Replacing Whitner

Assuming the 49ers re-sign Anquan Boldin and not Donte Whitner this offseason, how do you think the 49ers will replace Whitner?

The 49ers probably will draft a strong safety during the first two or three rounds, but that safety may not start from Day 1. If he can’t, Craig Dahl or C.J. Spillman or a free agent the 49ers sign might be able to play strong safety until the rookie develops.

Which strong safety do you think the 49ers will draft? My best guess is Lamarcus Joyner. He seems similar to Whitner — short, but very athletic and aggressive.  Joyner played strong safety for Florida State in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he played cornerback and was a unanimous first-team All American. He also returned kicks.

If another team drafts Joyner before the 49ers pick in the second round, the 49ers could draft Ahmad Dixon.

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  1. Whitner’s height(5’10) was a liability against the 6’5 and 6’6 tightEnds that now dominate league.

  2. Grant,

    If you were assigned to the project of assembling a “Legion of Boom” for the 49ers, what personnel moves would you make (e.g., via draft, free agency, trade, resigning current roster, cutting current roster, etc.)? Your analysis should consider real-world factors, such as draft positioning, player availability, salary cap, likelihood a team would trade a player, likelihood a player would sign a player contract, etc.

    1. Before the Legion of Boom there was Dwight Hicks and his Hot Licks. Dwight Hicks was basically a free agent that played with the team beginning in 1979. In the 1981 draft the 49ers drafted one of the best secondaries in league history. Ronnie Lott (Round 1), Eric Wright (Round 2), Carlton Williamson (Round 3). The first 49er Superbowl team featured 3 rookies and Hicks as stars in the secondary. Among those 4 players there were 16 All Pro years, 12 Superbowl rings, and one Rookie of the Year. I can’t imagine there has been a more decorated secondary – all drafted in the same year in NFL history.

  3. Joyner is a playmaker, I’ll give him that. If he was 5’10″ – 5’11″ there’d be a lot more noise about him.

    He may actually not be a bad fit for the 49ers since they typically rely on their LBs to cover the taller TEs anyway. He’d also start immediately as the nickel back. Problem is, where do you draft him? 49ers might have to use their first rounder on him, which seems a bit risky for a guy that is 5’8″. If they trade back with their first, or trade up in the 2nd, he might be an option.

    For mine, if they want to go the way of mirror safeties, then outside of Calvin Pryor and Clinton-Dix, Ahmad Dixon is their best bet. If they want to go coverage safety with better size than Joyner, then Ward is the best option.

      1. I think Joyner will go before the first of the 49ers second round picks. If they can get him in the mid to late 2nd round then I’d be happy with that.

        I have a feeling Dixon will go around the late 2nd through 3rd round, unless he does something amazing at the combine (good or bad). With so few good safeties in the draft, they will likely be over-drafted.

    1. There is no way 49ers would draft Joyner at number 30. oh wait, maybe anything is possible since they drafted AJ Jenkins in the first round!!!

        1. Aggressiveness in the running game is his main weakness. He’s aggressive enough when it comes to striking guys in the passing game. He makes a lot of tackles but he doesn’t rush up to strike the ball carrier once he diagnoses run. At times he looks a bit timid coming up, and happy to let others make the play, then jump on in at the end.

        2. Ya know it’s funny. Not a single person that actually employed as an NFL scout has mentioned that Ward is weak in the run game or physically but yet some of you are already convinced it’s his weakest trait. You guys must know something the professionals don’t, how interesting.

          1. Would you be happy if I said his aggressiveness in the running game wasn’t his greatest strength?

            As I’ve said numerous times I really like Ward. I’d be very happy if the 49ers take him. However, in the film I have watched there has been a few instances where after diagnosing run he hasn’t rushed up aggressively to stop it. I see that as his biggest ‘weakness’ (i.e., area of least strength). He is by no means a liability in the running game though, and I have never suggested this.

  4. Boldin and niners have a mutal interest in a contract extension! Ian rapport states that something will get worked out before free agency starts!

    1. I love boldin on this team, i also love crab. But if we dont get a WR that can Burn, we will have the same problems next year. Crab n Quan can catch damn near everything, but how many times have they literally been wide open without a defensive mishap. We need to clear out more space for our already good run game. This 9 in the box thing is killin us

  5. So is Spillman only special teams compatible? Or do we think this man will get his shot on the defensive side of the ball this year

  6. Deion Robinson from Wa St is the pick. 6’2 that can hit and cover w speed. Played SS for 2-3 yrs if I’m correct. Check him out before Dixon or Joyner. I would move up and get him. 9ers need bigger players on D. Everyone is giving Carroll credit for bigger corners but it was Ray Rhodes in GB after Minn drafted Moss that started that trend before he got fired.

    1. I think you’re alluding to Deone Bucannon. Watched several tapes. Wished I like him because of his size. Long arms. However wasn’t impressed. As for Joyner, don’t like his lack of height. But he is a big time baller. I’d take Joyner over Bucannon.

    1. Because he was a drunk! Plus people in the organization realized Balke was a better player evaluater then him! Which is true…

    2. There have been rumors that he was either showing up to meetings drunk or missing them altogether, reportedly during the scouting combine.

    1. That’s the first I have heard of that story. I don’t suppose you have anything to support it, do you?

  7. Razor/Scooter,

    Off the topic but who do you guys think are the top 3 or 4 linebackers for a 4-3 defense in this draft class?

        1. Van Noy, Barr and Attaochu for mine, though Barr is a better fit as a rush linebacker in a 3-4. Most of the top linebackers are more weakside guys or rush backers.

          Attaochu reminds me a bit of Sio Moore from last year, but more raw.

          1. Yeah, Jones is another good option. I see him more as a MLB or weakside guy though. He played all 3 spots at Florida State.

          2. CJ Mosley looks great, but he’s more a MLB or weakside guy too. CBS compare him to Lavonte David, and that’s a pretty good comparison in regards to how he’ll fit.

          3. I should say I’m basing that on very traditional ideas of the Sam, Mike and Will. Mosley and Jones would be more than capable of playing Sam for teams that prefer speed over size/ strength in their LBs.

  8. We really need a kick returner, I don’t see James on the team, next season. Dahl is not that good, we need a safety who can return punts and kick offs.

  9. My ideal replacement for Whitner is Whitner. Barring that, I don’t have any specific players in mind.

    Baalke’s said he prefers interchangeable strong/free safeties with similar body types and capabilities. I’d suspect if the 49ers drafted a safety, they would choose one similar to Reid.

  10. This has to be an awful year for GMs looking to draft DBs. Will the league continue its unofficial “let em play” policy that was established with the Legion of Grab last season? If so, draft some big, tall CBs.

    But what of the refs go back to normal and resumes flagging for holding and PIs? This would screw teams that spent high draft picks on (relatively) slow footed lugs.

    I’m guessing its a lot of work for teams to establish their big boards. Without knowing how the league will flag PI penalties, it has to be near impossible.

  11. Id replace him with NICK MOODY. He played Safety back in college, he can be our version of Kam Chancellor

  12. I think the 49ers want safeties that are inter-changeable. Reid can be in the box 1 play, and then play center-field the next play. It makes harder on defenses not knowing where each safety is going to be. You want safeties that can be able to do it all, and not just pigeon-holed as an in-the-box safety that can hit. They originally signed Whitner because there wasn’t many options and they needed someone to step in right away. It wasn’t because he was their ideal body-type.

    Besides that, I think the 49ers are going to want to continue to build a touch and physical defense. I think the Seahawks set a defensive model that many teams will try to emulate. Big guys that can run, with long arms.

  13. Joyner is not tall, but he is such a beast. Has long arms which helps him overcome lack of height. Love his heart, nastiness, passion, toughness. That is a 49er if you ask me. I’d snatch him at 1. No one has looked better on tape.

  14. I ‘m not impressed with dixon’s tape from Bayler. He looks stiff and slow.. Joyner or prior would be much better selections. Although we would have to trade up in the first for prior.. I think Joyner can be had in the second rnd due to his tweener role.. Corner or safety?

  15. Replacing whitner isnt going to happen. I think we would be smart to look for a safety more similar to Eric Reed. Several of whitner hits were called penalties, even if they were legal. The NFL encourages the officials to throw the flag when it’s questionable. These penalties cost us yards and downs and end the end game. See NFC championship game. If our front 7 is as good as everyone says it is we should be looking for the next earl Thomas or Eric reed not Daunte whitner.

    1. Unless he has a really bad pro day I can’t see him getting past the second round. All reports out of the senior bowl were that he was the best in coverage out of not just the safeties but the corners as well at the Senior Bowl. Would be surprised if he makes it to the 49ers 1st second rounder.

          1. Drafttek, walterfootball, both have him as a 3-4 rounder and nfl.com has him as the 5th ranked safey which is at least a late second to early third round pick.

            I have noticed that since the senior bowl he has jumped up on quite a few lists so you can be right, he might be more of a early to mid second by now and could be higher by May.

      1. His coverage skills look great, but I’m not seeing the physicality that I would like at SS.
        ————–
        To go along with his 95 tackles, this is a report on him from the Senior Bowl: “Reading a wide run to the right (his left) from West Virginia running back Charles Sims, Ward exploded towards the line of scrimmage, zipping past would-be blockers to “tackle” 6-foot, 214-pound back in the open-field. Tackling is strictly forbidden during the all-star practices, but ward came in so fast, Sims had no choice but to attempt a jump-cut to this right, losing his balance and falling to the ground…” http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=113441&draftyear=2014&genpos=SS

      2. Sorry Coffee, but he seems more like a cover CB than a SS, at least to me. I’m just not seeing him lay down the law in any of his highlights except for one play, and he had to be attended to by his team’s medical staff.

          1. A player that records 95 tackles isn’t afraid of contact, I’d rather have a saftey that can cover like a blanket plus add a big hit every now and then, then have a linebacker playing safety who sucks in coverage.

          2. MidWestDynasty February 13, 2014 at 12:13 am
            The problem is that we need both, an enforcer that is great in coverage.
            ——————————-
            We don’t have that now, so why do we need it? Wouldn’t you rather have the guy that can cover and still help out on the run game rather then a big hitter who gets burned by decent receivers?

          3. Wouldn’t you rather have the guy that can cover and still help out on the run game rather then a big hitter who gets burned by decent receivers?

            That’s important, but not all that we need Coffee. Sometimes you need a big hitter as well. I highly doubt that his coverage skills and ability to help in the run game will keep him from getting run over by Marshawn Lynch.

          4. You say we have a big hitter now in Whitner but I still saw them getting run over by Lynch so I’m not sure what it is you want. You want someone that can hit like Whitner but then give an example in which Whitner failed as a big hitter.

          5. I guess what I’m saying is, show me someone beefy enough to stop Lynch with a head of steam yet athletic enough to cover TE’s and receivers. You’re talking about an uber rare type player that simply doesn’t exist. You don’t get the best of both worlds at that position in one player. I’d rather have someone that has great coverage skills that can help out on the run then someone who can lay crushing hits but get burned by quicker players.

        1. You say we have a big hitter now in Whitner but I still saw them getting run over by Lynch so I’m not sure what it is you want.

          Never said that Coffee.

          You want someone that can hit like Whitner but then give an example in which Whitner failed as a big hitter.

          What example did I give?

          You say that I am looking for a player that doesn’t exist which is incorrect. I’d like to see a SS that is good in coverage and the run game but can deliver the hard hit if needed. Unfortunately this draft doesn’t have an instant starter like that, so I think the team should sign a stop-gap if they can’t resign Whitner and draft somebody that take over in a year or two.

          1. First, I’ve reread my posts a few times and please don’t take the tone as attacking . I could have worded them a little nicer sounding. With that said I think 95 tackles shows that Ward isn’t afraid to come up and make a hit, the example I posted from the Senior Bowl also suggests an aggressive player that likes to hit running backs. He’s known for having very good coverage so if he has a propensity to lay a hit every now and then, which he appears to have, he sounds to me like the exact player you are looking for.

            As far as whether he can take the hits or not, remind me how many times Reid knocked himself out of a game this year, wasn’t it at least twice maybe even a third time. Are people questioning his ability to take on hits even though he seems to hurt himself doing so?

          2. Your tone was fine Coffee. I just didn’t appreciate being told that I said something I never did. It’s all good though. :-)
            As for Ward’s hitting ability, I’m basing it on the highlights that I have watched. He does a good job of wrapping up his opponent, but it just seemed that there were some of those tackles that should have been hard hits that negated the pass completion.

    2. He may not be there Coffee. According to NFLDraftScout, he’s now listed as a solid second round pick.

  16. Tj ward will be in a niner uniform. He will take less to be a niner. You heard it hear. He’s better than hitner.

  17. I don’t see Baalke drafting Joyner until 2b or later. He likes big guys. All the shrimps he drafts don’t work out well. I would rank the safeties Pryor > Buchanon > Ward = Dixon. Baalke has done a great job finding CB talent in the later rounds. If Pryor falls, we should grab him and have 2 mirror safeties that can cover, cover big TE’s and hit. I still think we can get a quality WR in the second tier.
    Joyner would be a safety conversion and granted, people want a Mathieu type, but I would want him in the slot to cover Austin and blitz. He’s got the quickness to stay with shifty types and he would be a terror blitzing from the slot. Plus he can return kicks, which has no depth right now.

    1. Baalke likes big guys ? I haven’t seen that, at least in terms of WR, Kyle Williams 5’10″, Ronald Johnson 5’10″, AJ Jenkins 6’0″ and Quinton Patton 6’10″. None has been over 6′, in fact I wish he liked big guys.

  18. One thing to keep in mind with the whole mirror safety concept is that you don’t actually want two guys that are exactly the same – same strengths same weaknesses (unless they are both great at everything of course, but hard to find those kind of players). Both guys need to be capable of coming down in the box, staying back and playing halves in a 2-deep zone (or single-high when called on), or playing man. But ideally one guy is better at a couple of those and the other is better at the other stuff. Otherwise you end up with two guys that are decent at everything but don’t excel in any area.

    For example, Reid is good at staying back and playing halves in a 2-deep zone or sometimes single high, attacking the ball (or receiver) in the air, and sprinting up from deep when he diagnoses run. He can also come down in the box and be physical. But he’s not so good playing man – he can do it and not be a major liability, but he’s got stiff hips and is better playing zone. Whitner is better coming down in the box, playing a bit of man. He gets some grief for not being able to cover 6’5″ TEs, but he’s really not that bad in man coverage. He’s also pretty good playing halves in a 2-deep zone. However, he doesn’t have the range to play single-high, and isn’t as good as Reid making plays on the ball in zone coverage. Basically, they compliment each others skills.

    If the 49ers lose Whitner they want to replace him with someone that is more suited to coming down in the box, can cover, and play a half in 2-deep zone. They don’t need him to be a guy that makes a living primarily playing deep zone though. They have that in Reid.

    To me the ideal guy would be Pryor, even though his man-coverage skills are something of an unknown quantity (he wasn’t asked to do much of it). However, he’s equally good in the box or playing a deep half in zone, and he looks like he has the speed and athleticism to handle man coverage duties well.

    LaMarcus Joyner is an interesting idea because he ticks all the boxes I just mentioned. He’s short, but he could actually be the best option. I do really like Ward as well. The main knock I have on him is that when he plays deep he doesn’t always come up and aggressively attack the run like you see Reid do, but then as a SS he’d play closer to the line more often than not anyway. He’s a reliable tackler that takes good angles and is good in coverage.

    Guys like Bucannon and Dixon I like, but I wonder if they are just a little too similar to Reid. Have the same strengths and weaknesses as Reid, and as such wouldn’t really complement Reid as well as Pryor, Joyner or Ward.

    1. Pryor is my choice, too for top, well rounded safety. I would tend to disagree about Buchanon and Dixon being too similar to Reid though. They are more in the mold of a traditional strong safety. I would worry about Joyner holding up long term. He’s a big hitter, but isn’t a bulky as an Ed Reed. The guy is a player though. I tend to think that safety is a bigger need than CB, particularly because Baalke will try to sign a vet on the cheap and has done a good job finding CB prospects in the late rounds/UDFA. The overall talent pool for the Niners is shallow in the secondary and Baalke is going to have to use the draft to deepen it considerably. I’m just glad there is none of the “Culliver conversion to safety” talk here.

    2. I’m not sold on Pryor because I keep seeing hits from him that will get flagged and fined in the NFL. The fact that he didn’t do hardly any man coverage at Louisville isn’t good either. He’s like a taller version of Dashon Goldson.

      1. If they take Joyner and what they end up with is a feisty, play-making slot CB that can return kicks instead of a safety, they’ve still come out alright.

  19. I really like Joyner (and the Niners love guys with long arms), but as sensitive as the league and officials are to “big hits” and given how often a guy like Whitner was flagged for hard, but legal hits, I’m becoming less of a proponent of the hard hitting safeties and more of a proponent of guys that can cover well. Whitner was flagged 5 times this past season for unnecessary roughness/hitting defenseless receiver and wasn’t fined for ANY of those hits. The hit he had on Steven Jackson on the Monday night game that was flagged was a horrific call. Absolutely no helmet to helmet contact, but the refs err on the side of caution and throw the flag anyway. No way to review it. Just ridiculous.

    The league absolutely has to start reviewing these calls in-game because it’s getting to the point where it almost makes more sense for a defender to just the opposing team complete a pass, break down, and then try to tackle him instead of trying to time a big hit.

    1. I agree, but I’d rather keep him at CB. I think he has the ability to slide into Rogers’ role.

  20. The answer is obvious; Taylor Mays is a free agent, sign him quick!
    The FA list for SS is underwhelming. Not sure who there is much better than Dahl.
    I LOVE Joyner’s game, but #30 might be too high but he’d be gone by 56. I like Ward too, but dicey for him to be there at 56 I think. As the game continues to evolve for passing I’d be ok with Ward. Perhaps either guy would be there in upper 2nd if TB does a small trade back out of #30.
    I noted that Bill Polian said he thought that Whitner might be even more important for the 49ers to re-sign than Boldin, which I found interesting.
    BTW, compliments all around for the blog’s focus and general level of discourse lately.

  21. lets be real, the 49ers secondary is in trouble enough, dont make it worst by not resigning donte whitner,there’s a rookie name eric reid who did a tremendous job but still learning….defense win games. sorry rogers got to go… baby bye bye, you cost us enough.

    1. I agree. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with a 2nd year and a rookie…..or worse a 2nd year and Craig Dahl

      Yes Whitner is a bit of a liability but that can be cleaned up with a better corner on the right side… wihitner knows this defense, is a leader, and can lay the wood on someone (though he has become a bit of an expert on making hits to the shoulder look like a direct malicious hit to the head). I just hope he’s not asking for too much and Baalke can make a deal.

  22. So there’s a story on Pro Football Talk, and it’s not about Pacman Jones, or some 24 year old egomaniac Gazillionaire. A savvy, football-smart veteran, a family man, a natural leader goes into a bank, withdraws $50,000.00 in cash (for what purpose?) in a bag and puts the bag on the front seat of his car and walks away. Somebody follows him out of the bank, smashes the window and makes off with the cash. WTF, Ed Reed?
    What does anyone need with that much cash? I just put in a solar system, I sure didn’t pay the contractor in Benjamins!

    1. Nobody that didn’t want that money taken would do that. Sounds like a shady way to get someone a big chunk of money without having to explain where it went or what it was actually for.

  23. Are you kiddin me? The first event at Levi’s Stadium is a soccer game??? These flopping injury fakers should not be the first athletes playing in Levi’s Stadium! Just thinking about the drama of these terrible actors swan diving, falling and moaning gets me nauseated man.
    I’ve seen hockey players get 15 stitches in the face and get back on the ice as fast as they get the last thread tied. Football players get viciously blind sided and knocked silly, then they’re back on the field the next series.
    How could Jed York let this soccer fiasco take place before Niners touch foot there? Levi’s Stadium was built for the San Francisco 49ers, not a San Jose soccer team!

    As far as replacing Whitner, LSU has been good to us so I keep the LSU pipeline open and select Craig Loston with our earlier 3rd round pick (#77 overall). Loston is a fearless big hitter who would fit in well alongside Eric Reid.
    Also, We need to get a home run threat for our return game…..Would like Niners to land WR Kelvin Benjamin too. He is the answer to our redzone nightmares.

    1. Seems like a good idea to me. Let them go and work out all the bugs so that when the 49ers play their first game everything will be perfect! (or something like that)

      1. CFC – They have 6 months to workout the bugs and Niners first preseason game will determine if any modifications are needed.

        1. Cant exactly ‘simulate’ what 20,000 plus human beings will do to a place so I’m still glad they’ll have a chance to work out the major kinks before the stadium’s intended occupants arrive.

          1. The kinks are mainly with women anyways bro. They spend 2 hours getting ready in bathroom at home and then another 2 hours in the freaking stadium bathroom. Have you seen those women’s bathroom lines?
            We men take care of business in 30 seconds but these ladies waste time chit chatting, fixing hair etc. Meanwhile Crabtree is pullin in passes all over the field. :)

          2. CFC – speaking of restrooms, I hope Levi’s has “21st century dividers” in men’s bathroom between each pisser. I hate those trough urinals. You never know when you’re going to get some creep with wandering eyes standing next to you.

          3. Crab when that happens you turn to him and say “Damnit DS I told you to stop following me into the john!”

  24. Right now I’m more concerned with whether or not Kilgore is an adequate replacement for Goodwin.

  25. Don’t be surprised if Baalke doesn’t sign a FA S…here are some that might be willing to sign a cap-friendly contract, knowing the Niners are so close to another championship. Major Wright (Bears), James Ihedigbo (Ravens), TJ Ward (Browns), Antoine Bethea (Colts), Hussain Absullah (Chiefs), Nate Allen (Eagles), Bernard Pollard (Titans). Some may command salaries higher than Baalke would be willing to pay, others maybe not. I’d expect TB to draft a S, but not sure how much confidence he & Harbaugh have in Dahl. For sure, Harbaalke won’t start a rookie SS alongside Reid.

    1. Frank i did’nt see your post before i posted mine. I agree with you it would not surprise me if Baalke does’nt sign a FA instead of drafting a safety.

  26. The draft is not the only route the team can take to replace Whitner. Baalke loves to sign FA’s on the cheap. Are there any FA safetys who might slip through the original signing frenzy and be signed as bargins by the 9ers? If Whitner receives little interest in FA how much would the 9ers be willing to sign him for?

    1. I was hoping we would sign Chris Clemons last season. Apparently the 49ers weren’t the only ones not interested as he stayed with Miami on a one year deal for under $3M. He had a decent year again so he’s someone that could potentially slip through the first wave of FA signings and come to us at a decent price.

  27. Another option at safety that i was pushing for last yr is moving Culliver back to S. which would allow his knee to heal in a less stessful manner. Then you resign Rogers for cheap and T. brown for cheap allowing the team to concentrate on offense in the draft. They could draft a couple WR’s at least one RB and a couple O linemen. I believe the 9er D was far stronger than their O last yr and with Carradine, Dial, Williams, Culliver and possibly Okoye coming back maybe we should focus on the other side of the ball.

      1. Well Bayarea if he is willing to sign for a favorable cap number i think you might just have to learn to live with him

    1. Culliver isn’t a safety! I keep hearing this stuff online and it mystifies me.

      So Culliver played some safety in college. Safeties have to key and diagnose offenses, know what everyone’s duty in the defenses is and make adjustments. Culliver is still figuring out his singular job at Corner.

      Culliver was the Nickel Corner brought in to play on the outside (while Rogers played the slot). Culliver plays best in press coverage. He’s not good at deep coverage. You don’t want him in single high coverage in the Niner’s base Cover 3 or in 2 Man High or Quads…all deep zones. And do you think he’s capable of banging with Tight Ends in the box to protect the seam in the coverage?

      1. I agree with everything there affp except Culliver not being any good in deep zone coverage. His issues deep are in turning and locating the ball when running with a receiver in man coverage. I think he’d be fine playing deep with the play in front of him and attacking the football.

        But yeah, I question his ability to diagnose play and support the run, which means to me he should be kept at CB.

      2. Allforfun its not really accurate to say that Culliver played “some” safety in college. He started 2 yrs at safety, a total of 24 games started. He only started 7 games in his college career at CB. He was named 2nd team all SEC at safety. There must be plenty of film of him at safety out there gauge whether or not he was an effective safety.

        1. I’d like to think that this was the plan all along. Methodically grooming Culliver to step in and take over for Whitner 2014. If Culliver is the man for the job, that would simplify things in my opinion…..

  28. How about moving Culliver over to Strong Safety if Whitner does not come back? They could draft a corner and see if they can move Culliver to Safety.

    1. I thought about this as well. I know he played some Saftey in college but I’m not sure how he would transition. I would love if someone more knowledgeable coud give some insight.

      If we moved him, than we’d have brock, and we could re-sign brown, and rework rogers or just cut him. Draft someone fairly high in the first 3 rounds.

      What about Cox, does he come back next year?

  29. Would rather have Bucannon or Loston than Dixon or Joyner who is more of a CB than SS. Out of the two, Bucannon is more like Whitner plus he does possess coverage skills and would be better apt to start because of his work ethic and intelligence like Reid. Loston is moving up draft boards and will be solid second rounder after the Combine, IMO. Both Bucannon and Loston can be had with one of our seconds preferably at the end of the round. Yet, I can see Baalke moving up a bit in the second for someone he likes. It seems like this draft is loaded with talent in the first THREE rounds due to all the underclassmen declaring especially at WR. I like our chances drafting a new fresh SS to pair with Reid. I personally hope it’s Bucannon. :)

  30. Under the heading of Beating A Dead Horse:
    NFL network and ESPN folks still mulling over reactions to Michael Sam’s announcement. I guess Bruschi (whom I admire) is opining that some NFL guys will have a problem with the idea of a gay teammate. He points out that a roster is a band of fellows like no other.
    I’d like to call BS on that. How about a Firehouse? How about a combat platoon? Folks who face real life & death scenarios regularly adapted to gays on their teams, just like they did with women joining their forces. Get over it! Yeah, lots of guys had trouble adjusting to Jackie Robinson too. Get over it. It is 2014, get over it.
    “Don’t draft him, I might not be comfortable around him…..” Shaddup and get over it.
    Thank you, yet another rant completed.

    1. I’d just like them to shaddup and move on already. The draft focus needs to be on talent and potential only.

    2. His teammates rallied behind him, then at the end of the season, voted him their MVP. If I’m a coach/GM and i feel the kid can play, he’s gonna play, and anybody who has a problem with playing with him…..well they won’t be playing with him then.

      Bruschi might as well suggest that if some guy isn’t comfortable playing with hispanics, or blacks, or….. samoans, the team shouldn’t bring blacks or samoans in! Gay bashing is the last acceptable refuge it seems for the bigots. But not for long.

      I had to rant there with you Tuna. Ahhh….I feel much better. Like I’ve just left the bathroom after a 15 minute “appointment”.

    1. MWNiner i think the question of how loud, will be answered more by who buys the tickets than the structure of the stadium. If 80% of the tickets are owned by white wine sipping nouveau 9er fans it may well be a quieter stadium than the stick

    1. me, too, coach ..

      The first time I ever heard of the “Seat-Liscencing” scheme
      was when Al Davis left LaLa-land
      (with his tail between his legs) .. and came back to Oakland ..

      I thought (back then) .. it was extortion ..

      I mean .. it’s a seat at a football stadium ..
      not a car .. fer cryin’ out loud !

  31. Grant,

    You should take a look at that Deone Bucannon kid from Wash St. He seems like the interchangeable type that is often described by Fangio. He’s a tall guy, very athletic, a good form tackler, and was a team captain. Seems like a “gold-helmet” kind of guy. Very physical and competitive too.

      1. Bucannon is a terrible tackler. One of the worst tackling techniques you’ll see.

        I keep hearing how he is good in coverage, but I’ve yet to witness that on film. He played a little bit of man in college but he seems to lack the fluidity for it. Once he’s moving in a direction he takes a long time to stop and turn to go another way. No stop and go ability.

        He’s at this best playing deep where he can keep the play in front of him, make a read and flow to the football. He’s got pretty good closing speed.

  32. Grant,
    Like the Lamarcus Joyner attention. Except for his small stature (which will likely move him down draft boards), the kid can straight-up play. He reminds me of this year’s Tyrann Mathieu.
    I would take him with one of our 3rd rd picks if he’s on the board.

  33. you’re looking at the position all wrong. it’s not about the coverage, hitting and tackling which is all very important. it’s about the ability to command the secondary and the entire defense. defensive coverage is a coordinated effort. The defense could stand to lose Goldson because Whitner was still there to make the defensive calls. But is Reid ready to take command all by himself?

    Whitner makes the calls to get the secondary in position and to coordinate the defense. often times at pre-snap he has to determine tendencies of the offense and prepare his teammates for what routes to expect because often times they are pattern matching. based on formation and down and distance, will the receivers go vertical? does he have to protect the seem? or will he provide short area zone coverage? and how does that effect the corners playing press man or backing off playing zone depending and playing inside out or outside in leverage?

    1. Losing the guy that makes the calls is definitely one of my main concerns with losing Whitner. Reid had a disappointing junior year at LSU after they lost a lot of leaders in the secondary and he was asked to step up.

    2. Reid is young, but coordinating coverages was considered one of his strong points at LSU. Two minds (Reid & Whit) can be better than one, so I hope they can keep him.

    3. allforfunnplay:

      If the 49ers release Whitner, who do you think is likely to do better at quarterbacking the secondary, Reid or a FA replacement for Whitner?

  34. First of all, if we need CJ Spillman or Craig Dahl to start in any signifianct meaning of the term, we’re SCREWED! I think Whitner takes a pay cut. He’ll be here in September.

    1. NinersRoc, I think Whitner is going to want a 5-year, 24 million dollar deal with some decent guaranteed money, say 6 million. If the 49ers can’t or won’t pay that another team will.

      1. Niners won’t pay that and they shouldn’t! Louis delmas just got released and the niners had brought him in last year for a couple visits.. Sign Delma’s for 1 year and draft his replacement in rnds 2-4.. Would be a great cheap pick up who is a big upgrade over Dahl or spillman.

          1. Niners mirror their Safeties. So while the majority of the time Whitner plays up as the Strong Safety, if the offense’s formation switches then Whitner plays deep and Reid plays up. So there isn’t much difference between the “strong” and “free” safety positions.

          2. And even when he wasn’t in the box per se, he typically played shallower than Reid.

            As I pointed out earlier, mirror safeties is a bit of a misnomer. It doesn’t mean carbon copies of the same player. Just means you have guys that can interchange and not be a major liability.

          3. Jack,

            “Not completely. Whitner was in the box twice as often as Reid last season.”

            I think I covered that in my initial statement: “So while the majority of the time Whitner plays up as the Strong Safety…..”

            but I stand by what I said, the Niners mirror safeties and both need to be able to play in the box and deep. and yes the “strong” safety will play in the box more, but he still needs to be able to play single high and 2 deep coverage.

          4. i don’t know much about Tampa Bay? They’re rebuilding again aren’t they? Is Glennon a legit QB? Lovie Smith and the return of the Tampa 2 might be a good thing for them. They have some talent on the D line for the scheme at least at D tackle…there seems to be relatively affordable talent at DE in free agency. I’m not sure if Goldson is a good fit as consistent 2 deep safety (not that they’ll exclusively play a Tampa 2 scheme).

          5. AFFP,

            I was kind of busting your chops but Tampa is a good example of a team overspending in FA. They’ve got over $18 mil tied up in Nicks and Goldson this season, and a punter with a cap number over $3 mil. Yikes.

          6. they have money tied up in Revis too. Revis was starting to look better at the end of the season. but even if he does bounce back, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to be an elite shutdown corner again…which is how he’s paid.

            good lord was that franchise mismanaged.

          7. The Revis deal is very team friendly in that it carries no dead money if they choose to dump him down the road.

          1. I give you the safety great in coverage and the run game while also being able to deliver the big hit when needed.

        1. I don’t know, but Delmas is definitely a downgrade from Whitner both in coverage and against the run.

  35. Word on the street has it that the Niners and
    Boldin’s “people” are crunching some numbers ..

    Anyone care to guess what kind of cap hit the Niners
    will take … when .. the new contract gets inked ?

    (see .. I’m an optimist, there … I said… when
    and not .. if )

      1. Jack, I was working on a two-year 11.5 million deal that came close to the same cap hit. Looks like we’re pretty close on this one.

      2. sounds good jack … thanx

        a question …

        Does the signing bonus count against the cap ?
        or .. is that a way to get around it ?

        1. Signing bonus is paid up front, but the cap hit can be spread out over the length of the contract (“pro-rated”), but if the contract is terminated (ie. guy is released), any portion that hasn’t yet been accounted for is tacked on the cap at that point. That’s why you hear about the “cap hit” from releasing a guy. It’s all about the remaining signing bonus that has to hit the cap (that and any guaranteed money remaining to be paid).

        1. Yes MidWest. I think Boldin will get something very similar.

          MWN,

          The signing bonus is prorated over the course of the contract for cap purposes, so if a player has a signing bonus of 6 mil on a 3 year deal that is 2 mil per year against the cap. The flexibility comes in the base salary.

          This is a way for the 49ers to still give Boldin the same pay as a year ago with about half the cap number.

      3. That’s 2.5 more than what I would have liked. that guarantees Crabtree gone next year since they’re both similar players. Crabtree will ask for more and he’s not worth it.

        1. I think at this point it is safest to assume they won’t be able to keep Crabtree after next season. Boldin for another 2-3 years I think is a good idea. Like Cris Carter, I think his game is suited to being able to still produce in his mid-30s, and because of his age they can sign him for less than they’d have to pay another, younger vet that has similar production.

  36. Do most here believe that Baldwin is a lost cause?

    I just love the size and athleticism. Seems he could be a darkhorse this year. Didn’t get much thrown his way but his hands seemed fine to me. I think he did have one drop now that I’m thinking of it, but I think the throw was a little behind him.

    1. I think he had his opportunities to make some sort of impact. and I’m guessing that he didn’t show anything in practice. Baldwin is big and has decent long speed. But he’s not quick and explosive. The knock on him is that he doesn’t get separation and uses his body to shield off defenders. Boldin does that too, but he has off the charts hands. Baldwin needs to learn to be a route technician in order to gain separation without explosive quickness. And he’s just not there right now. So right now he’s just a big body guy.

      1. im not sure we can trust this team’s evaluation on wr’s to begin with..Not a wr friendly scheme anyway.It’s tight end/running back friendly..The coaches are just looking for
        ” reliable hands” Not size and speed..And if u grasp the system real quickly..You’ll have an advantage over everybody..Kinda unfair if u ask me..Because that means there’s no true competition.. If the coaches are just gonna choose “their guys’ anyway y’know.

    2. thanks for the input allforfun

      its ashame to waste such raw talent.

      i wonder if its more our lack of position coaching when it comes to our inability to develop receivers, or is it just the simple fact that we are drafting the wrong guys.

    3. 40-50% of the pro game is mental, and he doesn’t seem to have what it takes up there to compete with the physical tools he’s been given.

  37. 30
    S CALVIN PRYOR
    LOUISVILLE
    56
    CB BRADLEY ROBY
    OHIO STATE
    61
    WR JARED ABBREDERIS
    WISCONSIN
    77
    WR JARVIS LANDRY
    LSU
    94
    DT DOMINIQUE EASLEY
    FLORIDA
    125
    ILB LAMIN BARROW
    LSU
    158
    RB DRI ARCHER
    KENT STATE
    189
    C COREY LINSLEY
    OHIO STATE
    219
    TE COLT LYERLA
    OREGON
    220
    OLB DENICOS ALLEN
    MICHIGAN STATE
    222
    K CHANDLER CATANZARO
    CLEMSON

    1. Wow, if they could Pryor, Roby, Abbrederis, Landry and Easley without needing to trade up that would be a bit of alright!

        1. I think they are similar. I’ve come away with some 1st round caliber players in the 3rd round on both sites. Just means nobody knows how to rank the players right now.

        2. First Pick Razor-(1)WR-Sammy Watkins-A(trade involved);(3)C-Travis Swanson-A; (3b) QB-Z.Mettenberger B+;(3c)SS-Ahmad Dixon A-;(4) S-Craig Loston-A;(5)DE-Josh Mauro-A;(5b)CB-Chris Davis CB-A;(5c)CB Jaylen Watkins-A;(6)OL Tyler Larsen-A;(6) RB T Gafney-A-scored best in my round at 4481,you would be disappointed …traded next years 1st in Watkins trade .How do these guys get up in 5000 range?Jeez!

  38. Razor, have you had any problems with first-pick? The last few times I was doing a mock I would get to my 7th round picks and then would get an error message saying, “It’s our bad, blah, blah, blah” and lose everything and have to sign in again.

  39. Louis Delmas Free Agent or you can go deone Buchanon, craig loston, or go interchangeable safeties with calvin pryor

  40. My latest mock from First-Pick where I got almost every player I like. Lovin’ Cleveland right now for all their help, lol.

    Your Picks:
    Round 2 Pick 3 (CLE): Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame (A)
    Round 2 Pick 26 (N.O.): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 7 (CLE): Bryan Stork, C, Florida State (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 13: Craig Loston, SS, LSU (A)
    Round 3 Pick 19 (CLE): Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin (A)
    Round 3 Pick 30: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida (A)
    Round 4 Pick 3 (ATL): Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois (A)
    Round 4 Pick 6 (CLE): Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (A-)
    Round 4 Pick 27 (CLE): Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss (A)
    Round 4 Pick 29: Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame (B+)
    Round 5 Pick 3 (T.B.): Joe Don Duncan, TE, Dixie St (A)
    Round 5 Pick 30: George Uko, DE, Southern California (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 29: Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford (A-)
    Round 7 Pick 26: Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State (B+)
    Round 7 Pick 28: Steven Clark, P, Auburn (B)

  41. First pick is kind of a joke I turned our 1st and 2 seconds into…

    Round 2 Pick 26 (N.O.): Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State (A)
    Round 2 Pick 30 (N.E.): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 15 (DAL): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood (B-)
    Round 3 Pick 17 (MIA): Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska (D+)
    Round 3 Pick 21 (G.B.): Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 26 (IND): Dominique Easley, DT, Florida (A)
    Round 3 Pick 29 (N.E.): Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson (C-)
    Round 3 Pick 30: Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor (A)
    Round 3 Pick 31 (DEN): Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (B-)
    Round 3 Pick 32 (MINN): Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 7 (OAK): Bryan Stork, C, Florida State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 13 (NYG): Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 16 (MIA): Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia (A)
    Round 4 Pick 17 (CHI): Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 18 (PITT): Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin (A)
    Round 4 Pick 19 (DAL): Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 20 (ARI): Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina (B-)
    Round 4 Pick 21 (G.B.): Austin Wentworth, OT, Fresno State (D+)
    Round 4 Pick 22 (PHI): Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon (D+)
    Round 4 Pick 24 (K.C.): Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor (A)
    Round 4 Pick 25 (S.D.): Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (A)
    Round 4 Pick 29: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 30 (N.E.): Gator Hoskins, FB, Marshall (F)
    Round 4 Pick 31 (DEN): DeDe Lattimore, ILB, South Florida (D+)
    Round 4 Pick 32 (SEA): A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama (A)
    Round 5 Pick 6 (SEA): Josh Huff, WR, Oregon (B-)
    Round 5 Pick 8 (MINN): James White, RB, Wisconsin (B)
    Round 5 Pick 15 (MIA): A.C. Leonard, TE, Tennessee State (D-)
    Round 5 Pick 16 (CHI): Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida (B)
    Round 5 Pick 23 (K.C.): Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida (D+)
    Round 5 Pick 27 (N.O.): David Fales, QB, San Jose State (B+)
    Round 5 Pick 28 (CAR): Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech (B-)
    Round 5 Pick 29 (PHI): George Uko, DE, Southern California (B-)
    Round 5 Pick 30: Justin Britt, OT, Missouri (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 8 (MINN): Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 11 (NYG): Deion Belue, CB, Alabama (B)
    Round 6 Pick 25 (S.D.): Terrance West, RB, Towson (A)
    Round 6 Pick 26 (N.O.): Deandre Coleman, DT, California (C+)
    Round 6 Pick 27 (IND): Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh (A)
    Round 6 Pick 29: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma (B)
    Round 6 Pick 30 (N.E.): Keith Price, QB, Washington (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 31 (DEN): Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky (A)
    Round 7 Pick 9 (BUF): B.J. Butler, FB, Louisville (F)
    Round 7 Pick 22 (PHI): Dri Archer, WR, Kent State (F)
    Round 7 Pick 26: Cody Hoffman, WR, Brigham Young (D-)
    Round 7 Pick 27: L’Damian Washington, WR, Missouri (D+)
    Round 7 Pick 28: Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama (D+)
    Round 7 Pick 30: Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest (C+)

    Your Future Picks:
    2015 Round 1 Pick
    2016 Round 1 Pick

    I drafted a whole team and got two future 1sts. Say hello to the future GM of the Cleveland Browns

      1. Yeah definitely fun, I didn’t plan on doing the trade down for a billion picks thing but there was so many players falling (Allen Robinson at 59? Please) and teams were offering trades that were literally the pick behind me. I mean if the 49ers in their first 6 picks got Robinson, Cooks, Desir, Jean-Baptiste, and Ward I would be ecstatic and I just did that and received about 20 extra picks haha.

    1. I’ve heard of drafting to add some competition for places, but this would make for one brutal TC! :-P

      Yeah, I really like first-pick for a bit of fun, but the trading system is out of whack. One run I did I think Cincinnati ended up picking almost the entire 7th round…

      What I will say though is that it shows just how deep the draft is. There will be some talented players available in the 3rd and 4th round this year, guys that in many years would be 2nd round picks.

      1. This strategy probably would fix Baalke’s success at drafting WRs. I mean out of Robinson, Cooks, Moncrief, Abbrederis, Ellington, Huff, Grant, Street, Saunders, Archer, Hoffman, Washington, Norwood, and Campanaro you’d think at least one would turn into a quality player… Right?

  42. In the 2nd round I would prefer Craig Loston – LSU or Ahmad Dixon at the Strong Safety position if we lose Donte’ Whitner in free agency.

  43. Did a fanspeak.com 5 rounder

    30- Marquise Lee WR
    He dropped down, he’s not big, he’s fast, catches the ball well, gets behind the secondary and YAC’s well. He’s got some durability and injury issues, but when healthy…
    56 – Deone Buchanon S
    My guy was here. Pryor was gone. Hits hard
    61 – Travis Swanson C
    What? Best center in the draft here in round 2? I didn’t go CB because with Culliver/Brock/vet CB and with Buchanon in the fold, CB is less of an issue than drafting a capable replacement for Goodwin.
    77 – Bradley Roby CB
    Average height, elite speed, returns kicks. Adds competition to the mix.
    94 – Martavis Bryant WR
    Tall and fast, is pretty darn skinny, but complements Lee, Boldin, Crabs well
    125 – Brandon Linder OG/OT
    Swing tackle, solid OG, possible Iupati replacement?
    158 – Logan Thomas QB
    Can really spin it.

    I know these are meaningless, but we really don’t have anything else to do until May.

  44. NFL.COM mock had SF taking Benjamin at 30 with Verrett at 31 and A.Robinson at 32. Robinson vs Benjamin is an interesting decision.

    1. Oh, and Houston, pages 19-22 completely validate your position that Michael Sam will be welcomed into the the NFL with nothing but open arms.

    2. Just reconfirms the belief that Incognito is not somebody you want in your locker room. Pouncey as well. The real eye opener is the treatment of the assistant trainer. There is good natured teasing and friendly banter and then there is harassment and intimidation. No place for this type of stuff in the game.

        1. CB,

          No doubt about it. Incognito’s Twitter tirade shows he doesn’t get it, and there will be those who see it as a weak minded player/Training staff not being able to deal with the locker room culture. Hopefully the league sends a message to not only Incognito, but Pouncy as well.

  45. Greg Cosell said on NFL.com Watkins is the best WR enter the draft since A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Shhhh. Don’t drive up the trade-up price!

      1. I wouldn’t trade up that high for Evans. He struggles with separation and is not quick off the line. Sammy is the only wide receiver worth trading up for in that scenario. I would be alright with that move, but wide receiver is awfully deep…

        1. It’s very deep, and it’s not a given that the Niners would choose a receiver at #30, or that they even stand pat…they could move up for a player they really like or even move down if the value isn’t there and still get a decent wide out or two…

      2. I can’t see them trading up for a WR with how deep the draft is at that position. A CB or S I could see.

        I know the prevailing wisdom is to package picks and move up because the Niners are loaded, but I see room for a number of picks on this roster. 5-6 picks in the first 3 rounds could really set this team up for the present and future. With the draft being as deep as it is due to all the underclassmen, I see this as an opportunity to get some better than average talent in the 2nd and 3rd round.

        1. I presume that’s how they planned it. With two second round picks, and potentially three third rounders, you’re absolutely right…..

        2. Nah, McCloughan was the genius; Baalke is an idiot who can’t draft WR’s even though 2 of the 3 he’s drafted have been late round picks.

        3. Ding, ding, ding! Absolutely right rocket. What a let down it would be to come away with just one player in the early rounds in one of the deepest drafts in recent memory.

          Why on earth would you want to trade up for Evans or Lee when an equally (or potentially more) talented WR will likely be available at #30? There’s such a varied opinion on who the next best receivers are after Watkins, which is a great indicator of how close the next tier are in terms of talent.

          1. This is an opportunity to set this roster up for a long time imo. Potentially 6 picks in the first 3 rounds provides the Niners with a great opportunity to get quality depth right now and future starters down the road.

            I realize 12 draft picks will not make this team, but if I’m Baalke I’m trading 3rd day choices for ones next year and using my picks in the first 3 rounds. The only exception would be if they have an opportunity to get higher picks in 2015 with one or two of them.

          2. Yep, a deep drafts like this one is why they’ve been trading picks or players for picks in future years since 2012. Don’t waste it. Coming away with 5 or 6 players in the first 3 rounds would provide a nice infusion of young talent to the squad.

  46. Interesting article by Matt Barrows on Jonathan Martin. I agree with him i could see Martin signing with the 9ers as a swing tackle when he is released by the Dolphins and at this point in his career i think he would come pretty cheap.

    1. old coach:

      He’s still on his rookie contract, so the better bet may be to swing a trade with Miami for a 6th or 7th.

      1. Claude i’m just guessing here but after all the terrible pub the Dolphins have received over this situation they may just want to cut bait and end this chapter. By releasing Martin it would look like they were taking the high road by giving Martin the choice of where he wants to play.

        1. Could be Coach, but I wouldn’t mind giving Miami a 7th for him if they don’t. Martin was a pretty good player at Stanford and would give them a young swing Tackle who would be an upgrade to what they have now.

          1. Jack, you don’t think the locker room atmosphere impacted on his play? He’s got talent, he just needs to be somewhere he feels comfortable.

          2. That’s quite possible, but why invite the circus to town for a guy who might be your 7th best lineman?

            The Tebow circus had nothing on what this will bring.

          3. Jack:

            I would imagine that the 49ers won’t bring the circus to town if they think Martin’s talent/potential isn’t worth it. Also, it’s not like he is an unknown to the team’s coaches; they probably have a pretty good idea what he can do for them.

          4. Unfortunately I don’t think Trent or Jim comment much on here so it was more of a conversation amongst us common folk.

          5. I disagree Jack. Martin is a talented player who played well under Harbaugh at Stanford. He’s obviously got some issues he has to deal with, but talent and age wise, I’d take him over Snyder without question.

            As CB pointed out, with past history as an indicator, this is probably the best place for him.

          6. Owen Marecic was a talented player under Harbaugh at Stanford as well. I get the excuse of Martins play being poor because of the environment in Miami, but I don’t buy it.

        2. old coach:

          That makes sense … if you’re concerned about what’s best for the Dolphins or for Martin. I only care about what’s best for the 49ers.

          To be serious for a moment (just a moment), given the way that Harbaugh stood up for Martin, the 49ers’ seemingly healthy locker room attitude, and the lingering suspicions that some NFL executives/coaches/players likely will have about Martin, I can’t imagine a better place for him than with the 49ers.

        1. Potentially – though Snyder also provides back-up to the interior OL as well. It would depend on who they draft, and how well Kilgore and Looney go in TC. Martin may not make the team in the end, but for a 6th or 7th rounder he may be worth a look.

  47. Its very strange around here, has anyone else noticed that since the format change there also has been a change in the general demeanor on this site. It seems to be a more polite and thoughtful place to be, name calling has dropped by about 95%. Is it just me or has something strange taken place around here.

      1. Interesting, could be onto something there Jack. I was going to put it down to the larger font and more white space – calming effect. :-P

    1. old coach:

      I hope you’re right, but I note that this polite and thoughtful period happens to coincide with the absence of, or greatly reduced participation by, some of the site’s most contentious name-callers.

      I write the foregoing fully aware that some/many commenters view me as a contentious name-caller.

    2. Well, Grant began to delete everything even borderline in the comments, perhaps over exuberantly at first, so that calmed things down a bit. His standards included attacking styles and it has had a positive effect in my opinion also. At least one devisive voice has been absent recently.

    3. Old coach, I think part of it is because of the topic that Grant is posting lately. Go back a few post and you’ll know what I mean :)

  48. Note to Coach Harbaw
    from Pete Carroll:

    Thanks for the early Valentine’s Day “gift”…
    (talking about the interception/the win…)

    Ya think I oughta dip the Lombardi trophy in chocolate
    (instead of a strawberry…)…..???

    1. old coach:

      Perhaps; most people don’t like change, and I am sure that some people are posting less because they are less comfortable with the site. As we become familiar with the format, however, I would expect any effect the format change had on participation to lessen.

      We’re also in something of a dead period right now. The season is over, the 49ers didn’t win the super Bowl, the combine hasn’t happened yet, and the draft is three months away. I suspect many commenters are taking a break.

      As for the format change possibly improving the comment section’s improved tone, I think Jack’s point has some merit. Without the preview of the ten latest comments, it takes more effort to find comments that outrage, offend or otherwise rile you up. Also, with the comments being presented in a larger format, it takes more time to scroll through them and thus more time to find contentious comments. As a result, it takes a little more work to get into a fight. If you make anything harder to do, there will be less of it.

  49. Grant if you’re around today why do’nt you chime in. Do you think the low participation has to do with the format or just coincedence?

    1. Brotha yeah next time i hear anyone complain about players salaies i’ll throw goodell in their face. I wonder how many concussions he had this season?

  50. The new design gets me a little dizzy, but you got to go with the flow. I have been busy at work and the Niners are not on top of my list at the moment.

      1. That was just a overnight thing Jack. Anyway perhaps I should go back to sleep, just can’t get into the Niners at the moment. Come draft time and free agency, that will be another story.

  51. On a slightly different topic, does anyone think the 49ers should draft another OLB/DE this year, and if so, what rounds should they look for such a player and who should they target?

    1. I’ll start off and say yes, they should given you can never have too many good pass rushers and because you never know when Aldon will do another Aldon.

      However, I don’t think it should be a priority position so wouldn’t look to draft the position until the late 3rd round.

      Guys I’d look at and round:
      - Jeremiah Attaochu: 3rd/ 4th
      - Demarcus Lawrence: 4th
      - Morgan Breslin: 4th
      - Larry Webster: 6th/ 7th

        1. Sam is a one-year wonder. Have to question why it took so long to put it all together. His 2013 stats are also inflated by 3 big games. He’s worth a look in the 5th or 6th round if he is still available, but I don’t think he’s that good a player.

          1. Why not? It was satire.

            And it wasn’t deleted; it’s “awaiting moderation.” But, since it didn’t happen right away, I don’t think it was flagged by some bot. Is the pressdemocrat now employing someone to monitor the blog and flag comments for review?

          2. My 2:19 comment was for Scooter.

            Grant:

            So what does that mean? What does it mean that the comment is “awaiting moderation”? Who/what flagged the comment for moderation? why was it flagged? Who will do the moderating? Will the fact that the comment was satire make any difference?

            Just trying to understand the rules going forward.

          3. Claude, just because it is said jokingly doesn’t mean it can’t be deemed offensive by those that relate to the subject matter, if the subject matter is framed in a derogatory manner.

            And I’m certainly not trying to suggest you meant it offensively, as I don’t believe that for a second. It was clearly intended as a light-hearted joke.

          4. Scooter:

            Actually, it was meant to make fun of those who believe that Sam’s sexual orientation has any effect on how he plays football. It was not a joke at Sam’s expense.

      1. Scooter i said earlier this week that if M. Sams slips to the 6th rd or later the 9ers should pick him up and try him as a situational pass rusher only.

      2. I don’t really think the FO is targeting him, but Dee Ford is impressive. Has a1st step like Irwin. Almost every mock I’ve seen has Ford going to N.O. Later rounds I don’t know.

        1. Yeah, I don’t know if the 49ers would consider using a 1st or 2nd rounder on a OLB/DE given other needs, unless a really top notch guy falls to them.

          I like Ford but he’s currently being massively overrated just because he had an impressive Senior Bowl. I think Lemonier is at least just as good a talent as Ford. Ford should be a 2nd/ 3rd rounder in my opinion, which is pretty much where most people had him pegged prior to the Senior Bowl.

          1. Not likely Scooter. The position isn’t a major area of need, even if Aldon Smith ends up getting suspended. I would say DE Josh Mauro could be an option in the fourth or fifth round due to him being a favorite of Vic Fangio when he was at Stanford.

      3. Yeah I think an OLB at some point late in the 3rd or day 3 would be a good call. They are pretty set right now but injuries and other potential problems could change that. I also could see Skuta possibly being moved back inside to cover for Bowman if he isn’t ready to start the season, which would necessitate another OLB being added.

  52. Hey guys, I do not think the design has much to do about the lack of posters. I beleive it has to do with the time of year and subject matter. So many of the regulars are in IMHO still hurting, you know emotionally spent. But post something about Kaep./Harbaugh/who is responcible and the board lights up.

  53. Warning: Pseudo-philosophical ramblings follow: The NFL has an interesting opportunity with the current issues of the Wells Report and M.Sam coming out. The League has a reason, an urgent need now, to define and communicate a credo of standards for the workplace. It’s the employer’s responsibility. I think they should do so before the OTAs open. The template is the actual workplace rules the rest of us subscribe to. The NFLPA should be invited to contribute to the conversation, and should continue to have input as the NFL refines the definitions and applications of same over time.

    1. BT,

      I think we’ll see some league mandated seminars developed to address things like this. I think the NFL is very cognizant of how historic this is and how important their response will be in shaping the makeup of the sport going forward.

      1. rocket & BT ..
        I’m thinking that’s exactly what’s
        gonna happen … but ..

        if not .. then my suspicions about
        Roger Goodell have been confirmed …

        (almost tempted to want Tags back)

        1. What suspicion and that? That Goodell is nothing but a yes man to the owners? I’ve had that same suspicion since the lockout…

          1. yeah, Matt … exactly !

            I’d expound on that thought … but, I fear
            Grant would wield his axe on my post ! .. ;)

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