Report: 49ers sign NT Earl Mitchell to 4-year deal

The 49ers just made their biggest signing so far this offseason.

Here’s a statement from 49ers’ GM John Lynch: “As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign. A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger. We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community.”

Mitchell (6-3, 310 lbs.) was a third-round pick in 2010 who played under 49ers defensive line coach,  Jeff Zgonina, when Zgonina was an assistant defensive line coach for the Texans in 2013. Mitchell is a run-stuffer who most likely will replace free agent Glenn Dorsey as the 49ers’ starting nose tackle in their base 4-3 over defense.

Here is the 49ers’ projected D-line:

RDE: Arik Armstead
NT: Earl Mitchell
LDT: DeForest Buckner
LDE: Aaron Lynch

What do you think of this group?

This article has 289 Comments

  1. As I said on the previous post, not impressed with this player based on his performance last year. Wasn’t good against the run, which is what they’re hiring him to do….

    1. Sorry to hear that. Your good at assessing players. This harshes my mellow quite a bit. If he stinks, I wonder why the 49ers signed him.

    2. Didn’t really watch Mitchell all that much last year. When he was in Houston he was a solid player. Not spectacular but solid. He’s been in the league awhile so I don’t really like that aspect of it. A player in his 7th year can tend to drop off – especially on the line.

      As far as the D-line, I’d put them at around middle to bottom 1/3rd in the league. I think Armstead is a liability and may not ever come back fully from that shoulder injury. That specific injury has ended many careers. Lynch is uneven and unreliable. He can make great plays and then he’s gone for awhile. Lynch has been the halfway decent looking girl at the bar surrounded by ugly girls so she looks better than she actually is. Then you sign them to a long term deal without seeing them in the daylight and on the first daytime date your thinking – what the hell have i done. Buckner is a player who could turn into something special with good coaching.

      All in all, I think they need to add better d-ends and move Armstead to a backup floater type role. Trade Lynch while he has other drunk GM’s at the bar fooled.

  2. I like him better than Dorsey. I was hoping for a better player here, not necessarily Poe. But, I understand that this is an appropriate move for a rebuilding team. It’s a cost effective way to fill a hole.

          1. it seems there is a different take on the 49ers from monitoring national media i wont say that the 49ers are a destination but free agents are not running from the 49ers like in the recent past

            1. They weren’t before. We weren’t pursuing many FAs and the reality of FA is that because we were not the high bidder, we didn’t win when we did pursue. There was nothing more there than that and the BS the press dumps on teams that are losing.

              FAs go to losing teams all the time. And the primary reason is one thing and one thing only — $$$$$$. Look at last year:

              1.) The Raiders signed 3 of the Top-10 (including two Top-5) Free Agents. That was despite the fact that the Raiders hadn’t had a winning season in 14 years and were the very model of an unstable franchise. They did it because the Raiders shelled out the $$$$$.

              2,) The Jaguars signed the #1 FA last year — Malik. And FIVE of the Top-50. Last time the Jaguars had a winning season was 2007. They were 14 – 50 over the previous 4 years. 14-50! Got the top FA. Got 5 of the Top-50! At 14-50!

              Do yourself a favor, ignore the press and their poison pens. Or, in many cases, just pure incompetency. Rather, look at stuff with your own eyes. Then look at they say. Look at the narratives they construct. The TALES they tell.

              They seldom agree.

          2. Based on you say stuff like that and think because you’re ‘right’ most of the time you have it going on. Except that there’s a certain reality about it in that most FAs teams interview don’t sign and the high rate of success is nothing more than a statistical artifact.

            We’ve now signed two FAs. There are 6 other teams in the NFL that pursued and failed to sign those FAs.

            K’Waun Williams — 49ers, Jets, Lions, Dolphins & Vikings with the first three making actual offers. The Vikings didn’t even get to interview him.

            Earl Mitchell — 49ers, Falcons, Broncos, Seattle. The Broncos made an offer and were spurned, I don’t know (one way or the other) if he got/rejected offers from other clubs.

            It’s vaguely similar of the ‘Perfect Prediction’ scam/literary device. When you getting your English Degree at UCLA you should have discussed this seeing as that it’s been used modern detective fiction since at least the days of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes stories..

            The fact is that FAs routinely visit multiple clubs, frequently get multiple offers and, frankly, almost always take the biggest paycheck. And it’s been that way since you were in junior high school staring at the girls wearing sweaters…

            Yet we have all this sturm und drang you writers try to stir up, and the vast majority of the fan base fall for, is just so much distraction, or as the Bard said in MacBeth… Well, you’re the English major, you know what he said about life…

            1. My vote was for Cook, but Shanahan’s comments on the secondary a while back has me believing Adams or Lattimore are the targets.

    1. I think this is just one of those moves designed to build some quality depth. I love it. I’ve always been terrified of what would happen if the front line players went down and had to rely on Baalke’s incredibly weak backups. Took the 49ers how many years to get rid of Corey Lemonier? FA main period hasn’t started yet, and already there is no need to worry about the IR specialist Glenn Dorsey, and Bruce Ellington, they’ve already been replaced. In case Will Redmond doesn’t work out. He’s been replaced this week as well. Plenty of money left under the cap, and thank you very much John Lynch!

  3. Anybody else having issues with avatars not being displayed in the threads. They all display fine on the sidebar, but some aren’t displaying in the threads. I’ve tried several different browsers and this happens in all of them.

    1. Cubus, I did initially this morning EST but haven’t the rest of the day as far as my avatar goes. I’ve noticed others aren’t what they normally are though….

      1. Razor, your avatar wasn’t showing for me yesterday but is today. Avatars for BT, Scooter, Mid, and myself aren’t showing.

      1. Brotha has the best equipment, best wine, and one of the best dispositions in here. That’s why he’s a great guy to have in your squad…;>)

  4. Finished 97th among interior defensive linemen with a 64.1 overall grade. He was especially weak against the run, finishing 60th among defensive tackles with a 4.2 run-stop percentage (for an overall run-defense grade of 34.2). I don’t like it!

    1. That not only harshed my mellow, but pocked my mellow in the eye, and didn’t bother explaining why. Hope the 49ers keep shopping for an NT.

  5. Quality run stuffing specialist that adds depth. I like the signing. Lets not freak out Niner fans. Its only 5.5 mill in 1st year. After we cut Kaepercrap, we will still have 85 to 90 mill to spend on a big time FA or 2. Melvin Ingram please! Draft Foster with the 2nd pick!

      1. That depends. His earlier reputation was much better. Who were his line mates last year? Who was the DC? What style of defense were they trying to play? Remember our abysmal run defense problems last year until some basic adjustments were made. Stats don’t necessarily tell the whole story.

        1. Who were his line mates last year? Man called Suh/Cameron Wake/Phillips/Branch—Not too shabby and better than what we have.

          Who was the DC? Vance Joseph whose now the Broncos HC—Again better than what we have.

          What style of defense were they trying to play? Wide 9 attacking defense, and probably similar to what we’re going to be implementing.

          Hope this helped.

          1. Interesting. Our new management team seem to have a great deal of football acumen so they must see some attributes they like in this guy, and envision a practical role for him. I’ll withhold any second-guessing until camp and pre-season. He could be cut with limited penalty, he could be advanced. The fact that three other quality teams were in play for him definitely says something.

          2. everyone in Miami was happy that Joseph left… people were scratching their heads as to why Denver would sign this guy as their coach. I watched most games and his play calling was questionable.

    1. I know Razor percieves Foster as damaged goods but right now he’s my #2 slot pick as well add Ingram and we can start building on O.

      1. This is a case where perception is the reality because he requires surgery on his shoulder. Kinda important to a hard hitting linebacker, and I believe it’s similar to Justin Smiths/Arik Armstead injury. Though I’m no medical doctor, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night…;>)

        1. As long as he checks out medically Foster gives us not quite the combo we once had but damn close. There is only one Willis but this kid is real good.

          1. I like him more with this style of defense. If he doesn’t have to fight off blockers and can just chase down the ball he could be more effective. I still wouldn’t touch him at 2 though.

  6. Razor, he played hurt last year. Broncos, Seahawks, Falcons all put offers for him. Soild move I believe.

      1. Very true Razor not impressive. I think he will be in the rotation with Dial. I still expect a B Williams or Hankins type of signing.

        1. Hankins will probably get something like 8 to 9 million per year on average. With the Mitchell signing, I don’t think they’ll spend that much on a guy who’s only on the field about a third of the time.

      2. I see him as a solid rotational player, adding experienced depth for a few bucks (mas o menos), a reliable back-up. And without question, the best is yet to come . . .

  7. Several people have posted this over at NN with regards to Mitchell. I don’t know who Charles McDonald is.

    @jerodbrown62 he’s a solid 1-tech. anchors decently for a guy his size moves well laterally. should be a nice clean up guy next to buckner

    — charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) February 25, 2017

          1. Yeah, I think it says something that he had visits with the Seahawks, Broncos, and Falcons – of which two teams the 49ers are attempting to emulate.

  8. “Mitchell joined the Dolphins in 2014 and appeared in 28 of 32 possible games. He missed only one regular season contest in his first four seasons in Houston.”

    “Mitchell also met with the Falcons and Broncos during his brief free-agent tour. With San Francisco he’ll reunite with new defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina, who was an assistant during Mitchell’s final season with the Texans.”

    Connection to our D line coach. Mitchell is a stop-gap scheme guy.

    1. There’s a rumor that the Broncos had an offer in on him. If that’s the case and given that Vance Joseph was the DC in Miami, that would tend to support the idea that he is a good pickup.

  9. Just a solid, very SOLID pickup. Very quality run stopper who fills a need for us. Really SOLID pickup and shows the team wants to be competitive and John Lynch is 2-2 already in signing FA’s that other teams wanted to.

    If we can get Melvin Ingram, wow you have a potentially really deadly D-Line. Having a guy like Mitchell is a key, ubderrated clog that can make things successful.

    I hope we can get Ingram or Derek Barnett in the draft.

    1. Very quality run stopper

      Finished 97th among interior defensive linemen with a 64.1 overall grade. He was especially weak against the run, finishing 60th among defensive tackles with a 4.2 run-stop percentage (for an overall run-defense grade of 34.2).

      Not really.

            1. It’s been a long time comin’,
              It’s been a long time gone.
              But you know, the darkest hour,
              Is always just before the dawn.

      1. I agree B2W that was his natural position coming out, and where he should have been developed for the past two years….

              1. Grant, off the subject for a moment. The chatter about Kaepernick, John, and Kyle getting all buddy buddy, is there a chance we may have to endure another year of Kap under center? Just your own personal feeling…

      1. Yes, not surprising, but nice to see someone outline it as more than idle speculation. This is a good move if it happens.

          1. I have a sneaky feeling Lynch too target will be AJ Bouye to replace Brock. Bouye, Robinson, Redmond, Williams. That’s nasty!

            1. That would be a fantastic acquisition if it could be pulled off. With the other additions they would have a day and night defensive make-over!

        1. I hope Redmond is well enough to play. In the brief times he was on the field he was surprisingly good at run support from the nickle spot.

      2. Good call Grant. Moving Jimmie to FS in this new scheme seems like a no-brainer. K’Waun is a very similar player, though I would give Ward the edge as a tackler. I was always impressed with Ward’s instincts, range, and his ability to read-and-react. But what stood out the most to me was just how well he tackled for a guy his size, and it really comes down to technique.

        I was always puzzled as to why the 49ers targeted Ward as early as they did, when Jimmie seemed like an undersized, but natural free safety, a year after drafting Eric Reid. Another Baalke head scratchier to be sure!

    1. No surprise there. Ward is the best option currently on the roster. My concern is that he is really not much of a ball hawk or a great tackler. I think he might actually be better at CB which is why Hooker might be an option for the first pick. Adams could be too, but he’s not as good a fit for the role as Hooker is imo.

  10. On another topic, there’s a lot of chatter about Garcon and the 49ers. Seems to make sense if we get Cousins, but if we don’t…….

  11. Unless the 49ers add another FA to play the 1T, I still think they will look to add another guy in the mid to late rounds of the draft. At the moment they only have Mitchell for that 1T role. Dial at a pinch. Purcell is a RFA, but hopefully can do better than Purcell.

    1. Yup that’s what I have believed the whole time. I think this GM and HC combo are too smart to draft another Alex Smith clone at 2… GO get the blue chip defender and build the roster up again.

    2. I’m about to cast my vote for Foster. He is versatile. We don’t know if Bow will be ready. We don’t know if Brooks and Ray Ray can play their new positions.

      1. Nobody knows if Armstead will be ready either. Allen doesn’t need shoulder surgery. His medicals should come back clean as a whistle, and that’s what I prefer with the number two selection. Clean blue chip player….

              1. I’m not giving up on him, but who knows if he’ll be ready to go. I think taking Allen(BPA), and then trading back into the first round for Kizer is a prudent plan….

              2. Razor: Would you take Allen if Armstead was ready to go? With a new coach doesn’t the team get to start OTAs early like last year; I’ve forgotten when that is, though (beginning of April, I think).

              3. I’m certainly not giving up on Armstead. He was all the rage, a man among boys last season, before a very significant shoulder injury effected his ability to stack and shed.

                I think Armstead will thrive in this new scheme. Even with that significant injury last season, Armstead looked nearly unblockable on the occasions when he was allowed to get off and penetrate immediately off the snap of the football. As an attacking 3T, Armstead’s strength and leverage would allow him to occasionally two-gap, freeing Buckner to one-gap and keep offenses guessing and off-balance.

          1. Agree. Excellent draft for secondary players. If you are looking for the 2nd best player in the draft it is no given it is Allen. There are some CBs and safeties that are right up there with him. My current guess is they go CB if they move Ward to FS, or Hooker if they keep Ward at CB.

            1. And if not DB, I wouldn’t rule out Solomon Thomas to play a Michael Bennett type role, lining up anywhere down the line.

              1. With the #2 pick? Or are you assuming/hoping the team will be able to trade back. I still think KS is going to want his fair share of offensive draftees.

              2. Seems like a lot of people on the LOS. Are you expecting some of the current DL (Dial, Armstead, etc.) to be moved out by one means or another?

              3. No. If they took Thomas he would likely play DE in base instead of Lynch. He can play the 6T in the over front (strongside DE), or the weakside rusher in under front. In nickel he can play any of the 4 spots, depending on down and distance.

                He has what none of the 49ers edge players have – excellent burst off the snap. Allen doesn’t have that either, so I don’t like him as a potential edge rushing DE in a 4-3 in the NFL.

                Armstead and Buckner can still be on the field. Or if they want a better run stopping presence at DE opposite Thomas they can put Dial in.

              4. So, presumably then, you’re not for spending many megabucks to get Ingram. What do you want to do now with all of that cap space?

              5. Oh I’d be very happy if they got Ingram. But until they get him I am not ruling out an elite edge prospect with the 49ers first pick.

              6. Scooter: I’d like to switch topics for a moment. I’ve been studying up on the 4-3 Under and I’m still not clear on what happens if the TE goes in motion and then lines up on the other side of the LOS, which effectively switches the strong side. Does the Mike have to recognize this and have the DL switch to a 4-3 Over alignment? Could be tricky if the offense can execute that move to happen just before the snap.

              7. Yeah, always something that can happen. When it does they can adjust a few ways. One would be for the DL to re-align so it remains an under front, but reversed (the 3T moves to 4T and 4T to 3T, weakside rusher to SAM and SAM to weakside rusher, 1T moves to other shoulder of NT). Or they can switch to an over front, which is more likely what would occur (and vice vera if they were already in an over front).

                Its easier for the Mike and Will. They can just switch sides if need be.

                As to who’s job it is to recognise it, the whole D should be communicating it to each other. Its pretty obvious when it happens

              8. Isn’t that what KS did with the Falcons against the Seahawks? They put a man in motion so that Seahawk defenders switched, so there was a mismatch created.

    1. Thanks cubus. From that link.

      “Rather, the Dolphins will go with Mitchell — an under-the-radar talent who did the dirty work in Houston, taking on double-teams that often allowed J.J. Watt to make plays.”

      “When he was on the field last season, the Texans’ run defense allowed just 3.1 yards per carry; when he wasn’t, that average ballooned to 4.2”.

      “He led all nose tackles with 50 tackles and tallied 2.5 sacks in a defense that wasn’t designed for him to make plays.”

      1. Thanks #80 and thanks for the Klis post. If you check out the NN thread on Mitchell, someone posted some gifs of Mitchell which were quite impressive. Still, it’s not a whole body of work of course and the gifs like the article were probably from a few years ago.

          1. Lynch is being far more proactive than his predecessor, Trent Baalke, had been in previous years. And that’s exactly what the Niners need.

  12. Glad Lynch is being proactive, and filling glaring needs. If he can sign Zach Brown in free agency, the defense will be looking decent. Still would be nice to have a pass rusher.

    Hope he can sign either Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Stills, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick or Kendall Wright. One of those players along with Carter will help the WR squad, especially with Torrey, Rogers and Ellington returning from injuries. Still think they should draft a WR in the 4th or 5th rounds.

    Lynch should try very hard to get Frank Gore back on the Niners. Grigson signed FG, and let Bethea leave, so Ballard may want to get rid of Grigson moves. Niners should offer Bethea and one of the O linemen who does not fit KS’s scheme, for Frank Gore.

    Getting Frank Gore back may possibly help re establish that winning culture, and correct a Baalke mistake.

    1. Frank Gore is one of my all-time favorite 49ers Seb, but I can’t get on board with bringing him back. He’ll be 34 in May, and he really showed signs of slowing down last season. In fact, he had 1 run of 20+ yards last season, and that 1 run was 22 yards, despite carrying the ball 263 times. That’s a very troubling number. Compare that to Hyde, who had 7 runs of 20+ yards on 217 carries.

      With his stature as one of the 49ers all-time greats, it would be hard to bring Frank in as the #2 RB, or possibly even the #3. At some point, no matter how hard you work on conditioning, an NFL RB hits a wall. And the age in which it almost always happens is usually around the age of 30, if not sooner. Frank has already out run father time, and he has a ton of miles on his tires and chassis.

      It’s OK to reminisce about the past Seb, and indulge in the recollection of past events, but it’s a mistake to try and turn the clock back to relive it.

      1. Its OK. I agree that he is not the future, but he would provide leadership, something that the Niners need more of.

        Trading away Bethea and an un-needed O lineman is not too big of a cost, and I want FG to retire as a Niner.

        Frank Gore used to be the heart and soul of the offense, but Baalke let him go like he was a piece of trash.

        1. It was a shame the way it ended with Frank. I would have loved for him to play his entire career and retire as a 49er.

          While I felt it was probably the right move at the time, I am certainly not going to defend the way Baalke handled business. He’s an idiot, plain and simple! The difference in the way Lynch is treating players appears to be the complete opposite to the way Baalke approached players, and hallelujah for that!

    1. Comp picks can be traded now. This buys alot of draft flexibility. Unfortunately they have two third round picks, 102 and 106.

  13. The Mitchell signing looks like a draft flexibility move. Lynch doesn’t want to be stuck having to reach for a 1-tech in the draft.

    1. If they get some guy in the 5/6 who’s as good or better, great. Otherwise, this is a checklist get for this offseason. The more journeymen they can bring in to compete, the more BPA flexibility they have in the draft. An aura of competence.

  14. “Cousins is already the subject of next-offseason whispers, with the 49ers and even the Rams being bandied about as landing spots for 2018.”

    “If the Redskins were head-over-heels for Cousins, they wouldn’t be in this position. Neither would Cousins, who reportedly “doesn’t want to be” with the team anymore after endless haggling over his contract.”

    1. I found the source of the “Cousins wants out” story.

      “ESPN’s Jason Reid reported Thursday that Kirk Cousins “doesn’t want to be in Ashburn.” He also said Cousins wants the franchise tag for 2017.”

      “For the past couple of years, former Redskins officials who know Cousins have said he really doesn’t want to be in Ashburn,” Reid reported. “He wants tag.”

      So, the Skins can trade him or let him walk next year.

      1. I like how it says “The best free agent quarterback available.” Not sure its technically true( yet), but shows Cousins is scheduled to be a 2017 free agent. He’s not under contract for 2017. This greatly reduces the Redskins power to extract draft picks for him.

        Cousins has almost total control. He’d love another franchise tag. Its guaranteed money. It escalates with each additional franchise tagged season.

        2016 – $19.95 million
        2017 – $23.94 million
        2018 – $34.5 million

        If the Skins franchise tag Cousins but decide to keep him, they would have shelled out $43.89 million guaranteed. That’s one expensive talent evaluation.

        And if the Skins want to sign Cousins to a long term contract after 2017, Cousins will ask for the same guaranteed contract terms a new club will. So the skins would be paying what the 49ers would pay in guaranteed cash+$43.98 million.

      2. So…

        – Cousins is scheduled to be a free agent in March.

        – The Skins can’t trade Cousins unless they franchise tag him $23.94 million.

        – The Skins can try a straight trade, but what team will trade high picks for a one year $23.94 million rental? He can bail in 2018 for the highest bidder.
        (Cousins “no home team discount” could have been meant for the entire NFL)

        – For any trade to happen, it has to be a sign-n-trade. Cousins has the right to kill any trade deal if he doesn’t like the new contract.

        He even has the power to kill all trade deals by insisting on playing 2017 under the tagged contract. Why not? $23.94 million in 2017. A brand new contract with whopping guarantee in 2018.

        He stays with the Skins in 2017, and after the season says to Snyder “thanks for the $43.89 million sucker. I’m leaving for a team that can afford my new contract. You can’t because you blew $43.89 million of your cap on me already. LOL”

        Summary: Cousins is not under contract with any team this upcoming season. It would be an enormously risky move for the Skins to franchise tag him.

        Cousins holds all the cards.

      3. A big risk for the 49ers is accidental tampering. Lynch and all 49ers FO people have to maintain radio silence. This includes seemingly innocuous press conference comments praising his play.

        They can only contact contact Cousins or his agent with explicit permission from the Skins.

        And that’s fine. Cousins knows Shanahan values him more than the Redskins, and probably more than all other teams contending for his services. The communication already happened years ago.

  15. 49ers picks by draft slot. We don’t have to use the misleading “rounder” in our trade scenarios

    2, 34, 66, 109, 143, 146, 161, 186, 202, 219

    I import the traditional value chart into Excel and highlight the 49er draft slots.

    I don’t always go by traditional charts. They are most inaccurate at the very top of the draft where trade back value varies wildly (see 2016 compared to 2013). But enough teams adhere to a rough equivalent for me to still use them.

    1. Listened to Tom T this afternoon, and he brought up a good point.

      The Pats had only one first rounder starting. most were later rounders, and even UDFAs, FAs and players they traded for, so it is not totally necessary to get only first round picks to build a team.

      The key is to be able to find the talent in the later rounds, but Bellichick, with his years at the Pats, have developed a strategy that works. Having continuity and being able to plan years ahead is a recipe for success. Having coaching churn like the Niners, just means starting over, and a short term myopic mindset.

      Pats traded back with one of their second round picks for a third and 4th round picks and got a stating O lineman, and Malcolm Mitchell, who made several key clutch catches in the playoffs.

      Still think the smartest move would be to trade back to accumulate bodies. Still think Cleveland is the best trade partner, because they could give up 2 seconds along with a second next year, to move up.

      Cleveland could select the best defender, and the best offensive player. However, I do not think they should grab a QB at number 2. They should draft Fournette at 2 because a stud RB will make the quarterback’s job a lot easier.

      Cowboys drafted Elliot at 4 last year, and they went from 4-12 to 13-3. Cleveland will not mind losing 2 second round picks because having the first and second picks will cost a lot of money to sign.

      Niners will still be able to select an impact player at 12, and those 2 additional second round picks will help fill several needs with quality starters. Cleveland and the Niners both win, and could possibly help both teams get out of the cellar.

        1. We’ll see how well Trubisky throws at the combine Prime. I get the feeling he’s going to stand head and shoulders above the competition.

          I’ve heard a lot of talk about Mahomes lately, and he’s got some talent, but I see a very big problem with his mechanics. You may have heard coaches say “get the elbow up” – because the elbow only needs to go high enough to get over and ahead of the shoulder on the throw. The smoothness and efficiency of this move is the key to consistent power and accuracy on a throw. The problem for Mahomes is that he holds the ball at his hip, and then essentially slings the ball from a very low position.

          Ideally, the quarterback should push the ball up and back away from the chest – never bringing the ball down below the chest and looping around. For the arm to track through the sagittal plane, the elbow almost inevitably must position straight back at 90 degrees before it rotates up and over to the target. The key point to this mechanic is getting it to that position as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that it can begin moving forward, thus reducing the time it takes to execute the throwing motion.

          Mahomes must first correct this fundamental flaw before I can even consider him a viable NFL QB prospect. It will be interesting to see if he has worked to correct this prior to the combine.

  16. Niners Wire
    The 49ers gave up more touchdowns through the air than 24 other teams. San Francisco allowed 59 plays of 20 yards or more, the second most in the league.
    49ers potential NFL free agent target: A.J. Bouye. (6-0, 191) allowed quarterbacks to complete just over 50 percent of passes thrown his way for a rating of 58.5, per Pro Football Focus.
    The Central Florida alum finished the regular season with 48 tackles, 16 pass break-ups and an interception.

  17. I know he has sucked in his four seasons as a niner, but is there any hope for Tank Carradine as we move into playing a 4-3 defense?

  18. I can see us getting Ingram as the big signing. Given his age, it’s worth it to pay the money. I’m glad that we signed Mitchell, the DT from Miami, as he came much cheaper than Poe. The FB from the Falcons should come cheap. Signing Garcon would be big, especially if we can get our hands on Cousins next year.
    In the draft, grab Myles Garrett if he’s there (he won’t be) otherwise trade back to #6 if we can still get Reuben Foster. We should be able to get another 2nd and 4th rounder this year and a 2nd rounder next year. On offense, Garcon would be a great compliment to Torrey Smith, with Kerley as the slot receiver. Who knows, maybe one or two of Baalke’s ACL gimp receivers will actually break through in 2017. That would be Karma!

    In the draft, after picking Foster at 6, we’ll have the 34th, 38th, 66th, 98th and 102nd picks. That is 6 of the 1st 102 picks. (not counting possible compensatory or extra picks we have).Unless our front office completely blows it, we should be a hell of a lot more competitive next year. Plus, we will have another 2nd round pick in 2018.

    If we can do all of that, we’ve added Mitchell at DT/NT, Melvin Ingram as a pass rusher and Reuben Foster at LB. With Armstead being healthy and Buckner, our run and pass defense looks a whole lot better. We might even be a contender in 2018!

        1. Cooked my Godfathers sauce overnight, and just put together some stuffed shells and lasagna and through it in the oven. And now we wait…;>)

    1. I think it’s because Barnett doesn’t have exceptional physical skills. He is hard worker and has a good motor but that often doesn’t translate to becoming an elite player at the pro level. Doesn’t mean he won’t either, but you have to put these players under a microscope when deciding on whether to use a high first round pick on them and things like that will drop him in the eyes of some.

    1. So, you’re not allowed to act like Billy Martin anymore?
      Better make sure there aren’t any paparazzi at Husong’s Cantina then.

    1. Bellichick is shopping Garoppolo because he probably thinks he has a decent backup to Brady in Brissett.

      If anyone, the Niners should look to obtaining Kevin Hogan. That would be way more realistic and cheaper.

  19. Niners should look hard at Odrick, and maybe get him at a reasonable price.

    He was a first round draft pick and may be recovered from his nagging injuries.

  20. Quite a few media types still slotting a QB to SF @#2. Only a few of us experts (ex-burps?) in this room are calling that one. But I recall a couple of years ago the overwhelming media consensus was Amistead, but some of us (& me) thought otherwise. Then, Doh!
    I’m still not sold on the value of this year’s QBs at 2, but we’ll see. If Shanny grabs a youngster early I’ll settle in for the ride.

    1. BT,

      We all have our opinions and I really don’t think a QB is worthy of a high first round pick, but if Shanny feels differently and takes one, I will differ to his opinion over mine ;)

      The Armstead pick was weird because it seemed like every pundit out there knew the Niners were going to take him. I didn’t want to take him as I preferred Marcus Peters, so this is one where I think I was right in hindsight. Unfortunately that is offset with tons of examples of being wrong which is why I’m an internet hack and not an NFL scout.

    2. My hope in 2015 was
      1) Trade back and pick Malcom Brown (or Armstead) later in round one
      2) Trade up for edge rusher or receiver
      3) Stand pat and pick Malcom Brown

      I was surprised when it was Armstead.

      I also wanted Marcus Peters or Shane Ray but assumed (and still assume) Denise York has marching orders to the front office to minimize character risk players when possible.

      1. I’m not opposed to Mama Niner setting standards. I think she’ll be happy to relinquish that role to Lynch as she gains confidence in him. It really does start at the top.

    3. Its in the 49ers interest to talk up the quarterback prospects. It (might) increase the trade-back value of pick 2. It might not either, but any little rose to help draft leverage is a good thing during “lying season.”

      If I’m Lynch I spend alot of time taking about Trubisky. Make a show expressing interest at his pro day. Even schedule “secret” meeting with him. What ever jacks up his value.

  21. Taylor Moton is one of the lineman I’ll be watching at the combine. Pretty athletic for a 6’5″ 330 human being. Could be G or RT prospect, probably best suited for RG.

    He’ll be close to the 5.0 second flat range in the 40.

    1. Took a look at him, and his feet and lateral movement suggest to me he’s not a very good fit. I’ll keep an eye on him though in Indy….

  22. Question to all – In the unlikely event the Browns lose their minds and offer 1 for the Niners 2+66, would you go for it?

    1. I’m solidly in the “yes” camp. Maybe there’s a 1% chance the Browns think they won’t be able to extend Garrett because of his warm weather and Dallas comments.

    2. No. While I think Garrett is the best prospect, I don’t see him as a tone setter like Miller and Mack were.

      1. Lynch mentioned tone setting in his Earl Mitchell statement. With all the tone setting we should bring back Jordan Devey. He plays a mean tuba.

  23. As we wait for the Combine and March 2nd, the Niners should take a frank, honest assessment of their chances to improve.

    In this league, there is only one winner, and 31 losers. Usually, there are about 5 teams who have cratered, and are basically horrible. They will lose their HC and will have to start all over. Crawling out of that hole does not depend on getting high draft positions, because teams like the Browns and Jax seem to be firmly mired in the cellar year after year while picking in the top 5.

    There are about 10 teams who are perennially good, and have a shot at the SB. The Niners used to be included in that bunch when they had 16 years of 10 win seasons. How the Niners can get back to that lofty status is a daunting challenge.

    Jed has screwed up royally. At least he is not his father, who seemed to not care if they won or lost. Jed really wants to win, but he had no clue about how to go about accomplishing that goal. he surrounded himself with sycophants, toadies and shills, that told him he was great and being a strong leader and brilliant tactician.

    However, Jed was filled with hubris, and would make bold pronouncements that backfired spectacularly.

    Hopefully, any bravado has been beaten out of him, and now he knows to stop inserting his foot in his mouth. Jed should become a silent partner, and let others do the talking for him. The only thing I want to hear from Jed is for him to state that he wants to pick last every year, instead of being rewarded for losing.

    Jed did get lucky to find JH, but quadrupled his woes by allowing emotions to cloud his judgement. Hopefully he has learned his lesson, and will not repeat his mistakes. Relying on a maladjusted clueless sociopath like Baalke was another horrendous blunder. Jed is incredibly fortunate to have Lynch fall into his lap, and he should rely on Lynch to be the face of the franchise.

    Lynch has started out well. He has said all the right things, and will lead the Niners back to respectability and more important, back to relevance.

    Sure was glad to see Lynch be classy, and talk respectfully about Kaep. More telling, he met with Kaep, and the next thing, Gamble was let go, so the stench of Baalke is dissipating. Maybe he is keeping his word to Kaep, and will spend every penny of the salary cap before asking Kaep to take a pay cut in order to sign a player who will help them get over the top and back to winning.

    Then he actually was proactive, and signed a couple players. Do not know how they will turn out, but his bold moves are light years better than Baalke, who was so bad, players were avoiding the Niners like the plague. The very fact that he outbid other teams is huge, and signals that he wants to win instead of being content to lose.

    Lynch is smart. It was music to my ears to hear him say that there is more talent on the team than a 2-14 record would indicate. It was a back handed comment to Baalke, who seemed to make players play out of position. It was also a damning statement about the coaches, who did not utilize the players properly, and accentuate their strengths instead of exposing their weaknesses.

    Thankfully, they have KS, who is smart and innovative. he can strategize and make adjustments. It sure was nice to see his offense carve up the Seahawks and GB. He failed in the SB, but he will learn from his mistakes.

    Lynch and KS should realize that all teams are big fast and strong. All of the other teams have talent. it is a game of inches, and the winning team will get those few precious inches, while the other team will fail due to lack of preparation or poor game management.

    They need to weld the team into a cohesive unit, with all the players on the same page, and pulling in the same direction. The other teams may have elite players, but if the Niners play together as a team, they can overcome more talented players.

    Kaep gives them the best chance to win. When utilized properly, he can make those jaw dropping throws. with better support, they may actually win games. They should not let the perceived distraction of his protests become a distraction, because it should not affect anything on the field of play. I would like Kaep to declare that he has made a difference, and stop with his protests, but he has every right as an American to respectfully, non violently and silently protest, because it is a big problem confronting America. Keap should realize that he could be more effective by not angering the uneducated minority who hate any black person who is acting ‘uppity’ in their eyes. His message is important, but his method could improve. Donating a million bucks is admirable, and very effective. He should explore more avenues of that nature, and make even more of an impact.

    Kaep is the best player on the team, but maybe they are hesitant to keep him because they want a player who is ‘All in’, and totally focused on just playing football. The Niners are smart to not burn bridges, keep their cards close to their vest, and keep all options open.

    I sure am glad that they will not let emotions cloud their judgement, and think things through, because they should want Kaep to play for them, instead of against him.

    Lynch needs to sign decent Free Agents to fill all the holes, and Peters needs to find talent in the later rounds. KS needs to scheme to make all the pieces work together, and Jed just needs to shut up and let them do their job, even if they hurt his feelings.

    Niners have a daunting challenge ahead of them, but with a few key acquisitions, and the right attitude, they can take the league by storm, again.

    1. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Kaep gives them the best chance to win blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Kaep is the best player on the team blah blah blah will spend every penny of the salary cap before asking Kaep to take a pay cut blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah I would like Kaep to blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

      1. Glad you read every word. Just by the amount of snark, I know you pored over it to find your hit words.

        Now I know you can recite them. Which is the point of repetition.

        The FO must really be upset to have several attack at once.

          1. I dunno. His last line suggests a brand new breathtakingly narcissistic conspiracy fantasy.
            Hahaha! Just think if it was true? The FO that was having a love fest with CK on Wednesday is now somehow sic-ing the blogosphere hounds on CK’s shield bearer today. That John Lynch has some awesome mind control.

        1. You are the racist, Seb. And a bit of a snob. Call my bluff and ask me what I am talking about and I will give you specifics.

          Just don’t bore me by calling me un-educated, hate-monger, or some of your other nonsense.

          1. Saw, I see you throw that racist card out there, but it will not stick. I am pretty tolerant of all creeds and color. I sure do not mind gays playing football, since they have been doing it for years.

            Remember what you said about being what you accuse others of?

          2. Hmm, Saw, you went from-‘ freak’n Seb you are amusing’- to now throwing out the racism card.

            Guess I must have hit a nerve.

    1. We’ll see how the team addresses QB and WR in free agency but I’m having a hard time seeing Shanahan going with ILB on his first draft choice. I thought there was a chance he’d declare last year and was big on him then too but I just don’t see Shanahan looking at this team and thinking the first position that should be addressed in the draft is ILB.

      1. Yeah, it’s hard to say at this point. I’m assuming his medicals check out. We have 3 LB spots. We don’t know if we have the players to fill those positions. Foster can play any of the 3 positions. He would fill a need.

        While Foster would fill a need, Allen would probably be considered BPA. So he is a possibility. I also wouldn’t rule out Adams and Lattimore.

        I don’t think it will be Davis or Williams. Trubisky is a very, very, long shot but still possible.

        1. With this defense there’s kind of only one actual “middle linebacker” the other players that line up in the middle behind the line are usually safeties.

          1. I think the value of Foster is that he can play SAM, WILL, or MIKE if Bow isn’t ready. He may be a little big for a WILL but he can cover a lot of ground and is decent in coverage.

            Do you think he could play WILL and or SAM?

            1. Yes he certainly could easily play Mike or Will and likely could fill in at Sam or even Leo for that matter but ideally he’s best suited to be the Mike imo. His ability to play different spots is no different then a top tackle being able to fill in at G or even maybe C. Sure they can do it but you don’t draft them because of it. You draft them because you have a need at the position they’ll be playing the most.

              1. OK, got it. I think he has Pro Bowl potential as a WILL or SAM, and of course at MIKE. I think he is that good.

              2. I agree with CFC. If you take Foster you are bringing him in to play the Mike. He’s a seek and destroy player.

              3. My bad. I didn’t ask the right question. Would Bow be better suited at SAM if he has lost a step due to his latest injury?

              4. Razor,

                Not even their early stuff? They went too commercial starting with The Black Album, but they were OK in the 80s.

                I’m mostly a rap guy though. I listen to everything, but maybe my taste in metal isn’t refined. What do you think about Pantera and Megadeath?

              5. Nope. Never was a fan of any of those bands. My wife was a Metallica and Pantera fan though. The only American metal I was a hard core fan of was Ronnie James Dio. Followed him in Rainbow, Sabbath and all his solo work. He was an American metal national treasure to me….

              6. #80,

                The SAM would be the worst option for Bow imo. I’d play him or Foster at the Will and the other at the Mike. I don’t think either are big enough to hold up at the SAM.

              7. rocket,

                I don’t think Bow would be a good fit at WILL. I worry that he will be less effective in coverage. That is why I’m advocating for drafting Foster to play WILL or SAM and eventually replacing Bow at MIKE.

                I hate to say it, but Bow could be injury prone and I don’t expect him to be the same player as last year. And certainly not the pre ACL caliber player.

                MLB or MIKE is very important in our scheme. For all we know, Bow might not be ready at the start of the season. He may no longer play at a Pro Bowl level when he does return.

              8. It’s tough to say where Bow will be as a player at this point, but he’s still relatively young enough to bounce back and his work ethic is there to do it. Bow’s biggest strength is diagnosing and making plays. He would have to play coverage at times from the Will, but he would at Sam too on occasion along with having to fight through blockers on almost every play. He’s not that kind of player.

              9. If they draft Foster he will be either the WILL or SAM. Bow will stay as the Mike.

                Foster as the WILL or SAM is fine. He was the speed for WILL and the size to play SAM. Myles Jack played SAM (Otto) last year. That is probably where Foster would play.

              10. I don’t think Foster is the ideal size to play SAM personally. We’ll have to wait and see what he measures in at but he’s listed at 6″1 and 228LB’s on a couple of sites which is not ideal for the SAM.

                He also didn’t have to take on blockers very often with Bama. He would be best used as the Mike or Will imo.

              11. It’s not about what he can do. You don’t use the #2 pick on a Sam or Will LB. If you use #2 on Foster it’s because you’re drafting the QB of your defense, the Mike LB.

              12. Grant Cohn February 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm
                Which is the 49ers’ front.
                How many practices have you attended so far this year? How about actually waiting to see how they line up before being so certain about what they are or aren’t?


                You’ll notice that Myles Jack #44 is lined up on the strong side directly across from the TE. They usually were really more of a 5-3 front because they never lined up like this without Cyprien lined up next to the MLB’s. PP #51 is playing the Mike and #50 Telvin Smith is the Will. Myles is the Sam(otto) and Yannick is the Leo. This is how the Jaguars lined up when they went to a 4-3 under and they lined up like this mostly on 1&10 and 3rd & short.

              14. Thanks CfC.

                What I like, and pointed out in the other post, is they get Alualu and Jackson 1-on-1. In this under front Alualu is opposite the RT, shaded to the outside. I can see Armstead playing this role quite effectively. On the other side you have Jackson outside the guard with Ngakoue outside him occupying the OT. I can see Buckner playing this role quite effectively too.

                In the over fronts the did the same sort of thing, giving these guys 1-on-1s.

              15. *edit*
                “before he did so the right defensive end(from this perspective) was in the 7T.”

      1. The Will LB will likely be a converted S, someone who is under 220lbs. The Sam is an OLB. Foster is a Mike LB in this defense. Drafting Foster at #2 means they think Bowman is done playing or is on his last season.

        1. What I mean is I think it will depend on how they address the positions around him. The more I watched Foster, the more it seems he benefitted from having a stacked unit around him.

          1. I don’t need to be sold on Foster I was ready to draft him last year, I just don’t think the person who’s going to be making the final decision on draft day is going to go with a middle linebacker, especially if Bowman can still play.

            1. Yeah, I wasn’t trying to sell you on him. I was just stating that I believe that Foster may not be worth the second pick.

  24. This isn’t a best player available draft for the Niners. Situated at the top of every round and having 10 picks, the strategy is get players at the positions of need.

    1. This is why you and I are like oil and water. The needs strategy may make one miss on a superior player, and eventually, they will need that player.

      Of course, with Kaep as the QB, the need to draft a QB at number 2 is a luxury they cannot afford, especially with such good defensive talent available.

      I would put -ILB, DE, OLB, WR, DT , OL, QB,TE as needs in descending order. However, if a superior player is available, they should not adhere to the needs mandate.

  25. “Charley Casserly believes Shanahan, the 49ers’ rookie coach, will wait until later in the draft to grab a quarterback. (And, as the rumor mills have told us, he may have already added a long-term answer or stopgap via trade by then anyway.)”

    “I went around the room and asked all of them who they thought we should draft, and I started with Kyle because he was the youngest,” Casserly, an analyst for the NFL Network, recalled Wednesday.

    “Kyle said we should take Mario Williams, because he was the best player for the franchise.”

  26. You do not REACH for a QB at 2….. It will set your franchise back 5-10 years. Trubisky at 2 is a Massive reach. Kyle is too smart to draft him or any QB that early in this draft. But you can keep bringing him up every day.

    1. Me? Bringing him up every day? I said he was a very, very, long shot earlier today. And just now I posted a link that suggested Kyle would not take a QB at 2. Other than that, I haven’t mentioned him in months.

      I’m for getting Garoppolo or Cousins. My favorite QB in the draft is Kizer, but I might pass on him at 34!

  27. Aaron Lynch is fat and slow. If he doesn’t come to camp in shape and does not do something overtly impressive, i’d rather see a stud in there. And did we lose Ahmad Brooks or something because he’s a stud.

    1. Brooks is too undisciplined, and jumps offsides way too many times.
      He is over 30 and costs 6 mil, I believe. He does have talent, but tends to do things like grab too high on Breeze, or jump offside to give the other team a first down.

      Lynch looked pedestrian last season, so the Niners should sign a FA, and also draft an OLB.

  28. Since some folk cannot tolerate seeing something more than once, here is an original thought.

    Lynch wants to start out right. He inherited a mess, and he wants to fix it.

    The best way to start is to atone for their sins. Chip, in his last presser, promised to have a one on one session with Lowell, Cohn. The head coach promised, with no thought of fulfilling his promise.

    Lynch, as GM, should be up front and forth right, and keep that promise. He should instruct Kyle Shanahan to have a one on one interview with Lowell Cohn. It would be seen as a class act, and would show that the new Niners will keep their promises. Even their past promises. It would also be farewell boon for Lowell, and maybe Mike Shanahan could attend, too. It would be nice to have them review the history of the Glory Years, and maybe even Grant could join in. Both Grant and Kyle could give us the perspective of a Kid seeing history being made.

    Bet no one thought of that before.

  29. Niners need to get better, especially on the defensive side. They should bundle players to other teams who also have been struggling. The Colts are a logical trading partner, especially if the want to keep Luck upright.

    Niners should look at the Jaguars for FA help. Odrick, Cyprien, Alualu, Amukamara and Jordan Hill.

    Maybe Brooks and Fangio can reunite in Chicago.

    Maybe Brock to Washington, since a lot of Niner coaches went there

    Swapping players may also help both teams.

    Maybe bundling players and picks can help the Niners move up in the draft.

    Lynch’s goal should be to get as many choices in the first 3 rounds as possible, because this is deemed a deep draft.

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