10 names from combine who have talents 49ers need on defense

Boston College defensive lineman Harold Landry performs in a drill seen at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

On Sunday, I gave you 10 players from the NFL scouting combine who fit the 49ers offense.

Now, I’m giving you 10 players from the combine who fit their defense.

Note: Players who skipped part of the speed testing or agility testing don’t qualify. For the purpose of this exercise, those players still are unknowns. We’ll learn more about them at their Pro Days.

1. Harold Landry, LEO, Boston College.

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This article has 158 Comments

      1. I get the feeling the 49ers will be willing to wait until 2nd or 3rd round for OL after signing one in FA.

          1. Yeah, Corbett looks good. Or James Daniels. Tbh, there are plenty of good looking interior OL this year. Which is exactly why I think they will be happy to pass on one in the first round.

        1. I like Hernanadez, but I don’t see him lasting until our 2nd round pick. You’d have to trade up for him.

              1. Yah, when you’re as strong and well put together as Hernadez is, combined with his outstanding mobility and agility, the short arms don’t concern me much. Landry seems like the right fit, and as a wrote the other day, he’s as pure a pass rusher as there is in this draft, Chubb is a better all around DE though with his power and strength. Not sure about Mata’afa, but can’t argue with most of those names Grant.

    1. Very good chance Landry is their guy. He flew under the radar a bit because of the injury last year, but now healthy he becomes arguably the best pass rusher in the draft and certainly the best one the Niners will have a shot at.

      1. What’s crazy is Jeremiah’s latest post combine mock draft has Landry at the bottom of the first round.

          1. I say mid to late first. I take it you’re not buying into the ankle excuse or are you worried about his ankle going forward? Or is it the lack of pass rushing moves? Or getting washed out against the run? Or all of the above?

            Man, I want Chubb.

            1. You really need to let the ankle thing go. He got hurt. It happens. Suggesting it could now be a chronic issue – WTF? If every player that gets hurt is a question mark due to potential chronic injury you would rule out half the field.

              As for lack of pass rushing moves, how did you miss his speed rush? His dip and rip is excellent.

              I get you have reservations about him. That’s normal. There are very few prospects each year that come without any question marks. But you are taking those question marks to extremes and ignoring what he does well.

              1. Because he had two ankle issues last year. One early, and then the one everybody talks about.

                “ignoring what he does well.”

                No, I just said in the previous thread that Landry would be my choice if we take an Edge at #9 if no Chubb. I fully understand what he could potentially bring to the table.

                “I get you have reservations about him.”

                Bingo. That’s why I would rather wait to take a chance on a position with a high bust rate.

              2. “Longer you wait, greater the chance you don’t get a guy you need there.”

                There should be multiple high upside prospects at #59, and possibly in the 3rd.

              1. I think he’s a blue chip player riding a one trick pony, but that’s what they hired Kiffin for.

              2. That’s true. He is not unique, but his skill set is rare. There aren’t many DEs that are as agile and flexible as he is at his size. Leonard Floyd also had rare traits. He was taken at #9.

          1. I know one thing, not many have Jaire Alexander ranked as high as he now does, and I think he’s the best corner in the draft….

            1. Alexander falls into the same category as Landry. Suffered through an injury plagued season but was very good the previous year and now that they are healthy look like top prospects again.

              1. That’s why I was shocked that he has Landry as low as he does. Him and Key were the top pass rushers going into 2017….

            2. I’ve seen Alexander mocked in the 1st round after the Combine (USA Today and ESPN for example, though I know you don’t like ESPN).

              1. 49ers Top 10 Big Board


  1. I like the breakdown, Grant. Landry has one thing the Sweat’s, Turay’s, and Fitt’s don’t. Production. I’d add one more LB in the late rounds to the stellar candidates you mentioned. Genard Avery, 6′ 1″, 255 lbs., 4.59, 26 reps@225, 36″ Vert, 124″ Broad, 6.90 Three Cone, and 4.36 Twenty….

  2. Apke and Burke may make sense in Round 6 or 7 but both may be gone before Niners pick. Reid does not makes sense to me in early rounds unless Trader John pulls off some sleight of hand and turns the first two picks into four. But Reid has the potential to be a Pro Bowl safety with outstanding versatility and superior football IQ. He played 7 DB positions at Stanford. Here’s a nice article on his interview with the Bellichicks at the combine:

  3. 1. He fits as a pass rusher. Needs to improve against the run to stay on the field. You can help Landry against the run, but it can open up another lane. Saleh would have to get creative and mix it up. Would like to see him add some more pass rushing moves. Very high upside, but with ankle and effort concerns. Would prefer to get him after a trade down, but I don’t see him getting past GB, so it would have to be a small trade down.

    “Because his name is “Fitts,”


    9. No, not taking a S that high.
    10. Yes, that’s where we might take a S.

    1. Can’t we have a LEO in the base and Landry for obvious passing downs? Who’s the LEO in the base. IDK, maybe Armstead or Thomas and possibly Harold (although Harold might be better with Landry for obvious passing downs). In other words, Landry would carry a similar role to Aldon Smith in his first year in terms of when he enters the games.

      1. Sure we can. Just like last year. He’s a fit, just not a perfect fit. I don’t like Armstead as base LEO. I’d rather trade him, resign Tank, and have Thomas play base LEO.

        You can use several prospects other than Landry in that scenario.

        1. Forgot about Tank. I have no problem with trading Armstead; it would be nice if we could get at least a 3rd rounder.

  4. Landry is a one trick pony. Edmunds is a swiss army knife, play any LB position and pass rush. Young with terrific upside, can’t pass up talent.

    Trade Armstead for a 3rd, pair that with our 74 to move to 2nd and pick Lorenzo Carter, versatile against pass and run with pass rush potential.

    Razor, agree on Corbettt (can play all positions) in middle rounds after get free agent OG (Pugh?).

    1. From the little film I’ve been watching on Josh Sweat, he looks just as good as Landry and he can be had 2/3 round.

        1. Yea, his stack n shed is way better than Landry’s. Sweat has the dip n rip, and chop n swim. Smooth hips during rotation, but he’s a tad late off the snap sometimes. Reduces himself well around the edge….

          1. Sweat doesn’t bend as well as Landry. Not as agile or flexible. Good, well rounded prospect but not great in any one area.

        2. That’s because despite his 3 cone he doesn’t bend at all in games. He’s constantly ridden out of the play because he stays high and can’t turn a corner.
          Combine numbers are nice but they need to match what is being seen on field. Chubb’s numbers do, he wins with hands and speed to power. Same with Landry, who wins with burst and bend.
          The other guys don’t win in college so the question becomes were they used incorrectly? We’re they injured? And if so were they good when healthy?

          1. I don’t see a lot of upside with Sweat personally. He is obviously athletic, but his technique is poor and a lot of what I’ve seen features him getting dominated repeatedly. Being able to set the edge is good but the main thing I’m looking for is pass rush pressure and he doesn’t do it consistently enough for my liking. Lorenzo Carter and Jeff Holland would be options I’d be ok with in the second if they go somewhere else in the first.

      1. I’ve mentioned Sweat before. In regard to complaints about technique, I believe that is coaching, and the point of bringing Kiffin in is to educate the younger players on technique.

        Right now, here’s where I think the pass rusher list looks like among the names being mentioned on this Board:

        1. Chubb
        2. Landry
        3. Lorenzo Carter
        4. Sweat
        5. Armstrong
        6. Holland
        7. Turay
        8. Mata’afa
        9. Uchenna Nwosu

        I haven’t mentioned Davenport, Hubbard, or Key because I don’t think anyone here is making an argument for either of them. The other thing I would mention is that while everyone thinks Edmunds is a straight linebacker (at least to start), I definitely see talent that would allow him to move down to the LEO in nickel defenses given his physical abilities, and my assumption that he can be taught some of the intricacies of edge rushing.

  5. Dorance Armstrong Jr. saw a drop in production in 2017. But why? Turns out he actually played less Edge last year. Oh, and Kansas sucks while playing in a decent conference.


    “He’s one of the quicker and more powerful edge defenders in the class and as mentioned before his motor doesn’t run out as he is trying to chase down a QB for the sack. He’s an extremely talented run defender that will be a boost to any team instantly that he ends up with. His short-area burst and his bend around the edge makes him a threat for any defense. There is an argument to be made with Armstrong Jr.’s dynamic athleticism and 2016 production that he has elite level potential and if he goes to the right place he could have a coaching staff that hones in on his pass rushing maneuvers and makes him virtually unstoppable.”

    1. Hits on two i portant points – 1, don’t draft RBs really high because the return on investment isn’t there; and 2, watching “generational talents” carve up college Ds is not a predictor of NFL success.

      1. I see more than just two compelling points.
        I can also see Haslam overruling Dorsey and taking Barkley at #1. It would be the Cleveland thing to do just that…..

        1. Really good find Mood. Lot of well researched points in there, but the biggest issue I have with taking any RB in the first round is that the value just isn’t there. It comes down to how much better a RB in the first is than one taken on day 2-3 and the gap isn’t big enough to justify using a first round pick on one imo. It seems ludicrous that a team would take a RB first overall and I don’t think it will happen this year either. John Dorsey is a smart football guy unlike the previous Baseball metrics GM they had. The only non QB I would take first overall in this draft is Chubb.

          1. but the biggest issue I have with taking any RB in the first round is that the value just isn’t there. It comes down to how much better a RB in the first is than one taken on day 2-3 and the gap isn’t big enough to justify using a first round pick on one imo.


    2. I’m not biting guys.

      Like I said, I’ll let Saquon’s game talk from here on out. If the 8 teams ahead of us are dumb enough to pass on Barkley based on this article, I’ll be a happy man. Do me a favor and spread the article around to everyone you know and hopefully it will filter up to the desks of the 8 GM’s who’s teams are picking ahead of us at the end of April.

      1. Yeah, I right there with you 49. We don’t have a chance to get him anyway. He’ll be a top 5 pick, if not #1 overall.

        The first paragraph is funny. It mentions the huge impact Fournette, Elliot, Gurley, and McCaffrey had on their teams.

        “Rushing barely matters.”

        I doubt our HC would agree with that.

        “A recent study from Pro Football Focus.”

        PFF, I say PFFT.

        “Highly-drafted RBs are not any better at rushing”

        The defenses gameplan against those RBs, yet a decent number of those backs still have good numbers. We saw this with Hyde and Breida. Teams went hard against Hyde, Breida comes in and gets a few splash plays (helping his average). How many times did Hyde’s or say Elliot’s average go down because they’re the RB that is trusted to get that tough 1 or 2 yards?

        “high bust rates”

        There’s always a chance a player busts. Do your homework and hope for the best.

        5, 6, and 7 are valid points.

        8. Russell Wilson is good. Wow, I had no idea.

        1. Wilson’s ‘rushing’ ability and the threat of that ability helps Seattle’s offense go. We have a different offense anyway. If we want to get tips from Seattle on team building, it should be on defense. Here’s a better article WRT our team building strategy.


          This article and Carroll’s draft history shows that we should be looking at Landry, Davenport, Edmunds, and Smith instead of Ward, Jackson, and James.

          1. I heard Smith got red flagged at medicals, and if true, I don’t expect the 49ers to go down that road again.

        2. Exactly #80.

          It’s not difficult to use sabermetrics in a way that suits a particular point of view. One problem with the article, IMO, there’s an exception to every rule. And Barkley is, IMO, the exception.

          Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I’ll say it like this ….. show me an NFL head coach who’s willing to say having a great RB doesn’t make a difference. Tougher yet, show me someone who coached a hall of fame RB and find out if they are willing to claim that said, hall of fame running back, didn’t make their team a heck of a lot better.

          1. First, the article does not say that a “a great RB doesn’t make a difference”. The data indicates that the chances of finding a great RB in later rounds (e.g., third) is equally good (or bad) as early in the first round.
            Second, how many of the past 20 Super Bowl winners have had “”a great RB”? I can think of Bettis and James and those were over a decade ago. Did I forget anyone?
            USA Today had an article on this issue last month:

            1. The last 20 SBs includes the Broncos who relied heavily on a HB (Davis) and their HC’s play calling is very similar to ours.

              Lynch had over a 100 YDs in the SB, but Carroll decided to throw (pass) the game away.

              Gore had 110 YDs (5.79 average) but Harbaugh put the game on Kaep after Gore put them in a position to win with a huge gain. If JH lets Gore finish off that drive, our HB may have been SB MVP.

              Faulk was a huge part of the greatest show on turf. Jamal Lewis was pretty good in the early 2000’s.

              Ajayi says the running game is essential for the Eagles. The Eagles finished 3rd in rushing. Atlanta made the SB last year with a strong multi HB running game.

              I get the ‘you can find a talented HB later on argument’. And you can have a multiple HB approach (Falcons/Eagles). The article does make some good points, but it went too far with the “rushing barely matters” hyperbole.

              1. Yes, I overlooked Faulk. Again, the argument is not whether a balanced offense is needed to win the SuperBowl. It generally is needed. Your observation about Gore and Ajayi supports the point that good-to-great RBs can be routinely found for different systems in third round and later. In the full-Shanny system, it’s almost the rule.

                The phrase “rushing barely matters” in the article needs to be interpreted in context. My understanding of that data is that the wins-and-losses can be attributed to significant difference between the two teams in rush efficiency in only about 5% of . It means that the two teams in 95% cases had similar rush efficiency that may have been pretty good in the first place. The point is that run efficiency did not make a significant different in the outcome. This is the case in modern NFL. It is unlikely that Barkley will change that path.

              2. The running game opens up things in the passing game. Also, nobody is going to bite on play action passes if you can’t run effectively.

                As 49 mentioned, the PFF study credits HBs that have a good pass-blocking grade, pass blocking efficiency, yards per receiving route run, and PFF receiving grade. Barkley is good at all those. If there was ever an exception to be made, it would be Barkley.

                While the NFL is a passing league, the pendulum may be swinging back a bit. Jax, Phi, Car, NO, Buf, Min, LA, KC, and NE all made the playoffs and were top 10 in rushing. The only top 10 rushing team that didn’t make it was Dallas, who looked bad and lost games when Elliot was out. All of the sudden Prescott and the passing game wasn’t as good. The top 4 teams in run defense all made the playoffs.

                As I said before, the article made some good points, but it went too far trying to diminish the importance of rushing.

              3. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-great-nfl-passing-boom-is-over-hope-you-enjoyed-it/
                “The team that everyone’s copying right now didn’t win the Super Bowl, but they came close.”

                “The Atlanta Falcons used shotgun less than any other team during their 2016 run to the big game, lining up under center on 60 percent of snaps. The Falcons led the league in scoring, racking up 71 more points than the second-best Saints. They threw the ball just 537 times, seventh-fewest in the NFL, while finishing fifth in rushing yards thanks to a hot tailback tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.”

                “But teams that can both run and pass the ball well from under center will always be harder to defend, and teams that can’t throw the ball well are no longer putting up big numbers just by throwing it more.”

            2. The article also states: A recent recent study from Pro Football Focus found that the four RB measurements that best predict team wins in the following year are PFF pass-blocking grade, pass blocking efficiency, yards per receiving route run, and PFF receiving grade.

              And Barkley is an elite receiving RB!

              I’m generally not high on RB’s in round 1. Certainly not top 10. Barkley is an obvious exception, which is why he will go top 10 this year. And don’t think for a second that scouting departments and GM’s don’t have access to all of this kind of sabermetric “data”.

  6. Whoa. A lot of buzz about Cousins to Vikings – 3 years $91 million guaranteed. Broncos and Jets who are drafting ahead of us will most likely draft QB now.

  7. Could be typical lying season stuff or cliche smoke screen from Lynch on The Herd (at 3 minute mark) but it makes sense. He asked Lynch if he’s after need vs talent at pick 9

    Lynch on “when you’re drafting high.”

    “You have to take advantage (of the draft position)”
    “You have to take the most explosive player…”
    “A dynamic player…”
    “A game changer…”
    “The kind of player other teams will have to account for…”
    “Not just a solid player”


    1. If it’s not typical lying season PR, but it sounds like Lynch believes this will be the last time he will be drafting high in a long, long time. Perhaps the remainder of his 49er contract. This makes sense given the importance of the quarterback position and Garoppolo’s performances.

      Lynch feels like this is his one and only chance to draft a known Star rookie. The next several drafts he will have to find diamonds in the rough or get lucky.

      I see Lynch taking BPA at 9. The player with the most long term potential. Edmunds. James. Nelson if he falls. Trade up attempt in the (very) unlikely event Chubb falls to the 5-7 range.

  8. Razor….. I have to say, I concede. I finally looked at D James. Explosive is the word. I still believe he doesn’t possess the skill as of yet to be a ballhawk, so Earl Thomas like is not a good comparison. I see Dashon Goldston all over him. Always looking for the big hit. To me that’s a downfall, wouldn’t you rather have the ball back than try an knock another guy out? But 2 things, 1 I don’t see him lasting until pick 9. And 2 we already have tartt, who can do everything James can. So why not look for a ballhawk back there. Just my opinion Make them an Earl Thomas like safety, who can lay the wood and ballhawk?

    1. Some good stuff from that article:

      How’s this for an appraisal of Chubb from a head coach? “He’s really good. As good as Myles Garrett. He’s talented. He’s the one guy who’s really talented at a position of need and a position of value. And he’s a great kid by all accounts.”

      I suggested this in the previous topic thread and somebody responded by saying Chubb isn’t in the same universe as Garrett or something to that effect. Chubb is a really really good player, and I will not be surprised if he’s the #1 pick.

    1. I posted the same link above. My take on the interview is that Lynch thanks it will be a long time before he picks at 9 again. He wants a rare, explosive talent. Not just a “solid” player for a need spot.

      What time mark did Cowherd say the 49ers were trading back? I’d love a trade back with the Bills.

        1. Almost everyone’s re-draft picks Lattimore. (Kudos to Grant for wanting Lattimore in the first place. I wrongly thought he’d be an injury risk). I’m guessing Lynch would re-draft Lattimore too.

          Not sure what lesson there is to learn. I think Lynch is pleased with Thomas’ run defense and work ethic, but disappointed in his pass rush. (At least to this point. I think they expect him to eventually rush inside as well)

          The 2017 draft had a weird perceived talent curve. Players not named Myles Garrett were mocked all over the top 15. Only 6 of Move The Sticks top 20 were free of injury or off field concerns. If Lynch was totally enamoured with Thomas he would not have traded back. All everyone talked about was trading back because of the perceived even talent in the top 15.

          It was inevitable teams picking 2-5 would be accused of “reaching.”, while teams picking later would be praise.

          1. “If Lynch was totally enamoured with Thomas he would not have traded back.”

            That’s a really good point. IIRC, Lynch was the one that thought Chicago was going to take Thomas.

  9. I have a hunch the 49ers are looking at the Super Bowl this season. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them really go all out in FA and trade back up in the draft to fill the holes needed with very good players.

    It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see Edmonds, and Landry as 49ers either.

    It’s time to make some waves! GO BIG for once.

  10. I def think Harold Landry should be the pick at #9 if the 49ers stay put. I think he is the best pure pass rusher in the draft and a perfect fit for our LEO spot. I think he can come right and make an impact. I think he is a Dwight Freeney/Vic Beasley type player.

    In a trade down I love Issiah Wynn from Georgia and also James Daniels from Iowa. I’m also very intrigued with Courtland Sutton.

  11. My Mock Off-Season

    Free Agency: Allen Robinson and Justin Pugh are the two guys I want the most but I don’t think we will get either. I do see us signing…

    Trumaine Johnson, CB, Rams: We get our #1 Cornerback

    A Wide Receiver: I think Sammy Watkins could be in play if he is willing to take a 1yr prove it type deal ala Alshon Jeffery but I don’t expect us to get him. I do think we sign a mid-tier FA like Donte Moncrief or Paul Richardson. I would be very happy if we got Moncrief.

    I think we re-sign Brandon Fusco and sign another FA offensive guard. I would love Pugh or even Josh Sitton but instead I think we re-sign Fusco, draft a guy or two and sign a mid-tier FA like Josh Kline from the Titans, Jack Mewhort from the Colts or a guy like Zach Fulton from the Chiefs.

    Re-Sign Brock Coyle and a veteran LB. I personally like Avery Williamson, Preston Brown and Korey Toomer

    We then trade Trent Brown before or during the draft. I’m going to predict we trade him to Minnesota for their 1st round (30th overall pick) and give them back a 2019 third round pick along with Brown.

    Mock Draft

    9th Overall Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College: I hope we can move down from 9 and pick-up another 2nd rd pick but if we stay put, Landry almost certainly has to be the pick. Pass rush would be the biggest need headed into the draft and Landry IMO is the best pure pass rusher in the draft and is a guy who can come right and make an impact. He is also a perfect fit for our LEO position. I see him being a Dwight Freeney/Vic Beasley type NFL player. If we traded down I would look at guys like Courtland Sutton, Issiah Wynn, James Daniels and Roquan Smith.

    30th Overall Pick: Connor Williams, OG-OT, Texas: I bet you Shanny would love to get his hands on this kid as he is an absolute perfect fit for our scheme and I think he can be a pro bowl guard AND pro bowl Offensive Tackle. He can play both guard spots as well as both tackle spots. He would be a great fit and pick.

    Second Round-59th Overall pick: Ronald Jones, RB, USC or Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State: Either guy would be a great pick and steal here. Both guys fit our scheme really well. Jones in particular I think would be a stud but Penny is also very good and even better all-around than Jones.

    Third Round- 70th Overall Pick: J.C Jackson, CB, Maryland (My favorite Cornerback in the draft. I think he might be the best CB from this draft in 3 years)

    Third Round- 74th Overall Pick: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas (Really solid, versatile LB)

    Fourth Round Pick: Austin Corbett, OG, Nevada or Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State

    Fifth Round Pick: Simmie Cobbs JR, WR, Indiana or Trey Quinn, WR, SMU

  12. Just in… It’s Pizza Hut. Sorry Round Table.

    “We know many of our fans enjoy pizza while watching NFL games, and we are thrilled to have Pizza Hut, an industry leader and one of America’s favorite brands, as an official league sponsor,” commissioner Roger Goodell said.

    “With a focus on family, friends and fun, Pizza Hut has the creativity we are looking for in a partner, and we look forward to working together with them to make the at-home NFL experience more exciting than ever for our fans.”

  13. I would replace…for now…the term “LEO” with Edge Pass Rusher. It seems that Saleh prefers stouter more run based “LEOs” in his base defense. The ability to pass rush off of the edge in the base defense seems secondary to Saleh’s defensive philosophy based on his use of Armstead as his “LEO”.

    1. Thanks rocket, I agree with the article, thanks for finding an article that debunks the notion that the combine has no baring whatsoever on a players draft stock, and confirms my point.

      There are the fans watching on TV, thirsting for information about players they might be seeing or hearing about for the first time. They’re watching highlights, bench press numbers and 40 times and believe that there is a strong correlation between what is happening right now in front of them (the NFL, and their massive televised operation do nothing to dissuade them from this) and what will happen on draft day.

      This first paragraph is correct. As I basically stated before, there isn’t a strong correlation (between combine performance and draft position). However, there are often weak correlations, and that’s entirely different than whoever was arguing that there was absolutely no correlation whatsoever.

      Scouts tend to trust what they see on film, first and foremost (as I stated previously), and NFL teams are looking for the best football players, not the best athletes. A relative of mine is connected to the scouting community, and always makes this point. Doesn’t mean a dazzling combine won’t have some influence on their opinion, and vise versa.

      You want to guard against any massive rearranging. A good scouting department empowers its staff, and a good staff will have already thoroughly graded these players, twice, based on what they did on the field—the most important factor—before they arrive at the combine.

      Absolutely. Again, I never said anything about massive rearranging.

      But this doesn’t mean a draft prospect’s position in the draft is set in stone before the combine. It’s not. In fact, the article even goes on to make an example, verifying my point: Any “rising and falling” usually takes place in the middle of a team’s board, where they’ll use the in-person meetings or on-field drills to break ties between a pair of prospects they have a similar grade on. A good example? Shaquem Griffin’s performance, both on the field with a blazing 40-yard dash and off the field in impressive, inspirational meetings, probably helped him leapfrog a few other dime linebackers or special teamers this week.”

      Here’s another one I know of as fact: More than one personnel executive asked CB Tarvarus McFadden if he’d be open to moving to safety, based on his poor speed in the 40. “I liked him as a CB coming in (to the combine), but based on his slow times, I think he’s probably too slow to play on the perimeter”. And my relative will tell you stories like this in regards to each and every NFL combine. Sure, he would make the case that the majority of players don’t generally move the needle at the combine. But, again, that’s not what I argued … ever. I argued against the notion that the NFL combine was basically a big fat waste of time and that it had no bareing whatsoever on player evaluation. That’s an absolute nonsensical statement, whoever said it.

      If it were a big fat waste of time, most of these GM’s, coaches, scouts, etc would find something else to do with their time than spend an entire week in Indy. Their time is precious.

      1. From previous thread:


        Doesn’t matter. The combine is about the interviews. The underwear Olympics will have no bearing on where these guys get drafted.

        The rise and fall is based on people on draft web sites and fans such as yourself, putting too much emphasis on the result of the combine. The combine drills are more important to the media and fans than the teams.

        Nobody bases their decision on what a guy did in shorts in Indy. It’s game film, interviews and background checks. The only thing anyone takes out of the combine workouts is whether the drills correspond with what they see on film.


        Does game film generally trump the “underwear olympics”? Yes, if your talking about which is more important of the two. Game film is far more important. But that doesn’t mean the combine doesn’t boost some draft stock and hurt others. Trust me, it can, and it does. Every year we see guys rise or fall after the combine. Not everyone mind you, but yes, it has some bearing, the degree of which is up for debate.

        But trust me, the combine does hold some weight in that it can “tip the scales’ so to speak, one way or the other. Player HAVE risen and fallen due, in part, to combine performances. That’s simply a fact. And if the combine meant absolutely nothing, these GM’s, HC’s, and scouts would find better things to do with their precious time, than spend an entire week in Indy every year.

        From the article:

        There are the reporters, serving the fans that believe player stock vacillates like the biotech market (I try and catch myself whenever talking about “stock,” though it slips into the cringe-worthy lexicon more than I’d like). They’re caught with one foot on either side—smart enough to know that teams use the combine more for validation and reaffirmation than to scramble the board, but also clairvoyant enough to predict that no one would read a story with the headline: “Nothing Actually Happening at Combine; Check In Next Year!”

        There are the scouts, scouting directors and personnel executives, fine-tuning their boards like ship-in-a-bottle hobbyists. Most of the thing has been put together already; now it’s time to simply glue on the tiny bowsprit.

        It’s not sexy, but it’s true: Incredible circumstances aside, the notion that there are risers and fallers at the combine is largely mythical.

        1. I think the issue here is more one of definition re: riser/ faller. Typically when we hear someone has risen (or fallen) due to the combine it is meant in terms of quite a significant shift. 49reasons appears to be arguing that rising/ falling also includes some shuffling of deck chairs. This isn’t the typical way the term riser/ faller is meant though.

          Basically, there is some movement of players post combine/ workouts, but these are, by and large, minor adjustments up and down as teams slot guys they had mostly equivalent grades on.

          1. Do we agree Scooter, with this statement I made yesterday that game film is far more important than the combine? and that scouts generally trust what they see on film, but the combine can, and sometimes does, “tip the scales” a little one way or another, and that some players have risen or fallen, at least slightly, due to their combine performances?

            I mean, if the definition of “rising or falling” is some movement up or down draft boards, one way or the other, then it’s a true statement, no? Or are we simply trying to define the term rise and fall?

            The alternative being that there’s never been a player who’s draft stock was effected by the combine? That’s ludicrous!

            1. I mean, if a player drops even one slot in the mid rounds, it can certainly alter their career, right? The difference between being drafted by one team or another can have a huge impact on a player, right?

            2. 49reasons,

              You are backtracking, spinning, whatever you want to call it. You stated: “we see players rise and fall every year after the combine” like it’s an obvious change in ranking based on the workouts at the combine, and that simply isn’t true. That is you falling for the overreactions of draft sites and believing in this stock analysis. If there is any significant change in rankings after the combine it is due to the interview and/or medical.

            3. You need context. The term rising/ falling used WRT player “stock” isn’t about a 1 or 2 spot difference. It is used to indicate a player that is making significant movement one way or the other.

              Thing is, you can see this on media draft boards. Players jump around a lot based on rising/ falling hype. But these media draft boards aren’t the ones teams use.

              As we get closer to the draft the rising/ falling tag will be denoting the whispers that media experts are hearing from teams, so they start slotting players closer to where they believe teams have been rating them all along.

              Saying the combine does result in players rising/ falling a few spots here and there is an accurate statement, but doesn’t reflect the context the terms are usually used in.

          2. That’s exactly what he’s doing Scooter.

            The bottom line is that the workouts at the combine have little significance on how a team views the player or rates them on the draft board.

            1. I never argued “little significance”, I argued against the notion that the combine has NO BEARING whatsoever for any of these players. That’s just wrong, and the article you posted rocket, gave one example of a player who was likely effected this year, and I gave another.

              Go ask Tarvarus McFadden if he’s not disappointed in his combine performance and subsequent comments, and questions he received from a few personnel evaluators, as a result of his poor showing? “More than one personnel executive asked CB Tarvarus McFadden if he’d be open to moving to safety, based on his poor speed in the 40 (he ran a 4.67).

              “I liked him as a CB coming in (to the combine), but based on his slow times, I think he’s probably too slow to play on the perimeter”.

              Unless you don’t think being asked to change your position for the NFL, is a big deal? Maybe you don’t.

              1. The point was, or at least was supposed to be, that the idea of stocks rising and falling is a myth. If you want to argue semantics, then I’ll be happy to concede that “no bearing” was too strong. I’ll change it to “little or no bearing” if it will make you happy.

  14. Adam Schefter just reported Seahawks traded Michael Bennett to the Eagles for a 5th round pick and WR Marcus Johnson.

    1. I think the Seahawks are sending a 7th round pick too. They are giving something extra just so they can get his salary off the books.

      1. Seattle is sending Bennett and a 7th round pick to Philly. They are receiving Marcus Johnson and a 5th round pick.

  15. Wonder if Richard Sherman would be cut or traded. Would love to see Sherman in Red and Gold. Great scheme fit, HoFer credentials, still has some gas in the tank. Good leadership — will set Foster on the right track if the latter is still around in September..

  16. Also Richard Sherman seems to be getting out of Seattle.

    I think Seattle is looking to trade up and pick Derwin James. :)

  17. A possible trade back scenario. The Niners at #9 trade back with Miami at #11 and get Miamis 3rd round pick. Miami would draft the QB of their choice without the worry of another team trading with the Niners and the Niners would still be able to draft a impact player as well as get their third pick in the 3rd round.

  18. For me, I want a CB and an edge rusher, once that is accomplished then everything else is icing on the cake – and may that icing be sweet.

    1. He’s got Landry falling out of the first round. Another scout has Landry at #39. Not sure what’s going on with that.

          1. Yes. The ankle that was injured twice in one year. The ankle that had an injury so severe that it is being used as an excuse for his lack of production.

            Why are some scouts projeting him so low? With his upside as a pass rusher he should be a top 15 pick easily.

            1. Yeah, the ankle was injured “twice” as he tried to play through it after the first injury, then tweaked it a couple weeks later. It happens. And based on how he performed in the agility tests I think it is fair to say it is healed.

              Why are some scouts projecting him “so low”? Well, those are media talking heads and hack scouts with a website, and they are doing so because his production in his senior year didn’t match what they consider a top pick should be. That also happens.

              1. Walterfootball has mentioned that some see him as a 2nd rounder. He got that info from people that work in the league, not just some hacks. We’ll find out one way or another. Something will leak out if he does slide, it usually does.

              2. I am sure some teams aren’t enamoured with him. He won’t fit every team’s style of D.

              3. He’s not really a similar player to Aldon Smith. Smith was very good on stunts and used his hands well. He wasn’t really a speed rusher.

                I think Landry could do pretty well in a 3-4, but he is a better pass rusher on the LOS with his hand in the dirt.

              4. He’s done both.


                “He rushed from 4-3 defensive end (both sides) and 3-4 outside linebacker (both sides) and even dropped into coverage often on third down.”

                “His pure pass-rushing skills translate better to 4-3 defensive end at the moment, but he plays comfortable (outside of stunts) at 3-4 outside linebacker also.”

                So he would fit, just not a perfect fit because of the reason you mentioned. Just like he would fit here, but it wouldn’t be a perfect fit. That could explain some of the lower projections from 3-4 and 4-3 teams.

                But he’s such a good pass rushing prospect, and those usually go high. That’s why I think there could be something we don’t know about (ankle and or inconsistent effort).

      1. It is very strange. It’s like some have written him off based on the injury plagued season he had. He’s got some of the best film out there and tested well to ease the health concerns. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

        1. Out of:
          Alexander or Ward

          Edmunds/Smith/Landry/Alexander or Ward are the most likely available, and I would go with Landry from that group….

          1. I would add Sutton to that group – rumours are the 49ers really like him.

            But I agree that Landry should be the pick given the players likely to be taken by pick #9.

          2. Edmunds all day. Fills more roles and has the potential to be a pass rush specialist. Looking like an Aldon Smith 2.0 hopefully without the issues. The football Gods owe us one.

  19. Rams trade Alec Ogletree to NY Giants. By doing so, they have now freed $50 million this offseason, and much more for next season. The goal is to sign extensions for Goff, Gurley, and Donald, but also to keep Watkins and Trumaine Johnson. In other words, the chance of Trumaine Johnson becoming a 49er is becoming less and less.

      1. They are saying they are trying to figure out a way to keep both Johnson and Watkins, even with the trade for Peters.

      2. It would not surprise me if they resign Johnson. I am not a fan of Johnson, but a secondary containing Peters and Johnson would not be one I want to see the 49ers face twice a year.

    1. Trumaine Johnson is a FA and the Rams appear to have moved on with the trade for Marcus Peters. They might be able to re-sign Watkins though.

  20. “Still, the Rams would like to re-sign Johnson, if possible.

    ‘There’s a reason why he was a player that you used the franchise tag on the last two years,’ McVay said, via ESPN. ‘I do think he’ll be highly-sought-after in free agency, but in an ideal world, we would like to be able to get Trumaine back on our team.'”

    “On Wednesday, general manager Les Snead said he can ‘definitely’ see a scenario where Johnson returns to the Rams next season.”

    In speaking about the Peters trade (though not about Peters, because of potential tampering issues), McVay said, “We want Trumaine back. We want to try to see if that can work,” McVay told assembled reporters at the NFL Combine, noting that Johnson’s situation is independent of any other transaction Los Angeles may or may not make.

    McVay added he has spoken to Johnson about that.

    “We do have a lot of respect and appreciation for probably the market that he’ll have. And I think that’s where as you get a little closer to free agency, you see what does that market look like? That will then determine if we’re able to get him back and see him continue to play for us.”

    1. I have no doubt they would like Johnson back but they haven’t been able to sign him long term the previous two years and have now traded for his replacement. Combine that with the fact they want to re-sign Watkins and Donald this offseason, and have Goff and Gurley waiting in the wings next year, and I just don’t see them being able to keep Johnson. It’s not impossible, but very unlikely imo.

      1. I understand your position. I’m not saying it is a guarantee they re-sign Johnson, but the point of shedding the payroll they have been shedding recently (Quinn and Ogletree) is not just to remove individuals who may not work in the 3-4, but to gather money for Goff, Gurley, Watkins, Donald, and Johnson. They’ve stated this as their intent. I am merely pointing out this affects those who want Trumaine Johnson to sign with the 49ers, of which I am not one.

      2. Exactly.

        The 49ers have said they want to keep Reid and Hyde as well. And I’m sure they do. Problem is, both sides need to come to an agreement on the contract. 49ers want them back at the right price, i.e., the price they are willing to pay.

        Its the same with the Rams and Johnson. And for the past two years they haven’t been able to come to a price that suits Johnson. Now that he will be a FA, he will get to test exactly how much he is worth and I highly doubt the Rams will meet what he will be offered.

        1. By the way, one reporter thinks Eric Reid is going to get a $8 million/year offer. For that, I am more than happy to let him walk away.

    1. Unless Talib is saying he will refuse to play for the 49ers I don’t see his desire to be released as a big stumbling block. Of course he would prefer to be released. Every player would rather be released than traded.

    2. Yeah that could be just the player wanting the ability to negotiate where he’s going to go rather than be told where he’s going.

      His first choice may be the Patriots, but they likely aren’t going to be the ones offering the best contract.

    3. The problem is the Patriots are only expected to have a little over $20 million in cap space. Unless they cut some high prices players or Talib is willing to take a significant pay cut, signing with the Patriots is not happening.

  21. To be clear, I think Lynch really liked Thomas. It’s just that Lynch ( and many other GMs picking 2-10 or so) understood the flat talent curve in sound 2-15 and we’re trying to trade back.

    Because of this flat curve I wrote several times before the draft tea sicking 2-5 would be accused of “reaching”, while teams picking a little later would be praised for their draft ” steals.”

    1. The Thomas pick didn’t make sense for the niners just from a position redundancy stand point. His natural position was the same as Armsteads in this system.
      The biggest problem is he’s not as good of a pass rusher as Armstead, so the team missed out on strengthening a position of weakness. Which means they still have to fill those positions.

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