Three value options for the 49ers’ first-round pick

This is my Thursday column.

Don’t lick that envelope just yet, Trent.

I know you like to lock in your draft pick early. You wanted A.J. Jenkins so bad in 2012, you wrote his name on a piece of paper and sealed it an envelope days before you picked him. Your conviction was impressive, even though Jenkins wasn’t.

You should be more cautious this year. I count three players you should seriously consider taking with the 15th pick in the upcoming draft, three players who are envelope-worthy.

Here they are, ranked third to first.

3. Marcus Peters, cornerback, University of Washington

Most draft experts consider Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes the best cornerback in the draft. He probably will get picked before the 49ers have a chance to take him.

But some experts believe Peters is better than Waynes. In December, an anonymous scout from a team in the NFC East called Peters the “best cover corner prospect I’ve seen in the last 14 years,” according

That takes us back to Champ Bailey, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the seventh pick in 1999. Bailey made 12 Pro Bowls during his career. He is a future Hall of Famer.

Peters might not be as good as Bailey, but Peters is good at everything a cornerback should be good at. Peters can play outside or in the slot, he can press a receiver or play off a receiver in man coverage, and he can play zone coverage, too. He picked off 11 passes in 35 games at the University of Washington.

Peters became Washington’s No. 1 corner in 2013, the year Washington’s previous No. 1 corner, Desmond Trufant, got drafted in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons. Trufant was outstanding in college, and already is one of the best corners in the NFL. Peters is better.

If he’s so good, why will he fall to pick No. 15?

In November, first-year Washington head coach Chris Petersen dismissed Peters from the team for arguing with assistant coaches during practices and games. That’s the main reason. Just because Peters clashed with Chris Peterson’s staff doesn’t mean he will clash with Jim Tomsula’s staff. Peters would be a terrific pick.

But he would not be the best pick. The Niners have used their past two first-round picks on defensive backs (Eric Reid in 2013 and Jimmie Ward in 2014). It isn’t wise to spend first-round picks on the same position every year. Other positions need premium young talent, too.

Besides, the 49ers’ problem isn’t their defense — it’s their offense.

2. Breshad Perriman, wide receiver, University of Central Florida

Perriman is a dark horse. He didn’t play in a major conference, so people didn’t see much of him, plus he didn’t run at the Combine because he pulled his hamstring. Until recently, draft experts didn’t know what to make of Perriman. They guessed teams might draft him in Round 2.

No one realized how fast Perriman is until he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds at Central Florida’s pro day. He is the fastest receiver in the draft, and he’s big — 6-foot-2, 212 pounds.

If the Niners had Aaron Rodgers or any of the top-10 quarterbacks, Perriman would be a no-brainer pick. It’s always smart to surround great quarterbacks with as many talented receivers as possible.

But the Niners don’t have a great quarterback. They have Colin Kaepernick. What is Kaepernick going to do with three receivers? He can’t even get past the first receiver in his progression. He stares down option No.1 and then scrambles if that option isn’t open.

Kaepernick could have 10 great receivers on his team — he still would force passes to Anquan Boldin. Perriman would be a waste of talent on the Niners.

They have bigger needs than another wide receiver, anyway. Like tight end. Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald were terrible last season. They were one of the worst tight-end duos in the league. And they both have bad backs. The Niners would be shrewd to draft a tight end before a wide receiver, but there aren’t any tight ends worth the 15th pick.

That means, when it comes down to it, the Niners should spend their first-round pick on an offensive lineman.

1. Andrus Peat, offensive tackle, Stanford University

A strong offensive line would help Kaepernick more than a third receiver. The 49ers are a run-first offense. Kaepernick needs a strong running game to be effective. He can’t throw 50 passes per game and win. He’s effective when he throws about 25 passes per game.

He’s especially effective throwing play-action passes. When the opposing defense sells out to stop the 49ers’ running game, Kaepernick has the arm strength to throw the ball past the other team’s last line of defense.

But the 49ers’ play-action passes weren’t effective last year because the Niners’ offensive line simply wasn’t good enough. It gave up 52 sacks and allowed a ton of pressure. Play-action passes take longer to develop than other plays. The quarterback has to turn his back to the defense, fake a handoff, spin around and find someone who is open. By the time Kaepernick turned around last season, a defender often was in his face.

Peat is the best pass-protector in the draft. He’s also a good run-blocker, and he can play guard or tackle. He would be a fixture on the 49ers’ offensive line for the next 10 years.

Peat should be the pick. You can lick that envelope now, Trent.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 255 Comments

  1. Grant you don’t think that Peters will slip past #15? I believe he is the one and only pick they should make this year. the 3 most valuable players on a football team are a great pass rusher, a franchise QB and a shut down CB. It sounds like Peters is the only player in those categories who will be avaiable to the 9ers.

    1. OldCoach – A perfect summary of how to build a team.

      If (a big if) Peters is a true “shut down” corner that can cover with little or no safety help, take him at 15. Don’t even gamble trading back a few spots for an extra 3rd rounder. Grab him!

      True shut down corners are transformative. Imagine if the 2011-13 49ers had one. The great defenses like the 85 Bears, 2000 Ravens would have to share the podium.

      The value of putting an extra safety in the box is huge. 2011-13 the 49ers had the best overall defensive talent, but Seattle could put an extra safety in the box.

      TSDCs give defensive coordinators options. If its a pass the extra safety can play lurk, blitz, replace a blitzing linebackers coverage responsibilities
      If its a run, they can fill a gap.

      1. You make a compelling case. The Niners could use a safety in the box helping out a LB group with questionable range.. Of course this could change but on paper at this moment ILB’s are a serious weakness.

    2. Bob Rang

      – “He (Peters) is only doing positional drills but CB Marcus Peters is absolutely killing workout. Fluid, great hands. Been the star today.”

      – “GM Trent Baalke among the interested observers watching Marcus Peters’ workout.”

  2. Grant-
    I understand the literary device of writing a letter to Trent to make a point. Just my subjective opinion, but it strikes me as patronizing, although I doubt you intended it that way.
    I have a few doubts on Peters around system fit and attitude/coach ability.
    I’m quite interested in Perriman and I had him around the bottom first or top of second when thought he ran a 4.40 – 4.45. His new time has to open some eyes like it did mine. Does that make him the kind of rare BPA that Trent could reach a little for? It might, but one has to be wary of guys who rocket too far up too fast based on measurables.
    Peat looks like a Blue Chip OLT; a rare and valuable breed that could be too good to pass up even though I don’t think SF is locked in on OL in the first.
    If Wayne’s is there I’d pull the trigger.

    1. “Just my subjective opinion, but it strikes me as patronizing, although I doubt you intended it that way.”

      Of course it’s partronizing, we’re talking about the guy who thought it was cute to irritate Anthony Davis a couple of years back……until A.D. posted a few very unflattering pics on the web from Grant’s own public Facebook account. I’m sure he squealed like a child when he found out.

    2. “Just my subjective opinion, but it strikes me as patronizing, although I doubt you intended it that way.”

      There is no way anyone could write in a patronizing manor as often as Grant without doing it unintentionally at least once in a while.

  3. I just hope Grant that you and your father write an article on wrong you guys were about kaepernick. To say that kaepernick wouldn’t be able to take advantage of a big fast recievers is idiotic to say the least. Kaepernick was very effective when he had Ginn and an aging Moss on the team but wouldn’t thrive with Perriman. You keep mentioning in a lot of your pieces about how the Niners would be wise to draft Peat but there not taking a tackle early. It’s not happening. Especially one that does not translate to guard. Peat might be a good tackle in the NFL but he will never start over our current two tackles within the next 3 years. Which would mean he would be waste of a pick. If I was to take an educated guess, the Niners prolly rank schriff and Collins ahead of Peat. Those two translate to guard much better. I told you two years ago how balke will not draft a corner within the first 3 rnds and I was correct. If Niners stay at 15 it will be the best pass rusher available or Wr.. Book it.

    1. If Scherff or Collins are on the board at #15 they have to pull the trigger. Both are starting Pro Bowl type players and the need is there. I don’t see a WR getting picked by SF with #15. There are too many good wideouts in this draft. 32 at 4.6 or better.. Go Guard in round one or ILB if the quality is there.

  4. I’d advise against Peat. They want to run the ball. They need a mauler. La’ell Collins is a mauler. Scherff is another, he clean-hangs 410 pounds three times, but I would contend Thomas will be your LG. Cedric Ogbuehi is the dude Baalke might target later. Like Thomas, he tore an ACL, and he was talked about as a possible first round selection prior to that injury. I still believe Baalke will take a pass rusher in the first round….

    1. I’m with you on Collins – He moves like a 240 pound fullback but carries 300+. Peat has really thick legs and good length, but his quickness may be just shy of ideal for a tackle, and his run blocking simply can’t match up to Collins. Scherff has the power and technique, but he also seems like he may be locked in as a guard due to length and quickness limitations. Collins will be able to move outside if/when Staley is no longer our tackle.

      That said, I think we have plenty of talent at the G position (Thomas, MMartin/Kilgore, Looney), and we can spend the pick elsewhere. This assumes we plan to resign Boone as our RG/swing tackle.

      I think the best option is to trade back and pick up another 2 or 3, and look for the BPA (Gurley, Peters, Perriman or DGB). Use the extra pick to address MLB depth.

        1. All Collins needs to do is master a more consistent get-off and develop more patience in pass pro. He’s a plug and play player from the get go, especially in the interior….

  5. Wow Grant why don’t you really tell us How you feel about Keap, You can tell you don`t care for Keap at all,well,ok but, I think Keap will make you eat your Words about Him not being a very Good QB,and I want you to Man Up when He does, and all that you said about Him not utilizing His wrs and TEs ,that was Harbaugh sorry-ass Play calling with His sorrry Offense,Thank GOD he`s at Michigan.

    1. I think a lot of 49er fans are beginning to or already agree with Grant about Kaepernick. He’s never going to more than a slightly above average QB who will wow fans with a big run or a big throw once or twice in a game, but then disappoint them with a bone-headed play soon after that. That’s just what we as fans have to deal with as long as he is the 49er QB.

    2. Kapernick is not and will never be an elite QB in the NFL, and Baalke knows it the only reason he was drafted is because Harbaugh was throwing a fit because Baalke did not want to draft him so Harbaugh goes to Jed York to complain who then told Baalke to draft the guy so Harbaugh would stop wining. Also, according to NFL network kapernick is being shopped around the league for a trade, Baalke does not want him on the team…the 49ers hope to make the trade after May 1..

      1. Lol! Ya is that why they signed Torrey Smith so they can now get rid of there QB? Just stop man you sound foolish. Like him or not he is the QB at least for this season believe that. If he has a disappointing year then they might consider trading him if the offer is right.

    3. Love is blind. You ignore the facts that Kaepernick stats prove that so far he is an average QB at best. Maybe he will get better but to blame harbaugh who has had tremendous success at every level just proves my opening statement.

      1. You don’t give up on a talent like Kaep. Balke will not either unless a team offers 2 first rounders in return. That’s the price for a franchise QB whether you like him or not.

      2. An average quarterback with above average “potential”. It’s up to the coaching staff to get him to realize that potential, and of course it’s incumbent upon Kaepernick to put forth the work required….

      3. Jerry,
        Harbaugh had great success in the NFL with Kaep and Smith. He had a very successfull run as our H.C. He had one .500 year, three NFCCG appearances and a Super Bowl appearance. It would be stupid to give up on Kaep at this point and teams would be lining up to get him if he was available. He has undeniable talent, he is very smart, he works his butt off and could play for a long time if he continues to develop. He has everything you could ask for. His potential upside is well worth the time investment and it’s the right way to do things. This league destroys QB’s by not allowing them to develop. Fans show their ignorance by campaigning to get rid of a guy when there is no alternative. No QB from this years draft is going to outperform Kaepernick in the short term nor are they as athletically gifted as he is. Winston and Mariota are benefiting from a weak QB class. Mariota comes from a system that doesn’t translate to the pros and Winston looks like he’s never worked out in his life, which indicates a lack of work ethic. With last years top QB picks, you had Bortles churning out INT’s and Manziel snorting coke in club bathrooms. Just let Baalke do his job.

        1. BigP. I don’t disagree with anything you said. I do get tired of hearing other people claim he is a franchise QB and that his failings are somebody else’s fault. He is who he is and the best we have at this point.

          1. Jerry,
            Fair enough, I hear you on that. I don’t think he is a top tier QB, but I do think he possesses all of the traits necessary to excel. While I don’t blame Harbaugh, I do think that some of the rule changes related to QB’s running influenced the way he handled C.K. last year. It accelerated the transition to pocket passer faster than Kaep could keep up at times, which is to be expected. I do believe that Harbaugh genuinely believes that Kaep can be great, but I also think he believed he would be able to utilize the option a bit more freely during the transition. We’ll see.

  6. I would be fine with Peters or Peat, but the 49ers don’t need a WR who can’t catch or run precise routes. Perriman = DHB. Al Davis would have loved his speed though — but that is all he is going to bring to the NFL.

    1. Perriman is nothing like DHB which tells me you have no idea what you’re talking about. Perriman is a hands catcher; DHB is a body catcher. Perriman is also a lot smoother in and out of his breaks whereas DHB is slow and awkward. No comparison here other than they are both fast in the 40.

    1. It’s been budding for a while. But I have to laugh about it, because in hindsight it’s hard to argue that Fleener wouldn’t have been a better pick than Jenkins! Doh! That was painful to admit. : -)

      1. Alshon Jeffery hermetically sealed in the envelope would have put next day air into the 49ers offense. You, myself, Scooter and apparently Baalke got bit by the second guess myself beetle….

      1. Yes, and he would have been a much better pick. The TE position wouldn’t be as much of a question mark had they gone that direction.

        They are better prepared at the LG spot now than they were at TE back then.

    2. I hope he’s got the “They should have picked Peat” article started. I think he’s going to need it.

      I could be wrong, and I think Peat will do fine in the NFL, but I just don’t see it for reasons already given by other posters.

  7. you started off so well with the Peters comments….then you had to roll Kap’s name around in the mud, like you always do, doesn’t that get old?

    Perriman can’t catch a football, so I don’t care if he runs a 4.2 on his “pro-day” 14% drop rate is downright awful.

    I will pass on Peat, no thanks to another OL from Stanford. He doesn’t have an once of toughness in his body. He is a OT not a OG and we are set at OT for at least the next 3 years….so judging on your top 3 I’d roll with Peters!

  8. If the niners stay at 15, I’m cool w/ OL.

    Scenario 2: Move up to 10ish and draft one of the big 3 receivers or DT shelton.
    Scenario 3: Move down to 24 ish and draft J Strong or DT Brown .
    Scenario 4: Baalke drafts another under sized player who is projected to be drafted in the 2nd/3rd and has a history of foot injuries – ward/ajj.

    It should be noted S is a need at some point. Bethea has played well but is no spring chicken. Reid is 1-2 concussions away from being in Austin collie territory.

    1. So that brings to mind a question I’ve had:
      Should Landon Collins be among BPA considerations for SF? I’d say he should be considered.

        1. I think he’s better in deep coverage than his rep, I think he could be a Twin Safety like Vic preferred. That’s the reason he has value to me. But it would be a “Millen” to draft Reid-Ward-Collins consecutively, LOL!

  9. We should either trade up or back if a starting OT (which we don’t need), a raw WR, or a CB that runs hot and cold are the best value at the 15th pick.

    1. When you say trade back, how far are you willing to go and who might you be targeting and projecting and where?

      Who would you trade up for and how much are you willing to pay?

      1. There was some speculation on Jim Rome show that niners may trade 1-15 to Dallas for their 1-27 + their 2nd and 3rd. Cowboys are interested in Gurley.

        Just a rumor at this point, but interesting.

              1. I dont think that exact deal will happen , but it would not surprise me if a trade included 1-17 , dallas 2nd and some 2016 draft picks.

                It makes sense in that cowboys want gurley and baalke likes to stockpile picks.

          1. Is Jerry Jones that stupid?

            He tradeed Muarry for McFadden, so the answer would be a resounding yes Grant.

      2. I would trade back into 20-40 range and take a pass rusher or CB in that range. Option B would be another WR.

          1. I quite like Harold.

            If the 49ers traded back to the mid 20s and wanted to take an OLB I’d probably go Owamagbe Odighizuwa though. Playing as a DE in a 3-4 at UCLA hurt his numbers a lot, but I think he’d be good playing opposite Aldon Smith. Excellent run defender and gets a good push in the passing game.

      1. According to Matt Miller on BR, Baalke has set his sets on Amari Cooper and will attempt to move up far enough to get him. I don’t believe it myself, the cost would be ridiculous.

          1. Unless Leonard Williams falls to them. My $.02: for Oakland it should be Williams-Cooper-White in that order.
            Cooper to Niners? Yeah, well we all liked Watkins last year but he was out of reach. I can’t see Cooper to SF happening.
            Of course the Browns are pretty goofy, maybe Reggie should give them a call about #4 > #12 & #19.

  10. Agreed but only if it’s for a “lockdown CB” in the 15th spot and there seems to be only three in this draft however w/ his ‘red-flag’ negatives TB might hesitate about MP and, hopefully, choose another! The defensive line will be helped by a great backfield quartet allowing the ‘new guys’ to gell and IMO an ILB, a 3-down MLB, so “Bow” #53 can return to form to replace PW #52, so pairing him w/ such a LB can only add to the progression of the DL into a top-five caliber unit too! Then a DE/DT in the third to reinforce the DL just in case the injury bug hits us again, aren’t the other NFC west teams due for some of what we had last year!? In the 4th round get that Anquan Boldin #81 type WR, he’s not getting any younger you know, so he can pass on the 3Ps of his position = Power, Possession and Pugnacity, needed to succeed in that part of the field!?!

  11. Who’s going to cover Jimmy Graham for the 49ers? I would think that the only guy capable might be Dontae Johnson. Maybe. Certainly not any of the smaller DB’s we have on the roster like Jimmy Ward. Maybe Eric Reid who is 6 ft 1 in. None of the current Niners backers seem remotily capable of covering Graham. Bump the need for a LB that is good in coverage in the draft. Shaq Thompson or Eric Kendricks are two players who might fit the bill. Not at 15 but if we pull of such a trade that Rollo is speculating then either could make sense.

    Grant, how come you are not talking about Kendricks?

    1. I think Thompson and Kendricks are too small to play Mike for the Niners. The Mike is the “bubble” backer. There is no defensive lineman between him and the right guard. The Mike is exposed in the 49ers’ defense. Thompson and Kendricks would be better suited to play “Jack.” That’s the “stack” backer, meaning he is stacked behind the 3-technique. He’s protected.

      1. Kendrick’s is about the same height as Navorro Bowman and just a few pounds lighter. Maybe I am trying to fit a round peg into a square hole but when Patrick Willis retired the 49ers lost a decent coverage LBer. With Graham in the division now the Niners have to figure out who is going to try and guard him. Losing Willis and Bowman coming off injury augments the problem. The landscape within the division has changed with the addition of Graham. The 49ers have to adjust. Baalke has to find someone to counter Seattles move.

      2. One other thing, I am talking about both as potential candidates to play the Will spot on passing downs. Who in this draft can fill the role to combat Seattles move?

          1. Beasley is actually the first one I think of for the MIKE but he’s most likely off the board before the15th pick.

              1. I wouldn’t say perfect because he needs to get used to playing more than what he did during his collegiate career. Wilhoite could probably start and eventually cede his position during the season though.

              1. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to have Beasley, Lynch and Smith on the field at the same time.

  12. Grant, nice article. If we assume the choice is between the three — which it isn’t, of course, but just assuming — then to me Peters is a no-brainer. Like you alluded to in your comments on Perriman, in the case of a WR, it’s more the QB. Regarding Peat, even if he’s as good as you think, there are other guys probably more than adequate available later. But if Peters is the best cover corner prospect in the last 14 years — which he probably isn’t — and if he’s not the kind of guy who is a cancer on a team, which you shouldn’t just dismiss, btw — then that’s it. Case closed. He’s the guy.

  13. Grant,

    What is the meaning of this —

    But the Niners don’t have a great quarterback. They have Colin Kaepernick. What is Kaepernick going to do with three receivers? He can’t even get past the first receiver in his progression. He stares down option No.1 and then scrambles if that option isn’t open.

    Kaepernick could have 10 great receivers on his team — he still would force passes to Anquan Boldin. Perriman would be a waste of talent on the Niners.

    Oh wait — I’ve been saying this the whole offseason!

    1. Fan …

      I guess you missed this line Grant posted (above) huh ? =>

      “…….But the 49ers’ play-action passes weren’t effective last year because the Niners’ offensive line simply wasn’t good enough. It gave up 52 sacks and allowed a ton of pressure…….”

      Doncha think that one fact alone just MIGHT have
      a domino effect on Kap’s ability to go through his progressions ?

      (Oh ! … heaven help me … I’m quoting Grant !)

  14. Well Grant, you’ve become my favorite beat writer. Congratulations, you have learned this game, I know your dad is proud of you and you sure keep me laughing. Yep, offensive line, but face it, no one is a fixture on this team for any years, let alone ten, except maybe Staley, now that The Heart of the team (Gore and Willis) is gone.

  15. More to the point, come on Justin Smith, make up your mind already, the team has nine hundred cornerbacks, who they chose for a reason, and they can continue to plug them in every year just like the Pats if they keep the front seven strong.

  16. Grant – are you referring to the Great Aaron Rogers. The man Kapernick beat twice in the playoffs – home and away! Breaking a rushing record that will never be broken! Also, do you realize that Kapernick has 3x as many road playoff as Young and Montana combined? Also outside of Wilson and maybe Brady, can you think of a QB that has got to the Superbowl and NFC Championship in 2 of the 2.5 years he has been starting? That Kap!!!!!

    1. Grant Obama to Kaepernick: “If you’ve got playoff wins, you didn’t earn that. Harbaugh and the defense made that happen”….

    2. You’re telling me that right now you, would take Kaep over rodgers, Young and Montana?

      The same QB that lost the SB because he only knew how to throw to that bum Crabtree, and the NFCCG, because he wanted to go mano-mano against Sherman and yeah had a busload of turnovers in the 2nd half, who was pretty much medicore last year. That Kap!!!!

      1. I’m not claiming that. I think Montana is the greatest ever. But if CK7 completes just 2 more passes – 1 in the Superbowl and 1 to Crabtree, he be better than Young and already in the 20 QB of all time discussion. So 2 incompletions turn the discussion from top 20 e
        of all time to garbage? Ridiculous. Also the 3x more road playoff wins than Montana and Young is a fact. People here seem to like to criticize him and forget when he has been awesome. There is no other SF QB ever who would have been able to complete that pass to Crabtree in NO this year.

        1. There’s the thing: HE DID NOT MAKE THOSE THROWS. We can easily saw those lame check down passes that Alex Smith use to throw are passes that KAEP cannot make. It takes more then athletic ability. He caught teams by surprise with the read option, and now he has to adjust and get better. He hasn’t.

  17. Grant makes his money by orchestrating controversial and negative remarks about Kap. That’s how he thrives and tries to be “different” and generate the click-bait effect. *yawn*…

  18. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the QB bashing some fans seem to relish in. Kap was a top ten ranked QB his first two seasons, but one inconsistent year behind an Oline that didn’t give him consistent protection means he now sucks. Just mind numbing how simplistic and ignorant that point of view is.

    I’m tired of arguing about Kap though, so let’s move on to the article. I am depressed because I actually agree with most of the points Grant made and that’s no fun. Truthfully, any one of these 3 players would be a great pick and fill a need, and I wouldn’t be upset with any of them. As much as I don’t think Oline should be a first round priority, I wouldn’t complain too much about the drafting of a possible franchise OT.

    If I had my pick of the three I’d go with either Perriman or Peters before Peat, but that’s personal preference.

    1. “Kap was a top ten ranked QB his first two seasons,”

      PFF has him as their #15 & #18 QB in his first two years respectively. He was #30 & #20 in passing yards his first two years. Completion % he was #13 & #34 his first two years. In TD passes he was #30 & #17 his first two years. In passing yards per game he was ranked #42 & #36 his first two years.

      Oh wait finally here we go, NFL QBR #8 and #10.

      Wow you’re right Rocket what can I say. He was at top ten ranked QB in his first two years.

      1. You realized you just proved Rocket right with your last sentence. Many argue that Wilson is a top 10 maybe even top 5 QB right now, let’s have a look at his numbers. Oh wait, you mean you don’t have to throw 50+ times a game and pad some stats in order to be a good QB. You mean teams that are power running teams can have a good QB.

      2. All rankings are subjective CFC, but under the ratings used to rate NFL QB’s he was top ten. He wouldn’t rate highly in passing yard and passing TD categories because they didn’t throw the ball as much as other teams. Seems pretty obvious that would be the case doesn’t it?

        The only thing I care about is winning games, and Kap did that as well or better than most in those two years. He doesn’t turn the ball over very often and can also make plays with his legs. He has room to improve as a pocket passer, but the abuse he takes around here for what he’s accomplished in a short period of time is ridiculous. You’d think he led the team to 2-14 the way some of you carry on around here.

        Stop grabbing the low hanging fruit that is repeatedly criticizing the QB and focus on all the things around him that affect the way he plays. It’s fine to say he has faults, he does, but he’s nowhere near as bad as some of you make him out to be.

        1. He isn’t one of the quarterbacks who can carry a team with his arm, so why build the offense around wide receivers? That’s my point.

          1. Because you have to look beyond this year Grant. Boldin is in the final year of his deal and behind him and Smith you have nothing but question marks. Getting a top WR this year and letting him play sporadically while watching Boldin for a year would be beneficial. There’s also the fact they have big problems if Smith or Boldin go down with injury which could be mitigated somewhat if they take a WR early this year.

            1. I’m not against taking a wide receiver early, but Round 1 seems high to me. Tight end is a bigger need. Vernon Davis also is in the final year of his deal.

              1. Do you see a TE worthy of 15? I don’t. Right now I see four top end WR’s who could go in the top 15 picks. I don’t see any TE’s that would go before bottom of round one at the earliest.

              2. If Baalke’s history is any indication, you are likely to be correct, but I’d love to see him pull the trigger on one of the top 4 WR’s if he has the chance.

        2. Where he ranks among his pears in stats that QB are generally ranked or sorted by isn’t subjective. Being top ten(barely for one year) in one stat does technically make Rocket correct which was the prod at the end but if you think that makes his point then, Ok. There are plenty that will argue the QBR is a fairly pointless stat that doesn’t truly gauge the quality of the player but clearly not everyone sees it that way.

          I’m not beating a dead horse here, you made the statement that he was a top ten QB and I simply wanted to see in what way was that true.

          1. I agree with you that we’ve beat a dead horse on this topic, but I have to point out that passing yards are far more pointless to use as a comparison than QB rating or QBR. Passing yards are a product of attempts, and if you rank last or close to last in attempts, then you won’t have the passing yards.

            1. Ok. We’ll know for sure after the end of the month but for the most part it looks like we’re all in with him for at least another season so it’s all totally moot at this point anyway ;) Here’s to him proving us doubters wrong this year.

              1. If he doesn’t improve in the areas he needs to this year CFC, I will accept that he probably isn’t going to get any better and they will likely move on. I’m not going to be an apologist, but I will support a QB who wins football games.

    2. Rocket, you may be tired of it but I’m not. ;-}

      “I don’t think I’ll ever understand the QB bashing some fans seem to relish in. Kap was a top ten ranked QB his first two seasons, but one inconsistent year behind an Oline that didn’t give him consistent protection means he now sucks. Just mind numbing how simplistic and ignorant that point of view is.” … Rocket

  19. Just watched some more of that Tomsula interview at the owners meeting. I just keep thinking how much fun Frank Caliendo is going to have with good ol’ Jimmy. He’s probably lickin’ his chops.

  20. According to the great Matt Miller from the bleacher report where only credible sources come from(lol) he is saying that the Niners and Trent Balke are attempting to move at all costs for Amari Cooper.. Saying that Balke is in love with. That he is gauging a league wide opinion on where he goes.

    1. Just like the 49ers were in love with Odell Beckham jr. last year and gonna trade up for him. I would love Cooper but I cannot see Baalke paying the mortgage on that trade.

      1. His job is on the line if the team tanks this year, so I could see him making a move like that out of desperation….

      2. Just like the 49ers were in love with Odell Beckham jr. last year and gonna trade up for him.

        They were but the cost was too great.

    2. I don’t put a lot of credibility into Matt Miller based reports, but I could see it as a possibility if Cooper were to fall a little more than expected. Baalke said he was interested in moving up for OBJ last year but the compensation required to do so was too extensive.

      BTW, my clairvoyance in regards to Perriman’s rise just showed up on Helmet heads latest rankings. #9 overall and overtaking Parker for #3 WR. Wish I’d played the lottery this week.

      1. If Cooper falls to #9 I could see a trade with the Giants being a real possibility. They are one team that probably wouldn’t mind moving back without requiring a team to give up the world, as they will likely be looking for an interior OL. Can get one of those moving back.

              1. I think they’d be willing to move back to #15 for less than a second round pick. Who are they going to be so desperate to take at #9 they wouldn’t be happy to move back six spots for an extra 3rd and maybe a late round pick?

              2. It’s possible but going by what the compensation has been in previous years to move up into the top ten, I’d think it would take at least a 2nd to get there from 15. Maybe the Giants would see it your way and take the 3rd, but teams loathe moving down for less than they think they should receive unless they are desperate for additional picks.

              3. This isn’t as strong a draft as last year, not by any stretch. Maybe they fall in love with a player at that spot, but to me they could go a lot of different directions and there are guys of pretty similar value they could get at #15 as at #9.

                If the Giants want a 2nd to move back 6 spots, there should be some decent scope to get a later pick back from the Giants.

            1. Even by the old trade chart the #46 pick would cover it unless the Giants were really considering taking someone themselves at that spot.

          1. Have to agree with Grant. I would not want the niners to give up their second. With the losses due to FA and retirement, there are too many areas that need shoring up. I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on Amari Cooper – not that he isn’t a top prospect, it’s just that we are almost set at WR and can draft one later.

            A thought just occurred to me. I know Boldin is getting on, so is there a possibility we could look at switching Carrier to a possession receiver role.

      1. No worries about that. I agree that #9 is the only feasible spot ahead of #15 that would consider a trade. (C’mon! #2&#3 are out of reach.) slim chance at that and I wouldn’t give up a #2. I might be willing to consider a smokescreen trade if some of the ‘Players’ (owner, FO, HC’s) needed to save face. As in: swap 1st + our 3rd + our 6th for their 1st + 7th. So we give up a 3rd and a bump; but not a 2nd.

  21. Elite prospects at #15? Making the case for Cameron Erving.

    As mentioned in a few previous posts, I think there are a handful of guys likely to be available at #15 that fall into the category of potential elite prospects. I’ve profiled Alvin “Bud” Dupree, in this entry I present Cameron Erving, OC/OG/OT from Florida State.

    Like Dupree, Erving is a guy I’ve mentioned a few times as a guy I like. Lets take a look at the measurables:

    – 6’5″, 313 lbs, 34 1/8″ arms
    – Bench: 30 reps
    – 40: 5.15s
    – Vert: 30.5″
    – Broad: 112.0″
    – 20 yard shuttle: 4.63s
    – 3 cone: 7.48s

    The things that stand out to me are Erving is a big bodied guy with long arms, and very good upper body strength. He also tested well in the quickness and explosiveness tests for a guy his size. At the combine he was top 5 for bench, broad and the 3 cone drill. He’s a very good athlete, but he isn’t just a guy that tests well in shorts, these attributes all show up on tape as well.

    Erving’s athletic talents are highlighted by the versatility he showed while at FSU. He came to FSU as a DT, and spent his freshman year playing that position. But in 2012 he switched to the OL, and immediately took over the all important LT position. He stayed at LT in 2013 and most of 2014, before switching to OC the final five games of 2014 to shore up the interior of the line. Erving is a two time recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, two time first team All-ACC left tackle (2013 and 2014), and also named third team All-ACC centre last year despite only playing five games at the position. He’s been FSU’s best OL during a period in which they went on a 29 game unbeaten streak.

    Despite playing most of his college career at LT, his best fit in the pros will most likely be as an interior OL, and that is the position I’d be drafting him for. But he does provide the versatility to conceivably provide depth at all five OL spots.

    As an interior OL, Erving can be truly dominant. He is very quick out of his stance, and as a centre does a great job getting his head up and ready to block after snapping the ball. Even at LT he showed exceptional quickness out of his stance, and this is one of the key attributes he uses to win matchups. After the initial snap, he does an excellent job keeping his feet moving quickly and his hands active to mirror the defender in pass protection. Erving is able to more than hold his own blocking 1-on-1 from the OC position in the passing game on most occasions. He also keeps his head on a swivel, diagnosing what is around him well and working with the OGs either side of him to pick up pass rushers.

    Erving can flat out dominate DTs in the run game to open huge holes, using his quickness and strong upper body to win the leverage battle and pave a path. But he’s not just a bulldozer – he does a good job walling off defenders and sealing gaps. Erving also uses his athleticism to get out to the second level and make blocks down field. ESPN Stats & Information’s Sharon Katz outlines that FSU doubled its yards-before-contact rush average on interior runs in the final five games after shifting Cameron Erving inside, and a large part of that was Erving’s ability to clear the way.

    Erving’s ability to switch positions so seamlessly while at FSU is a testament not only to his versatility, but to how smart he is and how quickly he can learn. However, he does have relatively limited experience on the OL and in particular as an interior OL, and is something of a raw prospect as a result. He has some bad habits, and currently relies too heavily on his athleticism to win.

    One area of weakness that does show up on occasion is struggling to anchor against bull rushes. There were a few times at OC he got walked back, and the same happened while at LT. This is not an issue of having the strength to hold up, it is a technique flaw. As mentioned he does a good job of keeping his feet moving quickly, but sometimes he is too late in setting himself to absorb a bull rush. As a result he gets off balance, and when this occurs he tends to then stop moving his feet rather than trying to re-anchor. A confluence of errors that result in Erving being driven back towards the QB.

    Erving can also try and force the action in pass protection on occasion, bending at the waist to try and initiate contact, getting himself off balance and leaving him vulnerable to pass rush moves. And when he gets to the second level, he can sometimes look a little lost and unsure who to block. These are all good examples of his rawness and lack of experience, and also how he relies too much on his athleticism right now.

    Erving struggled some at LT as a senior, particularly against the speed of Vic Beasley. As outlined earlier, he’s likely not suitable to playing LT in the NFL. However, it should also be pointed out the offensive scheme did not help him – FSU kept him tight on the LOS in pass protection rather than back in his stance, something that most NFL teams wouldn’t do. This gave a huge advantage to an elite speed rusher like Beasley.

    Overall, Erving right now is a very raw prospect that has performed at a high level despite flaws in his technique. However, he’s a player that has shown great capacity to learn quickly and take on new challenges with immediate positive results. As a result I see him as a guy that could likely step in and play as a rookie. And with the right coaching he provides the raw talent to develop into a dominant interior OL in the NFL.

    1. Erving was destroyed by Mr. Beasley, but one hell of a write up mate. I like Erving a lot but not at pick 15. He’s another guy I’d say is around in the twenties. I just don’t see Baalke going OL in the first round….

      1. Glad you enjoyed it :-)

        Erving won’t be for everyone. But I think he is a guy that falls into the category of potential elite prospect.

    2. Hell of a write up Scooter. You should apply to some of these sites that do this professionally. Your breakdown is as good as any I’ve read, and easy for any level of draft nut to relate too. Well done.

      I see Erving as a late first guy, but the all pro potential is definitely there. My personal favorite is Scherff because of his eternally pissed off style of play, but Erving wouldn’t be a bad option if they traded down either.

          1. How many OL do you see being taken before pick #15? Because I think the Giants would be comfortable with any of Scherff, Collins or Peat.

            1. As many as 3, but likely 2. I just see Scherff as a guy some teams will love and not want to trade down as a result. It’s all moot if he’s gone before 9 which is possible.

    3. Great stuff. You make great cases. I still feel the Niners would let him walk in free agency after his rookie deal, though.

      1. Thanks Grant, if nothing else I can make a compelling argument! :-)

        I think if the 49ers had a truly dominant interior lineman they would likely keep him. I think they were happy to let Iupati walk because while he was very good in the running game, he was a liability in the passing game.

        For mine Erving would probably end up at OC for the 49ers, though probably not initially.

  22. I’d agree on one of your three picks…Peters. I don’t see Baalke drafting an OT in the 1st rd. His OL is pretty well set, except for LG and I see Brandon Thomas earning that job. I agree he should draft an OT, but not that early. Perriman’s another of what seems like an unusual number of burners who have trouble hanging onto the ball. Again, I don’t see Baalke drafting this guy…certainly not in the 1st rd. I’ll give you a couple of other names I think are more in TB’s wheelhouse. The first is DL Eddie Goldman. He’s big, strong and tough as nails. With Justin Smith all but gone, he’d be a guy Mangini would love. He’d tie up at least two OL on just about every play. Another guy Baalke could grab is Dante Fowler. Niner fans hope Aldon Smith is a Niner for a long time, but his situation’s still somewhat fluid, and good pass rushers are just like good CB’s…you can never have too many. If he’s off the board, then Beasley or Gregory could possibly be next on his draft board. What I like about Peters is he’s an aggressive, physical CB…and I think he’d bring some attitude to our secondary. He and Reid could be a couple of really good, young ballers.

    1. I’m a Brandon Thomas fan. I re-viewed his footage last week. He’s more physical and aggressive then I remember when I first looked him up. He really likes to plant defenders. Could move inside to LG just fine if Marcus-Pears-Looney don’t pan out.

  23. I’m expecting bigger things from Marcus Martin this year. Below is the “Bottom Line” from the Draft Analysis at

    “Outstanding-sized, barrel-chested finesse pivot with center-guard versatility. Grades out highly as a position-sustain blocker and possesses untappped strength and power in his body. Lacks desirable grit, toughness and finishing strength to maximize his talent and is stronger than he plays. Has instant-starter potential as a center or right guard, but could stand to benefit from some time to be groomed.”

    Thomas is an unknown. If we knew where he was at, it would make it much easier to decide when to take an OL player. Here’s the Bottom Line for Thomas:

    “Strong-bodied, dependable gap blocker who played left tackle in college but will likely slide inside in the pros. Showed improvement as a senior and has the potential to be a long-term fixture at left guard. Ability to play tackle in a pinch adds to value.”

    As has been mentioned many times by others, Baalke drafted Thomas and Martin in part to replace Lupati and I believe their versatility provides depth along the line. Therefore, I don’t think an OL needs to be drafted in the 1st round.

  24. The best QB to come out of college in his draft David Fales is without a job. Oh wait, maybe it’s because he sucks. Same guy that was wrong about Fales being a good QB is telling us, CK can’t get past a first read…..

  25. Re all the Cooper chatter. I think its rumor season chatter.

    With the new need at ILB, Baalke needs bodies, and picks 15+46 is alot.

    But… the national media (and perhaps a few GMs) think the 49ers will stink this year, and have higher draft picks in 2016.

    For a big trade up, instead of offering picks 15+46, maybe they could offer 15+2016 second rounder. If for some reason Cooper drops to nine, 15+2016 3rd might be enough.

    1. “the internal perception of Kaepernick around the NFL is much different than in the press.”

      The press/public is very “what have you done for me lately.” I’m guilty of that myself. But if your a defender preparing to play 49ers CK must be a major headache. That has to garner respect.

      1. Not really. Ask SEATTLE. They love playing against CK because they can confuse him into making mistakes. That’s an easy day at the office

        1. Hahahaha and Prime is back reprising his role as Pollyanna! Zall good, what up Prime?
          I’m still with CK (with fingers crossed), but truly, the second halfs sucked. The 4Q sucked. Pitiful. So, if the shoe fits..?
          Colin and the Offense gotta get dis stuff fixed! I ain’t lying.

          1. Tate no longer plays for Seattle and he plays on the offensive side of the ball. Back to the office drawing board….

        2. Pete Carroll had interesting words for his D on the sideline in week 15 against the 49ers. Something to the effect of, “Stay in coverage, make him (CK) run and rally to the ball.”

  26. Why is everyome so upset with the CK criticism Grant said? Until CK can prove to be a consistent QB who can scan the field and not turn it over,the criticism is warranted!
    Get over the SB appearance, the Bears game 2 years ago, the Patriots game 2 years ago, the rushing yards. All that matters now with him is week one and what he does.

    1. Still surprises me when you use the term powerful to describe Gore. Elusive, shifty, patient yes but powerful?

    2. – Vance McDonald never did what I hoped he would drafted so high. I think his body (and perhaps brain) isn’t suited to Walker’s H-Back style role and that slowed his development.

      But if (a big if) his back heals and he plays a more traditional TE role the game will “slow down” for him. He’s already a good blocker.

      – “Tank” Carradine had to switch “from laying in a yard to a phone booth.” I think Tomsula really likes him. I think he’ll get his snaps, starter or not.

      Mangini might be a bit more open to rotating players then Fangio. I see Dockett playing the the same role Gary “Big Hands” Johnson did in 84. Experienced rotational depth to kill QBs late in the season.

      Seifert used nine D-linemen in the 84 Super Bowl in his 4-3. I can see all six 3-4 D-linemen getting significant snaps this year. Brooks might be subbed in more then we think too.

      If I were Mangini, I’d use all that depth. Even Kaleb Ramsey could have a role as a late season pocket crasher.

      – Marcus Martin. Way to early. Super Young. Hurt kneecap. Not many camp reps. Thrown into the fire.

      Healthy with a full camp, he can play guard or center. I see a promising career.

    3. Grant who will be the 49ers SCB? Will they start the year again with Ward and will he keep it or will DJ take over or will it be an even mix of both based upon the opponent/situation?

    4. Grant,

      Nice piece. It’s hard to imagine the Niners NOT being better this year than last when considering that Hyde, Dial, Lynch, and Ellington should be featured. If the new coaching staff can infuse some more lively playcalling and if other guys like Carradine, McDonald, Ward, and Patton can show their stuff, this could make for a return to the playoffs.

  27. Although football might still be many months away at least one fine thing is returning to Sunday television this weekend. Will be a bitter-sweet farewell to Sterling-Cooper & Partners.

    1. The only problem with Gurley is the durability issue. And it is a big one – I just don’t know I could spend a first rounder on him. He’s a punishing runner that takes a beating with his style of running, but his body is already breaking down. As the draft profile on outlines, he played less than 40% of his team’s offensive snaps the past three years. How many games will a team get out of him?

      If he didn’t come with durability concerns he’d be right up there with Williams and Winston as the top players available in this draft.

      1. The only problem with Gurley is the durability issue.

        That was Peterson’s problem too if I recall right.

        1. True, Peterson certainly had his injury issues coming into the NFL. If Gurley stays mostly healthy he should be a heck of a RB.

        2. Yep,Gore had issues as well and he was an outstanding 49er.I honor your trepidation here Scooter I just think TG should be in the dialogue . In tandem with Hyde, after adequate healing, our running game could be truly dynamic.Like Peat and like Erving even more by the by but Ali Marpet in the third would be solid as well.

      2. Gurley may turn out to be the next Peterson, I don’t know, but I still wouldn’t draft a RB in the first round. I like Hyde and I think they can find a great tandem for him later on.

        1. Rocket, Gurley is still rehabbing so I understand your hesitancy.If we knew unequivocally he would turn out to be the next AP and he was there at 15 that would be a difficult turndown.

  28. Grant you nailed this time 100% and by adding Peat this year it gives us depth this coming year. Giving Thomas a chance adjust too guard for the following year when Boone departs and with Peat and Thomas both could handle the back-up tackle position considering how injury prone Davis has been!

      1. I’m not sure Old Coach ,I have Conley in the fourth here: previously suggested trade down for an extra 3 and picking up E. Goldman in the first but here is a non trade mock scenario-(1) Todd Gurley RB a gamble but if it pans out could be a major coup here;(2) Ronald Darby CB ;(3) OL Ali Marpet this guy is the real deal;(4)Henry Anderson DL massive disruption:(4b comp) WR Chris Conley big, fast, good hands,solid character -yes;(5) Darren Waller WR/TE just under 6’7″ good hands and speed can block-raw but switch to TE coach up and turn him loose;(6)LB Martrell Spaight LB baller tough as nails(7) QB my guy here Conner Halliday;(7b comp) tempted to steal Rocket’s kicker here(great idea!) but will stay with Zack Zenner RB FB- UDFA Tye Smith CB.

      2. Just reviewed Chris Conley footage. I’d call him a “poor mans Devante Parker” that could turn out to be pretty good. I like how he can high point.

        The only concern (not really a criticism) is he tends to draw illegal horse collar tackles. His legs crumple, making me concerned about knee injuries.

        I think he’d be a great pickup at 5.

        1. My main concern with Conley is how much he loves the game. He’s a top notch athlete that didn’t translate that athleticism into big production.

          He’s also a very smart guy, with plenty of options available to him outside of football. If football gets tough for him, will he put the hard work needed in?

          This is from an article in Forbes:

          “It has a lot to do with how you spend your time,” explained Conley. ”In our sport you spend so much time playing football that by the time you’re off, a lot of players call it a day. I had a different approach to that while I was in college. I wanted to get all and everything out of my 24 hours a day as possible, whether I was doing things with the student body in morning or making connections with businesses during the day. A big part of preparing yourself for the world outside is not just getting your degree, but the contacts you make. Never take a relationship for granted.”

          “I was always the person who said that I love the game of football, but when I think about my life I have an idea of how I want to live, and even if football doesn’t work out for me I will find a way to get there,” said Conley. ”Late in my college career I fell in love with film and manipulating the audience’s emotions. It is something that really intrigues me.”

          These are truly admirable qualities in a person, but it also screams out that Conley is no football junkie. When practice ended he wasn’t the guy practising in his own time to become the best player he can be, he was focusing on other endeavours. How committed is he to football, truly?

          Also from the Forbes article:

          He plans on using the NFL as a means to an end, not the end itself. “Although it is a high risk career, the NFL affords you unique opportunities in meeting people,” added Conley.

          1. Fair enough I guess Scooter but he took football seriously enough to prepare and blow the socks off the combine. If he likes Fellini and Bergman and spends his spare time at the Modern Art Museum -even better I say.

  29. Goldson + a 2016 7th + Tampa has to pay Goldson $4M to Washington Aborigines for a 2016 6th. Sheesh. What a disastrous FA adventure they put themselves through.
    Story at PFT

  30. Here’s my first shot ever at a mock draft. My draft is more of a needs based draft than a BPA draft. I’m going for size in the mid rounds at TE and WR. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu fits Baalke’s penchant for drafting players with knee issues. Wishy-washy on the QB selection and have listed two depending upon who is still available.

    Round 1 Pick 15 OLB Bud Dupree
    Round 2 Pick 46 ILB Stephone Anthony
    Round 3 Pick 79 CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
    Round 4 Pick 126 OL Jeremiah Poutasi
    Round 4 Pick 132 TE Jesse James
    Round 5 Pick 151 WR Darren Waller
    Round 6 Pick 190 RB Cameron Artis-Payne
    Round 7 Pick 246 QB Conner Halliday or Cody Fajardo
    Round 7 Pick 254 Safety Cedric Thompson

    1. Nice Mock Cubus.

      I like the Dupree pick. I just don’t see Anthony being a Baalke guy from what I’m hear he lacks the instinctual aspect of his game. He may be a great athlete but looking at Baalke’s track record with Bowman and Borland, he seems to rank instincts pretty high on his list. And the thing about instincts is you either got it or you don’t. I know Baalke has to be targeting an ILB i’m just not sure Anthony is it.

      Love the Waller pick also.

      1. Thanks, Leo. I’m intrigued by James as a potential tall red zone threat. He has a good vertical jump (only 1″ less than Graham, but is an inch taller than Graham; however arm length is 2″ shorter than Graham).

        1. Definitely has the size. Graham was such an athlete coming out though, and those basketball skills really helped him with the transition to football. I like James, but besides the size there doesn’t seem to be much similarity there. Great character guy from reports.

      1. Thanks, hightop. Mocks I looked at had Payne mostly going in the 5th with one having him picked in the 6th, so, yeah, I’m hoping on that one.

    2. Not bad Cubus. I’m not sure of Olumu in the 3rd, and I think you have Poutasi going too high, but that’s just a difference of opinion. You have some good talent being acquired here. Nice job.

      1. Thanks Rocket:

        I noticed you had Poutasi going in a higher numbered round, but I checked five 7 round mock drafts. Poutasi was projected to go once in the second, twice in the third, once in the fourth and once in the fifth.

        With regards to Ekpre-Olomu he was projected four times to go in the third and once in the fourth. But I’m not sure if you were uncertain about the round or the selection itself.

    3. Nice one, cubus. Main question I have – is taking three defensive guys in the first 3 rounds a wise move, especially when one of those guys is unlikely to contribute much this year while re recovers from a knee injury?

      1. Thanks, Scooter.

        Don’t know if it is wise, but I made the decision to go large at receiver/TE by including Waller and James. I know you’re more of a believer in scheme than size down in the red zone, but I think we need diversity at the WR position. I think a couple of tall guys would make defenses rethink how to defend the niners in the red zone. It’s also not my intention to reach for them, so I have them in the round I think they will be selected. First offensive guy is Poutasi in the 4th.

        With regards to Ekpre-Olomu, I’ll point out that Baalke selected Carradine in the 2nd in 2013 and Thomas in the 3rd in 2014, so it would not be out of character for him to select Ekpre-Olomu in the 3rd. Now, if you’re questioning whether or not we have the CB depth to afford a luxury pick such as Olomu, that’s a good point.

        1. Yeah, I figured the plan was to add size at the WR and TE spots, and you rightly point out my belief on the matter. I hadn’t realised though that you had specifically designed the draft around those two players – why them? Is it because they are the biggest at their respective position?

          I’m not actually questioning taking Ekpre-Olomu, and I’m aware it wouldn’t be out of character for Baalke to take a guy that will likely miss his rookie year rehabbing an injury. My comment was more on the back of the point above – the offensive guys you have the 49ers taking all seem like more developmental types, not immediate contributors. Would the 49ers be better off using that 3rd rounder on an offensive guy that may be more likely to contribute year 1?

          1. Who would they take in the 3rd round that would contribute right away on the offense? If history is a guide, I don’t think it would be a skill player (I suppose you can argue Hyde, but if Hunter hadn’t gone down, Hyde would have had even less playing time). It would most likely be an OL. I believe M. Martin will come on strong this year and I think B. Thomas will play a lot as well. So, a third round OL will be more of a backup and not a major contributor, IMO. My mock does include a 4th round OL.

            Sure, you can question the tall guys selected at WR and TE. I’m not married to the particular selections, necessarily. But I do think that having tall receivers in the endzone adds an extra dimension that the 49ers have not had. Scheme is great and probably more effective when the two strategies are compared against each other, but the tall receivers should make defenses rethink how to defend the niners in the end zone. In prior years for example, I don’t think Seattle was concerned that Kaep would throw one up and the niners would come down with it, esp. with Sherman at 6′ 3″. But with tall receivers at least it might make strong defenses think about the possibility, esp. if the niners have early success next season with this strategy against weaker teams. To me it is another “tool in the toolbox”. Maybe not the best tool, but a strategy that will make defenses have to plan. The more options in the redzone, the better. Of course, Kaep has to be able to make the throws.

            1. Fair enough, though I think you can say the same about a lot of positions. If they take Dupree in round 1 there is no guarantee he’ll do much this season with Aldon, Brooks and Lynch ahead of him on the depth chart. And would Anthony play much of Bowman and Wilhoite stay healthy?

              I’m just leery of putting all your premium picks on one side of the ball.

              As to your question, I think WRs like Tre McBride or Phillip Dorsett could play as the #3 WR this year, a high round RB would be expected to be in the mix and lets face it, injuries happen at that position, and even an OL like Marpet could be expected to see some play time, especially if injuries happen. There are guys likely to be available in round 3 that have the skills to potentially contribute this year, more so than later round picks.

              They could even mix it up and take an offensive player in round 2 and take their ILB in round 3. As Borland showed last year, you can find guys that can start in a pinch in round 3.

              1. I agree with a lot of what you said and I did go back and forth between offense and defense on the 3rd pick. But I’ve been pretty consistent, rightly or wrongly, in my thinking regarding linebackers. When you think of the niners defense it’s the linebackers (OL and IL) that stood out (aside maybe from Justin Smith). Wouldn’t you agree that the 3-4 defense relies more heavily on the linebackers than the 4-3? To me there is a marked lack of depth at these positions, moreso than the DL. If this sounds reasonable, then the strategy is to first shore up the linebacker positions (OL and IL) and then look to backup the other positions.

              2. Yeah, I agree LB is an important spot for a 3-4.

                I don’t have a problem with taking Dupree than Anthony in rounds 1 and 2, I was just playing devil’s advocate to your comment about an offensive player in the 3rd round being unlikely to contribute. Like I said initially, I just question whether backing that up Dupree and Anthony with another defensive pick in round 3 is the way to go. I’m not a fan of ignoring one side of the ball in the top 3 rounds unless that side of the ball is already exceptionally strong and deep.

              3. I appreciate the comments and your playing devil’s advocate as it will help me in adjusting and refining my thinking.

            2. WRT having more size at WR/ TE, I don’t disagree that adding some size to the position would be good, but if I have the option between a bigger guy with ok talent or a more talented guy with ok size, I take the more talented guy every time. Setting out to draft big guys can mean you miss out on more talented players.

              Interestingly, I see the 49ers are having Vince Mayle in for a visit. He could be the big guy you are talking about. Though not super-sized like Waller, unlike Waller he has production behind him.

              1. Scooter:

                I asked this question yesterday, but it was buried in a response to another question.

                I’m wondering if the niners might consider converting Carrier to a possession WR. If it works, he could potentially be a replacement for Boldin. What do you think of that idea?

              2. Its an interesting idea. I just question whether Carrier is good enough a receiver to play on the perimeter. He’s got very good speed and athleticism for his size.

              3. I was thinking more in the middle of the field. If I recall correctly, he made some tough catches in the middle of the field last year before getting injured. I’m not sure how well he would do with back shoulder throws on the outside.

              4. Also, I do recall Collinsworth gushing over Carrier in the Chicago game. With his size and athleticism he would make it tough for typically smaller slot CBs.

              5. I think flex or joker TE (which is similar to a slot WR) is his best role, so yeah, I think it could work. He’s still quite unproven though.

                I don’t think he’d often be covered by small slot CBs.

      1. Where did you hear that, Mid? I’ve seen the Saints mentioned as a potential landing spot, but I’ve not seen anything mentioning they were targeting him.

        1. I think it was early last month in a Yahoo article: the same article where I read that the team was planning to focus mainly on the defense during the draft. There were other sites too.

      2. Thanks, Mid. Did you put together a mock that I missed? I thought the Saints were looking for more receiving help (WR or TE).

        1. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted one Cubus. I’ll probably have a new one up next week.

        1. XXX Productions presents “Ground & Pound.”

          *The provocative documentary journey of a female NFL referee trying to survive in the AFC’s toughest division. Outmanned, outgunned and on the ropes……..the new referee learns to adapt to the physicality of the game by thriving against double and triple teams!

      1. Yea, Crab is very funny. I think it would be even funnier to watch him say something like that to Ronda Rousey.

    1. This is either a draft diversion or a s/t pick up otherwise Christ help us. He’s appeared in 16 games each year since 2011 but never recorded more then 19 tackles in a season.

    1. I’ve not seen any such rumours, but I do recall reading that before restructuring his contract this year the 49ers were considering releasing him. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they did try and trade him, given the number of quality edge players available this year.

      1. Quite possible Scooter. They could be looking at maybe placing Lynch at ROLB if they do trade him. I don’t see him Aldon being traded however after he restructured his contract.

  31. I’ve talked alot about the (real or imagined) talent plateau or “value group” after pick 14. It had me thinking…

    – Teams would not want to trade back to 15 (unless Baalke sold the whole store)
    – Teams would not want to trade up because the elite players are gone.
    – The player chosen at 15 a yawner that could have gone anywhere from 15-32

    I thought Baalke was stuck.

    But recent attention to players like Marcus Peters, Breshad Perriman, Bud Dupree makes me feel much better about pick 15. Maybe there’s alot more trade flexibility then I thought.

    Thanks to OldCoach, Scooter and the gang for researching these players.

    1. I would classify that attention as nothing but a smokescreen. Baalke most likely had already decided on whom he wanted to draft before even the Combine.

        1. On this forum, the NFL and media. Good pro days by Marcus Peters and Breshad Perriman could increase the value of pick 15. The more players considered “elite”, the later that perceived talent drop.

  32. THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: 49ers have not any shut down corner backs in years. The strong defense with its tough front seven has constantly been beat in third down plays situations too, too often due to weak CB coverages. A top Corner back may be there at 15 spot!

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