were you happen to have a lot of picks.
            C.Under those mitigating circumstances you go for quantity to find your quality.

    4. Nice. I like the McDougle pick and both Matthews picks. Verrett would be a good pick at that spot.

      I still think the best move is to trade up up for Dennard or Gilbert.

      1. Grant,
        I would agree if one of those two, Dennard or Gilbert, should fall into sensible range (high 20s) but that is not likely. So wait for the rest of the bunch in second and third and even fourth.
        Fuller, Verrett and Roby may be there in high 20s but the only one worth reaching for might be Fuller. Either one of the other two should be there at 30 if they want them. But one of those seven top WRs making himself available might just trump a CB pick at the 30 slot. So I am back at waiting for second and third rounds for those DBs.

  20. Left field pick who we could take as high as the third is Shaq Richardson. He wasn’t invited to the combine, but Richardson has a great combination of height and length and ran a 4.4 and sub 7 second 3 cone at his pro day.A Film is a bit inconsistent but so was Culliver’s coming out. I see Rashaad Reynolds as another good corner prospect that has flown a bit under the radar. Could also see us taking Ellington or Latimer in the second round, but really there are so many good wide receivers in this class that few names would surprise me.

  21. If you take away the game against Furman, Beckham averaged 3 catches per game and 14 yards per catch and 0 TDs per game over his final five games last season.

      1. It was a bruise. He got it against Texas A&M. He barely played in the next game against Arkansas, and he didn’t play in the bowl game against Iowa. Not exactly toughing the season out.

  22. I think the ‘left field’ element of this draft will be no CB in the first 2 rounds. Here is my reasoning:

    – They are showing lots of interest in just about every CB they can go see – in and of itself this means nothing, but…
    – Baalke is on record saying he doesn’t like to tip his hand.
    – Despite having significant interest in a fast, smaller WR that can return kicks and punts in FA, the talk of WR’s they are known to be interested in hasn’t included Beckham, Lee or Cooks (plenty of speculation, but no overt interest has been reported)
    – They’ve been ‘needing’ to draft a CB early (according to various pundits) for the past few years, yet the highest they’ve taken a CB since 2005 is the 3rd round (Culliver and Reggie Smith).
    – The above points to a draft philosophy – the CBs that play in this system don’t need to be the most technically gifted, nor the most developed. They are happy to take big, athletic guys that can run and train them up.

    So, there you go, my logical and rational reason why they won’t take a CB until round 3. Which of course means they’ll take one with their first pick :-)

  23. I think Baalke’s need for WR and CB is so obvious he knows there is no point to try hiding interest this year.

    1. Anyone can be made to look good in a highlight package. The thing with Matthews is when you watch full game tape he still looks pretty good. Where would you take him MidWest?

      1. Scooter i have the 49ers taking him in the 7th Rd i think he will be available then because of his total lack of speed.

        1. Sorry Old Coach – meant Jordan Matthews, not Jeff Matthews. I see you have him at pick #38 in your mock.

        1. Same. I wouldn’t blink at taking him at #30 either, though some would say he’d be over-drafted there.

          1. Me neither, but I would rather take Verrett if he is still there. Unless I knew that Verrett would fall to me in the second round, which he could.

            1. Could try for what old coach suggested in his mock – take Verrett first, then move up to late 30s for Matthews.

  24. In college, Odell Beckham scored TDs against West Virginia, Kentucky, Towson, Alabama-Birmingham, Kent State, Mississippi State and Furman.

      1. “If either of these players end up as a slot guy with one of the elite quarterbacks, they could flourish. I don’t think either guy is a #1. Give me Cooks.”

        Pretty much how I feel.

        1. Yeah, you are not alone. It is an interesting point that one them make regarding film on Beckham – the only film available (freely) is of his good games. Same can be said of most prospects, but when you have a statistical divide like Beckham’s in production, it sure would be useful to see those less than stellar performances.

          On the games that film is available for, Beckham looks fantastic, which is why I’m so high on him. And its not about the stat lines – its simply the way he plays that makes me so excited about his prospects in the NFL. In those games that film is available for he isn’t just getting open on the plays they throw him the ball. His route running is highly impressive and in a more open offense he’d have been putting up some Madden-like numbers. But I’d love to see some film showing why he struggled in other games.

      2. “The other thing I worry about with Beckham is it feels like he’s a player that could be used wrong at first by teams, but that is even more so worrisome with Cooks. If Cooks goes to a team that has no interest in using him creatively, he really has no appeal.”

        Maybe the 49ers shouldn’t draft either of these guys. It seems like they either don’t have the ability or the desire to implement plays for small quick guys.

        1. That is definitely my main concern with Cooks. If they used a small slot WR well, then Cooks would be my pick for sure. But I’m not convinced they’ll use him properly.

          Beckham has greater capability to play as an X, Y or Z, so I like their chances of using him more appropriately.

          1. I agree. I think Beckham could flourish at all three spots if he were playing with Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. I’m concerned about how smaller receivers like Beckham, Cooks and Lee would mesh with Kaepernick, who throws with poor ball placement. He seems to need big targets.

              1. True. I’d rather see the team take John Brown on the third day anyway. I like Beckham and Cooks, but something is telling me that Brown will be a rare find that the team won’t regret.

            1. “Kaepernick, who throws with poor ball placement.”

              That is actually another reason I like Beckham for the 49ers. He’s very good at adjusting his speed and body to the ball, and despite being only 5’11” has a very large catch radius. His body control is phenomenal. I can’t recall seeing another player run as under control as he does. He may not be a sub-4.4 guy, but he can run 4.4 – 4.5 with his feet and hands under control and make the catch. He’s not a guy that needs to slow down much at all to make a play on the ball.

              1. All of those compliments applied to A.J. Jenkins when he was coming out of Illinois.

                Crabtree has a very large catch radius. Beckham has a good catch radius for a smaller receiver. I think Kaepernick would benefit more from a big receiver like Jordan Matthews or Davante Adams or Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin.

              2. Does AJ not working out make those skills irrelevant?

                Beckham has a great catch radius for a small receiver, and a good catch radius for any receiver. Much better catch radius than Jenkins, and unlike Jenkins he attacks the ball in the air. He’s a natural hands catcher – strong hands and doesn’t let the ball get into his pads.

                Kaepernick already has 2 big receivers. The offense doesn’t need another big WR, nor does it need a guy to make short catch and runs. It needs someone that can stretch the defense and get open at the deep and intermediate levels.

              3. Jenkins and Beckham have the exact same arm length. Yes, Beckham attacks the ball. Yes, Beckham is better than Jenkins. But size matters at X and Z. DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith are the exceptions.

              4. Attacking the ball in the air is what generates a big catch radius. When did Jenkins ever do that? Its also why Moncrief, for all his size, doesn’t have a great catch radius.

              5. I agree with that. Beckham has made some nice catches where he attacked the ball downfield. But is he going to consistently make contested catches over the middle around linebackers as a Z? Is he going to be a threat to score touchdowns? He wasn’t a threat to score TDs in the SEC, so why would he be a threat to score TDs in the NFL? For a guy with a great catch radius, he should have caught more than 2 TDs in 26 SEC games.

              6. Yeah, one of the reasons I would love to get my hands on some cut ups of his less than stellar performances. Watching the film available for him I see no reason he should struggle in this department. I’m curious to see how he’s been defended.

              7. I see draftbreakdown have now added the Texas A&M cut-ups for Beckham.


                Its interesting. He actually gets used on a fair few slants in this game, and does ok heading through and into traffic. Much like a flanker or slot would be asked to do. He also has success clearing out the underneath route for Landry to score a TD.

                He misses a TD catch, but for me that is due to an underthrown ball – if that is just a fraction further in front the safety doesn’t make a play on it and its a TD. The pass on the fade route in the end zone was atrociously misplaced, but then the decision to run Beckham on a fade route is pretty questionable to begin with. There is also a pass break-up down the right sideline that should have been called for PI – the DB clearly held Beckham’s arm. Overall, I thought Beckham was effective without being dominant.

                The Ole Miss tape is also pretty interesting. Its games like that one that really have me questioning why Mettenberger gets the praise he does. That NFL arm of his was all over the shop. Over thrown passes, under thrown passes, poor reads, you name it. Beckham had a couple of chances in that game if the ball was better thrown. Then there are others where you are just scratching your head as to why the ball was even thrown. But, again, Beckham drew a lot of safety help over the top throughout the game. He was effective for the most part, but Metternberger looked deep for him too often throughout that game from what I saw. He wasn’t getting open often on the deep routes. When he did make the right decision, the ball was often nowhere near where it needed to be. Beckham should have made that catch he hurt his back on though.

              8. The Georgia-LSU highlights link that I posted doesn’t do Beckham any favors either. Most of his catches in that game are when he was wide open, but he didn’t really gain any extra yards after contact. He also appeared to get outlived more often than not.

              9. Have to disagree on the Georgia tape MidWest. That game highlights many of the good things Beckham does. Once again there is a deep ball that is way overthrown that would have been a TD (why is Metternberger so well liked by scouts?). But he shows good ability to beat both man and zone coverage in that game with good route running and knowing where the soft spots are.

                “Most of his catches in that game are when he was wide open”. That is one of his best attributes. He gets open.

              10. It also shows some areas of weakness too Scooter. He didn’t do well on contested throws and he also seemed to be outmuscled at times. Grant raised the question of Beckham being able to make those type of catches, and after watching that highlight, I would say that it is a valid concern.

              11. Of course he is out-muscled at times. He’s small. He’s not going to win match-ups by out-muscling people.

                As for the contested catches though, I didn’t see him having particular issues in catching 50-50 balls. He can at times (again, he can be muscled-out), but this game wasn’t one that really highlighted this issue. Actually, early on he makes a good catch on a short slant that the DB had a chance to break up – he showed good strong hands to hold onto it. There are also a couple of times he gets lit up after making the catch but holds on.

              12. That’s why I see him as more of an X than a Z. Zs play in traffic and take more punishment. A small receiver like Beckham would hold up better at X.

              13. Of course he is out-muscled at times. He’s small. He’s not going to win match-ups by out-muscling people.

                He’s going to have to when he goes against slot CBs that are both strong and fast Scooter. I also noticed in those highlights that he didn’t really exhibit any shake ‘n bake that allowed him to gain extra yards or get away from his pursuers(s).

              14. The ability to make the contested grab jumps off the screen when watching Jordan Matthews.

              15. You think Wes Welker wins match-ups by being more physical than the slot CB he’s up against? Not many small WRs do. Its about getting open. Beckham does that well. He also attacks the ball (most notable on his comeback routes), which is a great sign for a smaller receiver – it limits the opportunity for the DB to out-muscle him.

                As for the shake and bake, what were you expecting to see from him? He does a decent job in that game, but he didn’t juke his way around the entire Georgia team from a standing start… he wasn’t given the ball in space and in stride to really show what he can do.

              16. He doesn’t shake one defender during that game Scooter. That surprised me. Cooks seems to be the shifter of the two. That’s a quality that will be needed against the Seahawks.

              17. Yeah, Cooks is definitely the shiftier of the two, no question. I’ve never thought Beckham was really a ‘shifty’ guy that will juke out defenders cutting left and right – he’s more a one cut guy, with good speed and quick feet. He does his best work before the ball is in his hands.

              18. I’m starting to lean more towards favoring Cooks over Beckham because a small WR needs to be shifty if they get matched up with someone that can keep up with them.

              19. Small WRs need to be able to run good routes and get open – exactly what Beckham is good at. Being ‘shifty’ with the ball in hand is great, but not what makes for a great small WR.

                I think you are over-blowing Beckham’s lack of shiftiness. He’s plenty good at cutting and exploding out of his routes. And unlike Cooks, he doesn’t oversell his route. Cooks is really fast and quick, but he also exaggerates his breaks. Good DBs won’t fall for it. Beckham is better at making things look the same, keeping the DB guessing.

  25. Once again why I don’t want to reach too far up in first round and using those mid picks to use a clearing house approach and to plan for future is the way to go. My guidelines for this particular draft:

    1.Take what the draft gives you — 2014 gives you incomparable depth at most positions. Mid rounds are particularly important this year. Then deal with the roster numbers during preseason. It will be a wealthy man’s headache.

    2. Don’t give up the warehouse for a single hit or miss. In this draft go for quantity to find your quality.

    3. This is a year to sling rookies at the wall and see who sticks. The draft has the depth and the team has the abundance of picks. These picks will create a very competitive in camp / preseason and those with the velcro will be keepers.

    4. Don’t be afraid to toss in this clearing house approach. If you picked well then trade a vet or two to make the room, get some future picks, save some doe and make us all momentarily sad for the loss. I.E. LMJ gets replaced by rookie DB kick return specialist.

    5. Go after the IR 2015 hopefuls, Baalke style, since they won’t use roster spots. I.E Colvin and Easly.

    6. Be open (again Baalke style) to trading those mid round picks for generous futures because holding all those mid rounders in this particular draft is holding the best cards. Mark my words, there will be a feeding frenzy in the mid rounds.

    7.The Niners have other needs such as WR, safety, center, backup QB, linebackers and add that to the clearing house approach for area of need (CBs) and this is the draft to fill those needs.

  26. I’d love to see the Niners get C.J. Mosley (ILB, Alabama) in the 1st round as insurance for Bowman and possibly losing Patrick Willis to free agency next year.

    1. I’ve been reading this blog for years, and never bothered to create an account. But this may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on a 49er site outside of the Webzone.

      Your big plan is to draft an inside linebacker in the 1st round, when we already have 2 of the 3 best ILBs in the NFL? In a draft that is chock full of corners and WRs, the 2 weakest areas on the entire team? Learn to football, dude.

      PS – Patrick Willis is signed through the 2016 season. He’s three years away from becoming a free agent. SMH!

      1. SCU,

        I guess you have trouble reading. Grant was asking for “left field” picks. An ILB in the first round will be a big surprise and fits the “left field” theme of this thread.

        Yes Willis is signed through 2016, but could be a cap casualty come next year or the year after that.

        There’s no guarantee that Bowman will be the same.

        Also, Baalke doesn’t have a proven track record of picking WRs. So, I’d rather they pick defensive players in rounds 1, 2, and 3.

  27. Here’s how Baalke throws a curveball this year:
    No trades. Zero. He just takes whoever falls to them in every round.

        1. If Pop wore headphones, maybe he’d be viewed by some as a punk, just like CK. Instead, his act with the media is seen as a charming quirk.

          I couldn’t care less that he hates talking to the media. He’s a great coach and I wish the W’s had him, no offense to Mark Jackson, but Pop has his players inspired AND is great with X’s and O’s.

  28. Here is my updated mock draft, i like Exum as a potential Safety that can play both CB or the S position.


      1. Midwest Dynasty, Cody would be a good choice as well. He is rated as a 5th to 6th rounder on the CBS Sport draft board. I believe with Jordan and Paul Richardson we would get two good options to stretch the field and a back up plan for replacing Crabtree if he ask for too much money.

  29. I just hope we do not reach for a need position and go with the BPA for the first three picks. If the need position happened to be the player we want then lets pull the trigger and move up or just stay put to draft him.

  30. From 49ers.com

    – 49ers own mock draft. At #30 Taylor Price picks Bradley Roby, Andrew Pentis picks Kyle Fuller, Scott Kegley picks Marqise Lee. I’ll take it.
    – Patton and Moody training with Kaepernick in Miami. Kiss of death?
    – Eric Wright buys his dad a new car. Another good reason to encourage sons to take up Pop Warner.

    This is what happens when they move the draft to May. I hope its in early April next year.

    1. Jacoby Ellsbury just got 153M guaranteed. Teach that boy to hit a baseball. Unless he’s too tall. Then teach him to bounce a basketball. Nick Batum got 50M.

      1. How about teaching a kid to be a long snapper, starting around the ago of 6. There’s less competition on the way to the top (how many boys out there are obsessed with becoming long snappers). The pay will only be around $500-$800K, but they play for up to 16 years.

        1. I would rather be good at golf. The money is good, theres little wear and tear on the body, and the travel must be really rough with all those beautiful locals around the world:). Then you retire and join the Senior Tour… sigh I wish I didnt think it was an old mans game when i was kid.

  31. Arkansas Chris Smith DE 6-1 266, he’s a projected 3-4 round pick. Dude is only 6-1 but has a longer wingspan than Clowney (who’s much taller). He’s a very good pass rusher, maybe 2nd best pash-rusher in SEC (behind only Clowney).
    Baalke must be lickin his chops over Smiths freakish long arms. This dude could appear at any time from left field. He’s a stud….Here’s a picture….this guys a beast! http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/29113925/20131102_ajw_sc6_579.0_standard_730.0.jpg

      1. Tuna – I would draft Chris Smith just for wearing that bad-ass facemask.
        Baalke has said he likes players with long arms, maybe it’s a smokescreen. He’ll probably fool us all and draft a bunch of T-Rex/alligator-arm dudes.

  32. Here’s your 2014 Trent Baalke left field winner…… JC Copeland, LSU, FB


    Bruce Miller just signed a three year deal, and people would be surprised to see Baalke draft another FB. However, Anthony Dixon was the backup FB and Dixon played a lot when Miller went down in the playoffs. Copeland could also be a great special teamer, like Dixon was.

    Personally, I don’t think much of Bruce Miller. I think he’s a smart guy, and that can never be overlooked or overrated. But athletically, I don’t see the hype. He’s limited. Copeland has a ton more upside on short yardage and in the passing game. Only question would be Copeland’s mental side of his game. If Baalke drafted Copeland, and Harbaugh gave him a chance, Copeland would beat out Miller in two years.

  33. left field…right field…

    if the Niners do not make a deep playoff run in 2014/15,
    if San Francisco does not make it to the Super Bowl, or
    if the team fails to capture another Lombardi trophy, then

    Mister Harbaw is the element from left field,
    the out-of-sync component to the package,
    the “what were you guys thinking” question for
    Mssrs. Baalke and York. Will he make it to five years???

  34. Calling Coach Harbaw…..
    Hey Jim; ya gotta minute?
    Please feel welcome to attend my presser today.
    The Seahawks have a little announcement to make.

    (how much, you ask? come to the conference & find out)

    My name is Pete Carroll
    and I approve of this message.

    1. Your mom wants you to get off the computer and clean your room she is having a guy friend over tonight and doesn’t want you to embarrass her.

    2. Calling Coach Carroll,

      Give me a call. I can help you get rid of your contacts.


      Scott Hyver
      Laser Eye Center of the Silicon Valley

      1. Calling Coach Carroll,

        Give me a call. I can help you get rid of your contacts.


        Scott Hyver
        Laser Eye Center of the Silicon Valley
        BAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Hey, Monkey, you’re speaking in Carroll’s voice in your post. It would be pretty stupid of Carroll to say, “My name is Pete Carroll and I approve this message,” after a message he delivered himself.

      On the other hand, considering the source, the stupidity of your post makes perfect sense.

  35. Left field pick:
    Tre Mason, RB with pick 2b
    Gore is at the end, Lattimore is a question mark, LMJ is Ginn 2.0, Boobie is gone, Miller is a FB, and Hunter hasn’t been given a chance. All this talk about field stretchers and WR’s. Harbaugh and GRo like multiple shifts and motions before sending Gore into the line. Are they going to draft for WR3, who may get 3 balls thrown their way every other game?
    This is only just slightly snarky. My left, left field picks have them draft DL and OL with the first 4 picks.

    1. It’s a good draft for WRs.

      Crabtree and Boldin are likely short timers and will need to be replaced.

      It usually takes WRs a year in the NFL to really contribute.

      Despite the fact that the 49ers haven’t run many plays with 3 WR sets, they still need a speed WR for at least a few plays a game to stretch the field. A rookie could fill this role, while getting seasoning. Also, JH has implied he’s considering opening up the offense in 2014, so the 49ers might be planning to use more 3 WR sets. Of course, JH has never shown this before, so it’ll have to seen, to be believed.

      The 49ers are well stocked at most positions, so there is nothing wrong with filling the needs at WR and CB, provided a player has value that, at least, matches the pick. Baalke is likely to manipulate this by trading up or down, if need be.

      Of course, the 49ers by virtue of their 11 picks, can afford to grab a player they love and has fallen, regardless of position, and still have the ammo to fill their needs at WR and CB.

  36. I have seen a lot of people recomending trading down for more picks in this years draft. I guess I dont quite understand the logic. We have a fairly loaded roster and little cap space, which means even if we found quite a bit of tallent to add we would be cutting good players.
    I would propose trading away picks for higher ones in upcomming drafts. This year is loaded yes, but I would rather Identify the players we want and go get them. Then trade try to move up in upcomming drafts as we are soon going to have to replace a lot of talented players.

    1. I would bet Baalke does at least two of the following three in this year’s draft: trades up, trades down, and/or trades for future picks (which could be argued, is the ultimate in trading down).

      The one thing I would be surprised by, is if he trades a future pick, or picks, for a pick in this year’s draft.

  37. Ok 9ers need to find a WR that can present a different tableau than what we have shown in the red zone the past three years w/ch resulted in our 1st SB loss and another loss in last seasons’ NFCCG loss so here’s one from ‘left-field’ that should work: first two draft picks get best fastest WRs available then see w/ch one shakes out to be that player – one will be a “Bey” and the other should work, two chances to get the right one is better than getting one only?!?

  38. Niners pass on several receiver prospects to take sefaris-jenkins in rd 2. triple te sets return with vd, mcdonald, and sefaris-jenkins.

    1. I don’t believe we’ll be taking Sefaris-Jenkins but I do know he’ll go much sooner then the rankings have him.

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