Tomsula: “There’s a couple times in the last three days I was kind of hoping, ‘Don’t take that guy because we could have put some depth in that spot.’ You know what I mean?”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s post-draft press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ public relations department.

It seems like there’s some good guys that you took.  Was that a priority for you?  Was that something that you really looked at, who these people were as people? 

“Yeah.  Can’t separate the person from the player.”


Did you talk to each of those guys beforehand?



I forget who we spoke to the other day, but they said you didn’t talk X’s and O’s, it was more other things.  What are the sorts of things that you asked them to help you figure out who they are?

“Again, I don’t know that I’m trying to figure out who they are.  When Trent talked about our personnel department, there was a time where in personnel you watched tape, scouted players, talked to players about football.  Now you’re a private investigator.  You’re doing background.  I mean there’s just so much work involved, okay? There’s so many people involved, it’s a little nuts.  There’s a real big gray area there.  There’s a lot of work that gets done there.  And then there’s innuendos.  It gets to be a big, gray, murky place, it really does.  That’s not an area I think any of us like to live in.  Again, you’re going to hear this, hold a guy to that, and he didn’t do anything.  I mean, you get all this hearsay.  That kind of stuff gets crazy.  The point that I do when I talk to the guys, I don’t know what it is, I look you in the eyes and we talk, okay?  You all are reporters and journalists.  You look at people all the time and talk to them.  You figure out facial expressions.  You figure out who’s giving you a line of baloney and who’s not.  You’re always trying to decipher what’s in between the lines and you’re trying to get the message.  Quite frankly, maybe I need to start coming to see y’all and figure it out because that’s what I’m trying to do.  I always say it’s because of where I’m from, it’s back in the neighborhood.  You didn’t fall off a fruit truck yesterday.  You sit and talk to the guys. You ask them questions. I’m looking at them.  Can I deal with this guy?  Everything is a personal relationship.  I mean, it starts right there.  We got playbooks and all this other stuff.  If you and I can’t communicate on a daily, minute, second basis, all the information and everything else doesn’t go anywhere.”


Curious about Trenton Brown, the guy who said he was 387 pounds, dropped a ton of weight.  What was that conversation like?  What did you find out about him and his ability to make that adjustment in his life-style in hopes of parlaying it into an NFL career?

“From one guy that likes to eat to another [laughter].  That’s pretty much the way the conversation started, okay?  I mean, that’s truth.  Really, I mean, we got talking.  I talk to the guys and it’s private.  I mean, what I’d like to say about that guy is obviously, look, we can make science, we can go into all kinds of stuff.  The less I put into here, the smaller this gets.  I know that.  That’s a discipline.  We have people who help you with that.  We have habits to create.  Everybody’s got something.  Other people have to gain weight.  Everybody’s got something.  Our strength and conditioning staff, our medical staff here at the 49ers, is second to none.  It’s fantastic.  The commitment that our general manager and our ownership make to that department is second to none.  My first job as a football coach was a strength coach.  The only reason I ever got out of Steel Valley High School is somebody in a weight room, Jack Garrity.  I’m not an athlete.  I went in and worked hard in a weight room.  It’s just something I believe in.  When you put weight on your back and you got to go down, it makes you strain.  There’s a lot of iron in there.  It’s sweat.  It’s not pleasant.  It’s a grind.  But people actually get excited in there.  That’s a great place.  So that’s where we start.  That’s where that guy’s going to start.  I mean, that’s what we do.  You guys are seeing some of these bodies.  Some of the guys we’ve taken before, look at them now.  Quinton Dial didn’t look like that when he got here.  Neither did Ian Williams.  Ray McDonald didn’t look like that.  Justin Smith didn’t look like that.  Glenn Dorsey didn’t look like that.  Tank Carradine didn’t look like that.  On and on and on.  That part of it, that’s where we start.”


When they bring in players who maybe haven’t played a lot of football, there’s a lot of developing, Trent talked about being big molds of clay, as a coach, how do you see that opportunity to kind of get your hands on these guys and really develop them and bring them along to be good NFL players?

“My thoughts on that are quite simply my background’s obviously development.  Division II football coach, NFL Europe.  I mean, I’m into development.  My point is that you can’t teach 6’6″, you can’t teach bend, you can’t teach speed, you can’t teach length.  You can’t teach those things.  You can’t teach an innate toughness.  You can’t teach that.  You got that or you don’t.  Those are the things we want to bring in the building.  If you’ve got all the physical tools, you have a brain or a mindset – what’s the word I’m looking for – tough but more than tough, you work and strain, you’re edgy, then let’s see where we can go.  But you got to bring those two things to the table.  It’s still up to the player.  I’m responsible for hiring them.  So I’m real fired up about them.  Their strength is teaching and developing, okay?  When you look at them to a man, that’s what they’ve done in their careers, they teach and develop.  That’s what their background is.  So now we have these other guys.  But let’s not make a mistake here.  It is the player himself.  That’s who does this, the player.”


It seems like almost every player Trent picked is a project that won’t contribute right away other than on special teams.  Would you agree with that? 

“No.  I mean, how do I honestly answer that question?  There’s some guys here I think might.  But I don’t want to say that they will.  We got a room full of guys right now, and you haven’t been able to see us practice, we don’t have pads on, but there’s an edginess out there.  I don’t think there’s anybody that’s going to roll over and say, here, take my job.  This is a very competitive roster.  It’s going to be very competitive, which is exciting.  But the part about special teams, when we talk about developing, people always talk about do you develop players.  When you’ve got your defensive backs, your linebackers, your wide receivers, your tight ends, your running backs, that skill set, a huge part of the development of those guys is special teams.  Get them playing in space so they have to redirect.  They’ve got to make plays on the ball in space.  They’ve got to do all of those things in special teams.  As they’re drilling it, working it and doing those things, they’re actually developing the skill set that they need to play offense or defense.  That’s where we’re trying to take that with the younger guys in the special teams roles.  That’s where we’re at.  That’s how our special teams is built now.  That’s the approach we have.  That’s what we’re looking to do.  Is that honest?”


Some armchair draft people like us would look at this team and say you lost two starting cornerbacks and two obviously important inside linebackers and those positions that went unaddressed in this draft.  Trent talked about sticking to the board, getting the best player available.  What is your stance on that in terms of taking the best player available versus finding players at positions of needs?

“I’ve got you.  The draft process that I’ve gone through here, that I’ve watched, that I’ve learned from and have been a part of, did more learning than contributing this year, I’ll tell you that straight up.  But the way the coaches staff and the personnel department worked together, the way I envisioned that happening was terrific.  I mean, it was terrific up to the last picks.  Coaches and scouts coming together, Trent coming out, getting the coaches that coach the position, everybody talking, having a conversation two picks before it’s going to happen, here’s where it’s at, here’s where it’s all laid out, all the way to that point, okay?  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  The way this draft has been run, sitting in that chair and talking to Trent, I mean, it’s game day for him, okay?  He is responsible for pulling that card off.  I’m real glad he is because I’ve got a hell of a lot of confidence in him.  I’m always looking for people to blink.  That guy don’t blink.  That part of it was terrific.  The questions that he asks, Where do you want to go?  We went with the board.  The reasoning for going with the board, the way this happened and the way it went down, I really, really like.  There were some corners lined up on the board, boom, then they went.  Was there a linebacker or two as we were going through there, you’re four or five picks ahead, then they went, okay?  But now instead of going somewhere else, you know, he just stayed on his deal.  It was cool and smooth right across.  Absolutely methodical.  Plan your work, work your plan.  There it was.  Just really, really good.”


After this year, to you think you’ll be in position to contribute more next year?

“I was asked.  Everybody was asked, the coaching staff.  The way it’s going, I think it’s fantastic.  I’m not going to sit and talk about draft strategy with you, I’ll tell you that right now.  The rounds, the trades, the mathematical equations that get involved in it.  I think I’d have to get out of coaching to do that, to be quite honest with you.  I think I’d have to do that 365 days a year, to do that job as good as it needs to be done.  I don’t know how I could do both, me personally.”


First four picks today there was obviously a developmental tight end, a guy that had an ACL and there’s a punter, you have punter Andy Lee.  It seems to indicate you feel comfortable with the roster you had going into the draft. 



You could afford to take risk or guys who maybe cannot contribute right away.  Is that…

“Personally, I feel tremendous with the roster we have.  I feel really good about the roster we have, and all positions.  Some are not as deep as I’d like them to be, you know what I mean?  I’d like a little more depth here.  There’s a couple times in the last three days I was kind of hoping, don’t take that guy, because we could have put some depth in that spot.  You know what I mean?  But do I feel good?  I feel fantastic about the roster, absolutely fantastic.  And I feel fantastic about the competition that it’s layered with.”


What were the picks you wish went the other way?

“We’re not going there.  And he’s got such a nice smile [laughter].”

This article has 238 Comments

    1. Eight tight ends and two punters and two field goal kickers on the roster, a first round developmental pick that Walter Footabll labelled “a second roundrer–someething you shouldn’t reach for with a #15.” The 49ers led the league and set a frachise record for sacks, while passing among the fewest times last year, and what do they do, Add trent Bown,, another run blocker. Baalke feels he can over power people by getting bigger, but that doesn’t work against smart football teams who stack the line of scrimmage (Seattle) and force Kaepernick to stay in the pocket orchestrating a passing offense so simplistic that Greg Cossell on KNBR caled it out of the 1960’s. Thank you, mystical powers above for making these repetitive draft picks Baalke’s last, an now can move on and draft all the running backs, tight ends, and ligament damaged wide reciever (RB’s Lattimore) he wants with North Dakota State in 2016.

      1. Website :Niner Noise, 49ers complete Grades Video: two experts said the punter was a head scratcher, and that the draft was one which is a wait and see, not much help this year….D+

    1. lol. i was so mad after the Haurbaugh debacle! I was cursing everything 49 front office/management/new coaching staff etc….ive softened my stance and am actually rooting for this guy.

        1. He stole my grades! Haha.

          Through the first four rounds, only one of those grades was different to mine; he gave Tartt a C, I was more generous with a C+. :-)

          He was a little more forgiving of the late round picks than I was though.

          1. To be honest, Scooter, at first I thought you had taken on a gig at Bleacher Report, but then I did notice the Tarrt grade and of course the late round picks were graded a bit higher.

    1. I have not a problem with the picks evaluation other than calling Harold bafling.
      It’s never bafling to get a good edge rusher prospect.

      What I question is that concept that they NEED to get immediate contributors from the draft.
      Why is that? This draft should be about getting good players.
      If some of them are 2 years away from starting or being useful, so be it. As long as the scouting shows that they are worth the wait, I have no problem with that.

      The Niners need immediate contributors from last year’s 8-8 squad?
      No question!

      But they got them already.
      They got Torrey Smith, Darnell Dockett and Shareece Wright from FA.
      They got Thomas, Reaser, Acker, Millard and Ramsey from last year’s draft.
      And they also got Navorro Bowman and Glen Dorsey back from injuries.

      There you have it.
      10 guys that did not play at all last year and will be able to contribute right away this year (not to mention Kendall Hunter, and other guys that missed more than half season, like Kilgore).

      When you consider that, there’s no problem to have a draft class with a few projects for future years. We have this year “covered” by last year’s draft and free agency.

      Few guys drafted this year would be able to contribute more than the players that are already on the roster anyway, so you might just go ahead and aim for the future.

      1. I know what you are saying, but I somewhat disagree with the statement you made about immediate contributors. Yes, you are looking to the future with the draft, not year 1. You don’t expect these guys to be coming in as stars right off the bat. But you do expect early picks, in particular first round picks, to be able to contribute as rookies beyond just STs. Even if it is just as rotational guys (or for some positions like QB, key backups). If they aren’t able to do that then they are so under developed that taking them early was a huge and unnecessary risk.

        And I think Armstead can contribute as a rookie as a rotational DL (and who knows, he may win a starting job). I think Tartt and Harold may be able to contribute as rookies too – Tartt in dime packages and/ or some nickel situations, and Harold as the 4th edge rusher, rotating in. Mike Davis may end up seeing a bit of action too.

        1. So a couple things. I have no problem with baalke drafting players that won’t play much this year. I also don’t have a problem with him not picking positions of perceived immediate need. I do have a problem with two things.

          1-most players he picked were a reach where he picked them. Almost every single pick would have most likely been available one or two rounds later

          2- a related point. As you mentioned above it would be nice for top couple picks to be able to challenge for starting roles within first or second year. It seems as though his picks are shifted over one: first three rounds might have larger roles in a couple years (kinda what rounds 3,4,5 should be like), rounds 3,4,5,6 are complete long shots (kinda what Udfa are supposed to be).

          This was completely a baalke draft. No strong willed influence from harbough, singletary, etc.

          Problem is the whole draft is boom or bust based on hunches about big hands, big feet, small nose, long arms, healing from injuries, changing positions, and so on.

          All this being said I’m curious about most of these players development and what they will end up like in a couple years.

          1. WRT your first point, I don’t know if we can say with any certainty these players would have been available a round or two after they were taken. We’ll never know, just speculation.

            For mine the problem is whether any of these guys will ever be ‘star’ players. Picking at #15 (or #17 in the end), you should be coming away with a future star player. Maybe Armstead is that guy, but as I’ve said a few times, to me he’s more that under appreciated type of player that does the dirty work to let the star players do their thing. You need those types of players, but you don’t need to take them at pick #17.

            And Tartt is quite the project. He’s not great in coverage, and will likely play closer to the LOS for the 49ers than he did in college. Maybe he’s the next Kam Chancellor or TJ Ward, but he’s got a ways to go to get there. Was he the best they could do at #46? Heck, even he was surprised to hear his name taken so early.

          2. WRT,

            The only player you could say was taken early is Tartt. Having said that, several NFL FO’s thought that was a very good pick according to Schefter and Mortenson.

            1. I assumed WRT was the previous poster (with respect to). My comment above was to, shish, of course.

          3. Shish, whether a drafted player is expected to start or not depends on what the roster of that team looks like. I’m just not sure that Peters would’ve won a starting job. I’m almost certain that neither Perriman nor DuPree would’ve been a first year starter either. Since you made that statement, do you have specific players in mind that the 49ers should’ve drafted instead of the players selected instead of those they did pick?

            1. ExGolfer,
              The only player that I would have bet to become a starter as a rookie had we selected him was Denzel Perryman. He was available for in the 2nd rd but we went with “Pop” Tartt.
              Hopefully Tartt can become a young Donte Whitner for us, but personally, I would have gone after DP.

          4. Shish,

            You also seem to be questioning Baalke’s overall draft strategy and methodology. Fair enough, but consider this: how many teams (Seahawks included) could lose their three best defenders and four other key players on defense and still be top five? I would venture a guess that there’s not another team in the NFL that could absorb those kind of losses and maintain that level of play.

            The 49ers have such great roster depth because of Baalke’s methods, IMO.

            That’s why draftees don’t project to start, again, IMO.

          5. Shish,
            I agree with your take in principle, but if these are the players that the 49ers targeted (especially first 3 rds) then they were astute in taking them even if on paper these players seem like a reach.

            Many of the football “talking-heads” had the 49ers going after Armstead weeks leading up to the draft.
            As a 49er faithful, I was hoping that they would go after a player that could fill an immediate need i.e., CB, OT, ILB, or WR.
            But obviously, behind closed doors the FO felt comfortable with the players that currently hold those positions.

            Baalke kept true to his word when he said a few months ago that the 49ers would be “re-loading” vs rebuilding in this years draft.
            The one positive from this draft is that the team feels very confident with their present players and that the new players will be brought along slowly to eventually be called on to produce in the near future.
            I agree with some here that have given the 49ers a C draft grade, but that’s on paper. We really won’t know what we have until we see how these players do until they hit the field.

        2. Scooter,

          I don’t think you and I disagree at all.

          I also believe that they will be able to contribute as rotational players.

          I just was counterpounting Grant’s notion (and for many here) that the first 2 rounds should produce starters right off the bat.

          That’s just not reasonable.
          If you can find guys that are perennial starters down the road that is just an incredibly successful draft.

          I feel too many people are focused on the players the Niners lost and forget about the ones we will gain/have back.

          I just mentioned 10 “new” players that did not play last year. Plus we have kilgore back, Marcus Martin more experienced, Aldon Smith for the whole season. Jerome Simpson, Kendall Hunter, Jimmie Ward back and more experienced. Dontae Johnson more experienced, etc.

          That’s a lot, and I mean A LOT, of infusion of talent.

          The big question mark is the coaching staff. Other than that the talent is there.
          That’s why I have no problem with a draft more towards the future than the present, although I believe people may be surprised by this class contribution as rotational players this year, as you said.

    2. Grant, I when considering Arik Armstead’s role on the defense; I think you have some overly narrow definitions of the roles in the defensive scheme. Overly fixated on the Under Front. I think you should also consider that the Niners will be instituting some scheme changes to the defense.

      First let me say that I agree with you that a #15/17 pick should not be a project. The question is to what degree Armstead is plug and play ready or a project.

      Let’s look at the Defensive End/Tackle position on the line in the base defense. You have labeled Justin Smith a “3 technique” or more accurately an “under tackle”. I know he often lines up shifted over/shaded but to my eyes he both shoots gaps and eats up blockers. To me he’sometimes he’s a “5 technique” who is either 2 gaping or 1 read gaping. ,strong>Pro Football Focus labeled Justin Smith a “4/6 technique” (if we’re using position to define role).

      “You might ask why I’m not listing Justin Smith, a player we regard as clearly the best 3-4 end in football, in this spot. The answer is because Smith often doesn’t play the traditional 5-technique in the 49ers’ defense……often knifes into gaps while shaded slightly to either side of the tackle (in more a 4 or 6-technique). He is certainly well capable of playing the 5, and would be a perfectly reasonable example…” Defensive Line Techniques – The Prototypes

      You have labeled Ray McDonald as primarily a 2 gap run stuffer in the base defense. However this would not make sense to move a player to End who was originally an interior pass rush specialist in the Nickel to End in the base defense…they could have just left Sopoaga at End if all they wanted was a space eater. McDonald is at his best when penetrating. So like Justin Smith, McDonald would both eat up blockers and penetrate depending on the defense called and the post snap read. Again I’m not sure if he’s 1 gap reading or 2 gapping but both require controlling their blocker (stacking and shedding).

      Baalke called Armstead a 4 technique. Which would indicate that his skills set matches Justin Smith in the area of gap eating. The most difficult part of learning to play D-line, particularly a scheme that requires the d-lineman to read plays (2 gap and 1 gap read) stacking and shedding. Armstead is not a pass rusher. But what he does bring to the table is the ability hold up at the point of attack, reading, stacking and shedding. Quinton Dial and Armstead are physically comparable (Armsted an inch taller and Dial a bit heavier). But Dial’s greatest weakness is lack of awareness which leads to him getting washed out of plays when he doesn’t make the correct read; despite being physically imposing. I’ve said in the past that I believe a lot of what the Niner’s D-line does is one gap reading. I’ve described it as stacking, reading, shedding and penetrating. It’s 2 gap responsibility with penetration. Here is a description of Armstead’s responsibility in Oregon’s defense:

      “A few years back I attended an Oregon Coaches Clinic (for high school coaches) and they had an acronym that I cannot recall, so I am improvising the technique flow of the Oregon defensive line. It is SODA, as in Strike, Observe, Discard, and Attack. Above you see both DeForest Buckner (From the Great State of Hawaii, yellow arrow) and Arik Armstead (green arrow above) in the strike and observe phases.
      <href=""<Oregon Defensive Line Secrets: Stopping the Run

      sounds a lot like the one read gapping I’ve observed by the Niner’s D-line.

      Now I can understand an argument that says that for a #15 pick, you’d expect a defensive end pick to be able to both stack and shed AND provide some pass rush. But let’s not dismiss what Armstead does bring to the table.

      Also consider that Mangini may change some of the scheme. It would not be surprising to see more pure 2 gap responsibilities along the D-line. Recently Navarro Bowman indicated that they were learning a new system, but still a 3-4. However, Mangini does utilize the flexibility of shading his linemen and implementing elements of a 4-3 (gap penetration: fill and spill run defense scheme) so there will probably be some philosophical continuity carried over from Fangio’s defensive scheme.

      1. oops. messed up the link. here is the link that mentions Justin Smith:

        I wonder if the selection of Tart may indicate a desire by Baalke to run more of a “Big Nickel and Dime” package to 3+ WR personnel groups and big pass receiving TEs. If Ward in as the Nickel slot DB and maybe Tart in for one of the ILBs since they don’t have the flexibility of two athletic ILBs with Willis retiring and Bowman coming back from injury.

        1. As Baalke would say, it is up to the coaches, but I suspect you are right that Tartt will see some action as a pseudo SS/LB in dime and potentially some big nickel.

          1. Yeah, I was postulating on draft day that he might replace Wilhoite in nickel and dime packages, but I’m wondering if you agree it would be him or do you think it might be Bowman?

            1. I think I read that Wilhoite actually became serviceable in coverage near the end of last season. I don’t know if this is enough to justify playing him as a coverage backer in the Nickel package. It’s going to depend on Bowman’s recovery too.

              1. Maybe both Bowman and Tartt could be on the field at the same time.

                Two safeties, two corners, Ward, Bowman, Tartt, A Smith, A Lynch, Carradine and Dorsey.

  1. Reading between the lines towards the end it seems like he was hoping that Trent would address other more needed positions than some of the ones where they had enough depth in. He did say it in such a way that I don’t believe most people understood what he was saying. But never the less he feels good. Like we knew that he would now.

  2. Ok so I’ve scored the all 32 entries. Just a reminder on how these are done; 5 pts if you correctly match a player to a team. 5 points for correctly matching a player to a draft spot and -1 point for each spot different(ex; player picked @10 that you put at 8, you get 3 points).

    I’ve included your individual score for each pick so you can double check my grading and so you can see how you did plus your overall score. I’ll make an individual reply for each one.

    1. Scooter:
      1. 10
      2. 1
      3. 4
      4. 4
      5. 2
      6. 3
      7. 0
      8. 4
      9. 1
      10. 2
      11. 10
      12. 0
      13. 0
      14. 1
      15. 4
      16. 1
      17. 0
      18. 5
      19. 0
      20. 0
      21. 0
      22. 0
      23. 1
      24. 4
      25. 0
      26. 0
      27. 0
      28. 1
      29. 1
      30. 0
      31. 0
      32. 0

      Total: 59

    2. BrotherTuna:
      You started out beautifully and then it all went to pot.

      1. 10
      2. 2
      3. 10
      4. 10
      5. 0
      6. 1
      7. 0
      8. 5
      9. 1
      10. 4
      11. 2
      12. 0
      13. 2
      14. 0
      15. 2
      16. 0
      17. 0
      18. 0
      19. 0
      20. 0
      21. 0
      22. 0
      23. 0
      24. 0
      25. 0
      26. 0
      27. 0
      28. 0
      29. 0
      30. 0
      31. 0
      32. 0

      Total: 49

      1. Buncha Goose eggs! Flipping horrendous. One concept I had was that it was going to be difficult to pull off the many supposed trades at the top ahead of SF. That turned out to be true allowing the early picks to be at least somewhat predictable.

    3. MidWestDynasty:

      1. 10
      2. 4
      3. 2
      4. 10
      5. 2
      6. 3
      7. 10
      8. 2
      9. 1
      10. 1
      11. 2
      12. 0
      13. 0
      14. 0
      15. 0
      16. 0
      17. 0
      18. 0
      19. 0
      20. 0
      21. 0
      22. 0
      23. 0
      24. 0
      25. 0
      26. 0
      27. 2
      28. 4
      29. 0
      30. 0
      31. 0
      32. 0

      Total: 53

    4. CFC:

      1. 10
      2. 5
      3. 4
      4. 2
      5. 2
      6. 3
      7. 2
      8. 3
      9. 1
      10. 1
      11. 4
      12. 0
      13. 3
      14. 0
      15. 0
      16. 0
      17. 8
      18. 0
      19. 0
      20. 0
      21. 0
      22. 0
      23. 4
      24. 3
      25. 10
      26. 0
      27. 0
      28. 0
      29. 10
      30. 0
      31. 0
      32. 0

      Total: 75

        1. The two hits towards the end of the round Thompson to Carolina and Randall to the Colts boosted my score. Take those two away and I’m right in the group with everyone else. If I had taken the Titans/Browns trade out I would have done a bit better.

          You had a good hit with Waynes to the Vikings along with correctly guessing spot #18 for Peters. Although you didn’t get points for it you correctly had Jake Fisher to the Bengals, right team just wrong round, still a good one though.

  3. A final bit of heresy before bed. I’m not as annoyed as most over the Punter pick. Everybody, and I mean everybody was appalled when Al Davis selected Ray Guy in Round#1. It turned out to be a really good pick. Later, Al picked Janikowski, a PK. Major uproar. That turned out to be a good pick too.
    I don’t pretend to know how good this kid will be, or if the F.O. sees signs of decline in Lee. But neither does anyone who grades that pick an F.
    You can sign a guy to come punt for you as an udfa or a veteran as a ufa, but that’s who you get; a journeyman or a hopeful apprentice. If they feel this guy is special and carries a 5th round grade then maybe he’s the outlier that you draft before the 7th round.
    Who thinks that the criticisms that come to their minds weren’t weighed by Baalke’s team?

    1. Drafting a punter in the 5th round makes sense if you don’t have a good punter under contract long term. But, as you say, maybe they feel Lee’s declining and not as good as his contract any more.

      If Pinion beats Lee out this pick makes some sense. However, the fact that most scouting services didn’t rate Pinion as a draftable player (CBS had him as the 11th best P available in the draft, for whatever that is worth) does raise some question marks as to how likely that is to happen. If he’s a special talent, you’d like to think he’d be rated a little higher. But, you never know, maybe he surprises a lot of people.

      1. Simply a WTF pick. Maybe I’m wrong but there just seems to be a bit of hubris in presuming your team (an 8 and 8 team) is so well rounded that you take a kicker in the 5th and even though your second QB has not shown much you sign a UDFA QB from left field as a footnote!

        1. High top,

          Given the number injuries, A Smith’s suspension, Boone’s holdout, and the open secret that Harbaugh was on the chopping block, I think an 8-8 record is indicative of a team with a pretty good roster. Especially when the loss to Rams wasn’t a loss. The refs took that away by calling a fumble just because the Rams ended up with the ball after the pile ends up in the end zone. They had no idea if that was a fumble, or not and it never should’ve been called as such.

          1. EX you may be correct ,I’m just a fan so my opinion can and probably will be taken with a grain of salt.That being said, picking a kicker rated by NFL Draft Scout as the 11th best in the draft in the 5th is still a head scratcher for me.Please indulge me as this is first impression on the day after:(1)AA is a good player who will be a rotational rookie with potential but with the exception of a couple of games at the end of the year had meager stats in college-(B-) as a first rounder;(2)Tartt is a guy I like and was drafted higher than even he expected but the FO liked him and grabbed him ,still he probably won’t see a lot of action for a couple years sans injuries(C+) in the second;(3)Eli Harold is the one guy who earns an A- for me a good pick in the third nice work but probably won’t see much of the field right away- so of the first three not one will be a starter it appears- hmmm;(4)things largely go south from here-Blake Bell I don’t get here unless Baalke sees him as a backup QB ,he hasn’t played much TE but maybe the FO sees more than me,fair enough still as our first pick in the 4th? (C-); Mike Davis is a guy some will like alot a change of pace RB short stout-would have taken Cobb or Zack Zenner later but OK (C+);I mocked Smelter and like him but would have gone McBride here both will probably have separation issues in the NFL -McBride is a guy I rated higher and is heathy so (C) here;(5) I have spoken of this pick (F);Ian Silberman OL-really?; (D)TrentonBrown-massive OL with potential (B-);and injury prone Busta Anderson will have a hard time making the squad albeit he is a 7th but with Antwan Goodley and Taiwan Jones available here (F)-I hope I’m wrong but this could be Baalke’s worst draft.

            1. Pinion came out because he believed he was the best at his position in this draft. NFL Draft Scout was wrong, and the kid was right….

              1. How do you figure maybe? He was drafted and the higher rated kickers were not. No maybe about it….

              2. The fact he was drafted higher doesn’t mean he was right and they were wrong that will be determined his play on the field.So until that occurs maybe.

              3. Oh, I thought you brought up NFL Draft Scout and the potential higher rated 10 kickers over Pinion. That’s why I said maybe was the incorrect word. The kid got drafted while the others didn’t. He was right, NFL Draft Scout was wrong. Now, of course, you and NFL Draft Scout could be proven the better evaluators if Pinion fails to win the job and one of the “10 better prospects” is able to. Stay tuned….

              4. Just to clarify -NFL Draft Scout’s 11th best rating is a qualitative judgement not a quantitative rating .

            2. High top,

              I agree with you that Pinion in the fifth was probably early, but we won’t know until we see him punt. I’m willing to wait to judge, but that’s just me. BTW, my opinion is no better than yours, you could very well end up being right.

      2. BT & Scooter

        Just a footnote, but the punter is also a place kicker who kicked a 65 yarder in High school….we also won’t see a lot of kickoff returns with him….

        1. I wonder if the Super Bowl Champion Patriot fans are up in arms over the aging long snapper Bilichick drafted slightly earlier, who I would point out is not even available to play yet….

          1. I reckon the fans of the SB champs will be more forgiving are they are used to Belichick drafting like that and producing winning football teams. Reputation matters. Baalke still has question marks as to how much of the team’s recent success is due to his football acumen vs Harbaugh’s.

            1. I remember a time you were very high on Baalke, but not so much on Harbaugh. I’ve been tough on Baalke, but I think he’s doing a very good job. This year will be big for him….

              1. For the most part I do like the way Baalke approaches building a roster, and I think he’s had some good drafts. I just don’t think this was one of them.

                As I said before the 49ers picked Armstead, I had no problem with building the strength of the front 7 and up the middle of the defense with the early picks. It is something I often advocate. I just didn’t see a DL worthy of pick #17. Baalke did, the talking heads at agree with him, and time will tell if they are right.

                And I have often said the 49ers drafted their CBs for this year in last year’s draft, so I’m not overly perturbed they didn’t take one this year. I do however think a high round CB would have been good value for this team.

    2. Bro I agree with you on the 5th round pick. I don’t think its an F – yet. If he makes the special teams better then its a good pick. I will say this pick falls in line of the head scratchers that Baalke drafted earlier. I also think ‘not reaching for a pick’ is overrated. As usual I play the wait and see game before passing judgment in the quality of the picks.

      1. “I don’t think its an F – yet.”
        I agree with that. It could be an F if he fails to make the team. If they’re really close in the competition Pinion may get the nod for youth and economy of rookie contract. This isn’t some whim by an egotistical GM. His scouts had that grade on the guy.
        In fairness, Scooter prefaced his grades by noting that same day grades are preliminary grades only. I’d extend that thought quibble on some of those other grades. Clearly, however good he’ll be, Armistead will be better later. He wasn’t chosen for who he is but for who he’ll be.
        I usually expect a 5th rounder to be a starter or rotation player in 2-3 years. This guy has Minnies and one TC to take Lee’s job away. Thanks to all for taking my contrarian thoughts without rancor.

        1. Agree that it could be an F if he doesn’t make the team. But Pinion has one other advantage, he can kickoff. Dawson’s kickoff length was noticeably short last year (and perhaps most years, I don’t remember). If Pinion can consistently kick the ball out of the endzone, then to me that is a plus. But again it hinges on him making the team. Further, it’s possible that by sparing Dawson the need to kickoff, it may aid in his staying “fresh” throughout the season. Pure speculation. I really don’t know how much kickoffs affect punter’s stamina, but the guy is 40.

          1. I should have said:

            I really don’t know how much kickoffs affect a kicker’s (Dawson) stamina, but the guy is 40.

          2. one thought on the punter- saw a pic. of him, looks like a line-backer! Maybe the thought is ” we can get a guy to do Lee’s job for a fraction of the cost, and the guy could actually tackle someone if he had to”

            Not just on punt coverage but kick offs too. Heck, maybe he develops into a kicker within a year or 2 also.

            A guy who could punt, kick & kick-off could save us a valuable roster spot.
            And he LOOKS like he could tackle too.

            With the optimism out of the way………!!!!! punter in the 5th round!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Baalke is mad!

        2. My F grade is assuming he fails to beat out Andy Lee, a very capable and well regarded veteran, for the P role. If he does beat him out the grade is obviously unfair. And if he then outperforms Lee the grade goes up to a good one.

  4. It’s funny, I don’t recall the grinding and gnashing of teeth when Lattimore was selected in the 4TH Round. At least the punter taken in the 5th has a good chance of actually winning the job instead of a small chance to even get back on the field….

              1. Just confidence in Baalke. I don’t think he makes the pick if he doesn’t think the kid has a better than 50% chance of success. Like I said, I think Lee and Dawson started to decline last year, and this kid exudes confidence. I’m betting he’s hungry….

  5. I was a bit worried about Bloody Tuesday Cutdown to the 53 Day. Hah! Now there’s going to be a cut down just to get to the 90 man roster!
    5 tailbacks
    8 TEs

  6. Hundley & Garrison both ended up in ideal situations. They’re both on teams where there will be zero pressure on them. They each have at least, barring injury, 2-3 seasons minimum before either one will ever be asked to be a regular starter for their team. The’ll also both get to be mentored by two great QB both of which have won SuperBowls.

    Mannion & Petty are both in a world of hurt. Fole’s inconsistency will again rear it’s ugly head and there will be pressure to play the rookie. Foles is not a great QB and hasn’t even sniffed a SB plus he’ll be fighting to keep his job so there wont be any great mentorship happening in St. Louis.(or in L.A. next season.) Petty will have Fittzpatrick & Geno to learn from and that’s IF he can beat out Matt Simms for the third spot assuming they don’t keep 4 QB’s. I like Chan Gailey but he won’t be focusing his time on a 5th round prospect with Fitz and Geno in camp. Although he probably won’t be asked to play nearly as soon as Mannion(assuming Petty makes the team) the situation as a whole will be extremely tough for a player that needs a lot of attention and work before he’s ready to take the field in the NFL.

  7. I was away on business but checking in on Twitter, and after a day to ponder what happened, I’m still stunned.

    Before breaking down the picks I have a mea culpa to address. A few weeks back I told CFC I would come on here and say I was wrong if Garrett Grayson was selected in the first 3 rounds. Well he was and here I am saying I was wrong. I don’t see him as a starter but would defer to Sean Payton’s opinion over my own.

    Now the interesting and often baffling experience that was the 49ers 2015 Draft class:

    1(17) Arik Armstead DE Oregon: I don’t know what’s worse; that Baalke actually made this pick, or that everybody knew he was going to make this pick. Some of us resisted believing he would do it, but nobody was surprised when the name was announced. This is a pure shot in the dark based on physical measurements, and that is not the type of pick you make at #17 in the first round. The player he’s compared too (Calais Campbell) was a similar player coming out of the College, but had better game film and still was selected in round two. This was a tremendous reach based on the tape, and could have the same outcome as the pick of AJ Jenkins in 2012.

    2(14) Jaquiski Tartt S Samford: See Armstead, Arik. Another guy who is physically impressive, but taken at least a round or two too early. Even he thought he wouldn’t be taken until the 3rd or 4th. Two reaches to start a very important draft is really disappointing.

    3(15) Eli Harold OLB Virginia: I liked this pick. Good value in that Harold was projected to go in the late first to early second and has some excellent pass rushing ability. Will likely take Lemonier’s spot on the roster and be an immediate upgrade.

    4(18) Blake Bell TE Oklahoma: Another project, which seems to be the theme of this draft class. One year as a TE after switching from QB and Baalke takes him in the 4th round. Good size and measurables but this is a pick you make a round or two later.

    4(27) Mike Davis RB South Carolina: Love this pick and not just because it’s the only prediction for player and round I got right in my mock. Davis is going to be an excellent compliment to Hyde and is great value here.

    4(33) DeAndre Smelter WR Georgia Tech: Love the player but a round too early imo. He has great size and huge hands, but is raw due to being focused on Baseball for the majority of his College career, and is coming off of an ACL injury.

    5(29) Bradley Pinion P Clemson: No words can express how asinine of a pick this is. If he truly was the best player on the board, then the board should have been burned. Just an awful use of a 5th round pick.

    6(14) Ian Silberman OG Boston College: Project who has not started a lot of games.

    7(27) Trent Brown OG Florida: Massive man who was close to 400 lb’s a month ago. Not a bad risk in the 7th if they can get his weight in order and improve his mobility.

    7(37) Rory Anderson TE South Carolina: Great athlete and skill that warranted being selected a couple of rounds earlier, but he wasn’t because he’s got a long injury history. Another decent late round flyer.

    Overall to say I was underwhelmed by this draft would be an understatement. Projects litter the group, and offer little immediate help for a team that is relying on a number of unproven players to make an impact this year. Marcus Peters was taken one spot after the 49ers took Armstead, and I can’t help but think we’ll be looking back in a few years and thinking what might have been.

      1. No I didn’t Razor, because if able to recover, Lattimore had the ability to be a Probowl RB. Drafting a Punter in the 5th round when they already have one of the best in the league is asinine. This guy would have been sitting there in the 7th or as an UDFA most likely if they really wanted him. No way to rationalize this pick imo.

        1. The ability to recover for Lattimore was minuscule. Pinion has a better than 50% chance to win the job….

          1. So what if he does? Still not worth investing a 5th round pick. It’s not an area of weakness and Lee isn’t making a cap busting amount, never mind the fact he likely could have been had two rounds later if they really wanted to draft him.

            1. Baalke remarked Pinion was the best on their board, and all I remember was happiness when Lattimore was taken in the 4TH Round, not the “he wasn’t worth a 4th round” talk, or “he likely could have been had two rounds later” statements….

              1. Razor,

                It’s possible Probowl RB vs. Punter. Do I really need to say anymore than that? There is no comparison here.

              2. The possibility to even get back on the field was remote Rocket, let all alone the Pro Bowl. In America, you’re free to say what you want. I just do not agree. Apologies….

              3. Razor,

                Taking a punter in the 5th round is a terrible use of a draft pick imo. You don’t agree and that’s fine. We are all free to say what we want and disagree.

              4. Thanks and right back at you. It doesn’t matter to me if Pinion takes Lee’s job or not; he was taken too early and shouldn’t have been the highest rated player on the board imo.

    1. Rocket -with you 100% I would have taken your mock, Scooter’s, and a number of others(including mine of course:)-! ) but hopefully we will be proven wrong!

      1. hightop,

        I hope I’m wrong too and it sure wouldn’t be the first time, but this draft really concerns me. They have rolled the dice on most of the class and that is dangerous.

        1. Rocket

          I just posted that the PUNTER is also a place-kicker who kicked a 65 yard field goal in High school, and can be relied upon for a non-returnable kickoff….Even though he’s still at the top of his game, Andy takes a very high salary as does Dawson, and I’m sure that plays into the choice…..remember Grayson….

        2. This draft feels extremely complacent to me. It’s like someone is saying, “We would have won the Superbowl with our current roster, except for the mutually departed nameless one.”

    2. rocket,
      Good take. I agree re: first two picks. Harold will leapfrog Lemonier, but that may not necessarily be a big endorsement. But I like Harold just the same.

      I said a few hours before the draft that our 3 picks in the 4th might turn out to be the foundation that the team builds on for the future.

      Bell is a project, but Davis and Smelter could become future stars. I would have selected a ILB rather than B.Bell, but Davis and Smelter are very good value picks which I view as house money picks since they we had two extra selections in the 4th rd.

      The Pinion pick is a headscratcher at 5, but if I have a darkhorse in this draft it will be Rory “Busta” Anderson, TE. Every team will boast of their “steal” pick of the draft, and this guy could end up being ours.

    3. You and I have similar thoughts on this draft, rocket, though I’m maybe not as down on the players selected. For instance, I don’t see Armstead as an AJ Jenkins type pick – to me Armstead is physically ready to contribute as an NFL player and can enter the DL rotation day 1. My concern with Armstead is whether a 2-gapping DE with limited pass rush is worthy of pick #17. Here’s to hoping he develops as a pass rusher and routinely draws double teams to free up other players!

      1. Scooter,

        The comparison to Jenkins was simply to point out how this pick could turn out to be a bust. Armstead has all the measurables and athletic talent. He just hasn’t shown anything special as a player and I feel they could have found a better option to use the first pick on. There is also the point you made about the role he will play. There were a lot of options later in the draft that could handle that assignment.

      2. Scooter,

        I think you know that I was hoping Armstead wouldn’t be the pick. Having said that, I’m a bit perplexed by your feeling that a run stuffing DT (since your questioning AA’s pass rushing ability, I’m assuming he’ll be lined up as DT in the sub package) isn’t worth a first round pick. If AA turns out to be great to very good at defending the run and occupying blockers on pass plays – allowing A Smith, A Lynch, et al to get after the QB, wouldn’t that be good enough to justify the 17th pick?

        Also, and this isn’t directed at you, Scooter, but it seems that many on here are discussing the draft picks as if they’re all supposed to be starting palyers or at least significant contributors right away. The reality of the draft is if you’re getting something out of 60% of your draft picks, you’re doing very well.

        Here are average bust rates for different rounds:

        R1: 10%
        R2: 28%
        R3: 40%
        R4: 55%
        R5: 66%

        That doesn’t give a GM the carte blanche to use picks capriciously, but why don’t we see what’s what, before we go nuts?

        1. Hey Ex, WRT to your query an AA, not in my mind, no. I’m sure others will disagree, but to me you don’t take a run stuffing, 2-gapping 5-tech in the first round unless they cause absolute mayhem to the offensive line. And if they cause mayhem to the offensive line you can bet they are also disruptive in the passing game.

          I’m basing this on what I’ve observed other teams do. Successful 3-4 teams looking for a 5-tech DE only take one in the first round when they are very disruptive guys, as well as play the run well and keep guys off the LBs. Players like Justin Smith. 5-tech DEs that are primarily just guys that occupy blockers and keep the LBs clean but don’t offer much disruption in their own right can be taken later on. For Armstead to be worth pick #17 he needs to develop into a highly disruptive player in his own right.

          Completely agree regarding your comments about expecting rookies to be starters from day 1.

        2. That was an incomplete post.

          R6: 70%
          R7: 80%

          And the threshold for bust is very low for these numbers, basically a completely worthless player.

          When the bust rate was set at a minimum of one year as a starter and 40 games played, the bust rates were as follows:

          R1: 20%
          R2: 42%
          R3: 60%
          R4: 70%
          R5: 80%
          R6: 85%
          R7: 90%

          With the average bust rate of 64%(!), based on starting a minimum of one year and playing a minimum of 40 games.

          The point is, it’s not easy drafting players that are going to be immediate contributors, even in the first round.

          The point is, is not that easy to pick a useful player, in any round.

    4. I wouldn’t necessarily assume that Payton sees Grayson as a starter, I would say the same thing about Hundley as well. Now I would agree that the third round sounds a bit high to take a back up QB but maybe not. Both were taken by teams that have QB’s that could still be starting for their respective teams 5 years from now. I think both are seen as reliable back up options.

      1. You may be right CFC, I just wouldn’t use a pick that high on a player you hope doesn’t see the field at any point during his contract.

  8. After watching Baalke these past years, and with the statement that we want ‘teachers’, it is becoming quite apparent the man doesn’t draft for the upcoming year he is drafting for the following year. That’s where the teaching part comes in. As example Armstead, they drafted a guy that had something they couldn’t teach, size, he has enough potential to warrant a first round pick. All these picks are based on potential and players that need to be coached up. The only possible starter would be the pick that almost everyone seems to hate – the punter. They plan these picks to be starters next year not this year.

    1. That’s what a competent GM does. You never want to be in a position where you’re forced to draft for need, that will get you fired rapidly….

    2. Undercenter,

      I get potential and the need to develop players, but a first round pick should have better film than Armstead. He is all measurements and potential which constitutes a massive gamble. As I mentioned, Campbell was superior College player and even he didn’t go until the 2nd. This is somebody that Baalke locked in on, to the point every pundit out there predicted it and it’s based on physical attributes and not the tape. That is a recipe for failure.

        1. He’s been doing a pretty good job sure, but that doesn’t make him infallible to the point you don’t question his decisions. I’m not saying he had to draft players to play right away, but in the first round you should get players who theoretically could step in and make an immediate impact. If the draft Peters he’s starting from day one and is an upgrade from the prospective starters. Armstead joins a large contingent of Dlinemen and offers no immediate impact. Tartt is a project who at best will be a starter in a couple of years and again offers little to no immediate impact other than on ST’s.

          Taking potential projects with high picks is not a formula for success. Doesn’t mean it won’t work; it just means you have gambled large on what should be a higher rate of success.

          1. He’s not drafting any differently than he has in the past, and frankly I’m happy with the success the team has enjoined during his tenure….

            1. I disagree Razor. He has usually been more measured with his first round picks with the exception of Jenkins. The risk he’s taking with this pick reminds me of that one.

              1. Aldon Smith had tremendous production, Reid was viewed as one of the top S’s in the draft, Iupati and Davis were both highly rated and among the best at their position based on the tape. He applied the film results toward these picks at a higher degree than he did with Armstead.

              2. They were still all big and physical players. Iupati gone now because the position is not valuable and he can’t pass block, injuries too. Reid is a concussion away, and hey he won the job. Remember when I called that one? Mr. Davis was similar to Armstead in age and potential, definitely not a finished product….

              3. All of them had better tape than Armstead. That is the point that seems to be getting missed here. Armstead is not a first round caliber football based on the film. He has to improve dramatically to make this a good pick and that is where the gamble comes in.

              4. I don’t know, Armstead can free up Aldon Smith, taking on double teams and holding the point. That’s all you can ask for right now. His pass rushing skills can and should improve…..

      1. Rocket I agree, I am just trying to figure this guy out. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the pick. For me this was a head scratcher draft, I am okay with the selections at this point, just caught me a little off guard just wondering how this guy thinks.

        1. Simple, he loves offensive players that play for Spurrier, he likes big, physical guys in the front seven where he values DL/OLB over corner. He wants to own the middle of the field with big, physical, high football IQ guys. And he’s always thinking one step ahead and how the players fit their scheme and locker room….

          1. Razor….

            I’m 100 % with you on Armstead, and no it’s not because he’s a Duck. I think that before we have so many ‘strong’ opinions voiced, it might be propitious to see him on the field …in Red and Gold…..GO NINERS!

        2. Undercenter,

          We are all trying to figure it out with the exception of Razor. I would have been ok with taking Armstead if it was a round later, but in the first round you should be selecting players who have better film. This was a selection made on measurements and hope for potential return. The chance of this kid being a bust are just as high as him turning out to be a good player based on the on field play, and those are not the odds you want when taking a first round pick.

          1. You can say that about pretty much every player after the top 8 or so in this draft. What’s the big deal about making sure you got your dude a round early along with another 4th and 5th? Not much really….

            1. I disagree again. There were a number of players taken after Armstead who were better football players right now and had the same kind of upside.

          2. rocket,
            The thing with drafting Oregon players that is often missed is that they are usually stacked from top to bottom.
            A player like Armstead could show good potential on a team that has top talent at almost every position but could get lost because of that.

            On the flip side of that is a player like Dion Jordan that was a huge talent that stood head and shoulders over his teammates but has been a big disappointment since entering the pros.

            Hopefully Armstead’ potential can be realized because based on his low college stats that is what Baalke is banking on.

            1. One of the components that went into the selection of A-Squared was the system Oregon runs defensively. Very similar to the 49ers….

            2. One of the components that went into the selection of A-Squared was the system Oregon runs defensively. Very similar to the 49ers….

    3. undercenter, I am guessing that several players have a role this season:

      Armstead: Maybe in the DL rotation during the second half of the season
      Tartt: Maybe right away in a subpackage
      Harold: Ditto
      Davis: Maybe right away in spelling Hyde
      Pinion: Could be they release Lee and find a cheaper alternative to Dawson who is accurate but lacks as strong a leg

        1. George,
          Like your premise, but if these players come to the forefront this season it will put a blemish on Baalke’ previously drafted players that the new players leapfrog.
          In any case, I could live with that if it means putting the best players on the field.

          1. AES, I wouldn’t defend Baalke regarding an underperforming prior pick. But let’s consider who’d they replace:
            Armstead: Jerod-Eddie? UDFA
            Tartt: Dahl? Baalke free agent signing (2013)
            Harold: Lemonier? Baalke pick (2013)
            Davis: Replaces no one (just spells Hyde)
            Pinion: Lee? Donohue pick (2004)

            So, if the above is correct, just one, Lemonier. But, if he has coverage skills, I’m wondering if they will train Harold at ILB. 6’3, 33″ arms, 35″ vertical leap, and 4.6 speed.

      1. If this is the way it turns out, this draft was highly productive. Plus there’s Smelter in 2016 and maybe Silberman,

  9. If Randy Gregory and Shane Ray hadn’t ganja’d themselves, pick 15 would have had much more trade value. Instead of Armstead at 17, they likely would have…

    – Picked a different player at 15. Maybe Parker or Waynes or Peat
    – Traded up cheaply, or traded farther back, getting Arrnstead + 3rd rounder or more.

    and we’d feel better about the strange decision to grab a punter in the 5th.

    Pinion’s 6’5″, 229. Baalke said he wanted big players, but might be taking things a bit too far.

  10. Brodie, as you know, these “strange decisions” of his often make more sense as time unfolds. Not saying they always do, but I think the doubters would be wise to give it time. This might have to do with both Lee and Dawson.

    1. and the salary cap. With the new rookie cap structure, year 1-4 players often bump solid veterans out of a job, or force the vets to take pay cuts.

      Subtract a 5th rounders annual pay from Lee’s pay. Multiply that by 4 and you get a pretty big chunk of change.

  11. McCloughan

    Brandon Scherff G
    Preston Smith DE
    Matt Jones RB
    Crowder WR
    Kouandjio G
    Spaight ILB
    Jarret SS
    Mitchel CB
    Spencer WR
    Reiter C


    Armstead DE
    Tartt S/ILB
    Harold OLB
    Belldozer TE
    Davis RB
    Smelter WR
    Pinion P/K
    Silberman G
    Brown T
    Busta TE

  12. I think Baalke got better value in the first round. Why he didn’t take Williams is a much bigger head scratcher than the best kicker in the 5th round, but that’s just me. Feel free to hate on….

    I think Baalke got the better running back….

    1. I’m psyched about this draft. One thing it’s wise to do is discard anything said by a talking head. Baalke and staff constructed a board based on scouting, interviewing, back-grounding, and obtaining inputs from the position coaches. It’s true several of the picks fall into the project category, but you have to remember this was a weak draft. But as I wrote above I don’t think it’s unreasonable to speculate that several of these guys will contribute as early as this year. If it turns out that way, ba-zing!

      Armstead: Maybe in the DL rotation during the second half of the season
      Tartt: Maybe right away in a subpackage
      Harold: Ditto
      Blake: Maybe in a red zone subpackage
      Davis: Maybe right away in spelling Hyde
      Pinion: Could be they release Lee and find a cheaper alternative to Dawson who is accurate but lacks as strong a leg

      Plus there’s Smelter in 2016 and, possibly, the last three.

      1. I’m with you George, I really like what Baalke was able to do in this draft. I could complain about this 5th rounder or that sixth round or that 7th rounder, but why? I don’t mind another 4th and 5th and 6th next year, anybody else?

      2. That’s a lot of maybes George.I hope your excitement proves validated. Whatever trepidation I have about this draft ,my true hopes run with a wish for success for our team(and the sincere hope that our team never wears a uniform graced with the black adorned by the Raiders Ravens et al!)

      3. So I don’t love all r picks but understand Baalke’s rationale and agree in principal, BPA. I also think we have to remember that he is effectively adding Reaser, Ackers, Thomas and Millard to r draft. If there was not something better at X spot, why take it when u Y stashed away and someone there of higher value. Now, do I think we could have grabbed a WR or ILB earlier, yes. Not sure Baalke wants to draft WR early tho.

  13. I think Baalke did Grant a personal favor by taking a punter in the 5th to spite all those people who ridiculed Grant for putting a punter and a kicker in his draft poll.

  14. More on the subject of Baalke’s draft profile…

    He drafts players based on their best season, not necessarily their most recent. Aldon Smith and Eric Reid are examples. Mike Davis is his most recent example.

    His 2013 highlights he has plenty of speed. Very Agile.

      1. Thanks, Brodie, I had never watched his 2013 highlights, just his 2014, and I thought he showed special traits in them.

  15. Before Thursday Baalke was my last glimmer of hope for this franchise because I truly believe he would have continued to find a way to work with Harbaugh and it was that pathetic sniveling born loser,Jed York, who was solely behind firing the best coach here since Bill Walsh and the only chance any of us would have seen another SB victory in next decade. Well, now clearly even he has been infected with a case of the “stupids” after THE single worst draft any team had this year and probably in the last 5 years. The punter in the 5th cannot be defended and I cannot believe some of you on here trying. We are all fans but that does not mean you have to endorse every single move made and I have lived and died with this team since 1979 and I cannot believe the destruction being done to it. This draft was the last straw of the single worst offseason in the history of the NFL. THANK YOU JED YORK YOU MORON FOR MAKING FOOTBALL UNWATCHABLE AND THE ONE THING THAT MAKES GOING TO WORK ON MONDAYS MORE ENJOYABLE. HATE YOU AND I HOPE I GET TO TELL YOU IN PERSON SOMEDAY

  16. A wise man once said, “It never matters where we pick them, it only matters how they play.”

    A strong argument can be made in either direction about every player selected. Try doing it without mentioning the round. None of it will matter until August at the earliest.

    1. Is that the dude who stuffs the fortune cookies, because that’s one you’d share with the rest of the table….

    2. “… every player selected …” by every team. But then the games start. Where are Unitas, Warner and Brady hiding?

      1. Yea, that’s one of those I simply crumple and throw away. You ever eat the cookie? It’s not that bad….

    3. As I said last time you posted this quote, you are absolutely right. Once the pads go on nobody should give two hoots where the player was drafted, it just comes down to whether they are any good on the field.

      But for me the question will always be, “could they have done better with that pick?”. For example, if Armstead doesn’t develop into more than a 2-gapping 5-tech, while he could still be a good player and starter for the team, could they have gotten more value out of pick #17?

      1. “could they have done better with that pick?”

        You can ask that about every pick of every round. Come January I’m sure we’ll see a few 20-20 hindsight pieces on who should have been selected instead.

        1. Of course you can, but I’m not referring to 20-20 hindsight and knowing how players pan out after the fact. I’m not one to sit there in a few years and say “I knew they should have taken X,Y, Z player because look how good they became”.

          I mean, was the type of player that Armstead looks to be a better value prospect for pick #17 than other guys available, right now, as of this day before we know how they pan out? I guess it all depends on what you see Armstead to be, and how important you believe that role to be. Baalke and Tomsula have already stated they see him as a 4-tech that over time may develop into a 3-tech on four man fronts. Not overly glowing praise of his pass rush skills. To me, unless the 4-tech is also a good pass rusher, they aren’t worth taking at pick #17. Just my belief, understand others disagree.

        2. It’s not hindsight if you question the pick now. There’s also the fact that as fans on a message board, we will beat every last breath of air out of this any other topic over the next few months.

          1. War Room:
            Baalke- To sum up, the scouts rate him a 5th Round grade, the ST Coach is on board, the Head Coach is on board, I think I’m going to draft this guy.
            P.R.Director-Be ready for your Presser.
            Baalke- Yeah, send up the card on Pinion! It’ll keep the fans and the media whining for months.
            (Room erupts in laughter & cheers)

          2. So we should just rip every pick to come back later and say, “I told you so”?

            My hindsight comment wasn’t directed towards anything said on here.

            The pick wasn’t sexy, Armstead may prove to be a bust. I get the dislike of the pick. I also can see why they made the pick, and think it could turn out to be a good one.

            Either way we’ll find out starting in August.

            1. Yeah I didn’t like that Armstead pick much, I’d hope for more impact, but not necessarily the first year. But I’m not talking bust, just aimed a bit low. If he develops into something special I’ll be happy.
              Mr. Pinion would be a pretty classic case of boom or bust.
              In both cases I’ll cling to the memory of FO vision that picked DE to convert to FB and it worked. Cross our fingers on Armstead and Pinion.

              1. Pinion isn’t in that category unless they think he can kick field goals and play tight end while also punting. I understand that he was the long range field goal kicker but may never have tried one. At least he never made on in college.

                Pinion is simply a budget item that drops $2 M from the cap. By the time the 49ers are contenders, he may be a very good veteran punter worrying about the next draft, and I may be reborn in Nepal.

            2. I haven’t ripped every pick. I haven’t seen anyone else do it either. I’m simply stating that this draft has a number of reaches/projects and drafting a punter in the 5th round was not a good use of the pick.

              Of course we won’t know until the pads go on, but doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it now does it?

              1. “I haven’t ripped every pick.”

                Never typed that you did. I think you may have miss understood my original hindsight comment which was geared toward the inevitable pieces that will come out following the season about how they missed on this guy, yada yada yada, and not the instant dislike that some are expressing here.

                Regarding the number of reaches in this draft, folks said basically the same thing following the 2011 draft. We’ll see how this one turns out. Was it a reach? If the player is the best one on your board at the time of the pick you take him.

                As for the punter in the 5th round not being a good use of the pick, that’s up for debate. They obviously like the kid, and if you don’t think he’ll be available either later or as an UDFA you make the pick to make sure that you get him.

                I don’t mind a debate about how a player may fit with the team, etc, but knocking the timing of the selection is pointless. Sometimes by waiting you miss out.

              2. Jack,

                Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment. I’m just speaking honestly, and I felt before the draft that if Armstead was the pick it would be a mistake. I’m not going to change my opinion now simply because he was the pick. I don’t think he’ll be a bust, but I do think a similar player could have been found much later to play that role which is the main crux of my argument.

                Taking a Punter in the 5th round was ridiculous. That is the only term I can think of to describe that move. If he was the best player on their board then their board was flawed, and I question their ranking system. There was one Punter selected in the entire draft; that should tell us all we need to know about the wisdom of the selection.

      2. I agree Scooter. There were a lot of options later in the draft that could fill the role of a 2 gap 5 Tech, and many looked better on film than Armstead.

  17. Just want to toss this out there. You know, we really drafted 2 cb’s this year, they are from last years draft, Keith Reaser and Kenneth Ackers. Ackers got hurt in preseason but was probably one of are best looking rookies before hand. Reaser? Go check out his highlights, 4.3 40…tell me there were more than 3 cb in this draft better than him. The guy is aggressive, and excellent in coverage. I was thoroughly impressed by what I saw. Again, I am no expert, but he looks no worse on tape than 90% of the guys this year in what was considered a weak cb class.

      1. Right, and the guy can return kicks or punts from what I saw. Pretty nimble. I don’t know. I think there are a lot of experts who forget how many redshirts we had and how highly regarded many were. We’ll see but don’t b shocked if this team plays a lot better than expected. I could see us being picked last by many know nothing journalists.

        1. That’s part of what made it so difficult. The masses in here were adamant about the need for a CB or WR in the first two rounds. One or two of whom I highly respect and acknowledge their greater acumen than my own, but in the end, I was confident in my rationale….

          1. Yep. From start, every “expert” said weak db class and strong at DE, WR, RB…explains board. I would also say that Baalke may not totally trust his ability to draft WR, which is why we waited so long. Can’t get fired for missing on 4th or 5th rounders.

            1. “I would also say that Baalke may not totally trust his ability to draft WR,..”

              I would say this is absolutely true. So his MO is to try to satisfy WR needs in FA and then go to the draft. However, if he couldn’t satisfy the needs in FA, then he would probably have no choice but to rely on the draft.

              Having said that, I would have thought that a replacement for Boldin is a pressing need. Who on the niners is that replacement? Maybe Smelter, but he won’t play next season. Maybe they think they can get Boldin for two additional years beyond his current contract. Boldin will be 35 a few weeks after the 2015 season starts. He’s unique and if anyone could last to 37 he could. Or maybe the plan is to just get his replacement during the FA period after he retires. It seems like they’ve been successful recently in FA WR acquisitions, so….

              1. We still have not answered r future #1. If Baalke survives this draft and year (only time will tell), he will b forced to grab or sign a #1 next year. Cannot continue to ignore it.

              2. My bold prediction is they see one of Smelter, Patton or Ellington replacing Boldin in 2016.

              3. You might be right on that prediction, but if there’s a WR from the Ravens available, I’m sure he’ll be the one. :)

    1. Solid point DaNiners, but there’s also the chance that the young CBs were late picks for a reason, and we are left needing higher caliber players. I’m not sure how Baalke can look at the depth chart and feel he’s set at the position, but let’s hope he’s right.

  18. A strong CB is a must and if any of those two develops well, we’re OK
    Let’s not forget that it isn’t over, we can still acquire players.
    The only thing that bothers me is that they NewJim prides himself on developing players. I think that is a great quality, but not the job of the HC. The team right now has a LOT of projects including rugby players, injured players and potential players.

    1. I think we r deep at cb when u add Ackers and Reaser. Ackers looked great preseason and Reaser is even more talented. We’ll see. Not to mention Johnson is now in his second year.

  19. The comments about this draft class are very similar to those that were made back in 2011. At the time, the 49ers 2011 draft class was considered developmental and consistently graded as just an average class.

      1. Razor,
        I’ll be the first to have a double helping of crow if this draft class turns out to be a bumper crop.

        Players who could help this season:
        1. E.Harold
        2. M.Davis
        3. A.Armstead
        4. J.Tartt
        5. “Busta” Anderson (sleeper)
        6. B.Bell
        7. “Piston” Pinion
        *This is the order according to the most playing time, imo.

        1. Pinion will save money for sure. I’m surprised they didn’t draft a field goal kicker in the 6th round.

    1. I was quite happy about the 2011 class. Some people didn’t know a lot about Smith but he was a highly rated DE and unlike Armstead had some damn good College tape.

    1. I’m assuming Harold will play OLB. No surprise. Still, I think he’s best suited to be a wildcard and that sometimes have ILB responsibilities.

      If the 49ers put weight on him and put him at strictly OLB, I’m a bit concerned he’ll be Lemonier 2.0. A nice speedy edge move, but gets buried when linemen figure him out.

      I’d love to see him rove… blitz gaps… erase TEs.

  20. This press conferences are so beyond useless. As if he is going to tell the truth, “Well, personally I was thinking that Trent doesn’t seem to have a clue”.

  21. I wonder if not being drafted could end up being a good thing for Collins. If he ultimately is completely cleared then he becomes a very saught after free agent. Rather then being bound by the structure of the CBA’s draft slot pay system he can simply sign with the highest bidder. Which means he could ultimately be paid quite a bit more in his rookie season then if he had been drafted in the first round.

    1. Agree, and since he has that opportunity it removes most cause for potential litigation as far as I can (amateurly) see. What restraint?Go find your worth in an open market.

  22. Regardless of what one thinks of this draft, I’m not clear on how a “after-the-fact” poor draft will spell curtains for Baalke after the 2015 season. The 2015 class by and large won’t play much unless we have major injuries. And even if they do play, Baalke can just say that the coaching talent wasn’t able to develop the rookies – since the mantra is not only winning with class but having coaches that are teachers. Now, if we have a really poor season (say worse than 5 and 11), all bets might be off.

    And when I think about it, the rookies from 2014 played pretty well since many were pressed into service by injuries. Of course, that observation might add fuel to the fire because it could mean that Harbaugh’s coaches were better teachers than Tomsula’s.

    1. Cubus

      Nobody is ever going to say that Harbaugh or his staff were good teachers. In his time with the 49ers, the only young players he deployed enough were Kaepernick, Cully, and Reid. For a guy that has such a huge name, his accomplishments are mighty pedestrian.

      Jim Harbaugh: Not a Champion.

      1. E, Hyde, Ward, Johnson, Lynch, and Borland did pretty well. Defense remained strong throughout the season despite the high injury rate. Wasn’t Harbaugh’s moniker that he was generally perceived as someone who could put together a pretty good staff? I don’t think you can argue that the defensive staff wasn’t good – offense is another story, IMO (I’ve been know to call for Roman’s head on more than a few ocassions). But the truth is I often heard the TV analysts talk in high praise about Roman. Outside of SF I think he was looked upon pretty well, of course we SF fans knew better. Either way Harbaugh was the guy that brought in Fangio, Donatell, etc.

        My point is: wouldn’t be ironic if it turns out that Harbaugh’s coaches are perceived as better coaches than Tomsula’s especially in light of Jed’s new mission statement.

        1. You’re right, some players did okay last year, and yes, I believe guys like Donatell and Tomsula comprised a solid defensive staff. I just can’t get over how little Harbaugh used young players if he had his druthers (last year those guys were forced into action mostly by injuries, not because they were developed.

          1. Agree, with not using younger players esp. Ellington and Patton.

            I don’t think I saw a post from you regarding what you thought of the draft. Did you post anything yet?

        2. “My point is: wouldn’t be ironic if it turns out that Harbaugh’s coaches are perceived as better coaches than Tomsula’s especially in light of Jed’s new mission statement.”

          The NFL perception is that Harbaugh and his coaching staff was significantly better than the current group. His coordinators were unemployed almost ten minutes.

  23. Our 7th td pick Trenton looks like a road grader. 6’8″ 367……ranked as the 2nd best run blocker at guard in the SEC. Not bad maybe next year when Boone is gone.

    1. For a seventh rounder, I think he’s a good pickup. Weight’s a big issue for this guy it seems. I believe he was over 400 lbs at one time. It’ll be interesting to see if an NFL regimen can help him maintain an optimal playing weight.

    2. I think they plan on trying him at Tackle, but if nothing else, he’ll be good for toughing up the defensive line through training camp….

  24. Sixty might be better if you want him to change directions without knocking down one or more teammates.

    1. Pretty good grades, Grant ..
      All B’s and C’s .. and even an A- thrown in there, too ..

      I hafta agree with your reasoning.. but I
      differ slightly on one of them ..

      Never heard the name “Jaquiski Tartt” before the draft,
      however, after watching some film on him … I would
      think he’d deserve a B or a B- …

      But, grades are subjective, I guess ..

      One question for ya, Grant …

      Why doncha write the good stuff here ..
      (instead of over at BR .. ?)

    2. I don’t think you can say the corners are the worst when we haven’t even seen Reaser or Acker extensively. Reaser might be better than Darby. Johnson got valuable experience, and should be improved. It’s not like the 49ers lost two pro bowlers in Culliver and Cox. Corner was the least of their needs.

      As you rightly pointed out, the Safety position need to be addressed and I loved Tartts’ size and physicality. I loved the Harold pick and apparently he slid due to an undisclosed medical condition.

      ILB Moody seemed to look like the light bulb was coming on at the end of last year, and they also have Skov. Brooks could fill in as well in a pinch.

      The punter comment was too disingenuous to respond to, and this quarterback class was abysmal.

      1. I don’t know how it will be under the new regime, but Fangio and Donatell seemed to build a safety oriented secondary. That seems to be Baalke’s long term philosophy too.

        Rangy, physical safeties combined with fast ILBs (maybe next year) can take away the middle of the field.

        The corners need to be disciplined, big and fast… but they don’t have to be spectacular shut down guys.

        With Willis and a healthy Bowman gone, this might have to change. The D will have to replace at least one ILB with Tartt or maybe even McCray… who’s style of play is very similar to Tartt.

        and Mangini running the show, their might be more instances where a corner’s left on an island. Can a healthy Brock be that island guy?

    3. I would not call guard a weakness. If Boone bolts, then guard’s a depth weakness. I feel good about guard. Thomas, Martin, Looney can all play guard.

      Swing tackle seems to be the bigger issue.

      I take it as a good sign Baalke didn’t try super hard to bolster the corner spot. Fangio is extremely reluctant to play rookies. The fact that Ward played at all is a good sign. I expected him to suck at first, especially vs Manning in Denver. His only barrier is health.

  25. No doubt we need to pickup a quarterback. Maybe Mettenberger. What about a trade – Mettenberger for Boone. Don’t know if Titans need a guard.

    Also, Grant don’t forget about Marcus Martin. I think he’s gonna have a good season. And the big guy, Trent Brown, can’t be any worse than Jonathan Martin was. I doubt we see him on his ass during one on one drills.

    1. There was a time when people like us could wander around the 49er preseason workouts and watch things like one on one drills. Have you ever seen one cubus?

        1. The last time I did it was a training camp at Saint Mary’s College the year after Joe Perry retired. I also watched them do sit ups, and Brodie was saying that he missed Joe Perry. Later we had a family pick nick with our three kids on the side of the field while the 49ers ran a simulated game practice.

        2. Mostly during the Reagan era in Rocklin at Sierra College. I went there almost every year to watch the 49ers up close. Fans got a birds eye view of the action.

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