Post-Combine, pre-free-agency mock draft

The 49ers own five of the top-100 picks in the upcoming draft. Here’s how the Niners should use them.

Pick No.30: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
The best wide receiver available. I think Benjamin is the third-best WR prospect in the draft behind Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, but draft gurus seem down on Benjamin. If the gurus are wrong and Benjamin gets picked in the top-20, the 49ers can draft another wide receiver who the gurus underrate — Allen Robinson from Penn St.

Pick No.56: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
The best cornerback available. Kyle Fuller, Bradley Roby, Jason Verrett, Marcus Roberson and Bashaud Breeland probably will get drafted before pick No.56.

Pick No.61: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
A true deep threat who had a monster junior season in the Pac 12 even though he had a bunch of nobodies for teammates.

Pick No.77: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington St.
The 49ers can pass on SS Jimmie Ward in the second round and take Bucannon, a first-team All American, in the third round.

Pick No.94: David Fales, QB, San Jose St.
The best value in the draft. The only knock on Fales is his arm strength, but he throws hard enough — 53 mph. Jake Locker throws 54 mph. Locker has a strong arm. Fales can strengthen his arm as he develops. Remember, he played just two years of Division 1 college football, like Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers improved his arm-strength big-time in the NFL. Fales gives the 49ers a cheap option at quarterback until 2018 if Colin Kaepernick wants more money than the 49ers feel like paying him.

  1. Good stuff Grant, I could see that happening if they stayed pat at their spots. Obviously I disagree on Benjamin – I’d take Robinson or Matthews – but that’s just a case of personal preference.

    1. Jordan Matthews would also be good insurance in case crabby decides he wants really top money! However ILB is a position that needs to be addressed also since #52 is getting older & he needs to start ‘tutoring’ a capable replacement!? Navorro will take over for Patrick but who’s going to be Bows’ partner in controlling the middle?!
      Maybe Shayne Skov or Yahwin Smallwood in the middle rounds?!?

      1. I would not draft Benjamin even in the second round.
        Jordan Matthews is the one WR I’d like to have but would be very happy with Robinson too.

        I like Richardson pick also.

  2. Grant, have you gotten a Thank-You note yet from 49er brass for your suggestions? I’m sure they hang on your every word.

  3. Wow, very very wrong. We have one starter missing and we will trade up to replace Whitner (with Pryor or Dix) and then in the second we will take possibly a cb or wr. No way we take wr in the first if we do not resign donte. We can take montcrief or davante later on.

    1. Doubt they pair a rookie safety with a first year safety. If they don’t re-sign Whitner they’ll likely look to pick up another vet.

  4. I have likes and a few concerns with each: Benjamin, Robinson, Mathews and Bingham. I guess we’ll be along for the ride with what TB does. Richardson worries me with strength and durability issues. 61 seems a tad risky to me. Is 56 too high for Desir?

  5. I’ve come across no scenario so far that would suggest they would use two of their first three selections on wide receivers.

  6. Disagree Benjamin’s the best WR available…he’s big and could be a RZ threat, but Matthews is a much more accomplished WR (just all-time leading SEC receiver). I do like Desir, but I’d also want Kyle Fuller. Both guys have the long arms Baalke covets. Richardson has speed, but at 170 lbs he’ll get killed in the NFL, so no thanks. Give me Abbrederis, who’s got speed and good size.

          1. Same. Always fun to see how a draft prospect you form an opinion on turns out.

            Speaking of which, I’m looking forward to seeing how Markus Wheaton goes with Emmanuel Sanders likely gone for the Steelers. Big fan of his leading up to last year’s draft.

            Also, I saw that Greg Childs was released by the Vikings. Feel sorry for the guy – tore the patellar tendons in both knees his rookie mini-camp, after he’d torn a patellar tendon in 2010 that slowed him down big time through his senior year. I thought he was the best WR in the 2012 draft, barring injury, and he started his rookie mini-camp very well – to the point they were saying he would likely be a starter. Wouldn’t mind the 49ers bringing him in, seeing what he can do if his knees are recovered.

          2. What do I know but I see Benjamin as a player that got through using his size and size only. I don’t see much of a drive and I don’t see him getting or working to get better. He may be big but has the case of the drops. All he would be at this point is a throw it up target but if you don’t have great hands then that skill is useless.

          3. what will make or break Benjamin is weather or not he learns how to run routes. which is a weakness of his right now (at least according to some scouting reports). the ability to read coverages and run precise routes is what separates Andre Johnson from Jon Baldwin.

            1. These have been my WR rankings since before the Combine:

              1. Watkins
              2. Evans
              3. Benjamin
              4. Robinson
              5. Lee
              6. Beckham
              7. Cooks
              8. Adams
              9. Matthews
              10. Landry
              11. Richardson
              12. Abbrederis

              1. So far (still digging deeper) my WRs wishes (considering our draft position) are:

                J. Matthews, Allen Robinson, Davante Adams and Donte Moncrief.
                Paul Richardson looks promising.

                Cooks looking good but I’d be afraid of him as a first rounder.

              2. I like the hypothetical Benjamin pick, and agree that his talent is there. If he timed at 4.55 instead of 4.6, everyone would say he was a top guy and we should trade up for him. For god sakes, he’s 6-5, 240. That’s bigger than 99% of WRs and we know that he’s fantastic in the air. Watch it, he’ll time at 4.5 at his pro day, and all the bandwagon jumpers will come back.

                Did you watch film of Moncrief? Holy smokes, that guy is explosive. He was ‘unjamable’ against press coverage. It’s possible his skills never catch up to his ability, but he runs better than anyone the 9ers have right now. After the catch, he’s ferocious. Could be there at the end of the 2nd.

                Matthews isn’t as explosive as Moncrief, but ran well at the combine and looks like a total pro on his college tape (hands, routes, blocking). He could play from day 1, but whoever we get is at best a #3/#4 next year. I’d rather draft the best talent and develop him.

                I’m hoping we take the best DB available at 30 and trade up to #40 or so for our WR… but if Benjamin is there at 30, I’d be happy with that pick. Do you still draft Buchanan if we resign Whitner?

              3. Agree 100 percent on Benjamin.

                Moncrief almost never had two decent games in a row. His junior season was a disappointment.

          4. Benjamin is no Alshon Jeffrey. That’s the model. The 49ers need a big, tall receiver, with a huge wing span…. and a jumper. But Benjamin isn’t in the elite class of big wide receivers to come out over the last several years. He’ll be serviceable, but he’ll never shine.

          5. I think Benjamin is a stud. I’d still like to see us add juice to the backfield. I know everyone’s on Lattimore’s tip–but he’s going to be more of a power back who will probably get swarmed by Seattle’s D. Sankey proved at the combine that he has some long speed and strength to go with the kind quickness in space that can hurt the Hawks.

    1. There were some that echoed the same sentiments about Alshon Jeffery but he’s done quite well.

      There’ always a risk involved when drafting. Rashaun Woods (sorry, that one still stings) was supposed to be a can’t miss prospect after amassing huge stats at OSU and fizzled out and set us back 3-4 years.

      Then we go and a draft a 3rd rounder out of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga who goes on to have a 15 year NFL career and a 6 time pro-bowl selection. Terrell Owens came in the league with no fanfare and eventually usurped our #1 WR (JJ Stokes) position on the field for playing time.

      Fortunately, this year’s WR corps entering the draft is deep. We could find our WR of the future anywhere between the 1st to possibly the 3rd rd.
      So, with that in mind, my sense (just an opinion) is that we either package some of our picks and possibly next year for a chance at Watkins or Evans. But my best scenario is that we draft a DL with our first pick and use one of 2nd picks to draft our future WR.

      1. I was originally thinking DL with our first pick, but there’s literally no spot to stash him. At least a DB can get on the field next year

        1. As far as I’m concerned there are only 3 players that have a job for sure on that DL; McDonald, Smith and Williams. Everyone else is replaceable for one reason or another even if it’s because they haven’t had a chance to show they can play. I dont see anyone outside of Justin Smith that couldn’t be replaced with a first round draft pick.

  7. I would take E.J Gaines over Desir. Gaines was the best CB in the SEC and he shut down Mike Evans in their matchup.
    Gaines is the most overlooked CB in this draft.

    1. Big fan of Gaines, and agree he is underrated. Disagree he is better than Desir though. Desir looks really good and would fit the 49ers D very nicely.

    2. One thing on EJ Gaines – he’s good, but he’s primarily a zone CB, not a man coverage CB. Doesn’t really fit the 49ers scheme, which is primarily built upon a variety of man coverage – they play a lot of Cover 1 Robber and 2-Man.

      Desir on the other hand is best in man coverage and looks like a good fit for the 49ers scheme. Something to think about when projecting who the 49ers should take.

        1. Almost exact same measurables between Benjamin and Baldwin.
          But Benjamin seems to have more guts and swag which are key components for a WR. Benjamin wants to be the go-to guy while Baldwin only seems content with being in the NFL.

          If the 49ers draft Benjamin, Baldwin is sent packing.

            1. He steadily improved over two seasons at FSU. His final four games, he caught 21 passes for 446 yards — 21.6 yards per catch — and 8 TDs.

  8. Thanks for sharing your mock Draft Grant but i do not like Benjamin and would go another direction.

    Here is my pick if Odell B is gone:

    R1
    S CALVIN PRYOR
    LOUISVILLE
    R2
    WR DONTE MONCRIEF
    MISSISSIPPI
    R2
    DT DOMINIQUE EASLEY
    FLORIDA
    R3
    WR JARED ABBREDERIS
    WISCONSIN
    R3
    CB JAYLEN WATKINS
    FLORIDA

    1. I like the Jaylen Watkins pick. I think he will develop into a good CB. Plus it would be cool to see him guard his brother when the Rams pick Sammy at #2. Who here thinks the Rams pick Sampson?

    2. Yup,moncrief is my guy as well and Abbrederis would be a nice pick.Still, Moncreif and Jeff Janis in a later slot would make me smile!

  9. Grant how many dbs do u think we will draftadraftall together. Do you think we will take more than one cb?

  10. I don’t agree on Benjamin, I think he is just too slow. Short of trading up for Evans which will be too costly, I think the 9ers can pick a WR in the 2nd as the WR class is just so deep this year. Not that I have anything against size per se, but a 6’3″ prospect with more speed will be more ideal in my view. There are quite a number of interesting choices to pick from such as Martavis Bryant, Jordan Matthews and so forth. And if you must have a huge target for the red zone, I think you could possibly gamble on Brandon Coleman in addition. On top of legit WRs, I would also like to see the 9ers take Dri Archer. Apart from his excellent return skills, he can also supplement the WR as well as RB corps.Some might think I am off base, I would also like to take a RB in Lache Seastrunk as a long-term plan to stay ahead in the run game playing along side Marcus Lattimore while LMJ should go (although I am aware Baalke has already said he won’t be traded, but I think he is wrong yet again).

    1. No way Baalke trades LMJ. LMJ is the last player left from the horrific 2012 draft, orchestrated by Baalke. With LMJ gone, the entire draft class of 2012 is down the chute. That should be more than enough to get Baalke fired if he can’t seem to get along with Harbaugh!

      1. That is the problem. Baalke had already come out before the combine and said LMJ will not be traded. But, frankly, whether he trades LMJ or not, everybody knows full well the 2012 draft was a complete disaster. Baalke is better off coming clean and start from a clean slate by trading LMJ to get whatever he can and show out in the coming draft.

        1. How many GM’s have blown an ENTIRE DRAFT and are still employed? 2012 was just 2 years ago! Baalke will keep LMJ come hell or high water because he is the last link to that awful draft.

      2. 2012 draft I still wake up shivering from that…….. that draft was like the first time you got dumped everything going good you’re on cloud nine then she says we’ve gotta talk…… I love the draft its like a holiday in my hiuse I have a party and everything. 2012 draft ill never get that time back and that draft was talented too.

        1. 3

          Jenkins – KC
          Robinson – Washington
          Johnson – Indy

          James, Looney and Fleming are still with the 49ers.

          1. How golden is Baalkes’ word when it comes to James not being traded and Gore not being asked to take a pay cut? Fleming is likely not to make the team…

  11. So hands of stone is the best the niners can do at 30! I don’t think so and as a end zone specialize I could see him in the second or third round at best! With four picks so high the team can pursue the bva with choices of cornerbacks, safeties, and wide receivers. the later picks for offensive linemen, QB’s, and inside linebacker to compete with Moody.

  12. Ugh! The only pick here that intrigues me is Buchanon. In the third! We can do better than this. Benjamin may be a solid player, but we need speed at WR right now…adding height is a bonus, for sure, but dude does not have great speed. And at the least he’d be a #3 target.

    Desir with our second pick? My guess is he may slide to the third, and I’m not convinced he’s good enough to push for a starting role this year…which is something we need.

    With Richardson at the end of the second round, that may be decent value, but he may not be able to get off the line to show off his speed. Plus he’d be buried behind four other receivers. Wasted pick if Benjamin is our first.

    I can get on board with Buchanon and Fales, though.

    Other than that, none of these players will have an impact on the 2014 team. We need at least one of our draft picks to step in to a starting role. Presumably, it would be a third CB to take Rogers’ spot. We’ll definitely grab a WR, but I highly doubt we double dip there within our first three picks.

  13. Benjamin sounds like a kid that needs to go to a team with an established veteran WR in the locker room to serve as a mentor. He left high school and now college early, which reeks of a kid chasing dollar signs and fame rather then a lasting career. A boy in a man’s body but it doesn’t really sound like he has the raw skills to beat NFL defenders and without a strong presence in the locker room my guess is he lacks the work ethic to put in the extra time needed to become an NFL receiver.

    At this point I’d have to agree with the pundits he has all the makings of a kid who’s excelled at lower levels because of his physical size but yet doesn’t really wow you with his actual football skills which tends to be a recipe for a bust.

    1. Benjamin clearly is an ascending player. He scored more touchdowns and averaged more yards per catch than Sammy Watkins last season.

      1. The same thing was said about Jon Baldwin when he was drafted and also when the 49ers acquired him in a trade.

        1. Baldwin was not an ascending player coming out of college. He had a down junior season before he entered the draft.

          Benjamin got better as the season went on. 10 TDs his final six games. 9 catches for 212 yards and 3 TDs at Florida.

              1. Unlikely. He wasn’t even better than Benjamin last year. Benjamin has tons of potential and Matthews pretty much is what he’s going to be.

              2. You’re kidding right? Matthews had 112 catches for 1,477 yards last season. More than double the catches of Benjamin. And he had to deal with defences knowing he was the primary target. Benjamin dealt with single coverage most of the year.

              3. I like Matthews, but someone has to make catches on a bad team. He caught just 7 TDs last season.

                Benjamin caught 15 TDs last season. Not a fluke.

              4. No, not a fluke. A product of often being single-covered on one of the best offenses in college football and considerably bigger than the DB defending him.

              5. Beckham wasn’t often single-covered on one of the best offenses in college football?

              6. Keep in mind Grant that Beckham played in a conventional offense, not an offense designed to spread a defense and get one-on-one matchups across the field.

              7. Quite the opposite Grant.

                Jordan Matthews had his break out year in college at 19 years old.
                He dominated lots of games playing mostly older (and therefore stronger) players.

                Benjamin only had a great season in college at 22, when he was older than most defenders he faced. He SHOULD be dominating them.
                But in the NFL he won’t have the phisical benefit of being older and stronger than opposing defenders.

                So if you want potential, Matthews is a much more realistic bet.

              8. Matthews caught 5 TD passes during his breakout year, and he never caught more than 8 during a season. Benjamin tied Fred Biletnikoff for the FSU single-season record in TD catches with 15.

                Benjamin scored a TD every 3.6 catches last season. Matthews scored a TD every 16 catches last season.

              9. Grant I guess that’s one of the reason drafting college prospects is so difficult. Physical ability alone is not going to cut it. Prospect must have the right psyche and dedication to improve. You might be completely right and i could be just out of my mind for say this but Benjamin does not impress me with his film. I have watched several of his games and even his highlight game is not impressive. I do not know what it is but he plays with out passion or the mojo. He is so stiff in his routes. I also do not like his catching mechanics. I have review several receivers that are better option if they are available over Benjamin:

                1) Mike Evans
                2) Odell Beckkam
                3) Davante Adams
                4) Allen Robinson
                5) Paul Richarson
                6) Joardan Mathews
                7) Paul Richardson
                8) D Moncrief
                9) Jared Abbrederis

                I would pick Benjamin in the Third round if he was available, but not in the first round. I know some people would laugh at me but hey that’s my gut feeling.

              10. Moncrief is so overrated. The guy had one catch for three yards against Texas A&M last season, three catches for 24 yards and Miss St., 3 catches for 39 yards against Troy, and 5 catches for 33 yards against Idaho. Pass.

              11. Moncrief’s main problem is that he is raw. Being raw is just one of the problems that Benjamin has.

              12. Moncrief is inconsistent. He had some horrible games against bad teams last season. Benjamin dominated everyone last season.

              13. Like I said, Moncrief is raw. Inconsistent goes along those lines.
                Benjamin used his size more than anything, which is something he won’t be able to get away with in the NFL. If we were talking about taking him late in the second round to somewhere in the early part of the third round, then I wouldn’t have any problem taking a chance on him.

              14. Whatever weaknesses Benjamin has, he dominated 2013. He is an ascending player who has all of the tools to become better than Plaxico Burress ever was.

              15. He dominated college competition. The NFL secondaries will make him pay for being slow, stiff, and locking his hips.

              16. He destroyed the best pass defense in the SEC. He’s just as fast as Plaxico Burress was coming out of Michigan State.

                Jordan Matthews is the one who is stiff. He has no moves when he has the ball and he has only one gear.

              17. Compare who Matthews had throwing to him against who Benjamin had throwing to him.

              18. I don’t recall anyone comparing AJ’s QB to Benjamin’s ;-)

                Regardless of how AJ turned out, the quality of the QB play and the type of offense they played in should be factored into grading a receiver’s level of play to some degree.

              19. True, but there isn’t any question about Matthews’ desire for the game or his work ethic.

      2. March 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm
        Benjamin clearly is an ascending player. He scored more touchdowns and averaged more yards per catch than Sammy Watkins last season.
        ———————
        We’ll see what he’s like in the NFL. At this point I wouldn’t draft him.

  14. Nope, dont want the guy, to slow and too weak, he will be mugged by Richard Sherman-since he can’t outrun Sheman, how is he going to out muscle him when he can only bench 13 reps of 225. Hell, in my teens and early 20′s I was doing 12 reps of 225 and am only 5′ 2.” You say he is tall, look at high he only jumps. Pathetic.

    1. short arms make bench reps easier. that’s why the guys with 35″ arms put up low #s in the bench but don’t look weak on the field. Benjamin put up 13, Evans did 12.

      The concern with Benjamin is that he was below average in speed, quickness and explosiveness. Evans was better in most categories, but we’re not trading up to #10 so forget about getting him. Watching Benjamin, he looks better on tape than he showed at the combine. Here’s guessing he’ll put up better stats at his pro day

  15. Why have you been wasting your time writing that other cr*p when you’re capable of this work of utter genius?

    I am overjoyed! You might be a Bruin after all. Good work.

  16. Benjamin would be a steal off he dropped down to us but I don’t think he will make it. I would trade up Few spots and get a corner back like Bradley Roby.

  17. Ok, my post combine, pre-free agency 49ers mock draft:

    Before I get started, I am going to assume that the 49ers in FA sign a vet safety on a short term contract (either Whitner or someone else), and either have Rogers take a pay cut or replace him with another, cheaper vet option. That means they have no starting spots that they absolutely need to draft (though if good enough, I’m sure they will). I’m also assuming they sign a kicker.

    Trade 1 (30) and 3 (13) for 1 (23): Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU. This only happens if Beckham makes it past the Jets – the most likely team to take him before #23. Why would the Chiefs take this trade and pass on Beckham themselves? Because they have multiple needs including WR, TE, CB and safety, and gave their 2nd rounder to the 49ers for Alex Smith. Beckham would be a great fit for the 49ers, providing a nice deep threat WR.

    Trade 2 (24) and 3 (94) for 2 (6): Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois. Tampa Bay are another team with multiple needs and are down a pick in the 3rd round, and would likely be happy to pick up an extra pick in the top 100. Jimmie Ward is the best safety in this draft after Clinton-Dix and Pryor. He has climbed as fast as anyone since the end of the college season, giving strong performances in every event he’s attended. Best coverage safety in the draft. Did well at his pro day, running around the 4.5s mark. He’d be the dime back as a rookie (and back up SS and nickel DB), and take over at SS down the track.

    Trade 2 (61) for early 3rd and 4th rounders from a team like the Jaguars, Browns or Jets. Each of those teams have extra mid round picks, and will likely be looking to move around in these rounds. I’ll assume they make a trade with the Jags for 3 (6) and 4 (14).

    3 (6 – from Jags): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood. Desir is a nice, fluid CB with great length that looks like a good fit for the 49ers man-coverage. Could question whether Desir lasts this long, but one of Desir or Breeland will probably be available and either would suit the 49ers nicely.

    Trade 4 (14 – from Jags), 4 (29) and 7 (27) for late 3rd rounder – whoever bites: Joel Bitonio, OG/OT, Nevada. Bitonio is a good athlete and would cover both OT and OG spots. By all reports he has a good, competitive attitude as well.

    4 comp pick – current belief is the 49ers comp pick will be a 4th rounder: David Fales, QB, San Jose State. His arm strength is a concern but he brings a lot of good qualities to the position. I don’t think he goes before the late 4th/ early 5th round.

    5 (30): Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana. Far from a finished product, but good size and athleticism. The 49ers don’t have much depth at WR, and Crabtree may well be gone after this coming season, so taking a 2nd WR later on in the draft like Latimer makes sense. Kevin Norwood may be another option.

    Trade 6 (29) for a future pick, if possible.

    7 (26): Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona. Really impressed at the East-West Shrine game. Good length and size, and decent athleticism. Would make a nice late round developmental guy at a position that needs depth.

    7 (28): Shamiel Gary, SS, Oklahoma State. Someone is going to have to help me understand why this guy isn’t getting more attention. He’s got good size and is one of the better coverage safeties in this draft from what I’ve seen of him. Closes well on the football and gets himself into good position to make plays on the ball. Also a pretty good tackler and can hit.

    1. Scooter, I don’t know anything about draft’s value, but I think most mock drafts will change because of the signing of Shield. The CB value through FA has gone to the roof. Good luck resigning our own Brown :(

      1. Why would mock drafts change? There are plenty of CBs available in FA this year ricardo, and Shields’ contract is not unexpected either. The top guys like Verner and Vontae Davis will likely get big deals too. 49ers were never in the market for those guys anyway.

        After the first flurry in FA is done, the next tier guys won’t be getting the same sort of money, and there should be some bargains available.

        1. I see what you’re saying, Scooter. That was a bad assumption in my part. I was thinking that the price of the CBs will go through the roof because of the Shield signing and that will impact on how the teams value the CBs in their draft boards.

      1. Scooter

        Have you been missing a lot of sleep….? Well thought mock, ‘just could happen

        Brotha Tuna

        I
        agree about creativity on scooters picks

    2. Scooter,

      Very realistic and well thought out draft. I like how you got a couple of picks back by trading the late 2nd rounder. The only question I might have is Bitonio, but if you see him as a possible replacement for Iupati it makes some sense. I’m also not a fan of Fales as I’m sure everyone knows by now, but at least you have him on day 3 which is where he’s likely to go.

      Love the first two picks and would be happy with a draft like this overall. Nice job.

      1. Thanks rocket. I like the idea of going and getting one of the top WRs available with their first pick rather than just waiting for the guy that falls to them in the 2nd. And I’ve been of the opinion the 49ers should try and get two picks in the top 40-45 this year for a while – to grab a top 40-45 DB. I think there will be a run on DBs in the late first/ early 2nd, guys that are borderline 1st rounders.

        I’ve also been thinking that a trade back with their 2nd 2nd round pick (if they can hold onto it in the trade ups) makes sense to recoup some picks in rounds 3 and 4.

        Bitonio I’m a big fan of. He’s not exactly a need pick, but he’d be a very nice backup across at least 4 spots due to his versatility. And he has starter potential down the track.

      1. Thanks.

        I think, aside from Watkins, Beckham is the WR that would suit them best. A speed guy and good deep threat, but also a good route runner, very balanced athlete and will attack the ball. Bucky Brooks compares him to Victor Cruz, and that is exactly the type of WR the 49ers could do with.

        I really like Robinson and Matthews too, but with Crabtree and Boldin they don’t need a third guy that is similar, at least not this season. Cooks is also good but doesn’t really suit the 49ers very well – I think he’ll be more a slot guy in the NFL and Crabtree and Boldin already have the slot covered. Lee would probably be the next best option, but like Cooks he’s better with the ball in hand, and the 49ers need more a guy that is a great route runner to get open and put pressure on defenses deep than another WR they can force feed the ball and let him create with ball in hand.

          1. Not against him, but there are some good receivers that will be available at 30.

            Like the Cody Latimer pick. Good prospect to bet on.

    3. Am I wrong when I tally this up:

      WR / SS / CB / OL / QB / WR / CB / SS

      Take out the middle two and you have just drafted 2 WR’s, 2 CB’s 2 SS’s.

      I like the reasoning but I still expect to see a bit more diversity in the positions selected. I feel very confident that at least one possibly two LB’s get taken and at the very least one DT.

      1. That’s correct. My reasoning was as follows:

        - With tendering Dobbs, the 49ers really have no need for a DT. They’ll already be cutting a couple of guys by the end of TC.
        - Wilhoite, Moody, Fleming and Skuta have Bowman covered until he returns, and I’m not that big a fan of the ILB prospects after about round 3. Couldn’t fit one in. I dare say they would bring an undrafted guy or two in.
        - OLB is well covered with Aldon, Brooks, Lemonier, Skuta and Fleming (both these guys can play both ILB and OLB).
        - RB is already crowded with Gore, Hunter, LMJ, Lattimore, Dixon and Hampton.
        - They already have 3 TEs they are happy with.

        So I figured they may as well:
        - Add depth to WR, where they only really have 3 spots covered (Baldwin is a big uncertainty) and have Crabtree coming off contract next season.
        - Add depth at CB, where in my scenario they have the first 3 spots covered (Rogers/ FA, Brock and Culliver) plus Morris, but not much else.
        - Add some depth and competition at Safety which is in flux if they can’t re-sign Whitner.

  18. Not to change the subject, but has anyone seen the contract signed by Shield with the Packers? Man, signing any FA CB will come in a big cost now. I’ glad that the Niners have signed Brock already.

  19. Buchannon will never make it to 56, maybe not to 30, maybe Loston. Seems like a good pairing with Benjamin, who may not make it to 30, would be Josh Huff. Fales could push Kaepernick, and they could take a look at Josh Mauro later on, for their first Stanford pick…

  20. The only thing benjamin has going for him is his measurables, but that doesnt mean squat if you cant catch the damn ball. His hands are very suspect to say the least. Anybody who watched FSU games this year can attest to this. If im a gm scouting for a wr, the first thing I look for are hands, how good of a hands catcher the receiver is. You could be 6’6 and run a 4.3 forty but if you cant catch the ball then those numbers dont mean squat. My guy in this draft is jarvis landry. Yes, he stunk it up at the combine, but you wanna talk about hands? Man oh man this guy has hands of glue. He may not be the fastest, but he has superb hands, catch in traffic, good route running, and exceptional blocking. If im trent balke, i draft jarvis landry.

    1. saf Benjamin performance in the combine was not impressive, He was slow and did not have good explosive ability for leaping!

  21. I am just a football fan and not an expert but based on all the film available on Benjamin he just does not impress me with his play. He is big however i do not like his route running or leaping ability. If you take a look at the film he is not impressive to my opinion. If Trent wants a big receiver then they should go after Mike Evans. My number one wr choice in this draft is Odell Beckham from LSU.

  22. F/A Signings:

    1. Charlie Tillman CB
    2. Geoff Schwartz G

    30. Branden Cooks WR
    56. Jimmy Ward SS
    61. Jarvis Landry WR
    77. Pierre Desir CB
    94. Josh Mauro DE

      1. Baalke bargain bin veteran he likes to target. Veteran leadership for that young secondary. Rested and healed, hungry for a ring. Turnover stripping machine. Tall, long and makes the wide receiver work for everything. What’s not to love?

    1. I don’t think the team could afford Schwartz Razor. I’m also not sure about Cooks being available at 30. My guess is that he will get drafted by the Chiefs.

  23. Reading through these comments it seems a lot of us have some reservations about K.Benjamin, at least as a 1st Rounder. Me too, but I note that a number of scouts think he’s the 4th-6th best WR, so what’s true? In a rare moment of humility I recall that this time last year I was dissing Alshon Jeffrey for being over weight, under motivated, and too slow to get separation in the Big League. Its just possible I got that wrong.

    1. Yeah, the main thing that had me worried was the desire and motivation after he let himself get overweight and looked pretty lacklustre his last college season. The year before he looked good.

      Benjamin doesn’t worry me the same way. Its his game tape that has me worried about him. He occasionally dominated one-on-one coverage against college DBs much smaller than him. He could very well turn out to be great, but definitely your classic boom or bust prospect. I wouldn’t touch him in the first round.

  24. Couple of comments…
    1. Benjamin, watching him play some games this year he looked like a man amongst boys. If that can translate to the NFL he would be a steal. His hands you have to assume will be corrected. However he does have a boom or must feel to him. Not sure if we can keep effing around and not get this WR drafting or FA slump corrected.

    2. I agree with Grant. If we don’t trade up for a WR I can see us taking two in the first three rounds.

    3. Trading up – I’ve said it before and have been slammed. But if Watkins is Julio Jones then go get him.

    Or we can just jump up mid round and get Cooks, Odell, Lee.

    4. I am not familiar with this Evans kid. Only seen some games and highlights. Seems like he is the only option for Johnny which attributed to the numbers. Also appeared to disappear at times. With that he was prime time at times as well. Again if everyone thinks he is a stud like Julio or Megatron then go up and get him.

    5. If M. Lee makes it past the teens that is a steal. Injuries a concerns but if he can clear medical and we can see explosiveness returning he can be a #1 or an extremely productive #2 for years. This guy was top five a year ago if he came out. Then again so was Taylor Mays ;)

    1. He WAS a man against boys.
      That’s the problem.
      When he was a boy against boys he was not very productive.

      He may not be again when playing against men in the NFL.

      1. Only WR who has matched Benjamin’s single-season TD total in FSU history is Biletnikoff. Got to take Benjamin very seriously despite his flaws.

        1. Didn’t Mike Williams (of 6’5″, 235lbs fame) set a whole bunch of records as a freshman and sophomore at USC? Scored something like 30 TDs in 2 college seasons? Didn’t pan out so well for him in the NFL…

          1. Williams wasn’t a downfield threat in college. He averaged 13.8 yards per catch his sophomore season.

            Benjamin and Beckham had nearly identical stats last season, except for the touchdowns. Benjamin outscored Beckham almost two-to-one.

            LSU scored TDs on 50% of its red zone trips last season. FSU scored TDs on 70% percent of its red zone trips last offseason. Benjamin was a big part of that.

            I love Beckham, but the 49ers don’t need that much help getting down the field. The Niners’ offense needs help scoring touchdowns in the red zone when it is more than three yards away from the goal line.

            1. Williams made plays at all levels of the field for USC. In that regard you can argue he was a much better prospect than Benjamin.

              Beckham made up around 1/3 of his team’s receiving production, Benjamin made up just over 20%. That Beckham was able to produce the same kind of numbers in a pro style offense that didn’t spread the defence out and ran the ball a lot more often shows how well he did. Would have loved to see his numbers if he had played in the FSU offense.

              “The 49ers don’t need that much help getting down the field. It needs help scoring touchdowns in the red zone when it’s more than three yards away from the goal line.”

              Then draft Brandon Coleman later on as a red zone target. Though personally I don’t think they are missing a physical receiver to help in the red zone, they already have Boldin, Crabtree and Davis. They are missing creativity.

              1. If Beckham played for FSU, you think he would have doubled his TD total and tied Biletnikoff for most TD catches in FSU history? I don’t.

                Beckham is a terrific wide receiver prospect who is not dangerous in the red zone — just 2 TD catches in the red zone during his three-year college career. Benjamin caught 7 TD passes in the red zone just last season, and 3 more TD passes inside the opponents’ 25. Benjamin is dangerous everywhere.

                Last season against Florida, Beckham caught 2 passes for 47 yards and no TDs. Benjamin caught 9 for 212 and 3 TDs — the 8th-most receiving yards in a single game in FSU history.

              2. Yep, Benjamin had a big game that day. He got one fifth of his total season’s receiving output. A huge performance. He made Purifoy look second rate.

                When LSU played Florida they only attempted 17 passes all game. They beat them up on the ground. Wasn’t much opportunity for Beckham.

            2. Still not sold on Benjamin, but the last paragraph here could sway me a bit:

              “I love Beckham, but the 49ers don’t need that much help getting down the field. The Niners’ offense needs help scoring touchdowns in the red zone when it is more than three yards away from the goal line.”

              As much as a I want a deep threat with speed, Grant makes a point here.

              I’m still pretty sure I want to find a starting CB with that first pick, but a red zone threat definitely fills a need.

              1. Boldin was a pretty good red zone threat last year. Davis is too. Crabs is no slouch. Maybe the problem isn’t that the 49ers lack physical receivers for the red zone…

              2. A good, speedy, deep threat WR that puts fear into D’s and stops them putting 8 or 9 in the box sure couldn’t hurt either.

              3. Won’t be putting much fear into D’s if he can’t get past the defender at the line of scrimmage…

              4. I only said it because there are lots of speedy receivers that fail as deep threats because they can’t get off the line and there doesn’t seem to be a good measuring stick of a College receivers ability to break past NFL defenders because tons of quick receivers get picked to be deep threats and yet the league is not replete with them.

              5. I agree. That’s why I say draft the best receiver available at No.30 and Paul Richardson at No.61.

                The nice thing about Benjamin is he would stop defenses from putting 8 or 9 in the box, and he’d be a red-zone threat, too. Tough to find receivers like that.

              6. Doesn’t help when VD is cured by Kam, and Gore is hemmed in by Petes’ D….Then there’s those pesky other dudes in the secondary. I’d be very surprised if Kaepernick does not answer the bell when the 2014 passing plays are dialed up…..

              7. They aren’t afraid of the QB beating them with his arm

                I disagree. The problem is they know the Niners will likely run anyway because that is what the Niners do. As Scooter said in an earlier post and I’ve said in past ones, this offense needs more creativity and less power in the redzone.

              8. “The nice thing about Benjamin is he would stop defenses from putting 8 or 9 in the box”.

                Only in 3 WR sets. But then any 3 WR sets will typically stop teams stacking the box. In 2 WR sets with Benjamin + Boldin or Crabtree I don’t think he stops teams putting 8 in the box. He’s not that much of a threat to blow past a CB that you don’t feel comfortable with single high safety help. A guy like Beckham on the other hand has too much speed to rely on a FS getting across to help in single high.

                “This offense needs more creativity and less power in the redzone.”

                Exactly rocket.

              9. Only in 3 WR sets.

                Baloney.

                Benjamin averaged more than 21 yards per catch over his final four games. He most certainly is a home run threat. He plays faster than his 40 time and he uses his height and length well on deep balls.

              10. Benjamin could be a nice Red Zone threat with his size as Grant pointed out and I wouldn’t be upset if he’s picked by the Niners, but like most on here, I worry about his route running and ability to get open at the next level. He looks really stiff and sloppy at times relying on his size to win matchups and that won’t fly in the NFL.

              11. How is a 6-5, 242-pound receiver supposed to look running routes?

                Some of you guys suffer from reverse-sizeism when it comes to receivers.

              12. Now you’ve got it scooter…If we can score from the 30, who needs a red zone offense…..we need some ‘get it and go’ small receivers.

              13. “Benjamin averaged more than 21 yards per catch over his final four games. He most certainly is a home run threat. He plays faster than his 40 time and he uses his height and length well on deep balls.”

                Jon Baldwin averaged 18.3 yards per catch throughout his college career and tested much better at the combine than Benjamin at pretty much the same size. Yet in the NFL he has struggled big time becoming a factor downfield. Deep threat WRs need to be more than just big in the NFL. And no, Benjamin doesn’t play fast – much like Baldwin he has decent and deceptive long speed due to his long strides but is not going to burn you off the line, and he doesn’t do a good job of selling routes. He is a linear athlete. Pro CBs shouldn’t have much trouble tracking Benjamin deep. In the NFL there will also be safety help over the top, and it won’t be too difficult for single high safeties to get across and help on Benjamin. He’ll be making a lot more contested catches, not something Benjamin (aka Mr. Dropsies) has shown a great skill for.

                Benjamin won’t have the same success he had in college as a deep threat.

                This is the second time you’ve suggested I don’t like Benjamin simply because he is big. That is ridiculous. I like big WRs, and am a big fan of Allen Robinson and Jordan Matthews, both big guys for the position. I also consider Evans one of the top WRs in this draft.

                Benjamin simply isn’t a good WR. He’s a mountain of a human being, and to this point his plus size appears to be his biggest asset. That’s not a good enough reason to draft him in the first round. If he was 6’3″, 220lbs where would you draft him? Ahead of Robinson and Matthews? Both those guys are far more accomplished and complete WRs, with superior athleticism, hands and route running. Does 2″ honestly make him that much more an attractive prospect?

              14. Explain how Evans is one of the top receiver prospects in the draft but Benjamin is a bad prospect, a worse prospect than two complete busts — Baldwin and Williams.

              15. Grant,

                Being big doesn’t excuse a lack of being able to make a cut or being lazy in some instances.

                You were talking about his game against Florida earlier and while he had a big day statistically, most of it came against the Gators 3rd and 4th CB’s. Purifoy did a great job most of the time he was on him giving up one big play when Winston bought time, and a TD on a blatant PI by Benjamin (grabbed Purifoy and pulled him backward, bad no call). He also dropped a few passes which is not out of the norm for him.

                He’s got the size and he can make some plays, but I don’t see him getting much separation a lot of the time and he drops too many passes. That is not a good harbinger of things to come at the next level.

              16. He dropped 7 passes last year, and three of those drops came against Florida when he dominated them unlike anyone ever has.

              17. Scooter,

                Well said. If Benjamin drops, I’d be more open to it, but he worries me and I’d rather avoid him altogether.

              18. Grant I would expect him to dominate on matchups with the 3rd and 4th CB’s. I think that is more evidence of the system giving teams trouble than Benjamin being a dominant force.

              19. “Explain how Evans is one of the top receiver prospects in the draft but Benjamin is a bad prospect, a worse prospect than two complete busts — Baldwin and Wlliams.”

                Simple. Evans has great hands. He has demonstrated a good ability to consistently haul in passes downfield with DBs all over him. He’ll need those skills in the NFL. I think he is a good prospect, though I think he will get over-drafted a little due to his size. He should be a mid to late first rounder.

              20. He has demonstrated a good ability to consistently haul in passes downfield with DBs all over him.

                So has Benjamin.

                Benjamin has much bigger hands than Evans. Benjamin can catch the ball away from his frame. He only had 7 drops last season, and they were concentration drops. Totally fixable.

              21. That is quite possible Grant. The classic boom or bust pick. Some people will love the possibilities, others (like me) will fear the high bust factor that comes with such a raw prospect that to date has relied largely on his size.

  25. 1-trade up to select CB-Justin Gilbert
    2-SS-Duanne Buchanon
    3-WR-Jordan Mathews
    4-CB-Stanley Jean-Baptist
    5-C-Bryan Stork6-WR-Martavis Bryant
    8-QB-Logan

    1. Steve…that would be a pretty successful draft IMO. And not terribly unrealistic that we trade up for one of our true needs…CB.

      Not sure if Matthews will still be around in 3rd, but I’d be ok if it were Moncrief if not. I wonder, though, if instead of grabbing a second CB or WR, we draft an ILB at some point.

            1. I must say I wasn’t paying too much attention to Moncrief, but I thought he was holding pretty steady as a 3rd rounder before the combine…?

              1. If I recall, he was in the 4-5 round range during the bowl games and then was bumped up the 3-4 round shortly before the Combine. He’s now currently ranked as 2-3 round prospect by nfldraftscout.com.

              2. Correct, and I believe Grant will be proved wrong about him. Particularly if Donte is on a team with someone like Boldin to inform him and set the bar for serious effort and intentionality.

              3. Well, if the scouts really do go off of game tape, he’s probably a 3rd because he was inconsistent.

    1. Hmmm? Younger, hometown kid. Plenty of skills, for sure. One of top safeties in the league.

      As nice of a pickup that would be, I wonder if his game is too focused on playing against the run and we’d benefit more from a better cover safety.

      Ah, if he’s willing it would be quite tempting.

    2. We need all the Oregon Ducks on the 49ers that we can get. Walter Thurmond would be nice also. They played in the same backfield together at Oregon along with Jarius Byrd.

        1. OregonNiner

          I attended the 2008 Holiday Bowl which the Ducks won 42-31 over Oklahoma State. Afterwards at the Duck bar at the Sheraton Hotel in San Diego I met TJ’s mom and dad and later met TJ and his brother Terron who of course now plays at Oregon State. What a great family. The dad played DB for the Bengals in the Niners second Super Bowl victory over them. Born and raised in San Francisco and was coaching at Concord De La Salle at the time. Like I said a great family. TJ’s sister was on a track scholarship at UCLA at the time. The dad and I put down a few Brewski’s together and talked football for a couple of hours. A wonderful experience. I would be thrilled if TJ ended up a 49er. I know his mom and dad would also be thrilled.

          Here is a link to TJ’s hit on Cowboy QB Zac Robinson from that Holiday Bowl.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiKwfnr_D94

          1. Domingo

            I remember that slug that he put on Robinson…surprised that Robinson recovered that quickly, but wasn’t much for the rest of the game. Why are the Duck receivers not getting any respect, Domingo? Josh Huff and DeAnthony…hardly a peep….There’s also a kid from Southern Oregon U from last year, reset all of the record books. Maybe they stop at the border…

            1. Josh Huff is an extremely high character team first type of player. He fought the injury bug throughout his career at Oregon. He was recruited as a running back but was switched to WR early on. Because of injuries I am not sure he has fully developed to a level you would expect for a senior D1 player. He’s very talented and could develop past where his draft point would indicate. I think he will go 4th or fifth round in a deep WR class.

              The Black Mamba, The Crenshaw Cobra, The Duck Deadly Adder. Deanthony Thomas. A tremendous college performer for two years in Eugene. Fought an injury this last year, apparently landed in Helfrich’s dog house and basically produced nothing his last two thirds of the season. Then he ran a surprisingly slow 40 time at the combine and who knows where he will be drafted now? He went from a first or second round pick to a probable fourth, fifth, sixth, who knows. Like Huff his career production may exceed his draft slot. He was a dynamic and sensational player for two and one third seasons at Oregon as you and I know. Some team may strike gold with him as he is flying way below the radar now.

  26. I can’t really judge the quality of the players you’ve chosen. (though Benjamin’s scouting report makes him sound like a possible Jon Baldwin 2.0).

    But your Mock is very needs based. The goal of the draft is to acquire the best possible talent and of course you try to fill out weaknesses on roster. The ultimate goal is to find the best talent so if a running back or middle linebacker or a tight end fall to the Niners at one of their picks and the talent of that player is obviously better than any other alternatives, then the smart thing is to select the player. So part of doing a Mock is guessing what other teams are going to select and figuring out where the talent falls. I’d say your list looks more like your ideal draft shopping list.

    1. Has Baalke ever made a true “BPA” pick? The closest I can think of is James, but even he addressed a need. I think Baalke has to use his later round picks to move up and get a guy he likes or get more picks for next year. I don’t think he wants to draft guys for other teams like last year.

      1. Aldon Smith might be the closest, but you’re right a lot of the picks are to fill needs. Every team in the league pick for need and then says it was the best player on their board.

  27. I agree, but if you have noticed mostof the other positions are good for the next couple of years. We need to have replacements just incase Crabtree doesn’t resign. He might deside to take the biggest offer. We have a few more selections for Dri-Archer,

  28. Ah the first installment of the Grant Cohn draft that will never happen.

    Just kidding Grant. I could see Benjamin even if I’m worried about his potential, but Desir is too high in my opinion and no way I can see them taking WR’s with two of the top 3 picks. Not when they have their top 3 set and rarely use more than 2. I like the Buchanon pick as that will be good value and an example of a good player who will fall due to the depth this draft has.

    However, your pick of Fales in the 3rd round is definitely not good value, and not a good pick period imo. I haven’t seen Fales ranked higher than the 5th round on most sites I’ve checked out and wasting a 3rd on a backup caliber QB doesn’t strike me as a smart move. If you want to pick him in the 5th that might be value, but in the 3rd it’s an extreme reach.

  29. Cant say that I can remember when I’ve had so few free agents on my wish list. When I look at the roster I can find few spots that require the need of a veteran free agent and they are:

    Beating the expired equine on this one but none the less go sign Chris Clemons from the Dolphins. He’s can be had for less then $3m a year and those dopes have been playing him at FS when he’s really supposed to be a SS, mooks. I believe he can start right away with no drop off in my opinion and in fact could be an upgrade in coverage.

    The next signing would be a replacement for Rogers. Is there a CB that can start day one without a significant drop off over our current players that will be available to the 49ers in the upcoming draft without giving away the farm to go get him? I dunno know but I’m guessing, no. Since we don’t usually play in the first week of free agency and we don’t have a huge surplus of cash I’m targeting a phase two type free agent CB. The only person that I like on that list is our own FA, Brown. It’s an easy fix, let Culliver, Brock and Brown and a second or third round draft pick vie for the 3 starting spots. Plus you have Morris and any other later round selections. Plus you have S prospects like Ward that might make an excellent slot corner.

    The last one is a bit of a wish more then a prognostication and that is to find a way to keep Goodwin around for another season. I like Kilgore but am not ready to hand over the keys just quite yet, the team appears ready but I’m not there yet.

    I’ll be anxious to see all the moves they actually make and obviously they’ll address many more positions then I have but with the depth of players and future contracts to consider it’s really not easy to divine where they might go.

    1. Phins signed Louis Delmas so i guess that means that they wont be trying to resign Clemmons. Excellent.

      1. it will be interesting to see how the NFL rules on the Jimmy Graham tag designation. If they consider the the number of times a person lines up at a specific position/location or their job responsibilities make up their job/tag description. Or to put it another way is Graham a WR because the # of times he lines up wide? Or is he a Tight End because he sometimes lines up tight and by definition someone that lines up tight is a tight end (Graham may have stayed in tight to in line block maybe a couple dozen times but you can say the WRs never lined up to inline block).

        Suggs fought his OLB designation, claiming he rushed the passer like a defensive end. I think he ended up compromising with the Ravens on a number somewhere in between the DE and OLB tag designations.

        I don’t know what the percentage of snaps that Aldon lined up at OLB vs as a down End in the Nickel Defense. But that if they do tag him that they may end up having to compromise. Then again, I think that it’s better simply work out a longer term deal to structure the financial hit better.

      2. That’s the idea. I’m sure this will go away in the next CBA. Tagging the guy is way cheaper for 1 year and then negotiate a longer contract

      1. Taylor Mays…

        No, I think one of Antoine Bethea, Chris Clemons or Mike Mitchell, if any of those guys make it past the first and second wave of free agency.

        If they are gone, Major Wright might be an option. Had a bad year last season, but so did the rest of the Bears D. He was good in 2012.

      2. That could be Champ Bailey, but only if he takes a cheap deal in exchange for a strong chance of winning his first Super Bowl.

        1. Terrible idea.. Baily is 36 and has lost several steps.. We need athletic fast safety’s just like Reid.. A clone next to him would be perfect

  30. Not sure…Chris Clemons (Miami)? I’m not sure he would be a tremendous upgrade over Dahl. I can see the 49ers cutting Rogers and losing Brown, but I would be surprised if they lost Whitner. I wouldn’t overspend for him, however. I think the 49ers can likely fill the WR, CB, and SS holes through the draft without much effort.

    I don’t care what Packers fans say, Sam Shields is not worth almost $10M a year…that is insane. If the market is that high for CBs, then let Brown walk.

    1. March 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm
      Not sure…Chris Clemons (Miami)?
      ——————-
      (if this doesn’t work please delete)

        1. Yes a very good point but if you watch this guy he has very good film and he has been consistent with his play.

          1. I’m not argueing. He’s an interesting prospect. His not big, but he’s not small; not blazing fast, but not slow; not an overly physical WR,
            but not a possession guy. He’ll probably be available at #30, maybe 2a

      1. Around what pick do you think Matthews goes Jack? I’m still seeing him listed as a mid 2nd, but I think he ultimately goes either very late first or early 2nd.

        I like him a lot. I’d be happy with him at #30.

              1. Yeah, if they get him at 56 that would be awesome. I don’t think it happens though.

              2. Scooter have watched Kevin Norwood from Alabama! he good be a sleeper pick late in the 6th or 7th round. I like how he plays, nothing flashy but makes very nice catches and he has decent speed.

    1. I like the idea of drafting two receivers (one big, one fast). If the receiver pool is as talent packed as pundits say, the 49ers might as well load up at the position.

      I can’t make up my mind on Benjamin. He’s a freak, but super raw. He makes great catches, but also chest catches way too much. He’s 23 year old (compared to Evans who is only 20).

      If I were Baalke it would all come down to learning and attitude. If Banjamin is a tireless worker and film room hound, then draft him as the perfect understudy to Boldin. If not,,, I’d go for another WR.

    2. FSU threw the ball a lot more than LSU who were about 60-40 run to pass. That could have had something to do with it along with the number of catches for Benjamin.

      1. Doesn’t change the fact that Beckham caught two TD passes in the red zone during his three-year college career. That’s a limitation.

  31. I’m a Benjamin fan. In his first year we only need him to do a few things. Run the fade route, battle DB’s for the ball, and catch jump balls in the redzone. He WOULD most definitely give us a redzone target we need. As far as his work ethic, we have no clue what he does. What i am sure of is he won’t come in and not do anything. He doesn’t have that luxury. Especially with Patton Still trying to solidify his spot. Too many hard workers for him to come in and think he doesn’t have to do anything. I would also like to think Boldin wouldn’t let that happen.

  32. I said it once on this forum and I will say it again.

    Running Back is an extremely underrated need for the 49ers as we head into free agency, the draft and the 2014 season.

    Frank Gore–An all-time great 49er. I love the guy. He’s not done yet but the writing is on the wall. As much as I hate to admit it the end of his great 49er career is in sight.

    Marcus Lattimore–Love the guy and his potential but he is coming off two major knee injuries and surgeries. He is a question mark heading into the 2014 season. Like all 49er fans I want to believe that he is 100 percent and he will perform up to the high level that we expect but realistically that is an uncertain. We play in a smash mouth division and have a coach who conjures Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. A strong running game is a must as is a stable of strong and healthy running backs. I want to believe that Lattimore is part of the answer but at this point we really don’t know.

    Anthony Dixon–he’s a free agent and we may lose him.

    Kendall Hunter–He’s a nice spot back but in the aforementioned division and with the aforementioned philosophy of our coaching staff we need a group of strong and powerful RB’s. The names Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael come to mind.

    LMJ–No comment.

    With this knowledge in mind I cannot believe that both Baalke and Harbaugh are not thinking of either drafting a RB relatively high in the draft or signing one in free agency.

    1. I agree about RB. Dixon will be gone, he doesn’t get any run with the Niners. I think Hunter is a good back, he just isn’t given an opportunity at all. I fear that GRo and Harbaugh love Gore so much, that they won’t let any other back go through the necessary growing pains to become better.

  33. I think they stand pat at wr. This seems like a draft where they trade up and grab Gilbert or Nix. It’s going to be all about fixing the secondary. Who does the team have that’s a reliable backup at safety?

    1. I disagree. In a deep WR draft, it only makes sense to get one or two prospects to learn from Boldin. There is a very real probability that crabs walks next year and Boldin is only on a 2 year deal. Next year’s draft is going to be week.

  34. It’s rumored that the Jets are interested in Donte Whitner. Could be Whitner’s agent taking a page out of the Harbaugh playbook, leaking somewhat false information to create leverage. However, if it’s true, and Donte does leave the 49ers for a bigger payday else where, the 49ers will once again draft a safety in the first round, and once again they’ll have to move up.

  35. The 49ers also need a running back in the second round. With Boldin, Patton, Vernon, McDonald, Crabtree and Baldwin (who I see as a sleeper), the 49ers only really need a speed receiver to stretch the field alla Ginn or Moss. I think the 49ers find him in the later rounds, especially when Baalke can’t draft receivers, so you don’t use capital where your GM is lacking in insights.

    1st round – Safety (would love it if they moved up and drafted Ha-Ha).
    2nd round – Corner or NT
    2nd round – Running Back. If Gore can only run up the middle, and Hunter and LMJ can only run outside the tackles, and Lattimore is a huge question mark, the 49ers need a dependable back who can do it all. Nobody in their current backfield can do it all, with dependability.

    1. To me if Roman stops outsmarting himself and rotate the running backs like they did at Stanford no one would be thinking about the rb position. I agree on Baldwin, kaep did not look his way when he was out there and he was open a lot. I just think they address the secondary and backup qb.

  36. S CALVIN PRYOR
    LOUISVILLE
    R2
    DE STEPHON TUITT
    NOTRE DAME
    R2
    WR ALLEN ROBINSON
    PENN STATE
    R3
    CB PIERRE DESIR
    LINDENWOOD
    R3
    QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO
    EASTERN ILLINOIS
    R4
    G DAVID YANKEY
    STANFORD

    1. Golly, Yankey in the 4th? I think he may go Rd#2; obviously I’m just guessing. We’re getting a lot of that during this year’s run-up. I guess some guys will slide……..
      Also, on Truitt, I’m coming off of the DL as a BPA option that high unless TB thinks the guy is an absolute monster. Truitt doesn’t have great first step quickness, so I dunno.

    2. Now that would be a haul. I like it a lot Razor. I think Pryor falling in the first is truly a pipe dream though along with Yankey in the 4th. I think that site just shuffles the player values around every week which is why I got Beckham with #30 last week.

    3. Calvin Pryor would be awesome. He’s Dashon Goldson. Ha Ha is another Reid. And there’s a third safety who’s good, and could be a first rounder, I just forgot his name.

  37. Can someone please tell me why all the insiders think d-line needs to be addressed?We will have great depth with players coming off IR.

    1. Cowboy is aging. McDonald is too. Tank hasn’t played a down and is a question mark. Dial was not that impressive and TJE is probably not starting caliber….

      1. Dial & Carradine need more work. I’d imagine hand placement needs work as all rooks have to get that and pad level figured out. With time in OTAs, Minies, and TC they could imerge. Dial better be ready to buckle for his dust; it’s crowded on the nose.
        To your point on the ends aging I’d add that TB does draft for the future, so maybe they grab somebody this year.

          1. I don’t believe that the Dobbs tender guarantees his salary, so in that case it makes sense to keep the level of competition high.

            1. He gets the salary at the level he’s tendered. Dobbs is good on special teams, but there are a lot of core ST on the roster. If you look at all the positions, Dobbs is at the bottom of the depth chart. B/U FB, 4th or 5th string TE, 3rd string DE. Vulnerable.

      2. PLUS Dorsey is on a a one year deal that is pushing $4m and Williams missed last season so he’s been out of the game for a year.

    2. Can someone please tell me why all the insiders think d-line needs to be addressed?We will have great depth with players coming off IR./I>

      That could be where the best value lies. With all the WR’s, CBs and OT’s likely to be picked in the first, there will be very good Dlineman falling if it indeed plays out that way.

      1. Yet how many mocks here or elsewhere have you seen us take a DL with our first 4 or 5 picks? So far I don’t think I’ve seen anyone on here pick a DL at least not with their first 3.

        1. CFC,

          Both draft sites, and we as fans tend to pick for perceived needs. That is why many on here are picking WR’s with the first pick which I don’t think will happen even though I did a recent mock with Beckham as the first pick.. I think the pick will be a CB or Dlineman personally, with a WR coming in the second round.

        2. It was mostly rhetorical. The question illuminated that there should be more DL in mocks given the sound reasoning you offered. I’ve been trying to bang the DL drum(that doesn’t sound right) as well but it keeps falling on deaf ears, for the most part.

          1. CFC,

            I misunderstood. I obviously agree with you and don’t understand why more aren’t looking at DL as the best option. If somebody like Ealy or Nix is sitting there at 30, I don’t see much doubt they will be the BPA.

  38. I hope Baalke has a picture of Alshon Jeffery on his wall….. A reminder of what should have been. Can’t make that mistake again. Don’t reach, go for the sure thing.

  39. C.J. Spillman and Craig Dahl would compete for a starting safety job with a newcomer if 49ers do not re-sign Donte Whitner. #MMaiocco

    1. I think they will go after a cheap option at SS. Dahl is better suited as a STs player and Spillman is classified as a 9-5 player by the coaching staff.

  40. Free Agency Let Go
    1) Charles Tillman-CB 1) Carlos Rogers-CB
    2) Ed Reed 2) Mario Manningham-WR
    3) Britt-WR (from Tennessee) 3) Colt McCoy-QB
    4) Phil Dawson-K 4) Brown-CB
    5) Dontai Whitner 5) Goodwin-C

    A B
    30th Pick-Trade up (30th, late 3rd Round, and mid 7th) select CB-Justin Gilbert WR-Mike Evans
    2nd Round (1st)-SS- Duanne Buchanon
    2nd Round (2nd)-WR Jordan Mathews
    3rd Round (1st) CB-Stanley Jean-Baptiste
    3rd Round (2nd) WR-Martavis Bryant
    4th Round C-Bryan Stork
    5th Round QB-Logan
    6th Round DE-SAm-Missouri
    7th Round (1st)-RB/ Returner-Dri Archer
    7th Round (2nd)-ILB

  41. Free Agents:

    Charles Tillman-CB
    Kenny Britt-WR
    Phil Dawson-K
    Donte Whitner-SS

    FA’s to let GO:
    Carlos Rogers-CB
    Terrell BRown-CB
    Colt MCCoy-QB
    Goodwin-C
    La Michael James-RB
    Anthony Dixon-RB

    Draft:

    R1-Trade up for WR Mike Adams/ R1(30th), R3 (Late) & R7 (Early)
    R2-CB Jason Vareet/ TCU
    R2-SS Duanne Buchannon
    R3-QB-LSU-Malteberger
    R3-C Bryan Stork
    R4-WR Donte Moncrief
    R5-DE
    R6-ILB
    R7 Mid-Dri Archer RB/KR
    R7 OLine

  42. Hey Trent,
    Take best CB available at #30 then take WR (Donte Moncrief) with 2nd round pick. Moncrief has good size (6-3), is very strong and is a warrior. Ran a blazing 4.40 at the combine too.

    Dude has the heart of a lion and eye of the tiger…..A freaking “LIGER!”
    I like Grants top 12 WR list but Moncrief should be on it……Trust the Crab fellas. ;)
    See for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjvwpWOoQO8

    1. Crabs .. thanx for that ..

      I can understand your man-crush on Moncrief ..
      (I’ve been pullin’ for Jordan Mathews, ever since
      Grant mentioned him awhile back) … but ..
      ya know one thing that really impresses me with
      your man ??

      When he scores … he acts like he’s been there before !

      1. MWN – Ole Miss has been good to us, looks like Moncrief is not afraid in the red zone. As you know, we need all the help we can get in that red area.

  43. MM is saying that Boldin’s ’14 cap hit is only 2.36M which means he’ll be big against the cap next season. Why put the bigger hit on next season I wonder?

    1. The cap appears to be going up significantly next season and the season after, so that is why they want the bigger number later than sooner. It also means they still have a fair bit of room under this years cap and haven’t done anything with Rogers or Gore yet.

    1. The way it’s structured I’d agree but they gave him two seasons worth of guarantee, hard to imagine it was just out of generosity.

  44. Grant I get the feeling you think Benjamin could be the next Brandon Marshall but it isn’t there. He’s slower then Marshall in every measurable way and even though he(Benjamin) is an inch taller Marshall out leaps him by 4.5 inches! Benjamin has had his way with smaller and lesser talented college players but he’s lack of physical talent will become apparent at the next level.

  45. I just had a flashback of 2011 pre-draft chatter in here . Hoferfan was touting QB Pat Devlin as one to watch…..LOL…..Dude was not drafted…….I wish Grant would put a shout out to Hofer, I miss that guy. He had very good football knowledge (except Devlin & Crabtree). The only other negative was that he went overboard on the use of initials.
    Come back Hoferfan!

  46. Give our #1 pick plus our number two and Cory Lemonier in exchange for the Raiders 5th pick in the 1st round.

    1. Bay your going to have to throw in nexts years 1st to get the #5 pick. Would you still pull the trigger on that trade.

      1. Considering our #1 picks are basically high #2 picks, yes I would make that deal. Look at what a healthy Harvin did for Seattle in a very very small sample. We need a weapon like that.
        And I guess we also need Harbaugh / Roman to step the passing game up so as not to under utilize a weapon like that.
        Otherwise we could gamble on an undersized weapon like Cooks and try to get creative with him. But lets be clear, we need our passing offense to grow up and we need speed.

  47. Grant – Can you send us a picture of your office/work environment? Any eye candy over there hangin around the water cooler? :)

    1. I don’t think anybody wants Florio on their side of an argument do they? :)

      I’ve already said everything there is to say about why I think he should be resigned now. I’ll let the team take it from here.

  48. Any news on Phil Dawson, Richard Dawson or Dawson Creek? oh never mind Well Richard died and Dawson Creek is off the air.

        1. That’s a little high for a kicker, especially since the highest rated kicker is projected for the 5th round Coach.

          1. MidWest if the highest rated kicker is a 5th rd pick then we better sign a FA kicker. I do’nt want to rely on a 5th rd pick especially in JH’s system where the kicker is so important. If we are going to spend money on a FA it might as well be Dawson

    1. I wonder to what extent the push to keep Whitner and the lack of talks with Brown reflect the 49ers’ view of the upcoming draft class.

  49. Grant,

    interesting not many FA posts. Just our own. Kind of neat to see this blog and a lot of fans inline with the notion of building through the draft.

    BUT…
    There is some interesting points out there: Vick, A. Talib, trade for D. Jackson, can we keep Brown and Whitner and not pay CK this year…

    Can we bring another WR in to NOT mess up chemistry with Crabs. For instance, trading for D. Jackson would be bad b/c he already hinted at a new contract a year or so after his deal. He would also come in with a price that would tell Crabs he is not the future… BUT could H. Nicks come in reasonable and intensive based. He may want to have a shot at playing.

    Point here is if we felt we can patch up the WR roster with a bargain or two we can focus the first two rounds on defense: BPA (CB, S, DL)

    Just a thought about FA since tomorrow it starts… I still think we should aggressively grab a WR or two!!! :)

  50. I really, really don’t get the love for Kelvin Benjamin especially after you using the phrase one year wonder with Fuller. What is there to like about Benjamin besides his size/length? Hes slow, stiff, inconsistent hands, runs sloppy routes, one year of production. He is a less productive, less athletic Mike Williams.

    1. Let me guess. You like Moncrief, too.

      Moncrief stinks. He’s a Combine Hero. Benjamin just had the best season of any FSU receiver since Biletnikoff. Benjamin is a late bloomer who consistently has been improving. He averaged 18.7 yards per catch last season. Mike Williams never came close to that.

      1. He averaged 18.7 yards per catch last season.

        You also fell in love with Baldwin’s YPC when the 49ers traded for him.

          1. That doesn’t change the fact that you fell in love with that stat of his without looking deeper into it.

      2. Mike Williams caught more than 80 passes in both his freshman and sophomore years, something Benjamin never came close to. He caught balls deep just like Benjamin, but he was also a reliable catcher underneath which brought his averages down.

        Jon Baldwin had a career yards per catch of 18.9 in college, and was the main receiver on his team (and focal point of defenses).

        Cut it any way you like, there is precedent for guys like Benjamin in the NFL – in fact these guys were actually more accomplished in college and younger entering the NFL. It doesn’t bode well for Benjamin.

      3. I actually don’t like Moncrief anywhere before the late 3rd because his speed doesn’t show up on tape, looks like a plodder to me, I don’t know why you’re assuming I like him. Benjamin’s bad combine numbers match his tape, he won’t be able to consistently separate because his routes are no good and he won’t make up for that flaw because he doesn’t have quick feet. There’s a reason FSU lined him up 2-3 yards off the ball frequently, it is because even though he has size/strength he simply doesn’t have the movement ability to separate at the line of scrimmage. There’s some things to like about him, flashes good body control and the ability to high point the ball, but hes a second rounder right now and I think most likely he ends up a role player in the NFL rather than a #1 or even a #2. I don’t see why his yards per catch is relevant to the comparison to Mike Williams either, they played in two different offensive systems.

      4. Grant or anyone – It’s obviously an incredibly deep WR draft. Chances are, one of the studs will fall to the Niners at #56 (in 2nd round). Receivers are more risky in first round than cornerbacks IMO. Makes more sense to me that Niners select best CB available in first round and then pick WR in 2nd round. There’s not as many exceptional CB’s as there are WR’s this years draft.
        With 5 picks in top-100, there’s no excuse for having a mediocre draft.

        1. Here’s the problem with that: The best wide receiver available at No.30 almost certainly will be a better prospect than the best cornerback available.

          1. Could be Grant but we won’t know that until the draft. As it stands, the CB depth is second only to WR depth in this draft and if guys like Roby, Fuller or Verrett are there at 30, they may be better options than the 6th or 7th WR if there is a run on them in the first round. Best choice has a good chance of being a DL imo.

          2. Very good point Grant but great corners are harder to find than great receivers.
            In baseball, good pitching beats good hitting. In NFL, good cornerbacks win battles vs good receivers more often than not.

          3. Grant you have been talking about a run on WR’s in the 1st rd for a while now. How many do you think will go? Do you think a run on WR”s might leave a top 10 or 12 pick still around at #30 and if so do you think the 9ers should grab a top 10 to 12 pick at #30 regardless of position?

            1. I don’t know who might drop, but it seems like at least five wide receivers will get drafted in the first round: Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks. Kelvin Benjamin very well could make it six. Or Allen Robinson.

              1. Who might drop would have alot to do with who might trade back to allow someone to move up tp get a WR. I believe if there truely is a run and more than 6 go in the 1st rd the 9ers might be able to scoop up someone special at #30.

              2. I still say take the best receiver available at No.30. It may be a few years before the 49ers get another chance to draft a potential No.1 receiver.

              3. A few years to draft a #1 WR? I know next years crop isn’t as good as this one figures to be but lets not get carried away. There is also FA to draw from. I’d also look at the likelihood that the 6th or 7th best WR has a lower percentage chance of being a great player than a higher rated player at another position.

              4. John Madden on Vick to Niners scenario:

                “If he would go to the 49ers, not only do you get a good team, competitive for a championship, but you also get a system — if something were to happen to Colin Kaepernick — that you know Michael Vick could run,”
                “If you were Michael Vick, I don’t know that you would want to go and be a back up to Tom Brady or to Peyton Manning or to one of those guys. But I think a back-up to Colin Kaepernick or even a Russell Wilson would make a lot of sense.”

                Madden said he thinks Vick would accept a back-up role and could do well in the position. “All it takes is one hit and you’re back in as a starter,”

      1. maybe a FB prospect, Razor ?

        NFL.com’s Matt Smith (in his latest mock)
        has the Niners taking Jason Verrett @ #30 …

        the Broncs taking Jordan Mathews @ #31 and
        the SeaChickens taking Grant’s man-crush
        Kelvin Benjamin @ #32

        1. I think Verrett is going to fall into the second round due to his short stature and the surgery on his labrum.

          1. Love Verrett. He and FS Terrence Brooks would give us the juice in the secondary that we’ve had to cover up for a while.

              1. Sorry Razor. I thought you were referring to Verrett and missed a number in his 40 time. You’re right in that 4.8 is slow for a RB.

  51. Terrence Brooks is a highly underrated FS. Great range and coverage skills. Would love to nab him mid-3rd round.

  52. I’m watching NFL Live and they keep showing a graphic saying the Niners are going to cut Carlos Rogers…I don’t know how true this is, but wouldn’t it be better to wait until June when the cap savings would be greater?

      1. Hmmm I wonder if this means they have something in the works with Brown or Whitner?

        Barrows says he’s heard the Niners have inquired about Nolan Carroll of the Dolphins as well.

          1. I’m not sure that will happen Scooter with the Bears, Jets, and Browns chasing him. My guess is that he signs with the Bears.

        1. Pro Football Focus: He allowed completions on just 47.8 percent of throws in his direction, yielding just two touchdowns while intercepting three passes and breaking up another seven. Carroll rushed the passer just seven times, but managed to come up with two sacks.

          Looks like he had some injuries. Also looks like he might have been the Dolphins 4th best cornerback as they look to turn to Jamar Taylor if they lose him.

    1. Some numbskull will bring up stats to show the opposite, but in my eyes Rogers was terrible this year. Especially in the big moments. The INT drop versus the Falcons that almost lost us the game, and the whiff on the Kearse TD in Seattle that put us in the whole were enough for me to never want to see this guy don the Red and Gold again at any price.

      1. Not trying to be a numbskull Bay, but Rogers was rated pretty highly as a slot CB by PFF this season. Having said that, he did miss plays and his age doesn’t translate to getting better or being worth the money he was scheduled to make, so I understand the move.

        Jason Verrett looks like a good option in the first round now if they don’t fill the slot CB spot in FA.

        1. Bay, is bringing up the bad of the bad… but not adding any of the good.

          Rogers and the secondary held their own last year. Especially considering: Cully was out all year, T. Brown went down, Namdi A. was a starter then cut. Aldon Smith was out, Lemoneir had only 1 sack I think. Pass rush died out for a stretch, Just Smith is just not his old self… I can go on. Our secondary was alright.

          Can anyone say we ended our LAST 3 years under JH b/c the secondary blew it??? No…b/c we had NO passing threat… and NO red zone.

          If the football gods were willing, wouldn’t signing Rogers, Whitner and T. Brown to team-friendly contract be a dream come true??? Then we can grab a CB and safety combo to develop in rounds 2-4… Draft is pretty deep in WR and secondary.

          I think we need to roll the dice and move up for a playmaker at WR!
          > Crabs playing top CBs fairs ok, but his injury slowed him. He is obsolete against great CBs
          > Boldin disappeared at times and when teams wanted to shut him down they did
          > Patton was b*tched at the line when he played I say it. He needs to work on his strength and release
          > MM, FA
          > Baldwin, soggy toast at this point
          *** We have a QB with a canon. Let’s get some down field play action NOW

      2. rogers did not whiff on kearse—he was on him tight but it was a great, great great throw—this probably escapes you as you are not used to seeing throws like that from kaepernick

      3. Some numbskull will bring up stats to show the opposite but in my eyes Rogers was terrible this year. Especially in the big moments.

        Right, because your eyes and the two plays you remember outweigh a season’s worth of data. If the numbers show the opposite of what your eyes see, then maybe you should get glasses. Rogers wasn’t terrible last season (in fact, he was rated as the 15th best corner in the league at midseason), but his play declined in the second half of the season (particularly on the outside), and his salary is too much, especially for an aging slot corner.

        And if the 49ers are going to get rid of every player who failed to make plays in big moments, then who do you think they will sign to replace Kaepernick?

  53. I was flipping through Merriam-Webster dictionary and stumbled across the definition for “Garbage in, Garbage out.”
    The definition says: See Baldwin/Jenkins trade.

      1. His 40 time was .08 seconds slower than Mike Evans. They seem to have a similar top-speed. Benjamin didn’t look comfortable starting from a sprinter’s stance.

        “Shows the gliding speed and short-area quickness to create some separation…Experienced playing outside and in the slot and shows courage in crossing the middle. Tough to bring down in the open field, using his long arms to effectively stiff-arm defenders and showing suddenness to accelerate once the ball is in his hands.”

        http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1860744/kelvin-benjamin

        Not slow or stiff. Huge hands. Just six drops last season, and they mostly came when he looked upfield too quickly. Coachable. Improving.

        1. From that same site: WEAKNESSES: Still developing as a route-runner, adding to questions about his ability to play a large role immediately in the NFL. While his size is problematic for defenders, Benjamin’s length makes it difficult for him to sink his hips and explodes out of cuts, making him much better suited to verticals and crossing routes than double-moves, limiting his fit to certain schemes.

          Drops too many passes. Allows the ball into his chest too often. Will take his eyes off the ball in an attempt to make the defender miss before actually securing the pass, leading to an occasional ugly drop. Seems to especially struggle with low passes, a problem for many taller receivers.

        2. From nfl.com/combine: Weaknesses Lacks elite, top-end speed and many catches are contested. Hand use could improve releasing vs. tight, press coverage. Overly grabby. Is not yet a nuanced route runner and does not sink his hips and pop in and out of his breaks. Does not shake many defenders after the catch. Will make the easy concentration drop and focus could stand to improve at the break point (three drops vs. Florida). Seeks to run before securing the ball and double-catches more than he should. Blocking effort/sustainability has room to improve on the move.

        3. Then there is the fact that he looked stiff and locked his hips during the drills at the Combine, negating his already slow speed.

            1. Going against the ACC and going against Richard Sherman plus Earl Thomas and the rest of the Seahawks secondary are two completely different things. They would have Kelvin on the Cob if he went against them.

              1. Benjamin had too many contested passes for a guy that is 6’5″ and weighs in at 240 pounds, and you think he could have had a better chance at that pass?

            2. I don’t get the fluid comment. He looks faster than a 4.6s guy in full stride, and more explosive than his combine results would suggest, but not a fluid athlete to me. More a power athlete. Like Vernon Davis.

  54. This is what I hate about the NFL spreading out across the entire year. More dead time for writers and bloggers to try to fill.

        1. Cut Rodgers, restructure Gore. Although no one is going to trade for him, you could probably pick up cheap in a couple of weeks. Defense is where we should be concentrating. Resign Whitner.

              1. Big fan of Plax when he came out of college. Highly productive WR that was the main focus of the teams passing offense. Used his size, length and athleticism to be a great vertical threat, but didn’t rely on it solely – he knew how to run routes, gain separation and gain body position. He was also often matched up against the opponents top CB with help over the top.

                Benjamin is a very raw version of Plax.

              2. I never said Benjamin wasn’t raw, but it’s not smart to draft based on which prospects are the most developed. They’re called “prospects” for a reason. Benjamin developed rapidly last season and no one finished 2013 stronger than he did. Mike Evans had 17 catches for 247 yards and no TDs his final four games.

              3. Too rapidly Grant, which raises the question of whether he elevated his talent level so that he could cash in at the draft.

                I never said Benjamin wasn’t raw, but it’s not smart to draft based on which prospects are the most developed.

                No, but it also isn’t smart to draft such a raw prospect in the first round either. The second round and on is when that should happen. The first round is usually for the prospects who were the most consistent.

              4. Yeah, Benjamin put up 9/212/3 against Florida and 5/119/2 the very next week against Duke just to cash in at the draft.

              5. You’re missing the point Grant. It raises flags whenever a prospect suddenly starts matching what his potential after two or three years of inconsistency or poor play and then declare for the draft after that year of talent explosion. Is their heart in the game? Are they just wanting to cash in at the next level? What is their attitude really like?

              6. Benjamin didn’t play poorly his freshman season. He averaged 16.5 yards per catch and a TD every 7.5 catches.

                His sophomore season he averaged 18.7 yards per catch and a TD every 3.6 catches.

              7. Again with his size Grant. He can’t do that in the NFL. All that you are doing is causing guys like Richard Sherman to salivate.

              8. And that matters how? Sherman’s biggest weakness is going up against speedsters, not stiff hips.

              9. And a NFL WR to a college WR. That only works if you are comparing who his style of play is similar to.

              10. It’s a bogus stat for Benjamin. He has 10 1/4 inch hands. Half his drops came in one game, and he took over that game.

              11. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – football instincts are an undervalued commodity in draft prospects. Benjamin’s football instincts aren’t good. He’s still an athlete learning the game.

                I agree you shouldn’t draft based on which guys are the most developed, but you shouldn’t draft really raw prospects early either. They are called developmental guys for a reason. They take type to develop. While I am an advocate of not expecting first rounders to be starters from the get go, you do want them to be role players as rookies and starters by their 2nd season.

                Benjamin at #56 I’d be really happy. Benjamin at #30 and I’m worried.

              12. First he was Mr. Dropsies. Then you learned he dropped just 6 passes last season, and 3 in one game, his best game of the season, his game against Florida. Not a trend. Not an issue.

                Plus, you hammer Benjamin for not being the No.1 receiver for FSU, but you gloss over the fact that Beckham wasn’t the No.1 receiver for LSU. Inconsistent.

                Now Benjamin has poor football instincts? With all due respect, you’re reaching.

                Moncrief is what you call a developmental guy. He hasn’t had sustained success even at the college level. He probably will contribute nothing his first year. Benjamin will be a downfield threat in three-receiver sets and a red-zone threat his rookie season, and he very well may develop into an No.1 receiver who can play all three receiver positions.

              13. Now he has poor football instincts? With all due respect, you’re reaching.

                We have been saying that for a while now, so how exactly are we reaching?

                Moncrief is what you call a developmental guy.

                So is Benjamin.

                He hasn’t had sustained success even at the college level.

                Technically neither did Benjamin until this past college season.

                He probably will contribute nothing his first year.

                What makes you think Benjamin would? Because of his height? Now that is a reach.

                Benjamin will be a downfield threat in three-receiver sets and a red-zone threat his rookie season, and he very well may develop into an No.1 receiver who can play all three receiver positions.

                Here’s a take on Moncrief from nfl.com/combine:
                Bottom Line Big, physically gifted “X” receiver with deep speed, “above-the-rim” potential and playmaking ability. Has a ceiling as a No. 1 or No. 2 in a vertical passing offense, and his best football is in front him. Likely to elevate his stock at the combine and in workouts.

              14. Moncrief: 3 catches for 39 yards and 0 TDs against Troy on 11/16/13. Not even four months ago.

                Prove it on the field. Benjamin had the best season of any WR in FSU history since Biletnikoff. No WR in the country had a better game against Florida last season. 212 yards against a defense that gave up 187.5 passing yards per game — 10th best in the country.

              15. That doesn’t mean that he is worth a first round pick. Matthews broke SEC receiving records yet he is classified as a second round pick.

              16. Grant, I said it about Benjamin ages ago. I’ve not changed my tune. He doesn’t have great hands, doesn’t run good routes, and is very raw. All stuff I’ve said many times before.

                Regarding Mr Dropsies, he was around the 9% to 11% mark in drop rate. Very high, as noted by:

                http://www.catscratchreader.com/2014/2/11/5402818/a-more-through-look-at-kelvin-benjamin

                And another:

                http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1947205-boom-vs-bust-kelvin-benjamin-brings-great-risk-to-nfl-teams

                As for not being the #1 WR – my knock on him is that he accounted for just 22% of his teams receiving yards. That is a very poor mark for a college WR. Beckham accounted for around one third for LSU, which is an acceptable mark. Top college WRs should be accounting for a third or more of their teams receiving output.

              17. Crabtree had a 14 percent drop-rate in 2011. He has great hands, as does Benjamin. The routes can be improved.

                Seems odd to knock Benjamin for Winston spreading the ball around.

              18. Since my comment was flagged for moderation I’ll post it again without the links.

                Grant, I said that about Benjamin ages ago. I’ve not changed my tune. He doesn’t have great hands, doesn’t run good routes, and is very raw. All stuff I’ve said many times before.

                Regarding Mr Dropsies, he was around the 9% to 11% mark in drop rate. Very high.

                As for not being the #1 WR – my knock on him is that he accounted for just 22% of his teams receiving yards. That is a very poor mark for a college WR. Beckham accounted for around one third for LSU, which is an acceptable mark. Top college WRs should be accounting for a third or more of their teams receiving output.

              19. If you put more than one link in a post, it will get flagged for moderation Scooter. I learned that myself not too long ago.

              20. Seems odd to knock Winston for spreading the ball around.

                How exactly is that a knock against Winston?

              21. Crabtree had a 14 percent drop-rate in 2011.

                You’re comparing a healthy player to a then not healthy player.

              22. Ahhh, I see, cheers MidWest.

                Crabtree had a 14% drop rate in the NFL. Bad, yes, but the windows are a lot tighter in the NFL. He was better in 2012. Benjamin had one of the highest drop rates of the top WR prospects this year. It is why every scouting report mentions his issues with inconsistent hands.

                I’m not knocking Winston – good QBs try and spread the ball around a bit. But elite receivers in college get the ball. They don’t regularly have stat lines of 3 catches or less in a game. Benjamin had 8 games of 3 or less catches last season.

              23. If half the drops came in one game, 14 % is a disingenuous stat. It’s not a trend. I expect Benjamin’s drop rate to drop in the NFL, like Crabtree’s

                How many games did Benjamin not score a touchdown? How many games did Benjamin not catch a deep pass? It seems you’re frustrated FSU didn’t force feed the ball to Benjamin after they were already up by three TDs.

        1. They wouldn’t go up against each other but I get what you mean. The media would definitely have a field day if we did sign him.

  55. Found this 2012 Draft Synopsis:

    Arizona got Michael Floyd worth the 13th pick and Bobbie Massie in the fourth. Whether or not that is a good return depends on your view of Massive. I’m not sold.

    Atlanta got virtually nothing.

    The Ravens got a guard, Osemele in the second and a disappointment in Courtney Upshaw in the first.

    The Bills (10th) will be disappointed with Stephon Gillmore’s play so far but will be happy with Cordy Glenn.

    The panthers got a great linebacker, Keuchly, with the 9th pick but sod all else.

    The Bears’ second pick hurts, we could have taken Alshon Jeffrey instead of AJJ buy we didn’t buy the rest of their draft whiffed. First round DE Shea McClellin is moving to 4-3 linebacker.

    Cincy got a good guard in Zeitler (with a 1st round pick) but Kirkpatrick has been less than they’d hoped for. Marvin Jones has been decent for them as well.

    Cleveland got an adequate tackle in the third round but the 1st round pick they got for Richardson is the rest, when they had two first round picks.

    Denver got a good player in Garrett Wolfe, another mid level starter in Danny Trevathan at a low priority position in the seventh.

    The Lions are vaguely happy with Riley Reiff but that’s all folks.

    The Pack got a useful nickelback in the second round in Casey Hayward but will be looking for much more from Perry, Worthy and McMillan.

    Houston’s best pick might have been Jared Crick in the fourth.

    The Colts got Luck, a no brainer, and did well to grab TY Hilton in the fourth but Dwayne Allen got hurt and Fleener has disappointed. It’s OK but they did have the first pick.

    Blackmon is talented for the Jags but he’s also one heavy session away from a suspension.

    The Chiefs got Poe at 11 and a mediocre tackle, Donald Stephenson, on the third.

    Miami took Tannehill with the 8th pick, who has been OK but did get Olivier Vernon in the third.

    Minnesota had the fourth pick and got a very promising tackle in Kalil and then traded up to grab another good player in the first round with Harrison Smith. The rest is forgettable.

    The Pats also had a pair of first round picks, adding Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower but only took jailbird Alfonzo Dennard after that.

    The Giants and Saints got very little, other than NO grabbing Akiem Hicks in the third.

    Thee Jets took Quinton Coples halfway through the first, he’s OK.

    The Raiders struck out.

    The eagles did well, Cox could be a decent 3-4 end and they stumbled upon Nick Foles and Bryce Brown.

    Pittsburgh only have first round guard David Decastro to show for nine selections.

    The Rams had two second round picks but so far only Brockers, no 14 in the first, has been notably good and he regressed last year. The only other player of note is the mercurial Janoris Jenkins.

    San Diego only got Kendall Reyes.

    SF have only LMJ and maybe Joe Looney to show for it.

    This is where we get annoyed, Seattle were able to collect, Irvin, Wagner, Wilson and Jeremy Lane as well as starting guard JR Sweezy. By far the best draft out of this dismal year.

    The Bucs did well, while the seventh pick wasn’t great in Mark Barron, Doug Martin at the end of the first and Lavonte David in the second both broke out.

    Tennessee got Kendall Wright, who still could be a good player and Washington got RGIII and some Shannahan zone goodness in Alfred Morris.

    So only five teams (Colts with the first pick, Washington with the second, the Bucs, the Eagles who landed Foles and the Seahawks) selected more than one promising starter.

    Yes, it would have been great to do better, particularly if we could have snagged either Jeffrey or Hilton instead of the woeful AJ Jenkins, but if Looney ever becomes a starter then we will have been average. In an awful draft that will go down as one of the worst in recent NFL history.

    Should we be more forgiving about Baalkes’ 2012? There were barely fifty players and he didn’t pick until number 30…

    1. A thorough critique of that draft with original thinking; well done, sir. With apologies for yet another wine metaphor; vintage counts; a lot.
      At the moment ’14 Draft looks pretty good. I hope it looks as good in hindsight and that TB stocks the cupboard.

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