Which player(s) in the draft could take the 49ers to the playoffs next season?

Jayson Braddock–the man who reported Colin Kaepernick is on the trading block–believes Amari Cooper, Danny Shelton, Randy Gregory or Kevin Johnson could take the Niners to the playoffs. That’s if one of those prospects falls to pick No.15.

I disagree with Braddock. If the Niners are going to return the to the playoffs, they need to fix their offensive line, which gave up more sacks than any other offensive line in the league last season.

Check out their pass-blocking grades from 2014, according to Pro Football Focus:
LT Joe Staley: +9.3 (tied for 14th-best among tackles)
C Marcus Martin: -8.2
C Daniel Kilgore: -1.2
RG Alex Boone: +2.6
RT Anthony Davis: -4.2 (he played just 440 snaps)

The Niners need another good pass protector. They have just one good one–Staley. Andrus Peat is the best pass protector in the draft. I think he would make a greater impact on the Niners next season than Cooper, Shelton, Gregory or Johnson.

What do you think? Which draft prospects could take the Niners to the playoffs next season?

This article has 293 Comments

  1. I don’t think any player is going to take the 49ers to the playoffs next year, but Marcus Peters would get us close.

    1. Grant, good topic…Rob makes a good point that mumbles ,weasel, Baalke aren’t the answer…Above and beyond Rob’s viewpoints,is that football fans would generally agree that it takes an above average passing game to make the playoffs. Here is a simple syllogism given by my professor at San Francisco State University in Logic 1A used for different conclusions:…..1. An above average passing game cannot occur if its receivers are changing year to year. 3.The 49ers change receivers on a yearly basis. 3. Therefore the 49ers can not have an above average passing game

      1. @TomD….I can accept your prof’s conclusions about our passing game, but I think that our FO is going about it somewhat bassackwards. Without a QB who can throw the checkdown, stay firm in the pocket, and read at least 3 options, we also cannot have an above average passing game. Trade Kaep for as high a draft choice to where we might have two ‘one’s’. Take a QB in the 2nd, Peat or scherf in the 1st, and Cooper in the second 1st. If not, then Kaep’s improvement will have to be gigantic in order to make the playoffs in ’15…..brace yourself……

          1. Ultimate Fan…..You mean to tell me that it took you two days to come up with THAT ?….Just another Kaeperholic….

  2. would you line up Peat at guard?

    Anthony Davis is no great pass protector but to be fair what little he did play, he played mostly injured…so I think he’s better than what his last year stats show. Do you move Anthony Davis to Guard?

    Martin looked better near the end of the season. And then there’s how well Brandon Thomas has healed and if he’s ready to play and to what degree. There are many that think he’s the future at Guard. I don’t know what to make of him…so I don’t count on him as a possible immediate impact starter.

    I think the Niners are okay at WR right now. Torrey Smith and Boldin are a good deep and underneath 1-2 punch…but Boldin is only here for one more year, so they will draft a receiver…but unless the extreme value is there in the 1st, I don’t think they’ll draft one until the middle rounds.

    Most of the other picks Braddock has mentioned are generally considered higher draft prospects than the Niner’s #15 pick. And I don’t see Baalke moving up to grab one those guys.

    1. affp, always enjoy your posts. I have long thought Anthony Davis is not nimble enough to play tackle and that he should switch positions with Boone, who seemed to do well subbing for Staley. Unless you think I’m wrong, can you think of why they haven’t done that?

      1. “can you think of why they haven’t done that?”

        the obvious answer is they’ve probably tried it in practice and it hasn’t played out that way.

        just like they probably tried all their linemen as lead blockers and found tukuafu to be the most palatable at the time.

    2. Allforfunply—- The problem with having adequate players at the skill positions is it does not account for injuries. If Tory Smith gets injured that still leaves the NIners without a deep threat and puts them in the same position they were at the last two seasons. At least on the line they can somewhat shuffle around players. Just think of what an impact Crabs getting injured in 2013 had on the season. At least they still had a productive Davis. They can not stay pat with just Boldin and Smith as the starters. WR are always getting injured.

  3. Rhetorical question aside,no one player will take this team to the playoffs(yes I hear Mora in my mind now).I don’t think we are a team that needs just one piece to assure that event.Not to say the 49er’s can’t make the playoffs as unlikely as that may seem ,however if that miracle occurs producing evidence of one player making that happen will be an arguable proposition.

  4. Delusional. The 49ers are not going to the playoffs with Jim Tomsula as head coach, one player or 10. It won’t happen this year and it won’t happen next. In fact, it’s not going to happen at all with Mumbles. Pray for the sale of the team to a local consortium headed by Carmen Policy. Ridding the 49ers if the Weasel, Balk-ee, and Mumbles will get the team back to the playoffs far more quickly than any discussion of this player or that.

  5. 1st off, it’s good to know the attribution of the article, although interesting that Grant continues to quote someone who insisted that his baloney was accurate when it was in fact not.
    Grant is correct that the OL performance has to get better, butmI think he’s been dazzled by the emergence last year of the Dallas offense which he attributes to the drafting of one player. What I see in Dallas is that they finally,got wise a few years ago and began addressing the position group, and the addition of the kid from ND was the tipping point for their effectiveness. He was the last piece in the puzzle, not Superman. So could Peat or Sherff provide that for SF? It’s a tenuous guess.
    Anybody else in this draft? Shelton could help, but I doubt he’d be that much a difference maker. Leonard Williams will not fall close enough, but he’s the one guy I can think of this year who might have that big an impact.
    I love Amari as a prospect and think he’d be better for the RayDuhs than White, but I’m not sure he’s the solitary piece for the Niners. I don’t see a CB who could own one whole side of the field.
    So, no, no one the Niners can get. Seeing as how this is a team sport, it’s going to take team effort and performance and cohesiveness to get to the playoffs (playoffs? Playoffs?)

  6. R.I.P. ‘Concrete Charlie’
    One of the last Two Way guys in the NFL, one of the best of all time at MLB, and imo deserves to be in the conversation for best player ever.

      1. Sorry, Chuck Bednarik. MLB and OC for the Eagles. He was right up there with Leo The Lion Nomellini for Big Old Tough Guy. Sam Huff had the rep with fans and press as The Man at MLB (their careers wound down as Butkis got drafted), but Chuck got more respect from his peers. When Chuck stopped playing OC to concentrate on MLB, Pat Donovon (DT Colts) said his life got much easier.

        1. Bro Tuna….Thanks for the update…not having read the NFL.com I was afraid that it might be Charlie Krueger our own niner ‘concrete Charlie’ I knew him back in the 70’s, and hadn’t heard about him for several years…….Again…thanks

        2. Concrete Charlie was a “Man’s Man.” I remember watching old Eagles games, with 10 men coming and going off the field, and Chuck standing there in the middle of the field waiting for his offense or defense. He was also the guy who contributed to Frank Gifford’s retirement, and was one of the few who could stop Jim Taylor.
          BTW, I think it was Art Donovan, not Pat. And I’m sure he the was he said it was funny.

  7. Can anyone tell me what Glen Dorsey’s PFF grades in 2013-2014 were. Is everyone comfortable with him as our N-tackle?

      1. His route anticipation is the best I’ve seen from a prospect since Revis. Ball skills are fantastic as well. Have him rated higher than Fuller/Trufant and I was really high on both of them last couple years.

        1. Yep, amid all the Waynes hype, Peters is my guy as well. Not that Waynes isn’t great, it’s just I think Peters brings the more physical mindset….

          1. The 49ers need a true #1 WR this year. Yes the OL needs help, but I think there are good, solid guards and tackles in every draft every year. Not so with WR’s though.Last year’s draft was an extraordinary draft for WR’s and this year’s draft, while it doesn’t match last year’s draft, is also replete with very good WR prospects. Can we expect that to be a common trend every year?
            I don’t think so, and Baalke would be a fool to pass up the opportunity to land a game changer type wideout again this year. We cannot pass up the chance to grab one of Cooper, White, Parker, Strong or DGB! If we use our #15 on a guard or trade back for more 3rd or 4th round picks on 4/30 I’m going to throw my remote through my TV!

            1. Bar None— We think alike in this respect. It sort of depends on if you are building for the future or the present. Either way WR are necessary for both and this is another good year for them. I hope Baalke isn’t as scared to strike out this year as he was last year and just takes a cut at the ball instead of just bunting. Of course this year there are no runners on base so it might impel him to take a swing at an offensive skill player.

          2. I don’t think Waynes is a first round cornerback prospect. He’s pretty stiff and doesn’t move well laterally and will struggle in off-man. He’s very good in bump and run and works the sideline well but I just don’t think he’s a versatile enough prospect to take in the first.

          3. yep ..
            looks to be a true shut-down corner .. but
            the reason I want the Niners to snag him is …

            I really don’t want the SeaChickens
            to get him

        2. Peters’ highlights look fantastic. So does every prospects. Below is a link to Peters’ game against Oregon. Are you telling me the guy in this game tape is better in coverage than Waynes?

          http://draftbreakdown.com/video/marcus-peters-vs-oregon-2014/

          Peters is good, and I think he is a first round prospect. But he’s an all round CB that is good in many areas, but not great. Waynes is a better cover CB than Peters.

          1. I’m not going off highlights, I’ve watched 8 games of Peters and 6 games of Waynes and Peters is a MUCH better prospect than Waynes is. Peters is not just great but elite in route anticipation, and again he has great ball skills and shows a “my ball” mentality. Waynes largely looks good on tape because he is mostly in bump and run coverage which is a great fit for his skill set. However, in other coverages Waynes struggles especially when asked to move laterally. Waynes is getting way too much hype just because he ran a fast 40.

            1. Yeah, I very much disagree.

              Peters is at his best playing around 8-10 yards off the WR, keeping the play in front of him, keeping an eye on the QB and coming up to break on the ball. He can also use his size and length in press to jam and re-route a WR. However, when he gets turned he can be beat, he can get caught peeking in the backfield and let a player get behind him, and he can give up plays in front of him because he leaves a lot of space.

              Waynes is a natural cover CB that can mirror and run with a WR anywhere. He basically runs the route for the WR. I have no idea what you mean about him having issues moving laterally, as I’ve seen no evidence of any such thing. You are correct that most of his film is of him playing bump and run, and yes it is a great fit for his skill set. That is a positive – he’s a natural man cover CB that can be left on an island. However on the occasions he was asked to play other coverages he looked capable in those as well to me.

              1. Peters leaving “a lot of space” in front of him isn’t his choice… it’s by scheme. Washington played a lot of cover 3 and wanted to limit big plays so they lined their corners far off the ball an inordinate amount. If you watch Peters feet, he shows great transition speed/footwork when attacking plays underneath so I think you’re off base there. Peters does get caught looking into the backfield at times but I’m perfectly fine with that considering how often he makes the right read and ends up with an INT/PBU.

                I don’t think you can leave Waynes on an island, he will get torn up by the quicker receivers in the league.. He’s good playing bump and run when he can use the sideline, but when he has to move towards the middle he can get beaten fairly easily. Antwan Goodley and Devin Funchess (not exactly a quick twitch athlete) gave him problems in this area and it shows up a lot when he’s asked to play off coverage. Waynes lack of lateral movement doesn’t just show up when he has to play off coverage but it shows in his awful 4.39 shuttle time. The only first round prospect at corner in this class is Peters to me, with Waynes/Johnson/Williams being 2nd rounders because their success will be scheme dependent.

              2. Yes, I am aware Peters played off coverage largely based on scheme. And yes, I agree he does a good job coming up quickly to attack the ball (in fact I said that). He did however often leave a large cushion for WRs to easily sit down in, which he could have done a better job of shrinking.

                With Waynes, I see what you mean against Baylor, but worth noting he was shaken up early. There was a play early on that Goodley should have scored on down the middle, but if you watch his reaction after the play it looked like Waynes was indicating he was expecting inside help on that one.

                Regarding his awful 4.39s shuttle time, I assume you haven’t heard he put up 4.19s at this pro day and said he battled cramps at the combine. I agree he isn’t super explosive, but he has excellent hip flexion to turn and run with a WR.

                Anyway, I think we are going to have to just agree to disagree on this one.

              3. I’m fine agreeing to disagree here but will point out that I was aware that he said he had cramps but with the fact that he put up a still below-average time at 4.19 at his pro day, I’m not exactly buying that the 4.39 was an outlier.

              4. 4.19s would have placed him around middle of the pack for DBs at the combine. Certainly nothing amazing, but not below average.

              5. 4.19 would put him in the 43rd percentile for CB combine times since 1999 according to mockdraftable. Comparing pro day times to combine times isn’t always wise either.

      2. I’m not on board with Peters. He can get lazy in coverage and shows no interest in making a play if the ballcarrier isn’t near him.

          1. Google Marcus Peters draft breakdown and watch the tapes on there MWN. They’re a whole lot better and not as biased as a YouTube highlight.

        1. If your main criticism of a cornerback prospect is, essentially, that he doesn’t have a high motor then you have a great cornerback prospect.

            1. “he can get lazy in coverage” “shows no interest in making a play if the ballcarrier isn’t near him”

              “if your main criticism is, essentially…”

              1. Sorry, but again, you didn’t read my post. A player’s motor and their being lazy are two different things.

              2. Try again. When you talk about a prospect’s motor, it is generally because they are a high motor guy. In scout lingo, that means they are relentless or show exceptional effort or energy.
                Again, a player’s motor and them being lazy in coverage ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

              3. As an outsider, this is a very interesting debate.
                It has been rumored that the niners are high on P.J. Williams. I was wondering what your thoughts on him are?
                From what I can see he is fairly solid in coverage but wants nothing to do with run support.

              4. I like Williams mainly in a press scheme. He’s very strong and has good enough overall athleticism to be a quality outside cornev. Despite what Parker’s box score #s might show, I thought he did a great job matching up with Parker this year. I’d disagree with that description of his run support, I think he’s very willing but sometimes fails to wrap up and goes for the big hit too often. He’s in my top 5 corners but, like Waynes, not really a versatile enough prospect to go in the first. Don’t know if I like his fit with the 49ers though, unless they’re going to play more press with Mangini. My favorite fits for the 49ers at corner are Peters, K. Johnson, Nelson, D’Joun Smith and Mager.

              5. This is absurd.

                You’re right. It’s absurd that you’re trying to make an argument that has nothing to do with what I said tkamb. I never once said anything about Peter’s motor on the field and you have epically failed in trying to falsify that I did…even going as far as sing a thesaurus to back up your argument (of which you don’t have).
                Peters gets lazy in coverage by giving up too space in between him and the receiver and taking for granted that he will always be able to chew up the space in between them. He is usually technically sound, but he has a tendency to let it lapse.
                Now let’s talk about his motor. It’s okay but could be better. He needs to make a better effort of playing until the whistle blows and not check out if the ballcarrier isn’t near him. His effort, or MOTOR, is lacking there.
                Your move tkamb.

              6. As I related to Scooter, the space in front of him is NOT him, it’s the SCHEME.

                Your last post:
                “Now let’s talk about his motor. It’s okay but could be better. He needs to make a better effort of playing until the whistle blows and not check out if the ballcarrier isn’t near him.”

                Your first post
                “shows no interest in making a play if the ballcarrier isn’t near him.”

                My last post on this ish.

              7. Just on the space he leaves tkamb, yes, he is being asked to give a cushion as part of the scheme, but he does have a tendency to leave too much room for the receiver to sit for an easy completion – he can do a better job of closing that gap a bit to allow him to arrive with the ball and look to force an incompletion. Sometimes he gets it right (usually when the receiver has more depth to his routes), but sometimes he leaves too much cushion.

              8. Even if your criticism is on point, and I’m not saying it is as I prefer my corners to have patience in that situation especially when the scheme itself is designed to give up easy underneath completions, it is a nitpicky, easily fixable flaw.

              9. I don’t think it is being nitpicky to suggest he gives up too much of a cushion sometimes. But yes, it can be corrected.

  8. Bryce Petty anyone? He has a quick release, accurate deep ball, and good pocket awareness (not strengths of our current QB) If he is there in the 2nd round we should take him.

    1. No single player will put us over the top. But aren’t people overlooking we do not have a decent backup for the QB? Little doubt Balke is planning for this but few fans are paying much attention to this very big risk: If Colin goes down, our season is done.

      I do like your pick of Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley may also be a candidate.

    2. Bryce Petty is absolutely terrible. I don’t know who told you he has an accurate deep ball or good pocket awareness because he’s dreadful in both areas.

    1. brian, if you are talking about the starters on defense, I think our NT situation is fine. Also at DT and DE. For me there are more concerns re the other positions.

      OLB — will Aldon blow up?
      ILB — can Bowman play at a high level?
      S — will Reid have another concussion?
      CB — will Brock regain his old form?, will S. Wright or D. Johnson be adequate as starters?

      If we rephrase Grant’s question and ask which players in the draft could have the most impact on our defense, I’d venture it’s probably at ILB or CB. Which particular players I leave up to the experts. That highlight reel on Peters certainly looked great. First I’ve paid attention. I’ve see the ones on Waynes. tkamb mentioned Peters’ anticipation and Razor his physicality, and to my eyes the highlights show a difference between the two athletes.

      1. Well, my draft would be to select Eddie Goldman in the first round. In the 2nd round, my pick would be Marcus Golden. In the 3rd round, I would take henry Anderson. Just remember one thing, we are losing Justin smith, which will leave big shoes to fill. I believe we need a stud on the D-line to take over for J-smith. You can forget about Williams or Danny Shelton. They will be long gone by the time we’re on the clock. But Goldman should be there and he brings good size and an affective pass rush to our nickel defense. I don’t see Docket as the answer as a 3-4 end. He grades poorly as a run defender. but he grades much higher as a pass rusher, so I would play him mainly on the nickel defense. We need to find a DRE who will tie up blockers and free up Aldon smith an N-Bowman to make plays and I don’t see one on the roster. I agree that we can get away with either Dorsey or Williams as the nose and that Tank C will likely be the DLE. But we cannot disregard the DRE position by starting someone already on the roster.

  9. At this point, I’m feeling pretty comfortable with how the offense will be constructed next year. Yes, a receiver to take over for Boldin in 2016 would be nice; another OG would be nice, too. Neither puts us “over the top” next year, though; they’d just provide depth and good long-term planning.

    I think what we really need is to ensure our defense doesn’t take as significant of a hit as it may (without Willis, Borland, and possibly Smith—McDonald, too, for that matter). I see a shutdown corner and a disruptive D-lineman as the way to achieve this (as there are no impactful ILBs, and we have good OLBs). Leonard seems like the most disruptive force to help compensate for potential dropoffs elsewhere on defense. We’re not trading up for him, though, so I’d have to think the closest thing to a shutdown CB would be the way to go if we’re seeking immediate help through the draft—Waynes or Peters, I suppose.

  10. Now, if we think a committee of players may be able to put us over the top, I’d have to think trading back to accumulate picks may be the best option.

    If we can trade back to low-to-mid 20’s and net an extra second rounder, I’d nab Shaq Thompson for his versatility (OLB, dime DB, etc), pick up the best pass-rusher or CB still available with second pick, and someone like Denzel Perryman in late-2nd to be the thumper in middle that Borland was supposed to be. With our 3rd rounder, then, I’d go after the BPA at either OG, CB, or WR.

  11. It will have to be on the offensive side of the ball. I was going to say Melvin Gordon, but he won’t single-handed take us to the playoffs although he will up the production of the RB corps tremendously working in conjunction with Carlos Hyde.

    To cut the story short, I think I will have to go with Bryce Petty. Had a great combine and a fantastic pro day. A natural thrower of the ball and very good with the deep ball. It all depends whether he can hit his strides right out of the gate, but at this point I have more confidence in him than Kap.

  12. C’mon fellas …
    this is draft season .. so help a guy out ..!!

    please post a youtube of your draft candidates ..

    thanx

      1. Thanx, Jack ..
        appreciate the tip .. but .. last year
        everyone was postin’ youtubes ..
        and I got used to just clickin’ on the links from here ..
        to see the guy someone was ravin’ about ..

        for me .. it’s easier to associate a name
        with a position, than it would be to look someone
        up who I have no idea about ..

        Besides … I’m lazy

        1. If you are after youtube clips of player highlights I can save you some time and tell you every prospect is going to look amazing. :-)

  13. I am thinking that the problems at center was the main culprit for the lackluster performance of the offensive line. In fact wasn’t it Boone calling the offensive line signals because it was getting so bad?

  14. There is no chance this team makes the playoffs too many changes took place in one off season From top to bottom Baalke is in full control of the roster and draft, he is about 50/50 at selecting starting quality players I forsee a 7/9 season with kaepernick not on the team after 2015 Go Niners.

  15. There is NO one player in this draft that could get us into the playoffs.
    Jameis Winston can’t.
    Kevin White or Aamri Cooper can’t.
    Shelton, Fowler or Gregory can’t.
    Waynes or Peters can’t.

    Why? Because we now have many holes to fill.
    With the recent losses of Willis and Borland and the questions surrounding Bowman we may need two very capable ILB’ to help to buffer the blow.

    At CB, the loss of Culliver may prove big as well. Brock is returning from practically an entire season and his effectiveness is not guaranteed. If Brock is not ready to play at 100 or even 80% there will be huge holes to fill at the Corner position.

    RB, Hyde is the only sure thing and his blocking is no where close to Frank Gore as of now. Hunter is a question and Bush can only play in certain packages. Miller is a proven commodity but he is not being used to his full strengths which is pass receiving out of the backfield. Millard is an unknown and must prove himself.

    At QB, we are back to square one. CK MUST show improvement and if he goes down by injury Gabbert is a far cry from being a true starter.

    Vernon MUST have a comeback year and McDonald MUST show a pulse.

    The WR position has improved on paper but will be counted on to show up this coming season in order to help open up our offense which was noticeably stagnant last year.

    Of course, if all of these players can have successful comeback campaigns in 2015 we have a good chance of making the playoffs.
    And I’m not even any rookies in this equation.
    TBD

    1. AES– You are correct there are too many holes to fill at this time. Interesting that just a couple seasons ago there were so few immediate needs and a lot of picks to work with. Seems that most of them were squandered away much as a drunken sailor with too much money and too little time to spend it does on shore leave. Too many spent of injured players who didn’t pan out. I actually predicted this sort of scenario prior to the 2013 draft but I sure didn’t think it would happen this quickly.

      1. Willtalk,
        The Lattimore draft pick did not work for us or him for that matter. But I really pushed for his comeback because he was an absolute character guy who tried against all odds to play again. Got nothing but huge respect for Lat!
        And while the Org has taken some negative public relations hits over the past few months, I give them credit for taking a chance on Lattimore. It just wasn’t meant to be and unfortunately those things happen.

        Carradine is still a question as is B.Thomas, Reaser, Acker and Millard. We’ll just have to see what they bring to the table this season.

        I think that with so many picks to play with over the past two years the Org felt that they could afford some risk drafting with injured players.

        The team will be very prudent with their picks this season because we don’t have the glut of picks as in the past and the team will need to target specific needs as well.
        Really looking forward to this draft much more than the last few years.

        1. AES- Articulated well. You did a better job of conveying my point. They had too much to work with and little immediate need. Perhaps that created a pattern for TB draft policy? I am curious to see if he can make drafts based on need with little margin for error. That is the sign of a good GM. Those past drafts he could afford to take high reward risks. Not any more. Now we shall see how well he can draft for need with almost no margin for error.

    1. MWN,
      Yup, Ray has been gone since his last run-in with the law. I put McDonald in the same context with Vernon (TE) but should have been more clear.

  16. How many games were lost last season because of sacks? How many fewer sacks would have equaled more wins? How many sacks does Peat need to prevent to get the team back to the playoffs? How many sacks will Peat need to prevent to make up for the lack of Willis & Borland and possibly Smith?(no there’s no connection but just pointing out that there are bigger problems on this team then preventing sacks)

    I just don’t see how a single OL on this team with these problems is going to return us to the playoffs.

      1. hova55555- Don’t want to keep being a downer but they have a record of having high expectations from players which are never fulfilled on the field of play. The biggest example being the 2013 WR corps. They had a lot of faith in them as well. I suspect it is more a question of hope rather than reality in that respect. Till they prove otherwise, I have little faith in their ability to realistically reality from what they wish it will be. Of course that will depend on who was making those evaluations Harbaugh/staff or TB/front office.

        1. Dallas ranked 31st in pass attempts per game and 4th in rush attempts per game. Romo and Bryant never carried Dallas anywhere. That team took off when they made Romo an ancillary player.

              1. So for all their ability to move the ball on the ground, the offense was ineffective without a good passing game against the 49ers.

                I’m not disagreeing that the OL and running game were key factors for their offense last season. I’m just saying that its a complete package. Teams fear the Cowboys passing game as well, which opens things up for the running game. And the ability to keep opposing defenses worried about both run and pass made it easier for the OL to succeed.

              2. 5.5 yards per carry is not ineffective. They couldn’t run the ball as much as they would have liked because turnovers put them in a big hole. If they hadn’t turned the ball over 4 times in the first quarter, Murray could have ran the ball 30+ times and Dallas probably would have won.

              3. Sure, but they did turn the ball over, and the passing game was ineffective for the most part.

                Lets put this in a 49ers perspective. Are you suggesting the 49ers can win with a strong running game but no passing game, and continuing to see stacked boxes?

                Or lets think historically. The 49ers were said to have one of the best OLs in the game a couple of years ago. At the time they had an efficient passing game with valid deep threat options (Davis, Moss, Ginn) and kept teams guessing by using a lot of play-action. Last year the OL was pretty rubbish, which coincided with the passing game not being very efficient, no real deep threats, and a move away from play-action.

                Is it possible the OL isn’t really that horrendous, but rather the lack of a functional passing game last season made the whole offense predictable and made the task very difficult on the OL?

              4. Dallas’ offense was effective in that game. They averaged 6.1 yards per play. That’s fantastic.

                The 49ers won’t see nearly as many stacked boxes next year with Torrey Smith on the field.

                It’s not a horrendous offensive line–it’s a mediocre offensive line that is horrendous in pass protection.

              5. Yes, I agree the 49ers are much better placed this season to have an effective offense.

                If the 49ers add an OG in the draft, it will make a lot of sense. There is an opening at LG after all. But I do think the play of the OL last year was hampered by teams not fearing getting beat deep and the 49ers not using enough play-action. With Smith and Simpson added at WR, plus a fully healthy Davis, and hopefully a return to more play-action, I think the OL will look much better this season even if they don’t draft an OL early.

              6. Which position group other than offensive line has three starters who missed 34 games due to injury last season?

              7. I see you changed your comment after I posted.

                How many other position groups have five starters? I’d say ILB and CB had as many missed games per starter last year.

              8. There are four starting DBs and four starting linebackers. Each group’s starters missed 16 games due to injury last season — 16 is less than half of 34.

              9. The ILBs had Bowman miss all season and Willis miss about half of it. One of the replacements (Borland) also missed a couple of games.

                At OLB, it may not have been through injury but Aldon missed nine games. Brooks missed 3. Skuta missed 2.

                At CB, Brock missed almost the entire year, and Ward (starting nickel) missed half of it. Culliver missed 2 games.

                Injuries happen.

                At OL, only two starters missed significant time through injury last year – Davis and Kilgore. Considering Thomas was a rookie and never expected to play last season, and you consider him not suited to LG, I find it interesting you are including him as a starter last season in your 34 games missed by starters along the OL.

              10. I’m talking about players who are expected to start this season that missed games due to injury last season.

              11. Brock missed almost an entire season and Ward half of it. Our CBs are in dire straights.

                Our starting ILBs missed 16 of 32 games last year. That’s worse than our OL.

              12. The 49ers five DBs missed 24 games last season. I’m pretty sure 24 is less than 34 but I’ll check.

                Three of the 49ers’ four projected starting linebackers didn’t miss any games due to injury last season.

              13. Our expected starting DL if Justin Smith retires played 9 of 48 games last season. Surely that has to warrant some dire need?

              14. Position by position (expected starters):

                – OTs played 23 of 32 games
                – OGs played 15 of 31 games (Boone missed one due to hold out, not injury). This of course assumes Thomas is the starter
                – OC played 7 of 16 games

                – ILBs played 16 of 32 games
                – Perimeter CBs played 17 of 32 games
                – Nickel CB played 8 of 16 games
                – NT played 9 of 16 games
                – DEs played 0 of 32 games

                Lots of positions facing concerns regarding players coming back from injury.

              15. Yes, and OL is facing the most concerns.

                The 49ers will have the cap space to sign another DE once Justin Smith retires.

              16. Can they only use that cap space to sign a DE? Why not an OL, if its such a massive need?

              17. Because they should use their first round pick on an OL. They can sign Red Bryant for a few million.

              18. Scooter- Good chicken or the egg question to ask. Was the passing game weak because of the offensive line or did the offensive line hinder the passing game. Could be a catch 22 type of situation. I think though that individual players had too many whiffs on defenders to rationalize that the offense was responsible for their woe’s. All it takes is for one lineman to miss an assignment to blow up a play. While it wasn’t always the O line, there were just too many individual whiffs to create a consistent flow to the offensive pass game. The O line is the key to the offense just as the D line is for the defense. It is their play that creates consistence which is what the offense lacked.

              19. Willtalk, I think it is fair to say the OL played very poorly last season. No question. I do think the play calling and personnel at the skill positions played a part, but as you say, some of the OL issues were simply poor OL play.

                I have absolutely no qualms with the idea of taking OL in the first round. I think it would be a good move. I do not however think the 49ers are in a position where they have to take an OL in the first round. Who are they replacing? They aren’t about to replace any of the four returning starters, no matter who they draft. Its only the LG position that is up for grabs.

                Iupati was very good in the running game, but lets face it, he was part of the problem in pass pro. He’s gone, and they drafted a guy last year to take that spot in Brandon Thomas. He’s a question mark because he has no NFL experience, but so would any rookie they draft this year. And sure, he also comes with a question mark over whether his knee will hold up. We can’t answer that right now. But I guess that is one of the reasons they signed Pears, who can play pretty much anywhere on the OL. He’s not great, but he got starting history.

                So basically if Thomas’ knee holds up, the OL starting spots are pretty much set. Now the argument is about what happens if there is an injury to one of the starters, but that’s the same argument you can have with any position. And there are plenty of positions on this team with question marks over the health of players.

                In terms of backups, the 49ers have Pears (who they are paying pretty good money, so they clearly expect him to stick), the two Martin’s and Looney. Certainly are area they can improve, but again you can say the same about a lot of positions on the 49ers. Do they need to spend a first round pick on depth along the OL? I don’t think you can say they need to. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, but not an out and out need.

              20. Look at it this way:

                Staley-Thomas/Pears-Kilgore-Boone-Davis is a decent offensive line.
                If Davis gets hurt, Staley-Thomas-Kilgore-Boone-Pears is a bad offensive line.

                Staley-Peat-Kilgore-Boone-Davis is an excellent offensive line.
                If Davis gets hurt, Staley-Thomas-Kilgore-Boone-Peat is a decent offensive line.

              21. “Because they should use their first round pick on an OL.”

                If its the best value, sure.

                “They can sign Red Bryant for a few million.”

                Great – he’s a good run stuffing DL. So is Dorsey. And they have Dial as the backup. That would certainly solve the NT and 5-tech positions on the DL.

                But then they could also do that with a high draft pick and sign an OG to add to the competition. In fact in many ways that would make more sense as they have young guys at the OG spot and signing a veteran fall back option (if they don’t believe Pears fits that bill) would allow them to see if the young guys they already have can step up while knowing they’ve got someone that can step in to that spot if needed. While at DL they have the veteran options already in place.

              22. Just a run-stuffing DL, no, you can get one of those later on. But there is plenty of value in a DL that can stuff the run and generate some pass rush.

                What is interesting is that many teams don’t place much value on interior OL (including the 49ers, which is why they don’t put as much money in them), yet you are saying they have to spend a first round pick on one while a DL doesn’t have that kind of value.

                I think you have it backwards. A DL that is a force against the run, keeps the LBs free, and can push the pocket consistently against the pass is easily worth investing a first rounder in ahead of an interior OL. Good OGs can be had in the 2nd or 3rd round.

              23. No, you have it backwards. Baalke has spent two top 20 picks on offensive linemen, zero on defensive tackles. Baalke is more than willing to spend premium draft capital on OL, guard or tackle. He will not spend super expensive retail prices on a guard. He gets guards wholesale in the draft.

              24. Teams should take advantage of unique core competencies. A unique core competency of Baalke-Tomsula is developing high level interior linemen without spending high draft picks. This allows the 49ers to spend draft capital elsewhere. A nice advantage.

                The last highly drafted interior D-lineman was Kentawn Balmer.

                That said, I don’t have a hard rule. I has hoping Aaron Donald would fall within trade-up distance last year. I wouldn’t say no to Leonard Williams.

                I wouldn’t cry if the 49ers grabbed Danny Shelton, though I’d prefer other players/positions (Peat, Parker, Pass rusher)

                I have big concerns about Armstead. He might wind up a super-star, but his on-off motor and low sack count is a concern. He can also be had later. High ceiling, low (Kentwan Balmer) floor.

              25. I’m with you on Donald, but Shelton is no Donald. Two-thirds of Shelton’s sacks last season came against Georgia State and Illiniois.

              26. To make a long story short, I’d take a run stuffing interior defensive linemen if they also had the ability to disrupt backfields and rush the passer inside. (JJ Watt, Aaron Donald)

                If all they do is hold point, I’d draft one day two or three.

              27. With the DL they’ve had, has Baalke ever needed to draft a DL high?

                As I said, “a DL that is a force against the run, keeps the LBs free, and can push the pocket consistently against the pass is easily worth investing a first rounder in ahead of an interior OL.” Baalke has always had that guy in Justin Smith.

                They drafted Tank to eventually replace him (not a first rounder, but a very high second rounder), but so far he hasn’t shown he is going to play up to that level. More a rotational guy with some pass rush skills. Dockett is a nice stop gap. They are now in a position of it being in their best interest to look for another dominant DL.

              28. Grant, time and time again you refer to Kilgore as THE center. as in, the long term starter. I dont get it? MM was a 3rd round pick and one of the best if not THE best C to come out of the draft last year. Other than Hyde, the best draft prospect of the niners 2014 draft IMO.

                I know he struggled snapping the ball and cost us the Rams game…..but hes like 6’5 330+ and 21 yrs old!!!!!!
                What is there not to like about this kid??
                What has Kilgore EVER done to make you think hes the guy long term?

              29. “Which DT is worth a top-15 pick this year?”

                Leonard Williams and Danny Shelton for a team looking for a NT. I (and pretty much everyone else) think both of them will be gone by #15. For a 4-3 team looking for a 3-tech then Malcolm Brown might be worth a pick around then, though he’s not really my cup of tea.

                Other than that, I don’t think any of the DL are worth a top 15 pick.

              30. Hmmm, I disagree, but its besides the point. I’m not arguing about whether a particular OL is better than a particular DL, or vice versa. That is a BPA argument. If both guys are available and the 49ers believe Peat is a better player than Shelton, then by all means they should take Peat. I’ve been saying they should take BPA all along.

                You however are arguing they should take an OL, pretty much come hell or high-water. Its the position they need most according to you, the position of highest value, and the position that will make the most impact on this team.

                I think an OL would be a good pick, but I also think there are players at other positions that would also be good picks. And I think a good interior OL can be found in round 2 or 3 (Sambrailo, Cann, Fisher, Marpet, etc).

              31. Shelton is a two-down player in the pros.

                I agree the Niners need a lot of positions, but Peat would have a greater impact now and in the future than the other players the 49ers could take at No.15.

                I agree a good interior OL can be found in Rounds 2 or 3. What you can’t find in those rounds is a good interior OL who can develop into a Pro Bowl left or right tackle. You’ve got to get that guy at No.15.

              32. What we have here is a genuine Draft Crush. We’ll see where Shelton and Peat get drafted; I make no predictions. I will note a current snapshot of scribe opinions has Peat going anywhere from 8-20 (to upper 2nd, but that’s outlier). I haven’t seen Shelton predicted to drop quite that far. Shelton is more specialized, but could be a great fit for some teams.

              33. “What you can’t find in those rounds is a good interior OL who can develop into a Pro Bowl left or right tackle. You’ve got to get that guy at No.15.”

                Even if it means passing on a pro bowl pass rusher? Or CB? Etc.

                The 49ers already have two good OTs locked up long term. Any guy they draft this year will be an UFA by the time the contracts for both Staley and Davis end. So you are talking about drafting a guy to play LG, not OT. As you just agreed, you can get a good one later in the draft.

                They can wait to draft their next pro bowl OT in a couple of years.

              34. Staley is on the wrong side of 30 as you like to say, and he is declining. Davis’ body may be breaking down like Iupati’s started to break down when he turned 25. If either Staley or Davis gets hurt, the 49ers’ season goes up in smoke. Their backups are awful.

              35. Still sore about the wrong side of 30 thing are we? Its not what I like to say, its just the plain and simple truth.

                OL can typically play on longer than ILBs. You say Staley is in decline, but he was still the 49ers best OL last season. I don’t think it is unreasonable to believe he’s still got a few years left in him. And Davis dealt with some injuries last season but he’s been pretty healthy before then. Rumours of his demise at just 25 years old are greatly exaggerated.

                A capable backup OT can also be found without needing to use a first round pick on the position. And they clearly feel Pears is capable of handling the backup job given the money they are paying him.

                And of course all of this neglects to mention the numerous other positions in which the 49ers season would “go up in smoke” (or if we aren’t being dramatic, would greatly impact the 49ers chances) if a key player gets hurt. Including other positions in which players have injury histories.

              36. It’s a cliche.

                Staley still is a good run blocker but he’s quickly becoming a liability in pass protection. Davis has been a liability in pass protection his whole career and he’s getting worse. Colin Kaepernick easily could get sacked more than 50 times again next season.

              37. They might need to move Davis to guard soon if he can stay healthy. He’s a question mark. Staley might need to move to right tackle soon if he continues to get worse in pass protection. The 49ers must prepare for these scenarios.

              38. I doubt the 49ers are thinking of doing that any time soon. But if Davis does indeed suffer through another injury plagued season or either Staley or Davis are terrible this season, they will likely strongly consider drafting or signing an OT next year.

              39. Again, you can say that about so many positions its not funny. You never know exactly when players will fall off a cliff.

                At the moment Staley is 30 and Davis 25 – young enough and both guys have been very good players. Last year was a down year, but I think there is every reason to consider that an aberration, and not start panicking about finding their replacements.

              40. DL (Dockett, Dorsey, Williams), ILB (Bowman), WR (Boldin is old and slowing down – if he is no good the 49ers WRs are in trouble), RB (Hyde is still something of an unknown, Bush is old and breaking down and Hunter is injury prone), CB (Brock keeps getting hurt, Ward has his foot problem, Wright is no guarantee to fit, and Acker and Reaser are coming off IR), TE (Davis).

                Lots of positions with question marks or areas for concern that could bring the 49ers unstuck this year. They can’t address them all with one first round pick.

              41. Tank and Dial are quality backups. There is no ILB worthy of a 1st-round pick. Boldin has shown no signs of declining or breaking down. His production has been amazingly consistent. The 49ers definitely shouldn’t spend a 1st-round pick on a RB. The 49ers’ pass defense ranked 5th last season and Brock and Wright are upgrades over Culliver and Cox. Dontae Johnson is a quality backup.

              42. Obviously, grant has a thing for standford guys coby fleener, zach ertz, peat, you wanted the 49ers to draft them all threw the years.

              43. The 49ers are paying Pears like they think he can be a quality backup, too.

                Its also worth noting that while Brandon Thomas is considered best suited to OG, he can also play OT, as of course can Boone. The 49ers have options if Staley or Davis go down.

              44. Pears has been a bad player for years. He is not a quality backup. Boone hasn’t played tackle in years. If he could still play tackle, he would have played it last year when Davis got hurt. Thomas will be a liability at tackle in the pros.

              45. Pears played 16 games at right tackle in 2013. Pro Football Focus gave him a -8.4 grade. He is a horrendous run-blocker.

              46. Pass Pro bro. That’s what he brings to the table at the OT position. Now do I think his run blocking can improve playing along side Staley, M&M, Boone, and Davis? You bet I do and apparently Baalke does as well….

              47. Pro Football Focus gave Pears a -15.1 pass blocking grade last season. He is only 6 months younger than Adam Snyder.

              48. If Peat is the BPA at #15 then the Niners have to consider it, but I don’t think he will be if the board falls as I think it will. There will be better players at OLB, WR and possibly CB the Niners can take instead, and which I believe in the case of WR and CB, are bigger need areas.

                Honestly I’d be fine with Peat if he was selected, but I don’t agree that it’s the biggest need area and the key to our coming season. I think Thomas is a lot better than some think, and Martin is also a possibility at LG if he doesn’t win the C battle. If Thomas doesn’t start at LG he could be the swing OT and do a pretty good job imo. Pears is kind of a puzzling signing to me in that he really isn’t very good, but he’s veteran depth I guess, and they must feel he can hold up in their system better than he did in Buffalo.

        2. I agree with Grant Dallas took off when they started to invest in the Offensive line. Romo was getting hit continually until last year. Dez has been there for 4 years now and has always been productive. It’s not a fluke that Murray and Romo both stayed healthy and had career years.. With that said, Balke does not let Iupati leave unless he has a soild replacement. That’s how Balke has always done a great job in the past. Losing Whitner and replacing him with Bethea is just one example. Brandon Thomas is the answer and Balke knows it.

          1. That’s not what I meant CK. Yes, the offense took off once they had an effective running game. But having an effective passing game was also a key factor to why the running game was so good last season.

            1. True Scooter. You can’t deny though how much ridiculous time Romo had to throw as well. I mean that line is by far the best in the game.

              1. Funny how Romo stayed a lot cleaner, and had more time, once team’s started respecting the Cowboys running game.

          2. CK- I don’t think TB had much of a choice in respect to Ilupati. Retaining him was not a luxury the team could afford him salary cap wise. That money would have a far greater return focused on another position. They just have too many other needs right now. The situation is far different that when TB first became GM.
            Who know if the Niners could even return back to a power run offense because of the lack of Gore. Thats Lupati’s strength and with out Gore I suspect they have to have a more balanced offense which would magnify Lupati’s weakness’s.

  17. Denzel perryman. He is the only ILB in the draft that would be willing to go heads up with Lynch. If we draft perryman he would help us a lot against the run. We need to get back to stopping the run and forcing teams to beat us with the pass. As a 49er fan I would rather shutdown beastbode (which means under 100 yards and no td’s) and force russell wilson to beat us than shutdown russell wilson and make marshawn lynch beat us. I know my analogy isn’t the greatest, but I think you can see my point.

    1. James,
      I really like Denzel Perryman a lot, but I’m not sure he’s a top 15 pick and he likely won’t be there at our 2nd pick.
      Big quandary for me on Denzel.

    2. I will add to that: Niners trade down in the 1st, pick up an extra 2nd Rd pick and take Denzel Perryman and Byron Jones in the 2nd Rd. Both were team captains and
      leaders in the locker room, as well as tremendous athletes. Similar infusion to the club like the Hot Licks (Lott, Wright & Williamson) in the early 80’s.

  18. Never draft a gaurd or a rb wit a 1st round pick those positions arent important enough compared to other positions. Just look at the 49ers depth chat wr and cb or the most important needs. Is a rookie gonna come in a start over thomas or looney grant idk about that.

  19. I think there are three facets of the 49ers game that could be improved with the first pick.

    1st Red Zone. Most likely available solution. DGB would immediately give Kap the corner fade. Something Crabs could never do….

    2nd Shut Down Corner. Most likely available solution. Peters would provide an immediate upgrade over Cox and Culliver. He can track the ball in the air, something Culliver struggled with and he contests the catch point better than any other corner in this draft. He looks to rob the receiver and take it to the house….

    3rd Compliment RB. The 49ers have thunder but no lightning. Duke Johnson could be incorporated like the Patriots did with Vereen, adding an offensive dimension they haven’t had….

    Quick throws can help out the offensive line, and I think M&M will win the Center job over Kilgore giving them more physicality in the middle. Iupatis’ departure is addition by subtraction with respect to pass pro. Brandon Thomas was a tackle too and is expected to win the LG spot. Pears is slated as the backup tackle, his natural position….

    1. Like your three amigos Razor.
      I’m especially a big fan of Duke. He is F.Gore 2.0 but much faster.

      The Miami three are top 75 picks – D. Johnson, Dorsett, and Perryman.

      1. Prime- This is what franchises like the Browns do every year- draft a QB who then fails every year because he doesn’t have a team around him so they scape goat him and draft another the next year. Last year because of all the variables involved was not a year to evaluate the QB’s play. Common sense not fueled by bias would dictate fixing other more immediate problems before we think about starting the draft a question mark QB cycle.

  20. The O-line can be All-Pro good and it still doesn’t matter. The offense will go where Kaepernick takes it. It remains to be seen where the deficiencies are until the players get on the field. Yes we lost a lot of starters, but Baalke has drafted to soften this inevitable blow. Tank Carradine, Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas, Dontae Johnson, Jimmy Ward, Bruce Ellington, Aaron Lynch, Carlos Hyde are players to be excited about moving forward. BPA should always be the plan, but I think we can scratch of OLB, S, OT, RB, QB in the 1st round. So you’re left with: WR, OG/C, DL, ILB, CB. I’m cool with the BPA from these positions and I think that’s our best bet.

    1. Well you can scratch center from the first rnd as well.. That’s what Marcus Martin was drafted for. Plus you got Kilgore coming back. They will not go inside LB until rnds 2-4 cause that’s where the run on them will go.

  21. Peat is the best LT prospect in pass protection (or at least he is right up there). But is he the best LG in pass protection? There are others that are more natural fits for LG, including Brandon Thomas already on the roster.

    I don’t believe any one draft pick is going to take this team over the top at this point in time. In order to make the playoffs they need a bunch of younger guys already on the roster to step up more than they need a draft pick this year to immediately step in. The 49ers have players in place to start at every position. The question now comes down to which positions need upgrading, which could do with extra competition, and which ones need more depth? There are players the 49ers could take in the first and second round, and maybe even at later rounds, that could likely step in, compete and contribute this year at a number of positions.

    In terms of what positions would be most beneficial to find at this point, I think a good cover CB, a play-making ILB that ideally can play the run and pass, and a stout LG would add the most value. Doesn’t matter where they get those guys from, whether it be draft, FA or guys already on the roster.

    After that, a good pass rusher (either interior or outside), a run stuffing 5-tech than can also put push the pocket on passing downs, another decent RB in the mix and a capable #3 WR would be of value this year. Again, doesn’t matter where they find them, and they may already be on the roster.

      1. I think Brown should play 3-tech in a 4-3. He could also play 3-tech for the 49ers (J. Smith’s position). I don’t think he is a 5-tech – not tall, long or physical enough.

  22. Look for players with torn ACL and you will get your answer. As far as first round goes , Baalke has a hobbit of jumping his guns too early or too late or not at all. Majority of his drafts are busts which depleting 49ers out of talent.

    1. Lmao good one zack.. I guess maybe you don’t pay much attention to the draft to say something so idiotic as Balke busting in every draft… The things that people say hilarious. No talent even funnier.

  23. The 49ers should look for good mobile pocket passer. Kaeperror has some serious limitations as a QB and I don’t believe he can take us to Superbowl ever again and win it. Tim Tebow and him complement each other very well

  24. I find myself in agreement with Grant: OL is most pressing for a team that is close to a playoff spot; it could be the key to our offense finally functioning as a modern one. By that reasoning, taking a top pass protector would be a great move.

    But that presumes that we’re close to the playoffs. I’d love to believe we are, but the losses to both staff and roster are tremendous. I love the Smith pickup and what the Bush pickup could mean – a total offensive rethink – but it’s hard to imagine we’re likely to leapfrog the top two teams in our division this year.

    If we’re not playoff-bound, I might still want that top pass protector, but it could become a BPA situation with a handful of positions in mind. A stud corner, for instance, might be great for the long run, but would be unlikely to make the difference this year if Kaep is running for his life on every pass play.

    1. An offensive lineman can make 11 players better by anchoring the line and giving kap extra time to find a WR or Rb. He affects his teammates next to him and helps in the running game. Ball control, clock control, explosive scoring plays etc….way more valuable unless you find a true shut down corner.

  25. I don’t know why were trying to emulate the Cowboys who have won only one playoff game in forever when the perennial contender who won the Super Bowl fielded a sub-par OL and traded away their best guard before the season.

  26. Assuming relatively stable injury situation, here are the starter comparisons for 2015 opening game. Example (A) has Peat, Example (B) has Cooper.

    (A)
    LT – Staley
    LG – Peat
    C – Kilgore
    RG – Boone
    RT – Davis

    (B)
    LT – Staley
    LG – Best of Martin, Thomas, Looney
    C – Kilgore
    RG – Boone
    RT – Davis
    With Amari Cooper

    To me roster (B) is hands down the more potent offense.

    (A) At best the LG spot will be marginally better with Peat over Martin-Thomas-Looney.
    (B) The improvement in the receiver corps should be dramatically better with Cooper.

    1. Why would you assume a relatively stable injury situation? That’s not realistic considering the injury history of these players. Peat’s ability to fill in for Davis at right tackle is one of Peat’s most attractive qualities. The 49ers’ offense is way too dependent on Davis.

      1. Davis played all 18 games in 2011, all 19 games in 2012, all 19 games in 2013, and now because of one year he’s injury prone?

      2. Anthony Davis had a very stable injury history until last season. Do you expect Davis’ 2014 season to be the new norm?

        He’s still a very young player. Luke Marcus Martin, AD played his first game at the tender age of 20. I expect AD’s best years are ahead of him.

        1. [like] Marcus Martin.

          I do like Peat. I’d be pretty happy if he as there at 15. There is (quietly) much more interest in him then the press clippings indicate. His feet are so quick for a guy his size.

          (one) reason Gore went to the Colts is because he wants to know what its like facing 7-in-the-box defenses before he retires. Torrey Smith will help, but his presence as a long pass specialist telegraphs the play. (The same way LMJ telegraphed outside run).

          Cooper is ideal for getting defenses out of the box. He can help the run game big time.

          1. But to play the devils advocate and contradict myself (hey, its a sunny Saturday afternoon) …Colin is no Andrew Luck. He might not be able to punish (therefore eliminate) 8-in-the-box defenses no matter who we have at receiver.

        2. He has a surgically repaired shoulder, he has had a concussion, and he has injured his knee and hamstring the past 9 months. I don’t know what to expect from him.

          If he gets injured yet again, would you really be surprised?

          1. With that line of thinking then ILB and CB have to be considered top priorities as well. How can you trust Bowman to play this year? Or Brock? Or Ward? They might need a FS too – Reid has had a few concussions, can we be surprised if he gets another one that knocks him out for good? Dockett and his ACL – how will he hold up? Dorsey? Williams?

            Your reasoning for taking OL can be used at so many positions to make it a thin at best argument.

          2. No. After last season I expect a certain amount of playing time lost at LT-RT even with a little injury luck. Your point on needing depth is correct.

            And Staley’s early season stale period seems to be getting longer each year. Your points about Peat are right on.

            But this will be the first full offseason of rest since summer 2011. (The 49er posts season’s have been brutal) and turnstile Jonathan Martin’s gone.

            Is [Peat] > [Thomas, Martin, Looney, Pears]+[Cooper] in a win now scenario?

          3. 12 months ago Boone was our swing tackle. What happened to that? Extend Boone, draft a dedicated guard in the 3rd, grab Cooper in the first.

            But Baalke’s policy driven. He will never pay someone play guard tackle money. And his probably still mad about the holdout.

        3. One thing is clear… if the 49ers draft a top receiver and the passing game still stinks, the Turlock Tornado experiment is over. Maybe before the 2015 season even finishes.

  27. The 49ers had six different combinations of players last year. When AD returned, the line was blowing holes open like we expected them too.

    Marcus Martin was a baby, playing most of the season at only 20. He had no training camp due to the knee cap thing. He will be a stud at G or C. Kilgore acquitted himself well.

    I’m not saying Peat won’t have great long term value, but for the net few years Staley isn’t giving up his job. So what we are looking at is a very expensive LG-swing OT.

    Win Now
    1) Cooper
    2) Scherff
    3) Peat

    Long Term
    1) Peat or Cooper
    2) Peat or Cooper
    3) Scherff

    1. Brodie- So you are saying that once the O line got healthy and the new guys got in sync a lot of the offensive woe’s disappeared? So did they also change the QB. That’s one of the things you imply in your other posts- It’s mostly Kaeps fault. Your monoker Brodietowashington reflects your age and offensive mindset and bias against Kaepernick. I assume you probably had an objection to Young as well when Walsh first started him in the transition from Montana. If you were older you would probably want to run the single wing.

      1. “Brodie- So you are saying that once the O line got healthy and the new guys got in sync a lot of the offensive woe’s disappeared?”

        When AD returned for the last two games. the running game returned to form. The offense in general became more varied.

        Other chronic issues (lack of 4th qtr scoring, poor red zone passing) remained.

        Not saying its all CKs fault. There were lots of things wrong with the O last year…. but CK has to fix some things. Pre-snap reads, short area passing, vision, pocket mechanics.

        I’ve been I’ve been mostly praising CK going back to his days at Nevada. Thrilled when he was drafted. Being an old timer, I’m not about being in camps like “Smithers” or “Haters.” If a player has good qualities, I will talk about them. If the same player has short comings, I will talk about those too.

        I mentioned CK primarily because as the QB, he’s naturally the main variable on how the season will go (with the possible exception of injury rates).

    2. +1.
      Cooper hands down is a stud. He runs routes like a bigger version of Isaac Bruce or Torry Holt. We’d have to run 3WR sets just to get our best players on the field… which is why he’ll be picked ahead of #15. Parker, I just haven’t seen the film, but he’s supposedly a menace in the air (deep balls!) and could allow Boldin to work out of the slot more. DGB is potentially amazing, and at worst a red-zone nightmare, but is he ready to run routes like a pro yet? Same for Funchess, who by the way shaved .20 off his 40 time and would be an interesting round 2 get.

      My point… we need good WRs more than we need an OG with the ability to transition to T to phase out Staley. But the value with Peat is there – he’s a more nimble Iupati in terms of thickness and mobility that seems impossible to combine. OL is a long-term need, WR is a near-term and long-term need, and 3-tech and ILB are needs that can be addressed with later picks. Don’t sleep on RB, but we can get a real player in round 2 or 3, or a value backup in 4-6. The cupboard is stocked with young CBs, I doubt we’ll pick one early.

  28. No surprise that I think the way the Niners make it to the playoffs is if Colin takes that next step and learns how to make reads and live up to that contract that he signed. What difference does it make if the OL can pass protect for 5 secs if he still doesn’t know what to do with the ball after the first read?

    The Niners can make the playoffs if they get a playmaker WR, and Colin learns how to get him the ball, and somehow Mangini turns out to actually know how to coach a defense. I actually think Tomsula will be flexible, get the guys to play, have fun, but adapt the offense. He seems less stubborn the Harbaugh.
    We also need to shore up the Special Teams with a difference making KR/PR.

    1. Fan,
      What-up my friend! Haven’t seen you around for a few days, I was beginning to think that you were softening your stand on CK.
      But lo and behold, Mr. Consistent is back (lol).

      Hey, if you give me 5 seconds to throw, I might complete a few passes myself bud.

      And less we forget, nobody here was complaining when Harbaugh was taking us deep into the playoffs for three straight years.
      Let’s give Tomsula at least 6-8 games before there are any comparisons (positive or negative) to Harbaugh.
      If anything, I feel for Tomsula because little Jed has put him in a must win situation every time he opens his mouth.

      1. AES,
        Harbaugh didn’t get the job done. He’s Shottenheimer if you really think about it. He unfortunately made a couple of bad decisions. Don’t need to go into which ones — we all know what they are!

  29. Every year in the last run-up to the draft I begin to get an Option Overload Syndrome where I get brain freeze about who they’ll choose. It’s coming on a bit early this year. Ask me to bet tonight: Too hard to trade out, they go BPA (almost) w/o preference of position.
    8-Ball sez: Currently cloudy; check back later

  30. I think with our coaching changes we just don’t know what the Niners are all about. I’m still super sad about losing our defensive coaches. I hope they prove me wrong but I think cleaning house defensively will come back to bite us in the butt for many years to come.

    The windows for all our great players has closed and we are truly in rebuilding mode. Those damn plays to Crabtree to lose Super Bowl and Kyle Williams error and all the many ‘almost’ moments during harboughs time shut the window of opportunity. I wish guys like Willis, Davis, gore, j smith could’ve had one Lombardi for dealing with all the horrible years.

    Marquee top notch players are lacking all the way around now. And many players have developed injury histories. I’ve been stuck in Debbie downer mode all season. I’m hoping the draft will get me out of this funk.

  31. We did Chris Borland become the face of concussion issues? Tell this guy to go back to Wisconsin or Ohio. There are a lot of living Hall of Famers who can speak more about their reali life problems than a guy with only 2 concussions since the 8th grade.

    1. KY-
      Borland is responding to requests for interviews on the subject. If you saw his whole interview with ESPN you’ll recall that he did a lot of research in professional journals about the injuries and he made sure to sit with a number of injured former players including one whose name escapes me at the moment who played in the NFL, had concussions, went on to become an M.D. and is working these days as a specialist in the field. He did diligence to make an informed decision and at this point may know more than most of the suits in the NFL. He is definitely not coming at this from two anecdotal incidents.
      It seems to me if there is a question about who should take the lead and be a poster boy for the issue it should be a representative of the NFLPA backed by sound medical advice. But no, the PA leaves it to the NFL and then wants to raise Hell and sue when players are injured. Dumb, irresponsible and ineffectual.

  32. My San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft 5.0

    Round 1 (15) Marcus Peters CB, Washington

    Round 2 (14) Devin Smith WR, The Ohio State

    Round 3 (15) Marcus Hardison DT, Arizona St

    Round 4 (27) Davis Tull, OLB, Chattanooga

    Round 5 (15) Ramik Wilson, ILB, Georgia

    Round 6 (14) Jeremiah Poutasi OL Utah

    Round 7 (27) Karlos Williams, RB, Florida State

      1. Sure but why would he when they’ve got Dahl? Just kidding, Ward is probably a future S and Johnson has played Safety too I think. Fangio liked them to be interchangeable. I guess it depends if Mangini runs the Belichick Hybrid. If he does, he’s going to want a shutdown corner like Waynes or Peters so he can keep the SS in the box against the run and utilize him robber techniques in the intermediate zones. FS needs to be able to break quickly on the hashes and covering the top of the defense….

    1. Any chance the 49ers donate it to brain trama research, some similar charity, or any charity at all? That would be “classy”, and be good, not to mention, relatively cheap, good PR, for a team that could really use it, right about now.

      1. Not to appear harsh, but Borland retired not because of a brain injury but because of fear he would get one. They spent a third round pick on him and all they have from it is that money. From a football perspective, they would be smarter to use it in a way to strengthen the team. The only way to help their image IMO is to have The Jhole lock his jaw shut. I think their image will come back in time and that spending this money on PR would be a total waste.

        1. Donating money to worthwhile causes is a total waste? I do not agree. BTW, I was not saying that donating Borland’s signing bonus would turn things around for the 49ers, I was merely suggesting it as a step in the right direction.

    2. In all the commotion when Chris announced, there was one small comment that weighed heavily with me: His Dad said something to the effect of …it’s nice to know you did something right as a parent….regarding Chris’ decision. Proud Papa getting positive feedback and knowing his future grandchildren will be getting good guidance.
      Some fans called him a coward. Most players called him brave, even though they themselves intend to play as long as they can.

  33. Having read up on the Bowman injury, I’m confident he will be good to go and better than before. Waiting only 2 weeks before the ACL surgery tells us it was a Grade I MCL Stretch and not a partial or complete tear, and definitely not any medial column damage. Thank God, that’s what I was worried about. He’s had plenty of time to heal completely and I’m sure the muscles around the knee are stronger than before. It will be interesting to see if he wears a knee brace on the field….

        1. Our youngest son had four consecutive ACL surgeries on the same knee. His surgeon wasn’t Dr. Andrews, but he is prominent in bay area professional sports medicine.

          Our son’s first ACL was non contact (soccer) and no visible twist. I happened to be watching and his knee seemed to go sideways on it’s own. The second was a year later while coaching girls soccer, and a pot hole twist was involved. The third was running strait on a grass field playing Frisbee sometime during the next two years. He then managed three years or so before he caught a fin in some rocks as he entered the water scuba diving.

          Bad luck? Yes. Does Bowman need good luck? I think anyone does at his competitive level. I would count on no more than each play that Bowman makes from now on. That uncertainty might make him play better, but he was awfully good before his injury.

          1. You’re right, he’s more susceptible to the same injury, but if Frank can do it, I’ve no more doubts in Bowmans’ success….

            1. Our son had played soccer for ten years and never missed a game. He never played soccer again, and he certainly became susceptible after the first operation. Frank has done fine once he had both knees repaired.

              More is known about ACL repair than twenty five years ago, but Bowman is still an unknown. That’s my only point. I hope he can leap over tall buildings in a single bound.

              1. P.S. I hope Bowman was just messing around on the court with a basketball and not driving the lane.

              2. I know what you’re saying, but some start-stop-change of direction exercise is good PT in prep for unpadded work. The quick, improvisational reactions build the player’s trust in his body’s ability to respond to his needs. In my unprofessional opinion.

              3. It’s the other bodies around that spook me. All it took to roll my foot out of it’s socket was a slight unlucky nudge at exactly the wrong moment.

  34. Prediction: The 49er draft picks will not take them to the playoffs. This coming team will not even be a .500 team. More like .250

  35. Razor, questions about your picks above:

    Peters: Do you think he could also play Reid’s position?

    Williams: I can see why you would wait until the seventh for him. Might be an exceptional pick there. Wonder what you think of Tevin Coleman as a runner? I could see them taking an RB high, since that player is likely to see action his first year.

    1. George I think I answered that above to the best of my knowledge. As far as Coleman, I’ve got him rated as my 3rd best RB behind Gurley and Gordon….

    1. Marc Sessler @MarcSesslerNFL
      Michael Bush when he learned he ran a 4.91 40 at the Veteran Combine: ‘You gotta be ****ing me. 4.91? There you go, there goes my career.’

  36. After reading Grant and Scooter’s discussion about which position was more injury depleted, I’m impressed that the 9ers managed to get to 8-8 last season.

    1. Might sound counter intuitive, but last year’s 8-8 season is what makes me so optimistic.

      The 1982 49ers lost 8 starters due to injury. They went 3-6.

      The 2014 49ers lost 8 starters due to injury… on defense alone. They went 8-8.

      Offense wasn’t pretty either. Six different offensive line configurations. Third string centers playing. 5th string TEs. Totally ran out of running backs after having five in camp.

      Yet they went 8-8. Which is why I’m optimistic about 2015.

      1. I knew there was a reason for
        my optimism ..

        (in spite of the hatchet-job by the Jedster)

        Thanx for putting it so eloquently, Brodie

      2. The only problem is we had a couple of actual real coaches with some success that lead team to an 8-8 record. Now we have the flinestones and tom rathman left.

        I believe the team needed 3 things to go from really good to great:

        -Jed not undermining the coach
        -someone in offseason to be hired to assist in clock management and challenges for harbough
        -replace roman or have roman devise run game and hire someone new to take care of pass game. Someone not being Morton or chryst

        1. The HC-OCs are a question mark. When you get rid of the best (Fangio) the only thing that remains is less then the best, even if they turn out to be pretty good.

          The position coaches are pretty good. Loaded with experience.

          1. I agree that position coaches are good. But head coach, DC and OC leave a lot to be desired. With parity in NFL. The difference between Super Bowl, NFC champion, second place etc is very slim. We were already a little below the curve as far as elite and the tweeks that could’ve been made were not in lieu of bringing in a bunch of “second choices” hoping that abundance of experience will trump the elite nature of some of former coaches or the ones we hoped to get.

  37. Anyone think Adam Carriker is worth giving a modest contract to? Sounds like he’s fully fit again, and he was becoming a solid starter in Washington before he got injured. Good size and strength for a 3-4 DE…

    1. Carriker was a beast coming out of Nebraska. Kid ran a 4.7 40, at 6′ 6″ and about 315 lbs was also a madman in the weight room. But that talent never really translated to the pros. Three knee surgeries have not helped his cause.

      If his knee is sound and he stays healthy he could be a nice back-up player somewhere. At 6′ 6″ he could be a player that could bring pressure up the middle on passing plays.
      I would like to see Carriker signed on but that would likely end L.Okoye’ football dream.

    1. “The thing that blew me away the most was how coachable the guy is. He listens to you. He has done stuff a certain way for so long. The first time I told him to do something, he did it and never went back to the old way he was doing it. To me, that’s pretty incredible. It’s hard to stop doing something you’ve been doing your whole life.”

      “He was pushing everybody to get better,” Gile said. “He’s a really good leader.” But what separates Kaepernick, according to Gile, is his attitude and intelligence. “He’s a very grateful, coachable, humble, respectful guy,” Gile said. “He’s such a great kid. He’s a great human being. If anyone thinks that Colin can’t get through his reads, or (say), ‘Why isn’t he going from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4?’ There’s a lot more that goes into that. That’s for him and his team to figure out. But Colin is super-smart, super-intelligent. He gets it. He sees it. He understands it. He has a photographic memory that’s ridiculous. Colin was really special before he get here, obviously, physically and mentally. . . . His ceiling is super-high.”

      1. George,
        It’s the top narrative that Gile speaks on regarding CK’ willingness to do something different especially trying to “stop doing something he’s been doing all his life” that concerns me.

        Wasn’t the fact that Harbaugh tried to make Kaep into a pocket QB last season the reason why many here felt that Harbaugh was not using CK correctly and moving away from his strengths (running and throwing on the run).

        I love CK (having followed him since his high school playing days in Turlock), but this season is a make or break year for him. Kaep has to show that he can make up for the loss of many key players and be able to carry this team on his back when the situation calls for it.

    2. “…Sorry but who’s been his QB coach the last three years? Or who was his former head coach, that “QB whisperer…”

      George ..
      I like to look at it this way …

      I’m optimistic about the team’s
      prospects this upcoming season …
      (in spite of Jed’s counter-productive efforts) … so-o-o ..

      I think it’s possible for CK7 to improve his skill set
      and actually become the QB we need ..

      in spite of .. the rag-tag coordinators
      we have now …

      All arrows up, I’d say !

    3. What alot of pundits miss… the 49ers don’t need Kaepernick to be a perfectly polished 70% completion passer to win. The math of Colin’s success is a little different.

      The 2012 offense was all about Yards Per Attempt and a good TD/INT ratio. Do that, and the 49er offense is scary again. A higher completion percentage is a bonus, but YAT is what made Colin such a threat.

      [high YAT]+[good TD/INT]+[scramble yards] = 11-5

  38. Just spent some time reading up on Eric Rowe, CB from Utah. I’d not previously spent any time looking at him, and I still haven’t had a chance to watch any of his film other than cut ups in the scouting reports I’ve read.

    But after reading up on him, how is this guy not getting more attention? Some of the scouting reports outline he should be a first or second rounder, yet most draft sites rank him as a 3rd or 4th rounder. He sounds like a perfect fit for what the 49ers want in a CB, with great size and athletic ability (top 5 in every athletic drill at the combine), physical, decent fluidity, and decent in run support (a former FS).

    Does anyone have any opinions they’d like to share on him?

    1. I have him rated higher than Jalen Collins, but his tape doesn’t really match his numbers. Not that fluid on tape and he tended to flip his hips too early. Also shows much better instinct in zone than man and I think his best scheme fit is the Seahawks cover 3 press. . He’s my #7 corner but I could see a team taking him to be a safety. I think he’d easily be the #2 safety in this weak class.

      1. Thanks tkamb.

        How do you think he fits with the 49ers scheme (assuming they keep pretty much the same scheme as with Fangio)?

        1. I think he’d be a decent fit. At this point, I don’t think he can do everything the 49ers want their corners to do but he’d be a good, versatile player to play outside in press at corner, some zone, and at safety. He could also match up well with tight ends.

          1. Given he’s still relatively new to the CB spot, I don’t mind that he’s still got some areas he needs work. Sounds like there is a lot of things to like about him.

    2. I like Rowe quite a bit Scooter. Saw him play a number of games the past two years and he falls into that perfect NFL body but needs help with technique category. I actually think he might be better at Safety simply because of his ability in the run game. Really tough kid who tackles well and is not afraid to be physical. I think he might be a little too tight in the hips and not sudden enough in his movements to hold up as a CB long term. Good prospect though.

      1. I watched his Michigan game last night and from what I have read he sounds like a guy that could be well suited in a primarily zone coverage scheme once he becomes fully comfortable playing on the perimeter. A few things to iron out, but a lot of elements to his game to like.

        I think he’d be a pretty good fit for the 49ers.

  39. You’ve probably seen this on nfl.com:

    SOURCES TELL US “He’s a long-strider with limited deep speed, so I see him as a Tampa-2 guy or maybe fitting with a defense similar to Seattle’s where he has a good free safety helping over the top.” — AFC directer of college scouting
    BOTTOM LINE Rowe won’t be for everyone. Scouts have concerns about his deep speed and he’s not a guy who can match and mirror in coverage. However, Rowe will be a nice fit for defenses looking for a long defender with disruptive downfield traits.

    1. Actually it’s more than that.

      Rotoworld:
      The 49ers have scheduled a visit with free agent LB Erin Henderson.
      Henderson, who was out of the league last season following a drunk driving arrest, held a private workout on Sunday. Apparently the Niners liked what they saw as Henderson will visit the team on Wednesday. Henderson auditioned for Kansas City earlier this offseason but the Chiefs didn’t bite. The 49ers are desperate for linebacker help after losing Chris Borland and Patrick Willis to unexpected retirements. Mar 23 – 11:05 AM

    2. Could be a good signing if he can stay sober. A look at his stats show that he’s improved each year in the league, his PFF grades suggest he’s strong against the run with an OK pass rush just don’t ask him to drop into coverage. He’s the right size for what the team likes, as long as his time off didn’t slow him down I think he could be a good addition.

  40. Grant, sometimes you are smart. Other times, it is difficult figuring out where you’ve been and where you’re going. This last season was a very strange anomaly with two adversities for the OL’s performance. Most of the OL were injured, all except for the mighty Joe Staley and of course the holdout Alex Boone. Iupati actually played with a broken foot all year, which made pass protection all the more difficult. We now have young studs primed to take control. Injuries were their main problem. The 2nd adversity is none other than Colin Kaepernick. What blockers out there would excel in blocking for Colin, a QB who repeatedly runs away from the blockers as though they too were trying to sack him. Time and time again, the line and Frank Gore set beautiful blocks, but Colin managed to run right into the defenders nonetheless. In any case, we already have plenty of new blood on the OL. We are set there with new free agents and a healthy Brandon Thomas ready to pitch in. In the draft, better we set our sights on linebacker, cornerback, DL, and WR.

  41. I agree with Grant. The offensive line was a real problem last year. Who knows if Iupati was the main problem, but he sure didn’t grade well, and they didn’t open many holes for Gore, or hold out the pass rush. Partly that was due to the opponents routinely stacking the line, which they will probably continue to do unless we have wide receivers who are better one on one and Kap can consistently connect with them. But it sure looked like Kap had very little time before the pocket collapsed, so it would have been difficult for anyone to do well under those circumstances. I don’t know if he can become an elite passer, but until we have a line that will give him a decent amount of time, it’s hard to be sure.

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