Training camp report: Another big practice for Collie, Gray

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during Thursday evening’s light, non-padded practice.

THE GOOD

1. MarQueis Gray – He had a monster practice for the second day in a row. Today, he caught five passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn’t dropped a pass all week. He may earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

2. Vernon Davis – He caught five passes for 70 yards despite receiving roughly half of the reps Gray received.

3. Garrett Celek – He caught two passes today, and one was a touchdown during a red zone drill. Celek ran to the back of the end zone and cut in to the left. Colin Kaepernick fired a pass between two defenders, Michael Thomas and Nate Stupar, and Celek caught it.

4. Anquan Boldin – He was the starting flanker. He caught two passes for 20 yards.

5. Marlon Moore – He was the starting split end. He caught two passes for 15 yards.

6. Austin Collie – He caught a team-high seven passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.

7. A.J. Jenkins – Like yesterday, Jenkins caught two passes. First, he beat Carlos Rogers on a quick out route for five yards. Later, Jenkins made the best catch I’ve seen him make. He ran a fade down the left sideline against Tarell Brown. Colt McCoy threw a back shoulder fade to Jenkins, and he threw it high enough where Brown couldn’t reach it. Jenkins slowed down, jumped up, caught the ball and got both feet in bounds. Brown never turned his head to find the ball. Finally, Jenkins ran a quick slant against Marcus Cooper. Cooper read the route and knocked the pass away.

8. Kyle Williams – He made just one catch, but it was beautiful. He ran a fade down the right sideline against Marcus Cooper. Kaepernick threw a back shoulder fade, and in one graceful move Williams jumped, twisted and caught it. It looked he was dancing.

9. Chuck Jacobs – Like Williams, Jacobs made only one catch, but his was the catch of the day. From the eight-yard line in the red zone, Jacobs ran a quick fade to the back right corner of the end zone. B.J. Daniels threw it up. Jacobs tipped it to himself and caught the ball as he tumbled to the ground.

10. Kassim Osgood – Like Williams and Jacobs, Osgood caught just one pass, but Osgood’s was a touchdown. Osgood beat Tramaine Brock on a quick slant for the TD.

11. Chad Hall – He caught a TD pass over Donte Whitner in a one-minute drill. With 10 seconds left, McCoy threw a 30-yard prayer to Hall in the back of the end zone. Whitner had perfect coverage, but Hall jumped and snatched the ball from in front of Whitner’s face.

12. Eric Reid – He got matched up one-on-one with Austin Collie in the slot. Collie ran a quick out route, Reid read it and knocked the pass away. He looked like a cornerback on that play.

13. Tramaine Brock – Yes, he gave up a touchdown to Osgood, but Brock broke up two other touchdown passes. First, he knocked away a pass to Frank Gore on a wheel route. Next, Brock knocked away a pass to Osgood on a back-corner fade.

14. B.J. Daniels – He was on fire in the red zone. During one stretch, he threw three-straight touchdowns, one to Collie, one to Jacobs and one to Lavelle Hawkins.

15. Joe Staley – He participated in practice for the first time this week.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

1. Donte Whitner – He thought Hall had stepped out of bounds before he caught the touchdown pass. After the play, Whitner spent about five minutes arguing about it on the sideline with the ball boy.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha – He’s extremely physical in practice, often grabbing receivers when he gets beat. Today, he grabbed Chuck Jacobs, who blew by him on a corner route. In a game, the referees would have called defensive pass interference.

3. Vance McDonald – He did not practice all week.

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  1. “Here’s what stood out to me during Thursday evening’s light, non-padded practice.” -Reporting from the future, Grant Cohn.

  2. Donte Whitner troubles me this year. Arguing a call in practice for 5 minutes? Is this an aging vet losing his step? When you argue calls it looks like your making excuses or you just don’t have it anymore because of frustration.
    It started to show in the playoffs last year where he was getting picked on, not being able to organize the secondary on calls and not being noticeable or making those big plays against the run. The secondary right now is our Achilles and all we are talking about is the WR position.

    1. Lol, whitner I believe is 28 or so. Everyone gets beat every now and then. And the 5 minute arguement was probably playful chatter from a competitor. Not worried about Daunte. He’s going to be a good enforcer! Go 9ers

      1. 28 is not young in the NFL especially from the safety position where you get matched up with 6’4 TE’s and 5’9 speed demons. Donte does not match up well against either threat.

    2. Primetime’s point about Whitner’s loss of a step makes no sense. The whole point of Cohn’s blurb was that Whitner had perfect coverage on Hall, but the latter just made a terrific catch on a nice throw.

      1. Donte Whitner gave up more td passed last year than most starting safetys. He is a glaring weakness in coverage. He doesnt deserve an extension. I dont care if he is a captain. Best leaders lead by example. Hey Grant how is Lemonier looking this week in practice? Im excited to see him im pass rush situations where this year especially if Brooks gets suspended.

  3. Grant, thanks for the breakdown on the receivers. Keep it up, please, because it lets us know how the whole WR core is doing. Glad to hear Collie is really bringing his game after his injury. 49ers will be fine if he stays healthy. My prediction: Collie will be #2 in receiving yardage this season barring injury.

    1. I agree, thanks Grant for the detail. I’m especially interested in Gray’s status; words like “He hasn’t dropped a pass all week” are music to my ears. But reading through your descriptions, I see a couple of defensive plays, but no drops. Did I miss it, or is it true that there were no drops (in your judgement) in the practice?

  4. In other news former 49ers QB Troy Smith has signed a 2 year deal in the CFL with Montreal. Some people on here thought he was better than Alex Smith. Comical!

      1. Nate Davis is playing arena league football in Amarillo TX….my son sees him out all the time…LOL…GO NINERS!!!!!!!!

    1. At the time, he was. Troy went 2-0 with a QBR over 100 right after Alex started out 1-7 with simply awful performances. Performances so bad that an entire stadium chanted for David Carr.

      Same team, same coaches, same excuses; Troy did a better job.

      The good year in 2011 doesn’t erase the execrable 6 years when QBs like Troy and Shaun were better.

      1. Are you serious? 2 games? One guy is playing in a league for up and coming, and another guy is starting in the NFL.
        Same idiots making same idiot comments, same clueless fans!

      2. Performances so bad that an entire stadium chanted for David Carr.

        Well, that convinces me because, as we all know, most fans are expert evaluators of talent. There’s no way the chanters were drunks who didn’t know their asses from holes in the ground.

        Msc, you have a wicked sense of humor, and you post some of the funniest comments on the blog. That said, you demonstrate repeatedly that you don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to Alex Smith. I’m not sure why he is still tied to your whipping post when the 2011 and 2012 seasons clearly demonstrated he wasn’t the reason for the 49ers’ prior poor performances, but you are as off the mark as bay and 23jordan. Find a new punching bag.

      3. Exactly Clem! Troy,nate and shaun were under the same mismangement and coaching staff that alex was..yet he gets a pass..and they are terrible..nate davis had skills..if he had a better coaching staff..no telling what he could have did here..Just cause alex was drafted in the first round..doesnt automatically make him good..

      4. During the year that Shaun Hill was better he was under the tutelage of OC Mike Martz and Alex Smith was sidelined with his second shoulder injury. However the following year he replaced Hill halfway through the season. And Troy Smith was good for only two games. After that teams realized how limited his skill set was and shut him down. Both guys may have excelled if they had what Smith(FINALLY!) and Kaep were blessed with: a offensive minded coach with a strong game plan, continuous years in the same offensive system, and a York that understands that you need to surround your WR with the best offensive unit that he afford.

      5. QBR rating, there is the defining argument over a 2 game sample. We seriously need a dumbo meter on here to generate energy, we could be the most powerful blog in the universe!

      6. nate davis had skills..if he had a better coaching staff..no telling what he could have did here

        He was with the Indianapolis Colts from July 26 to August 15 in 2011. He couldn’t find a better opportunity if he wanted to after that.

      7. MW please let’s stop the insanity right now. Everyone and their dog knows how this soap opera ends. Let the dream live on for the Alex haters. It’s a memory they need to cherish.

      8. True Prime. I wish Smith the best for the rest of his career but will definitely be cheering each moment that he gets pummeled into the ground by the Niners defense on Friday night.

      9. Curtis painter was already in the system two/three yrs midwest..so naturally they gonna go with him vs a walkon but my point is..they didnt have that many chances here..and a patient coaching staff…that alex got.

      10. Well gee..prime..hmmm..alex was here 8 seasons and three headcoaches..how long were nate davis and troy on the team? David carr? They kept trotting alex out there..If that isnt patience..i guess iam dizzy then.

      11. Whew, that ruffled some feathers.

        At the time fans were calling for Troy Smith – at that time, not with 2011 hindsight – Troy had drastically outperformed Alex. Back-to back wins, back-to-back 100+ QBR games right after Alex posted a 1-7 start. Same team, same coaches, same excuses. But 49ers fans were ignorant for supporting Troy? I guess winning isn’t actually the only stat that matters.

        @Claude – Alex is perfectly adequate and he’ll probably thrive under Reid. Heck, he’ll probably play great on Friday and all those brand new “diehard” Chiefs fans will come back here to tell us all about it.

        The folks who mock 49ers fans for ever doubting their Precious get under my skin. There were many good reasons 49ers fans wanted a different QB. Dismissing them as “drunks” is as silly as calling Alex a bust.

        Heck, even after 2011 the coaches and FO wanted a better QB. Obviously Baalke and Harbaugh don’t know their asses from holes in the ground, right?

      12. MSC,

        It’s funny that you think you “ruffled feathers” by criticizing AS. Maybe with some, but it’s the incomplete (perhaps selfserving and dishonest?) information you used in your tantrum that rankles.

        Are you so blinded by hate to realize that two games, regardless of the result, is too small a sample size to use in comparing one player to another; especially when that player had more games, in which he sucked, btw, to use in said comparison?

        Troy Smith’s QBR for 2010 was 77.8. That’s over six games and includes the two that were over 100 (according to you, I didn’t fact check you). That means that he had a QBR of around 65 in his other four games. That’s not very good.

        Of course, why would you include this information in your “analysis”?

        On top of that, TS had the element of surprise in his first two games. Once NFL teams had tape on him, he was done.

        If Shaun Hill and Troy Smith are as good, or better than AS, as you imply, why are neither of them starting in the NFL? Why is TS not even in the NFL?
        Of course, you and your pals know way more than NFL execs.

        BTW, Smith didn’t have six years of failure. Even if you want to include his first two years (yes, who wouldn’t blame a 20 year old rookie, coming into as bad a personnel, FO and ownership situation as you could possibly have and ignore significant improvement in his second year), he was injured his third and fourth years. How in the world is it Smith’s fault he was hurt in his third and fourth years?

      13. msc:

        The folks who mock 49ers fans for ever doubting their Precious get under my skin.

        And people who make uninformed, nonsensical and/or disingenuous arguments against Smith get under mine.

        Heck, even after 2011 the coaches and FO wanted a better QB.

        Case in point. Your statement insinuates that Harbaugh/Baalke were dissatisfied with Smith’s 2011 performance and went out looking for a replacement. That simply wasn’t what happened, and you know it.

        There were many good reasons 49ers fans wanted a different QB. Dismissing them as “drunks” is as silly as calling Alex a bust.

        Perhaps, but I didn’t do that. I suggested the David Carr chanters were drunks who didn’t know their asses from holes in the ground. Why did you feel you had to alter my position before responding to it?

      14. Smith will play the Same way for KC as he did for the Miners. He’ll play safe and won’t throw a pass over 25 yards more than once a game. He will turn it over more this year and I’m more thankful than anyone on this blog that he’s gone. I’ll gladly take that 8-8 season from him. Just like his career, harbaugh made him average. That who he will be. Average couldn’t win us a super bowl.

      15. >> I’ll gladly take that 8-8 season from him. Just like his career, harbaugh made him average.

        As usual, Jordan flunks the simplest math. Harbaugh made him a QB winning at a .700 rate. Quite a few teams would take that “average”. Can Reid continue that? We’ll see.

      16. Hey Now Matt Flynn parlayed 2 good games in to a $15 million contract. Where Troy Smith went wrong was playing in any more games after he had 2 consecutive 100+ qbr games. If he had just faked a migrane like P.Harvin surely some team would have showered him with $. lesson learned, quit while ur ahead. By the time teams figured out that Flynn couldn’t play he had already cashed the check

    2. I don’t understand the infatuation that you have with Alex Smith Prime. We all lived the time he was here. I don’t remember winning a Super Bowl with him. Heck, I don’t even remember getting to a Super Bowl with him. I’m interested in the 90 guys who are wearing 49er jerseys here in SF today.
      So, any reference to how good or bad he was clearly ends with 0 rings. We have a QB now who took us to wins in the playoffs and to a Super Bowl. He looked great in all his playoff games unlike the aforementioned quarterback. Comparing two guys who aren’t even 49ers is a little misguided in an “inside the 49ers” blog. You take any shot you can at the fans here. Maybe use that energy to cheer on the current team instead.

    3. Who can ever forget Troy Smith’s monumental performance in the shutout loss to the Bucs, or a few weeks later in St Louis when with their playoff hopes on the line he was pulled in favor of Alex Smith.

      1. The sad fact is, you are all right!!!!
        Alex was a better QB than everyone else that was here during his tenure. Those other QB’s played some good games for one reason: they played QB with reckless abandon. Alex was taught to check down, throw away. Punt the ball and let the D do its job. And thats who he is today. He is really good at it. The other Qb’s came in hear and ignored the mikes, and let it rip! They all had a game or two to remember, but in the end, they always went back to Alex ’cause he had the pedigree, but most importantly, did what he was told!! In college, Alex ran a spread offense and tossed the ball around a lot. In the NFL, they crammed him under center and made him hand it off all day. When we were finally down by 20+ in the 4th quarter, then the coaches would let Alex run a shotgun, spread formation and fire the ball down field.
        Of course he had no WR, so he would hit VD on the seem route! So many games we were blown out, Alex brought us back and made it close.Funny thing is, it seemed to work against him ’cause all the “drunk fans” could remember was that Alex had a chance to win at the end but didnt. They forgot how we were down 21 pts with 4 minutes to play. Alex right now is exactly what Nolan and Sing wanted: someone who wont force things, wont turn the ball over and will listen to the coaches. Qb’s like that dont win super bowls…..they loose NFC championship games!

      2. For someone as intelligent as you Jack, why are you such ignorant @$$hole ? What is your point? Are you suggesting that Kap sucks? 10 fu#%ing starts into his career and he is mounting a monumental comeback in an attempt to win the SB, only to fall 5 yards short due to bad officiating and bad play calling? Your such a moron, all you ever do is disagree with anything anyone ever says. You distort #’s (like giving Alex’s Copletion% on 3rd down instead of 3rd down CONVERSION %) to attempt to make people look wrong, and when that dosent work, you make snide condescending comments that a child would make ( steve young still choked, even though we had to upgrade/replace 10 of out top 25 players to get past the cowboys from ’93 to ’94)!!!! Get a life !

        Jack Hammer says: we didnt win the super bowl in ’94…….it was Jan. 27 1995……….. thats how you come off jack! as an unbelievable Hommer!!!!

      3. JShaw
        I was there when Alex smith held K.Williams family hostage and told KW u better fumble that ball 2 times once in overtime for us to loose or il blow them all away. What an evil bastard that Alex Smith was. SMH

      4. BOS, i was there too, if Alex would have completed more than a handfull of passes tom the WR’s for more than a few yards, we would have blown the giants out! And then it wouldnt have mattered if KW fumbled 5 times in the 4th!!

        Being at that game was like being at a celebration. The fans were going nuts! We dominated that game and no one ever thought it possible we could loose…..until the second fumble inside our own 20!

        Bottom line is, we shoulda blown them out and never given them the chance to be within a field goal late in the game!

      5. im sorry Crabtree had 1 catch for 3 yards and no other WR recorded a single catch. Alex: 12-26 what a joke! VD is the only reason we did anything on offense or we woulda lost 10-3

      6. FDM, when i woke up today, that was the main topic of discussion. I voiced my opinion saying ” that everyone was right” and backed it up. And now people want to engage me on it. Im game! until i leave for work n 10 minutes.lol

      7. “Alex: 12-26 what a joke! VD is the only reason we did anything on offense…”

        Was Davis throwing the ball up to himself?

      8. Jack, are you REALLY suggesting that Alex had anything but a sub par game game? lol! VD had two long td’s that game, a 28 and 76 yarder i believe. those 2 plays accounted for more than half of AS’s yardage. And his only 2 td’s. And we had a HEALTHY Crabtree. You gotta be kidding me jack! let it rest already.

      9. Nah, only that “VD is the only reason we did anything on offense” is incorrect, unless he was throwing the ball to himself.

        Unfortunately for your a dislike of Smith’s style of play he, along with a strong defensive effort, had the team in position to go to the Super Bowl had it not been for 2 fumbled punts.

  5. Seems the DBs take the “light” part of these lead up to game day practices to heart, where as the WRs say the heck with”light”, I am competing for a spot here.

    Or is this a year where our DBs will only look good once the D line is let loose….?

  6. Re Nnamdi: “In a game, the referees would have called defensive pass interference.”

    Not the Super Bowl refs…

  7. Clearly a good day for the receivers. Good to hear.

    Grant, where has Gray been lining up? Is he mostly playing inline or is he being moved around a lot? Also, how has his blocking looked? He’s definitely a guy that intrigues me – will be interesting to see if he makes the 53-man roster.

    1. Gray has been moving around. He hasn’t been doing much inline blocking. But he’s been an effective blocker so far from what I’ve seen.

  8. Just saw an interview with MarQueis Gray. Really hope the kid makes it – sounds like he has a great head on his shoulders.

  9. Sounds like Whitner made more of a mental error vs. getting beat off the LOS like Nnamdi. But as a veteran, you don’t make those mistakes.

    Grant, if the season started today where would you place NA on the depth chart?

    Like the fact that MarQueis is making the most of his time with VMac sitting out. With VD apparently playing a variety of positions, Celek, and perhaps MarQueis could play a more traditional TE while VMac takes over D.Walker’ role.

  10. I think Collie is our main slot guy. Starters will be kyle n boldin. Patton quickly off the bench. If we have thw 2010 collie that’s injury free, he will shine with kap.

      1. Well maybe not precisely on second read, but certainly concur an injury free Collie will shine with Kaep …as will the rest of our receiving core.

  11. Number 1 draft picks have to be a special talent.

    When they walk on the field, they possess that “it factor”. They are a star the moment they walk on the field and exhibit that talent throughout their whole career.

    Their talent forces the coaching staff to play them.

    Obviously, A.J. Jenkins is not that special talent. Let’s stop wasting time hoping he will be become that special talent and let’s look for receivers that will, at least, help the 49ers win games.

  12. Lol Whitner arguing with the ball boy for 5 minutes. That is classic. Did the ball boy back down grant? Or did he do the in your face arguments of a baseball manager? Spit flying and dirt being kicked.

      1. Maybe they’re friends off the field? At least they both felt comfortable enough with each other to have a heated discussion like that

  13. Steelmatic….

    “I think Collie is our main slot guy. Starters will be kyle n boldin. Patton quickly off the bench. If we have thw 2010 collie that’s injury free, he will shine with kap.”

    Right!

    After 1 Pre-Season game & less than 3 weeks of TC?

    PLEASE

    Nothing is even CLOSE to being settled there. How can anybody “predict” this right now?

    It’s Absurd!

      1. Just saying people need to slow their roll & really think about what they’re going to post in their head before approaching their keyboard.

    1. Folsom, how funny, because making predictions is one of the largest components in the comments on this blog. Predictions for both failure and success for players are a daily routine. It’s a blog, what else would you expect?

      As for the Collie predictions, many are based on his earlier success in the NFL. He has talent and that can’t be denied. And even with this small sampling, you also have to consider he missed OTA’s and mini-camp and just recently joined the team, yet has already shown his abilities. If he can stay healthy is the bigger question.

    1. i guess this is possible…i mean the front office surely showed they arent commited to kaepernick when they courted Payton manning after the 2011 season…right MsC?

      1. Mark
        They certainly underestimated Kaep, and probably overestimated Manning. That whole Manning pursuit was ill-conceived from the start.

      2. I totally disagree, even the most optimistic fans thought Kap was a year or two away going into 2012. Even optimistic fans probably dont think Peyton has much left (1-2 years from this day). The FO was sniffing around peyton to see if they could acquire an AS upgrade to fill the gap until Kap was ready. That simple. If the FO thought Kap would be a bust, then they would have stuck with AS, who is much younger than Peyton. The FO new they had a “win now” team after being a KW fumble away from the SB in ’11. Peyton would have upgraded that position tremendously, then in a couple years, moved over for Kap. What WAS UNDERESTIMATED, was how great Kap would become once he had a couple starts under his belt!

  14. Boldin, Williams, collie. Patton. Moore. Jenkins. Are my top six

    Although I don’t want to see Jacobs, hall, osgood go. Also don’t want to see Moore cut when mannigham comes back.

    1. I agree with this list and will only sub out Patton for Osgood because of special teams play. I’m holding out hope for Osgood but it’s a real long shot.

  15. Ive been encouraged by the reports of the speed and athleticism of guys like Gray, Vance McDonald, and the ILBs, Wilhoite & Moody.

  16. I don’t think they can risk sticking Gray on the PS. It would take about thirty minutes or less for Pete Carroll to snatch him up. Jacobs is consistently good or so it seems. His problem is that he has four guys in front of him. One is a high priced investment that’s yielded little return, another was a player that was trending towards a pro-bowl career a few years back, another is a well liked and talented incumbent that can return kicks and the other has a similar skillset with more NFL experience. In a true, meroticracy, he’d have a better shot at the big squad, but will likely be a standout on the PS.

    1. Gray’s promising, but it’s just training camp. For 20+ years, I’ve observed players lighting it up in TC and pre-season only to recede in the background when the season starts, and disappear from NFL in a year or two. That said, it’s good to see a good coaching staff running crisp practices with competent personnel. I think Gray’s best bet is the PS. Jacobs will be in the first round of cuts, I’m afraid.

  17. And in other news…
    Fleener caught two passes for 37 yards, but also lost a fumble and dropped a pass in the end zone against the Bills.

    1. And in other news….
      Fleener 2012 stats: 26 catches, 281 yards, 2 TDs
      Jenkins 2012 stats: 0 catches, 0 yards, 0 TDs

      Your point?

      1. Just pokin’ fun at Grant’s 1012 Draft crush. If Jenkins had the same line he would be getting ripped mercilessly. Fleener is ok and in the best possible situation with his old coach and A Luck in Indy but I think our V Mc will end up being better…we shall see.

      2. What a silly draft crush, lets get a TE when we already have 2 of the top 10 in the league…… so grant…lol

        in grants defense, he new it was unlikely that we would resign Delainie …..and Jenkins isn’t blowing the competition away.

        In Grants eyes, teams should be drafting guys a year or two before the actually need them. That only happens in college and on video games. In the NFL, teams have a hard enough problem getting the talent they need! let alone getting it a year or 2 early!
        And yes, i think Vmac will be a better pro than Fleener!

      3. “In Grants eyes, teams should be drafting guys a year or two before the actually need them. That only happens in college and on video games.”

        Kaepernick, Carradine, Lattimore, Dial…4 recent 49er draft picks taken a year or 2 before they were actually needed. Some would add Jenkins to that list.

      4. Drafting 2 years ahead of need is how most of the top teams have stayed at the top for so long. Yes, there will be times when an immediate need opens up, but most teams would love to be in a situation where you don’t need to rush rookies into starting roles.

      5. I disagree again jack, we needed those guys right away but have NO CHOICE but to wait a year or two. We drafted Kap when we had no one else at Qb ( AS was a free agent and not JH’s choice as the qb he would be joined at the hip to for the next decade.) we just lost sopo and RJF, not to mention injuries to both Smith’s. We need Tank and Dial this year, but we might have no choice but to wait a while. Lattimore is a luxury, the fact that we can wait on him. With gore’s age and injury history to go with KH’s injury and no other proven 3 down back, ML could play a big part at the end of the year and play-offs. And we have been incompetent at WR for a while ( or lacking in a QB that woild make that position relevant, depending on who you ask) so Jenkins is the last person/position you should be using as an example! Go ahead jack, keep arguing for the sake of arguing. You know your wrong. Your a stubborn old goat.

      6. Scooter i agree with you. Teams would LOVE to be able to draft 2 years ahead. The key to this particular argument is that we already had VD and DW. 2 stud TE’s. Drafting a 3rd stringer with your first round pick when you have many other needs is crazy! A 3RD STRINGER! Then your admitting you have no intention of re-singing Delanie……imagine how awkward that would be.

      7. jshaw – being in a position where you have to draft immediate starters means you’ve been doing a poor job of managing your roster. 49ers were in that position for a number of years in the 2000s. These days, they can afford to draft guys like Carradine, Lattimore, etc. without the need for them to contribute immediately. That isn’t poor drafting, that is great roster management.

        I’ve mentioned the Steelers a few times as the poster team for draft strategy. For the better part of two decades they were able to let ageing vets looking for big money deals hit the open market and replace them with younger, cheaper guys that had been on the roster for 1-2 years, and still be highly competitive every year. They did this by drafting BPA, taking guys at positions they already had starters in place, with an eye for the future.

        Last year they had one of their worst seasons, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in part it was due too many old guys on expensive contracts and the need to be drafting and playing a few rookies in key positions (OL). They’ve changed their philosophy a little and kept too many of their ageing stars on big fat contracts, not replacing them with younger, cheaper guys. Now they are in a position where they are drafting for need – their first 3 picks will all be relied on heavily this season. It isn’t a position you want to be in.

      8. “Drafting a 3rd stringer with your first round pick when you have many other needs is crazy!”

        So crazy that instead they drafted a WR that ended up being active for less than half of the games.

        I didn’t use Jenkins as an example. I said some people would, I am not one of them. I think the guy is a bust and have said the pick was a mistake from the time it was made.

        “AS was a free agent and not JH’s choice as the qb he would be joined at the hip to for the next decade.”

        True, which is why they drafted Kaep and let him sit for a year and a half to develop. How does this disprove that the 49ers have been drafting guys a year or two before the actually need them?

        “we just lost sopo and RJF”

        Right, which is why they extended Ian Williams who they had signed 2 years prior as an undrafted FA and developed, and picked up Dorsey. How does this disprove that the 49ers have been drafting guys a year or two before the actually need them?

        “not to mention injuries to both Smith’s. We need Tank and Dial this year”

        No they don’t. They need them in 2014 when the Tukuafu and Dobbs contracts expire. The problem last season was both of these guys got hurt prior to the J Smith injury and the team was forced to play RJF who was not very good.

        “Lattimore is a luxury, the fact that we can wait on him.”

        Right, just like the other guys that I listed. All guys who disprove your take that “drafting guys a year or two before the actually need them only happens in college and on video games.”

  18. Gracious can this guy block? He’s an ex wr, 240 lbs and ran a 4.3. If he could put up a semblance of pass protection he could be useful. Hummm, maybe we ditch aj, and make this kid a wr! He could be our Calvin Johnson. ( could be our 4 th string qb as well)

  19. It cracks me up that the 32nd pick in the draft is considered a special player with Star Power and that something special. The 33rd pick in the draft? Meh!

  20. Grant

    I told you Gray would make it. Couple of reasons, versatility & size/speed/power (athleticism), two of Harbaugh’s gold standards.

    1. You make it sound like Grant didn’t think he was good enough. I don’t recall Grant saying Gray was no good… in fact, I think he said he was one of the most intriguing undrafted FAs they signed. As did a lot of other people. I don’t think there are many people that are surprised he’s looked good.

  21. @moodindigo What receivers do you have slotted for the PS? The only guy I can see going besides Jacobs is Lockette. Moore is a lock to make the team as are Williams, Jenkins, Boldin and Collie. That leaves Osgood, Hall, Lockette and Jacobs. Osgood and Hall are vets and I don’t think they are eligible for the practice squad. In the past, the Niners have kept at least two receivers on the PS. I can’t see it being any different this year, though if they cut Lockette, another team might grab him.

    As far as Gray goes, he’s more than just some training camp wonder. He’s 6’4, 245 and runs a 4.6 forty. He can also play QB in a pinch, since he played it at U of Minn. He’s a tremendous athlete with Antonio Gates like potential. He won’t last on the practice squad.

    I’ve been watching training camp and mock drafting for the past 36 years, so I have a little insight into these things myself.

  22. Before a team can put a player on its PS, the player has to clear waivers. So with players like Lockette or Gray, I think there’s significant risk that if they are released, that will be the last we’ll see of them, maybe ever. I’ve read that many other teams are waiting for us to cast anyone off.

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