Draft Picks Are All (Mostly) Signed

The 49ers wasted little time (hello Michael Crabtree) in signing their draft picks, minus Arik Amsted. he apparently has some academic issues and must wait until the end of his last quarter at Oregon. Which happens to be early June. Armsted can attend the rookie mini-camp but must return for his finals week June 8-12. The Niner mandatory mini-camp runs from June 9-11, so there’s a conflict. I have no way of knowing Amsted’s finals schedule, so maybe he’s done on the 10 and can make some of it, but they can sign him on Friday when he shows up for the rookie camp.

Other than that, no news in Ninerland. Although I did add a new feature. I call it the Skeebers Score board. I’m tracking how many times Akeebers posts bashing the front office, how many times the ‘apologists’ are mentioned, and how many times the phrase ‘escaped goats’ pops up. Enjoy.

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One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RONNIE!!

Or, the George Thorogood school of thought. To paraphrase:

Everybody funny
Now, you funny.too

The media in general, and especially locally, seem to be making a case that the 49ers are all of a sudden a lousy team looking up at the rest of the division.  Funny thing is, as I’ve said before, 98% of these issues would have come to pass regardless of the martyrdom of St. Jim. Not going to rehash that, but just say that I think the offense improves. Why? Because it has never been very explosive these past 9 years, and has been on a downward spiral lately.

Yeah, we had injuries, but the defense suffered many more devastating injuries and was able to keep it together. The offense floundered terribly amidst missed blocks, bad line calls, and shitty play calling. Happy regressed as the directive seemed to be to take away one of his weapons in running when things broke down. By the 12th game, guys like Frank Gore, VD,  Crabs, and Joe Staley were openly questioning Roman and the offense being trotted out there.

Truth is, the 49ers lost halftime leads in something like 6 games. Defenses seemed to be able to figure out how to stop us at will while the 49ers couldn’t adjust to save their lives. Even some of the wins (Wash, NYG) were exercises in futility as the offense 3-and-outed itself to nowhere while the defense held on. The adjusting to defensive schemes was terrible.

Anyhow, that’s the past. With a new offensive scheme and some new ideas, I think these guys can introduce  some needed flexibility and speed into the offense. Steve Logan is a huge WCO proponent, and looks to get things moving much quicker than has has been these past 9 years. New WR coach Ron Curry, an offensive assistant the past 2 years, and a 7-year NFL vet who learned his trade under Freddie Biletnikoff, should be a vast improvement over John Morton. What also makes me laugh is when people point to Jed and Trent saying things like “we will get back to running the ball” in January as if they designed the offensive schemes before anything happened, and the coaches haven’t set foot in the building.

Still and all, the big question to me is Geep Chryst. Our new OC has a spotty career as an OC (in a shitty situation in SD), and varying degrees of success in various stops working with every offensive group on 5 different teams. Either he has learned a lot in his various stops, or he’s a bland lifer who won’t bring anything different or dynamic to the team.

The defense should be fine. I think Mangina-eous should be fine as the DC. The players certainly understand why things changed. Fangio bailed amid reports of him not getting the HC spot, or York balking on Fangio staying in his role if Adam Gase came in. Not sure about the veracity of that, but whatever. The coaching staff turned over, and the players will deal with it. Managing at least has a solid record of DCing what with his success under Brian Belichick in New England. His HC record is shitty at best, but certainly he brings a big presence on the defensive side of things. I said two years ago when they hired him to work with the TEs, that he was positioning himself for another HC run, either here or elsewhere. The defensives coaching staff is also full of ex-DCs and ex-HCs, notably Tony Sparano, Jason Tarver, and Clancy Pedergast AZ’s recent DC.

So, laugh as the hipsters and media trolls must at our goombah coach, power hungry GM, and the brash owner, I think this team stands to certainly do better than last year’s mark. Yeah, kind of a low bar, but to listen to the pundits, we’re on our way to 4-12. Let the techie-wonks sell their tickets, and run for the shade. Super Bowl? Probably not, what with all the roster turnover, but certainly a playoff run. And, as the San Francisco Giants have proven in recent years, once in the dance, the season resets. Get on a roll and you can take the trophy.

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Police Blotter News

Ahmad Brooks is the latest player accused of sexual assault. TMZ says it has video of Brooks sexually assaulting a passed-out woman. Funny thing is, this is the same woman who accused Ray McDonald. The story is she hit her head at the party with both of them, and was groped by Brooks while unconscious. RayMac then carried her upstairs and banged her without her consent. She’s suing for all kinds of stuff, but this is a new wrinkle.

Brooks was already on thin ice, so it looks like Brooks and RayMac will soon be teamamates in Chicago. And Eli Harold is our new starting OLB.

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Draft Picks and UDFAs

Per the rest of this busy sports weekend, here are the newest 49ers, draft and UDFA:

1 (17). Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
2 (14). Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
3 (15). Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
4 (18). Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma
4 (27). Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
4 (33). DeAndre Smelter, WR, Georgia Tech

5 (29). Bradley Pinion, P, Clemson
6 (14). Ian Silberman, OL, Boston College
7 (27). Trenton Brown, OL, Florida
7 (37). Rory Anderson, TE, South Carolina

UDFA picks

Dres Anderson, WR, Utah
Issac Blakeney, WR, Duke
DiAndre Campbell, WR, Washington
Darius Davis, WR, Henderson State
Patrick Miller, OT, Auburn
Marcus Rush, DE, Michigan State
Dylan Thompson, QB, South Carolina
DeAndrew White, WR, Alabama

Not crazy about the first 2 picks, but the hope is that Tomsula can get the most out of Armstead. Eli Harold looks like a solid pick, however I thought we’d go ILB instead of OLB. Bell, Davis, and Smelter all come highly regarded. The rest? Well, we’ll see. Looks like Baalke chose a punter with that extra pick they got from SD. Lee’s getting up there, so I get it, but a 5th round seems high. Tartt is a strange one as we seem to need CBs and we didn’t get any.  I suppose there will be some fallout in the next few weeks as players get released/cut to make the roster.

This is a very important draft for Baalke and the team, and grading it now is a fallacy.  Smelter and Bell are big targets that should help in the red zone. and all those UDFA WRs should at least prove to be interesting to see if any stick.

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Huh. All Defense All Draft?

Certainly didn’t think they’d go this hard after defensive players. Still and all, with 7 picks today, they can do some depth filling to say the least. I guess the ‘braintrust’ feels that the offensive stagnation was a product of the coaches, not the players. That’s certainly a theory, but one I’m not too comfortable with. I mean, if the offense somehow regresses, we are doomed. Even incremental improvement likely won’t overcome the insanely tough schedule we have, and the players we lost. I understand that most of the defections and retirements were on the defensive side of the ball, but really? All defense? The most curious pick to me was Tartt in the 2nd. The defensive backfield took some hits with Cully and Cox hitting the road, so natch I thought they’d go after one of the many CBs available at 2. They took a strong safety.

Yeah, Bethea’s getting up there, but Brock is coming off an injury-plagued season, and Cook, while  semi-decent, is no C0x. Donate Johnson played well as a rook, but the rest are various flavors of backup. I thought CB was much more a need. Unless they know something they aren’t telling us re: Bethea. He is 31, but still played well last year. Beyond that, they lose 2 ILBs and draft an OLB. Harold looks like a solid guy, but again, not really an area of dire need like ILB appears to be.

Armstead? Safe pick. One Tomsula should be able to reap major rewards out of.

Today? I’m hoping they go WR, ILB, CB, ILB, OL, TE, WR.

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Draft Day One is Done

Well, well. In a reversal of the usual obscure/odd/baffling 1st round pick, Trent Baalke went with the guy who most of the draftniks predicted would come here. And that would be one Arik Armstead, the defensive lineman from Oregon. He was able to get his guy and get 2 picks from SD in the process. A 4th this year, and a 5th next year. Not bad at all. The guy hasn’t put up huge numbers, but is very big and very fast. The intriguing numbers for him are 6’7″, 295 lb, with room to grow. Fast enough to play power forward for a Division 1 basketball program for 2 years. His 40 times are of the 5 second range, nothing spectacular, but his value is in his burst and his quickness off the line. Something he’s shown flashes of.

There are concerns about his commitment and his motor at times, and he does have the dreaded work-in-progress tag on him, but still and all, Jim Tomsula has certainly gotten a lot more out of a lot less. This doesn’t look to be Baalke’s Balmer . . .

Today? Well a lot of guys I thought would be available, aren’t. Byron Jones being the biggest surprise to me. Dallas needed a running back and a pass rusher, so they took a CB. The guy I wanted. Another guy who went in the 1st who I wanted was Stephone Anthony. He’s going to NO as part of the Jimmy Graham trade. I think NO got the better end of this deal, as Seattle doesn’t look like a good fit for a non-blocking TE.

My wish today? Jalen Strong. Maybe with the extra 4th round pick garnered in trading down 2 spots can yield Jalen. If not him, then maybe Sammie Coates from Auburn.3rd round? Well, I’d say CB. Still hoping Alex Carter is still on the board.

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Be Still, My Beating Heart

Draft day is here!!! Soon  ESPN can pack Mel Kiper Jr. back in his crypt til next year’s draft festivities.

Given em my druthers, here’s my draft, wishfully speaking:

1. DaVante Parker

2. Stephone Anthony

3. Alex Carter CB Stafoo

4. Trey Flowers DE Ala

After that? OT,  TE,  QB (perry?), DL, RB

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