Which player should the 49ers draft in Round 1?

Shaq Lawson

Two weeks ago I posted my first mock draft of the year. If you missed it, here it is:

Round 1: Shaq Lawson, OLB, Clemson
Round 2: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
Round 3: Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
Round 4: Paul McRoberts, WR, Southeast Missouri State
Round 4: Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon
Round 5: Keanu Neal, FS, Florida
Round 5: James Cowser, OLB, Southern Utah
Round 5: Evan Boehm, C, Missouri

When I posted this mock, some readers argued Lawson would be a reach at No. 7 in the first round. Rob Rang of CBS disagrees with those readers. On Thursday, Rang ranked Lawson the fifth-best prospect in the entire draft.

Here’s what Rang wrote about Lawson: “Battling through a knee injury, Lawson teamed with fellow Tigers defensive end Kevin Dodd to record five sacks (three from Dodd) in the national championship game. Quick off the ball, powerful and tenacious, he’s a threat on every snap, leading the country with 25.5 tackles for loss this season. Better yet, with only one starting season under his belt, Lawson may only be scratching the surface of his potential.”

Below is a video of Lawson playing Alabama in the national championship game. Lawson is No. 90.

Are you sold on Lawson? If not, which player do you think the 49ers should draft in Round 1 this year?

This article has 321 Comments

  1. Lawson would be fine with me. I think Spence is the better pass rusher but his character concerns counterbalance the difference….

      1. Grant. Do you see any of justin smith in robert nkemdiche? Remember that JS was never known for getting Jared allen like numbers and never reached 10 sacks in a single season while playing for the 49ers. He was good at collapsing the pocket.

        1. Somebody on the NFLN or some such was saying Nkemdiche has the biggest upside of anyone in this draft class, but his motor and desire and decision making are suspect.

      2. However, THE VAST MAJORITY OF SCOUTS PROJECT LAWSON AS A LATE 1st ROUNDER! And most see him as a 4-3 DE, specifically!

        So yes, Rang aside, IMO Lawson would be a reach at 7, and probably not an ideal fit for O’Neil’s defense.

        1. And, you failed to mention Rang has Lawson going in the bottom half of round one, #16 to Detroit, who runs a 4-3 base defense.

        1. Yeah, Lawson will play ROLB, same as he did at Clemson. He can start as a rookie because he’s terrific against the run.

        2. I think he will surprise a few people with how athletic he is at the combine. I know I was surprised when I watched more film of him. Despite my initial reservations, he does look like he has the requisite athleticism to play OLB in base 3-4.

          1. I agree, Scooter. When Grant first mentioned Lawson, I as on the fence, but I am coming around. I think he could be a real impact player.

          2. I also like Ogbah, although he plays on the defense’s left side. Can’t take Spence or any character risk in the top 10.

              1. there aren’t. Lawson would be a horrible fit for SF as an OLB. Nothing special about him as a pass rusher at all.

            1. Ogbah played more than half his snaps on the left, but from what I have seen he also played a fair amount on the right. They moved him around a fair bit.

              I just suspect Ogbah will fit Baalke’s ideal for the position more than Lawson. As we’ve discussed previously.

              1. We’ll see. Either one would be a good pick. I haven’t seen anyone rank Ogbah ahead of Lawson, though.

            2. I like both Ogbah and Lawson but I believe by post combine Calhoun will move up draft boards and will be a much better fit than them both at OLB…Calhoun will be the surprise come draft day!

          3. In no way is Lawson a “plug and play” 3-4 OLB. 4-3 DE, yes. And, I would bet that, post combine, he will continue to project primarily as a 4-3 DE

            Besides, like I said, we already have this guy on our roster. His name is Cornelius “Tank” Carradine. Why in the world would we draft the same guy, only with less seasoning? Drafting Shaq at 7 with Tank on the roster, with our needs, would put Baalke on the instant hot seat, IMO.

            1. By the way, Rang’s colleague, Brugler, has Lawson prob cred to go to Atlanta, another base 4-3 hybrid, at 17. Both Detroit and Atlanta have a need for a 4-3 DE. Come on guys, explain that?

        3. Yes, and they are built similarly as well.

          Draft measurements:

          Carradine: 6’4″ 276 LBS, 34″ arms
          Lawson: 6’3″ 270 LBS 33.5″ arms

          What’s interesting is that Tank projected better as a 4-3 DE, but the 49ers wanted to turn him into a 3-4 DT/DE, so they drafted him and made him gain weight. Most would suggest it was a bad plan and Carradine is expected to report much lighter to camp this season, which I expect will help him make more of an impact. So where is the need for Lawson?

          1. I think, at best, that Tank will likely only be an edge pass rush specialist on passing downs. Lawson would likely be OLB in the base defense and on passing downs, given how he plays the run.

      3. Come on Grant, you should know by now that H/W has only a little to do with speed. Speed is a God-given gift. Many guys in the NFL can run faster than me being 6 inches taller and 50 lbs heavier and I was a track “star” in HS.

      4. Grant: I really don’t think they will be drafting on the defensive side with the
        first pick, and I know they need help at just about every position, but
        I think they will go offense in the first, that line needs shoring up big
        time, just have to wait and see.

      5. I thought you liked an ILB as the #1 pick? I like Lawson. I think he can be a franchise type End even though he’s an OLB in a 3/4. The times I saw him this year I thought his size and athleticism were amazing. Seems to be a future All Pro type player. I’d still rather the 9ers address the o-line before anything else.

          1. I don’t like the idea of taking Jack that high. He’s a great player but he plays a position where talent is easier to find. I’m hopeful with Chip Kelly’s offense that the 9ers can return to one of the Bill Walsh strategies where you pick skill position players in the higher rounds and take serviceable o-lineman in the later rounds. CK’s lineman I think need to be perhaps a bit smaller but athletic with the ability to run. That’s exactly the type of o-lineman Walsh used to tell McVay and Mckittrick to find. I think the 9ers went several years with entire lines that were made up of players picked in the 3rd round or later. Then they selected Harris Barton in the first round and he was a major home run in the draft. I am hopeful the 9ers offensive philosophy allows them to pick players who fit the scheme but may not be the prototype of what everyone else is looking for so they are available later in the draft. If that’s not the plan then I hope they pick a player who can play tackle.

          2. I noticed you don’t have a TE in your mock draft. Yes we drafted 2 last year (1 in the 7th round), but do you think that Belldozer, Vance, and Celek are good enough given the importance of TE’s these days? I wouldn’t characterize any of them as difficult match-ups for an opposing D-coordinator.

            1. Celek is not under contract and they stashed an incredibly athletic TE, Rory Anderson, on IR during 2015 to keep him off waivers. They could always sign Celek, but they could also sign Ladarius Green. Chip usually goes with 3 TEs, so they’ll be comfortable with VMac as the blocking specialist, and coach up Bell and Anderson.

              1. Relying on a 7th round pick who didn’t play a snap last year is not a good plan. We have been TERRIBLE at TE for years. VMac is a bust, Vernon is gone and has stunk for 2 years, and Belldozer, a converted QB, didn’t show much. Celek may be the best of the bunch, but he’s not a #1 TE on most other teams.

                Chip understands that you need to find matchups. Vernon used to be that matchup as he could block in the power run schemes or go vertical. Unfortunately, we never had a deep threat at WR to compliment Vernon who drew the safeties attention. If we had, we would have 6 Superbowl wins.

    1. I like the beohm and Adams pick.not familiar with other players. If Goff fell to 7th ,I’d have to take him. I think he’s a combo of Montana and Brady. Read he’s putting on 10lbs for combine. I like Ragland if we go D at 7. W/o M Mitchell in 6th. Georgia If not for injuries would go higher.. I’d take Spence ,but 2-4 rds. Tunstill at 7. If we go Oline . I can’t see taking W/o. At 7. Unless he’s Moss or Rice . Which I had hoped we drafted Moss when he came out. But didn’t. There are quite a few defensive players I like. Good year for drafting D

  2. I really like that No.4 pick in McRoberts,,this guy is going to be very good,also like the Vernono Adams pick,those Missouri picks are interesting,the Niners have had a lot of success with guys from Missouri, so Yeah Grant I would be Happy with your Mock.

  3. They have so many needs I’d take the best player available at WR, OT, OLB, DE, or CB, I’d say QB too, but Goff will be gone at that point and I think everyone else is a reach. I d be happy with whoever they got if they followed this philosophy. No reaching! I’d also use their plethora of picks to navigate up the draft for players they need. If we gave only 7-8 picks at the end of the day, but most are early contributors we could quickly turn this rebuild around.

  4. Grant,

    It’s the first time in forever that the 49ers have had money to spend, so it might be fun to see how you think they will approach free agency. For instance, you don’t draft any DL, which alarms me!

      1. Cool. I like them too. They’re both going to be great for a long time, but there are a lot of other questions there. Wilkerson and Jackson are the obvious choices, young and disruptive; and then there’re Howard, Harrison, Clayborn, Williams, Hicks, Reyes, JPP, and Fairley. I suspect they’ll stay right around 27 or younger, and obviously scheme fit matters, but I don’t think it’ll be determinative.

        I love your pick of Lawson. I don’t see them going OL with Rd2 or anywhere else. I have a theory they’ll draft a lot of defensive studs, and try to go with Kelly’s scheme to manufacture points. I’m surprised you don’t have them drafting a RB, and also a little surprised you have them going with FS (tho I like Keanu Neal a lot). Love your pick at QB and WR; I think Jay Lee is worth a long look at that position.

        Keep it up. This is fun stuff. Any way you could get Steve Young to sit down with you? That would be pretty cool.

      2. These guys are like ALL of Baalke’s picks; they look like they might have promise, but it never goes farther than that.
        Where are the truly impact players????????????? Grant, can you tell me why this guy (Baalke) still has a job???????????? Im sorry, but there is no reason to look forward to the draft.

            1. “Look inward”? More psychobabble. These guys MIGHT become special……….maybe. But neither one of them would have cracked the line-up in those ’80s and ’90s teams. Those are the teams I use for the standard.
              Baalke is still here because he makes Jed feel special. WHERE ARE THE PLAYMAKERS????????????????

              1. sawbrodie

                not saying you’re wrong about baalke, but if you can’t see that armstead and dial are terrors on the DL, then instead of looking outward to yell and scream and emphatically draft exclamation marks, look inward at yourself, and figure out where your objectivity went. look at your own skewed perspective. it’s written all over your comments. you’re mad. it’s okay.

              2. Chip

                or rather, Obee Wan Kanobee………thank you for your love, tolerance and benevolence.
                As it stands, in their first years, Bryant Young and/or Dana Stubblefield would never have let those guys off the bench. Thats the standard. When they start making the pro-bowl, i will then say you are right. And because their playing for the Niners, will be happy to do it. Until then, just another Baalke pick. Their might also be one, maybe two others, who are frustrated with Yoraalke. Probably not, though. Just me.

  5. Sign M. Wilkerson then draft Lawson or sign M. Wilkerson trade back and draft Spence if it looks like he may fall. Grant it looks like you’ve made a turn around on Armstead, good for you.

          1. Razor I believe Wilkerson wants to try the FA route to a better contract. He will be costly but i think he could become the next Justn Smith.

            1. I’d be surprised if he hit Free Agency. The Jets will have a 2 week window starting Feb. 22. Nobody will give up two 1st Rounders for him, so he’ll sign his tender and the Jets will try and trade him. If the trade offers aren’t up to their value, they could just decide to keep him….

          2. Razor:

            If they go the tag and trade route, does that set the contract for Wilkerson? In other words, would the “cost” to the team that acquires him be the franchise tag for the one year (but, I would expect that the trading team might want to work out a long-term contract).

            1. $15.5 million is the tag amount, give or take. Mo will want a long term deal similar to these numbers; 5 years, $73-79 million. They could decide to keep him, which would make Snacks(Damon Harrison) vulnerable….

  6. Trade Kaepernick and the 2017 second round pick to the Jets for Wilkerson or sign Mailk Jackson. Then try to sign Alshon Jeffrey if he hits the free agent market. Finally, trade back to the 10-15 range of the first round and draft ILB Reggie Ragland.

    1. Not bad Mid. Not bad at all. Though I hear Ragland could be an OLB… :-P

      I’d like a FA OL as well though, especially if they use their 2nd rounder to trade for Wilkerson. And I appreciate you think Baalke will be happy to go with the current OLB crew, but I expect Brooks and Lemonier to be gone so would prefer to add a pass rusher than Ragland in the first.

      1. Two of the reasons I don’t have a FA OL listed is because of the question mark around Davis and I had the team drafting in my mock Vadal Alexander in the second round with a second round pick acquired when they traded back in the first round.
        I’m not against drafting another pass rusher like Noah Spence in the first round, but we’re going to have to wait and see what Baalke does at OLB. Many of us thought Baalke should’ve cut Brooks after 2014, but he was still with the team. Add that to Carradine trying to become an OLB and you have a big question mark on that position’s future. So until we have a better idea of what is happening at OLB, I’m going with our next biggest need which is someone to play next to Bowman. Wilhoite stinks, and Hodges may be better suited as a backup, so that means the ILB does need to be addressed.

    2. Mid

      I don’t think that we’d have a shot at Jeffrey without totally clobbering our cap space…he’s gonna’ be PRICEY if he’s even available. I’d like your swap of Kaepernick and our (1)4 this year for Wilkerson, but I don’t think the Jets would buy in….so let’s put in a bid for Jackson. Your trade-back for a mid range 1st rounder for Ragland is nothing short of brilliant.
      I wouldn’t be ashamed to go to war with the WR’s already on our roster. As Silicon pointed out, we have several 6’2″ and taller with good speed and hands. We just may have to cut back on the Baalke critiques if he’s been stockpiling WR’s.

      1. Oregon

        You can’t clobber cap space of $53-$68M with one guy. That’s not saying I would sign Jeffery, I wouldn’t because he is the best WR in this FA period, but he is not all that special, and wouldn’t be worth the price he will fetch. If OBJ were to get to FA, he would probably be worth a top-price ($15M), but Jeffery ain’t OBJ.

  7. I still expect DL will be addressed through FA, so I agree with taking a pass rusher in the first round. Lawson, Spence or Ogbah I think will be the guys they look at.

    I’d prefer they look to address OL in FA and add a WR in round 2. The FA WRs aren’t very good this year. Jeffrey is a good chance to be retained by the Bears, and with him off the market the next guys are underwhelming. But there are a few good options along the OL they could look at.

    3rd round can be either OL, or my reference would be to take a DL if they lose Ian Willians in FA. Make that interior of the DL very strong.

    1. Scooter,
      I would like to see the team go top-heavy with defense. I agree with bolstering the OL through FA and with our comp pick.
      I was looking at taking Goff, Lynch, or Wentz with our #7, but if they are a year or two from starting then let’s go defense.

      In 2010 we drafted two OL with our first two picks. It didn’t take long for Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati to vastly improve our OL and make us competitive.
      I would not mind going to the opposite side of the line and draft two LB’s this time around.

        1. Scooter,
          I like Spence, Jack, and would even take a gamble on Jaylon Smith with our first pick.
          As much as I would like to find a highly rated LB with our second pick if there is not a blue chip can’t miss player then I go with a DLman.

          I really like Andrew Billings former Baylor player. He’s a combination of mass, speed, strength and skill.

  8. I would love to get Jack at #7, I think he is a big time talent. Not sure he lasts until #7 with a good combine showing though. If he is there though, that would easily be my pick.

  9. I think Niner should trade up and grab Goff. Kaepernick is horrible at reading defenses and wont get better under Chip Kelly. Vernon Adams is not the answer long term for QB. Might as well address the biggest need now and try to use free agency to make up the difference for next year.

    1. Kapernick won’t get better at reading defenses, but the overall running game will excel with Kapernick at QB in Kelly’s system.

  10. Well then we are plagued for another year or two with horrible QB play. Hopefully the hype that Vernon Adams is like another Russel Wilson is a gamble that pays off

    1. OL (team will carry 9) is not a weakness if the 49ers play FA right:

      Staley, Tiller, Kilgore, Brown, Bam

      Mitchell Schwartz (& maybe Geoff)
      Steven Wisniewski
      Marcus Martin
      Brandon Thomas

      Schwartz & Wis can be had for $10M together

      Team has $53M-$76M to spend, depending on cuts.

        1. We’d sign Wisniewski because he would create quality depth/competition at both center and guard, and would be relatively cheap.

          I believe Baalke’s first goal will be to get Bam back into camp, and then let the winners from last season (Tiller and Brown) have a full offseason to prepare as starters, so there would be a strong starting OL again. Essentially, Boone and Iupati are replaced by Tiller and Brown, at 1/10 the cost (Iupati is $8M and Boone will be about the same).

          Baalke’s second goal is to replace Pears and Devey with quality backups, depth, which would be the purpose served by signing Schwartz and Wisniewski.

          Baalke’s final goal is to continue to allow his pet draft projects, Martin and Thomas, both of whom are very young, and were highly touted, to develop.

          Those 9 OL would comprise the group that makes the 53 man roster.

          1. That doesn’t make sense? Your saying we keep Martin and sign Wisniewski so we have 3 C’s? That doesn’t make sense.

            I prefer we grab Vadal Alexander and have him play RG maybe even RT alongside Trent Brown who will compete for RG or RT. Then you have two ground maulers on the right side. They would undoubtedly be a liability in the passing game, but Kelly wants to run the ball so their deficiencies would be marginalized.

            Then have we have Staley and Tiller on the left side rounding out a solid run blocking unit.

            Martin will be interior swing lineman and Pears will be other swing lineman.

            How do you feel about Silberman?

            1. Yes. Kilgore, Wis, and Martin are all C/G. That is what I’m saying. It makes sense. Why would the 49ers sign a guy like Osemele, when they think they have found answers in Tiller and Brown. Tiller was the highest rated OL in the entire NFL in 2015 preseason, and then was a stud when they finally put him in the games toward the end of the regular season.

              Martin is still really young, and should gain strength. He is a developmental player with great physique and “pedigree.” Thomas was retained on the 53 last year, which makes absolutely no sense if they think he’s not a future starter.

              The only questions I have are about what Chip specifically looks for in his OL. All the guys I have up there are big, powerful, athletic dudes.

            2. They’re not keeping Pears, if they can avoid it at all. He’s very old, and entirely inept. I don’t know enough about Silberman, but think he would be on the PS, if eligible.

  11. I want Bosa. I could see him falling to 7 easily. Definitely a top 10 pick though.


    I would keep Brooks and sign Irvin. I think the 49ers can get the best out of Brooks. He knows he isn’t going to get paid anywhere near what 49ers are paying him so it keeps him in check (off the field and weight wise).

    Lynch, Brooks, Harold, Irvin, Carradine, and Bosa would be a strong group of versatile pass rushers.

      1. Where is the Marcus Rush love coming from? Love to see it happen, since he’s so cheap, but he didn’t seem promising last year to me.

        1. Sil I loved him at Mich St. in 2014 and he had a very good preseason for the 9ers albeit vs 3rd string talent. He was slightly undersized or he would have been drafted in the top half of the draft but there are quite a few undersized players breaking the mold in the NFL. imho

          1. I want to see Bruce Miller stay on the team, but the only way I see it happening is if they figure out a way to use him as an H-Back or, and this is WAY out there, turn him into an EDGE player. He might have the knack. He certainly has the size and power.

    1. I don’t know what kind of research you have done but there is zero chance that Stanley goes number 1… Bosa failing to 7 your high as a kite.

      1. Off the field issues and recent injury history would make Stanley the safer pick. Also the Titans have Lewan at LT where Tunsil would play, so drafting Stanley to play RT makes a lot of sense

          1. I think they want to protect Mariota first, they have edge rushers. Orakpo and Morgan. In my draft I have them taking Shawn Oakaman in the 2nd to address pass rush need

    2. Stanley is not going before Tunsil. No chance. Tunsil is being talked up as a talent unparalleled over the last 10 years.

    3. Brooks is gone. He’s too expensive, too old, and too much of a liability. If he were to take a significant pay cut, I could see the 49ers keeping him.

      Also, if he goes to a team with a strong DL and OLB group, I could see him having a great season, but he’s burned bridges in SF, and would probably also be a guy (old as he is) that stirs up problems in Chip’s system.

      1. I see what your saying. “He’s too expensive, too expensive..” Yet he was tied for the team lead with 6 sacks. Money isn’t an issue with our current team so him being overpaid is not that concerning to me. And your point about his sketchiness as a human being off the field and him fitting into Kelly’s “culture” isn’t that concerning. My original point about Brooks is that he will be field to stay in shape and maintain a low key persona off the field in order to cash in on a big pay day.

        1. My main issue with Brooks, aside from the $$$, is that he is old, by 49ers standards, and the question marks about his leadership qualities negate the possible positives that experience usually carries.

      2. Sil, I agree. Brooks does have talent, but at least 2 games, his penalties have extended their drives for the winning TD. He jumps offsides way too much.
        I would bundle him with Patton, and get something, instead of cutting him, and getting nothing. Maybe even a conditional second. If Brooks gets a certain number of tackles and Patton gets a certain number of catches, and it becomes a second, otherwise, it would be a third round pick for 2 players.

        1. Seb,

          When I say “cut,” I generally mean that the team will always try a trade first. That makes the most sense, for the reasons you pointed out. Apologies if that was ambiguous.

  12. Grant,
    Trent doesn’t talk. Jed doesn’t talk. Looks like Chip probably no talk, and any content he does say will be two word or cliches. Wait til he gets up there after a loss. Yikes.

    What are guys like you, MM, MB,KL, et.al. gonna write about? It’s really bad for fans when there is minimal and no value from team mgmt.

    O well we survived Harbaugh I guess..

  13. Lawson looks amazing. Nice pick. I’d rather them take an EDGE over any other position at #1, given the depth of DL this year.

    1. If they draft Lawson at 7, I’ll throw a coniption fit. Seriously, he’s a horrible fit for OLB. Not a twitchy player. Smooth, strong pas rushing DE, who can hold his own against the run. Unlikely to be asked to drop into coverage often, if at all. I’ve seen him in person.

  14. Jaylon Smith-Miller from Bleacher Report said the injury wasn’t as bad as some thought.He’s arguably the best player in the country.

    1. If come draft time Jaylon Smith is recovering well from his knee injury, I’d be all over him. He’s been my favourite player in this draft for months. True blue chip, elite level prospect if the knee is right.

      1. His combine medical evaluations will determine where he’s drafted, and I’m not sure we’ll be privy to that information. He’s a wild card at the moment….

        1. Yep, sure is. I must admit there is more than just a small part of me that still hopes the 49ers draft him. He’s the one draft prospect who’s film has really jumped out to me.

        2. Please, no more ACL picks. There are many more fully healthy players with talent that the Niners could choose No matter what, it usually takes more than a year to get back to his former level, and I have never heard an ACL player get better than what he was before he got injured. Niners need immediate help and cannot afford the luxury to wait.

          1. Of course they can afford the luxury of waiting. They aren’t likely to be winning the SB this coming season. Too many holes to fill. They can go a long way to becoming competitive again, but are most likely a couple of years away at least from being a real competitor for the title (and that assumes they make excellent decisions in FA and the draft the next couple of years).

            1. Sorry, but that mindset is one that I reject fully. I want the Niners to aim for the SB very year. Giving up on a season sounds like you are buying into Jed thinking, that the more you lose, the better the draft pick.
              I want their mindset to be one that wants a 32nd pick every year.
              Even though Jed is CEO and has not earned respect, I still want the Niners to win. I think that Chip is exactly who is needed to solve the offensive malaise.I think that Kaep is the perfect QB to run Chip’s offense. I hope the Niners solve the O line conundrum, and finally utilizes Hayne properly. This team does have talent, but they were ill prepared and unfocused. They made way too many unforced errors, and did not play as a cohesive unit. The challenge is daunting, but that would make winning even that more sweet.
              I agree, the Niners must grab elite Free Agents and hit a home run in the draft. If they lose Kaep, you will probably be right.

              1. I concede they need to rebuild, but if Chip is as good as I think he is, he will be light years better than Tomsula. The fact that teams have poached final cuts and grabbed players off the PS, just proves that the Niners have decent talent.

              2. Scoot

                Rebuild is probably accurate, but remember, Harbaugh turned a 0-16 team to a 13-3 team in 1 season. So if we get the right FAs and some stud rookies, we’ll win the Super Bowl at 19-0.

              3. Silicon,

                0-16? You mean the NFL voided the six wins the 49ers managed in 2010? I missed that…

                Now that you mention it, it did feel a bit like 0-16. Sort of like last year.

      2. Do you still see Smith as an ILB? The reason I ask is because he’s being listed as an OLB on NFL.com now. They even goes as far to say that he was miscast in the Fighting Irish’s D.

        1. He has always been listed as an OLB. A weakside LB in a 4-3. He’s an ILB in a 3-4. Where do they say he was miscast?

          I’m not looking to keep this conversation going if you want to keep arguing he should be an edge player. If that is how you see him then fine, but I vehemently disagree and think it would be a massive waste of his talents as he’s best suited to play as a weakside LB, not an edge player.

          1. I’m not keeping any conversation going Scooter. All I am doing is stating what I have been reading. From Smith’s profile on NFL.com:

            Bottom Line In this day and age of “tweeners” being labeled “hybrid” players, Smith is the rare commodity who is truly hybrid in the sense that he has the athleticism, speed and physical makeup to play any linebacker spot in either the 3­-4 or the 4-­3. Smith was productive but slightly miscast in the middle of the Notre Dame defense and is better suited to play in space as a 4­-3 outside linebacker. However, his length and upfield burst could draw the attention of a 3-­4 team looking to transition him into a rush linebacker while utilizing his rare cover skills.

            1. I said months ago and still feel the same today, he is like Jamie Collins. In a 3-4 he would be best played as an ILB primarily, but a creative DC will find ways to use him across the formation as he is, as many scouting reports outline, a rare athlete that can do it all.

              1. Which is fine. I was just curious to see if that’s what you still thought is all.

              2. I’m still in the minority that believes he can play ROLB in a 3-4 and wouldn’t take him until the middle part of the first round.

              3. But do you think he should play that position primarily rather than ILB? Do you think that is his best position?

                I agree he can do it. He is an excellent athlete. But I think it would be a waste as I think he’d be a decent rush LB, but an elite ILB.

  15. Rnd 1, #7:

    1) JARRED GOFF – Assuming the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick cannot find a way to make it work. How often does a team have a shot at a franchise QB. Goff is an outstanding fit IMO, for Chip Kelly, and can develop into the next franchise QB.

    2) MYLES JACK – If Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers mend their relationship, pairing Jack up with Bowman, and having Hodges in the mix, instantly makes the 49ers ILB corp a strength of the defense once again, We all remember the impact Willis and Bowman had o0n the defense.

    3) DEFOREST BUCKNER – Teaming Buckner with Armstead, giving them two bookend 6’7″ 300 lb DE’s is a dream scenario for any 3-4 defense.

    4) NOAH SPENCE – A dynamic, pass rushing chess piece for O’Neil’s defense. Spence is a terror rushing the passer, outstanding against the run, and versatile enough to drop into coverage. He can do it all as a hybrid OLB/ILB/DE, and possibly the most talented pass rusher in this years draft class.

    5) **TRADE**- Trent Baalke trades back, and selects either JAYLON SMITH or REGGIE RAGLAND if Jack is off the board, and Kaepernick is in the mix at QB.

  16. If our O-line can be as good as it was in 2012. Then I think even Kaep can be good. I think first round they should pick up top O Lineman and then worry about Defense. That is if Kaep is in the mix. Going for Goff would be the best trade up since Falcons went up and nabbed Julio Jones. Th cap space we have is phenominal. There is no way that any team can screw up having that much cap and not getting a ton of talent. Well only if your the Raiders that is.

  17. Shaq Lawson is not even close to being worthy of the #7 pick. He would be a horrible fit in the Niners D. Rob Rang is the only person who thinks that highly of him. Lawson does not have the quickness off the ball or play speed that people are talking about. He benefits from coverage/hussle sacks for the most part. Go back and watch him vs FSU this year. He gets dominated.

    The difference in burst between players like Bosa and Spence compared to Lawson is drastic. Even in the video Grant posted, Lawson is late off the snap just about every play and shows ZERO special/elite pass rush traits worthy of a top 10 pick. Only true pass rushers worthy of top 10 in this class are Bosa and Spence.

      1. Would be a great pick even with character concerns. My top 3 guys in draft are Bosa (would need to go up to #3 to get him, Jack and Spence. If they could somehow come away with one of them it’s a home run

        1. +1. I’d rather gamble with a guy who has had some off field issues, , as long as it’s not domestic assault, than take Lawson, who is not a top 10 player IMO, and not a good fit scheme wise. I’ll say it again, . We already have Lawson, his name is Tank.

      2. IMHO I believe the target in Rnd 1 is Jalen Smith. His injury is not as serious as first reported. It’s a very similar situation to Gurly. Even if Smith is not ready for the first 6 games that’s fine. Hodge can fill in for that time. Jalen is way too talented to pass up. It’s not about next year. This is going to take 2-3 years to get this right.

        1. would take Smith over Lawson too. At #7 you want a guy that has potential to be elite. Bosa, Jack, Spence and Smith would Lawson no way

    1. Clemson was on TV a lot, so I got to see Lawson a lot. From what I saw, he looked pretty stout. I hope you are not going to say that he will be defined over one game, because in many others, he shined.

      1. Stout and special/elite are completely different things. Nothing about him is special, specifically as a pass rusher (which is why you would pick him at 7). He’s a late 1st round guy maybe in early 2nd in my view.

        Picking at 7 you need to get a true difference maker and Lawson isn’t one

        1. He doesn’t have elite get off, but he does appear to be very strong and has some reasonably well developed moves and hand usage. There is more than one way to be an elite edge rusher, and in his previous edge picks outside Harold, Baalke has shown a preference for strength over speed/quicks.

            1. Yep. Brooks as well. The ability to set the edge is important for Baalke. He likes his pass rushers to be able to push blockers around rather than rely on speed to win the edge.

          1. Harold, strength? I guess you didn’t hear Scooter. The inside buzz on Harold this season was that he didn’t have the strength. Lanky, twitchy, but not yet strong enough. Working hard to get there this offseason.

        2. You may be right. Actually, I would want Buckner, but if he is taken, they should move back and get 3 picks in the first 2 rounds. This draft is so deep, there is first round talent in the second round.

  18. With Baalke drafting I would just be happy to have our first round pick still on the roster in year 2.

    Hell, I will be happy if the first round pick is still in the league in 3 years.

    That would be an improvement for Baalke.

  19. Here is my top six picks, using numbers I borrowed from EBNF, and the top 200 list from CBS sports. Almost every pick is within 5 spots of the draft number.
    7. Deforest Buckner.
    37. Jason Spriggs
    68. Kyler Fackrell
    106. Scoobie Wright
    133. Kevin Hogan or Vernon Adams
    142. Glen Gronkowski- convert to TE.

    1. Seb I thought you’d enjoy this. Its off topic from an article and Kelly’s passing offense.

      “While the routes have been around for a long time, it was Walsh and Jerry Rice that popularized the drive concept. Walsh used it as a way to get his best receiver the ball running full speed across the formation — speed in space. In its modern form, drive remains a versatile part of the passing game, providing options against nearly any coverage type.” Ninernaton.com

      Remember way back when you said Walsh would never design a play that threw short of the sticks. This is what I was talking about. Hitting the receiver in space at full speed allowing them to run after the catch for the first down. Have you read the articles on Kelly’s run and pass games. I enjoyed them. What do you think?

      1. Yes, you also have to realize that he was throwing to Jerry Rice, too. Jerry always seemed to get those first downs. Joe also seemed to always hit the receiver with a catchable ball, delivered on time in stride.
        I have been looking, but it seems like I need to see more game tape instead of just diagrams in formations, to get a better feel for what he is trying to do.

        1. I wonder if there’s some issue with copy rights of game film. I know they’ve used it in the past but I haven’t seen it for a while.

          1. My son has set everything up and does not allow some sites to let me play their gifs. I have learned a lot about Chip’s offense from the Fishduck series, but the running concepts seems more in depth than the passing game.

    2. Hey Seb, I am impressed. This looks like a GRAND SLAM to me. You’rd back. lol.

      However, we’re pre-free agency, so everything with a grain of salt.

    3. Buckner is great, just seems like a luxury pick. Our biggest issues are QB, OL, LB (Middle and Outside Rusher) and WR. Put OL second only because there are a lot of questions there. Will AD help? Will young players continue to improve? Do we have enough depth?

      1. Denver showed how they contained Cam, never let him use his legs, and negated his strengths. Armstead and Buckner would do the same thing.
        I also surmised Noah Spence, Jack and Ragland as the Niner first choices.

  20. It’s just sad that we have a general manager that picks so lousy. And it’s even sadder that the fans and people that post their pics on blogs turn out better than Balke’s pics in real life.

    1. If Joe Montana himself could come back, he would fail behind that O line. I actually like Smelter so much, I would be satisfied with the present WRs. I would like for Baalke to re-sign Boldin, for continuity and leadership.

      1. Leadership more than continuity. GEEP was there for continuity, instead of saying nobody really wanted him, and you saw where that got us. We need leadership. That’s what we lacked last year. Bo and Bo led, but hell, these knuckleheads didn’t follow

      2. Sent… Like the idea of the oline, but assuming Balkee goes after an established o lineman in Free agency. A quality lineman, who would you go after? My thinking is a guy with Treadwell’s talents doesn’t come along very often. Chip would drool in his sleep with this new toy!!

        1. I dream of Cordy Glenn, but would accept Mitchell Schwartz. Think Wiz is OK but he has a red flag to me because the Raiders do not want him even with family history.
          Chip got burned with Agholor with the Eagles, so he might be hesitant to draft a WR that high.

          1. I still do t know what he saw in Nelson. But I wouldn’t compare the two. Even their tape puts them on 2 different planets. . As for the o line I would being in Jhari Evans, because good leadership cannot hurt. Remember the Goodwin signing

            1. An “experienced” center is worth way more than any other position on the OL, because he touches the ball every play like the QB. At least that’s what I’ve sussed in recent weeks reading about the longevity of successful QB/C relationships

              1. Hmm, I may have to rethink my opposition to Geoff Schwartz, because the new O line coach is from the NY Giants, and knows him well.

              2. So noted, He will be 30 in July. Geoff Schwartz only played 13/32 games due to injury, so he would be a risk.

          2. I dream of people who are young, effective, and cheap, so 49ers can keep developing Tiller, Brown, Martin, Thomas — and get back to business with Davis — and not waste money or draft capital on a position group that is actually rounding into a strength.

            1. Silicon Chips

              I must ‘fess up…I cringe every time I see someone mention ADavis…he hasn’t made much (if any ) effort to jump back into the fray other than a couple teasers on twitter….he quit on us. Our safety valve might be that Brown has a season behind him.

              1. Oregon

                I understand that sentiment, but I also know that when he was healthy, Bam was our best OL. And I can’t hold him in disregard due to wanting to get his body and head healthy. He paid the team $2M to take this year off, and perhaps extended his own career by doing so. I’ll try and find a link to the article I read a couple of years ago that changed my opinion on the guy. I used to think he was a dope myself.

  21. You can say it 100 times. The Niners will not draft a QB in rnd 1… There will be a QB battle between Gabbert and Kaep. A rookie will be drafted no earlier then the 4th rnd.. Book it.

    1. And I’ll say it 101 times Smarty pants. The question was who “you” draft. Not who are the 49ers gonna draft. Book that

      1. Balke who runs the Niners draft will not draft a QB in rnd 1.. Not in a draft where it’s so top heavy with potentially Elite prospects on D.. Wentz and Goff are good prospects not great.. Same with treadwell. Good prospect not an Elite player. If I’m to make an educated guess, which ever is available between Buckner, Spence, Jack or Smith. I would wager if they stay at 7 one of those will be the pick. I think whether people want to see him or not, kaep will be given a chance to win the job. It’s a weak free agency for QBs and you can’t put all your eggs in Gabbert.. He seems like a solid back up but not a starter. Adams, Prescott and the kid from NC state can be had between rnds 3-5… Adams would be my pick.

        1. Ok, let’s try this again… Grant.. Who do you think the 49ers should draft in round 1?? Not who “is” Balkee gonna draft. This is hypothetical sir, not factual. He asked our opinions. And mine is still the same. I think they should draft Wentz or Treadwell. Treadwell 1st, because I believe he’s a special talent

          1. Steele, My thoughts about the draft are that both Cleveland and the Cowboys are going to select a QB. Browns need one because Manziel imploded, and Cowboys because Romo is fragile, and they need a replacement if Romo gets injured. That means Wentz and Goff will be gone before the Niners draft, and I do not think Paxton Lynch is good enough because he had a couple stinkers.

            1. In hindsight though, Goff had just as many stinkers. You know, no disrespect to Harbaugh but Chip has done just as much with his qb’s as Harbagh. So whoever Chip gets, will get coached the hell up!

              1. I realize, different sites group player positions differently, especially when it comes to edge rushers. However, I just don’t understand anyone who has watched a lot of tape of Lawson, and realizes that the 49ers already have the carbon copy, Tank Carradine, why they would want to draft a guy at like Lawson at #7, to play what most scouts feel is probably not his best position? Yes, he’s stout against the run. He’ll set an edge. But, he is simply to stiff, IMO, and the opinion of most others I have talked to, to fit in an O’Neil system. And if you want to see a guy who he looks almost exactly alike, watch his tape, next to Tank Carradine’s Seminole’s tape. They are essentially the same guy. In case you haven’t heard, Tank is expected to report much lighter this year. He’s hoping to transition to the exact role Lawson would fill.

                Mind Blowing. Mark my words, he’ll go outside the top 10, and likely to a team that employs a 4-3 base defense.

              2. 49reasons, nobody has said his best fit isn’t as a 4-3 D. Just that he can also be a good fit at OLB in a 3-4, especially given the 49ers play as many or more downs with 4-man fronts (where he’d play as a DE) as 3-man fronts when they go nickel and dime. Yes, on lists like the CBS one, where they only list each player on one list, he is with the DEs. That does not mean they don’t believe he can’t play OLB in a 3-4.

                As Seb points out, all you need to do is watch some of his film to see Clemson employed him as an OLB on occasion, and he was fine in that role.

  22. Honestly, if Goff, is there, regardless of whether Kaep and/or Gabbert are still on the roster, I think we have to take him.

    1. He would make me pause for sure but I don’t think it’s chips call. I truly believe Balke wants no part of a QB in rnd 1. Question is would Jed step in and push for the local kid. He just might if Chip is on board.

      1. They say Goff is accurate up to 12 yards, but according to Steve Young and Trent dilfer, in child offense, guys need to be accurate from 15-25 yards downfield. That’s why I would go with Wentz over Goff. And he’s Mobil, wich is a bonus in this offense

    2. Sil, I beg to differ. The Niners MUST improve their pass rush, and with the O line solidifying with AD coming back and better coaching, they should concentrate on their biggest weakness. This draft is loaded with defensive talent, and the Niners must grab a couple to shore up the defense.

      1. Even if they let Kap walk? What’s harder to draft, an elite defensive player, or franchise QB? We all know the answer. A franchise QB is the toughest player to draft in pro sports, PERIOD!

        So, if Kap walks, and Goff is there at #7, and the 49ers see him as a good fit and likely franchise QB, they have to select him, PERIOD!

        1. Because the opportunities to draft a franchise QB come few and far between. Besides, Bosa is the best defensive player in this class. So, keep in mind were not talking about the best defensive player. Also, it’s a deep class in terms of defensive lineman, and 3-4 linebackers. Grab your QB in round one. Sign a FA edge rusher, and go BPA in terms of position of need in RNDs 2 and 3.

          1. I am assuming that the Niners are smart enough to keep Kaep. The only problem to your argument is that there are no slam dunk franchise QBs in the draft. Many think this draft class is weak, but think the DL pool is strong.

            1. 6 weeks ago, every was poo pooing about the 49ers winning the final game and possibly losing out on Goff. What’s changed?

              If Kap walks, AND the team loves Goff, why wouldn’t he be the pick?

              1. I, for one, think Goff would be a slam dunk franchise QB. He has everything I look for in a QB. And, he could stand to get a little stronger, but that’s easy. And he’ll need a little time to develop. But boy, I would LOVE to see him running Chip’s offense. And that’s only if Kap keeps being a baby, and the team lets him walk.

              1. See, that makes no sense to me. He had one bad game, in OCTOBER. Niner fans were licking their chops as late as JANUARY 2nd, a day before they beat the Rams. Or, should I say, the Rams beat themselves?

                Since the Utah anomaly, Goff threw for 26 TD & 4 INT in his final 7 games.

                Against Stanford, Goff threw for 386 YDS, 2 TD, 0 INT, for a TOTAL QBR of 78.9. In the same game KEVIN HOGAN threw for 96 YDS and 1 TD, for a TOTAL QBR of 62.0.

                What exactly has changed over the course of 6 weeks? A couple scouts question the kids arm strength, and knock the kid because of the Bears system? He’ll force a pass from time to time, so suddenly he’s no longer a viable NFL QB?

                I get the fact that Goff probably needs a season to develop. So what? Kid has all the tools to run Chip’s system to perfection.

                *the “IT” factor
                *Quick, snappy release
                *Enough arm strength to make all the throws
                *Great functional mobility
                *Tough minded
                *Courageous in the pocket

                I would Jarred downright surgical. He models his footwork after Peyton Manning. He models his pocket presence after some guy name Joe Montana.

                He has all the qualities I look for in a QB, and my hunch tells me Chip feels the same way.

                Could the reason the 49ers really haven’t reached to Colin is because they plan to move on without him? I guess we’ll likely know which way they are leaning by April 1st, unless Colin is unable to pass a physical. Then the answer will remain muddled until the draft, or until they either trade Colin or come to a injury settlement.

                Personally, I’d pass on a QB if I knew Colin’s heart was in it. I’d love to see Kap put last year behind him and consider this a new start. What I wouldn’t do, if I were Chip, is go into the first season with only Blaine Gabbert and Dylan Thompson and hope that I can draft Vernon Adams in round 4, and develop him.

                If the 49ers and Kaepernick part ways, the 49ers WILL draft Goff, if they can! And, in my humble opinion, it will be the best pick Baalke has ever made.

                Off to Hawaii, promising my wife I will stay off of sports blogs. Talk to you guys in a couple weeks.

              2. 49, Goff may look good to you, but it will probably be a moot point, because if he is as good as you say he is, Cleveland or the Cowboys will select him ahead of the Niners.
                Also, the O line needs huge improvement, or Goff will be sacked 52 times, and no QB is going to shine while flat on his back.

        2. 49reasons

          I realize that this is a bit off subject (….wellll..) I think that hashing over all the QB stats from this PAST season is useless, because we’re only checking 3 or 4 QB’s at the top….After the combine there will be a half dozen more, and at least 3-4 will be as good as the originals. They won’t be judged by the players (team mates) around them…. there are really good QB’s on some really lousy teams.

  23. Shaq may have had 2 sacks in the championship game–which were cover sacks, in my opinion–but
    I thought #74 contained him farely well. Shaq looked stonewalled at times.

    I haven’t seen much film on Shaq, but he’s either a really good player who was matched up against a great Tackle, or he’s a bit overrated being dubbed a top five pick. Either way, I hope Trent saw what I saw in #74 and considers drafting that fella

    1. I thought Dodd had a better game, but it also seemed like they ran away from Lawson and right at Dodd.
      I think 74 is Cam Robinson, but he was a sophomore last year.

  24. If all these posts were resubmitted in exactly the same order, how many days would pass before anyone other than the posters would notice? This is the black hole of the football year.

    1. Grant is garnering ammunition. Once the Combine rolls around, and Free Agency hits, everything will change. He will be able to point out how far off everyone was.

      1. I guess what’s wonderful about this time of year is that there are no messy games to interfere with anyone’s theories. Season 71 coming up. :-}

    1. Austin Johnson or Ronnie Stanley. QB can be igonored after they draft Vernon Adams, the plug and play stud from Oregon who knows Kelly’s offense.
      WR’s can be found in the later rounds now that Kelly is on the team and can recognize late round gems (hopefully better than Baalke).

      1. Robert Nikemdiche, DT, Ole Miss is also intriguing since the 49ers will run an amoeba defense this year (apparently). Tunsil won’t be around, therefore Ronnie Stanley above was mentioned.

        1. Don’t forget Kelly’s learning curve in Philly where he went with drop back passing (Bradford), meaning Jared Goff could be a wild card!

      1. Seems like you’re glad they use Dial, Grant. I like that he has a nasty disposition, and hope Baalke can extend him on the cheap….

          1. If they cannot re-sign Williams, Dial may be the Nose. I think Armstead, Dial, Buckner would be pretty solid, with Lynch and Lawson/Spence/Tank as the OLB

            1. Buckner is a five-technique like Armstead. Neither should be playing three-technique in an under front in the base defense. Too tall. Legs too long. Easily cut down by combination blocks inside on running plays.

              1. I just liked how they could engage those double blocks. So if Williams is gone, who should replace him? Purcell?

              2. Grant,

                I keep seeing you using draft picks to fill in your depth chart, so I’m wondering where you think that $53M is going. I know you’re getting to it, but it’s hard to debate this at this point. Like, the OLB, with Lynch, Harold, and 2 draft picks. I don’t know. Lynch was an obvious great pick when it happened given his superiority to Jadeveon Clowney as a freshman, but I don’t see another hidden gem like him coming available in the 5th Rd this year.

              3. I believe Hargrave played 3T and NT in college. He may be a tad undersized for your typical NT, but so is Williams. Hargraves wins through his elite get off and then good strength for his size/ leverage. The only question mark is whether he can replicate it against better competition, but he showed well in the Shrine and Senior Bowl. I think he’d be an excellent addition.

          2. Dial is a fantastic rotational player, average starter. He shouldn’t be one of the starting DTs on passing downs, and if they can find someone better for the base D so he can become the rotational player they should do it.

            1. Dial was one of the top-graded DEs in the league the second half of last season according to PFF. He needs to start. He’s a fine one-technique on passing downs.

              1. Where was he graded, and what was his grade? How was he graded against the pass?

                I’m ok with Dial starting in the base D at one DE spot, if they have a top notch guy manning the other end spot. Armstead isn’t there yet. Adding Wilkerson or Malik Jackson gives them a top notch DE, and one of Armstead or Dial start in the other spot, with the other being the rotational player. On passing downs Wilkerson/ Jackson and Armstead would be the DTs, again with Dial as a rotational player (and potentially Hargrave if they were to draft him). Instead of the DL being an ok unit, it becomes a unit of strength from which the rest of the D builds off.

                Then add a first round edge player and a decent ILB to the rotation and you’ve got the makings of an excellent front 7.

              2. He posted a plus-9.8 grade the final four weeks of the season, second-best among 3-4 DEs during that time. He’s on the rise. The Niners should facilitate his growth, not stunt it.

              3. That came mostly in one game – a +5.9 vs the Bengals. He has strong games, but isn’t consistent. It is also his run D that gets him that grade.

                The 49ers most pressing need is to improve their pass rush, and one of the areas they need to improve the rush is up the middle. This past season Armstead was the only player to consistently produce interior pressure. The interior pass rush was so bad they had Ian Williams in on many passing downs. He’s a good player, but he’s not a guy you want in on passing downs.

                Regardless of whether they spend big $$ on a top notch DL in FA or not, the 49ers definitely need to add to the DL, in particular to add an interior pass rush other than Armstead.

              4. Still a good stretch — Dial didn’t play Week 17. Had three QB hits and a sack his final three games. Arrow up.

                The one-technique doesn’t have to be a big pass rusher on passing downs. He has to push the pocket and knock down passes. Dial does this well. Armstead will be the three-technique on passing downs.

              5. Dial is a monster. I loved seeing that play he made when he was still at Alabama where he destroyed some poor schmuck after the whistle. I think he was ejected for it, and it was totally uncalled for, but when I found out the 49ers got him, I was over the moon.

                Dial and Armstead are going to be perennial pro bowlers once the 49ers get a decent NT or two to get central pocket pressure and a good OLB to bring the pressure around the edges.

              6. Dial does that well? Really? If he is so good at it, why were they using Ian Williams in that role mostly? And why wasn’t the interior pass rush better?

                He’s a good run defender at DE on base downs. If the 49ers are going to be playing an under front on base downs this year, his best spot will be Ray McDonald’s old position. But he’s not the pass rusher McDonald was. Alternatively, they could look to employ him as a 1T NT, though I think that isn’t his best spot. The 3T would be Armstead, or if they sign Wilkerson/ Jackson, they would play that spot.

              7. They used both players in that role, and both are good at it. They’d look a lot better if the Niners edge rush wasn’t so bad.

                Dial is a good run defender at any position on base downs. Armstead only can play 5-tech in the base defense.

              8. Sil, the NT barely plays 50% of the snaps, and most of those are against the run. It isn’t the NT they need to collapse the pocket (though it would be helpful). Its the two DEs in base/ DTs in 4-man fronts.

                As much as I like Dial, he isn’t one to consistently collapse the pocket. Maybe he develops in to that player, who knows, but right now the 49ers DL stinks at generating pressure.

    1. Grant,

      In the video above, Ole Miss has lined Nikemdiche on the OT, meaning the 49ers could do the same, keeping dial on the field!

  25. True. Just basing my pick off of our DC’s bio, which stated he’ll switch from 3/4 to 4/3 at any time. Paired with Armstead, Nikemdiche would destroy NFL passing protections straight up, w/o the blitz leaving more DB’s to defend the New England’s of the league.

        1. In their glory years, 49er coaches would train players to multitask–Cross at guard and center, same with Sapolu.
          Haley was a DE/LB as was Fred Dean in the SuperBowl vs. Miami…Get good players and coach them up.

          1. Yep, and this is what the Seahawks under Carroll do too. Michael Bennett plays everywhere and never comes off the field.

    1. With Smelter, Dres Anderson, DeAndrew White and the CFL WR, the Niners have enough WR talent, so they should shore up the defense as much as possible.

        1. We are not having much luck waiting on Recievers. We have done a terrible job identifying that position. As far as waiting until latter to draft an ILB like a Morrison would be a mistake. All the tape that I have seen he looks slow and late on making plays. Playing in a good defense in Florida. I think Scobby Wright in the 2nd would be a much better pick. Reminds a lot of Clay Mathews. Just my opinion. Now that’s if we pass on Jalen in the first.

              1. Morrison is not even on the sane level as Wright. One goe as high as a late 1 while other could be an undrafted player. It doesn’t mean Morrison won’t be the better pro but as we stand right now it’s a matter of opinion. You got yours and I have mine backed up by many others.

          1. I suggest you check your tape player, because Morrison has excellent acceleration and more than enough speed to cover the entire field. Did you notice he produced 12 tackles for loss? Yea, I said 12. He’s got a heart the size of Grinch on Christmas day and he was the emotional leader of that defense….

            1. IN OUR VIEW: His medical reports will be the determining factor in his draft projection, but if fully healthy, Morrison is a top 40 talent.

              –Dane Brugler (11/9/15)

            2. I’m rehabbing an ACL and learning Morrison’s story has been an inspiration. That guy is a savage. He’ll be great at the next level, especially with his speed and power.

              1. I suggest you guys watch some tape on the Cardinal Newman kid Scobby Wright. The guy is viloent. Has Chris Borland type of awareness but much better physically and mentally. One thing I do know is that whoever Balke drafts to play next to Bo will be very good. Balke does not miss on LBs.

            3. I’ve checked him out and I like him razor, but not as much as you do. Good looking player that could become a very good starter, but I’m not seeing the same elite level qualities as say a Jaylon Smith. If his knee does indeed check out, and no reason to think it won’t, I suspect he doesn’t make it out of the third round at the latest, possibly second round. Many teams need LBs this year.

      1. Seb

        It’s becoming more redundant day by day….I’ve been harping on the fact that we already have a load of Wr’s on the roster who have gone through Harbaugh and Tomsula without getting hardly any notice. For all we know, they could be BETTER than Benjamin,Jeffries ,or Marvin Jones. With Chip, I think that they’re at least going to get a look….Dres Anderson, DeAndre Smelter, Bruce Ellington, Quenton Patton, DeAndrew White, Torrey Smith, and Jerome Simpson. WE DON’T NEED MORE WR’S. Look…I just saved us about 8 million dollars.

        1. Oregon, I am glad we can agree on something. I would much rather get a FA O lineman and battle tested ILB, than wasting cap space on FA WRs.

  26. Dres Anderson has football DNA–his father, Flipper LA’s deep threat in the late 80’s. Receivers are not a priority. The OL should be upgraded or your skill positions can’t be launched.
    The DL is one stud away from above average. Concentrate on those, bargain shop for Skip his first year, land attack offense in 2017.

  27. Lawson sounds fine since there’s no way Von Miller hits the FA market. Even more important, IMHO, is that they sign Trevathan in FA to pair with Navorro to make the ILBs mighty again; then employ Kelly’s acumen to draft a superstud WR, assuming they don’t sign a Jeffery. If Baalke and Kelly agree that the best available WR is an even better bet than Lawson, then fine – we need a real threat to pair with Smith. Fix the OL in FA with all that cap money. Niners Nation, right or wrong, lists 2016 cap space as about $55 mil. With that kind of money avail, they should be able to sign Trevathan, Evan Mathis, another stud OL AND either Jeffery, Marvin Jones, Benjamin, or whomever they believe in as a stud WR. If they signed Jeffery and Trevathan, I’d be all in on a Lawson type.

    1. 49ers have absolutely no need to release players at this stage as they are very healthy cap wise. I expect they will wait and see who they can sign before making any cuts. Brooks is the only one I see them cutting anyway.

  28. Full disclosure: I am an Alabama alum. That said, I don’t think Quentin Dial is the answer.If we are going to go DL, which I think is a need, I would draft A’Shawn Robinson. He is scheme versatile, and he makes everyone else around him better. He won’t get you 10 sacks (I’d be happy with 5), but he will help the pass rusher next to him get an extra 5. If we don’t go D, I’d look for Treadwell at receiver. If we traded back 5 spots, I might look at Reggie Ragland at ILB. And no matter which of these guys we were to take, I’d trade back into the late 1st and take Ryan Kelly. He’d be a plug and play and guard and be ready to take over a center a few years down the road.

  29. What about Kevin Hogan? Wouldn’t he be good value somewhere around Round 3, giving the Niners a chance to address OT, DB, DL, or WR first?

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