49ers’ draft philosophy is ‘gluttony’

The 49ers think DT Javon Kinlaw is too much of a good thing. And that’s just what they’re after.
(Photo: Associated Press)

What’s the opposite of filling a need? Filling a want? Filling a whim?

Maybe it’s just called “gluttony,” which would definitely seem to be the 49ers’ approach to drafting these days. Most NFL teams try to build around the edges of their roster, plugging holes to shore up the overall structure. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch seem to be taking a much different approach.

Thursday, in the first round of the NFL draft, Shanahan and Lynch took strengths on offense and defense and made them stronger. They are betting that what works right now in the NFL, or at least what works for this particular team, isn’t to fill in gaps but rather to stack certain areas until they become an overwhelming problem for the opposition.

The defensive line looks like one of those stacks again. The 49ers had arguably the most dominant front four in the NFL last year. Even when they traded DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis for the No. 13 overall pick, it was a position of strength – a deep rotation with fearsome edge rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford on the outside.

Shanahan and Lynch weren’t willing to take a step back. They traded back one spot from 13 and selected Javon Kinlaw, a defensive tackle from South Carolina.

It was the fifth time in six years San Francisco selected a D-lineman in the first round, Kinlaw following the path worn down by Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and Nick Bosa before him. That’s a lot of capital to expend on one position group. That sort of one-sided team building tends to get front offices in trouble, and yes, it didn’t do wonders for Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly.

It took some chutzpah for Shanahan and Lynch to revisit that route. Then again, they have earned some leash, courtesy of last season’s Super Bowl appearance.

In drafting Kinlaw at No. 14, the 49ers are banking that a powerful defensive line can mask other deficiencies. Really they could have used a cornerback or a safety more than a 3-technique defensive tackle. But they know from recent experience that relentless pass pressure can demoralize an opponent, especially an opposing quarterback.

Maybe your secondary doesn’t have to be fantastic if they have to cover for only three seconds per snap.

“I’m always down to go defensive lineman if the right guy’s there. And I was surprised Kinlaw was there,” Shanahan said at the end of the round. “Ask my old high school friends. My first pick was always (defensive end Michael) Strahan, and theirs was always Randy Moss.”

Can Kinlaw be a major player in that pursuit? Maybe not right away. He is an immense talent, but far from a polished product. Scouting reports questioned his technique and pad level, one reason it was a bit of a surprise the 49ers took him when they did. Buckner is a fully formed NFL Pro Bowler, a D-tackle who does everything well. Kinlaw will take some time to get there, if he ever does.

Man, he’s got some positive traits, though. He’s 6-5, 324 pounds and moves like a big cat. Super powerful and explosive, with long arms. He will command double teams.

This pick wouldn’t have made sense for the 49ers a couple years ago. They needed safe choices when they were a bad team. On the other hand, Thomas felt like a safe, if not spectacular pick in 2017. Bosa had a higher risk-and-reward quotient in 2019, if only because of his injury history. Clearly, Bosa turned out to be the better pick. Kinlaw isn’t as NFL-ready, but the fact that he is joining a top-tier defense makes the wait acceptable.

“I love calling plays for an offense that’s more talented than everyone offensively,” Shanahan said, pointing to the 2016 Falcons, for whom he was the offensive coordinator. “But it’s easier to call plays for what we had Weeks 1 to 8 last year, when our defense was healthy. … Nothing’s more fun than having a defense like we had last year.”

If defensive line wasn’t an obvious need for the 49ers, wide receiver was. They have a lot of bodies there, but the only person you’d really bet a starting position on is Deebo Samuel, a rookie last year. In that way, taking a receiver at No. 25 wasn’t a surprise at all.

The curveball was the type of wideout they took. Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk shares a lot with Samuel. They aren’t clones, by any means. But their size – Samuel is 5-11, 214 pounds; Aiyuk in 6-0, 205 – athletic traits and skill sets contain a lot of overlap.

Most important, in the perspective of Shanahan’s offense, is that both can run the ball like a running back once it’s in their hands. You know that about Samuel already. He had more rushing yards on reverses in the NFC championship game and Super Bowl than he did receiving yards. Well, it is Aiyuk’s most impressive skill, too. He led the NCAA Division I in yards after the catch as a senior last year.

It isn’t just these two, of course. Tight end George Kittle makes his living on YAC. It was a big part of Emmanuel Sanders’ game, too. That’s the man Aiyuk is expected to replace in 2020. Kendrick Bourne… Dante Pettis… even fullback Kyle Juszczyk and running back Raheem Mostert. All of them are expected to turn those little gains into big gains with regularity.

Aiyuk adds to the strategy. You can picture Shanahan dreaming evil dreams when he lay down to sleep Thursday night, eligible receivers dragging linebackers and slot corners all over the field in every direction. Once again, the 49ers are saying too much of a good thing is the goal, not the problem.

The 49ers doubled down in one other regard Thursday. They came into the night with seven total draft picks, and none in the second, third or fourth rounds. Lynch acknowledged earlier in the week that the Niners weren’t opposed to trading one of their first-rounders if it allowed them to reap multiple mid-round picks.

By bedtime Thursday, they had fewer picks than when they had started. The 49ers picked up a fourth-rounder in the trade with Tampa Bay, then gave it to the Vikings, along with a late fifth-rounder, in order to move up from No. 31 to No. 25 and snag Aiyuk.

A lot of teams would have been nervous about a void in the middle rounds of the draft. Maybe the 49ers are, too. But they proved once again that they are willing to go to extremes for the players they want, and for the scheme they prefer.

This article has 98 Comments

  1. Yeah, not the draft strategy I would have gone with, but clearly they firmly believe in having a front four that creates havoc and has both the quality and depth to do it all game, all year.

    Here is Stephen White’s write up on Kinlaw. Says he has All Pro potential.


    With Aiyuk, easy to see the attraction for Shanahan. I feel like maybe he is a little too similar to Deebo, but maybe Shanahan thinks he has the ability to also threaten deep and be a complete WR. He does have decent speed and got himself open deep a bit in college.

    1. Aiyuk is taller and a bit leaner. He also has a bigger catch radius and his game speed is faster than is 40 time shows. I can see him developing into a playmaker for us but he isn’t a WR1.

    2. John confirmed that Aiyuk was Kyle’s guy.
      There is a small benefit of having two similar gadget receivers in that the niners will not tip their hand. When Bourne goes in motion teams are not worried about end arounds or anything like that. With Aiyuk and Deebo teams will have to be aware of… this could slow down both back side in their qb pursuit.

      That said I really like Ayuk a lot and think he is more explosive than Deebo, I just wish we had more of a press man beater.

  2. Because of Todd Gurley knee tendinitis makes me cringe

    Can’t believe we didn’t get Jeudy.

    Happy with what we got because it mitigated lost of Buckner and Sanders. Our front 7 is elite and has lots of depth. With elite front 7 you can get by with the Mosleys and Tarell Browns of the CB world.

    1. The main difference is Gurley was flagged medically with knee arthritis at the combine. From what I have read Kinlaw was not – he had tendonitis and his medicals indicated a risk of developing arthritis in the future, but he was effectively cleared.

      1. Good info thanks. That makes me feel better, was getting worried especially considering the lack of medical exams being conducted because of pandemic.

  3. Good to have someone in charge of the blog who regularly provides solid articles to discuss, dissect. Thanks Mr. Barber. We’d just better have a football season in September, this virus be damned. Want to see how these two picks turn out.

  4. The biggest takeaway from this first round is- The Niners have assembled a SB team and they like the players they have, so adding more players are not an absolute necessity, They had 2 first round picks, and the draft unfolded in a manner where the Niners had many options, with Kinlaw available as a foundation player, 2 of the top WRs were still available, and Tristan Wirfs was one of the top 4 OLs who was utilized as trade bait.
    The Niners got 2 very talented players who filled needs, that they targeted.Mission accomplished.

  5. Take this with a grain of salt, but Shanahan said he had Aiyuk as the top rated WR in the draft and if Kinlaw wasn’t available at 14 they would have taken him there.

    Chris Simms, who everyone knows is good friends with Shanahan, said Shanahan believes Aiyuk can be Isaac Bruce.

    1. Definite grain of salt there….what did he say after he drafted Pettis??

      This definitely feel like a mulligan for the Pettis pick. But I’m good with it. I trust Shanahan his vision on using his new personnel. 2 Deebo’s, Kittle, and Mostert on the field will be a fun watch.

      Still not in love with the strategy here. I understand we are basically running it back with the same squad from last year. If we can find a way to stay a little healthier than last year, that would be a plus. But will this come back to bite us down the line? This must mean Joe is for sure coming back. But do we have the depth we need at OL? Is Brunskill/Skule Joe’s heir apparent? And the secondary….yet another chance for Witherspoon. And if he goes down, or if Mosely goes down, what then??? I guess there of the belief at this point to just throw bodies at the CB and Guard position and see what sticks. I mean that is a philosophy, one that got us to the big game….but is it enough to win it???

      However, I am of the belief that Jimmy will take another step forward, picked up where he left off and have even greater command of this offense. He will be hitting the ground running without having to rehab this offseason. I think that is also something to look forward to.

    2. KS said that the main competition for Aiyuk was Ceedee Lamb. Still very much surprised that they would have taken Aiyuk at pick 13. It explains why they moved up. In their “presser” last night JL mentioned that it was unlikely a 4th rounder would replace a current starter. True, but don’t you have to develop guys for the future? I’m not unhappy with the picks, just questioning the actual need to move up to take Aiyuk.

      Also, in one of KS’ responses regarding Aiyuk, he compared Brandon’s versatility with Pettis; but also mentioned contact courage. Seems to me that he was tacitly admitting that Pettis is a bust (not earth-shattering news).

      1. I think they haven’t given up on Pettis just yet. I think they have had conversations with him and Witherspoon about “we believe in you, but now you have to show us”. One thing I appreciate about the draft philosophy of Lynch and Shanny is they target tough guys. Aiyuk might not be the most talented WR like Lamb or Ruggs or Jeudy, but he is tough and can play multiple positions, AND return punts.

        Think about our WR unit, and if everyone performs? On paper, and with some experience, it could be a strength.
        Samuel: 2nd round pick
        Pettis: 2nd round pick
        Aiyuk: 1st round pick

        1. You’re right about Pettis. I should have said that KS realizes that there is a good chance Pettis won’t be on the team in 2021, but they are going to give him the 2020 season – I can’t imagine another team would trade for him.

          I guess I would say the same thing about the Kinlaw and Solly. If things had gone as expected, Solly should be the one stepping into a starting role and no need to draft Kinlaw (although they probably would have wanted to pick up a DL in the later rounds).

          1. I would say Solly Thomas is in the same situation as Pettis and Witherspoon. Pretty much make or break this year. The drafting of Kinlaw just gives the Niners a great prospect and a cheaper version of DFo. Also a guy with a high ceiling and the insurance in the event of injuries and maybe having to cut someone from last year.

    3. Kyle has a type when it comes to WR’s and Aiyuk fits the criteria. For those saying he would have been available later, the Niners said they had intel that he wouldn’t and Miami traded out of their pick right after the Niners made theirs so who knows. This was never going to be a draft that filled all the needs. They came in with no picks in rounds 2-4 and to get picks in those rounds would have meant trading down a lot and limiting the quality of player available to them. This is a SB roster that lost two key starters. Both picks addressed those losses with high quality replacements. Sucks that we won’t see them again until Sunday, but the goal is to put together the best group of starters you can and then find depth behind them. They have stuck to that philosophy with the way they handled opening night.

      And for those writing off Pettis, this is a guy who made enough plays in his rookie year to have everyone excited about him going into year two. He got into the dog house early last season, but I don’t think they are done with him just yet. We sometimes forget that these are young guys who have setbacks but can also bounce back. Pettis is a talented kid. The question will be how motivated he is to improve and become a factor. They’ve protected themselves if he doesn’t, but if he does, they have one heck of a WR core potentially.

      1. Ruggs was my first choice throughout the process, and being the first WR to be drafted validates my case for him over the other top WR’s.

        But I had a sense that the gypsy raiders would grab him. They finally got their Cliff Branch.

        But Aiyuk is very similar to Ruggs in that he could be dangerous anywhere on the field. He will be the perfect complementary WR that keeps the offense vibrant and moving down the field.
        The fact that the 49ers passed on Juedy and CeeDee makes it absolutely clear that Shanahan and Lynch got their man.

        1. I imagine they thought highly of Ruggs too, but I believe Shanhan when he said Aiyuk was their highest rated WR because he is exactly like the receivers he’s drafted previously as far as size, and RAC ability. This kid can really light it up for big plays and that’s what Kyle is always looking for.

  6. They could have traded down to 35 or 36, taken Aiyuk in the top of the second round, and used the picks to trade back into the second to take a corner. It was a stupid waste of draft capital. That said, they are selecting receivers to complement the quarterback they actually have. Garapollo does not throw a deep ball and so it makes no sense to get that kind of receiver. He does throw a clean pass in an open window in a way that allows YAC. So that’s what they are giving him.

    1. How do you know they could have traded down that far and gotten him? He was a first round prospect on many draft boards and the Niners had intel that he wouldn’t be there at 31 nevermind 35 or 36. It amazes me how some fans believe they know more than the team.

      1. Obviously I don’t know, but in the event no team between 25 and 31 took a wide receiver. Pittman and Higgins, who are comparable, were both available. Seems to me evidence suggests that the 49ers intel was wrong. It could be that Green Bay had Aiyuk above Jordan Love on their board, but in hindsight it seems clear the Niners reached. And that was very real draft capital they gave up. Now if Aiyuk goes to the pro bowl then hindsight will prove me wrong. If the Niners had traded down, which assumes the trade was there, they might have been able to have two second round picks. That’s Pittman or Higgins and a second round corner even if Aiyuk is taken. Reasonable people might disagree and we will see what receivers are taken in the top of the second, but I find this reaching up, as they did for Pettis and Foster, to be a little disappointing.

        1. You are looking at it as a fan who has been looking at draft boards and mock drafts on the internet. The team knows what they want and they target it. Pittman and Higgins are not comparable to Aiyuk. The are completely different types of receivers and based on the WR’s Lynch and Shanahan have targeted (Pettis, Samuel, Sanders in trade and now Aiyuk) they want play makers who can provide YAC. Aiyuk was the best in the country in that area last season. Their intel looks like it was bang on because the Dolphins immediately traded the next pick to GB for below value. To trade up the 49ers gave up a 4th and a 5th. That’s not a lot to move up in the first round for a player you covet. They’ve made mistakes just like every team has, but you have to trust your scouting and that told them Kinlaw and Aiyuk were their guys. You mentioned hindsight multiple times but there is nothing to have hindsight about right now. They were just added and we have yet to see them on the field. You’ll have plenty of time to complain if they don’t pan out. Right now they are talented young players with a lot of possibilities.

    2. If there’s a player that you have honed in on for a while, you don’t gamble by hoping and waiting that he will be there later in the draft.
      I know many feel that Aiyuk could have still been around in the 2nd rd, but can you guarantee that?
      The 49ers made a trade to get their man and they were extremely happy about it, and so am I.

  7. Who did not have a good first round draft? The Texans, Rams, Steelers and Bears did not have a pick. The Pats traded out of the first round.
    The Jags chose a CB that allowed Kinlaw to fall to the Niners. The Raiders had 2 picks, and chose Ruggs and Arnett. The Falcons chose AJ Terrell, when Fulton, Diggs, Igbinoghene and Gladney may be superior. Jerry chose Lamb, even though their defense had huge needs. The Packers moved up for Love. The Seahawks claimed they got the steal of the draft in Brooks, but he was ranked 139 on one big board.
    Who won big other than the Niners? The Dolphins got Tua, Jackson and Igbinoghene. The Chargers got Herbert and Murray. The Jags got Henderson and Chaisson. The Vikings got J Jefferson and Gladney.
    The Cards got Simmons, the Bucs got Wirfs to protect Brady and the Broncos stayed pat, and had Jeudy fall into their lap.
    The biggest winner was the sports fan, who finally had something to watch.

  8. What these picks tell you.
    – The combination of picks tells me that SF thinks they were the best team in football and want to run it back.

    The selection of Kinlaw.
    – Solomon Thomas is not considered a 3 tech and SF did not believe they had Buckners replacement on the roster.
    – Either SF didn’t like Whilfs or they believe Staley will be back.
    – They did not see either Ceedee or Jeudy as an elite wr in the mold of Green or Jones.

    The selection of Aiyuk,
    – Shanahan didn’t see much of a difference between Aiyuk and the top guys and
    _ There was clear drop-off from him to the next few receivers.
    – They feel their secondary has the players in place to remain dominant.

    1. Secondary dominant???..did you not watch the fourth quarter of the SB??? they stunk it up

      1. The pass defense was number one in the league last season.
        If the Chiefs offensive line had not held constantly, and received no holding penalties, the Niners would have achieved their Quest for 6.

        1. well said there, Sebs. Tho there really is no excuse for that 3rd and 15………..
          But your point is true……….Something has to be done such that these Refs can no longer determine the game-that should be the province of the players and coaches–obviously.

          1. I hope they put an official upstairs in a booth, than can tell an official on the field to throw a flag, or pick one up.
            Belichick said there should be an overriding rule- Get the call right.
            Find a way to make a determination within 30 second, or the play stands as called, so the game is not interrupted. No more running to the side line. Let the official in the booth have the video from all angles, so he can make a quick determination. Allow challenges of calls, and non calls.
            That offensive pass interference on Kittle at the end of the first half of the SB was bogus, because replays show the defender initially grabbing Kittle’s arm.

      2. Secondary dominant???..did you not watch the fourth quarter of the SB??? they stunk it up

        Stunk it up? The Niners secondary were a damn sight better than those of the other playoff teams the Chiefs faced

        vs Texans 321 yds 5 TDs 0 int, Mahomes QBR 91.5
        vs Titans 294 yds 3 TDs 0 int, Mahomes QBR 97.5
        vs 49ers 286 yds 2 TDs 2 int, Mahomes QBR 61.6

        I’ll take that defensive statline again, any day. It’s not like they gave up 6 consecutive TDs like the Texans did, or 4 consecutive TDs like the Titans did.

        Monty, is there anything you won’t sh*t on the Niners about?

        1. Thanks Rib,
          The fact that the defense didn’t completely shut down the hottest qb in the NFL completely now means they stuck it up? Sometimes opposing things can be equally true.
          Did the D blow it in the 4th? Yes.
          Did the D play well enough for SF to win? Yes, if SF’s offense was able to make some time-consuming drives in the 4th when they got stops they easily could have been champs.
          Was SF’s Pass defense dominant last year? Yes.

          We often want to take these all or nothing stances which leads to people taking microscopic points, ie missing the forest by focusing on a tree.

        2. Eh, it melted down, though I agree that doesn’t mean the unit as a whole is suddenly terrible. It just means it wasn’t good enough to win it, so an upgrade would have been nice.

      3. The secondary didn’t just stink it up in the fourth quarter. Sherman was victimized from the first quarter and throughout the game.

        Buckner took a bad angle on the TD play on the fourth quarter. Room him nearly three steps to recover.

        Ford had no effort at all on that play.

        I think the coaching staff has told you who they think is responsible for the loss with “trade rumors” and trades. Just my speculation though.

      4. Monty is a drama Queen who isn’t happy unless he’s complaining. This is the same guy that agreed with every negative take Cohn wrote and disappeared when they didn’t happen. The defense had held the most explosive offense in football to 10 points 7 minutes into the 4th quarter and this genius is talking about how much they stunk. Can’t make this stuff up.

  9. I’ve been following 49er drafts since 1967. Loading up on a position of strength is always the best strategy if you can do it. Bill Walsh always tried this whenever he had an opportunity. But the wisest way to go is if you think you can get a player who makes a real impact, which Shan and Lynch obviously feel they’ve done with these two picks . Time will tell. But just getting more picks and decent role players never gets you a chance at a ring . Gotta have some GREAT players and that usually entails a gamble or two.

  10. I like the Kinlaw pick. D-Line is our strength. A great d-line helps the entire defense.

    As far as WR, I’m not familiar with the kid but everything I read says he “has potential”. I’m starting to believe we got lucky with Deebo. I’m not sure we will ever have a coach and GM who can draft a legit WR.

  11. So with two 1st round picks, one being late in the 1st, we basically have no 3rd or 4th. Is that the biggest deal? Its not like they haven’t wasted 3rd and 4th rounders before: Beathard, J. WIlliams, Street, (Moore still up in the air). So its not the end of the world if they just bypass those rounds and go straight to 5th-7th. That being said who do you think are some good trade bait at this point (besides Goodwin)?


    Anyone else??? I think Thomas and Pettis could get us back into 3rd or 4th possibly. Breida, I’m unsure on, injury-prone RB with ball security issues.

  12. This draft here will define the 49ers management team. They already had 2017 draft to mess up since that was their first one, but 2020 draft is suppose to take them to the next level. Time will tell with these two picks. In this case I would of traded down, got more picks and still drafted the WR they wanted along with drafting a guy like AJ Epenesa. The medical issues with Kinlaws knees would of scared me off, Dee Ford has the same type of issues. So now you got 2 players with knee issues.. The route they really should of took this off season was sign a veteran DL one who you already know what they can do, trade their picks to get more in the 2,3,4 rounds, and still draft their WR. Then with their other first 1 pick either trade that to get more picks or took a CB or OL. Guys who can sit and maybe start next year.

    They can’t go into next year thinking the same thing is going to happen like last year. This team will not be slept on this year. They don’t have any superstar offense weapons on offense except Kittle. Yes we have the best FB in the NFL and Shanny can run the ball and we have Deebo but that will not scare many teams next year. We need more firepower on offense to go along with our defense. Example look at the Cowboys, they added more firepower to their offense in Lamb, they didn’t need him and they signed defense players HA HA Dix, McCoy, Poe, and Aldon Smith. They will score lots of points and their defense should be improved.

    Now in the years to come we will have to see who becomes the better player Jerry Juedy, Cedee Lamb or Brandon Aiyuk

    1. I assume “the next level” is actually winning a title? Because as it stands they’re already established as one of the stronger front offices in the league so far.

    2. Lynch and Shanahan have already been defined, imo.

      They (as rookies in HC and GM) took a franchise that was completely broken and spiraling down, and took them to the SB in only 3 years more than defines their productiveness.

      They have rebuilt a team that will be viable contenders for years to come. Even if they didn’t have any drafted or FA signings this year, they still would have been SB material.
      It amazes me that many including the last moderator (who should have renamed this site “the 49ers Outsider blog) never gave the new regime much credit.
      Three years to reach a SB cements Lynch and Shanahan in 49ers folklore for me.

  13. Tackling in the NFL has gone by the way side. It makes sense to draft skill players who are hard to tackle to boot. The late rounds is where Lynch/Shanny shine.

    1. UC

      We’re reading the same book….I cannot explain to myself or anyone else, Lynch and Shannahan’s inability to excel in the earlier rounds, and save themselves in the later choices…So far, I like this draft….

  14. Still can’t help but think if they wanted to come out of Thursday with a receiver and a defensive tackle that they could have made it Jeudy and Madubuike.

    1. i know its just hearsay at this point, but i’m hearing some who think Aiyuk is on par, or pretty close to Jeudy, while the difference between Kinlaw and Madubuike are much more pronounced from a floor/ceiling perspective. I think its just a matter of philosophy for this organization.

    2. I would take Kinlaw and Aiyuk over Jeudy and Madubuike.
      Out of 100 I would give Kinlaw a 90 to 87 and Aiyuk 80 grade. Jeudy I give a 92 to 90 but the other DT’s I would give a low 70’s grade.
      That said, I would have gone elsewhere.

      1. Agreed. Jeudy would have been great but I’d much rather have the combo they wound up with than the one proposed above. Bigger talent disparity between Kinlaw and Madubuike than Jeudy and Aiyuk in my opinion.

    3. I think more importantly they could have come away with Jeudy/ Lamb, plus traded back from 31 and ended up with probably two players on day 2, such as an OT, DT or CB, plus kept a 4th and 5th.

      Is Kinlaw + Aiyuk better than, say, Jeudy, Ezra Cleveland, Jordan Elliott, Devin Asiasi and Reggie Robinson?

      The 49ers draft approach is one of saying they know better than everyone else – that these two guys are definitely going to work out. Not playing the odds that most players don’t work out. They are also saying that not only do they trust their starters (except for DT and WR), but the entire depth on the roster is good enough.

      My main issues with this line of thinking are (a) most teams that believe they are smarter and better than everyone at scouting find out the hard way they are not, and (b) teams that ignore adding depth in the mid rounds (or have an awful draft) will find it hard to replace roster turnover at some point.

      This is one of the things that killed the 49ers during the Harbaugh/ Baalke period. That 2012 draft they only had 3 picks before round 5 and each of those picks was a disaster. The team was good for a couple more years, but then when injuries and roster turnover hit they didn’t have the guys coming up from within to keep it going. They had to use resources to cover the mistake of 2012 rather than cover future gaps. And the 2020 draft is actually something like that too – using their resources to cover the Thomas and Pettis mistakes. And they had already spent a 2020 3rd rounder covering the Pettis mistake last year.

      So we have almost a perfect storm in this draft. Using picks to cover past mistakes, betting on your scouting to be better than others by going with specific guys over quantity, and not adding depth to help replenish the roster over the next couple of years.

      I’m not saying this will be the beginning of the end, because it is just one draft. The team would have been strong in 2020 without making any draft choices. These two guys might end up being awesome, and they may end up with some decent guys with their remaining picks. And even if they don’t there is still FA and the draft next year. But I don’t like the approach – it isn’t a sustainable one.

      1. They came in with no picks in rounds 2-4 so they weren’t going to have much of a draft class unless they traded down significantly. Should they have traded down from 31? A case can be made, but how many picks are they getting with that trade down and where? If they trade into the top or middle of the second they are getting a 3rd at best. If they trade to the bottom of the 2nd they could get more but how far do you move down before it’s detrimental? Do they get the player they want – in this case Aiyuk – if they do that? Not likely. I don’t read anymore into it than what it appears to be. They traded picks to acquire some veteran talent to speed up the rebuild. That in turn led to a small draft class for a year which is a decent trade off considering they went to the SB. If Kinlaw and Aiyuk bust, then it may cause some problems, but that’s going to be the case in every draft. They have 22 players on the roster selected in the past 3 drafts along with some UDFA’s. They just added two more high quality players (they hope) and have 3 more picks and UDFA on Sunday. You only get into trouble if you don’t get any starters from a class and fail to at least make it up in depth. That killed Baalke because he missed on so many picks, but that isn’t the case here, at least not yet anyway.

        1. They had a prime opportunity to add some picks in rounds 2-4. They already had one by moving back one spot to 14. Instead they have decided to risk it all on effectively two players. If it works out then great, but statistically it is unlikely both players end up being worth 1st round picks.

          In terms of how far do you move back before it is detrimental… most people seem to believe there are about 20 guys available in the 2nd round that could have been 1st round picks. Deep draft, lots of talent available.

          49ers are banking on themselves beating the law of averages and doing it in a draft that many believe had the depth to not need to take that approach.

          1. You are still far more likely to hit on picks in round one than any other. By trading down into the second you add another pick but you also decrease the amount of talent to choose from. I get what you are saying and there is merit it to it, but they went into this draft already behind the 8 ball because of trading picks for players. If they felt getting Aiyuk was more important than getting a pick in the 3rd round, I can’t fault them for that. They weren’t going to make up that many picks with a late first. We’ll see in a couple of years I guess.

            1. They could have easily gotten a 2nd and 3rd for 31. That would have been a 2, 3, 4 and 5 pick instead of 25. The odds of getting one good player from 2, 3, 4 and 5 combined is greater than pick 25.

              1. Scooter if that deal was offered to Lynch don’t you think he would have taken it?
                Are you saying they panicked and didn’t think of doing that deal? We’re they so worried Aiyuk would not be there?

                My guess is they wanted to leave day one with two starters. The rest of the draft is just gravy.

              2. 100% I think they panicked. As they have done numerous times before they locked in on one player they felt they had to have and didn’t want to risk losing him. They have already effectively admitted as much.

                And by trading up they never allowed a trade down opportunity to happen. Nobody is firmly offering anything for pick 31 after the 24th pick of the draft.

              3. Maybe there was a little panic but my guess is they zeroed in on a group of 5-6 guys like Lynch mentioned, that they had to have in the 1st round.

                If some of those guys were still available by pick 20, they were going to do everything they could to get them and let the rest of the draft fall where does.

                Honestly,I don’t think they wanted to leave this draft with over eight picks.

              4. No need to guess. They have admitted they zeroed in on Aiyuk. It’s a bad strategy imo when you already have limited picks.

                The team didn’t need to come away with more than 7-8 picks. I’m not suggesting they needed that. But good players are/ will be available rounds 2-4. Zeroing in on one guy over what probably could have been 3 guys in rounds 2-4 is a risky strategy.

  15. 95.7 the game reported this morning that both Shanahans have a longstanding relationship with AZSt’s Herm Edwards and Aiyuk has been of KS’s radar for awhile.

    1. Yes. Yes you can. Social distance yourself from your man right now. We’re all responsible for flattening the curve. Thanks.

    2. Phil, please note that this site allows catfish accounts.
      I am trying very hard to be polite and respectful, and would never joke about a pandemic that has killed thousands of Americans.
      Hopefully the IT folks can use some of this down time to upgrade the blog security.

      1. Phil,

        Please note Seb’s continuing xenophobia in referencing only ‘Americans’ (by which he means U.S. citizens, not people who live in other countries in the Americas) who have died from COVID-19. A couple of weeks back, he only gave the U.S. fatalities as the number of ‘people’ who have died from COVID-19, thus implying non-U.S. citizens who died from the virus were not people. He likes to play the victim, but he is an intolerant, juvenile, xenophobic bigot. He has driven off many thoughtful, articulate, genuine posters with his inane posts and bullying. The blog would be better off without him.

        1. +1 on the Seb narrative.

          He is the single most polarizing commenter on this blog and frequently harasses others. He should be the last one crying out for more blog security.

        2. Im not trying to contradict you, I’m honestly not….but taken in the right light, Sebby is funny as h-ll!!

          What am I talking about? Just off the top of my head………………..

          “Football players should catch the ball and fall down”…………..

          “White jail birds are lazy”……………………

          And my all-time favorite…”Your filled with hate”…………for any subject he chooses-but especially for Kap.

          Sebs is giving a view point of the student radicals of Berzerkly, some of the East Coast schools of the 60’s and 70’s…………Some of their pissin and bitchin was correct-but most of it was by self-righteous and naive kids who changed their tune when they had to go to work for a living. Some of them never changed and chose to evaporate in Big Sur, Santa Cruz and…………………..Sebastopol.
          But Sebby by and large knows his football–its his social commentary that comes from the Mad Hatter.

    3. of course- this virus stays alive for a while apparently, like up to a few days-week (can’t recall exact life) ………… I use a glove when getting gas as well.

      Wash hands frequently.

      The main means of controlling the virus is apparently everyone wearing the mask- from what I heard recently.

      1. Yeah, wear gloves and masks . But a new incredible breakthrough was discovered yesterday. If a Covid patient ingests or is injected withe perfect combination of Lysol and Bleach the virus will be killed. We should check in with Dr. Trump for the exact dosages. WTF is happening to our country ?

          1. This is a perfect example of Seb’s disturbing behavior. A little more than an hour before this post, he wrote:

            I am trying very hard to be polite and respectful, and would never joke about a pandemic that has killed thousands of Americans.

            And yet, here he ‘jokes’ not only about ‘Americans’ dying in the context of the pandemic, but he also wishes for the death of many more people than the fatalities from COVID 19, as he specifies “all Trump supporters.” As Prime Time has pointed out, Seb is as vile a human being as Mr. Trump, and similarly has no ability to filter his hatred or even comprehend what he does/says wrong. The blog would be better off without him.

            1. Lighten up, Francis. I used a “;p” to signify it as a joke, and it was aimed at Trump.
              I do not think it is a miracle cure, and what Trump advocates, is deadly serious. it is deliciously ironic for him to downplay this pandemic, when a large block of his constituents are the elderly. It is also deliciously ironic to hear him vilify immigrants, when illegal immigrants are on the front lines, helping put food on the table and cleaning up the messes. They are heroes, performing the dirty work, with no thanks, little compensation and zero protection.
              I guess by your attacking me so fervently, you are inferring that it is a great idea to inject yourself with bleach.
              I did not state that it only has killed Americans. I am not inferring that the worldwide death toll is good because I hate the rest of the world. The worldwide death toll would make my concerns even more poignant, but I have absolutely no control over how the world responds to this pandemic. I can only urge people on this football site to shelter in place, wear masks, wash their hands frequently, and be safe.

              1. Lighten up, Francis. I used a “;p” to signify it as a joke, and it was aimed at Trump.

                No, it was a ‘joke’ about Trump supporters, it was about people dying, and it was in the context of the pandemic, thus contradicting your prior statement.

                I do not think it is a miracle cure…

                Non sequitur and ad hominem of a third party to the instant discussion used to deflect criticism of your tasteless ‘joke’.

                I guess by your attacking me so fervently, you are inferring that it is a great idea to inject yourself with bleach.

                Non sequitur, ad hominem, and reductio ad absurdum, not to mention conflation of ‘infer’ and ‘imply’. Oh, and hyperbole for classifying a simple post pointing out how reprehensible you are as “attacking [you] so fervently.”

                I did not state that it only has killed Americans. I am not inferring that the worldwide death toll is good…

                Non sequitur and straw man, plus second conflation of ‘infer’ and ‘imply’.

                Or, in other words, your typical fallacy laden nonsense punctuated with self-righteous snark, misuse of terminology that you do not fully understand, bullying, and false claims of victimization. Thank you, Seb, for showcasing why the blog would be better off without you.

              2. You are trying too hard.
                This blog will be under new management, and I hope it encourages civil and polite behavior. Usually, a blog does not allow another poster to call anyone a vile person because the personal attacks adds nothing to the discussion.
                This is a blog about the Niners. I am a die hard faithful 49er fan, and hunger for that 6th ring. I plan on being civil and polite, and hope you can do the same. I have never claimed to be anything more than a passionate fan, that has an opinion. Some may think that they can shout me down, but it just is a waste of your time. Scroll past. It is so easy to do.
                Non sequiter, ad hominem, ipso facto quid pro quo. Straw man, gaslighting, red herring conflation, it is just trolling. Parsing the English language with me is like running into the teeth of the defense.
                I still plan on discussing how this draft is going. I am happy. JL managed to trade back, and still got the foundational player they targeted. They even bundled picks to move up, to select the WR that KS coveted. I sure wish they had gotten a couple picks in the second, third, or 4th rounds, but it did not happen, so I will abide by their decision, and root for both Kinlaw and Aiyuk.

          2. Not a kind thought, Sebs. Remember, your supposed to be overflowing with LoooOOOOVVe and tolerance.

            1. Sorry, just could not help myself. Spouting quackery is counter productive, and he should let the medical professionals talk more.

  16. For all of the bragging and bitching, ….just go with the flow….ya’ can’t change it anyway…. Now let’s go grab those two ‘stallions’ Lynch has been rat-holing up ’til now…GO NINERS !!

  17. What date can teams sign players and it doesn’t effect draft compensation for next season?

  18. When I hear Shanny say things like Aiyuk was his top WR it reminds me of the time he said CJ Beathard was his top rated QB in the same draft as Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. I think about trading up in the first round to get Reuben Foster in the same draft he where he took Solomon Thomas with the 3rd pick. Or later in that same draft he took Ahkello Witherspoon and then the Saints took Alvin Kamara with the very next pick. Then I think, well hey, 49ers got to the Superbowl last year so they are doing something right. I REALLY don’t like what the 49ers did with their draft last night. But I do think the team will still be great again next year.

    1. If Solomon Thomas was not a bust we would not of even of thought of Kinlaw. Hopefully he will be more like Buckner and not following in Thomas footsteps.

  19. To be honest it’s a good strategy. While the idea of a team that has no holes present sounds like it would be nigh on unbeatable, even they would struggle against a team that does a few things extremely well. It’s a positive sign as it shows the team has an identity.

  20. Pete Prisco’s grades:

    14. 49ers, DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
    Grade: B-. It’s not that I don’t like Kinlaw. He has the potential to be a dominant player like Chris Jones of the Chiefs. But is he a better player than DeForest Buckner who they traded for to get the Colts pick? Essentially they replaced Buckner with Kinlaw.

    Telly says: Very silly argument. Buckner quit on us. Plus imagine this alignment once the kid gets coached up: Ford/Armstead, Kinlaw, Jones, and Bosa.

    25. 49ers, WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona St.
    Grade: B+. I love this kid. In this offense he’s going to be phenomenal. He’s only scratching the surface. When he catches the ball, boom he’s gone. He will be an effective player in that offense.

    Telly says: Ignore the grade and hear what he’s saying.

    1. His take on the Kinlaw for Buckner move ignores the fact that Buckner would have cost 21 mill a season and kept them from keeping some other players. Essentially they got Kinlaw and were able to resign Ward by trading Buckner. Not to mention they still have to resign Kittle.

      1. “His take on the Kinlaw for Buckner move ignores the fact that Buckner would have cost 21 mill a season and kept them from keeping some other players.”

        The 49ers did their best to resign Buckner, but he didn’t want to budge on his figure amount.
        Armstead, Bosa, Jones, Street, Taylor and Blair give us a young DL front and Kinlaw makes it younger. Like Buckner, who was raw as a rookie, Kinlaw will be good as a rookie, but get better as he learns the pro game.

        I like that the 49ers FO were looking 3-5 yrs to the future with the Kinlaw pick.
        I call it, Superbowl Sustainability.

    2. DeFo didn’t quit on us. He has been a beast since the day we drafted him. He’s worked hard on his game and the new contract was well deserved.

      Contrast that with Solly who “didn’t quit on us” and is still here but we would rather he retire.

      Telly needs the ? pulled.

      1. Yeah, I’m not fond of the Buckner slander either. The guy was the lone bright spot through the Chip year, and year on year he got better. He molded into a leader on the team and frankly was everything you would want from the 7th overall pick. The only thing he was missing was the superstar stat year.

        It came time to pay the man and the Niners didn’t do so. It’s a shame, I get it, but it’s a shame.

      2. Telly says: Lighten up. Calling it slander is ridiculous. Have you ever quit a job? He quit as a 49er. He could have stayed for less but he didn’t. That’s what I meant by quitting. I don’t blame him for that, and I didn’t mean that he quit as a player.

  21. Kocurek on Kinlaw: “This is the guy.”

    “San Francisco 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek is a big fan of his newest defensive toy, first-round draft pick Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina. Head coach Kyle Shanahan joined general manager John Lynch on KNBR Thursday night and explained how persistent the assistant coach was in persuading them to draft the defensive tackle.

    “Do you know what the last five weeks have been like for us? Coach Kocurek is stuck in his house, and he’s spending every day with his wife and his newborn,” Shanahan explained to Mark Willard and Larry Krueger. “… All he’s doing right now is changing diapers or watching Kinlaw.

    “He sends us pictures of him every day, and I have to keep asking, ‘Are you watching anyone else?’ He said, ‘No, this is the guy.'”

    1. I wonder how much the decision to draft Kinlaw was based on appeasing Kocurek after getting rid of one of his favourite toys…?

      1. We’ll never know, and I know you were expecting something else, as were a lot of people including me. I once posted that I thought our biggest immediate need besides replacing Sanders was supporting the left edge position due to Ford’s condition and Blair’s return a question mark. In reading about Kinlaw I came across comments about his also being suitable as a strong-side end despite his weight. If that’s so, that’s another plus in his column.

  22. Quite a few complaints here about Niners’ Day#1 picks, but many of the TV Talking Heads really like what the Niners got done.
    It’s a good thing too, LOL, cuz Day#2 will likely be a Nothing Burger for SF.

    1. Von Miller likes the pick too.
      Go figure. When fans don’t get their way. This happens. Every single year.

  23. Wait… did I miss grant? Is he not in charge anymore? No wonder these articles aren’t filled with slander

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