49ers offseason blueprint

Here is my blueprint for the San Francisco 49ers’ 2016 offseason. If you’ve made your own blueprint, please post it below.

Free agent signing:

Sean Smith, cornerback. The Niners have three major holes on defense: Right inside linebacker, right outside linebacker and right cornerback. San Francisco will fill the first two needs in the draft, and sign Smith, the best right cornerback on the market.

Free agent re-signings:

Ian Williams, nose tackle. One of the best nose tackles in the NFL. The Niners developed Williams and will reward him with a big contract extension.

Alex Boone, guard/tackle. The Niners typically don’t re-sign guards, but they’ll make an exception for Boone because he can play tackle as well.


Tank Carradine, no position.

Ahmad Brooks, outside linebacker.

Corey Lemonier, outside linebacker.

Brandon Thomas, guard.

Shayne Skov, inside linebacker.

Ian Silberman, guard.


FB Bruce Miller for a draft pick in 2017


Round 1: Shaq Lawson, outside linebacker, Clemson

Round 2: Deion Jones, inside linebacker, LSU

Round 3: Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford

Round 4: Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida

Round 4: Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon

Round 5: Tyvis Powell, FS, Ohio State

Round 5: Romeo Okwara, OLB, Notre Dame

Round 5: Aziz Shittu, DT, Stanford

Round 6: Tre Madden, RB, USC

Round 6: Ka’imi Fairbairn, K, UCLA

Round 6: Isaac Seumalo, G/C, Oregon State

Round 6: Jared Norris, ILB, Utah

53-man roster


Colin Kaepernick

Blaine Gabbert

Fourth round draft pick (Vernon Adams)

Running backs

Carlos Hyde

Mike Davis

Jarryd Hayne

Sixth round draft pick (Tre Madden)

Wide receivers

Torrey Smith

Quinton Patton

Bruce Ellington

DeAndre Smelter

Fourth round draft pick (Demarcus Robinson)

Tight ends

Garrett Celek

Vance McDonald

Blake Bell

Busta Anderson

Offensive line

Joe Staley

Alex Boone

Daniel Kilgore

Erik Pears

Anthony Davis

Trent Brown

Third round draft pick (Joshua Garnett)

Andrew Tiller

Marcus Martin

Defensive line

Arik Armstead

Ian Williams

Quinton Dial

Glenn Dorsey

Mike Purcell

Fifth round draft pick (Aziz Shittu)

Inside linebacker

NaVorro Bowman

Second round draft pick (Deion Jones)

Gerald Hodges

Nick Bellore

Outside linebacker

First round draft pick (Shaq Lawson)

Aaron Lynch

Eli Harold

Fifth round draft pick (Romeo Okwara)


Sean Smith

Tramaine Brock

Dontae Johnson

Kenneth Acker

Keith Reaser


Eric Reid

Antoine Bethea

Jaquiski Tartt

Jimmie Ward

L.J. McCray

Fifth round draft pick (Tyvis Powell)


Kicker: Sixth round draft pick (Ka’imi Fairbairn)

Punter: Bradley Pinion

Long snapper: Kyle Nelson

This article has 345 Comments

  1. Bruce Miller is absent from the cut list and the 53 man roster. I think he still has some time left on his contract. Are you thinking trade or just an omission? I believe the new offensive system does not rely on a true FB and will have a TE fill in when needed.

      1. Erik Pears is the worst player I’ve watched play at any position at any level. He was acquired as the worst in the league. If he’s still on team we should question every other move this staff makes.

        1. He seemed okay, or bit below just okay, at the position of guard. At tackle, he was a nightmare snap after snap. Might serve well enough to keep him around for guard duty, lest such a need should happen. Actually, come to think of it, Marcus Martin is natural guard, so I’d be okay cutting Pears.

  2. I dont know what the cap number would be after those cuts but it would be upwards of 50 million correct? You dont see any other impact FA signing?

  3. Isn’t the league minimum for cash spend in any one year of 89% of the salary cap? With a salary cap of ~$153M, the 49ers need to spend ~$136M in cash on players. Does your plan account for this minimum?

    1. Actually, my bad, teams need to average a minimum of 89% over the five years between 2011 and 2016. No idea where they currently sit on this threshold.

    2. I believe they have to meet that minimum spending threshold when averaged over a number of years. That is why the Jags and Raiders have been under it recently and they have to make it up soon.

      1. Yep. And after some research, it looks like the 49ers are already very close to meeting the threshold anyway.

  4. I like your draft and Sean Smith as a free agent. Don’t you think the 49ers will go after at least one more free agent (OL, DL, or OLB)? I think adding TWO quality free agents and 12 quality draft picks will go a long way towards rebuilding this team.

      1. How much do you think Sean Smith, at 29 years old, is going to get in his next contract? And for how many years?

        What are you thinking the 49ers pay for Boone and Williams?

      2. After last season’s disaster, I think overpaying a tad for two blue-chip free agents is exactly what they should do. They should spend every dollar of the cap room and try to win back the fans.

      3. Grant…I think the Niners will play things differently than they have in the past. They have a PR issue and the best way to fix that is to go out and get a couple high impact free agents. They have the ability to front load the contracts and not destroy the cap in future years. Baalke is going to spend because he is on the hot seat. Who they get is a good question, but I am guessing the get a top 10 OL and a top defender. Plus they will get a couple of B level free agents.

      4. We should go after strong CORE players OL/DL – build from the inside out
        Alex Mack C x Browns
        Osemele OG x Balt
        G Schwartz OG/T x NYG
        Trevanthian ILB – Denver
        B Irvin OLB x Seattle
        maybe Sparks GB RB

        if we still have some of our 6f2m left look at CB’s or potentially

  5. No to Smith our CB`s are fine, No to WR from florida,we have Dres Anderson and Andrew White,Need to keep DuJuan Harris put Hayne on Practice Squad,Pears need to be CUT with the quickness keep Silberman not so sure about Dieon Jones from LSU,that`s pretty high draft pick Ithink you can find better

  6. What’s with cutting cheap pass rushers? They may not have done much so far but they still have pass rush ability. Shouldn’t cut any of them since they don’t need cap space. If they don’t make the final roster that’s one thing but cutting them before training camp is stupid.

  7. Grant, you are a scholar and a saint. I would fully accept this scenario, because you included Hayne. Looks like you covered all the bases, but realize everything may change once Free Agency and the Draft rolls around.

    1. Actually, I do have one big difference. Brandon Thomas should stay and Pears should be pruned.

      1. Yeah, Grant I’m concerned with whether or not you actually have a working knowledge of the 49er roster. How in the name of God do you not get rid of Erik Pears? I was actually with this up until that point… DuJuan Harris could actually remove Carlos Hyde from the top position of the running backs group, and you didn’t even list him which leads me to believe you had no idea he was on the roster. Grant, this report is suspect…

        1. I do not beg to differ, I vehemently disagree. Hyde is 10 times better than a journeyman RB who has been cut several times.
          However, I do agree about Pears.

          1. Seb, you’re right in a sense that HARRIS is not going to unseat HYDE. Besides, they’re 2 very different types of RB’s. However, IMO he would be a fantastic compliment to Carlos, and I am pretty sure Kelly will see things the same way. I know for certain Baalke is very high on him. He feels like the kid has grown as a player, and as a person. He’s under contract for 2016, and he has a lot of value in a Chip Kelly system, ala DARREN SPROLES.

            Harris isn’t going anywhere. He’s making the team!

            How do you feel about Grant’s 2nd round pick, DEION JONES? Seem like another odd pick from Grant. Jones is extremely undersized, IMO, for a 3-4 inside backer. He looks like a much better fit as a 4-3 Weakside Linebacker (Will), and special teamer, to me. Why would anyone spend a high 2nd round pick on a guy that needs to gain at least 20 lbs, to play the position you envision? It’s one thing to gain 20 lbs when your 270 lbs, and something else entirely when your 225 lbs. Hard to see this guy as a 3 down ILB in O’NEIL’s system!

            1. I thought that a lot of Grant’s picks were head scratchers, but it may have been done to generate debate. Still think Buckner is a good first pick. I would choose Spence over Lawson.

              1. We are on same page there.

                Here is my round one plan, pre-free agency. I would also say pre-combine, but, for me, the only time I factor in much in terms of the combine, is when a guy runs DRASTICALLY slower or faster than I expected, or if the doctors uncover an unexpected injury. Like most scouts, I’m a game film guy.

                I have 2 different round one mocks, both having a couple possible options. The first mock “scenario” being contingent on Colin Kaepernick being on the roster. I hope he is ….. IF, his heart is into it, and he is eager to compete to reclaim his position. The second mock, addresses the draft with the idea of Colin being gone.

                ROUND 1 (with Colin on board)

                If an opportunity to trade back doesn’t materialize, I am selecting ILB MYLES JACK, UCLA. Here, it just so happens that I am marrying the best player available with a top area of need. The 49ERS desperately need to find a 3 down ILB who can cover! I want my ILB to be interchangeable, but I want a WILL Linebacker who’s strength is to drop into coverage and simply fly to the football. Jack has the potential to reach elite status as an ILB that covers ground and can run with the best of them.


                I am trading this pick, back a few spots, and I am drafting ILB JAYLON SMITH, ND. IMO, he is the 2nd best defensive player in the draft behind BOSA! According to reports, JAYLON’S injury was not as bad as originally feared, and he is ahead of schedule, and healing exceptionally well. He’s a game changer! Bucky Brooks recently compared him to PATRICK WILLIS. However, Smith has a couple inches on Patrick, which is always an advantage in coverage. I love MILES JACK, but I’d give this kid the nod assuming he’ll fully recover from his injury 100%. If the 49ers can trade back and this guy, plus more draft capitol, it’s a home run right out of the gate.


                I am trading back and selecting ILB REGGIE RAGLAND, ALB. I watch the film on this guy and I see another game changer! REGGIE is ready to compete for All-Pro from day one. Ragland combines incredible instincts with throwback size and nerve-shattering physicality! He’s extremely disciplined, understands angles, and he’s more athletic than he gets credit for. He has an assassin’s mentality, confident – not cocky, fearless – not reckless, and he will set the tone from the first defensive snap of the game.

                ROUND 1 (Colin has left the building)

                The selection here HAS TO BE QB JARRED GOFF, Cal. The 49ERS have the perfect “bridge” quarterback on their roster. Not only do I think BLAINE GABBERT is good enough to push a young quarterback for playing time, I also think he’s got the right mentality to be a menor. So…….. what better time to draft the next franchise QB than the present? There just so happens to be a local kid who idolizes #16, JOE MONTANA, TGOAT, and this kid has all the tools to run Chip’s system to perfection. His name is JARRED GOFF, and there is a good chance he’ll be there at #7 on draft day.

                *the “IT” factor
                *Quick, snappy release
                *Enough arm strength to make all the throws
                *Great functional mobility
                *Tough minded
                *Courageous in the pocket

                I would call Jarred downright surgical. He models his footwork after Peyton Manning. He models his pocket presence after some guy name Joe Montana. He’ll need a little time to develop, but has all the qualities I look for in a QB, and my hunch tells me Chip feels the same way.

                If both GOFF and WENTZ are off the board, I would select DE/OLB NOAH SPENCE, EK. In terms of versatility, and team need, Spence makes the most sense here. Spence is relentless, and his endurance is off the charts. He’s just as relentless in the 4th qtr as he is in the 1st! He’s the most dangerous pass rusher in this draft class, outside of JOEY BOSA!

                I’m willing to overlook the substance abuse issue as long as my sources tell me, after some investigating, that Spence seems to have a handle on the problem. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence, and domestic abuse, because I believe physical abuse is a personality disorder at it’s core. Outside of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, substance abuse isn’t a deal breaker for me, as long as I believe the individual has taken responsibility, understands the negative impact, and repercussions, and has seeked the proper treatment.

  8. Anyone else think Balkee might hold a team meeting before the draft and ask if anyone plans on retiring any time soon. But us in the but last year

  9. You think Deion Jones and Vernon Adams Jr. in 2nd the 4th rounds rounds respectively kind of high don’t u think considering most have jones with 3rd round grade with jones and Adams Jr. with a 7th rd or FA grade? Considering the Niners can draft Shilique Calhoun in the 2nd round and Sheldon Day and Nick Vannett with their 2 4th round picks?

      1. The tape on Jones v Bama showed he won’t play at all in the NFL. Easily blocked, bad angles to the ball, gets run over by a QB…not sure what you were seeing…

      2. Jones’ technique, athleticism, and mental ability make him an ideal prospect for me. He needs to add strength and the fact he’s only had a years worth of production, keep him from being drafted in the first round. A NFL linebacker coach and conditioning program will improve those areas….

  10. receivers

    Torrey Smith

    Quinton Patton

    Bruce Ellington

    DeAndre Smelter

    Fourth round draft pick (Demarcus Robinson)

    Of all these WRs u listed. Where is that No. 1 WR?

      1. The one thing that I didn’t like about your picks, is that you wait until the 4th rd.
        to pick on the offense side of the ball, they need a lot of help on the offense,
        and the need of a big fast WR is a big deal in Kelly’s offense, so I think the first pick will be on the offensive side, weather it be wr, or protection on the right side, I think they go offense first.

  11. From PFT:

    “Ben Volin of the Boston Globe expects impending free agent Alshon Jeffery’s next deal to be in the “same neighborhood” of Dez Bryant’s recent five-year, $70 million contract.
    Jeffery is the top option in a thin free agent class of wide receivers. He had a hard time staying on the field last year but was excellent when healthy, averaging a robust 89.7 yards per game. Bryant earned $45 million guaranteed last offseason and the expectation is that Jeffery will command something similar. There’s a strong possibility the Bears will place the franchise tag on Jeffery to buy themselves time as the two sides work on a long-term agreement.”

  12. I see you have the Niners Keeping Pears. He was the WORST tackle ever last year. I would be very upset if he isn’t one of the 1st Cuts from this team. I’d rather them keep Brandon Thomas who hasn’t had any chance to play over Pears.

        1. Do you have inside information that we don’t have regarding his injury? Perhaps you shouldn’t question another man and his health. I doubt he quit for a year just for the hell of it. I’ve dealt with personal injury in a dangerous job, have a little respect for what others may be going through, Grant.

          1. Plus, Pears is a dinosaur. It’s painfully obvious to anyone with eyes that the 49ers are trying to get younger. There is absolutely no value in keeping a terrible, 34 year old OL when the team is trying to establish another foundation of players to go on another run for the Super Bowl. If he was Evan Mathis or Jahri Evans, both of whom are perennial Pro Bowlers, that’s one thing, but you don’t keep a terrible dinosaur on a team that is rebuilding and obviously going with youth.

              1. Grant,

                I’ll get over it. I’ll be too busy watching the starting OL maul people as Chip Kelly’s offense keeps me entertained. If anyone goes down and Pears plays, he’ll only play one game (or one series at that) before Chip Kelly’s head explodes and Pears is relegated to the farthest reaches of the bench.

                But I’m curious, why do you think they’ll keep him? You saw how inept he was last season. You may have even written some disparaging words about him in a game blog.

        2. Grant, Pears is useless in any capacity, and can’t represent insurance for any team in the NFL. In fact having both Jordan Devey & Erik Pears on your offensive line is a risk to the safety of your quarterback. Jim Tomsula should be brought up on criminal charges for attempted murder for even pairing those 2 as protection for Kaepernick who suffered injury, along with mental trauma, that may have permanently ruined him for life. Devey&Pears could easily rank as the worst offensive line tandem in the history of the game. How Erik is still in the NFL is a phenomenon. If Davis goes down you just play less 1 lineman as that would actually be a better idea.

        3. Why Grant? Brown outplayed Pears at RT last season, and they are almost certain to draft a tackle in April. If AD does in fact return this season, I don’t see any scenario Pears makes the team.

  13. I like Lawson but not at OLB. He is more of a 3-4 DE especially at 6’3 270 who’s body will continue to grow. I would rather go Lawson in the 1st Round. Shilique Calhoun in the 2nd round who actually have the body type to play OLB. Xavien Howard in the 3rd round. Then Sheldon Day and Nick Vannett with their both 4th round picks.

    1. Correct, Lawson doesn’t project very well as a OLB, in the eyes of most scouts, however, if they want to draft a DE, don’t you think Buckner or looks like a better fit?

    2. Sheldon Day will be gone early second round at the latest. He was PFF’s top defensive lineman last year. He can get frustrated in traffic, but if he gets any type of room, offensive lineman struggle to counter his combination of athleticism and kung fu like hands….

  14. Grant

    Well, it’s finally “complete,” but it still seems deficient to me.

    First, the make-up of your 53 doesn’t resemble any of Chip’s previous teams. He prefers 6 WRs and 7 DL, for instance.

    Second, you aren’t spending nearly enough in FA. The largest amount rolled over by any team in 2014 was $20M, with the 2nd most being $18M, and the 3rd being $15M. The average of the 5 biggest rollovers was $15.5M. In the scenario you outline above, the 49ers have a $60M cap number, and if they roll $16M, that means they have to spend $44M. Your signings are at most $20M, plus Bam. Where is the other $20M being spent.

    Third, your stable if RBs is massively deficient. Jarryd Hayne is a carnival attraction, not a football player, and during the circus year of Tomsula the Clown, Hayne made sense to make the 49ers more money and more globally visible.

    Fourth, you haven’t really addressed the fact that 2012 was a lost draft class. While other teams are extending their 2012 draft picks, the 49ers have nobody to pay. They MUST use FA to “build through the draft” for this offseason, lest they have a huge bike in their foundation. This is the point that has become apparent to me while thinking about this very unusual offseason process.

    Finally, what on earth is Eric Pears still doing on the roster?!!!

    Other than that, yeah …

    1. Why spend money on beaten-down veteran RBs when you can find good ones in the draft after the fifth round?

      1. I never said anything about buying RBs, but Mike Davis and Jarryd Hayne are garbage, and you know it. If you’ve read anything I’ve written, I’m totally against adding old guys or expensive guys.

        1. Baalke invested in Davis and Hayne. He’ll want to see what they can do in Kelly’s system.

          1. Baalke also invested in Tomsula, and that didn’t work out so well. If the 49ers go into the season with Hyde, Davis, and Hayne at RB in Chip Kelly’s offense without another absolute stud like Ezekiel Elliott, then you have to seriously question Baalke, as if more reason was needed.

              1. Grant

                If Baalke follows his pattern of drafting RBs, he’ll draft one in the second round. On even years he drafts in Rd 2, in odd years, Rd 4. So who do you think is worthy of a Rd 2 pick?

                It’s hugely evident that Kelly’s offense is predicated around the run. Also obvious is that Kelly will be pushing for the 49ers to prioritize the RB position, as evidenced by the DeMarco Murray debacle last year. Kelly thinks the RB position is the key to his offense (aside from the scheme itself), which makes sense.

              2. I’m shocked, and can’t believe you’re completely discounting DuJuan Harris winning a roster spot Grant. What gives? Considering his experience, and as well as he played last season, plus the fact that he is currently under contract, I am shocked that you aren’t giving him the nod over Jarred Hayne. I can assure you that Trent sees Harris as a 3 down RB. I would guess that Hayne’s ability to return punts would give him more value in your eyes, although last season you were less than impressed with Hayne’s value as a return man.

  15. Also, why would the 49ers keep Brandon Thomas on the 53 all last season, only to cut him now?

  16. Grant, its nice to see L.J. McCray and Nick Bellore. The good roster mocks always remember special teams. Thoughts…

    – I see Rogers and White didn’t make the WR squad. I think they (+rookie) will give Ellington and Patton competition.
    – I think Anthony Davis might wind up on another team for a conditional pick depending on Davis’s 2016 roster status on the new team. If that happens its Stanley at 7.
    – I think CK might wind up on another team too. (trade up with Browns?) If that happens its Goff at 2 or another Browns pick.
    – Jalen Ramsey is a Baalke type. Barring Goff or Jack, I can see him grabbing Ramsey… even though he usually finds tall corners later in the draft.
    – Vernon Adams great system fit.
    – I don’t know much about Aziz Shittu, but I think Baalke gabs an inside defender because there’s such a glut of them in the draft… or so the rumors say.

    “10 first round grade interior defensive linemen” + 12 picks = new D-lineman. Maybe two.

  17. No one has mentioned the first player on the list: Colin Kaepernick. That is a pivotal point in the whole off-season. I’m expecting a more accurate passer. Also expecting more money on free agents, more depth, size in receivers. Agree with several comments, I’ll be shocked if Eric Pears makes the roster as athleticism is a key for OL. Agree on big needs at ILB and OLB.

      1. “overpriced” defines the signing as bad in all circumstances…. like “too much of a good thing.” By definition, its “too much.”

        The last “expensive” FA signing that helped a bad team was Justin Smith in 2008.

        I agree with the overview… build through draft, use free agency money modestly to fill holes.

        1. Grant has already stated that anybody that you have to overpay to sign anyone that becomes a FA. Which means in his scenario above he is overpaying for Williams and Boone, as well as Smith. Yet “overpaying” a stud play-maker for the DL would be a waste.

          Personally I don’t see why the 49ers can’t afford to sign a couple of key FAs, as well as a couple of mid-tier guys. They have plenty of cap space.

          1. Agree. If Malik Jackson comes at a reasonable (he won’t be cheap) price, I’d take him. If “defense wins championships”, “defensive depth gets you to the championship.”

            Especially in the black-n-blue NFC West… where even top teams are likely to have to play 19 games to get to the super bowl because they are a wildcard team.

            1. How much money would the Niners have to offer Jackson for him to put SF in his top 2 or 3 choices? Jackson is used to winning.

              1. “How much money would the Niners have to offer Jackson for him to put SF in his top 2 or 3 choices?”

                The answer is “a lot of money”. I think he has indicated strongly that he wants to test free agency. Per below:


                From the article:

                “Jackson said on PFT Live this week that he’d like to return to Denver, but that “it’s a business” when it comes to where he’ll eventually wind up.”

              2. Grant, I’m flattered you think I have a ball park figure.

                I have no idea. A heck of alot, which is a heck of alot for an interior defensive lineman. Its the sacks and QB pressures that jack up his price.

                We had a pretty spiffy defensive line coach named Tim Domsula or something like that… that enabled the 49ers to develop pretty good D-linemen in house on the cheap. I wonder what happened to the guy.

                If Malik wants to break the bank, forget it. I’m thinking (hoping, wishing) that the rumored glut of inside defenders in this draft might depress the market for his services.

                I agree in principal in building through the draft, and being frugal in FA.

              3. I expect he’ll get somewhere around $10.5M to $11.5M per season, probably on a 5 year deal, with $20M+ guaranteed.

                That is what DEs of his calibre get paid.

              4. Scooter, if that’s what Malik want’s, I prefer to get interior defensive line talent in the draft. Sean Smith sounds like a solid addition.

              5. That is the price for 3-4 DEs of his calibre. You have to pay for talent. Sean Smith probably won’t come a whole lot cheaper.

              6. The 49ers have had 1 losing season since 2011. They went 8-8 when destroyed by injury and undermined by Harbaugh tension, and 5-11 with the worst coach in the history of the NFL. You’re making too much of this losing thing.

                Chip Kelly will take them to a winning record in 2016.

              7. The 49ers roster is worse than the Eagles roster? Can I have some of that, c’mon, pass it over.

      2. Where’s Boldin on the 53? He’ll be back. And I doubt Patton and Ellington will be back. They haven’t shown any improvement.

      3. Not necessary overpriced, but 49ers got Goodwin, J. Smith, R. Moss, Akers, Boldin, Ginn Jr., Whitner, Roger, Cox, Dorsey, Bathea, Dawson… and I wouldn’t call it so unsuccesfull.
        But I guess the best move was to hire the right HC… not really about the FA signing..

  18. My blueprint

    Alex Mack,Trumaine Johnson,Quinton Couples,and Phil Taylor.

    no one

    Tank Carradine

    Dorsey,Brooks,and Silberman

    Move Purcell to LDE and Lemonier to LILB

    1st: Shilique Calhoun ROLB
    2nd: LeRaven Clark LG (also will be backup\future starter at LT
    3rd: Josh Doctson WR
    4th: Shawn Oakman OLB
    5th: Vernon Adams QB
    6th: Javon Hargrave NT
    6th: Tyler Ervin RB
    6th:Sterling Bailey DE\DT

    1. What would Tank Carradine fetch in a trade? A 6th-7th? He only has a year remaining on his contract.

        1. I’d be stunned if Tank Carradine fetched a 4th or 5th. He’d be a one-year-rental with no history of production.

          1. He has some tape plus he has dropped weight that will catch the eye of some 4-3 teams,especially those who looked at him before draft.

          2. B2W,
            I agree regarding Carradine. He will not garner much in a trade. Perhaps the team will still try to get something for him with the mindset of addition by subtraction since he’s only taking up roster space.

            Tank is a player in flux not having established himself at any particular spot on defense.
            He is not starter material which makes him a far cry from the FO plan when drafting him that felt he would eventually be Justin Smith’ replacement.
            Time for the FO to just count their loss and fill his roster spot with someone else.

  19. Which was the last bad team that went to the playoffs with a good roster made of great draft picks and a couple decent FA pickups, the year after dumping an all-time clown coach for an all-time great college coach?

  20. Grant

    Don’t you see that the 49ers MUST make up for 2012 through FA? That’s one of the reasons they have so much money. They’re not rolling over $40M. Why are you not addressing these 2 major issues, because they run counter to your agenda?

    1. Signing a bunch of high-priced players from a position of weakness is something the Buccaneers would do.

      1. Not if you sign smartly. Sign guys that are actually worth being paid a lot of money, as opposed to reaching for mid-tier talent but paying them like superstars.

        1. Why sign players who may not play up to the contract or gets injured? I have noticed that players do tend to play lights out in a contract year.

        2. Niners should sign a top FA O lineman, and drop Pears.
          They have plenty of cap space to upgrade both sides of the line.

      2. When you say “overpriced” free agents you bias the discussion. More good players is what the 49ers need, athletic and skilled. The offense was weak in both of the last two years. Expect more fireworks with Coach Kelly. A few key players can make a big difference on both sides of the ball.

        1. Free agents won’t come to the Niners unless they overpay. The Niners aren’t good. They’re the worst team in the NFC West. Playoff possibilities are slim.

          1. Pessimistic view. You build primarily through the draft. The 49ers will add free agents, they already added two from CFL. It is just a matter of getting the best roster you can. Also, Silicon Chip has a good analysis of the need to fill in the roster for the missing personnel from 2012 draft class.

            1. Grant,

              Anything to say about 2012? Every successful team is paying tens of millions of dollars to players from that draft year, and those are players in the prime of their careers.

          2. 49ers under Singletary were the worst team in the history of the NFL, or some such trash.

            Not so under Jim Harbaugh.

            49ers under Tomsula were the worst team in the history of the NFL, or some such trash.

            Not so under Chip Kelly.

            1. The Cardinals are on the uptick, the Seahawks still have youth and the Rams have Gurley and a defense right now — they just need a QB and a WR with size. That’s what free agents see.

              1. The Cardinals have reached their zenith and the Rams will be perennially mediocre (at best) as long as Fisher is their HC. The Seahawks will continue to be good, but slowly recede due to cap troubles. The NFC west is still a brutal division, but at least the opponents aren’t still ascending.

              2. The 49ers have Colin Kaepernick (Cam Newton), a real head coach who turned Nick Foles into an all-star, a solid OL when Bam comes back, and a young and up-and-coming DL and defensive backfield. It needs to plug holes at ILB/OLB, and if an agent points a stud at either one of those positions to the 49ers (Trevathan/Irvin), that player might think he can be the difference maker, which would then put that player in a position of strength. I’m not sure you really understand how the agent-player relationship works, Grant.

              3. Kaep was the most deadly deep passer in the NFL in 2012 and part of 2013. He is more elusive, faster than Newton, and slightly quicker, though I am not under the false impression he is quick-twitch like Wilson or Gabbert. And yes, Newton is more powerful. But Kaep has the quicker release, shockingly, see Sports Science…

                Harbaugh was not a QB teacher; he was a QB shackler. Shackled Andrew Luck at Stanford, shackled Alex Smith in SF so that Smith would protect the ball, and shackled Kaepernick. It worked with Luck and Smith, but it undercut Kaepernick’s main attribute, as an improviser. That was the sad reality of all that pocket passer talk. You yourself said it would be a good idea to roll him out more, but the 49ers never did that.

                If Kaep sticks around, he will finally have a coach who knows what he is doing with the QB position. He will flourish. There is a great deal of evidence that shows that Kelly gets good results from his QBs.

            2. Sil, I disagree. The Niners under Singletary were talented, but way underperformed. There were a lot of other worse teams in the history of the game. Singletary got fired for promising to make the playoffs, and imploded.
              Niners, under Tomsula, were not horrible, but losing 7 starters on defense and 5 starters on offense really hurt the team’s chances.
              Hopefully, Chip can fix the offensive malaise, but he has a daunting task.

          3. So it’s not that free agents by definition are a bad deal, it’s that the 49ers are so badly managed that no one will come here to play for their true market value.

            How is such an organization, as currently constituted, going to build threw the draft? They don’t seem to have the management talent to build long term talent, and they don’t seem to keep enough of it when the first contract cycle is completed.

            They seem to replace pending fifth year talent with rookies on a regular basis.

            1. HT

              And this is the real negative of the 49ers organization: players all around the league ask whether Jed/Trent will just let them play, and support them and their coaches, and rightfully so.

              Don’t kid yourself that players around the league like Harbaugh though, either. They all know what Harbaugh is, and is not. What he is: a master drill sergeant who can motivate lazy through bullying and fear. What he is not: a teacher, who can take a talented player and teach him new things.

              The immediate firing of Jim Tomsula and hiring of Chip Kelly is a significant departure from the way things were done in the past, because it shows contrition, as well as a shift away from a Trent-dominated team to one that focuses more on the 49ers legacy as an offensive innovator.

              1. I’m not too old to hope you are right, but I’m too old to convince anyone else that you’re right. ;-}

            2. The 49ers haven’t been able to draft and cultivate talent since Scot McCloughan left. Watch the Daniel Snyder Native Americans take the NFCLeast for the next 5 years.

              1. That’s a real possibility if Scot McCloughan is right that he can be an alcoholic and drink generous amounts of beer at the same time.

              2. There were no meeting in week long series of meetings he did to tell is story. There was a lot of beer which he thought was fine.

      3. Grant,

        The issues:

        2012 Draft must be accounted for in FA

        $40M rollover

        I know you like ignoring issues that undercut your argument, but that is not something smart people like yourself do. Smart people address troublesome issues.

          1. Got it. But you’re not going to front load to the tune of $20M, but okay. Which contracts are you thinking? I suppose you could also restructure, to add $$$ to this year, but the fact is, there aren’t enough contracts to front load to reach the number you’re talking about.

            And the 2012 issue? No contracts to front load from there. Do you really think a team can just have 0 draft picks from a class and be successful? I don’t mean from 2005. That would have been a clever answer from you, but a little obfuscatory, yesno?

            1. 2012 is an issue, but making a mistake in 2016 free agency won’t fix a mistake made in the 2012 draft.

              1. Granted, but it’s not a mistake. The 49ers need to sign 3-4 players from that 2012 draft class that can contribute for the next 3-5 years. That doesn’t mean overpaying them, but there is no value at all in paying a 29 year old CB more than market rate for a rebuilding period.

              2. I think that’s what the Niners should do next year after a 7-9 or 8-8 season. Develop a core of young players like the Raiders did, get free agents excited about this team, then sign them. Oakland has $75 million in cap space. McKenzie has been very shrewd.

              3. McKenzie has been amazing for that team. If the 49ers were to release Kaep, Dorsey, Bethea, Brooks, and Brock, they’d have $76M to spend, more than the Raiders, and nobody could really, honestly say they’d be any worse off than they would be if they kept those players. Baalke has also been very shrewd. The Raiders have a good young QB, WR, and OLB, but they are pretty barren at every other position, unless you think Latavius Murray is a stud (which he might be, but his shelf life will be short). The 49ers have a better all-around roster than the Raiders, and if they had a decent coach last year, probably would have had a better record, despite having the league’s hardest SOS.

                You can’t underestimate the negative impact that Tomsula had on game days. You wrote as much yourself.

  21. Free Agency:

    Mitchell Schwartz RT (If and when Bam unretires, trade for conditional 2017 pick)
    Ben Jones C/G
    Alfred Morris RB
    Sean Smith CB

    Cuts/Trades/Free Agency Losses:

    Williams, DL
    Wilhoite LB
    Boldin WR
    Miller FB (Traded for 7th Round Pick)
    Boone G
    Pears T
    Devey G
    Lemonier OLB
    Brooks OLB
    Carradine DL (Trade for 2017 conditional 6th Round Pick)
    Skov LB
    Silberman G
    Thomas G
    Garrett Celek TE
    Hayne RB

    Round 1 – Noah Spence (the next Khalil Mack)

    Round 2 – Deion Jones, ILB LSU

    Round 3 – Sebastian Tretola G, Arkansas

    Round 4 – Javon Hargrave DL, S Carolina

    Round 4 – Roger Lewis, WR, Bowling Green

    Round 5 – Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon

    Round 5 – Aaron Green, RB, TCU

    Round 5 – Justin Simmons, FS, BC

    Round 6 – Curt Maggitt, OLB, Tennessee

    Round 6 – Jalin Marshall, H-Back/WR/PR

    Round 6 – Mike Matthews, C, Texas A&M

    Round 6 – Ka’imi Fairbairn, K, UCLA

    Round 7 – Sean Price, TE, South Florida

    Starting 53:


    Colin Kaepernick
    Blaine Gabbert
    Vernon Adams

    Running backs:

    Carlos Hyde
    Alfred Morris
    Mike Davis
    Aaron Green

    Wide receivers:

    Torrey Smith
    Roger Lewis
    DeAndre Smelter
    Bruce Ellington
    Jalin Marshall

    Tight ends:

    Vance McDonald
    Blake Bell
    Busta Anderson
    Sean Price

    Offensive line:

    Joe Staley
    Ben Jones
    Daniel Kilgore
    Andrew Tiller
    Mitchell Schwartz
    Trent Brown
    Marcus Martin
    Mike Matthews

    Defensive Line:

    Arik Armstead
    Javon Hargrave
    Quinton Dial
    Mike Purcell
    Glenn Dorsey

    Inside linebacker:

    NaVorro Bowman
    Deion Jones
    Gerald Hodges
    Nick Bellore

    Outside linebacker:

    Noah Spence
    Aaron Lynch
    Eli Harold
    Curt Maggitt


    Sean Smith
    Tramaine Brock
    Dontae Johnson
    Kenneth Acker
    Keith Reaser


    Eric Reid
    Antoine Bethea
    Jaquiski Tartt
    Jimmie Ward
    L.J. McCray
    Justin Simmons


    Kicker: Ka’imi Fairbairn
    Punter: Bradley Pinion
    Long snapper: Kyle Nelson

      1. Yeah, Razor, except they’ll carry 9 OL and 7 DL, 6 WR and 3 TE. And this is a 54 man roster, not 53, but yeah, looks good. Looks a lot like what I wrote about 10 days ago. Your draft picks look great too. Great work.

    1. What made you decide to join Grant in touting Sean Smith as the FA to pickup? I thought you were all in on either a DL, OLB or OL FA pickup?

        1. Thanks Razoreater…I should have been more like you! I like the Noah Spence comparision as I choose Calhoun as the next Aldon Smith without the off field issues

    2. 2 things.
      First. If all your draft picks make the team, then almost one quarter of the squad will be rookies.
      Second. Of course, I would drop Mike Davis or Aaron Green, and keep Hayne.
      Other than those 2, I like yours better than Grants.

    3. Nice work razor, but I have to admit I’m not a fan of the approach.

      Add Tamba Hali in FA (giving a nice platoon of OLBs, and time for Spence to develop rather than needing him to start as a rookie), as well as add a pass rushing DL in FA (I like Hargrave, but he is very raw and also needs time to develop) and I’d be happier.

    4. Thanks for the breakdown. Good job!

      Noah Spence – With the exception of Aaron Lynch, the 49ers have been drafting boy scouts since 2013. I wouldn’t be surprised if 8 of the top 40 players in 2015 were off Baalke’s draft board for behavior reasons.

      Rogers (CFB) and White – Didn’t make the WR squad. Disappointed but not surprised.

      Javon Hargrave – Love to get him in round 4

      Vernon Adams – Good fit in Kelly’s system. Looks like Russel Wilson. Would be nice to know his exact dimensions at the combine weigh in.

    5. Razor, I like the idea of trading Bam Davis trade for conditional pick.

      My favorite unrealistic scenario is Baalke trades 7+Bam or 37+Bam up. If he’s not still on the other team’s roster at the end of 2016 regular season, they get the 49ers 2017 third or fourth rounder as a consolation prize to soften the sting.

      Just don’t structure it like the Vikings did with the Cowboys in the “Great Trade Robbery.” The mother of all conditional trades.

    6. Razor,
      Nice job bud.
      Just my opinion, but I’m not completely sold on Dion Jones. Although he shows very good athleticism I thought that he was a little slow in mapping out plays. Also, given the fact that he plays with a good supporting cast it can hide some flaws.

      I like Spence with our first pick and either Andrew Billings or Sheldon Day to man the Dline. We aren’t getting any push/pressure from our interior D-line with our current cast. Billings is player that can stop the run and collapse the Oline. He would be may draft bromance with our #2 pick.
      If you get a chance to check him out for yourself you may be impressed.

  22. Grant…I like some of your moves and subsequent position groups…like the OL, it’s strengthened by keeping Boone. I agree, he’s very versatile and can slide over to LT should Staley go down. Also like the TE group a lot…I think we have a solid group and like the move to keep Celek, the most experienced vet. Some I don’t like:

    QB–Even if Kap stays on, Vernon Adams wouldn’t be my pick…I’d go with Dak Prescott. Much larger QB, can take the hits and has steadily improved, & his very athletic for a big signal caller.

    RB – Only Hyde is legit…neither Davis nor Hayne have come close to proving themselves. You’re adding a rookie to that mix. I’d keep Harris, who showed well in a bad offense. I’d love to see what he can do in Kelly’s O. I’d likely draft a good-sized RB who can catch well before the 5th rd…say Procise.

    WR – You’ve basically only added Smelter. You omitted Eric Rogers, who’ll obviously have to learn NFL wide receiving, but has the size and playmaking ability Kelly loves. I’d sign Marvin Brown in FA…another good-sized WR who can run and make plays. I’d draft someone like Doctson, Tyler Boyd or Kenny Lawler.

    DL – Other than re-signing Ian Williams, nothing new here. Armstead will hopefully earn one of the starting DE positions…but he’s still young and doesn’t have as much experience as I hoped he’d have at this point. Dial is at best a b/u DE…so I’d sign Malik Jackson. Denver will spend a lot of their cap space on Von Miller, so Jackson should be available. If not, then Vernon from Miami is almost a sure bet to hit the market, as the ‘Fins are only $2.5M under the cap. Either guy is much better than Dial will ever be.

    OLB – Only Lynch & Harold have NFL experience, and the latter not much. Lawson looks good, but you’re backing up two young OLB’s with a couple of rookies. Not a good position to be in.

    1. Good stuff Frank. I especially agree with your take on OLB. If Brooks, Carradine and Lemonier are gone, then Baalke will look to bring in a veteran OLB in FA. IMO, Harold hasn’t shown enough yet at OLB.

      Not sure how Lawler will transate to the NFL. He made some spectacular catches and then dropped easy ones. But of most concern is his slight build (6’3″ and only 185 lbs).

  23. I would not draft Shaq Lawson to the Niners because he doesn’t fit with our 3-4 defensive scheme. He’s a 4-3 defensive end. He would struggle in the 3-4 at outside linebacker because he’s too big for that position. He would be another Tank Carridine with no position to fit.

    You also forget that Trent Baalke loves to try to address almost every position of need and weakness in free agency so that other teams have no clue what he may do in the first round of the draft.

    My offseason prediction for the Niners…

    Resign – Ian Williams/NT (4 yr deal), Anquan Boldin/WR (1 yr deal), DaJuan Harris/RB (2 yr deal), Shaun Draughn/RB (2 yr deal)

    Release – Ahmad Brooks/OLB, Jordan Devey/OL, Erik Pears/OL

    Free Agency – DT… 1. Mohammed Wilkerson/Jets
    2. Malik Jackson/Broncos

    ILB… 1. Danny Trevathan/Broncos
    2. Brandon Marshall/Broncos

    CB… 1. Sean Smith/Chiefs
    2. Trumaine Johnson/Rams
    3. Janoris Jenkins/Rams

    Draft – 1st – 1. Laquon Treadwell/WR Ole Miss
    2. Jaylon Smith/LB Notre Same
    3. Myles Jack/LB UCLA
    4. DeForrest Buckner/DT Oregon
    5. Robert Nkemdiche/DT Ole Miss

    I’ll stop at the 1st round for now because the rest of the draft depends on the 1st round selection. If I were Baalke and I know I was on the hot seat for this upcoming season, I would be aggressive in free agency with these three positional signings and aquire a 2nd 1st round draft pick. My picks would be Laquon Treadwell and whoever fell between the other 4 guys I listed in the mid to late 1st round.

  24. Why does nobody think Brandon Thomas will stick around? The team wouldn’t have wasted a roster spot on him all year in 2015 if it wasn’t trying to protect him.

        1. Why did they keep Devey on the roster? Because Baalke is in charge of it.

          1. MWD

            Read the article before you come up with some vapid response. It actually poses some interesting questions. Thanks.

        2. I hear ya Sil on Thomas. People are assuming the worst since we haven’t seen him play. I can’t believe Pears will be around as Grant thinks. Thomas could be as bad as everyone says, but its curious why he was on the roster. Maybe that knee wasn’t fully healed?

            1. We’ll know for sure soon enough. But if we have Davis and Hayne on the team as our only back RB’s we’ll definitely know he’s stubborn. Hopefully they’ll dump Miller and get another real RB that can back up Hyde this season. Seems like we don’t have the variety Kelly likes there.

  25. I like your post with all the vids.Thanks Grant.
    Your list has one major flaw, The kicker we should be able to pick up in the 3rd round as per Trent!

  26. 2016 Offseason Blueprint

    WR Alshon Jeffrey – 5 yr. $75 million
    WR Mohamed Sanu – 3 yr. $12 million
    DE Malik Jackson – 5 yr. $47 million
    DE/OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – 1 yr. $3 million
    CB Trumaine Johnson – 6 yr. $43 million
    CB Prince Amukamara – 1 yr. $3 million
    CB Morris Claiborne – 1 yr. $3 million
    OLB Nick Perry – 2 yr. $7 million
    OLB Ahamd Brooks
    OLB Corey Lemonier
    WR Quinton Patton
    SS Antonie Bethea
    CB Tramaine Brock
    WR Jerome Simpson
    QB Colin Kaepernick to Jets for 2016 and 2017 2nd round picks
    FB Bruce Miller to Packers for 2017 7th round pick
    FS Eric Reid to Chiefs for RB Jamaal Charles
    2016 Draft
    Round 1:
    (after trade back into 10-15 range) ILB Jaylon Smith
    (after trading two 2nd round picks back into 15-20 range) OLB Noah Spence
    Round 2:
    DT Vernon Butler
    Round 3:
    QB Vernon Adams, Jr.
    Round 4:
    TE Bryce Williams
    SS Karl Joseph
    Round 5:
    G/C Graham Glasgow
    OT Willie Beavers
    Round 6:
    CB Will Redmond
    RB/WR Keenan Reynolds
    QB Kevin Hogan
    Round 7:
    K Ka’iminoeauloameka’ikeokekumupa’a (Ka’imi) Fairbairn
    53 Man Roster
    Blaine Gabbert
    Vernon Adams, Jr.
    Kevin Hogan
    Jamaal Charles
    Carlos Hyde
    Mike Davis
    Keenan Reynolds
    Bryce Williams
    Blake Bell
    Buster Anderson
    Torrey Smith
    Alshon Jeffrey
    Mohamed Sanu
    DeAndre Smelter
    Bruce Ellington
    DeAndrew White
    Andrew Tiller
    Anthony Davis
    Marcus Martin
    Erik Pears
    Daniel Kilgore
    Graham Glasgow
    Joe Staley
    Trent Brown
    Willie Beavers
    Malik Jackson
    Arik Armstead
    Quinton Dial
    Glenn Dorsey
    Vernon Butler
    Mike Purcell
    Noah Spence
    Aaron Lynch
    Eli Harold
    Jason Pierre-Paul
    Nick Perry
    Navarro Bowman
    Jaylon Smith
    Gerald Hodges
    Nick Bellore
    Trumaine Johnson
    Prince Amukamara
    Dontae Johnson
    Kenneth Acker
    Keith Reaser
    Morris Claiborne
    Will Redmond
    Jimmie Ward
    L.J. McCray
    Jaquiski Tarrt
    Karl Joseph
    Ka’iminoeauloameka’ikeokekumupa’a (Ka’imi) Fairbairn
    Bradley Pinion

    1. The third 5th round pick is part of a package that gives the 49ers a second 1st round pick.

      1. Mid,
        Some bold and daring moves – definitely not for the weak of heart (lol).

        I’m with B2W, in that we keep Bethea. With Reid gone there is no true experience in the secondary.
        I remember the young secondary backfield of Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright, and Carlton Williamson still having a veteran in Dwight Hicks to bring some experience and maturity to the group.

        I also see Marcus Martin and Glenn Dorsey on the bubble and not locks for 2016.

    2. MWD – Thanks for the roster projection. I like your wish list. Some thoughts…

      – I like trade back and up combinations. We forget pick 37 is well within striking distance for trade-ups.

      – I’m not sure we can get two 2nd rounders for Kaepernick. If we do I’ll be very happy.

      – I’d keep Antonie Bethea. Let Tartt get confident in the nickle hybrid ILB/SS role smashing runners in the “alley.” Lots of snaps. 2017 SS starter.

      Also, one year deals for Amukamara and Claiborne seem like signings for teams that think they can threaten in the post season. If that’s the case, why cut Bethea?

      – Kevin Hogan and Vernon Adams are nice fits for the Kelly system. Both can run, and not just scrambles and to the outside. Hogan is a physical (for a QB) runner.

      1. Thanks Brodie. The signings of Amukamara and Claiborne fit Baalke’s model of signing low risk – high reward players during free agency. Amukamara has struggled to stay healthy and Claiborne has been nothing short of disappointing, so I think teams (sans the 49ers) will avoid signing them.

        1. Baalke’s afraid of getting leapfrogged if everyone knows his targeted pick is a “need pick.”

          I think Baalke signs low risk players in FA to keep from being too predictable in the draft. Keeps “need picks” to a minimum. Allows him to draft “two years ahead” while patching obvious holes in FA with older guys.

          The more holes filled (though not always well), the more Baalke feels he can sit back and “let the board speak for itself.” This sometimes results in alot of vets that were signed, but POd about their play time and status on the team. There’s a vibe that they are disposable players… probably with a grain of truth.

          Recent FAs said to be unhappy with their roles… Stevie Johnson, Darnell Dockett, Shareece Wright.

          1. He needs to get over that fear because it’s one of the reasons the team has gone from a contender to a basement dweller.
            Drafting for the future is only smart if you have currently have a strong team; otherwise it can just result in those future pieces being thrusted into a starting role sooner than they should be.

            1. A ripple effect of these low end FA signings is the possibility of alienating potential free agents that do have a chance to get snaps.

              If a top free agent calls Stevie Johnson, Darnell Dockett or Shareece Wright to ask what’s it like playing for the 49ers… it might scare him off.

            2. Part of the reason Harbaugh and Trent battled so ferociously is that Baalke wanted Harbaugh to play his draft picks, but Harbaugh only played veterans.

      2. I totally agree about Hogan. He did not put up big stats because he was more focused on winning. Another QB the Niners should look at, and might be available in the later rounds is Jacoby Brissett.
        Claiborne? That was a shot in the dark. So many were labeling him as a bust in Dallas.

        1. Seb, Mid,
          Not sold on Hogan. For me, he is a poor man’s Alex Smith. He could win some games but never get you to the promise land.
          Hey, just one man’s opinion – but so far in Alex’ case those words ring true.

          1. You may be correct, but I saw Hogan throw a clutch pass in the ND game that was on the money and got them into FG range to win the game. He also pulled a Fumblefoolski in the Bowl game that showed me he is very deceptive.
            I would also be happy with Adams or Brissett.

    3. Interesting list, Mid. The trade that caught my eye was trading Eric Reid for Jamaal Charles. I think the Chiefs will keep him for at least this one more year even though he’ll be 30 at the end of 2016.

      1. I agree. However, there are three reasons why I think it could happen:

        -The 49ers believe that Ward is a better fit at FS than Reid.
        -The Chiefs believe that West was just scratching the surface of his potential last season.
        -The Chiefs don’t tag Berry and let him walk in free agency.

    4. Those are some aggressive moves, and some questionable ones.
      -I’m ok with most of the FA signings, though I have no idea about the salary cap implications. I’m also ok with the draftees.
      -I’m not sure cutting Antoine Bethea and replacing him with Jimmy Ward is a good idea. I still don’t get why fans kept wanting Jimmy Ward to play safety. Though Ward played safety in college, he was drafted to play the slot package DB to cover the slot receiver, and he did a nice job this past season. I’d keep Bethea’s veteran presence there, and let Ward keep doing his slot coverage and get better.
      -Cutting Brock too? I know he got burned at times, but for his salary, I think he’s OK. I remember mostly, it was Reaser and Acker that gave up the receptions and yards.
      -Trade Reid for Charles? So with Jamaal Charles as the starting RB, and have Hyde as the backup, or a RB committee? That’s probably a drastic change in the RB plan… Ss that a Kelly scheme or a new Tom Rathman scheme?
      -I like that you don’t have Vance McDonald in there; he was a bad pick… horrible TE.
      -Why is Erik Pears on the roster? That guy was the biggest FA acquisition last year. Baalke needs to cut his losses by getting rid of Pears.
      -Anthony Davis is playing Guard now? I don’t have great confidence of his comeback after a year of no football, but him playing Guard is definitely new…never heard that one before.

    5. Kudos for putting the effort in to this Mid, but in my opinion this is highly unrealistic. First off, the 49ers are just one team of 32 looking to add FA talent, and not a particularly attractive team at the moment. They are highly unlikely to be able to sign so many of the FAs that are in the top 3-5 FAs of their position group this off season.

      Second, while the 49ers have plenty of cap space, it is unrealistic to think they will add $193M worth of FA talent in one off season. It goes completely against Baalke’s idea of building a team.

      Third, why sign 3 CBs? And why is Amukamara, one of the top FA CBs this year, taking a 1 year deal with the 49ers? He’ll get more than that. Also, Trumaine Johnson scares me. The Rams played him to his strengths, but kept it pretty simple for him. He got to play behind arguably the best pass rush in the NFL, forcing teams to get the ball out quickly. To me, Dontae Johnson would look just as good in that spot for the Rams, and I see no reason to bring in a player with effectively the same skills at a much higher price.

      There are other areas I think are unrealistic too, but those are the main ones.

      1. Trumaine Johnson

        “In 2015, Johnson led the team in interceptions with 7. Pro Football Focus ranked Johnson as the 16th best corner back in the NFL in 2015 with a grade of 83.7. Also according to Pro Football Focus, Johnson allowed the lowest Quarterback rating out of every corner back in the league with an opposing rating of 49.7” – Wiki

        1. Well aware of all that Sil. I’d love to see how Dontae Johnson would perform in his 4th season behind that pass rush, playing the same role Trumaine Johnson played.

            1. If they sign Trumaine Johnson I’ll be fine with it, though I personally think he isn’t as good as the stats suggest from last season. To me he is a pretty good starting CB that had the luxury of playing behind a dominant pass rush, which made him look very good. I also think guys like Acker and Dontae Johnson can be good behind a dominant pass rush.

              He’s not an elite level CB in my opinion. And since I think the 49ers young CBs have some talent I don’t see the need to replace them with a guy of similar talent, just more experience and the benefit of playing with good players.

              1. Scoot

                Johnson Johnson Acker Reaser Shead Ward

                Cutting Brock who is an expensive, overrated injury liability .

      2. They are highly unlikely to be able to sign so many of the FAs that are in the top 3-5 FAs of their position group this off season.

        It’s more likely Baalke just won’t make an effort more than anything Scooter. The team is unattractive, but as always money talks.

        It goes completely against Baalke’s idea of building a team.

        That’s one of the reasons the team finished 5-11; Baalke needs to change his way of thinking or the team will continue to slide.

        And why is Amukamara, one of the top FA CBs this year, taking a 1 year deal with the 49ers? He’ll get more than that.

        I doubt Amukamara will get as much as some are predicting due to the fact he can’t stay healthy which will scare teams off, so I’m predicting that he will end up having to take a prove-me deal.

        Why does Trumaine Johnson scare you? Yes, he played behind a good pass rush, but he was also able hold his own against some good WRs. We need a #1 CB, and despite Norman’s iinteresting comments, I highly doubt Baalke would even look his way if the Panthers allowed him to become a free agent.
        I already expect you to say the trade for Charles and the tradeup to draft Spence are unrealistic, but what are the others?

        1. Yes, money talks, but I see a lot of fan off season hopes working under the belief the 49ers are the only team with money. They are not. The 49ers should aim to attract 1-2 marquee signings, and perhaps 1-2 mid-tier signings. Plus of course a couple of low cost FAs to help fill some holes ahead of the draft and reduce the “need” to draft a certain way. Expecting the team to sign Jackson and Jeffery, easily the top 2 names at their positions available (assuming Wilkerson is tagged), as well as Schwartz and Johnson who are top 3-5 at their position, plus Amukamara, JPP and Sanu, all of which are in the mid-tier of names available at their position (and one could argue JPP is also top 3-5), is unrealistic in my opinion. Other teams will want those players too, and be just as able to pay for them as the 49ers.

          The other things I thought were unrealistic were indeed the trade of Reid (not going to happen) and the draft manouevering, but also the wholesale cuts. The team is not going to get rid of so many of their starters in one off season.

          They also won’t go with two rookie QBs behind Gabbert, sign JPP and Nick Perry as well as draft a pass rusher in the first round, pushing Eli Harold to the 5th OLB option, have 7 CBs on the roster, signing 3 guys that would relegate their 3 young CBs to bottom of the depth chart (or alternatively leave a guy earning $3M for the year as the 4th or 5th CB – btw, who is your slot CB in this scenario?), while having the top backup safety as either McCray or a 4th round pick.

          1. Yes, money talks, but I see a lot of fan off season hopes working under the belief the 49ers are the only team with money.

            That doesn’t include me Scooter. The reality is that I presented a wish list more than anything with a dash of unrealistic craziness on purpose. Some of it I believe could happen (the signings of Claiborne, Amukamara, and Sanu for example), but I honestly expect Baalke to sit on his hands and not do a thing to address some needs in free agency; instead, he’ll wait to draft for the team’s future once again. It doesn’t matter how bad that strategy is because he’s going to follow it regardless.

  27. I think we could get 2 good FAs! Like Sean Smith, Wilkerson, Malik Jackson, or Jeffrey! What about Boldin by the way? Hmmm and Myles Jack on first round? If Joey is still available on the 7th pick do you see them getting him? And do you think he’s a good fit in the niners?

    1. No, like many sons, Grant was taught well. Lowell may have helped shape his writing style, but Grant did not get published in national media because he had no skill.
      Grant, to put it succinctly, can turn a phrase
      If Grant had no skill writing, he would be flipping burgers. Fortunately, I get to read him all the time and even as a harsh critic, I actually think his writing is refreshing and relevant.

      1. Gosh Seb, with that endorsement–and considering your prowess–you should be writing for the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps you already are. Your father schooled you well.

  28. Name that QB… 65% completion, 3200yds, 20td, 5int, 7 rushing td.. Now he’s finally healthy and could be in Chip Kellys offense. I would take RG3 in a heartbeat. He will come cheap. And if Balkee is hellbent on building this D back up, u can’t go wrong

  29. Grant,

    Wait, you left Vance McDonald in there? Why? So that Colin (who apparently will remain our QB) has someone to blame for dropped passes? Seriously, if we want to have another blocker on the OL that nobody will take seriously as a receiver, just put another guard or tackle in the line-up…

  30. Hey Grant , why no article or report on Peyton ? Its pretty serious stuff. I know im not the only one that sees all that stuff going on with Manning right now.. Thoughts anyone ?

    1. Thoughts on Manning:

      Best statistical QB ever. Can’t play under pressure, throws interceptions to lose games. Won Super Bowl 50 with the worst QBR in the history of the Super Bowl.

      All-time, epic douchebag. Shill for terrible people and their terrible products. Lowlife.

      Sexual predator of the frat set. Good riddance.

      1. “All-time, epic douchebag”

        I agree. The way Lowell & many others were writing about him after the Superbowl has left me wondering how they feel now ? & how it is not front page news on every sports site is absurd. If this were ANY other player (including Brady) , they would be getting crucified by the media right now.

  31. Akiem Hicks


    I remember Akiem Hicks sticking out to me in the Saints game in 2014. I was at the Dome in New Orleans for that game, and he had some nice plays against the 49ers. The article below is from a Patriots fan site, and postulates that Hicks could be had for $4.5M per year. He is a physical specimen, and is apparently improving. At 26, the 49ers should consider him, as he has abilities as both a run stuffer and pass rusher in the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes that the 49ers will implement. Plus, he has spent 1/2 a season working with the Patriots, which can’t hurt.

    1. If the 49ers don’t get Jackson (or WIlkerson), I can see them going for a guy like Hicks or Adrian Clayborn.

      1. Unless the Niners blow every other team’s offer out of the water, I can’t see Jackson signing with the Niners.

            1. Huh? You think the 49ers would have to pay around $4M – $5M per year more than what the going rate for a player of his calibre to get him to sign for the 49ers? Based on what?

              1. The Niners probably would have to pay Jackson Marcel-Dareus-money to get him to sign. Jackson will get multiple teams offering him more than $12 million annually.

              2. Malik Jackson is not Marcel Dareus. Not even close. Baalke won’t pay that, nor should he.

              3. Which teams? I agree he’ll have a lot of suitors, but how many teams can afford to pay him more than $12M per year? How many would honestly be willing to?

                The 49ers main competition will likely be the Bears. But it is unlikely they would break out $12M or more a season for him. Why would the 49ers need to pay so much above the odds to get him? I think you are being unreasonably pessimistic about this.

              4. The Raiders can pay Jackson as much as it takes to get him. Same goes for Jacksonville and New York.

              5. Just because they can pay him as much as it takes, doesn’t mean they will pay him over what they think he is worth. Any team convincing themselves that Jackson is worth the same money as Watt or Dareus is being foolish. I simply don’t see any team doing that.

              6. Nobody will, Sil. He’s not getting that type of money.

                Never say never Scooter. After all, did you think the Redskins would pay Joshua Morgan what the did?

              7. I certainly didn’t Mid, but he wasn’t paid an elite level contract either. The money Grant is suggesting would see Jackson paid commensurate with JJ Watt and Marcel Dareus. I’m sure Jackson rates himself, but I doubt any team will rate him as highly as those two, nor pay him that much.

                But, I concede anything is possible!

              1. Like I said over a week ago. Wilkerson is not leaving New York.

                Tagging him for $15M. So, if he signs a multi-year deal, by the rationale explained on the Norman discussion days ago, Jackson should sign for around $14M per year.

        1. That’s true, and guarantee, the 1st thing out of his mouth would be, “its not about the money”..

          1. He’s already said it is about doing what is best for his family (player speak for its about the money).

        2. I understand that reasoning. If he can get more than $10.5M to $11.5M per year (that appears to be what guys of his calibre are getting) somewhere then the 49ers should back out. I’d go as high as around $12M per year for him, as that is only a little bit above “the norm”. Any more than that, then I agree you are overpaying, and should let someone else do that.

          With Wilkerson, same principle. I think he could get somewhere between $15M and $16.5M per season (around Watt and Dareus money). If he was available I’d be willing to go that high in order to get a true difference maker and havoc creater on the DL. But if someone is willing to pay him Suh like money, let them, and go a different direction.

          1. Is Damon “Snacks” Harrison worth targeting? I know he’s just a 2 gap run stuffer, but he’s pretty good. He’ll probably want too much as well….

            1. Not in my book. The 49ers shouldn’t replace Ian Williams with a more expensive run stuffing NT.

              The NT just needs to be a run stuffer, like Dorsey. They won’t play more than 50% of downs, so they don’t need to pay big $$ for that player.

        3. Josh Norman said bluntly that he would love to live in the Bay Area. Do you want to go live in some Tennessee backwater, Grant?

            1. Yes, MWD, I know that. Grant says that the 49ers are a disfavored destination. But I suppose that has nothing to do with the Bay Area, and everything to do with the 7-9 record they are going to have next year.

      2. There’s no reason to think Akiem Hicks won’t be as good as Malik Jackson. Jackson played alongside Derek Wolfe; Hicks played with an all-time bad defense in New Orleans, and when he went to the Patriots, his play improved markedly. He should be a prime target for Baalke.

        1. That’s the big question mark about Jackson – did he look good because of the talent around him, or did he elevate the players around him through his play?

          From what I saw of him, I’m willing to say he is a legitimately good player.

          Hicks is a nice option as a guy that may come relatively chep and outplay his contract, but he’s a guy you hope does that, not bank on it happening.

              1. The 49ers are so much worse than the Raiders, Jaguars and Giants they would need to pay $2M more per season to get him? You are too close to the 49ers to see these other teams have issues too. And would Jackson want to play against the Broncos twice a year?

              2. I think the Niners would have to offer Jackson at least two million more annually than the Raiders. They’re on the rise, and playing next to Khalil Mack would be appealing.

              3. Well, fair enough, I strongly disagree. That would be $10M more in total contract value you are saying the 49ers would need to pay.

                I think if the 49ers came in at around $11.5M to $12M per season they would be one of the top offers on the table. To sweeten the deal they can front load the contract and make a large portion fully guaranteed. If he still decides to go somewhere else, so be it.

                Question for you though – if the 49ers could sign him for say $11.5M per season (5 years, $57.5M contract, with say $25M guaranteed), would you then consider it worth signing him?

              4. If the Raiders want Jackson, they can offer whatever the Niners offer. The Niners would have to significantly overspend to get the Raiders to drop out. Oakland is the more desirable destination.

                I wouldn’t spend $11.5 million for a one-technique on passing downs, no matter how good he is. The Niners already have their three-technique for passing downs.

              5. Fair enough. Again, I disagree. I think if he is offered similar contracts by the 49ers and Raiders to return to the Bay Area, having to play against the Broncos as a Raider could influence his decision. As would playing in a 4-3 D vs a 3-4 where he just played his best season of football.

              6. Grant

                You actually believe this? Playing for the Raiders, who have no stadium and the poorest ownership in sports, is better than playing for the 49ers, who are stable, flush, and on the rise?

                You are simply without credibility so often when you dig into one of your positions.

              7. Most people think the Raiders will make the playoffs next season, while most people think the Niners will finish last in the NFC West next season. This perception will influence free-agent negotiations.

              8. Grant

                “Most people think the Raiders will make the playoffs next season”

                ESPN sees them as the 19th ranked team in the NFL, with Denver and Kansas City finishing ahead of them. Who are these “most people” you speak of?

  32. FREE AGENTS; #1 Jason Pierre Paul DRAFT rd1 trade bk : #13 Noah Spence

    No need to over pay for Sean Smith he is a product of the Chief’s Defensive line being great. This wound immediately upgrade our coverage. Notice how Denver’s DBs were attacking knowing the QB has to get rid of the ball quickly. Its been done in 49ers land before with Fangio turning Brown, Goldson, Rogers and Whitner into probowlers.

    #2 Kelechi Osemele OT/G #2 ILB Ragland or Kentrell Bothers in that order
    #3 Jaye Howard… not as expensive as Wilkerson but just as effective
    #4 Stefen Wisniewski C/G #2 Josh Dotson 2nd round trade up
    #5 Matt Forte (RB) #3 trade up Hunter Henry
    #6 *** Junior Galette even with the new tat. #4 Carl Nassib
    #7 *** Rolando Mcclain only is neither of the two ILB are available in draft
    #8*** Nick Fairley if he comes cheaply

  33. The 2012 Draft MakeUp Opus

    My theory is that the 49ers need to spend some money to make up for the 2012 draft they missed out on. They should have extended 3-4 players by now. Below is a breakdown of 2012 draft picks that are also UFAs. The designations are the original draft designations. In some cases, for instance, Bruce Irvin, they are now classified as another position (DE -> OLB). The lists are in draft order, from Rd1 to Rd7. Some of the players are being tagged, or might have been recently signed (Vernon, Curry, Wolfe). But it’s a good starter.

    Select 3 or 4 players you think would have made good draft picks for the 49ers, and whether the 49ers should pull the trigger, and why.

    2012 49ers Draft

    FS, OT

    2012 Draft Picks who are now UFAs:

    Bruce Irvin
    Quinton Coples
    Shea McClellin
    Andre Branch
    Vinny Curry
    Olivier Vernon
    Jared Crick
    Malik Jackson
    Jack Crawford

    Derek Wolfe
    Kendall Reyes
    Devon Still
    Mike Martin
    Akiem Hicks
    Brandon Thompson
    Jaye Howard
    Billy Winn
    Markus Kuhn

    Nick Perry
    Courtney Upshaw
    Zach Brown
    Demario Davis
    Sean Spence
    Nigel Bradham
    Kyle Wilber
    Keenan Robinson
    James-Michael Johnson
    Tahir Whitehead
    Tank Carder
    Danny Trevathan
    Audie Cole
    Travis Lewis

    Morris Claiborne
    Janoris Jenkins
    Casey Heyward
    Trumaine Johnson
    Josh Robinson
    Jamell Fleming
    Jayron Hosley
    Coty Sensabaugh
    Ron Brooks
    Josh Norman
    Jeremy Lane
    Nate Ebner

    Ben Jones
    David Molk

    Amini Silatolu
    Jeff Allen
    Kelechi Osemele
    Brandon Brooks
    Joe Looney
    Johnnie Troutman
    JR Sweezy

    Mitchell Schwartz
    Cordy Glenn
    Mike Adams
    Donald Stephenson
    Bobbie Massie

    Doug Martin
    Ronnie Hillman
    Bernard Pierce
    Lamar Miller
    Robert Turbin
    Alfred Morris
    Dan Herron
    Bryce Brown

    Coby Fleener
    Dwayne Allen
    Ladarius Green
    James Hanna

    Brian Quick
    Alshon Jeffery
    Rueben Randle
    DeVier Posey
    Mohamed Sanu
    Chris Givens
    Travis Benjamin
    Nick Toon
    Marvin Jones
    Rishard Matthews

  34. Bruce Irvin
    Andre Branch
    Malik Jackson

    Kendall Reyes
    Akiem Hicks
    Jaye Howard

    Nick Perry
    Courtney Upshaw
    Keenan Robinson
    Danny Trevathan

    Janoris Jenkins
    Casey Heyward
    Trumaine Johnson
    Josh Norman

    Ben Jones

    Amini Silatolu
    Kelechi Osemele

    Mitchell Schwartz
    Cordy Glenn

    Ronnie Hillman
    Bryce Brown

    Ladarius Green

    Reuben Randle
    Mohamed Sanu
    Marvin Jones

  35. Grant, may I suggest 49er General Manager Trent Baalke become your intern so he can gain valuable work experience and exposure to the draft critical thinking process?

  36. Grant: If you had to put your house up as collateral, would you bet on the 9ers winning more than 8 games in the 2016 season, or bet they won 8 or less games?

    1. What house?

      As for houses, has anyone figured out what it costs a player to come to California in state income tax and housing costs?

      1. Don’t know htwaits….I bought my house in Milpitas in 1981 and have no I Idea what it would cost now?
        Probably couldn’t afford it today! All I know is that costs less in south bay than SF! A New 9er player’s likely looking at >$1 Million minimum, likely more!

        1. In the areas where other significant players for the 49ers live they would pay substantially more than $2M. For instance Ray McDonald and Aldon Smith listed their homes for about $2.95M around February, 2015.

          Colin Kaepernick paid $2.7 million in 2014. The most recent big boom in Real Estate in Santa Clara county hit it’s peek in July of 2015. All of the above properties would probably cost more than $3M today.

          Real stars usually pay more. California’s max tax bracket is about 13%, and then there is property tax.

          All together that’s enough for a millionaire athlete to pay attention during negotiations. It’s not like the 49ers can offer Superbowl rings like they could in the 1980s.

  37. DJ Reader

    Anyone know anything about 6’3″, 330 lb. DJ Reader from Clemson? He left the team for personal reasons and then returned later in the season. I read on Twitter that he is the most impressive people-mover and double-team destroyer in this year’s class.

    1. Who knows how much truth there is to it: ESPN staff writer Andrea Adelson wrote an article saying that she interview him before returning for the Miami game, that he told her he needed time off after his father passed away, that it was “weighing heavy on him and needed time to grow up”! That “he was not mentally ready to play and needing time to grow up”!

  38. The $100M 2017 Offseason

    If Grant is correct about this offseason, the 49ers will be rolling over an astronomical $40M, which is twice the next highest number rolled over (2015), and would give the 49ers just about $100M in cap space to work with in 2017!!!

    What might the 49ers do with $100M in 2017? They will be at best 7-9 in 2016, so they probably won’t be a very attractive franchise still to work for, but they might be able to replace Phil Dawson with a guy, if he’ll take a little extra, with a 7 year, $85M contract.

    1. Thanks for the link Grant. If some of that does come to pass, then there will be some interesting free agents available. In your opinion, should the team go after:

      Victor Cruz
      Mike Wallace
      Trent Cole
      Mario Williams

  39. Besides predicting the Niners will basically sit on their hands and making ONE free agent signing with roughly $50 million in cap space, your top two picks are a 4-3 DE and a 215 lb 4-3 Weak side linebacker who you want to draft for a 3-4 defense. Each and every time you put together an article, you just prove to us all that you don’t have a clue about your subject matter.

    1. Nailed it MBA! Grant has no clue what he’s talking about. Lawson couldn’t be any worse of a fit in the Niners D.

  40. Blueprint for success? Niners need to assess their team and devise strategies that will enhance their capabilities and accentuate their strengths. They need to stop letting Baakle meddle like he did with Hayne. Cutting him on the team bus was low class. Promoting couch potatoes that whiff on blocking assignments and do not look for laterals just doomed the season. Hopefully the coaching will improve. The former Niner coaches who stubbornly refused to make changes even when confronted with the truth doomed the season. They waited way too long, and let Kaep get pummeled and injured before they deigned to make any changes.
    I like Tomsula, but he had his teams unprepared. They committed way too many penalties. Too many unforced errors. He may have fired up the team, but they became over hyped, and lost their composure. The Niners MUST play smarter. They also need to be able to make those critical in game adjustments. The Niner coaches should be constantly changing so they become unpredictable. It should not be too hard to improve upon the 32nd ranked offense, since there is no where to go but up. By cleaning up the execution and devising innovative schemes, the Niner offense should at least be competent.
    Chip needs to improve. He needs to work on his people skills.He needs to show more loyalty, or at least interest in Kaep. Maybe Kaep is gone, but the silence is telling. Chip has a daunting task ahead of him, but I think he is smart enough to accomplish his goals. I think Chip is smart enough to recognize Hayne’s abilities. He will see that Hayne could be used like a Swiss Army Knife and create those mismatches that gain big yardage. I predict Chip will add more laterals to his playbook. This team did have talent, but the coaching was sub par. With better coaching, the Niners can become relevant again.
    Back to the blueprint. The Niners should make a determination over each player, and keep the players who will fit in the Chip Kelly system. The others should not be discarded like trash, but they should be shopped to other teams to get some value, instead of getting nothing. Maybe even target a cellar dweller who needs bodies and do a multi player deal for a conditional pick, so both teams are protected if something goes wrong.
    Niners must devise strategies so there is a drastic reduction of the unforced errors.They need to go bold. They need to have the punt returner try to gain yards instead of just calling for a fair catch while behind.
    If the coaches can devise plays where the receivers actually runs past the first down marker, the Niners should improve on their third down conversion rate. Niners do have a chance to win more than 5 games next season, they just need to start playing Niner Football.

    1. Seb,

      Have you read a “The Art of Succinctness,” by Plato Endthispleaseoclese? I hear it’s a best seller?

          1. Yep, which is why it would be a HUGE mistake signing him. Given the depth at the position in the upcoming draft, it just doesn’t make sense devoting that much $$, in my humble opinion….

          2. Just curious. How do you know that the term is 6 years? It sounds right but are you just assuming or is there another reason why you’re pretty sure that it is 6 years. Is that a typical maximum for contracts?

          3. What he’s looking for and what teams are willing to pay for him are two different things. It behooves him at this point to talk up what he is after.

        1. How about the above comment, Seb. Do you have any arguments about Mr. Barrow’s comments that Jared Goff is more accurate than your man, Kap to fit his system?

          1. TomD

            Obviously Goff is more accurate than Kaep. That is Goff’s best trait, and Kaep’s worst.

    1. Goff in no way is Hoyer, Razor–he’s a speed reader, hips, feet, all react like Joe Montana to the changing route concepts, with accuracy–Ask kap or hoyer for spur of the moment changes and their passes hit the beer vendor in the 5th row.

    1. Goff understands Kelly’s system since it’s very similar to Cal’s..Plug and play QB…However, it’s a moot point, Dallas takes him….

  41. His passes lack zip on sideline throws, quick seam passes and some quick hitter type of passes….

    1. Route concepts adjusted for Montana, look how he turned out…We passed on a Cal QB once, I say we don’t do it again because of size, or numbers, something Walsh could ignore if he had to.

  42. That’s how Rob Rang, an insider for NFLDraftscout.com, sees it. The day before the 49ers announced Colin Kaepernick would be replaced this week by Blaine Gabbert, Rang had the 49ers selecting Goff at No. 5 overall in a mock draft for CBSsports.com.

    1. Kelly’s quarterbacks get hurt every season. Goff would get killed in Kelly’s offense. Plus, Goff isn’t a zone-read runner. He’s a pocket passer.

    2. Like many college quarterbacks, Goff operates out of a spread, no-huddle offense that immediately puts him behind when it comes to transitioning to the NFL.

      “Quarterbacks are learning how to play in systems through poster boards and signals,” Savage said. “They don’t have to go in the huddle, they don’t have to go under center and yet they put up these prolific numbers. The expectations are way up there, and there’s no way for them to live up to it.

  43. “In quarterbacks where you can see some anticipation, the ability to change speeds and manipulate the ball, that obviously helps,” Savage said. “One of Kaepernick’s flaws is that
    he’s a fastball thrower. He really doesn’t have an alternate pitch. You can’t throw it through everybody. You’ve got to be able to work around people and over people.”

    Rang said Goff measures up as an NFL passer.

    “I think he anticipates where the defense is going to be, where openings are in his routes, and I think he’s got the accuracy and arm strength to make any NFL throw,” Rang said

    1. True, Grant,

      However several articles exist stating Kelly’s evolving passing game–point of fact–Bradford.

  44. Goff completed under 57% of his passes, throwing 8 touchdowns versus 8 interceptions with two of those touchdowns coming in garbage time against UCLA. Against these better defenses, UCLA, Stanford, Utah and Washington, where the windows shrank, so did Goff. He chooses to dink-n-dunk rather than challenge downfield. Sound familiar? Conversely, Mariota showed he could thread the needle into “NFL windows” against Ohio State, Washington, UCLA and Stanford….

      1. You can factor that in, but at the same time, I would advise factoring in NFL defenses. The teams like SF are drafting early for a reason. They’re not very good….

          1. Could you imagine Goff being drafted where Mariota was drafted? He would have been destroyed….

              1. The best chance for Goff, is if he sits an ENTIRE year, getting stronger and developing his game. If he gets thrown into the fire due to injury or pressure from the F/O, he’s toast….

          2. I smell an article theme coming.

            I think Goff might be terrible wasted of a high draft pick. A rare chance to get a blue chip player lost.

            But I’d still be thrilled if the 49ers got Goff.

            There are risks. Draft positions are like Russian Roulette. The quarterback position has the least empty chambers (relative to draft position)

            In addition… relative to scope of responsibilities quarterbacks are rushed into action too soon. Many are ruined this way.

            But Goff has a combination of properties that rarely come around, and might not ever come around again for the 49ers.
            – Three years college starter experience at only 21 years of age
            – Quick release, Fluid footwork, Touch, Accuracy
            – His team “won because of him rather in spite of him” is typical of most top college quarterbacks… but the extremes are stark for Goff.

            RSP Boiler Room on Goff – short version

        1. I’m pretty sure if you put Tomsula in charge of New England, Denver, Carolina, or Arizona, they’d not make the playoffs. Perhaps Brady and Manning could counter the inept coach, but Cam and Carson wouldn’t.

          Point is, it’s impossible to know the caliber of the 49ers roster (team) from last year’s debacle. Fact is, bad in-game coaching lost the 49ers at least 2 games, while bad preparation counted for untold losses.

          1. Sil if each of those teams could keep all of their coaching staffs intact, I believe they would still win but if Tomsula had to hire a staff they would fail on a monumental level. imho

            1. Old Coach

              That’s what I meant. Thanks for clarifying. Drop the 2015 49ers coaching staff on any roster and watch the hilarity ensue.

  45. Grant

    Gotta hand it to you. There’s nowhere else like your blog that I like to come for challenging and provocative ideas. A lot of that comes from other, knowledgeable participants — ExG, Razor, AES, MWD, etc — but you’re the captain of this ship, and it’s a fun ride. Thanks!

  46. Goff, “I’m confident I’ll be the best quarterback in the draft.”

    RG3, “I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the NFL”.

    1. Not much. He played AFL which I don’t follow (basically aerial ping pong). Guys from AFL have been signed as punters in the NFL for years, but first I have seen one signed to play a skill position.

  47. 49ers will draft 2 players in the 1st round.

    TB will trade back into the 1st round

    WR, G, LB or CB

  48. Oneniner how far back do you think Baalke will have to move to get a 2nd #1 and what other picks do you think he will receive?

  49. I see him picking at #7……..but also trading back up to the 1st round 20-32 picks with the 2nd pick…….

    no way he drafts 12 players…….the roster is filled with lots of backup players already

    ……he wants 2 sure big time players who can be starters on day 1 – that makes everyone happy

    1. That’s my take. Baalke will (try) to grab quality over quantity. The team is really low on star players.

      The league allowed trading of comp picks this year. Later they changed it to start in 2017. (The document has 2016 crossed out). So we are stuck with the comp picks.

      To make it more fun… the 49ers probably won’t have any comp picks in 2017/2018.

      The NFL loves to stick it to west coast teams.

    2. I envisioned a scenario where the Niners would trade the 7th overall pick for the 22nd and 54th picks. Texans would love to leapfrog the Eagles and Rams to get a QB that does not throw the ball like the DBs are the intended receivers. They would almost be guaranteed to get either Goff, Wentz or Lynch.
      Niners could select Jarran Reed if Williams leaves. Jaylon Smith if his knee is healed and he checks out. Leonard Floyd, Kevin Dodd, Shilique Calhoun, maybe even Nkemdiche with the 22nd pick.
      With the 37th, they could select Jordan Jenkins, Ryan Kelly, Jason Spriggs or Shawn Oakman.
      With the 54th pick, they could select Nick Martin, Su’a Cravens, Vernon Butler, Darron Lee, Jerald Hawkins or Scooby Wright.
      I would select Kevin Dodd, Ryan Kelly and Vernon Butler. With those 3 picks in the first 2 rounds.

      1. If the valuation is still favorable to the Texans, maybe they could add a 6th round pick to even it out.

  50. I agree that the 49ers should sign Sean Smith in free agency. However, I don’t think they take Shaq Lawson in the 1st round. I think they will draft Myles Jack in the 1st round and Shilique Calhoun in the 2d round. Myles Jack would be a good compliment to Bowman since Jack is great in coverage and Bowman’s coverage skills have diminished since his injury. Plus, Jack could possibly free up a roster spot since he could be considered the team’s 4th string RB. Also, I don’t think they will draft a QB this year, but rather use some of their later round picks/compensatory picks to back into the 3d round and get De’Runnya Wilson.

  51. It’s a good plan; with one exception:

    Bruce Miller is one of the few forty-niners that are agruably top ten or top five in the NFL in their respective positions, so they don’t have the talent to spare.

    If Chip can’t draw up a play with a fullback, at least consider Miller as a competent blocker in the backfield.

    Von Miller vs. any blocking scheme the Niners can conjur up is going to be tough enough; but without Miller, it’s even harder.

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