Mayweather’s wait to fight Pacquiao a damaging blow to a reeling sport

This is my Thursday column on Floyd Mayweather. WARNING — this is a boxing column. 49ers’ fans, feel free to skip this.

Muhammad Ali wanted to demonstrate his character to the world. Floyd Mayweather wants to be undefeated. There’s a difference.

Ali fought Joe Frazier five months after not fighting for 31/2 years. Ali was stripped of his boxing license from March 1967 to October 1970 because he wouldn’t enlist in the army during the Vietnam War.

After his reinstatement Ali fought two tune-up fights and quickly built up to Frazier, the heavyweight champion of the world. Ali barely waited. Ali couldn’t wait. He took on Frazier, the greatest challenge available, and lost.

Losing that fight does not diminish Ali’s legacy — it enhances it. He is the greatest heavyweight of all time because he never ducked an opponent. Neither did Frazier.

Sugar Ray Robinson, a welterweight and middleweight, is the greatest boxer ever, pound-for-pound. He was fearless. He fought everyone, and he lost 19 times.

Thomas Hearns, a great welterweight, fought Marvin Hagler, a great middleweight, a bigger man, because Hearns was brave. Hagler knocked him out. But it was one of the greatest fights of all time, and it included the greatest first round of all time. The history of the world is more interesting because that fight happened.

Boxing is about winning — of course it is. It’s also about bravery. Robinson was brave. Ali was brave. Hearns was brave.

Mayweather? Not so brave.

Mayweather is a great fighter, the fifth-best welterweight of the past 75 years behind Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jose Napoles and Thomas Hearns. Welterweight is 147 pounds, or “47” in boxing vernacular. Mayweather is a defensive genius who can hurt you. But he doesn’t have the heart of a champion inside the ring or outside of it.

He is one of the least-pleasing great fighters ever. He doesn’t want to fight. He wants to dance. He jabs and runs and outpoints opponents like an amateur. He is a safety-first fighter. He refused to step into a ring and fight the best opponent in his weight division, Manny Pacquiao, for five years. He and Pacquiao never could agree until now on testing for performance-enhancing drugs. They’ve finally agreed on a testing protocol and are scheduled to fight on May 2.

One of the basic truths of boxing is this. The fighter who raises the objections is the fighter who doesn’t want the fight. Mayweather raised objections for years. Pacquiao never did.

This fight should have happened five years ago. Pacquiao is 36 now. He has lost two of his past five fights, he has knocked out no one since 2009 and, in 2012, Juan Manuel Marquez knocked him out cold. Pacquiao lay face down on the canvas for two minutes. He looked like a dead man. He may already be a “shot” fighter, someone who has lost his competitive edge. Mayweather likes fighters like that.

Pacquiao poses no threat to Mayweather. Finally, Mayweather wants to fight him. That’s the “character” Mayweather shows to the world.

I object to this fight. Mostly, I object to Mayweather. Forget his legacy — it’s his business if he wants to go down as the undefeated boxer who played it safe and avoided the only real challenge available to him. Mayweather hurt his sport. He could have revived boxing and he chose not to. He valued being undefeated more than being a great champion.

Boxing has been a dead sport most of my life. I was born in 1988. As soon as I understood language, my dad would show me videos of famous fights from the ’80s and narrate them to me. Then I would show the videos to my babysitters and repeat what my dad said. I must have broken down the first round of Hagler-Hearns to 10 different babysitters between 1991 and 1994.

That’s how I experience boxing — watching old fights on tape. The biggest fight since I’ve been alive was the first fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. That was 1996 when Holyfield knocked out Tyson.

Five years ago, Mayweather-Pacquiao could have been bigger than Tyson-Holyfield. Tyson and Holyfield had one great fight. Mayweather and Pacquiao could have had two or three great fights during their primes. It would have felt like the return of the ’80s.

The ’80s was the decade of the welterweights. Most of the great fighters were welters, like Leonard, Hearns and Roberto Duran, who moved up from lightweight. And they all fought each other. Hearns and Duran fought once, Hearns and Leonard fought twice and Leonard and Duran fought three times. And all three of those guys had the courage to fight Marvin Hagler, who was a middleweight (160 pounds). Mayweather would have avoided all four. He never would have risked losing.

Pacquiao was a super lightweight as recently as May 2, 2009. Super lightweight is 140. Mayweather was reluctant to fight a smaller man. What a judgment against Mayweather. Mayweather waited to fight a smaller man until he was absolutely certain he could win.

And here’s the ultimate irony: Mayweather probably would have beaten Pacquiao all along. Even five years ago. Mayweather might have knocked him out. Pacquiao would have thrown a lot of punches but he wouldn’t have landed many — Mayweather is too hard to hit. Pacquiao would have opened himself up and Mayweather would have connected with his jaw. Mayweather is a precise puncher when he decides to punch. Although he is not a devastating hitter, he can knock people out.

Captain Ahab heroically chased the whale. Mayweather fled from it until it could hardly swim.

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

This article has 208 Comments

  1. Breath 1:

    Borland should be admired for retiring for fear of head trauma.

    Breath 2:

    Mayweather hurt his sport and isn’t brave because he didn’t want to fight Pacquiao when he was punching his hardest.

    Pot meet kettle…

    1. “The Motor City Cobra” got a raw deal in the Marvin Hagler fight. In Round # 1 Hearns broke his hand on Hagler’s bald head so fought the rest of the round with one arm. I always thought either Hearns or Leonard could take out Hagler…My scorecard was correct on one and the other I’m giving an incomplete (The Hearn’s fight still stings, my heart goes out to him for training so hard only to have it taken away by a man ducking his bald head).

      1. Grant, I want to be clear about Hagler, Hearns and Sugar Ray…Under Marquess of Queensberry/Modern rules, ie, (The standing Eight Count etc.,)
        Ray wins….In a street fight (without rules) Hagler wins. However, I would like to see Hagler vs. Hearns again minus the broken hand for a full fight, so I reserve judgement there.

    2. I don’t think Borland should be admired at all. I think he was trying to scam the 49ers by trying to play behind willis/bowman for several years until he thought one of the two would retire, and thus get paid without taking too much punishment, but when he heard that he’d be starting he decided to retire. Roped the 49ers into thinking that he was more committed than he truthfully was.

  2. Completely agree, Grant. Floyd Mayweather Jr represents the sharp demise of boxing and he sickens me. What immediately got my ire up about him was when he suddenly, quite out of the blue, demanded that “Pacman” take an intensive steroid test. He never asked this of anyone else, but he demanded this of the toughest fighter he was not fully prepared to fight. This intimidation tactic was meant to create innuendo about Pacman and thus excuse Floyd for not wanting to fight him. We will never get to see these two great fighters fight one another while in their primes. Instead, we get to see a very safe Floyd fighting another fighter who is not only well past his prime, but has been knocked out recently. This is how the trash-talking Mayweather likes his fighters. Yes, everyone now knows that Floyd is not interested in fighting great fighters unless they are over the hill. We also know that Floyd would have looked silly against Leonard or Hearns, probably Duran and Benitez as well. Mayweather is a wife abusing punk.

  3. Nice article Grant.

    I was born in 1961. Had the pleasure of watching the great heavyweights in the 1960s, and great welters in the 1980s… and a heck of alot of great light and middle weights in between. I was a big boxing fan.

    I don’t remember when I stopped watching boxing. It was sometime around 15-20 years ago. There was no official line of demarcation. At some point, it just got too absurd. Pay per view, Don King, corruption, the demise of the heavyweight division all contributed to my fade-out from the sport.

    I have no idea who the heavyweight champ is. I don’t even care.

    One of my favorite sports writers was Jack Fiske (Jacob Finkelstein). I’m not a boxer or a boxing expert by any means…. but Jack’s columns often made me the “smartest guy in the room” when it came to the fight game. I was the go-to guy on my block when anyone wanted to know about a fight.

    I miss the old boxing sport. I miss great writers like Jack Fiske.

  4. Floyd is a ducker. He knows how to maximize his potential money gains and plays the villain role like a disney movie. He knows legacies don’t make money. People like you and me may not pay for the fight but we will surely be watching it some where. I’m rooting for Pacman. This dude is all about the people and he does what he wants to do. He helps gives his countrymen money, fishing supplies, schools etc etc. Congressman by day and a singer by night. You can also say his a comedian. Everyone knows that loss to Bradley was a fluke and that fight with Marquez was a lucky counter punch. Pacman was winning the rounds before that KO and he was the aggressor in that fight. I hope Roach and Pac have a game plan to beat Floyd.

  5. Perfectly said. Money is his only care.
    His spokesman goes up and says he’s the biggest draw ever for the sport. No ppv back in the early 80’s an 70’s and 60’s. It means nothing. It also means peoole pay to watch him lose, and yet his guy doesn’t bring that up. He’s the latest Lenox Lewis and klitchko. Dominating a division with nobody in it. I’m not saying this because im Puerto Rican or because I like cotto. But he fought him after margarito cheated him and almost ended his career with loaded gloves. He’s training with roach now and has looked better than he’s ever looked.
    He took mayweather to the shed last time. If mayweather beats the aging manny the only two fights he would have left would be a rematch with cotto or GGG. Then he can retire with a small piece of pride. I doubt he will. Unless it’s worth the same or more than this fight. I do however think manny has one more in him. And will fight his best for this one. It’s a toss up to me, 5 years ago… Manny destroys him. He will force mayweather to throw in this fight. Manny didn’t lose two fights he was flat out robbed in one and don’t let the MARQUEZ matches tell this story. You can’t compare who beat who and who lost to who in boxing. Fighters make fights. Roy jones destroyed everyone until Tarver. Tarvers style didn’t fit Jones. And nobody can say Tarver is a legend and better than Roy.
    Marquez has paq’s number. Doesn’t mean mayweather will. He’s quicker but nowhere near as powerful. It will be a fight on the ropes not in the middle of the ring. He will bother Floyd, if he throws good combos and starts landing (which he will) Floyd will be forced to come out of his defense and fight. It may be to late by then. Cotto did it and roach will have him fighting the same. Manny isn’t done yet, but 5 years ago would have been more intriging.

    1. Cotto is dope, but not fast enough.
      Manny was fast enough, but never big enough.
      And I agree with Grant, Floyd has been ducking PacMan for years, and now sees that he doesn’t have the power to hurt him anymore…

      …which means there’s NO FRICKIN WAY that Floyd would fight GGG. That dude hits like a heavyweight and is technical and long. Floyd will avoid him like the plague. Frankly, I hope Manny and Cotto avoid him, too, for their own good.

      1. Cotto has to fight GGG. He’s never ducked anyone. Be a good fight. An check cottos speed. He’s faster than you think. There was talk of a rematch with Floyd an cotto of this one didn’t work out. The next big one will be cotto vs GGG. Book it

        1. That will be a great fight… But I worry about Cotto getting hurt badly (I’m a fan – he seems like a good man, father, etc.). Hopefully not, but I just don’t see him taking punches for 12 rounds – he’ll have to knock out GGG first.. Cotto is a great fighter, but GGG is in his prime.

          1. GGG hasn’t proven anything yet. He’s a puncher. And I like him. That would be his proof to the boxing world though. He’s foght scrubs so far. And destroying them like he should

    2. Bro , Mayweather is going nowhere near GGG. He’s going to act like Gennady doesn’t exist until he retires with his “perfect” record. Cotto vs GGG would be a slugfest. I would love to see that fight. No one wants to fight GGG tho.

  6. Grant – I absolutely loved your boxing column!! I agree with everything except I have to go with Rocky Marciano as greatest heavyweight of all-time. Only undefeated heavyweight champ ever (49-0). He never would duck any fighter. He was a bad ass!
    It’s a family thing too, my dad was an amateur boxer. Rocky Marciano was his hero and he bragged about him for years and years. He’s 80 yrs old now and still braggin on Marciano…..My favorite fighters ever were Roberto Duran, Ken Norton and Vinny Pazienza (the Tasmanian devil)!! ;)

      1. MD – Ha ha…..”no mas” ……Yes that was a painful night for me. I never was a Sugar Ray fan……..
        Duran went up in weight and redeemed himself by beating champion Iran Barkley a few years later. Hands of stone baby!! :)

        1. My fave 5.
          Tyson
          Cotto
          Trinidad
          Berrera (for mopping prince Naseem)
          And this man. I’m not a fan of cocky fighters, but when you have speed and moves like this and you’re a pretty humble person outside the ring you have my vote. Wished he was in his prime he’d mop up Floyd.

          http://youtu.be/rw1t2yAK_wU

            1. One of my closest friends was a huge Jones fan. He hated Trinidad so I developed some distaste for Jones out of spite. One of the best ever though.

          1. No love for George Foreman KOing Michael Moorer in 1994 to regain the hearvyweight title at age 45??? The one he lost to Ali 20 years earlier? Let’s hear it for the old dudes!

            1. Lol. I rememeber that fight like yesterday. A beautiful straight combo to his face. Suprised he didn’t cry. Lol

    1. Here is my Dad’s Rocky Marciano story:
      My dad and his buddy bought tickets to a championship bout. They rode the train from Philly to Chicago and had seats on folding chairs about 15 rows back from the ring. When the fight starts the crowd roars and everybody stands on their chair to see better. Dad’s coat gets hung up. He gets down, frees it and gets back up on his chair in time to see the Ref say “9!10! You’re Out!” He
      never saw a punch thrown. But he was married with kids by then, so getting out of town for a weekend couldn’t have been all that bad. If I know him he found a jazz bar afterward.

  7. Made a sentimental bet with a guy at my local coffee shop. Twenty bucks on Manny to win. Yeah, I know . . . But it’s only twenty bucks, right? Now if I can only find someplace to watch the fight for less than, say, a hundred . . .

  8. Great read Grant. There’s a reason why he calls himself Money Mayweather. It made all the decisions for him.

  9. I’m not contributing to Mayweather’s bank account but I would pay to see sexy mama Ronda Rousey kick big-mouthed Laila Ali’s ass!…….Rousey gives me a rise……Crap, can I say that? …..Sorry Grant

  10. I’m a life long NYC 49er fan and browse the blog for the informative exchanges on the sinking franchise. However, I’m also a fight fan and can’t let this blog remain ridiculously one sided in terms of critique of Mayweather.

    Mayweather is a fantastic natural welterweight and possibly the best defensive fighter ever– with all due respect to Pernell Whitaker. As we all know and recognize, especially in light of the Harbaugh debacle, winning consistently in professional sports today is extremely difficult. For any guy or team to be undefeated in 47 contests is remarkable. Think of a few bad rounds, just an off night, illness…whatever might contribute to a bad decision or performance. Any athlete would tell you that Mayweather’s record is unbelievable and to say otherwise is to not know sports. Additionally, seems like a lot of the commentators here don’t know his fight history: Diego Corrales, both match ups against Castillo, Zab Judah, Jesus Chavez, N’dou….His record has gone through the grinder and he could have easily lost–he almost did. For the fights everyone knows here–De la hoya, Mosley, Hatton, Alvarez etc….it’s a fair sentiment amongst boxing professionals that he made a lot of very good fighters look bad. De La Hoya was 10 pounds heavier than Mayweather in their fight, Mayweather was the 2nd fighter ever to not be hit by a power punch in a round–by the likes of a Mosley–that bad!

    This leads to Grant saying some silly things–he doesn’t have the heart of a champion in the ring (watch some of the fights I mention on Youtube) he fights like an amateur. Many…many real boxing fans actually love watching Mayweather’s fights, he’s an unreal boxer. He may be the best pure boxer ever. Mayweather’s mastery of the art of what it means to be a boxer, his techical skill is often at 100%. For a lack of a better analogy, he plays the QB position the way it’s meant to be played. The thing Grant misses, is that his utter domination comes in the form of being unhittable. He doesn’t dominate through KOs, he doesn’t need to take that risk. By the end of the fight he has utterly dominated his opponents with defense and skill. He is the living version of guys in the Matrix, he bends around punches, the boxing community has always considered him a prodigy. For anyone watching his fights to not appreciate the genius they’re seeing and being entertained by it…crazy. And to just spout nonsense that he would’ve never fought Hearns, Hagler, Sugar Ray, Duran or won…ridiculous. Hate comparing those great fighters, but 1/2 those guys would’ve struggled to hit him. Anyway, silly point…

    Lastly, to Manny P and a few of the issues at hand. Nothing to take away from Manny, as he’s an equally great fighter in a totally different kind of way. His way embodies taking more risks, his skills involve bigger boom/bust outcomes. As far as drug testing, for years within the boxing world, there was curiosity and concern as to how Manny moved up so many weightclasses WHILE maintaining his KO power. Many good fighters (and it’s often the mark of a great fighter) move up weight classes and succeed. However, they rarely can maintain punching power i.e. Holyfield. Manny has maintained his KO power through 8? different weightclasses? Extremely unusual. Floyd only voiced what other fighters trainers etc…felt was a proper precaution and his standard did not come out of the blue. It was much talked about. And why wouldn’t he? The way he trains, the risk to any fighter–too great. In fact, good for Floyd leading the way, all fighters should agree to Olympic style testing as the risk is too high for them.

    Mayweather’s trash talking persona, as one commentator highlighted, is exactly that–an act. Given the lack of attention in boxing today, and the pressure on Mayweather to sell tickets etc….he’s been crass and lewd. He’s admitted so in his past, think it was against Gatti, that it was just to sell tickets. Obviously, people have bought in, it’s the undertone to half of Grant’s article and everyone’s response, so it’s worked. Try to watch Mayweather’s act now where he doesn’t have to do anything to sell this fight. See how he’s talked about Manny etc….a study in contrasts.

    I happen to think Pacquiao always had a fair shot at winning and still does and this isn’t about denegrating his greatness. But a lot of empty skewed chatter prompted me to write. Sorry for the nauseating length.

    1. NSR – Good post (novel) ;)…..Hey have you ever been to Finnerty’s Pub out there? Lots of die hard Niner and SF Giants fans! I’ve only seen the youtube clips but I’m dying to go there, if I ever make it to NY again….The Giants (winning world series reactions are priceless).

      1. Thanks man, didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the blog since you guys are the core crew.

        Indeed, have been to Finnertys many times, it’s a blast, those not so big. Kind of amazing to get that kind of frenzied support in NYC.

        Funny, but my SF friends are always like leave it to NYC to produce the dopest, most fun SF sports bar. So it goes….

        Well worth the stop by you if you’re here sometime in the Fall, good times.

        Bounce is the place for the mega fights, btw, met 21 there, 2 blocks from my apt. Was in disbelief.

        Keep up the exchange with JHammer, Coffee, Scooter and all them boys….much appreciated by the whole fan base.

        1. NSR – Thanks for the reply. I hope you visit more often and talk some football. Beware of Jack Hammer….He’s CEO of “Stat Huggers Inc.” :-) and Grant is VP.
          I still love them both though…..Hammer is one of the legends in here but there are several other big time legends in here. I enjoy reading all of their posts…..There’s only a few trolls that are posting from mommy’s basement and they think they are tough guys behind their keyboards. That would be these clowns (Dip, Dee Phiant and willtalk). Actually it’s (Dip$hit, Dee Dee and Pillowtalk).

    2. Ditto- and for those that don’t watch a lot of boxing, the welterweight division is ridiculously talented right not with Porter, Thurman, Berto and Kahn, among others, looking to get at Mayweather………. and I have been winning a lot as I would never bet against Money

    3. After reading all other comments on this site,you are the only one to talk sense Mayweather has fought great champions in the past, people forget he is older than the pacman he keeps himself in shape and walks around at his fighting weight i was born in 1962 and have seen all the great welterweights, Maywether is a true boxing genius he wins fights by boxing smart if other boxers were like him they to would not lose, he is way ahead of anyone by far.

  11. I’m really shocked that there are people that still care about boxing.

    Actually, I don’t understand how anybody could care ever. Boxing is just lame.

    1. Nice read. I very clearly remember that Holyfield Tyson fight and many of the others in the 90s. Think boxing for me ended around then or the early 2000s.

      Boxing as a business has destroyed themselves. I remember as a little kid having conversations with my friends about boxing vs wwf. I only mention that to highlight that boxing was relevant to a little kid back then. I have not spoken to a kid in the last 15 years about anything even remotely related to boxing.

      The funny and embarrassing thing is hulk hogan, macho man randy savage, Andre the giant were just as relevant to us!!!!!

    1. The free agency period’s been so bad, it has an apocalyptic feel to it.
      But if I look at a snapshot of the roster, its not the catastrophe so many around the country say it is.

      The bizarre coaching purge was so bad, it also had an apocalyptic feel to it. But if I look at a snapshot position coaches, its not a catastrophe either.

      The biggest disappointments are the coordinator spots. The Mangini hire screams “we have no plan and by golly, we’re not about to get one.”

      Four years ago I would have loved Chryst as OC based on the reputation of that family’s ability to develop pro set passers. Watching CK has changed my mind a bit.

      A consolation prize with Tomsula as HC… Harbaugh was horrible at 4th qtr game management. Hopefully we won’t see the clock chewing six minute drill two scores down mid 4th qtr anymore. Or refusing 15 yards and a new set of downs like he did vs Dallas in 2011. Or not calling time out and talking to his young QB with the msg “if its not wide open, throw it away.”

      A silver lining to all those injuries last year was we got a good look at all the depth. That depth will pay off. And the position coaches are pretty darned good. I still feel good about the season despite the bad news.

    2. A boxing analogy… In the first Leonard vs Druan fight, Sugar Ray allowed himself to get into close exchanges with Duran. He was so confident in his (great) abilities, it seemed like he was thinking he could beat Duran at his own game.

      In the second fight Sugar Ray danced. It turned out much better. The lesson… just because you CAN fight inside, doesn’t mean you SHOULD fight inside. You still have to take every advantage no matter how talented you are.

      Baalke’s been a very good GM since he took over. Won GM of the year. He has a great eye for defensive talent. He’s innovative in many ways… the NFI red shirt program, the “rolling” guarantees, building FA depth to buy draft flexibility, creative draft trades, leveraging rookie contracts to control the overall cap, setting concrete values for FAs and so on. All good.

      But it almost feels like the 49ers think are so confident in their player personnel capabilities, they think they can win Super Bowls without a top level HC or OC. The system is bigger then the coaches.

      Fangio gone? No worries. Our defensive depth is so fabulous, we can even shut down offenses with Mangini.

      This overconfidence in way they hired HC/OC that reminds me of the first Duran bout. Dear Mr. York. Having an innovative GM and good overall talent doesn’t mean you can get by with lower level HC/OCs that you can always beat in an office conflict. You still need cutting edge coaches, just like Sugar Ray needed to dance.

      I will admit in advance my comparison is a leap. I’m only going on “feel” here. But that’s the vibe I get.

    3. Just a heads up. I think you might be missing your intro page. Page 1 is the same as page 12. Both have the Jason Tarver text.

  12. Mr Cohn,

    I believe it was a Ralph Ellison character who remarked that if there was anything he could not tolerate was for a man to chide him, over failing to know something, when that man knew full well that he had done everything in his power, to make sure he didn’t learn it. So I have nothing against Floyd Mayweather Jr, personally.

    But as Floyd’s ultimate place boxing, I believe you were still far too kind. Fifth best Welter of the last 75 years. Really. A much better argument could be made that Money isn’t even the fifth best Welter of his era. The elusive, in and out of the ring, Floyd “overlooked” Paul Williams; Vernon Forrest; a prime Shane Mosley; a prime Miguel Cotto; a prime Ricardo Mayorga; and last but not least a prime Antonio Margarito, who chased Floyd into “retirement,” much like Hagler did to the “brave” Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. More about that later.

    If you examine that list, you will find, with the exception of Cotto, a commonality of size, as in big, natural welters, with big punch and big-time chins. Floyd may now walk around at “welter weight,” but he remains dinky for that weight. Just like Johnny Foosball (ibid) compared to Wilson. Plus Floyd’s feathery fists are brittle.

    So, instead of fighting formidable Welters, Floyd often chose to cherry-pick lesser fighters, from lesser weight divisions, like himself. The gatekeeper being one Andre Berto in said rouse. Still, if you view said cherries versus Berto, they all seem to be much more ferocious and indefatigable, than in their following bouts against Floyd. Maybe due to Floyd’s mesmerizing skills, as his hype-machine would have us believe, or maybe because Money insists on more stringent PEDs testing, since he of brittle fists would likely not benefit as much from juicing. Not to mention all the other advantages Floyd inevitably negotiates into his fights.

    But it would even be a difficult argument to win- that Floyd was the fifth best Lightweight of the last 75 years- against anyone who witnessed his slim victory over Jose Luis Castillo. Of course, Mayweather diehards will try and point to their rematch, as if Floyd KO’d Castillo, or beat him up. When the ugly truth is that that rematch was very competitive. And no one, but no one, at least not one who is sane, is ever likely to claim that Castillo ranks even in the top 200 Lightweights of the last 75 years.

    Which begs the question. How would Floyd have done against the true great Lightweights of all time, say the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, or the incomparable Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran… excuse me if I had to pause to laugh… Cement-chinned Chavez walked right through Floyd’s Uncle Roger’s “philly shell” D, not once but twice, like that shrimp with a firing mechanism on a hapless crab. So so much for “defensive geniuses,” when the opponent is a lionhearted offensive machine. And Uncle Roger was a puncher, which Floyd is not, and never will be. And as for Uncle Roger’s boxing skills, he had a prime SweetPea- another ordained D genius- on the deck and generally pounded the hell out of him. Yes, the very same “D genius” who waited eight years and for a favorable weight to finally face up to the aforementioned Chavez. So Uncle Roger was no joke.

    Which brings us to Roberto Duran. Anybody who saw a fat and fading Duran brutalize a prime natural Welterweight Ray Leonard, in their one and only legitimate fight, should easily be able to extrapolate the inevitable outcome of a prime Duran vs Counterfeit Money.

    Leonard who was tall and lengthy, extremely fast, and could punch, as well as take a punch, and possessed plenty of skills, was still no match for Duran, even one past his prime and discipline years, if in fact, Duran ever even suffered discipline. The main reason Leonard even survived, was attributable to his being allowed to hug, cling, and hang by a most “generous” ref indeed. Which sapped Duran’s strength, punch, and endurance making it a “respectable” match. But just for the record, while Ray was in the hospital having his ears drained, the late great sports writer, Jim Murray declared Roberto Duran the greatest WELTERWEIGHT of all time, citing that Ray Robinson was beatable, as a welter.

    You want to talk real bravery. Imagine a tubby, faded Duran stepping up to humble MIDDLEWEIGHT kingpin, Marvin Hagler. I don’t recall what the Vegas odds were, but most boxing experts where more concerned with whether or not Duran would be killed in such an ill-advised show of bravado. For you see, Tommy Hearns had allegedly agreed to fight Hagler at 160. Only to hurt his pinky and pull out. There is/was youtube video of an interview of Hagler and Hearns, leading up to their eventual match, wherein Hagler angrily promises to punish Hearns, for running out on him the first time.

    And it is hardly a puzzle that Ray Leonard retired rather than risk a showdown with Hagler, citing a detatched retina. Which quickly healed, along with Hearn’s courage, the moment they witnessed a plump Duran tame Hagler. Still, Leonard chose to fight for only 12 rounds, while fatty Duran went a full 15 with Hagler, and fought like a macho, and lost by a hair. Only because he gassed in the final round.

    Even Hearn’s KO of a fatted Duran, is suspect, as Roberto has confessed that a promoter offered him 100 grand, big money in those days, to fight Hearns, within a short period of time. According to Duran, he grabbed the cash and partied til just before the fight. And that when Tommy connected, it caused the booze to swish around inside his skull lol. Of course, we could dismiss such to excuse-making. Unless you consider that when an even older, heavier, and more faded Duran decided to finally get serious about training, at least for him, he moved up and punched it out with a gigantic Iran Barkley, who had destroyed Tommy Hearns.

    So, next time you hear or read one of Mayweather’s trolls scolding a fan over having the gall to even mention a possible match-up against GGG, or even a legit 154, at 154, owing to Floyd’s lack of size, or even one of Pacquiao’s trolls making excuses for his catch-weight nonsense, consider the mighty Roberto Duran, who could probably knocked both of those little frauds out cold, even while sipping a corona in his corner.

  13. Here is all you need to know about this fight: A few years back, Floyd made some ugly racist comments about “Asians.” Really cheap, stupid stuff directed at Pacquiao, a very cool and kind man. You don’t want to do that with any Asian culture, trust me. And you especially don’t want to do that with Filipinos; these are people who have been overrun by outsiders for centuries, treated like slaves in their own country by Chinese, Spanish, and Americans. They take those insults very seriously. Pacquiao has a lot of pride and he represents his country as such.

    You can bet that Manny will remember Floyd’s words when they meet in the ring. You can also bet that Manny will take his time cutting up Mayweather’s face before dropping him with a solid body punch. And when the shtbg gets up after that knockdown Manny will beat the daylights out of him. That’s a fact and you can take it to the bank.

    1. I’d love to see that ghost, but I can’t see Manny winning this fight. Floyd’s defense is so good and Manny has lost a fair bit of the speed that made him great. I think Floyd wins a decision in a fight that turns out to be a lot less exciting than many are hoping for. This fight should have happened years ago as Grant said. Instead it’s two guys past their prime and one who will fight a defensive conservative fight to win on points and secure his legacy.

      1. My point is that an article about the obvious that has already been stated thousands of times before is pointless. It’s like he wrote an article about how people don’t like to be poor, or death is bad.

  14. Ali did dodge a fight. It was the fight to uphold freedom. There were plenty of braver, more courageous men who didn’t agree with the conflict but still fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice.
    Sports celebrity and celebrity in general far too often excuses cowardly behavior and attempts to mask a true deficiency of character. It is a far grander honor to live a life having sacrificied for others as did each and every soldier in Vietnam, than to be mentioned as a boxing great who allowed an 18year old kid to take his place in war. Ali was no warrior at all.

    1. Sorry Matt. You pushed one of my buttons here. As a Nam Vet I respectfully but strongly disagree with your take on Ali’s refusal to be inducted. The man took full responsibility for his decision and sat in a federal prison to pay the price. Nobody attacked America. I went and served and watched my friends get chewed up and I STILL don’t know what the heck it was for. I’m not sorry I did what I did, but the govmint never would’ve caught me with a net to serve in their next foreign adventure! F that.
      Ali said when he went to prison (paraphrased) ‘Why do I want to go to Asia to kill some Yellow Man who aint never called me N*****?’
      BTW, I’m also at peace with the guys who went to Canada. They paid a price for their convictions too.
      A Navy Corpsman who I served with was a Quaker and a C.O. who agreed to serve but wouldn’t marry a sidearm. He was a rock. But one morning after a particularly long night he said to me “Honestly, at this point I wish I’d just gone to prison.”
      OK, I’m done now.

      1. BT,

        First off thank you for your service. I can’t imagine the horror it must have been fighting in that jungle.

        Second, I think your opinion is probably shared by the majority of brave soldiers who went and fought a war they didn’t believe in. It’s the flawed ideals wrapped in Patriotism that fuel comments like Matt’s. Blindly supporting bad decisions like Vietnam while criticizing those who were against it is why these things continue to happen.

        1. Thanks guys. In fairness to Matt and others, some of the guys I served with might agree with Matt’s take, but I think I speak the truth when I say that a majority would not.

          1. BT thank you for your service. Now, both my father and uncle served 6 tours in Vietnam. My uncle died a week before coming home. His service meant that some other draftee did not have to serve. A prison sentence doesn’t give him back his life.
            My brother died in Afghanistan at 21 years old March 20, 2007. He served in the 106 rescue wing of the Air Force. He fought tooth and nail to be deployed.
            So, I continue to stand behind my comments of “ideals wrapped in patriotism” because I am echoing their own sentiments.
            I’m happy that you were able to come back Alive. Regardless of what anyone thinks of either war, the men and women who died did so protecting our freedoms. We have learned tremendously from both conflicts and those lessons continue to keep soldiers alive today. No lesson or sacrifice is given by hiding in a jail cell. Period.

            1. Thanks Matt. In my second comment I acknowledged I wasn’t speaking for everyone. I’m in agreement about holding high esteem for those I served with. More so than the Puppet Masters behind the curtain. We were about each other; that’s it.

      2. Bro – I too am a Nam Vet, I had no problems with Ali standing up for his convictions, and he paid a big price for what he believed in. Like you I watched so many die and losing limbs and then to be treated like s–t when they/we came home was a little too much for me. The ones that ran to Canada, (Canadian Cruisers) I have no use for. I truly believe them to be cowards and un American. If they had stood their ground and gone to prison like Ali did then I would of accepted their convictions as being sacred. The worst employee I ever had was a Canadian Cruiser, I don’t see where they paid a price. Anyhow Bro, thanks for your outstanding service and I for one am glad I had the opportunity to serve my country and my family, I believe I am better man for it.

      3. I was a kid during the Vietnam era. Have family that served in WW2 and Vietnam. Being a curious kid, I asked what would happen if Ali let himself get drafted.

        They all said pretty much said the closest thing to combat Ali would have faced would be demonstration boxing matches. Maybe a little clowning around with Bob Hope with over sized gloves. There was no way the military was going to risk the world champ getting killed.

        From a comfort, safety and money standpoint, Ali had everything to lose and nothing to gain by refusing the draft.

        My main criticism of Ali…

        Joe Frazier was one of Ali’s biggest defenders on the draft issue. He spoke frequently about the injustice of Ali being in prison. Joe even help finance Ali’s comeback when he got out of prison. How did Ali pay his friend and supporter back? By making Joe Frazier the bad guy. By incessantly making fun of him. By insisting at every opportunity that Joe Frazier was a traitor to his people.

      4. I come from a military family. Literally. I was the first to not go. My sister did two tours – Iraq(At the beginning of the war), Afghan (2nd time around), and the same thing BT and Undercenter are saying is what she said. She also said MANY people in the military feel this way. Especially once they get only to realize the people in the countries we invade are, for the most part, okay with their country. I believe we, In America, have to realize not everyone wants our beliefs or systems in place. I’m a true believer in, “You can’t fixed the world until you take care of home.” And home is really screwed up.

        Thank You Guys for Your service. I’ve had in depth conversations with what she saw and the impact mentally when she came back.

  15. On a much more positive note: Check out Tina S. On YouTube if you like rock guitar. 15 year old virtuoso has several amazing covers. She rocked my world with her “Through the fire & flames.”

  16. I agree with everything you wrote there, Iggy.
    .
    And Pacquiao isn’t the only guy Mayweather has waited to fight to increase his chances for victory.
    .
    Just one thing though…the sport is BOXING, not fighting.
    .
    Boxing, as it is in many other sports, is equal parts offense AND defense.
    .
    Go back and watch one of Lennox Lewis’ fights and try to stay awake.
    .
    He’s the same fighter, only bigger and slower.
    .
    Lewis won fights not so much by hitting, but by not getting hit–same as Mayweather.
    .
    Lewis fought guys in their prime though–different than Mayweather.
    .
    Mayweather has never been and will never be a fighter.
    .
    Mayweather is an excellent boxer.
    .
    He’s an even better businessman.
    .
    .
    .
    ~ALOHA~

  17. In football related news, did anyone know Chase Thomas had torn his ACL? News to me. Anyway, he’s now rehabbing his knee. 49ers can’t catch a break when it comes to LBs atm.

    In other news, Deion Barnes, Penn State DE/OLB, measured in at 6’4″, 257 lbs and put up 31 reps in the bench press. Had a great freshman year but never really came on from there. Could be an interesting mid round pass rush option.

    1. I hadn’t heard his name before. When I read a couple profiles about him one thing that stands out is that pass rush is commonly listed as a weakness of his and that he was usually placed at LDE against the weaker right side tackle.

      I know I’ve said this a couple times and please don’t think I’m intentionally trying to poo poo your later round picks but this guy seems like a UFA prospect. He doesn’t even show up on WF’s OLB listing and on a few other sites he was in the 18-20 range amongst his peers.

      Not saying he isn’t a viable prospect but he’s a 7th round pick I think at best.

      1. I’ve seen him projected as high as 3rd/ 4th.

        I think he is more of a pass rush specialist than an every down OLB option. But maybe in time he could make the switch.

        Like a lot of pass rush prospects, when outlining weaknesses in their play the draft sites tend to focus on his weaknesses in rushing the passer. That’s not uncommon CfC. There are elements of his pass rush that need to be improved (same with pretty much every pass rush prospect outside of an elite few).

        1. Ah Ok I hadn’t seen him that high but it was only a cursory search. He seems to have speed but not a lot of technique. Raw.

          1. To be honest I’m not a huge fan, but he appears to have some decent raw tools to work with. As a potential mid to late round prospect he might be worth considering.

      1. Yes, it may well be. At his pro day he did drills at both, and teams were talking to him about making a switch to OLB.

  18. Grant – How about a new Niner topic?

    BTW, how bout them UCLA Bruins advancing!? I don’t care if it was goaltending or not. Kevon Looney (UCLA) had the rebound under the basket and the goof who interfered Alford’s shot had his back to Looney. So Looney would’ve scored to tie the game easily. He probably scores and gets fouled if the ref doesn’t blow his whistle for goaltending.
    Will you be writing a March Madness column in PD for this weekend Grant?

  19. Apparently the Raiders were at the Stanford pro day en masse. They need a LT of the future to protect Carr… could Peat go as high as #4?

    1. I’d be shocked at #4, but maybe they’ve had feelers from a team about #4 that would be in Peat’s value range in the trade back.

    1. Another good analysis. The Borland retiring messed up my dream draft, but you can’t have everything.

      Clearly there’s an MLB depth issue. I just hate messing up a well planned BPA trade kung-fu draft to nail down depth with what Greg Cosell says is a weak MLB class.

      I’d be tempted to gamble and not overdraft an MLB.

      Hidden depth areas….

      Safety – Ward is the backup safety, but can his body hold up? Dahl just won’t go away. McCray is a size-speed thumper, but I have no idea of he can transition from Catawba College to the NFL?

      Fullback – I love Tre Millard’s footage. If he goes down while Miller’s serving his 10 year suspension (we are after all, a west coast non-establishment team), who’s the fullback?

  20. Well, I will admit That I miss the reparte on wine with Clem and Hofer. For the rest of you: moderately priced at Whole Foods, Hanna Red Ranch Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. ready

    1. Brotha, You need to get on Twitter. Clem had some very, let’s say colorful, takes on the Jedster a day or so ago.

      Hofer can be found on there as well.

  21. Here’s my post free agency/restocking mock draft:

    ROUND ONE

    TRADE-San Francisco trades the 15th pick (1st round) to Carolina for the 25th (1st round) and 57th (2nd round) picks.

    PICK 25
    DE PRESTON SMITH
    Versatile defender that would be a great replacement for Ray McDonald. Not quick off the line, but has the type of powerful strength for that not to matter. Has a nice punch that can knock a blocker back. Able to rush the QB and force him to scramble. Underrated pass rusher over the middle. A difference maker in the run game.

    ROUND TWO

    PICK 46
    TE CLIVE WALFORD
    A big target with usually reliable hands. Won’t outrun anybody, but runs a route good enough to make up for it. Demands enough attention downfield that allows for a receiver to get open. Improved in his blocking to where it isn’t a weakness. Would be an immediate upgrade over Vance McDonald and the heir apparent to Vernon Davis.

    PICK 57
    RB AMEER ABDULLAH
    A capable back with the ability to be versatile as a backup or starter. Not a homerun threat, but chews up yards on the ground when he touches the ball. A viable threat in the passing game. Great vision and patience which allows for him to find a seam to slip through. Impeccable character on and off the field. Shiftiness would be an excellent complement to Hyde’s power and Bush’s speed.

    ROUND THREE

    TRADE-San Francisco trade OLB Ahmad Brooks to Chicago for the 71st pick
    (3rd round).

    PICK 71
    CB/FS Byron Jones
    Impressive speed that allows him to keep up with speedsters. Mirrors a receiver well in different types of coverages. Can get inside their pads to where a good throw can become contested. Underrated hands. Can highpoint the ball in order to get the interception. Able to put his hands up and jam the receiver at the LOS. Solid tackler who’s willing to play hurt. A leader on and off the field.

    PICK 79
    WR Tre McBride
    A raw but very capable pass catcher with the skill set to be a future #1. Smooth route-runner with a fantastic catch radius. Soft yet sticky hands that can catch anything thrown to him. Excells in the short and deep passing game. Able to hold onto the ball after a big hit. Shows the ability to fight for extra yards. Valuable experience as a returner.

    ROUND FOUR

    TRADE-Philadelphia trades Demeco Ryans and the 110th pick (4th round) to San Francisco for the 123rd pick (4th round) and a conditional 2016 fourth round pick.

    PICK 110
    OT/OG ROB HAVENSTEIN
    A mammoth sized road grader that is also surprisingly a decent pass protecter. Quick out of his stance and has nice footwork. Delivers an initial strong punch that can freeze his opponent. Contained Randall Gregory and sprung opened big holes for Melvin Gordon against Nebraska. Has the skill set to kick inside if need be.

    ROUND FIVE

    PICK 143
    ILB Ben Heensey
    Chris Borland 2.0 model. Instinctive playmaker that goes all out once the ball snaps. Refuses to shy away from the play despite his size. Physical blitzer and tackler that makes contact with a pop. Shows unexpected speed that allows for him to meet the ballcarrier in an instant. Is capable of dropping back into coverage.

    ROUND SIX

    PICK 174
    DE/OLB ZACH WAGENMANN
    An intriguing small school prospect. Quick out of his stance, showing enough strength and power to driver a blocker back. Not fast, but displays surprising closing speed and can be a QB’s worst nightmare. Doesn’t know the word quit. Knows where the ball is going and tends to arrive with a thud at contact.

    ROUND SEVEN

    PICK 221
    QB Jerry Lovelocke
    A raw developmental prospect with plenty of potential. Has above average arm strength and good accuracy. Doesn’t flinch in front of a pass rush and has the strength to shake off would-be tacklers. Able to get the ball quickly out of his hand. Purely a pocket QB, but willing to scramble to allow a receiver to get open and pound the rock on short yardage situations.

    1. Nice one Mid, though I’m not a fan of some of the picks. To each their own.

      I can’t help but feel some of these trades are overly optimistic. To whit:

      – What are the Panthers trading up for that they need so badly they are willing to give up a 2nd rounder?

      – After signing McPhee in FA for quite a bit of money, a guy who is similar to Brooks (strongside 3-4 OLB that can come down and play strongside DE in a four man front), are the Bears going to be willing to give up a 3rd rounder for Brooks?

      – Not as big a query, but why would the Eagles be willing to move back 13 spots in the 4th round + give up Ryans to get a conditional 4th round pick next year? Are they that keen to move Ryans (who is currently expected to be the starter next to Alonso next year) they would be willing to move back this year to do so? And what are the conditions you are thinking, anyway? Does it increase to a higher pick if conditions are met, or is it a case of if he doesn’t stick on the 49ers roster or doesn’t meet certain criteria the Eagles don’t get the pick or get a lower round pick?

      As an aside, the trade for Ryans would need to happen before Day 2 of the draft starts (probably before the draft entirely).

      BTW, who do you envisage the 49ers using to replace Brooks at OLB? I see you have waited until late rounds to draft someone. Quite risky heading into the season with Lemonier and a late round draft pick as your backup pass rushers.

      1. Thanks for the feedback Scooter.

        On the Panthers trade: WR is no longer a top need for the 49ers and I currently believe that the Panthers might be willing to trade up for one to play opposite of Benjamin.

        On the Brooks trade to the Bears: Oops. :-p Did that part of my mock late last night when I couldn’t sleep.

        Edit: San Francisco trades Ahmad Brooks to Houston for the 82nd (3rd round) pick. San Francisco still picks up Byron Jones at pick 79 but drafts Tre McBride with the 82nd pick.

        On acquiring Ryans: The rumors that I have read indicate that it will be Kendricks and Alonso in the middle next year. Ryans also will cost the team more and is older, so I think the Eagles will move him.
        The condtions would be up to Baalke to hammer out, but I would guess that it would entail Ryans taking a certain numbers of snaps or starting a certain number of games that will bump it up to a third round pick or keep it as a fourth round pick. Just a guess though.

        On the trade happening before the draft: I’m not sure I follow you there because there have been players traded during past drafts. It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

        On who would replace Brooks: Simple. That would be the same guy who took snaps away from him last season: Aaron Lynch. I also believe the team will sign a bargain backup before TC.

        1. Sorry, should have been more explicit with what I meant re: the pre-draft trade for Ryans and who would replace Brooks.

          With Ryans: There is no way the 49ers should wait until day 3 to find their ILB. If they haven’t hammered out a deal for an ILB before the draft (or at least before day 2), they pretty much have to draft one in the first three rounds with the current depth and question marks at the position. Too risky to just expect they can make a deal happen on day 3 – and it would leave them at the mercy of the Eagles in terms of bargaining power.

          With Brooks: The starting spot can be taken by Lynch, but who is the backup? At the moment that have Lemonier. What happens if Smith or Lynch get hurt? Relying on Lemonier or a late round rookie to take over in case of injury or to be the top rotational guy is a bad move for a D that struggled with the pass rush last season.

          I find it tough to gauge what teams might be willing to give up in trades. The draft trade value chart isn’t always a good guide. You could argue the Panthers could be just as happy to sit at #25 and draft a WR either there or later on – its another good year for WRs. But crazy things happen around draft time.

          I’m also finding it hard to gauge what teams might be willing to pay for Brooks. This is also meant to be a very deep draft for pass rushers, so the 49ers might find it hard to move him for a 3rd round pick. But again, who knows?!

          1. The thing about trade scenarios… you have to keep in mind the players salary and how many years remain on his contract. Seattle has Graham for three solid years.

            Brooks is a one year rental. He’d appeal to a team that
            1) Thinks its just a few players away from a Lombardi
            2) Needs a 3-4 OLB or pass rush depth
            3) Has a decent amount of cap space.

            But he wouldn’t fetch a 3rd rounder with only a year left on his contract. He’s a pot sweetener to combine with another pick.

            1. and we might need Brooks for an emergency MLB.

              Also, I expect more player rotation now that Fangio’s gone. Brooks and Lemonier might get a decent amount of snaps.

            2. Brooks actually has three years left on his contract, Brodie.

              My gut tells me in terms of straight up value, not many teams would value Brooks at much more than a 4th or 5th round pick. He’s 31, coming off a down year in which he pretty much lost his starting job and struggled to keep his weight in check, has a history of letting his weight get out of control, has never had more than 8.5 sacks in a season, and is on a salary that is above what his play last season warrants.

              On the other hand, when fully motivated and fit, he can still be an effective player off the edge. He’s never been a top notch pass rush threat, but he’s been a very good “other” guy capable of generating pressure, playing the run and pass, and having the occasional big game. A 3-4 team looking for an all round OLB might have some interest in his services as a 1 or 2 year stop gap that they can release with no salary cap ramifications (a la Stevie Johnson). But you wouldn’t trade more than a 4th rounder for that, would you?

              To be honest, I think his value to the 49ers is higher than it would be for most other teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers are hoping he turns up motivated this year and wins his starting job back. At his best he’s a very good foil for Aldon Smith. A rotation of Smith, Brooks and Lynch would be nice.

              1. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers are hoping he turns up motivated this year and wins his starting job back.

                That would be a huge risk to take at his current salary. If Lynch outplays him, then you’re looking at a player with considerably less value than you had before the draft.

              2. Scooter_McG – “Brooks actually has three years left on his contract, Brodie. ”

                Sorry, I blew that. I must have got his contract length mixed up with Aldon’s.

                You take on Brooks is right on the money. I think he’s a good generalist vs run, rush, coverage. A nice bookend to a quality edge rusher. (Would fit nicely in a zone blitz scheme)

          2. There is no way the 49ers should wait until day 3 to find their ILB.

            Normally I would agree, but the NFL trade business has a way of surpising us (looking at you Chip Kelly).
            I would much prefer that they get an ILB sooner in the draft, but I’m not loving who comes after Eric Kendricks. McKinney is a huge liability against the pass while Anthony isn’t very instinctive and had a tendency to show no interest or hustle when the play isn’t near him. Both are overvalued 3rd round round picks in my opinion. I also see Kendricks not worth the 15th pick but off the board before the 25th pick. So though the team needs to address the position sooner, I currently don’t see a way of that happening.

            Relying on Lemonier or a late round rookie to take over in case of injury or to be the top rotational guy is a bad move for a D that struggled with the pass rush last season.

            As I said earlier, I’m expecting them to add a bargain free agent at the position before TC. Whether that is out of the current stock or someone a team releases after the draft I cannot say.

            Both the trading of draft picks and veteran players is a hard thing to figure out, but that’s why we are where we’re at and the NFL GMs are where they’re at. ;-)

    2. Midwest, thanks for the mock. I can’t seem to get past the 2nd round, or I’d post one myself.

      I don’t think Ahmad Brooks would fetch a 71 pick. There’s only one year left on his contract.

      I’d see Brooks as a pot sweetener. Something like “The 49ers have traded picks 79+213+Brooks for a pick around 60-62, undercutting Seattle to select [player name]…”

    3. The more I look at this draft and focus on the players not the trades, the more I like it Mid. There is really only one guy you’ve taken that I don’t like (at least not where you have him being taken) and that is Walford. I’m just not a fan of Walford, not that high.

      I could argue Preston Smith in the first is too soon for him as well, but I do think he’s a good player and might not be there at the 49ers second round pick.

      1. I agree on Walford, but something is telling me that Baalke will draft him because he interviewed him at the Combine and (as far as I know) Baalke hasn’t spoken or worked out any other TEs coming from this rookie class.
        Smith’s current rating is as a 1st-2nd round pick and one that may not slip past the early stages of the second round.

  22. The mocks by the pros seem to be moving into their Silly Season. Casserly’s looks like he is still into the Soma mushrooms. Baldinger’s has SF taking Sherff @ #15 ahead of Beasley, Peat, Amstead, DuPree, Landon Collins, Gordon and Erving.
    I guess I’m glad that there are diverse opinions to ponder. I can also hope that the real GMs leave that much on the table at #15, even though I’m guessing at a trade back.

    1. Lets hope a little silly season extends into the draft.

      My fear is that the 2015 round will go just like 2014. Shortly after that draft, Baalke mentioned the three week delay allowed lesser organized teams to “catch up their draft boards”… suggesting that’s why there were no “fallers” he could trade up for.

      It was torture to watch last year’s first round.

      This year there’s a two week delay. To make things more fun, Seattle’s GM been spreading word that their are only “13 first round grades” in this draft.

      Not what Baalke wants to hear if he hopes to trade up or back from 15.

    2. BroTuna, you’re right about Casserly’s shroom binge, he has Baalke passing up Amari Cooper (who’s still available at 15) to draft DT Eddie Goldman. IF Amari Cooper was still available at 15, and IF Baalke passed on him, I think Baalke would have to enter the Federal Witness Proctection Program.

  23. Round 1 (31) – Dorial Green-Beckham WR, Oklahoma
    Round 2 (4) – Shaq Thompson ILB, Washington
    Round 2 (6) – Maxx Williams TE, Minnesota
    Round 2 (20) – Jay Ajayi RB, Boise St
    Round 3 (15) – Ronald Darby CB, Florida State
    Round 4 (6) – Henry Anderson DE, Stanford
    Round 4 (13) – Adam Shead LG, Oklahoma
    Round 5 (5) – Chris Conley WR, Georgia
    Round 5 (15) – Christian Covington DT, Rice
    Round 6 (6) – Sean Mannion QB, Oregon State
    Round 6 (16) – Jeremiah Poutasi OG/OT, Utah
    Round 7 (14) – Junior Sylvestre OLB/ILB, Toledo

    1. Great mock Jack. One of the more realistic mocks I’ve seen so far. Personal thoughts; Do they take a QB in the 6th because they miss out on someone earlier or is that where you see the best value at the position? I hope Ajayi makes it to your pick in the second, he might not. I’d like to take an OL sooner but with your picks in front of the G it would be hard to argue against the selections you made.

      Definitely one of the better 49ers mocks so far, nice job.

      1. CFC,

        Thanks. I don’t see them making a move early for a QB. I think they are pretty set there. I just like Mannion’s consistency and think he could move into the back up role in a year or two.

        1. Jack i’m totally on board with the idea that the 9ers will trade back, where I disagree with you is on the 1st pick. I don’t see them going WR with their 1st pick I see them going CB. Other than that I really like your mock.

      2. CFC,

        Acquiring two extra 2nd round picks and a 4th, 5th and 6th is realistic? Only on First Take or whatever site Jack used is that realistic.

        1. It was actually four extra 2nd round picks. I used two of them to trade up for Maxx Williams when he was still on the board.

          Just kept trading back in small increments to build up draft capital because the two first round targets stayed on the board.

          Realistic? Who cares? No one has a freakin clue what will happen, including those who are paid very good money to write and talk about this stuff.

          1. I agree no one has a clue what will happen. My response was in regards to CFC’s claim that this was a realistic mock. It’s fun, and I like a lot of the players you picked, but it’s not realistic both in terms of the picks you were able to acquire, and the places you were able to take some of the players.

            1. “it’s not realistic both in terms of the picks you were able to acquire”

              Sure it is. Go take a look at what Bill Walsh did during the ’86 draft. He traded back 3 times between pick #18 and #28. I followed the same basic philosophy and made the same number of trades.

              1. Not having a go at your mock jack, but do you think those trade scenarios are realistic for what the 49ers might be able to achieve this year?

              2. Times have changed Jack. Nobody is trading a second round pick to move up in the bottom half of the first anymore. The Niners used a 3rd to move up to 18 two years ago as a point of reference. There is zero chance a scenario like the one you did on First pick could play out in today’s NFL. The old value chart doesn’t apply anymore.

              3. About as much as I like Jed ‘Idiot’ York and the fact that he doesn’t know when to shut up.

              4. I believe that your point was you don’t like the fact that Jedster doesn’t know when to stop talking.

                At least that’s what you wrote.

              5. So you did miss my point. My comment on Idiot York was more or less a comparison to what I think of the 49ers winning the Super Bowl this year.

              6. “It’s okay to admit when you miss something in a thread Jack.”

                Uhhh. Ok.

                Wasn’t going to belabor this any longer, but what the heck. The Hoover’s are out in full force tonight.

                Let’s see here. Based on Razor’s comment, and your agreement with it, one would likely come to the conclusion that you don’t like the 49ers chances of winning the Super Bowl this year.

                I then joked about that, and you said you like them about as much as you “like Jed ‘Idiot’ York and the fact that he doesn’t know when to shut up.”

                Does that not mean that you don’t like it when York talks?

                Sure seems like it, so I think I got your point.

                My response that “Jed’s words should be the last thing 49ers fans worry about” was me changing the subject. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t get what you were saying.

                I simply think that 49ers fans should worry more about what Jed York does than what he says. If anything, he’s providing some comic relief with his words.

          1. CFC,

            You said it was one of the more realistic mocks you’ve seen so far and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is not realistic to expect multiple picks in rounds 2-6 to be added the way Jack did with that site.

            The haul was great. All I’m saying is that is far from realistic. That’s a pipe dream only made possible on a site like First Pick.

            1. As I said I didn’t comment based upon the trades or number of picks or whether the sky is blue, I liked the players chosen and I said I felt it was realistic because a lot of those picks make sense where they are taken plus unlike most people’s mock it’s not replete with top name picks at every slot. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill Rocket.

              1. “One of the more realistic mocks I’ve seen so far”. There is nothing “realistic” about that draft….

                “I wasn’t even paying attention to the trades, just commented on the players chosen”. Your first clue should have been the abundance of picks/players….

                “…. plus unlike most people’s mock it’s not replete with top name picks at every slot”. That’s because it’s not “realistic”

                “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill Rocket”. Even the author of the draft doesn’t attempt to argue its realism. “Realistic”? “Who cares”?

    2. Those first four picks don’t sit with me. Beckham is a hard sell because of his red flags and the fact the position was already addressed with the signing of Smith.
      Thompson is a jack of all trades but a master of none.
      If Davis was signed on past this season, then I would have no problem with the Williams pick, but he needs more than one season to develop.
      Ajayi is overhyped. And even if he wasn’t, we already have a power back in Hyde. Having two would just make it easier on teams to key in on the run. We have speed and power already in the backfield. What’s missing from that position is a shifty back.
      I like the rest of your mock, but I don’t think Darby lasts until the third round.

    3. That’s a pretty good draft, assuming Ajayi lasts that long. Value about right for Maxx Williams there. Now Thompson seems like a Will/SS tweener to me, not sure he can address SF’s needs at ILB, similar to my concerns about Kendrick.
      DGB-The football skills are good. I think he can probably over-come and avoid repeating any issues (in an uneducated guess). My hesitation is due to the one incident that involved a woman getting pushed around. I think the 49ers, like the Ravens, need to be hyper-sensitive to that issue in their relations with the community at large; its more than a passing PR issue to me; we’ll see about SF’s FO view.
      I noted a story on PFT today that the Mayor of Dallas, an ardent Cowboys fan who has watched games from JJ’s box, criticized the Hardy signing. He acknowledged the legal standing and the standing with the NFL, but feels like it sends the wrong message from the team to the community. My $.02 is in agreement with that, so I’d pass on DGB just for the public perception issue. Yesterday Darren Woodson gave JJ a pass saying he thought it was up to the NFL more than the teams. If he’s eligible he reasoned, he can be signed. That seems just a bit flakey to me. Others said it’s like Vick: 200 protesters the 1st day, 100 the second, 21 the third, and one guy with a sign who hangs around for weeks. In other words, it will blow over. I dunno about Bay Area media letting anything negative to do with the 49ers blow over.

    4. I’m all for trading the 15 back, but I don’t see Baalke getting much. All the chatter (including Seattle’s GM) is “how there are only 13 first round grades” in this draft.

      And since its another late draft, some of the less organized teams might “even up their draft boards” like they did last year.

      That makes trading up expensive, and trading back less rewarding. The 49ers might have to stand pat… or eat chart value like Dallas did in 2013 in the Reid trade.

      But there’s hope. Even if the coveted Parker or Beasley are gone, an OT needy team could still offer a good trade back if Andrus Peat’s available at 15.

      1. Yeah, First Pick is a lot of fun but the trade scenarios are very unrealistic, unfortunately. Its a pity they haven’t cleaned that up a bit.

    5. Jack – unfortunately Sean Mannion isn’t going to last to the sixth. Would be lucky to get him in the fourth.

  24. Bold first pick Jack DGB is sure to illicit polar reactions with the 49er communty,a big swing which either hits it out of the park or strikes out. On record with liking Darby and Anderson. Adjusted yesterdays mock(under the probing eye of one Scooter) to as follows: trade down 8 or 9 slots and pick up a third then (1)Eddie Goldman DT Havoc Inc.;(2)Ronald Darby CB banging his drum awhile now- stud;(3)Tyler Lockett (yes not Ty Montgomery Scooter sorry about the faux pas) WR -looking at his film just an outstanding player;(3b in trade down) Ali Marpet Ol all around standout and a small school guy ready for the big time. I like this.;(4)ILB Paul Dawson falls with bad Combine and we get a baller on the field with with poor stats-Denzel Perryman would be Alt pick here!(4 b comp)Henry Anderson big mauling DE;(5)Martrell Spaight LB could swing inside -banger;(6)Zach Zenner RB /FB sleeper ;(7) yes Conner Halliday QB still;(7 comp);Mario Alford WR tiny but mighty! There we have it!

    1. I missed this on first reading hightop. I like it and it is something more along the lines of what we might actually see in the draft.

      I keep seeing everybody and their Mother give us Armstead in their mocks, but getting Goldman and adding a 3rd is a much better alternative imo. I really like Darby too. Dawson may drop due to the combine, but he’s a baller and would be great value where you have him. Halliday seems to be getting more and more attention and for good reason. He may not be a possible hidden gem much longer.

      Nice job.

      1. I understand why some experts are mocking a DT to the 49ers, but I would be very disappointed if the 49ers drafted Armstead at #15.

  25. Grant, In regards to your poll I’ve been vacillating between a kicker and a punter. I feel that when we line them up behind Jed, a punter will be more effective. The foot goes higher and he might even get a piece of Trent

  26. IMO, the 49ers would be fools to pass on Dorial Green Beckham at 15# if he’s available. If one reads the ACTUAL POLICE REPORTS,the first marijuana arrest was reduced to trespassing as it was three freshman football players passing a joint. The second arrest happened when DGB was riding in a car that got pulled over and marijuana was found in the trunk. At the police station they were all put into separate rooms and the driver admitted that the marijuana was his. DGB was released and no charges filed, so this wasn’t the case of a high $$$ lawyer saving his skin. DGB was dismissed from the Missouri Tigers football team when he forced his way through an opened door into an apartment, pushed a female inside causing her to fall down four stairs, not “several flights” as has been reported by some, retrieved his girl friend and left. The police initially wanted to charge him with attempted burglary despite the fact that the police report says that nothing was taken. No charges were ever filed in that case. DGB took full responsibility, said that he was in the wrong, and apologized without any excuses.

    Yes, he has acted like a foolish kid in college at times (imagine that!), but I saw far worse than that every weekend at the way too expensive private school where I went with the students from the “good upbringings” (parents with money). Drugs, under-age drinking, sex parties, etc. were the norm.

    1. Just a point of fact, burglary is not larceny. The most encompassing definition of burglary is that burglary is the unauthorized entry into a dwelling place or building with the intent to commit a crime therein. Larceny is the taking and movement of property of another with intent to deprive the owner of said property. Had Dorial Green Beckham been suspected of larceny, the fact that he took nothing would be relevant by definition. The same fact is not necessarily relevant with respect to burglary.

      Drilling down deeper, Missouri has two degrees of burglary: burglary in the first degree and burglary in the second degree. Under Missouri law, burglary in the second degree (569.170. 1.) occurs when “[a] person… knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure for the purpose of committing a crime therein.”

      Burglary in the first degree is defined under Missouri law (569.160. 1.) as, “[a] person commits the crime of burglary in the first degree if he knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure for the purpose of committing a crime therein, and when in effecting entry or while in the building or inhabitable structure or in immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in the crime:(1) Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon or; (2) Causes or threatens immediate physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or (3) There is present in the structure another person who is not a participant in the crime.”

      Had Dorial Green Beckham been intent to commit a crime within the structure in question, then he might have been guilty of burglary in the second degree, regardless of the nature of the crime he intended to or did commit. The presence of others in the structure, as well as the act of shoving the woman down the stairs, regardless of how many it was, would take the same intent and action to burglary in the first degree.

      The key here was not his actions, but his intent on entering the structure. If his intent was other than to commit a crime, even if a crime was committed therein, he would not be guilty of any level of burglary under Missouri law. As charges were dropped, it is likely the evidence did not support the required intent threshold.

      (A side note: if his entry or remaining was unlawful, he could have been charged with criminal trespass. The lack of a criminal trespass charge calls into question whether his entrance into the structure was unlawful. And for those of you who will wonder whether someone can be charged with a different crime than the one under suspicion of which they were arrested, the answer is yes. With felonies and more serious misdemeanors (all misdemeanors in some states), the prosecutor determines the final charge based on the evidence, and that charge may be very different than the suspicion investigated by law enforcement.)

      So, once again, it does not matter if anything was taken. The pertinent point is that the prosecutor did not have sufficient evidence to show the requisite intent under the law of the state of Missouri. The end result with respect to your argument is the same — there was not evidence to support prosecution of the crime for which he was being investigated — but a ‘correct’ conclusion to an argument does not ameliorate the use of faulty premises. Unfortunately, this point is lost on even some of the most football knowledgeable commentators here.

  27. More and more mocks I’m seeing have Peat falling into the bottom half of the 1st round. I may have overvalued him. He may be there for the Niners at 15, but I still don’t see them going that direction unless there is no one of equal value on the board, and they can’t find a trading partner to move down.

    1. He’s all over the shop. As are a lot of the OL. I’ve seen a lot of drafts that have him going to the Giants or Rams at #9 or #10, but when he’s mocked to fall past #10 I usually see him fall to the 20s.

      I think that just goes to show how after an elite handful of players there is a pretty large group of good but not elite prospects with not much differentiating them, and likely quite some difference in how teams rank them. Moving back in the first round is likely going to be tough, and I’m finding it hard to believe they’ll manage to get an extra 2nd rounder from a trade back at this stage.

      1. Agreed Scooter. I think a 3rd is about as much as can be expected with a move down from 15, and then it comes down to whether there will even be much interest in moving up from some teams further down.

        1. Agreed with everyone. Trading back from 15 will fetch a 3rd at best. The mocks have alot of players yo-yoing from the mid to end of round one.

          The talent shelf seems to be the top 13-14 players. Its flat after that. For example, many mocks have Arik Armstead going to the 49ers at 15 all the way down to the early second.

          I’d hate to a pick so high on a guy that “might” be great with a so-so motor. Might be greats are round two prospects. Arik Armstead=Kentwan Balmer?

          Now, there is a possibility a hot prospect falls to 15, but I don’t see it.

    2. I agree Rocket. I think a trade down is the more likely scenario in that situation. OL isn’t a major priority this year.

    1. Some experts in this room say Peat isn’t “physical” enough to play guard.

      Five Cowboys offensive linemen had higher run-blocking grades than Zack Martin last season, but Martin had the highest pass-blocking grade on the team according to Pro Football Focus. They gave Martin a +13.3 pass-blocking grade and a +4.8 run-blocking grade.

      1. I think those physicality complaints were being repeated from a series of scouting reports out in the media online sources, not organic to this site. What I read wasn’t about playing Guard, although some here may have said that, but just rating him. He does some things in the run game well, and some not as well. Whether or not he can play Guard well is a discussion I’ve only seen here on this site. Elsewhere I think he’s viewed as a solid OLT prospect.

        1. If he can play guard, it jacks his value way up for the 49ers.

          2015 – He can cover the loss of Iupati Even if he doesn’t start, he’s depth at four spots.

          2016 – Play either LG or Boone’s spot. Marcus Martin and Thomas should be more then ready

          2017 – Competes with Staley for RT job.

          If he can’t play guard (why not?) he still has alot of value, but for a few years would be a (draft capital) expensive swing tackle backup.

          1. Remember how Boone wanted to be paid like a tackle? Tackle>+$$>>OG.
            Versatility helps a back-up’s value. A 1st Round OLT gets more than a G.
            The Rams used their high pick OT at LOG for his internship, but he got paid as an OLT, and apparently is on schedule to move out to OLT now. He was OK at G, but he isn’t 6-7/8 either.

      2. Looks pretty strong to me. NFL.com says he had a good pro day. Been working with Alex Gibbs.

        He does have a habit of bowing his back during pass protection. It looks bad, but the guy is still blocked. His legs seem way ahead of his arms, which also looks a little odd.

        Peat’s only 21. Get him in their with Mark Uyeyama. He’s a few years from being a monster.

      3. Peat is a fine prospect and I’d have no problems with the 49ers drafting him.

        I do however think the assumption Peat can switch to OG isn’t a slam dunk. He’s tall, and he plays tall. He may struggle playing against interior DL that are bigger and stronger than the DEs he’s used to and have a leverage advantage.

        If the 49ers are after an OL to compete for the LG spot I think there are more natural fits available, some of which wouldn’t cost a first rounder. And if they are after a swing OT then they shouldn’t be using a first rounder on him.

        1. I’m surprised I don’t see Jake Fisher’s named mentioned more. Seems like a natural fit to move to G in the NFL. From the combine scores appears to be one of the more athletic lineman in the draft. Whether teams will see him as a RT or a G will remain to be seen but he seems to be a bit of a sleeper.

          1. I agree with you about Fisher. If the 49ers can find a trade partner to move back in the first round and decide OL is the way to go, there are some pretty good looking prospects that should be available, Fisher included.

          2. CFC,

            Fisher was a guy i almost went with in my mock earlier today. His perceived lack of power led me to think he’s not a fit for Baalke.

          1. Only if you believe they should be going BPA with no consideration of position (in which case your arguments for needing to go OL in the first round no longer hold), or if you believe all OL have the versatility to switch between positions along the OL and be equally effective (which isn’t true).

          2. Why exactly? Quality depth and injuries were the problems with the OL last season. Meanwhile our ILB corps and front line need to be addressed. A pass rusher should be top priority.

    2. The team won’t draft an offensive lineman in the first round so the discussion about Peat is really a moot point.

  28. What do people think of Jake Ryan as a potential mid round pick to play ILB?

    Not much tape available on him, but from all reports he is a great competitor with good instincts. He has good size and decent speed, and is willing and able to take on blockers to fill run lanes. A bit straight line-ish, but he can follow the play laterally when needed. And from what I have read and saw in the vs Indiana film, he is capable in coverage.

    1. I see the coverage capability but not the instincts. I saw him make some plays, but it was generally when he had a clear lane. He’s willing to take on blocks, but there are times when he is pushed out of the running lane. I see the speed but also heavy feet and I wouldn’t trust him against the run. Overall, he’s a good developmental prospect but not one I would use a mid round pick on.

      1. I’m leaning the other way. I think he’d be worth a 4th or 5th round pick. A try hard guy with above average athleticism and size.

    2. I’m still preferring Hayes Pullard as our ILB pick but Ryan looks a bit faster. His ability to come back so quick from the acl tear is impressive, hope he isn’t going to have injury issues. I think he’s a good choice as well.

  29. Titus Davis looked very good doing drills at his pro day from all reports. Didn’t test great at the combine, but good enough. Best asset is his route running. Could be a good late round WR prospect.

  30. While the idea that TB could trade back is dependent upon finding a trade partner and getting back reasonable value, there’s always the chance that some GM falls in love with a prospect and is willing to give something up to get him. Sometimes that scenario leads to over-spending. Hmmmm, could Cleveland at #19 be susceptible to that syndrome? Inquiring minds………

    1. That’s my hope. The drool factor.

      There’s also the scare factor. Spread a rumor some teams planning to trade up to 16-18 for so-and-so. Another motivation for Cleveland to trade up. Baalke’s been known to be a nervous drafter. Remember when he traded from 13 to 11 for Anthony Davis?

    1. Assuming Crabtree signs, at this point I believe the expectation is for one 4th (Culliver), one 5th (Cox) and one 6th (Crabtree) round compensatory picks in the 2016 draft.

      Smith cancels out Iupati, Wright cancels out Skuta, and Pears cancels out Gore.

      1. Its a shame Smith will cancel out Iupati since Smith’s (real) compensation could wind up being less in the long run.

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