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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Look in to the Future

In lieu of looking at current draft needs, let’s take a look at who our 2016 free agents are.

This way (for me at least) we’ll know what may be on Baalke’s wish list going forward. Next year’s FAs are:

▪  Wide receiver Anquan Boldin
▪  Outside linebacker Aldon Smith
▪  Tight end Vernon Davis
▪  Guard Alex Boone

Does this change the strategy? Well. A little, I guess. The defense already had its purge with retirements and defections. The only position I haven’t heard a lot of clamor about regarding our draft is TE.  Actually, Funchess is in our sights as a possible 2nd rounder, so he has been bandied about. He’s a tweener WR/TE, but is a big red-zone target, so he certainly could be a not to the future as VDs value sinks  to penny-stock-land. And I certainly don’t think we re-sign him, but this season will tell us something.

WR has been a big hole in this team for lo so many years now. Pretty much since TO left in 2003 anyway. Crabs has had his decent moments, but he’s hiking across the Bay for browner pastures. Patton and Ellington are the latest batch of underachieving WRs drafted by Baalke. Thing is, they don’t fit his mold of bigger bigger bigger, so you have to wonder why he went this route AFTER getting burned by the AJ Jenkins/LMJ small guy picks. That being said, the guys in this WR crop, another strong group, could yield us DaVante Parker. A guy who is 6’1 and 209 lb. and ran a 4.45 40. Works for me. I wouldn’t trade up for a WR, but he should be there.

If not? OLB is a concern what with Aldon Smith on his last straw screw-up-wise, and the inconsistent play of Ahmad Brooks. Aaron Lynch is fine as a rotation guy, but no one would think he’s an every down guy. Dante Fowler won;t make it to us, but Vic Beasley could. The other top OLBs all seem to be in a race to see who blows the most money before the draft. DE certainly fits here as well. Malcolm Brown and Arick Armstead being on the wish list, with local kid Henry Anderson from Stanfoo a possibility as a later-round sleeper.

Tackle? Possible with the imminent departure of Aaron Boone. Andrus Peate’s head has popped up on the radar recently, behind Ereck Flowers as the top tackle. I suppose that’s a possibility, and the line certainly strugled last year, but the hope is Brandon Thomas is fully recovered from his knee injury, and Marcus Martin is a) healed up, and B) can slide to guard.  Not as big a need for me as D line or CB. Somewhere where we were decimated this offseason.

So, looking to the future may not make anything hammer out any differently, but there is a definite need for a WR. I’m leaning away from these guys going CB in the 1st round and am now leaning back to WR. I’d love to get Parker, but we’ll see.  I don’t think we’ll trade up, but we will see soon enough.

 

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All Draught All the Time

Stillots of questions over who the Ni era should take with their 15th PCM in this draft. Through the process of elimination, I don’t think they’ll go with an LT as I’ve heard recently. I think there are enough LBs out there to find someone in the 2nd round.

After that, all bets are off. DL, CB, and WR are big needs. Torrey Smith is a good acquire, but we need more at that spot. TE even.

I wonder if the fact that Funchess is a tweeter type raises him up our board. Esp if we stop the ground and pound offense and mix things up a little scheme wise.

Beyond that there’s still Davante Parkertalk out there. Would you pass on him if he’s there at 15? I wouldn’t trade up for a WR but id look hard at him if he was there.

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We Might Get Fooled Again?

Or we might not. To paraphrase Pete Townsend.

Man, I find it hilarious that people really think that if Harbaugh stayed, Borland and Willis would not have retired. Or that Cox, Cully, and Gore would still be here. The problems this team faces would still be the same under Harbaugh. The PERCEPTION of the team would be different, but who gives a shit about that? Well, a lot of so-called fans who bemoan the ideal that St. Jim wasn’t trending down, or that his window was closing with the team that Trent Baalke (and ol’ Scotty the Tippler) built.

Like the fact that the problems with this offense that were supposedly going to be fixed last year, weren’t. Still too many inopportune time outs. Still too many 3rd and short failures. Too many 3 and out drives. Yeah we had injuries. But so did the defense. Moreso in fact. But the defense held together for the most part. The offense was a mishmash of poorly designed and executed plays. Blocking was poor to awful. And the lack of any kind of pushing the offense to new heights was squashed.

Near the end of the Raider game when we were close, but down 2 scores with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter and the season on the line, we plodded down the field, using up the play clock every play, as we burned 5 minutes gaining 51 yards, and missed the FG. No no-huddle, no quick plays called at the line, no hurry-up. Just the same plodding offense.

Harbaugh and Roman had to go.
______________________________

RIP Bob St. Clair

stclair-bob

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Draft order for ther Niners

For want of not really seeing this for a while, here’s our draft order.

First round: 15th overall selection
Second round: 46th overall selection
Third round: 79th overall selection
Fourth round: 126th overall selection (acquired from Denver Broncos in 2014 draft-day trade)
Fourth round: 132nd overall selectoin (compensatory pick)
Fifth round: No. 151 overall selection
Sixth round: No. 189 overall selection
Seventh round: No. 246 overall selection (acquired from Indianapolis Coltsfor LB Cam Johnson in 2013)
Seventh round: No. 254 overall selection (compensatory pick)

Saw some more stuff on Stephone Anthony, the ILB from Clemson. If he can hang around til 46, I’d take him.

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Draft Strategies

So, here we are, closing in on the draft. Over the past 5 drafts, the Baalke era, there are a few things that are certainties. Baalke is very adept at gathering up draft picks. He is very adept at trading up and down to gather these picks. He has built through compensatory picks, through trades, and trades to future drafts in his efforts to garner as many picks. And he isn’t averse to taking chances on injured players.

The last strategy is up for debate, however. We all know the 49ers got Frank Gore in the 3rd round, after his multiple knee injuries in college, and he had a steller career. That wasn’t Baalke, and he didn’t sit a year, as the guys that Baalke has tried this on, have done. The ones that have been drafted this way are Tank Carradine, Marcus Lattimore, and Brandon Thomas. Lattimore, as we all know, retired after trying for nearly 2 years of trying to get into football shape. Wort the risk? Well, since the Niners had 11 picks that draft, sure. He was their 6th pick in that 2013 draft, and he was a beast before the injury.

Carradine is a mixed bag as well. He was a guaranteed high 1st round pick before his injury. After sitting the first 2 months of the 2013 season he was activated. However he never got on the field. In 2014, he played sparingly until RayMac was cut, and the injuries mounted. He admitted to not knowing the playbook well enough to get himself out there, but by the end of the season, he at least looked decent out there. So, he appears to be getting it at this point. The jury is still out on him.

Brandon Thomas is the latest injured guy Baalke picked. He was nominally drafted to take the place of Mike Iupati. Something Baalke felt would probably happen, and it did. The word on Thomas was of course that he was a guaranteed 1st rounder as well before his knee injury in pre-camp drills last year. He, along with NaVorro Bowman, appear to be fully healed from their injuries. This would be a Godsend as Thomas so far looks like he’s fully capable of picking up where he left off. And that is as a top-flight guard who is much more that one one-dimensional mauler that Iupati was. Thomas is much more nimble and quick on his feet than Iupati, and is a much better pass protector than Iupati could ever dream to be. If we are to get more diverse in our play calling and offensive flow, having mobile guards would certainly help a lot.

This year? I’ve said in the past that I don’t think Baalke flies around the board this year in a flurry of trades and pick-gathering, but there’s already been talk of SF trading up to get Alabama WR Amari Cooper. I think that’s a somke screen at this point, but if the past has taught us anything, anything is possible concerning Trent Baalke. His track record is very solid. That being said, I dont think he has the luxury of going after another red-shirt draft pick. I think he’s drafting from a need of gaining instant depth. D line, and defensive backfield dpeth are the biggest concerns that I see. O line depth behind that. Then go after a late-round WRs, RB, and TE. Maybe even a flier at QB. . . .

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