49ers draft grades (the ones that count)

Here is my Monday column grading the 49ers’ draft. Before we grade the 49ers’ draft, we have to agree on a grading criterion. I propose a simple one: Are the 49ers better than the Seahawks now? That’s the only question that should matter. That’s a pass-fail question. The 49ers added depth. They addressed needs. They drafted 12 players. But are the Niners better than the Seahawks? The first player the…

May 12, 2014

Do the 49ers really need a speed receiver?

The 49ers need a third receiver. That is clear. Most draft gurus agree that the Niners need a burner, someone who can “take the top off the defense,” someone who runs a 4.3 40-yard dash or a low 4.4. Someone like Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham. I agree, the 49ers need a deep threat. The Niners already have two possession receivers who excel on underneath and intermediate routes — Anquan…

April 9, 2014

How the 49ers could use the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick

If the Dolphins make a bad decision and trade their top draft picks for Jim Harbaugh, who should the 49ers draft with the Dolphins first-rounder, No.19? If he’s healthy, I say the 49ers should take Marqise Lee. If Lee is not healthy, I say the Niners should take Allen Robinson. But if Kelvin Benjamin is available, the 49ers probably should take him. He’d give the offense two things it needs…

February 28, 2014

NFL’s impressions of the top-50 draft prospects

One of the best reporters in the country, Bob McGinn, spoke off the record with NFL personnel executives and scouts and got their impressions of the top-50 prospects in the upcoming draft. Here is a brief excerpt about cornerback Bradley Roby from McGinn’s report: “When you talk about quickness, speed, athletic ability, change of direction, he’s got all that. Then he just gets beat every game. It’s mental.” To read…

February 23, 2014