Why the 49ers should draft Bryan Bennett

1. Most impressive quarterback during Senior Bowl practices.
2. Excellent athlete — quick, elusive, fast, instinctual, strong, tough.
3. Has a hose for an arm.
4. Scored 70 touchdowns and gained 7,235 all-purpose yards in two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana.
5. Fits the 49ers’ offense. Can do a lot of the things Colin Kaepernick can do. Ran spread read-option offenses at Oregon and Southern Louisiana.
6. Good footwork in the pocket — worked with Jeff Garcia at Garcia’s quarterback school in San Diego.
7. Quick release.
8. Should be available on Day 3 of the draft despite being arguably the third-best QB prospect behind Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.

1. Erratic — completed 55.5 percent of his passes in college.
2. Played better in 2013 than 2014.
3. Flees the pocket too quickly at times.
4. Needs more than one season to sit on the bench and develop his skills.

Compares to: Jeff Garcia. Like Bennett, Garcia was erratic in college — completed just 56.8 percent of his passes at San Jose State. Garcia was not drafted, but he had the tools to develop into a Pro Bowl quarterback, and he developed those tools after college.

This article has 510 Comments

    1. Grant, good idea. However (15) years of smashmout football is what we’ve gotten from the York’s since they’ve owned the 49ersl–and the man to run it–Baalke–who does not know the passing game. How else do you explain never developing a decent QB. Game managers are not QB’s. Kaepernick is a one read QB who gets nervous if he has to go to second or third reads, resulting in high, behind the back, or rocketballs to receivers (5) yards away. Combined with predictable pass routes that DB’s jump as if they know what’s coming, offensive linemen who can’t pass block, wide receiver 1st round busts (AJ Jenkins), or can’t get on the field much in their first year (Patton, Jenkins, Ellington) I’d say running back in round 1, followed by a season of (10) men in the box, and an option style offense which fools noone.

      1. Also, Kaepernick learned his quarterbacking at a read option school. That’s what he is. I went to a liberal arts school. That’s what I am. You probably have taken many journalism courses–that’s what you are.
        Asking Kaepernick to learn from Kurt Warner won’t change a thing. Kaepernick has a 3/4 release point meaning he might hit 5 out of 5 slant or
        out patterns. A solid pro should be 10/10… You saw what happened when they tried to clean-up Tim Tebow’s mechanics…He’s out of the league…Baalke ultimately approved this draft pick and the 49ers are trying to hide this bust too from season ticket holders by installing option/ground and pound II. That’s why the 49ers went to Duke University for David Cutcliffe’s (SINGLE WING OPTION) and were turned down.

        1. So your saying that if you were to learn something new you wouldn’t be able to do it since you went to a liberal arts school and you can only know liberal arts school. That is BS lol how ignorant can your post be!

          1. Are you a football fan? I don’t think so or you would not make an uninformed opinion like that. Owners of a Half Billion dollar a year enterprize are not sitting around and paying for a (QB) to spend 4 more years at (13-20) million per., to have him re-learn something he should have learned in college…unless they have an EXPENSIVE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE COACHING STAFF, and you know what happened to Harbaugh’s staff. Kaepenick can learn anything he wants,
            but not in the (NFL) Not For Long league.

            1. BREAKING 49er NEWS:

              49ers could have hired Pete Caroll but balked because he was too expensive and hired Mike Nolan, (then fires Harbaugh and Fangio)

              Source: Tim Kawakami, Article: Pete Carroll and Seattle: 5 years
              After 49ers Passed on same deal

              GOOGLE this article

  1. are you on Garcia’s payroll?

    eh, for a day three developmental QB project, why not?

    can you be a little more specific as to how Bennett can do many of the things Kaepernick can do? I think you mentioned cannon for an arm? he looks mobile but hot fast like Kaepernick. a quick read on Bennett says he didn’t run a pro system at S. Louisiana. Is he adept at the read and spread option like Kaepernick (and it’s sounding like the Niners are wanting to run more of that stuff in the offense to better suit Kaep’s current skills)? What did you see in the Senior Bowl from Bennett?

    1. But I’m also of the opinion that the Niners should have an experienced veteran back up that can mentor and possibly push Kaepernick. Some free agents available:

      Michael Vick
      Matt Hasslebeck
      Jason Campbell (who I think is underated, not a good QB but can be decent if given enough support)
      Shaun Hill

      1. yes I’ve been saying this for some time now. We need someone to essentially play like Alex Smith. Some names that come to mind are Orton and Fitzpatrick, although I don’t know their contract status, I thought I heard of Orton retiring.

      2. I’ve been wanting them to sign Jason Campbell ever since they traded Alex Smith. The perfect #2 for Kaep – a guy that has been through it all and give another starter’s perspective on what they are seeing.

    2. Nice.

      Every time I hear Garcia speak I just want him to shut up. He seems to need to recognized a lot and I don’t love that he inserts him self into situations all the time like the Raiders QB job and coaching for Kaepernick.

      Grant what is it that you think is so great about Garcia? His websites only real claim to fame in QB’s is Mark Sanchez’s improvement with the Eagles. I credit Chip Kelly more than Garcia. Just because someone has a QB camp doesn’t make them great at it. He may match Colin’s skill set better but at this point I’ll take Warner over Garcia because he’s better at the things Colin needs to improve in. Maybe Garcia will be a great QB coach maybe not.

      Do we think Baalke is done with Gabbert? Are any of the 3rd QB’s worth developing?

    3. Bennett started his collegiate career at Oregon so I think he probably understands the read and spread option just fine.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised. Kaepernick is without doubt Harbaugh’s boy. I could see Baalke trying to prove he could pick someone better, while at the same time putting some heat under Colin.

      1. Correction: Kaeprnick is Bay Area Fanatic’s boy. Hands down. That love is strong like crazy glue.

    2. Why? Do you see who the QBs are in this draft? There are 3 maybe 4 QBs worth even drafting….Blaine is better than every QB in this draft besides Winston and Mariota.

      1. wait – what? Tony Romo is among 5 undrafted QBs to start a game this season (meaning they were at least good enough to be second string – making them potentially better than Gabbert).

        The two starting QBs in the Super Bowl weren’t believed to be worth drafting by most pundits – Tom Brady, Russell Wilson.

        Even more surprising considering the article mentions Jeff Garcia, another QB who “wasn’t worth drafting.”

        Heck, a poster above mentions Kurt Warner.

  2. Grant i’m surprised that you are touting another spread\shotgun system QB. How many of them have developed into consistent winners in the NFL?

    1. it seems that the Niners are moving towards more option stuff (spread and read out of the pistol and more conventional formations).

      second, if the guy is a 3rd day pick, he’s a developmental prospect so if he ever sees any playing time, he’ll probably have plenty of study and practice time from having been buried on the depth chart on the bench.

  3. Without looking into him more your Pros & Con’s make him sound like Kaepernick 2.0. All the same strengths and all the same weaknesses. Why make the same mistake twice?

    1. “Why make the same mistake twice?”

      Why do you keep posting the same crap over and over again? Don’t you learn from your mistakes?

      1. So sorry that you’re butt hurt that I don’t agree with your opinion on a player. Your comment however suggests that you lack maturity and class. Thanks for playing but it’s adult swim now, kids out of the pool.

        1. Grimey9er,

          If I’m not mistaken, I believe C4C believes his comment to be true. I’m sure he was trying to be funny, as well, but I’m pretty sure that’s how he feels about CK. Please correct me if I’m wrong C4C.

    1. @Grimey

      Everybody keeps saying that this QB class sucks….yet everyday more and more ‘good’ QB’s keep coming out of the woodwork. Just from the lists available, I’d say it’s a pretty good group. What was available last year….depends on each team’s scheme…..

      1. rocket ..
        yeah.. Bleacher has him going to the Niners
        in the 4th round ..

        I dunno ..
        pretty impressive youtube, though

        1. MWN,

          The Youtube reel is supposed to be impressive. What you don’t see is how much he struggled against better opposition, how slow his release is in comparison to the speed of the NFL and how he really doesn’t have a great arm or athletic ability. I’ve dubbed him this year’s David Fales because much like last year he’s a guy people jump on and build up to be a lot more than he is. Grant had Fales going in the second round at one point last year, much like CFC this year with this kid.

          I don’t see him going before day 3, but hey I’ve been wrong before and will be again.

    1. He’s my pick if we were to draft a QB high, he’ll be the third QB drafted this spring. I’m guessing mid to late 2nd round.

      1. CFC…

        So who do you think the 1st QB taken will be …?

        Mariota ??

        (Johnnie Football 2.0 I betcha)

        1. It’s so early but I have a feeling that if he interviews well a team is going to look past the off field stuff and go with Winston fist.

          1. I agree. I think Winston will be the first guy once all the scouts have had enough time to talk themselves out of the the off field problems. He’s the best QB in the draft skill wise and that usually wins out on draft day.

            1. Skills can be developed. Tools can’t. Winston’s passing skills are more polished, but Mariota has better tools.

              1. Yeah, I don’t get the skill versus tools argument. Aren’t tools something external to the body and by extension the mind? So, when you say tools what are you referring to – deflated footballs, extra long cleats, tight jock strap?

              2. “Tools are natural abilities. Skills are products of practice and coaching.”

                Still not getting it. Name a natural ability that can’t be improved by practice. Practice routinely improves natural abilities and abilities that don’t come so naturally.

              3. A coach can teach a quarterback anticipation and footwork. A coach can’t teach a quarterback speed or quickness or arm strength.

              4. I just don’t understand how you can say Mariota has better tools (or natural abilities). He’s a better runner. That is the only set of tools in his arsenal I think you can say are superior to Winston.

              5. I’d love to see your list of tools and skills Grant. Some people don’t think accuracy can be taught. Is field vision a tool or a skill? Not trying to grill you, but some examples would be helpful for me here.

              6. Can I add my name to the list of guys who don’t understand your definitions of skills and tools?

              7. Also, based on your argument, Kaep should be the top QB in the NFL. He has all the “tools”. And apparently he can learn the skills.

              8. See, I think there’s a gray area. Anticipation is something that can be picked up with time and experience, but some guys can do it naturally and/or pick it up easier than others.

              9. “Arm strength is the only tool Winston has over Mariota”.

                So its pretty much a wash on tools then? Each guy has one thing they do better than the other.

                Given that many teams and coaches still believe you have to win from the pocket, how much value will they place on being a better runner? Its not like Winston is a statue – he’s got plenty enough escapability and movement skills to be a successful pocket QB.

                So I imagine the decision on which QB to take will come down to skills, rather than tools.

              10. Mariota is quicker, faster, has better ball placement and a quicker release than Winston.

              11. “Kaepernick hasn’t developed.”

                So maybe some of those “skills” are difficult to develop no matter how good your “tools” are.

              12. Ball placement is a skill. There are many pitchers out there who can throw 95 mph but few who have the skill to hit spots.

              13. Draft gurus always prefer the quarterback who is most polished. That’s Winston. Coaches prefer the quarterback who has the highest ceiling. Even that article agrees Mariota’s ceiling is higher than Winston’s.

              14. All QB’s develop and polish their skills when they get to the NFL. Very few QB’s come to the nfl pro ready, some just have more room for improvement.

              15. nothing is that black and white. “arm strength” can be developed a degree (a significant one) through mechanics, footwork and even weight training. actually much of the power of a throw comes from the legs and hips…from core torsion power.

                speed and quickness can be developed to a limited degree too.

                what is hard to develop is the gap between knowing the play, the coverage and processing any changes seen post snap and making a quick…almost instinctive decision. it has to be processed somewhere other than in the prefrontal cortex. there must be some subconscious processing in order for it to be fast enough. Most of us experience this as we learn to drive and now drive mostly on ,auto-pilot, meaning we don’t have to slow down to think about when to stop, turn, merge, push on the gas, pedal, shift (for those of us that learned on a stick)…etc…think about how it was when you learned and how you drive now. some guys, no matter how much you drill into them the offense and how to read coverages, don’t get the point of making snap decisions. this also is a part of pocket awareness. being able to spot pressure, before and during the snap. if you already have an idea of where it may be coming, then your mind has already taken the necessary steps (step up, or to the side in the pocket) to adjust, should it happen and your peripheral vision is already alerted.

              16. Just for clarity seeing as though this topic went crazy all of a sudden, when I said Winston was the best QB in the draft skill wise, I meant he was the most polished player at the QB position. He is the most pro ready and has played in a system that will transition easier to what he will most likely see in the NFL.

                Mariota while athletic, has played in a system currently run by one team in the NFL. He hasn’t had to read the field or go through progressions very often, relying on formations setting up predefined reads. His arm is not as strong as Winstons and he hasn’t shown an ability to fit a ball into a tight window. Doesn’t mean he can’t do it, just that he hasn’t had to do it.

                We can argue about physical tools all we want, but at this point in time Winston is the better prospect imo. The only way he isn’t the first QB taken is if teams aren’t able to get past his character issues which looking at history, isn’t likely to happen.

              17. I agree with all of that except the end. Winston is the more polished passer right now, but Mariota is the better prospect. Higher ceiling, no character concerns.

              18. I’d rather draft a QB who has shown the skills needed than a QB that could develop the skills needed. Especially if I’m using a high value pick.

              19. “Draft gurus always prefer the quarterback who is most polished. That’s Winston.”

                Not true. Scouts and draft gurus love to gush over physically dominant players with upside. For example, Cam Newton was not the most polished of QBs, but he had draft gurus gushing over him because of his impressive set of physical attributes. But you are correct that Winston is the most polished of the two players.

                “Coaches prefer the quarterback who has the highest ceiling.”

                Sometimes. Its a risk-reward type deal. You have to factor in likelihood of reaching ceiling, and what you think the floor is. And if you think the ceiling of the two isn’t far apart, you tend to gravitate to the one that is already further advanced, especially in key areas that can be hard to teach such as anticipating players coming open.

                “Even that article agrees Mariota’s ceiling is higher than Winston’s.”

                No it doesn’t. It says Mariota’s ceiling is tremendous. But doesn’t compare his ceiling to that of Winston’s. They wouldn’t say Winston would be the undisputed #1 overall pick if not for his off field issues if they thought his ceiling wasn’t very high too.

              20. Take last year. Draft gurus loved Teddy Bridgewater. The NFL preferred Blake Bortles because he has a higher ceiling.

                I assume the Buccaneers hired Dirk Koetter to coach Mariota. Mark Helfrich is Koetter’s protege.

              21. Grant,

                I don’t know who will have the better career, but saying Mariota has a higher ceiling puzzles me. He hasn’t shown he can play the position as well as Winston, so the higher ceiling must be based on the physical tools. I don’t think his ability to run means he has a higher ceiling. If I’m looking at these two players and trying to map out their careers, the guy who can already play in the pocket is the one I’m giving the edge to.

              22. No one knows who will have a better career. Yes, potential is based on physical tools. Not all quarterbacks reach their potential. Kaepernick is a perfect example.

                A coach wants the prospect he can mold into the best quarterback in the future, not the prospect who is the most polished right now.

              23. Draft gurus loved Teddy Bridgewater right up until his pro day. They also loved Bortles right throughout the process due to his prototypical physical gifts. There in lies what coaches and draft gurus love – prototypical physical skills.

                Bridgewater showed last season why he should have been the first QB taken. He was the best of the rookie QBs and has great pocket QB instincts.

                Winston will love playing under Koetter.

              24. Mariota is more physically gifted than Bortles and Winston.

                Bridgewater was the most polished, but that doesn’t mean he will have a better career than Bortles or Carr. Bridgewater is much closer to being a finished product than those two, and Winston is much closer to being a finished product than Mariota.

              25. A coach wants the prospect he can mold into the best quarterback in the future, not the prospect who is the most polished right now.

                I think this is where we differ most. I think Winston is the most polished now and the guy with the most upside considering how quickly he’s developed as a Pocket QB in his two years at FSU. As I mentioned earlier, the only edge you can give Mariota physically is his mobility and speed. That is a plus for a QB no doubt, but in Winston you have a kid already playing a pro style of ball and doing quite well. He’s still got a lot of room to grow.

              26. He played in a pro style offense and is less mobile than Mariota. It’s no surprise Winston is a more polished pocket passer right now.

                Mariota has better ball placement and a quicker release than Winston. He’s also more cautious than Winston, who is reckless.

              27. Mariota runs better. How much of a premium are coaches going to put on running ability for a QB? Winston is a very good athlete for a QB, very good movement skills. More than sufficient for what most coaches want in their QB.

                Personally, I think you massively underrate players with polish to their game. Most importantly you underrate what having that polish means in terms of their natural ability to learn and understand football. To have such a good understanding of finer details and nuances of the game shows natural instincts most players just never gain. Justin Gilbert and Odell Beckham are prime examples of your over valuing physical skills and under valuing instincts from last year.

                As I said previously, the only thing that may stop Winston from being the #1 QB taken is his off field issues, or some coach falling in love with Mariota’s athleticism.

                Off field issues aside, Winston is the best QB prospect to come out since Luck.

              28. Coaches put a premium on elusiveness and home-run ability and accuracy and release quickness.

                Mariota and Winston played in different systems. You’re downgrading Mariota for not learning what he wasn’t taught. These quarterbacks aren’t finished products and development doesn’t end when college does.

              29. Grant, from the many discussions we’ve had on draft prospects in the past you should know I am not downgrading Mariota based on the system he played in nor what he was or wasn’t taught.

                I am a big believer in drafting players with great football instincts. Winston has great football instincts. Mariota does not. That, combined with his above average athletic gifts for the position, are why I believe Winston is the best QB in this draft, plain and simple.

              30. If Winston has great instincts, why did he commit 20 turnovers last season? Why does he throw off his back foot in pressure? Why does he throw into double coverage and triple coverage?

                Young and Garcia both had athletic instincts and developed quarterback instincts. Mariota and Bennett can do the same if they work hard and get good coaching.

              31. Mariota has better ball placement and a quicker release than Winston. He’s also more cautious than Winston, who is reckless

                I disagree that Mariota has better ball placement, and I’ve seen nothing that tells me Winston’s release will be an issue. Winston is quite accurate from what I’ve seen.

                Your second point is valid. Winston threw too many picks this year and throwing that many at the College level is definitely a red flag.

              32. Watch Winston closer. He had pro receivers who made a lot of acrobatic catches — Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene and Nick O’Leary.

                Winston’s release may not be an issue, but it’s not an asset, either. Mariota’s is.

              33. “If Winston has great instincts, why did he commit 20 turnovers last season?”

                Because he sometimes backs himself too much throwing into tight windows, and because he was put under a lot more pressure this year, especially up the middle, which hurried him up.

                “Why does he throw off his back foot in pressure?”

                Because it is hard to step up into a throw under pressure down the middle.

                “Why does he throw into double coverage and triple coverage?”

                See my first point.

              34. So, Winston has the tendency to throw interceptions when pressured up the middle. That’s not good. Mariota doesn’t have that tendency.

              35. No, its never a good thing to throw INTs. That is an area of his game he needs to improve – how to deal with pressure up the middle. His mechanics let him down when he can’t step up into the pocket.

              36. He trusts his arm to a fault — you said that. He’s reckless. That’s an instinct. So, I disagree with your statement that he has great instincts. He has some good ones and some reckless ones.

              37. Then you don’t understand the instincts a QB has to have. He anticipates a throw, and he throws. Sometimes he gets it wrong, or his mechanics let him down, but he has the right instinct – feel the open player.

                Mariota generally has to see the player open before he throws. He’s like Alex Smith in that regard. That is a poor instinct for a QB to have. Unless you are after a game manager.

              38. Winston forces passes into coverage. That’s not anticipating openings, that’s throwing early and being reckless.

              39. Winston is going to be a horrible Pro QB. Kaep 2.0. A QB who has tools but not the mental discipline to take it to the next level.

                Marietta seems coachable and he can’t be any worse then Matt Sanchez, Nick Foles, etc.

                Put him on the Eagles and I bet he kills it there.

              40. “Winston forces passes into coverage. That’s not anticipating an opening, that’s throwing early and being reckless.”

                If that was all he ever did then sure, that would be a valid statement. But he completes a lot of throws into tight windows as a result of anticipating the route and when the player will come open.

              41. And FWIW, that skill is exactly what made Kurt Warner such a good QB. He also had a tendency to throw some INTs by occasionally trusting his arm too much, or being pressured into poor throws.

              42. Warner had a quick release and elite ball placement. Winston has neither. He winds up and rifles passes in the general direction of a receiver and hopes for the best.

              43. “Winston’s throwing motion is more reminiscent of Tim Tebow’s. His baseball background appears to be responsible for the hitch in his motion that sees him drop the ball low and loop it around before releasing it. His footwork isn’t consistent and when he does step into throws he arcs all of his body weight over his leading foot so that he is more often than not off balance and he has no control over the trajectory of the ball.

                Even though Winston is a big athlete with a similar frame to that of Ben Roethlisberger or even Cam Newton at a stretch, his throws lack the velocity and control that those quarterbacks boast because of his poor mechanics.

                Plenty of NFL quarterbacks have minor mechanical issues that affect how they throw the ball, but those issues don’t dramatically affect their accuracy and they don’t deal with those issues on every single snap. When Winston did throw with good balance and control, he generally threw very accurate, fast passes but those plays were too few and far between.

                His mechanics didn’t improve as the season went on and he didn’t appear to have made any alterations during this year’s spring game.

                For a couple of reasons, Winston was able to overcome his sloppy mechanics and inaccurate passes in college. The most important is his mental acumen that has been detailed above. That ability to run an offense on easier throws is something that should allow him to be an effective starter in the NFL one day at the very least.

                Reading college defenses is obviously different to reading NFL defenses, but it’s fair to expect him to develop as he needs to because he is still a very, very young quarterback.

                Even though Winston should be able to create easy throws in the NFL with his mental acumen, the quality and speed of defenses at that level also force quarterbacks to regularly make very difficult throws. Quarterbacks in the NFL have to be significantly more accurate than quarterbacks in college and they can’t afford to have limited velocity because even a slightly delayed or off-target pass can easily turn into a turnover.

                Even in college football last year Winston’s inaccuracy should have had a bigger impact on his production. A significant reason it didn’t was the quality of his supporting cast. All of the FSU offense was impressive last season, but most significant for assessing Winston’s accuracy were wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene.

                Benjamin became a first round pick in the 2014 NFL draft because of his athleticism and his ability to go and get the football. He may not be the most consistent player and he may struggle to create separation on the next level, but in college Benjamin could routinely make plays on the ball that made ball placement irrelevant.

                Winston was smart to use Benjamin the way he did and he understood how to flight the ball to give his receiver the best possible opportunity in jump-ball situations, but this was essentially a cheat code for a quarterback with bad accuracy.

                While we generally focus on bigger receivers when discussing quarterbacks who help mask inaccuracy, the 6’0” Greene also made Winston’s job much easier in 2013. His ability to consistently create separation from any point on the field with precise routes and quickness gave Winston bigger windows to throw into. Furthermore, Greene’s ability to recognize the flight of the football early and adjust to it in the air meant that he only needed the ball to be catchable rather than accurate more often than not.

                Because Winston could anticipate Greene coming free and because Greene consistently came free, timing and accuracy was much less of an issue for the quarterback. After Benjamin went in the first round of the 2014 draft, Greene should expect to be a high pick in 2015.

                Theoretically, once Winston becomes a full-time professional football player instead of a two-sport student, he should be able to clean up his mechanics and become a much more accurate passer. Brady is a noted quarterback who consistently works on his mechanics to train himself to be more efficient in that area rather than simply being naturally that way.

                With Winston, the belief in his ability to fix his mechanics will likely be the difference in him going in the top half of the first round of the draft (maybe even first overall) and him being more of a developmental prospect who drops down to the 20s like Aaron Rodgers.”


            2. The only reason Winston wouldn’t be the #1 QB taken is if he fails to convince teams his off field issues won’t continue, or if a team like the Eagles fall desperately in love with Mariota’s athleticism.

              1. Scooter asked :
                ” … How does Mariota have better tools?…”

                Well .. for one thing ..
                he shopped at Sears, and got all “Craftsman” ..!

                (you kno .. the ones with the lifetime warrantee !)

              2. Exactly.
                Winston’s only enemy in Indy will be Winston.
                All he has to do is ace the interviews.
                No drills. No 40. Maybe the Wonderlic.

          2. “Hard to develop good ball placement if you’re not born with that ability.”

            Nah. That’s mostly about mechanics.

              1. You said that it’s hard to develop good ball placement if you’re not born with it, nothing about after college.

                Anyway, based on experience I still think it is something that could be developed if the QB is willing to put in the work.

              2. You can improve ball placement somewhat, but no one is going to come into the league with poor ball placement and develop elite ball placement. It’s a gift to a degree.

              3. I was talking about tools and skills in draft eligible QBs. A tool is something you can’t improve drastically, like ball placement. It takes thousands of repetitions to improve ball placement incrementally.

              4. With athletes at this level I think it can happen a little quicker.

                A guy like Kaepernick for example could make a big improvement with placement by making his footwork better.

                I wonder how much the QB coaches work on fundamentals at this level. It seems like they are so caught up in game planning that those areas slip.

              5. When he can hit his last step and throw he’s not bad. He really breaks down when he needs to sit in the pocket and go through the progressions.

                Do you see them working on those type of drills when practice is open?

              6. That’s too bad. You’d expect they’d be doing those kind of fundamental drills each practice. Thanks for the info.

              7. Sure. I’ve always felt Chryst and Harbaugh didn’t do enough fundamental work with Kaepernick during training camp or before games.

                I seem to remember reading that Romo quickened his release after college, but it took him 10,000 reps. He had to stay up at night and throw passes to couch cushions in his apartment.

              8. That’s awesome. Gotta do whatever it takes.

                Back when I was in HS I used a tree in my front yard that went up like a V about chest high. I’d throw at that thing all the time.

            1. That’s true in a vacuum, but the game isn’t played that way. A mechanically sound QB could fall apart when under pressure or forced to move outside of the pocket. History has shown that some guys are simply better at throwing a football than others.

              1. That’s all stuff that should be worked on with the coach. You can work on staying mechanically sound in those situations in practice.

              2. You can practice it, but it’s still in a vacuum because they know they aren’t going to get hit in practice. It’s a different situation. I believe you coached football at some point. Some kids don’t want to hit or get hit, some like it. Some like to compete, some don’t like to be challenged or can’t accept coaching because their parents babied them.
                QB’s that excel over a period of time benefit from their intangible qualities as much as their physical attributes or study habits. Most NFL QB’s possess a baseline level of talent that allows them to make most throws in ideal conditions. The really good ones have intangible qualities that allow them to thrive in good and bad conditions. Drive. Perseverance. Heart. Loyalty. Dealing with pain. You can’t teach those intangible qualities, they are inherent or acquired to a persons soul. I believe that is what Grant is talking about.

  4. Baalke should not waste a draft pick on QB in rounds 1-4. The team has other higher priority needs – DL, ILB, CB, WR, RB, TE.

  5. Depending on what they decide to do offensively this may not be a bad option late in the draft. If Kap goes down you want somebody who can run the same plays. This guy might be able to do that.

    I also want a vet to come and compete but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot out there at this point.

  6. Cody Fajardo or Brandon Bridge are two quarterbacks you could develop behind Kaepernick, and they are low risk, high reward. I liked Logan Thomas last year and obviously Bruce did too….

        1. Thanx, Razor ..

          Bridge .. ? ,, he seems to lock
          onto his receivers too much .. but if they could actually catch
          the ball .. it would be a much better youtube ..

          Fajardo .. ? … another Wolfpack ? …
          I had a tad of deja vu watching that one … :-}

          1. Fajardo is a nice dual threat college quarterback. He looked like a better passer than Kap his first couple of years (Fajardo has average arm strength but he has a much better completion percentage, a better release, and can throw short passes), but he has been inconsistent the last two years, especially this season where he had 40 more pass attempts than any season prior. As local sports writers have noted, Fajardo did not progress as a passer after Ault left, and he regressed considerably this year when asked to be more of a passing threat.

            Even so, some draft pundit’s are claiming Fajardo was as successful as Kap in the Wolf Pack’s Pistol Offense, but that is inaccurate. People are citing that he reached the 9000 yards passing and 3000 yards rushing milestone in Div 1A and that he is only the second person to do so (Kap being the first). That is impressive, and if he had been as durable as Kap (Fajardo played in six fewer games over the course of four years, and five of those were missed due to injury) he would have reached 10000 passing yards and might have reached 4000 rushing yards (he projects out to 3950 if he played 51 games, which is the number Kap played), also putting him in the 10000/4000 club with Kap. But, the raw yardage stats do not tell the entire story.

            Kap, while having fewer pass attempts and completions over the course of his career than Fajardo had (Kap: 1271/744; Fajardo 1347/877), passed for 400 more yards. Similarly, Kap had fewer rushing attempts than Fajardo (Kap: 600; Fajardo 637) yet rushed for over 600 more yards. Further, Kap averaged 1.6 Passing TDs, 1.2 Rushing TDs, and 0.47 interceptions per game at Nevada. Fajardo averaged 1.3 Passing TDs, 1.0 Rushing TDs, and 0.64 interceptions per game.

            So, while the yardage per game totals are similar (Kap averaged 198.0 yards passing and 80.6 yards rushing; Fajardo averaged 213.9 yards passing and 77.5 yards rushing), the yards per attempt in both categories is a different story (Kap: 7.9 passing and 6.85 rushing; Fajardo: 7.1 passing and 5.5 rushing), as are the touchdowns per game and the interceptions per game. Kap was significantly more effective than Fajardo in those areas. Furthermore, Kap was a better leader and made the entire team better. Of course, in Fajardo’s defense, losing Ault may have been a detriment to his development, but even before Ault left, he was not the extraordinarily dynamic and dominant player that Kap was.

            I would be surprised if Fajardo is drafted, and if he is, I would be surprised if he went higher than the sixth.

      1. He’s a developmental project Grimey9er, and he wasn’t expected to play this year….

        1. If you’re gonna play a QB that’s not gonna win, get your developmental guy some experience against real competition. Give him some tape to study and learn from.

          1. Arians named Thomas the starter for week 17 against the 49ers, but pulled the plug after a practice or two. How poor must he have been practicing?

            1. Must’ve been really poor. Probably drafted him because he had all the “tools”. Too bad he’s got no skills.

              1. If the guy can’t even be a replacement level player at this point, they probably shouldn’t have drafted him.

            2. About as poor as expected, but he must have been playing good enough to get the consideration. Unless of course it was all subterfuge….

    1. I like Brandon Bridge as well razor. I wouldn’t mind coffee’s guy in Greyson but a second is way to rich for me.. Maybe a late third if we move back.

      1. Bennett might have been the best looking in practice but Grayson was the best looking in the game. Although that’s not saying a whole lot, it wasn’t exactly a record breaking day.

  7. Unless there is a QB who is rated so much higher on your board than every other available player and you can’t trade out of the pick I wouldn’t think the Niners would take a QB in the first 3 rounds. There are other needs; a Play maker WR, DL, CB, Kick returner, and TE.
    The reality is Baalke will for the most part remain true to his board and will probably trade picks for the future and gamble on a player or two who are/were hurt or had a down year.

    1. I believe balke becomes more aggressive this year and does not trade for future draft picks because the pressure is now on him.. If the niners fail to make the playoffs balke could be on his way out. I believe the niners will move up a couple different times. I could be wrong but I have a gut feeling. Whatever that’s worth.

        1. I also think CK is correct. It seemed the last couple of drafts that Baalke was focused more on the future than the teams present needs. I think the plan was to get rid of Harbaugh for some time so he drafted accordingly. Now he has to draft for the present since they have immediate needs to fill. They have to succeed as quickly as possible for Trent and Jed to save face.

          1. That’s what I was trying to convey when I raised the question, how it will alter the way he selects players in the upcoming draft. You can bet there will not be any red shirt injured players drafted early if at all….

  8. CK
    You might be right, but I think Trent thinks Trent is mostly right and so he will do what he thinks works which is what he has done in the past.

    1. True… Should be interesting to see what he does.. It’s very apparent to everyone that they have needed a big play Wr for a long time. His strategy of sitting back and taking one latter has not worked.. Or does he stick to his bread and butter which is drafting defensive players.. This is all interesting to me.

  9. Hey Grant, I am forwarding my medical expenses for the injury you caused me while ready this line: “6. Good footwork in the pocket — worked with Jeff Garcia at Garcia’s quarterback school in San Diego.” Doc says the medical terms is called oculus volubilem, aka. extreme eye rolling. Feel free to forward reimbursement to my paypal account. Regards.

    1. I think Grant might be on Commission with Garcia. The more he mentions his name the more he makes.

  10. I wouldn’t call Bennet release quick. Sometimes it is. Sometimes not. 7th round or FA.

    Compare to Keller Chryst (high school) footage
    Pro-set, pocket presence, quicker release, nimble dropback, better velocity.
    At 6’4″, 230, 3 years away from the pros, he’s already bigger then Bennet.

  11. Not on topic with this but this tweet from Kawakami I felt needed to be addressed:

    Tim Kawakami ✔ @timkawakami
    Harbaugh’s general set-up: Roman called 1st-2nd-down plays, Solari called short-yardage, Morton called 3rd-down passes & Chryst Red Zone…

    Not really a revelation as we knew there was a group structure in play calling, but if anyone truly wonders why the Niners often had trouble getting a play off in time, this is a pretty clear reason. Having this many different voices and opinions involved would get confusing at the best of times, never mind when you are at critical junctures in the game. It’s also not comforting to know we have hired our Red Zone play caller to be the main decision maker considering this teams Red Zone offense has been so poor.

    1. I wonder…maybe the problem wasn’t so much that the plays were coming from different coaches but moreso because they were run through Harbaugh first.
      Maybe having a middle-man was the killer.
      Just speculating…

    2. Having this many different voices and opinions involved would get confusing at the best of times, never mind when you are at critical junctures in the game.
      Talk about a lack of continuity. It’s amazing we were able to ever sustain a drive with this many different philosophies going on at each junction.

  12. Jake Locker will be available as a free agent QB. He played reasonably well when he was not hurt. He is injury prone but as a back up that does not matter as much. Plus he could run the same type of offense as Kaep. He will not cost too much in free agency because he is injury prone. Would make a good back up though. Would be a lot better than Gabbert as a back up.

    1. Great idea!
      And maybe we should change the team name from The S.F. 49ers to The 2011 QB Draft Class.

  13. 8. Should be available on Day 3 of the draft despite being arguably the third-best QB prospect behind Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.
    I totally agree…with the ‘arguably’ part, that is.
    Here’s another one: George W. Bush is arguably one of the greatest presidents in US history.
    And another: the 49ers have now assembled arguably one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL.

    1. That’s a really good fit IMO.
      They already have a playoff caliber offense WITHOUT Kyle Shanahan.
      If Quinn fixes that defense…watch out!

  14. So basically another Kaepernick?

    1. Erratic — completed 55.5 percent of his passes in college.
    2. Played better in 2013 than 2014.
    3. Flees the pocket too quickly at times.
    4. Needs more than one season to sit on the bench and develop his skills.

  15. I like this kid. When he has time and doesn’t jump from pocket too quickly, he has good presence and accuracy. Much quicker than Kaep and equally fast. Quickness reminds me of Wilson. Will give defenses fits running around. This kid has a chance if he learns to play consistently from pocket.

  16. Isn’t Grant’s internship over? When does he leave to cover a different NFL market?

  17. “Trent Baalke talked about it being — not Tomsula’s staff — but “our staff.” So Baalke appears to have insisted on a much greater influence on this coaching staff than any other GM that I’ve ever been around.” … Matt Maiocco

    1. unless Baalke has been a successful NFL coach and we haven’t heard about it…his direct involvement in the coaching staff can’t be a good thing. IMO. If he wants to be the man in charge (under Jed, I guess) sure, the HC can answer to him. But the assistant coaches need to answer only to the HC. the coaching has to be the HC’s system and philosophy.

      1. What we have is a head coach that is comfortable with “simple” so he’s fine with Baalke’s definition of simple.

      2. I think Baalke likes to micromanage and have total control. Not good for a GM with as little experience as he has had. Totally fits his personality type. A lot of times people will seek out others like themselves who possess similar traits to themselves like Baalke did Harbaugh, but then they find out to late that they are not compatible with someone too similar to themselves.

  18. Six quarterbacks have scored at least 35 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons:
    1. Peyton Manning
    2. Tom Brady
    3. Aaron Rodgers
    4. Drew Brees
    5. Brett Favre
    6. Jeff Garcia

    1. what’s you’re point?

      Jeff was a good QB…who played with T.O. in his prime and a strong run game with Charlie Garner and Garrison Hearst.

      again, I ask…are you on his payroll or something?

      1. Also, which one of those six QBs is the only one who doesn’t have a Superbowl ring? This 35 TD Stat doesn’t say much at all…

      2. I can think of six quarterbacks I’d rather have than Garcia, who did not score at least 35 touchdowns in back to back seasons….

      3. Given his age, Garcia would have been the Niners QB when Grant was a kid and first learning about football I would imagine. Not surprising if Garcia was a player Grant grew up liking… or he could just be on Garcia’s payroll as you suggested.

        1. i’m guessing Grant’s around 30? so yeah, he would have watched Young and then Garcia in his late teen years.

          I grew up with Garcia too (though I don’t know him). i played 2 years before him in high school (for the same head coach) and used to work out with him and some of the Gavilan (local JC where he played and his dad coached) football players at the local athletic club (where his dad was part of the ownership group).

          1. Montana and Young were a hard act to follow. Garcia didn’t have the team that either of them had to work with. I personally think the 49er fan base was a bit hard on him.

          2. AFFP,

            If you played 2 years before Garcia in high school that would put you in the class of ’86, which played football in the fall of ’85 with Mark Speckman as the coach. Garcia was a sophomore that season and didn’t play on the varsity team until being called up for the playoffs. That was also Speckman’s last season there.

            Garcia played under coach Johnson in ’86 and ’87.

            Parkside was a cool gym. Used to work out there too and played a lot of racquetball there growing up. My parents were a part of the investors group there.

      4. “The QB who came in from the cold”

        The story of Jeff Garcia’s journey through pro-football world, by Grant Cohn?……

    2. Grant is to Jeff Garcia as Rudy Giuliani is to 911.
      (just yankin yer chain Iggy :)

    3. Garcia was the football equivalent of Scrappy-Doo during his playing days. He was never a great player, he was an overachiever who had a couple of good seasons on some talented teams. His attitude may have helped him get to where he got, but it’s also the reason he isn’t employed by an NFL team. He has never understood his place and has always overvalued his skill set. He has never understood that he isn’t “the man”.

      1. Garcia would be on the list of SuperBowl winning QB’s if it wasn’t for a broken ankle in 99, not his.

  19. We need another erratic running QB afraid of using his blockers and staying in the pocket like we need a hole in the head or a shot in the foot. We need to replace Kaepernick, not clone him.

  20. 1. I believe Tampa picks Winston.
    2. The Titans make trade with Eagles. Swap of first rounds, Titans get Nick Foles, this years Eagles 2nd and next years first. If that isn’t enough I believe Kelly will do whatever it takes to get this done.

    I believe Foles fits the Titans better then the unproven Mariota. Titans get their QB and would be able to start day one for them. Mariota would start day one and have a great chance to become only the second rookie QB to win a SB. (only if he is an Eagle do I say that)

        1. If he plays for Kelly kiss the jinx goodby. I can only state that anything that I say all pertains to him playing for Kelly. All bets are off if he plays elsewhere. If anyone can make the transition to a pocket passer he can, but that is a difficult journey that many promising QBs fail at.

          Mariota and Winston are not going to fix a franchise. Those first ten teams or so, have lots of needs.

    1. I’d be surprised if Koetter chooses to coach Winston and not Mariota. Mariota is a more intriguing project for an ambitious and confident coach.

      Plus, Mariota’s previous coach worked under Koetter for nine years.

      1. I wouldn’t. Winston better suits Koetter’s vertical passing game, and more closely matches the types of QBs he’s had the most success with (Matt Ryan and David Garrard).

        1. Mariota has plenty of arm strength for a vertical passing game, and Koetter has coached dual threat QBs before. He coached Akili Smith at Oregon.

    2. The best part about that scenario is that it would make Mettenberger available and then we wouldn’t have to draft Grayson ;)

        1. Yep, and when the offense doesn’t improve next season and Baalke(or his replacement) finally replaces the current starter Zach will be ready to go. :)

              1. Well you will change your tune this coming year. I will make sure I will remind you. If not I’m sure you will remind me.

              2. I will gladly and openly welcome my big plate of crow if that is the case. I couldn’t imagine being more pleased about being wrong.

                Until then, he stinks! Ha just kidding, he’s just too inconsistent.

              3. CK is inconsistent and overrated. But that’s the past. Hopefully CK ate some humble pie, and realizes that he needs to step up.
                I will be mighty happy if he lives up to his potential next season.

              4. Fan77- I am glad that you are even considering the possibility that Kaep might improve this coming season. But I must say your evaluation of Kaep needing to become humble is a total miss-evaluation of his character. He is not nor has he ever been arrogant. I think that might be the major part of your problem in respect to evaluating this team. You just do not read people very well. People are not always what they appear to be on the surface.

    3. @Undercenter

      I would love to see it happen just like that….the unintended consequences would include that with Winston, the Bucs will become a major player for their conference title. They have been building over the last couple drafts and FAgency….they’re maybe only a QB short….

  21. Grant,

    This guy sounds intriguing…I have a counter for you. Shane Carden, ECU. Here’s his senior year numbers:

    QB 13G 392comp 617att 63.5% 4736yds 7.7ypa 7.9 30TD 10int 140.8 rating

    Dude’s career avg. 66.6% comp TD-Int ratio almost 3 to 1 144.6 rating

  22. Should be available on Day 3 of the draft despite being arguably the third-best QB prospect behind Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.
    What happened to Bryce Petty, weren’t you saying pretty much the same thing about him a week ago? By the way your Day 3 third best prospect isn’t even on most QB lists, he’s UFA material.

    1. Bennett outperformed Petty and the rest of the QBs during the Senior Bowl practices. I value what happens in the practices, not the actual Senior Bowl.

  23. Winston was excellent against the ACC in 2013 and 2014, but he was pedestrian against teams from other power conferences (Florida, Oregon, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame, an independent).

    62 completion percentage, 8.15 yards per attempt, 11 touchdowns, 9 interceptions.

  24. Well it looks like Gordon will be out of the NFL next season. What a waste. He is only 23 so he’ll probably get another chance. I wouldn’t have a problem if we could pick him up with no guarantees and at this point I’m thinking no draft picks (so why would the Browns take that deal). In other words he would be a flyer for 2016 and if it worked out great; if not, nothing lost.


    1. cubus, in IMO you can’t waste time on a player like this. You can’t feel confident about working him into your lineup because he’s another drug test from being gone for a year.

      1. George a year is an understatement. He is working on a lifetime ban. While I sympathize with his childhood, he is a grown man now. You know right from wrong and have the world in front of you. This year off will make or break him. From reading his open letter he seems to be on his way to figuring it out. We’ll see. I hope it works out for him.

      2. George:

        No question it’s a risk. I also would not game plan for him initialkly. If he’s available I would bring him in slowly. Only after it looks like he has it figured out and has remained clean, then would I start working him into the game plan. Probably a lot easier said than done.

  25. Conner Halliday ,Washington State-projected as a possible 1st rounder till he suffered a broken leg.In his 35 game college career he had a 62.1%completion rate -for over 11,000 yards and a career QB rating of 132.4. He is invited to the combine but is still rehabbing could be jem in the 7th!

  26. Do you think the niners could take Todd Gurley if they think he is the next lynch?
    What about Trent richardson…can he run the read option?

    1. We should take Gurley if we can get him in a late round BUT we have a GREAT read option RB in Carlos Hyde. He just needs more carries.

  27. Last year at this time Grants love was strong g for Fales who Grant stated was better than Carr and predicted he’d be the 2nd Qb taken in draft.

  28. The Niners need a speedy WR above anything else. A deep threat is critical in order to get the most out of Kap’s skills. Last year, once other teams realized that Lloyd was washed up, they started jamming the receivers at the line and the Niners had no answer. It is not a coincidence that the offense started clicking in the San Diego game when Patton came back in the lineup.

    Even though Patton is nothing special, he still made a difference. Imagine how good the offense would be if someone like Odell Beckham or Kelvin Benjamin was on the team.

    If Amari Cooper, Devante Parker or even Ty Montgomery is available at 15, I would take him in a heart beat. I will worry about a QB later.

    1. Rick-I hear you however ,the problems at WR are not just speed .Ellington ran a 4.37 and Patton 4.40(not too shabby) but didn’t get much in the way of playing time on the field.We may indeed have something special with Ellington and possibly Patton we don’t know yet. I don’t think Amari will be a 49er without a trade up in the first a costly move at that level.Ty Montgomery is seen as a 3/4 rnd guy by some -so maybe we wait and get someone like Ty or someone unexpected like Dezmin Lewis ore Tre Mcbride a bit further down.Don’t be surprised if we grab someone like Danny Shelton DL if he is there. The guy I like, Kevin White Wr will most likely be gone.I am of the opinion that our TE situation needs addressing sorely-especially if Vernon leaves.So if we reach and I hope we don’t Maxx Williams looks like a star to me .

        1. You right Ellington 4.37 was not declared official although unofficial time sent a buzz into the air.Just checked CBS draft scout on Patton seeing 4.40 as his fastest,Grant.

          1. Speed timed on a track and a players game speed are different subjects. I still don’t know why the continue to time players with out gear on a regular track instead of with gear on a field. That was one of the deceptive things that fooled the staff into thinking that AJ was actually faster than he played. Don’t know about Patton but Ellington’s speed is more quickness rather than straight line. Even watching his college tapes shows him to be very elusive in getting open and making catches but not at breaking away once the ball is in his hands. I have always thought Ellington would be a good receiver but he is not really a player who will stretch the field.

            1. A.J Jenkins is legitimately fast. The problem is he spent too much time flailing around on the turf.

        2. Devin Smith has been on my radar.

          Not just fast, but effective speed. He consistently catches long bombs, and keeps his footing after the catch.

          He’s perfect compliment to Wilson’s scramble bombs, another (small) factor in why I’d like him as a Niner.

          I only know him from his highlights. Many here that know him better them say he’s a “mid round” pick. I’d be temped to take him in the 2nd, but if we got him 3rd or later would be great.


          1. If all you watch is his highlights, you’d take him in the first round. But he’s currently a one dimensional player, and is a complete projection as to whether he’ll develop other facets of his game.

            Its a big risk spending a first or second round pick on a guy that hasn’t shown over four years in college they can develop into more of a complete player. It will come down to whether a team thinks he is more Mike Wallace than Ashley Lelie or Ted Ginn.

            1. Scooter_McG: Thanks for the info. I’ll turn the Devin hope till draft day three.

              My draft crush of the moment is Brandon Scherff.

              1. I would be shocked if Devin Smith gets out of round two. Too much big play ability for him to fall any further.

              2. Todd McShay has the 49ers taking Devin Smith at 15.


                “This is early for Smith — he’s our No. 26 overall player”

                “excellent speed, subtle moves as a deep route runner that allow him to create separation”

                “body control when tracking the deep ball is outstanding.”

                “San Francisco could also look to address its O-line or defensive front in the first round.”

                McShay’s six wide receivers in the first…
                4 – Amari Cooper
                10 – Kevin White
                11 – DeVante Parker
                15 – Devin Smith
                18 – Dorial Green-Beckham
                19 – Devin Funchess

              3. Mine too.
                Scherff is 10-year+ Tackle.
                Awesome young prospect!
                He may go top 5.

      1. I don’t know if he’ll last that long, but Danny Shelton would be a great pick if he’s there at #15.

        1. He seems to be rated higher than 15 but guys slip every year. A big NT that can push the pocket would be nice.

        2. Although I doubt Shelton is there at 15 the thought is not out of the question -CBS draft mocks-Rang sees him available (although thinks we go DGB and the Texans grab him at 16th slot-???)Brugler sees us taking him at 15th and Kirwan sees him gone and we take Davante hmm.Kevin White long gone as is Amari to the Raiders in their scenarios. Shelton would be a great 1st rounder. I would be shocked but interested in a DGB pick and no one seems to entertain a Maxx Williams pick but I would be happy with him- a totally solid pick! Here is a rainy day (thankfully) mock starting with:(1) DGB-WR;(2)Duke Johnson RB;(3) Ronald Darby CB;(4a)Tre McBride WR;(4b)Zach Hodges OLB/DE;(5)Jeff Heuermen TE;(6)Shaqulle Riddick DL;(7a)Connor Halliday QB(7b) Zach Zenner RB/FB-UDFA Cole Manhart OT and DE’Ante “pop” Saunders CB.

          1. I’d be surprised at A DGB pick as well given the Aldon/Cully/RayMac situations and subsequent discussions of classiness.

            1. I wouldn’t, because the same guy is still making the selections. It all comes down to the teams due diligence, interviews and risk versus reward….

            2. Yes -and above mock is merely starting with Rang’s idea of 1st round DGB. Personally I would love to start with Shelton ,White or Maxx Williams. Maxx Williams imho is going to be a big time player from the jump and I think its time to move on from Vernon.The other player mentioned in this mock I really love is Duke Johnson magic feet good hands to me a perfect pick for us in round two now that Franks stellar tenure is coming to a close.

              1. VD is signed through next year and it sounds as if he’s convinced Baalke he still has the passion to play. I don’t think in this running back deep draft that Baalke will taken another early. CJ Spiller might be had on the cheap in F/A. I really liked him coming out of Clemson. An elite receiver, DE, OT/OG, DE/OLB, CB, S, TE, RB seems likely priority at this juncture….

          2. My best available draft on FirstPick:

            Round 1 Pick 15: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville (A-)
            Round 2 Pick 14: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon (A)
            Round 3 Pick 15: Jacoby Glenn, CB/FS, UCF (A)
            Round 4 Pick 27: Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State (A)
            Round 5 Pick 15: Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland (D-)
            Round 6 Pick 14: Leterrius Walton, DT, Central Michigan (B+)
            Round 7 Pick 29: Titus Davis, WR, Central Michigan (C-)

    2. Dez Bryant,
      Pro Day Numbers

      Dates: 03/30/10 03/10-DNP
      Height: 6020
      Weight: 224

      40 Yrd Dash: 4.52
      20 Yrd Dash: 2.51
      10 Yrd Dash: 1.53 225 Lb. Bench Reps: 14
      Vertical Jump: 38
      Broad Jump: 11’01”
      20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.46
      3-Cone Drill: 7.1
      40 Time Range: 4.49-4.68

      As you can see, Bryant does not possess blazing speed or outstanding size, yet he is a premier WR in the NFL.
      What Bryant does have is an unrelenting desire to fearlessly compete for every ball thrown in his direction and is a very good route runner.
      Talent combined with heart makes for a great player.

      1. While he may not have elite long speed, he’s a big bodied WR with excellent quickness and athleticism for his size (good 10 yard split and excellent leaping ability). He is also very coordinated, good at using and positioning his body, and as you say is a willing competitor and runs pretty good routes.

        The take-away from this is that you don’t need to have blazing speed to be dangerous vertically. Nor do you need to be 6’6″ to win jump balls down the field.

        Its why I like DeVante Parker as a deep threat from this years WR crop, even though he isn’t a true speedster.

        1. Valid points gentleman but there’s something to be said for a guy whose 6’5″ 225lbs and can run like a deer. Which brings us to DGB. Baalke has not shied away from talent with baggage if he believes the player has set them down….

              1. I’m not convinced either. I think it will be BPA between DL, WR and CB. An edge rusher is an outside chance if someone they really like is available at #15.

              2. If they re-sign Culliver, then CB probably won’t be round 1. If they don’t re-sign Culliver, CB is right in the mix.

              3. Gentlemen:

                Shouldn’t we be concerned about the fact that DGB didn’t play a snap during 2014. While he may be an athletic freak, how do we know that the other intangibles (heart, desire to fiercely compete for the ball, no more off-field issues) are still there?

              4. Cubus, every team should be worried about that.

                How DGB checks out character-wise will be key to where he lands on draft day. Raw talent-wise he’s the best WR in the draft. If he checks out ok regarding his character, he’ll go early. I imagine it will be very difficult for him to do so though.

                If the 49ers have any concerns at all over his character, he’s not worth it at #15.

              5. Scooter:

                You use the word “character” and teams “checking it out”. But since he hasn’t played for a year, I’m concerned that he may not have the drive and the competitive spirit. Is that something that can readily be evaluated fully under a character discussion without recent film to study?

              6. That is part of the players character, cubus. I have no idea how easy or hard that is to gauge in interviews and background checks.

                If it makes you feel any better, while he didn’t play a down in 2014 he was allowed to practice, and he has been commended for his efforts at Oklahoma during practice. So I’d say the desire is still there.

              7. The combine will answer some of these questions, but as Scooter said, Baalke is the one that will have access to information we simply won’t be privy to. I don’t imagine we’d hear from any of his prior coaches chastising the 49ers for selecting him….

              8. I haven’t watched any film on him yet.

                Trae Waynes would be a good pick in round 1, especially if they lose Culliver.

        2. Scooter,
          Agree regarding Bryant’ size, but the intangible I see is his insatiable competitive nature to fearlessly go after the ball.

          I work at a high school where I see fast, quick, and fairly good athletes and the ones that stand out are those that have no fear on the field.

          We’ve seen scores of WR’ that have had the same physical tools as but have not reached his status because they lacked the competitive intangibles.
          One such receiver (although a TE) is Vernon Davis. Vernon does not play to his physical tools imo.
          VD will not look to overpower and use his extraordinary size to gain an edge.
          Vernon’ game is the antithesis of Gronkowski’s. VD is more comfortable running past an opponent (avoiding contact) while Gronk can overrun a defender.

          VD really is a WR in a TE’ body. A.Boldin on the hand is a WR that plays more like a TE in that he can overpower an opponent.
          Again, it comes down to a fierce competitive nature that some players have and other don’t.

  29. While I respect your opinion Grant, when I hear “erratic” a huge red flag goes up: after watching the pro game since the 60’s, I strongly believe that accuracy cannot be taught. No great NFL passer ever had a bad rap re accuracy. The few late bloomers – Steve Young, Jim Plunkett, etc – had other issues to overcome, not accuracy. If the low completion rate stems from a Martz-type-offense-on-steroids (ie nothing but 30 yard patterns), the low completion rate might be understandable, but generally college WRs tend to be consistently more open than their NFL counterparts.

    1. Me too, Fesnyc, but I think Bennett is more accurate than his college stats suggest, like Garcia was. Both Bennett and Garcia played behind bad OLs and faced constant pressure in college. Bennett can throw the ball more than 80 yards in the air and was asked to throw downfield a lot at Southeastern Louisiana.

      1. MWNiner:

        Thanks for adding this post – I definitely wanted to hear the anguish in Pete’s voice.

  30. If I needed any motivation as a 49er player going into the 2015 Campaign, it would be Rainbow Brite Smurf and Dick Charmin enjoying a Thanksgiving Day meal, in my house, on my field and on the 49ers logo. The Seahawks are now down, and this year will be as good as any to kick them while they are….

    1. That was NBC and Jed the owner who brought that silliness to us. Maybe Jed agreed to it out of respect for his coach. Win or …

    2. Don’t forget the recent statement from Arians saying that the Cardinals will be dressing in the 49ers locker room this time next year.

  31. I like your thought process, Razor, however, I
    wouldn’t let them anywhere near
    the Niners logo

    1. Best baseball/fb players I ever saw play at the stick in person were:

      Football – Montana

      Baseball – Bonds

      Worst players I ever saw play there:

      Football – Jim Druckenmiller

      Baseball – Hands down Johnny Lemaster “Stick Man”…..He was booed so much he finally decided to do something about it… Check out the jersey he actually wore one game (I think Prime Time mentioned this a couple years back in here). This was classic!

  32. Matt Waldman on Mariota:
    “If this were a better class of quarterbacks at the top, Mariota would be more of a second- or third-round pick from my perspective. However, I also don’t believe in first-round quarterbacks due to market demand unless you think he’s a future star. I think Mariota has a slight chance to develop into a star, but not enough to pay the sticker price.”

  33. Interesting report from La Canfora (via PFT) on Justin Gilbert:

    “CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports Browns first-round CB Justin Gilbert was seen “more as a nuisance than an asset” by the end of this past season.
    “He was routinely late, was a chronic knucklehead and rubbed teammates and coaches the wrong way,” writes La Canfora, who has an excellent writeup on the new lows of the Browns at the link below. Gilbert, the No. 8 pick in last year’s draft, was reportedly often late to games. He played just 373 snaps as a rookie and tumbled behind UDFA K’Waun Williams and fourth-rounder Pierre Desir. Much like teammate Johnny Manziel, Gilbert has the early makings of a bust.”

    I’m sure there are many here (including me) who would not have been upset last year if we had selected Gilbert instead of Ward.

      1. Yeah, I read somewhere this morning (but can’t find the link now) that the Browns might actually try to trade up to get Mariotta thereby losing at a minimum one of their first round picks this year (the other one would just be a swap).

  34. The great Jim Harbaugh was able to get 6 commits to flip to Michigan in a few short weeks! http://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/wolverines/2015/02/04/michigan-football-karan-higdon/22846645/

    Just wait til 2016 when he has a whole year to recruit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Harbs pulls in a top 5 recruiting class next year.
    This RB Karan Higdon that flipped today from being an Iowa commit reminds me of Frank Gore, when he was at “The U” …Please check out Higdon’s highlight reel if u have time…Tell me he’s not Frank Gore 2.0

    York and Baalke – Shame on you for not extending Harbaugh!…..Watch how Michigan becomes a powerhouse again in 2-3 years….Just watch.

    1. “Watch how Michigan becomes a powerhouse again in 2-3 years….”

      That’s a hot take right there.

      1. If Niners start suckin next year, the fans need to send York and Baalke a message.
        Empty seats is one way but wearing Michigan gear at games is more appropriate, and will torment them.

        1. Hail! to the victors valiant
          Hail! to the conquering heroes
          Hail! Hail! to Michigan
          The leaders and best!

          1. Hammer – I like that! That fight song will be in my head the rest of the day. Notre Dame has a good one too.
            Speaking of fight songs, you gotta check this out, it’s not a fight song but I stumbled across it last year. It’s Southern University’s Band pumping up the team/fans and themselves with a song called “Hay in the middle of the barn”…..It may pump you up, if you like marching bands you’ll love it…and no I’m not black.


              1. LOL Jack……What about the “we’ve already plowed that field” quote?

                Damn I miss Farmer Jim.

              2. Crab,

                Now we have, “you take this, you take that, smash them together and that’s our philosophy” or something like that.

          2. Ham – You’ve been holding out on us….You’re pretty funny when you wanna be. :)

            Yep, I’m lookin fwd to the Tomsula pressers. At least he won’t BS us……I think

            1. It was actually this gibberish:

              “Second thing was, uh well, uh, Why Not? Why Not? Okay, Why? Why Not?
              Let’s go. Let’s do it. And, uh, Take the step. Let’s go. All in. Okay, but don’t be afraid , don’t be afraid, to uh, STEP in. And, get up and look, but step in.
              Jump in. Let’s go, All in. And, and, roll…

        2. Crab15,
          Now that’s a great idea. Maybe have the guy’s wear tan khakis along with their Michigan jersey’s.
          But I hope it never has to get to that point.

          I will go out on a limb and give the 49ers 10-11 wins in 2015. Hey, what can I say, I’m a Faithful.

    2. Thanks for the link, crab! I never really watch college FB games and don’t care for them either but I’ll be definitely be following the Michigan games and root for Harbaugh. Go Niners! Go Blue!

      1. Jack/Ricardo/Grimey – It’s still hard to believe Harbs & Fang are gone. What the hell happened?
        I know what happened but what the hell happened???

        1. I don’t know what to believe. Just very disappointed they’re gone. I’m gonna choose to be hopeful for future success, and definitely keep tabs on MI.

    1. No doubt, Malcolm Butler made a great play but it is amusing to observe the Wile Wascal QB of the 1-2’s, mostly getting a free pass from the media.

      Imagine Romo or even Peyton throwing a pick with the game on the line in the playoffs or in a SB.
      C-H-O-K-E would be the meme, and the media would be busy trying to rank it among the other “choke” jobs in NFL history.

      A great defensive play ended the Niners hopes in Seattle in the NFCCG….in that instance as well, the pass could have been thrown better and/or the receiver could have made a better effort of contesting for the ball. Kaepernick was buried.

      1. yeah, maybe … but

        Romo cultivated the moniker of “Captain Choke”
        over several years …. so-o-o ..
        he’s earned the title …

        (Just ask Grant)

      2. Yep. Kap throws a pass at the end of the NFCCCG that gets tipped and intercepted and Niner fans rip him to shreds for throwing that way. Meanwhile Wilson throws a pass that gets picked and loses a SB, and we have some of the same Niner fans who dump on Kap defending Wilson. That’s when you know it’s more personal than professional.

        1. Rocket,
          I agree with you. Russell Wilson always gets a free pass because his team wins a lot, he makes the spectacular play, and he has a SB ring. People get caught up in the magic that is Wilson and his QB ability doesn’t get dissected. If Kaepernick or even Tony Romo makes the same throw in that SB, they would be roasted over an open fire. Nobody would be talking about play calls. It would be all about the “choker” who threw the pass.

        2. Was there a 49ers possession in the 4th quarter of that game that didn’t end with a Kaepernick turnover?

          1. Nope,but he had them in position to win the game at the end and a tipped pass was intercepted. That turned into Kap lost the game to a lot of people when he was the only reason they had a chance to begin with. Ripping him for that final pick while defending Wilson for throwing one that lost a SB is disingenuous, and nothing more than personal dislike toward one of the subjects.

            1. Two picks and a fumblevon three possessions right?

              Didn’t one of those put the team down by 6 instead of 3?

              1. Yes it did, but a TD on 4th down given up by the defense put them down to begin with.

                Ultimately, that breakdown on 4th down and Kap’s TO’s led to a loss, but they aren’t even in the game without Kap running and passing. They had no running game other than Kap. The narrative blaming Kap always seems to forget that.

              2. He turned the ball over on every possession in the quarter.

                I hear you on the Wilson stuff, but that’s what happens when one guy is good with the media and the other isn’t.

              3. I hate that people say Russell Wilson is good with the media. All he does is spout tired cliches.

              4. He turned the ball over on every possession in the quarter.

                I hear you on the Wilson stuff, but that’s what happens when one guy is good with the media and the other isn’t.

                Exactly, and that is why I said that there is a different standard used to analyze the two even on this board, that is not related to what happens on the field. It’s about the likability of the person; not the performance of the player.

              5. Smartest thing Russell Wilson ever did was divorce his wife before winning a Superbowl and earning a huge contract.

                Probably saved himself 50 mil.

              6. My earlier point was that Kaepernick didn’t make just one poor play. It was a series of bad plays.

                If i remember correctly, you had no problem placing the blame on Kaepernick after the Chicago loss this season. That situation was very similar to the Seattle game.

              7. I didn’t absolve Kap of blame in the playoff game either. His mistakes were costly, but he was a big reason they were in the game at all. The focus was solely on him for losing the game. With Wilson its the playcall or the receivers fault.

        1. Crab15, Thanks for the welcome, though I am not new to the blog….I just post off and on.

          Yes, I realize Romo’s moniker is not entirely unwarranted. I admit to playing the “wait for it, the INT will come” game when watching Romo play, and having a good laugh at seeing JJ’s expression.
          However, Romo has rarely had the luxury of a great defense and an elite running game.
          During much of his career, if Romo threw 4 INT’s in a game, it would be very unlikely that he would have a shot at winning (SEA vs GB, NFCCG).
          IMO, Wilson is a good QB, that INT is as much on him as on Lockette. Even good QB’s throw INTs, does not mean they should get a free pass.

          Wilson is more poised, polished and instinctive both on and off the field than Kaepernick. He has carefully created and nurtured his image, good for him…..Kaepernick has chosen his way.
          IMO, some folks are unable to evaluate one play without being influenced by prior narratives.

      3. Skeptic,
        But remember that to many around here it’s all about how CK looks and speaks to the media. Having a winning record and a good playoff record doesn’t seem to matter.

  35. I don’t suggest this as an indication of my own interest in the idea but I get a feeling that Chris Johnson is going to be available. I don’t get the impression that Baalke is big on FA RB’s but who knows.

    1. CFC – Yuppie York has said many times that the Niners prefer to focus on their own players and not rely much on free agency. This halfwit will never change, he’s increasingly stubborn…….Go blue!

  36. The Pros/Cons on Winston from the walterfootball page is pretty funny. Can you imagine the hype about the kid if he didn’t have the off field garbage.

    Excellent pocket passer
    Phenomenal at making progressions through his receivers
    Great pocket presence
    Accurate thrower
    Phenomenal anticipation
    Innate timing
    Quick release
    Throws into tight windows
    Generally a good decision-maker
    Advanced field vision
    Keeps his eyes downfield while scrambling
    Mobile with running ability
    Makes plays with his feet
    Throws well on the run
    Bails out blockers with ability to avoid sacks
    Hard to tackle; tough to bring down for sacks
    Very intelligent; understands the chess match
    Audibles well
    Mastered a pro-style offense
    Has worked under center as well as shotgun
    Impressive football I.Q.
    Proven leader with passion for the game
    Winner at collegiate level 26-1 as starter
    Great at fourth-quarter comebacks
    Experienced 2-year starter
    Excellent on third downs
    Good teammate
    Does everything coaches ask of him
    Quality arm that can make all the throws for the NFL
    Ideal height, bulk
    Toughness, plays injured

    Very immature off the field
    Numerous off-the-field transgressions
    Increase in interceptions as a sophomore
    Had some slow starts to games in 2014

  37. Winston has been touted as a future Franchise QB since he took the field two years ago, but it’s funny to see a list like that. Pure fanboy analysis. He’s a pretty good prospect if you can get past the Ints and off field problems, but he is far from a can’t miss no weakness prospect.

    That’s why I don’t think much of this QB class. The guys at the top are not great and it goes downhill from there.

  38. “They (the Seahawks) let their players make plays. There is something to be said for that. I think you’ll see a lot of that from us.” … Jed York

    I can hardly contain the excitement about winning Superbowl 50. It’s in the bag.

    1. Imagine how good the 49ers would have been the past four years if only Jim Harbaugh had let them make plays.

      1. This simplistic and glib stuff being spouted by Jed has me worried. Even Matt Maiocco is taking sarcastic digs which he almost never does (“The Niners plan on offense is to let Kap score on 90+ yard runs”). Ouch!

        1. Should be expect anything different from Jed? This is the same guy who said anyone can Coach this team a few years after he hired a HC – based on personal admiration – who was a disaster. His comments resemble those of an Armchair HC who thinks he knows more than he does. He’s like a less football savvy Jerry Jones which is a pretty scary thought.

            1. What’s the difference between a Jerry Jones press conference, and a Jed York press conference?

              Jerry Jones knows when he’s lying.

              (Please laugh. It’s my birthday. Heading into Healdsburg for some high falutin munchies)

              1. Brodie ..

                Make sure you have a designated driver .. then
                go hog wild and have the best b-day, yet !

                (oh yeah .. I laffed my @$$ of on your joke )

              2. CFC – Not sure yet. Used to do Charcuturie, but they closed. Will decide when visitors arrive later tonight.

              3. Thanks George, HTWaits, MWNiner, Rocket, CFC. Kickin back, will hit downtown in an hour for dinner.

  39. Good to see another former member of “one of the best coaching staffs in football” get hired by Colorado today.

        1. Thanks, MWN. Haley sounds like he still thinks of himself as a Niner. Hope he enters the Hall that way. What a player! You’d think they’d thought about getting him to coach the pass rushers.

  40. Unless an unbelieveable top 10 prospect drops for some unknown reason, I can’t see us passing on Trae Waynes if he’s still on the board at 15.
    CB is a MUST this year and he’s the best one.

        1. Not as lean bodied and seems more solid in terms of technique. He is overaggressive at times, but he can be coached on how to better utilize that.

          1. Waynes leg injuries are certainly a concern. Disagree on technique though. Waynes has very good technique. Michigan State knows how to teach DBs.

            What I really like about Waynes is his ability to flip his hips and run with the receiver stride for stride. Excellent mirror skills. And when he’s in man coverage he displays good patience, doesn’t tend to bite.

            1. True, but his physicality is also a concern. His body type doesn’t give me confidence that he can challenge guys like Vincent Jackson, Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, etc.

              1. He’s still young and not fully develped yet–he’s only a junior after all.
                He’ll bulk up for sure.
                Good height too at 6’1.
                I like him.

              2. He’ll bulk up for sure.

                Some of the scout reports that I am reading show concern that his frame could already be maxed out.

              3. He’s being listed between 181-183 lbs right now, depending on the site.
                If he bulk up to about 190, especially adding upper body strength, he’ll be fine.
                Kinda like Fuller.

              4. I don’t think his body type is a big concern from a matchup viewpoint. He’s got good length to him, and plays physically. And he keeps tight coverage.

                The main concern about his body type is whether he can hold up playing as physically as he does and stay injury free. He could possibly stand to add a few pounds of muscle, maybe get up around the 190lbs mark as Kauai said.

              5. Exactly Mr. Scooter.
                It’s amazing how NFL weight rooms transform these kids so quickly.
                I’m sure he’ll add the necessary strength.
                BTW, anyone know his hand size?

              6. He needs to be closer to 200 than 190 if he’s going to be able to make it in the NFL with that frame. The problem with that is Waynes is said to have good but great speed and so far what I have watched of him sides with that argument. I think he will be slowed down more if he does add the necessary weight.
                All of that said, I think he’s a good prospect with potential but not someone I would take in the first round.

              7. Pretty sure the kid ran track.
                He ran a sub 4.4 at one point but not sure how recent that was.
                BTW…he’s a sound tackler too.

              8. Waynes is already an NFL caliber CB from a technique standpoint. The diet and training he’ll receive in the NFL will take care of the size/speed ratio.

                I’d take him over Williams even though it would take a first round pick. He’s a better prospect.

              9. Why does he need to be 200lbs, Mid? Sherman is around 195lbs at 6’3″, and he seems to handle the physical side of things ok.

                As for speed, I’ve seen some reports suggest he doesn’t have great long speed. Complete rubbish. He ran track, and has been recorded running 4.37s over 40 yards in track meets (with unofficial times in 4.2s). He had no trouble matching receivers stride for stride down the field.

              10. I guess I’m not seeing what makes him that great. He’s got good instincts, but his frame leads me to believe that he’ll get pounded on by bigger receivers and be hitting the IR more often than not. Pass.

              11. Not sold on Baalke taking a corner over guys like Fowler Jr.(best edge rusher with a combination of hands and quickness that is mind-boggling), or Collins(mauler with some dominant tape), if they’re still on the board….

              12. Well, what I see is good length, good speed, good technique and stays low, physical, reads the play well, great hip flexion and quick feet to mirror a player, patient and doesn’t often bite early, uses the boundary well as an extra defender, easily sticks with his player down field, turns his head around which minimises the chances of getting flagged, and he is reportedly a very hard worker and smart player on the field. Aside from a lean frame, I’m not seeing why the 49ers wouldn’t consider him at #15 this year.

                I’m getting the feeling you and I will be having a few differences of opinion on these prospects once again this year Mid!

              13. You think Fowler will last until pick #15, razor? I don’t think he falls outside the top 10, unless he does something to drop his stock over the next couple of months.

                And I don’t see the 49ers taking an OL in the first round. They’ve got their two OTs locked up through 2019, and plenty of depth along the interior of the OL. And they spent two third rounders on the OL last year.

              14. I think Gregory would be more apt to slide and Fowler Jr. should be long gone by 15.

                With respect to the OL, we can assume Thomas was selected to replace Iupati, but I wouldn’t assume anything regarding his knee. Let’s not forget what happened with Tank. Collins would be hard to pass on. Fits the run first mentality and they could wave goodbye to J. Martin. Boone is also free in 2016….

              15. I have only seen some of that in his highlights. Waynes would be a solid Day Two pick, but he is in no means worthy of a high pick. Whoever gets him will see him on IR fairly quick.

                I’m getting the feeling you and I will be having a few differences of opinion on these prospects once again this year Mid!

                Not true Scooter. I think Devante Parker is the best option if he’s still on the board at #15. I have cooled on my former interest in Coates.

              16. With respect to the OL, we can assume Thomas was selected to replace Iupati, but I wouldn’t assume anything regarding his knee.

                Throw Martin into that mix if the team prefers Kilgore at C.

              17. No worries, we’ll just disagree on Waynes then!

                Waynes would be an exceptional day 2 pick. But he won’t be available on day 2, because he is every bit worthy of a first round pick.

    1. Yep, as rocket said, if they don’t re-sign Culliver I think Waynes will be one of their preferred choices.

      He looks good.

    1. Saw that yesterday.
      I’m getting one of those ‘Bitch Mode’ t-shirts!

  41. Anyone know what Marcus Peters’ status is right now?
    I think he declared, but I’m not sure.
    Local kid with troubles but very talented.

      1. Thanks!
        It’ll be interesting to see how far he drops due to his attitude.
        Those Combine interviews are so important these days…

  42. Congratulations Julian Edelman you just won the Superbowl. What are you gonna do next?

    I’m gonna bang a Boston socialite!

    1. Saw that.
      I’m curious as to why guys are so bent that she posted that pic and wrote what she wrote as if she did a horrible wrong to Edelman.
      I mean, if anything, she just embarrassed herself.
      How was Edelman hurt by that?

            1. Thanx KR …

              Unlike Wilson or Sherm …
              sure looks like Edelman’s post Super Bowl
              festivities were memorable ! .. :-}

  43. One guy that I will definitely be paying attention to during the Combine will be TE Jesse James. He’s a big boy that’s said to be crazy strong and run a 4.6 in the 40.

      1. He’s said to have great hands and run good routes according to Carl Cockerham at Fansided. There’s not much tape on him because he wasn’t utilized that much due to the offense he was in.
        He actually looks like a mix of Vernon and Rob to me Cubus.

        1. If he lights up the Combine and does well at his Pro Day, James will easily be a second round pick. If he doesn’t wow, then the third round will be where he’s selected. But I see him as a second round pick.

    1. Haven’t watched any film on him, but that height advantage would be a nice addition to the roster.

      1. The clip I provided is all that I could find. From what I gather, he really wasn’t utilized that much despite his size. He’s like Maxx Williams in that sense.

          1. Not exactly the greatest clip. It shows more Penn St. offense and its struggles than it does James.

            1. I don’t like to judge a player based on one game, but based on the UCF game he didn’t look like an explosive athlete to me. Decent enough speed, but only average acceleration and agility. He also appeared to struggle adjusting his body against the direction of his momentum (i.e., struggled to decelerate and adjust to balls that weren’t in front of him).

              On the plus side he made some tough catches knowing he was about to be hit, and seemed to have pretty strong hands on balls he could get two hand to.

              Hopefully draft breakdown will get some more film on him. Need to see some more games to get a better handle on him.

              1. That’s why I want to see how he looks at the Combine. From what I have read and seen, there really isn’t that much game tape on him because (like Williams) he wasn’t used that much in his college offense.

              2. The combine can be a bit misleading. Beware the underwear heroes.

                Here is another film of Penn State’s offense.


                Once again, much like the game against UCF, he just didn’t look very explosive in what he did. He’s a big guy, and has decent straight line speed, but his acceleration and agility are not good. He struggles to create much separation out of his breaks. The coverage had little trouble sticking with him. He did some decent work blocking, but also had some misses.

              3. I’m seeing a terrible Penn St. offense more than anything, which could explain some of James’ faults. It just didn’t look very well coached. I think James would be a 1-2 year project on the 49ers (that is if the team drafted him) with Sparano coaching him up.
                I agree on the Combine being misleading, but there isn’t enough tape on James to look at in order to make a good judgment. Hopefully more pops up soon.
                On another note, Waynes used his hands a little too much in that reel. He needs to lessen that or he’s going to get flagged a lot at the next level.

              4. I’m not basing what I say on how he was used or how the offense looked. Just watch him and how he moves. On an individual level he struggled to create much or any separation in his routes. He doesn’t appear to be a sudden athlete. If what I’ve seen so far is a guide, he’ll struggle to get open in the NFL unless he becomes a very savvy route runner. And he didn’t show much refinement in his route running in the two games I’ve seen, so hard to suggest it is a skill he’ll pick up with any confidence.

                As for Waynes, the hand usage you see in that game is the same stuff you’ll see every Sunday. One of the reasons he doesn’t get flagged often is because he gets his head around to find the ball.

              5. My main point is that he may not have been coached up like he should have been. I’m not making any excuses for him, but not having the right type of coach for a position can be a detriment to a player. This past season with Mangini as the TE coach is an example of that.
                I’m hoping for more video so that we can get a better grasp on what James brings to the table. Cockerham was pretty enthusiastic about the kid so the Combine could give us a little bit of a hint as to why he is. Unfortunately that’s about all we can go on for now.

              6. Keep an eye on Rory Anderson. He’s on the light side but he’s tough and tenacious with good hands, burst and the ability to track and high point the football….

              7. If the 49ers are after a mid round TE, they should take a long, hard look at Tyler Kroft. Very skilled and savvy route runner with good speed and acceleration for a TE. Also a pretty good and willing blocker. His hands are good but not great – he doesn’t drop many easy ones, but he can struggle bringing in acrobatic catches.

                He’s a guy that was really hurt by the play of those around him this past season.

              8. Ben Koyack would also be a good option. Better blocker than Kroft (more bulk to him makes him better at anchoring), though not as good an athlete as Kroft. He looks a little slower, not as good acceleration, and not as agile as Kroft. But like Kroft, he has some savvy as a route runner.

              9. Yea, Kroft is one of the first I looked at film on. He’d be a great pick in the 4th round….

              10. I noticed a few times Koyack is slow to get off on the snap of the football when watching film….

              11. Razor, have you checked out Nelson Agholor? I’m generally left unimpressed by USC WRs, so I hadn’t been paying him much attention. I should have been.

                First off, unlike most colleges, I think USC have been unkind in their measurements of him. He looks every bit of 6’1″, 190lbs, and if you told me he was a bit bigger than that I’d believe you. He also has what looks to be very long arms, giving him an impressive catch radius. To go with his decent size, he has excellent playing speed (though not truly a burner) and really impressive quickness to him.

                Aside from his physical abilities, he really impressed me with his route running, vision, competitiveness and toughness. Good routes, and he uses his quickness into and out of breaks to good effect by getting onto the DB and keeping him off balance, and timing his cuts well. Excellent runner with the ball in hand – easily as good as Marqise Lee in that regard. And very confident going over the middle, with good concentration to make tough catches. He also showed good ability to make acrobatic catches downfield.

                Adding to his abilities as a WR, he’s also a good punt return man.

                From all reports he came to USC very raw, so he’s clearly made impressive strides in his game. Bodes well for his learning ability, and how well he takes to coaching. This is supported by strong improvements in his stats each year. Reports on him also talk about his strong work ethic and how serious he takes football – sounds like he loves the game and will work hard to be as good as he can be.

                The main detractions from his game are concentration drops, he sometimes doesn’t appear to give 100% effort on running plays (mainly when they aren’t running the ball anywhere near him), he doesn’t have truly elite size or speed, and he was kept quiet by Oregon St and UCLA this season.

                After seeing his California and Colorado games, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken in the first round. But he’s flying well under the radar at the moment. If the 49ers got him in the second round I’d be very happy.

              12. Cal’s defense and Colorado’s defense stunk.

                It’s discouraging that UCLA shut him down. UCLA’s DBs ain’t so good.

              13. Like Razor, I noticed that Koyack is slow getting off the snap. He also appears to wait for the defender to engage him when blocking. It also worrries me that he was beat out three times for the starting position.
                Kroft looks like a solid blocking TE, but his role in the receiving game doesn’t exactly excite me. He appears to lack a quick switch from first gear to second gear and is brought down after the catch more than I would expect from a guy his size.
                Anderson’s size would suggest that he switch to WR.

              14. I think Kroft is one we are seeing different things on Mid. Kroft has good speed and movement skills for a TE. He’s more of your traditional TE though, not a specialist receiving TE with exceptional receiving skills. He will need to add some more bulk though to hold up consistently as a blocker in the NFL.

                He looks a much better prospect than Jesse James from what I’ve seen.

              15. It’s more his shift to second gear that worries me Scooter. He has good speed, but he appears to need a few extra seconds to reach the gear needed for that speed.
                James is more raw than Kroft so I don’t know how valid of a comparison that is.

              16. James and Kroft are both TEs, and teams are going to need to make an evaluation of both guys and make a decision on what they are worth. That is the comparison I am trying to make, whether it is valid or not. Not trying to compare their styles of play or suggest they are the same type of player.

                James’ rawness is one of the reasons Kroft is a better prospect, but I’m also basing that on movement skills/ athleticism. James is a big guy and moves like a big guy. He is an ok athlete for his size, nothing special, from what I’ve seen, despite what his team mates say about him.

                Kroft is a slightly above average athlete for his size, and has also shown pretty good technique and understanding of route running and blocking. I’m not really sure what you mean about taking time to find a second gear, as he looks pretty good getting off the LOS to me. Nothing exceptional, but good enough.

                One thing to keep in mind – none of these guys look like quality receiving TEs to me. The TE class is very ordinary this year. If you want a quality receiving TE you pretty much have to take Maxx Williams or Devin Funchess. The next guys you hope turn into decent all-round TEs that can act as safety valves for the QB or stay in and block, rather than big play, go-to receivers at the position.

            2. Yea, I agree with you Scooter. Good body control and he’s tougher than Lee. If he was somehow available in the second round, I’d have no problem at all with the 49ers taking him. You can bet they’ll want to hear his explanation for his performance against UCLA and Oregon St in the interview process though….

              1. Watch Eric Kendricks’ tape against USC from draft breakdown. There are actually a few very simple reasons Agholor didn’t do much against UCLA.

                First, Kessler flat out missed him a couple of times when he was open. Second, USC used Agholor as a decoy a lot in that game, to clear out defenders for underneath stuff – there were a few times he came free at the second level but Kessler took the underneath option. Third, UCLA rolled coverage to Agholor. Fourth, UCLA got pretty good pressure on Kessler – which is likely why USC were using Agholor as a decoy to open the underneath stuff so Kessler didn’t have to sit in the pocket too long.

                Agholor isn’t a finished product, there are kinks in his game he needs to iron out. He could be more efficient into and out of his breaks, and he’ll need to get better against press coverage. But plenty to like from what I’ve seen.

              2. Sounds like a lot of excuses for a three-catch, 24-yard performance.

                What are Agholor’s excuses for catching just 4 passes for 35 yards against UCLA in 2013?

              3. Sounded like reasons to me. But hey, if you don’t like him as a prospect that is your prerogative.

                Which WRs do you like?

              4. Really? He was a sophomore in his first year as a starter, still quite raw, and he was the teams #2 WR. And the whole offense struggled that game.

              5. Most overlooked WR prospects in this draft, for mine, are:
                – Agholor
                – Tyler Lockett
                – Stefon Diggs
                – Titus Davis

                Before his Senior Bowl performance Jamison Crowder was being overlooked too, but not anymore.

              6. Righto, Grant.

                Its funny, I recall having a similar discussion about Odell Beckham last year and why he had some games as a junior where he didn’t light up the score board. Apparently those were all excuses too.

                Fun fact about Beckham – as a sophomore he only had one game of more than 4 catches and only 6 games with more than 50 yards. Agholor had 5 games of more than 4 catches and 8 games with more than 50 yards.

                Fun fact about Kelvin Benjamin – as a red shirt sophomore he was held to less than 3 catches 4 times. And those games were against defensive heavy weights Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Wake Forest and Miami (FL). As a 23 year old. Agholor was a 20 year old sophomore.

                But yeah, I’m just coming up with excuses. No valid reasons here.

              7. A USC receiver who got shut down all three times he played UCLA. Plenty of successful NFL receivers with that on their resume, right?

              8. Those top two haven’t escaped my eye Scooter, especially Lockett. I hate K State but love that kid. He’s going to make some noise in the NFL.

              9. Agreed Mid. I’m a big fan of Lockett. Needs to work on his hands a bit though.

                Check out Titus Davis. At worst I think he’ll develop into a pretty decent role player, a #3/ #4 deep threat WR type. And I think he could be more than that.

              10. I like what I’m seeing from Davis. Good route running and soft hands. Quicker than fast but has some shake ‘n bake to make up for it. Looks like he needs to work on catching over the shoulder passes though.

              11. Good find Mid. Only one year as a starter, but it was also the only year he played TE. He’s a former QB. Impressive he was able to do what he did last season being new to the position. Looks a good athlete. Definitely one to keep in mind.

              12. “A USC receiver who got shut down all three times he played UCLA. Plenty of successful NFL receivers with that on their resume, right?”

                Well I guess that settles it then. He must be rubbish, right?

                Please explain why Kelvin Benjamin was held to just two catches by the likes of Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Wake Forest and Miami (FL). I mean, if he isn’t dominating those guys, he certainly couldn’t be any good in the NFL, right?

              13. No, they really don’t. But why does Agholor need to have been successful against UCLA when you give other WRs a pass for not performing against bad defenses?

              14. He got shut down all three times he faced UCLA, and there were no NFL corners on UCLA’s defense, but maybe Agholor will do better against NFL corners than UCLA corners.

              15. And only his junior year was he the team’s number one WR. Knocking a very raw player for his production as a freshman and sophomore on a team that he had to bide his time behind two second round draft picks is pretty desperate.

                This would be a very different conversation if Kessler hadn’t missed him twice when he was open with space in front of him.

              16. Agholor was a 5-star recruit. Marqise Lee was a 4-star recruit and he dominated UCLA as a freshman and sophomore, as he should have.

    1. 2014 was a bad time for Iupati to be coming back from an injury. If he heals up fine, some lucky team will be glad they grabbed him.

      I think Crabtree would be a great fit in NE. Brady’s ability to throw accurate short and middle range passes would suite the Crustacean Sensation just fine. Might be worth it to risk a one year deal with NE, have a banner season, then hit FA again in 2016.

      1. I can’t think of one game where Crabs truly dominanted a game. He could easily have played in the slot and be like Edeleman in the SB.

        I do think if he ends up on a good team with a top 10 QB, he would post some pretty good numbers. He would be pretty deadly in Pittsburgh or NO. What if he goes to Seattle?

  44. McShay is mocking Devin Smith to the 49ers at pick 15, and he wonders why no one takes him as seriously as he takes himself. ROTFLMAO!

    1. It would also help if he would cut back time in the tanning bed and dedicate more time on his mock drafts.

    1. I like that better than seeing him on the SeaChicken
      sidelines … but ..
      correct me if I’m wrong, here ..

      wasn’t he an Asst. LB coach up there ?

      If so … what a heck of a promotion, huh ?

      1. In 2004, he joined the coaching staff of the USC Trojan football team under Head Coach Pete Carroll. From 2004-2009, he served as the linebacker coach for the Trojans; while at USC he helped recruit and develop NFL-bound linebackers such as NFL Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu, Dallas Sartz, Keith Rivers, Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava, Clay Matthews III, and Rey Maualuga.

        In January 2008, Norton declined offers by UCLA’s new head coach, Rick Neuheisel, to join the Bruins coaching as an assistant head coach.[1]

        On January 7, 2009, Norton was promoted to USC Assistant Head Coach for Defense. A form of recognition of his continuing work with the USC linebacker corps, he has developed three consecutive Rose Bowl MVPs: Brian Cushing (2007), Rey Maualuga (2008) and Kaluka Maiava (2009).[3]

        Attending the player evaluations of the by-invitation-only 2009 NFL Scouting Combine were all four of Norton’s Trojan senior class linebacker protégés: Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava, Clay Matthews III, and Rey Maualuga.

        On January 11, 2010, it was announced that USC linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. would be joining head coach Pete Carroll in Seattle to fill the same role with the Seahawks, reuniting him with his protégé, Seahawks defensive standout Lofa Tatupu.[4] … Wikipedia

      2. Seattle has already removed him from their list of coaches. I think he was the linebacker’s coach. He’s worked for Carroll the entire time he’s been a coach.

  45. Raiders are shaping up to be a good team next year if they can get the drat picks they need. The league certainly needs a strong outfit in Oakland.

    1. Coming Soon To Grant’s Blog:

      Who wins more games in the 2015 season, the Raiders or the 49ers? Give your reasons why.

      1. It worked fine when the Raiders were a strong franchise in Oakland, but I expect that was before your time. It was before the time of a lot of folks in these parts.

          1. Hey Jack ..

            It’s really boring waiting for Grant to write
            another column …
            why doncha write one for him ?

          2. Since when has “just fine” been ok with the NFL? ;-}

            Part time officials who are too old and slow to keep up with the game, seem to be “just fine”.

  46. It’s raining, it’s Friday afternoon, there won’t be a meaningful football game for seven months. Who’s got it better than us?

        1. A – ha ! … HT …

          You didn’t ask that …
          you made a statement (to that effect)
          and then …

          You asked …
          “…Who’s got it better than us?…”

          I wasn’t disputing your statement .. just
          answering your question …

          1. See it’s like this. There is a seven month dead period for me every year. Baseball before September is like watching paint dry, and the NBA plays a game that mere mortals have a hard time imagining — especially me. I was being mournful.

            I’ll be watching the NFL’s Replay a lot for the next seven months.


    1. MidWest ..

      if it’s a choice between him or V-Mac .. well
      I think you already know who I’d choose ..
      (This past season was an anomaly )

      1. I agree MWN, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the team wants him to take a pay cut regardless.

    2. If I remember correctly from last season’s holdout, Vernon was front loaded about $4m of his $7m 2015 salary years ago.

      If it was an injury issue slowing VD (and the 49ers think he’s getting better), might as well hang on to him.

      If he’s on a protracted hissy-fit productivity strike, then the 49ers might have to eat the remaining $3m (or so). Don’t expect alot in trade value since he doesn’t have much time left on his contract (year or two?) and he wants money.

      If I were a betting man, I’d say both VD and VMac stay.

      1. As for VMac… his lack of receptions is stark. No question. But his blocking is very good, and he was praised by Tomsula last month. (Its possible Tomsula was pulling a Harbaugh over-praising under-performers, but I’m giving him a chance.)

        I think if he plays his natural position outside the OT (rather then Walkers complicated SAK role) he’d play quicker and more instinctively. Derek Carrier seems more suited to SAK.

        How I see long term hopes (not saying it will happen)
        Line TE = VD, VMac
        SAK = Miller, Carrier (possibly Tre Millard)

      2. if I’m getting it right (and I might not be) even if the 49ers unloaded VD, they’d still have to eat most of the 6.98 million cap hit.

        Unless he’s clearly refusing to practice/play hard, might was well keep him. I think it might even be a contract year. If so, he’d be nuts to mail the 2015 season in.

        1. According to overthecap.com, if VD is released the cap savings are $4.9 million (doesn’t matter if the release is pre- or post-June 1).

          1. Thanks for the info.

            I’m assuming the $2m dead money’s part of his front loaded signing bonus. (smaller then the $4m I guessed at)

            $2m is still alot cash to eat. On the other hand, $4.9m alot of cash to save.

            Reason’s to cut VD
            – Save $4.9m cap space
            – Open a roster spot for a player that’s actually trying hard
            – Possible trade teams might balk at only 1 year left on his contract, but they still might go for a VD+pick 15 trade for a draft pick few spots higher.

            Reason’s to keep VD
            – Maybe he really was playing hurt (as Tomsula hinted at last month), is getting healthy
            – Intends to play his butt off in a contract year.
            – Paying him the $2m anyway.
            – When he signs with another club as a 2016 FA, a decent 2017 compensatory will be awarded.
            (Cut/traded players don’t affect the compensatory formula)

  47. Watching Superbowl 47 replay on NFL Network. Man , that team looks so different than the team from last season. Crabtree looked explosive as ever. Seeing Gore get caught from behind before the infamous passes to Crabtree at the end still haunts me. Prime opportunity for 6 trophies goes up in smoke.

  48. The 49ers could be in for a nice 2016 compensatory haul.

    The exact formula is secret, but heavily involves contract price. It also involves playing time/performance, but to what degree I don’t know.

    Iupati should count heavily in the compensatory formula.
    Gore, Crabtree, Culliver, Cox and Skuta should garner some decent contracts and play time too.

    I’m guessing if the 49er go easy on signing FAs as usual, a 2013 third rounder, plus a few 4ths are in order. Not likely star picks, but should insure depth and plenty of cap friendly rookie contracts.

Comments are closed.