Sherm Sherm Sherm

Should Sherm stay or should Sherm go now? If he stays there will be trouble, if he goes it will be double.

Anyhow, I thought we had made this decision, but with the COVID season being what it is, a seemingly strange time when front offices are leery of throwing big money contracts around due to the staggering drop of the salary cap, we were at least able to keep our backfield relatively intact. Minus Ahkello Witherspoon. Who, is his own conundrum of spectacular pay followed by begging out with the smallest of injuries and getting toasted.

Richard Sherman is a different matter entirely however. he is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, and still plays pretty well, sort of. That is, when he was on the field. In his 3 seasons here, he’s missed 15 games. Mostly last year with 11 games missed due to his calf strain. I don’t think he’ll be getting stronger as his years pile up, but 33 is getting long in the tooth for a CB.

I would LOVE to see him switch to SS a la Ronnie Lott. I think he’s a perfect fit at safety. Sure he would take a pay cut. I just don’t see him as an elite cover guy anymore. Press man is not his style anymore, and he was toasted on deep routes. His knowledge is invaluable, and his positioning of himself and the other DBs is impeccable, but unless he wants to take a healthy pay cut and switch positions, I don’t think we need him as bad as he needs us. He isn’t gonna get the big deal he wants, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

And I don’t see Seattle bringing him back into the fold either.

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The New Brigade

Our draft haul:

  • Round 1, pick 3 – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  • Round 2, pick 48 (from LV) – Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame 
  • Round 3, pick 88 (from LAR) – Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
  • Round 3, pick 102 – Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
  • Round 5, pick 155 – Jaylon Moore, OG, Western Michigan
  • Round 5, pick 172 – Talanoa Huganga, S, USC
  • Round 6, pick 194 – Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana

Our UDFA haul:

LB Elijah Sullivan, Kansas State
WR Austin Watkins, UAB
LB Justin Hilliard, Ohio State
TE Josh Pederson, Louisiana-Monroe

Yeah, I’m thrilled we took Lance over Jones, but the steal of the draft very well may be Trey Sermon. He excelled in the run-heavy offense at Oklahoma, and transferred to Ohio State and their more balanced attack just in time to fuel their national championship run. Ohio State runs a zone blocking scheme, so he should fit right in and be productive from the get-go. Yes, we will run the ball.

And yes, hopefully our new guards Banks and Moore can get incorporated sooner rather than later, but I still see us picking up line help once teams start sloughing off expensive pieces that they replaced with cheaper alternatives.

Sammy Watkins cousin, Austin Watkins may stick around as our slot WR. His draft stock fell when his 40 time was pretty slow, but the impressive stat with him is he caught 99 of 101 catchable balls. If he can run routes well, he could make it.

LB Justin Hilliard is a very easy risk/reward guy who would have gone in the 2nd/3rd round if not for his extensive injury history. However, his injury-free 2020 tally of 6 ames saw 33 tackles, a forced fumble and an INT. If anything, he should stick as a special teamer that could work his way into the lineup.

LB Elijah Sullivan is intriguing as a speedy LB who could possibly be converted to strong safety, or just a speedy LB in the mold of Fred Warner. Defensive MVP of the 2019 Liberty Bowl.

Josh Pederson is the son of ex-Iggle coach Doug Pederson. Small school guy who will be fighting Ross Dwelley for the back up TE spot.

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Trey-Fecta ! ! !

Well, that was weird. The Niners postured, posed, and intimated that their guy was Mac Jones. Instead, they went with what most sane people thought they should do, and drafted Trey Lance.

The most telling aspect of it was, right after he was picked, Lance was asked “When did you find out that the 49ers were going to pick you?” Lance said “About 2 minutes ago!”

Maybe it did take some arm-twisting behind the scenes by John Lynch to get Kyle Shanahan off of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Maybe Shanny had a back-room deal to talk up Jones and leave him for Belichick. Maybe they just wanted to anger the fans for no apparent reason other than to mess with our heads.

No idea, but the good news is we didn’t draft Mac Jones. He fell to 15 like most of us thought anyway. We drafted the guy I thought we should be targeting all along. Trey Lance. He of the linebacker size and a cannon for an arm. Yes, he’s raw, but you can’t teach size and speed. He’s smart, quick, mobile, and tough. He is very familiar with a pro-style play-action offense and has vast potential.

I’ve said all along, he has the greatest upside of all of these guys not named Trevor Lawrence. Color me ecstatic with this pick.

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Draft Day ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Oh.My.GGGGODDDDD!!!!!!! Can’t tell you how fucked up this all seems. The blathering will stop soon. The only good news on my side was getting rid of cable so I didn’t have to see Mel Kiper’s fucking jet-black helmet head obliterating my consciousness.

Still, the pundits-o’plenty are out in force touting, discounting, prevaricating, dithering, and yammering non-stop about our pick. It seems to be the most interesting one since it is pretty much set in concrete that

The Jags take Lawrence and the Jets take Wilson. This is written on high on whatever it is they write it on in Cleveland, but that leaves us with the trifecta of you know whos.

Irish posted an interesting column from the Athletic that pretty much gave away the secret that any QB with a pulse and a completion percentage over 65% garners overenthusiastic love and accolades from scouts/owners/coaches/GMs that this is the next coming of Joe Montana. Well, nix that, his arm wasn’t big enough. Hence him being a 3rd round pick.

Which leads me to the other albatross in the room that many many of these high QB picks flame out spectacularly. Jared Goff being the latest among the Vince Youngs, Tim Couches, Mitchell Trubiscuits, Carson Wentzes, and Todd Marinovitches.

The NFL landscape is littered with 1st round casualties among the needles in the haystack like Aaron Rodgers (barely a 1st rounder), Patrick Mahomes, Big Ben, Lamar Jackson, Andrew Luck, and Peyton Manning.

So, where does that leave us? Fuck if I know. The consensus is that Jones was the guy they fell in love with from the get-go, but that Trey Lance has narrowed the gap considerably. Fields isn’t even in the discussion. Even so far as to Lance lead the handicappers who bet on this kind of shit. Normally I would hold that in some kind of esteem, but I’m still more that afraid that Shanny set his mind to Jones on March 26th, and hasn’t budged an inch.

I fear a gigantic outburst of angst from the Faithful come that 3rd pick. Haven’t even considered what we do at our 2nd pick. CB/OL, I’d think. I may be too drunk to care by then.

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The Edge of, uh the Dynasty, the Crater, the Cliff?

As excited as I am about this draft, I’m really starting to get a bad bad feeling about it. Kyle Shanahan has basically said I AM DRAFTING THE PUDGY FUCKING WHITE GUY!!! throughout this whole process. Going so far as to say the entire front office is trying to talk him out of Jac Mones, uh, Mac Jones. ]

So, in other words, if the decision is to go with Jones, Shanny is saying FUCK YOU to the entire organization, up to and including recently minted Hall of Famer John Lynch. Stop me if you think this is crazy town, but isn’t the GM spot higher on the food chain than head coach? Yeah, Shanny OKed the Lynch hire, but at some point doesn’t Lynch have to say, for the betterment of the team, we need to go with the athletic QB that is the future, not the slow-footed guy who is a relic of the past.

I don’t know. I just don’t feel good about going with Jones.

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I Am Draft Curious Yellow

Not sure what the benefit is for the 49ers front office to come out and say that the head coach wants Mac Jones, and the rest of the brain trust wants Trey Lance. The debate has been ongoing since the 49ers made the drastic move of trading the future for this draft on Thursday. I certainly understand their need to get a top-flight quarterback as the 3 QBs in our division are dynamic studs who have proven themselves (well, Kyler Murray not so much, but he is looking to be the real deal on a young team).

Russell Wilson has single-handedly kept the Seahawks in contention while the O line crumbles around him. The Rams cut their losses with Jared Goff and went all-in on Matthew Stafford. Kyler Murray has shown flashes of being in the Mahomes/Wilson/Jackson mold of extending plays while burning defenses with broken rushing plays off scrambles.

So, again, what’s the impetus for us to dither publicly about our choice? Does it give the Jets pause about their choice of Zach Wilson? I really think not. We’ve basically eliminated the idea of choosing Justin Fields. News of his epilepsy certainly hasn’t helped his draft stock, but he will go in the top 10 regardless of what we do.

I’m still of a mind that the higher risk in Trey Lance is the wiser choice rather than the safer Mac Jones pick. I just don’t think the idea of getting a statue in the backfield will help the cause in the long run. Our line is a work in progress, and will be forced to protect at all costs while Jones can hopefully get the ball out. Something he rarely had to do at Alabama. They were pretty much an NFL-ready line that gave Jones all day to hit his all-world wide recievers in DeVonta Adams and Jaylen Waddle.

Which is another bit of an Alabama red flag. They had a very talented team, what with the Wrs mentioned, along with Antioch’s own Najee Harris. Yes, we have a lot of playmakers, but can Jones keep up that level of play in the faster and more insane NFL game? A huge question mark.

To top it all off, everyone is saying that this is Shanny’s choice. Where is John Lynch? The articles all mention that Shanny may ‘acquiesce’ to the desires of the rest of the front office, but there’s no guarantee there. Yeah, Shanny runs the offense, but Lynch is supposed to run the TEAM.

As I’ve said, we’ll have to wait and see with whoever they draft, but if it is Jones, I will be disappointed. I could give a rat’s ass about how the prognosticators are going to crucify the Jone pick, but I really don’t want them to go in that direction.

PS. Thanks once again to NJ for his stellar draft work.

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Still Thinking Lance

More and more prognosticators are rolling around to the fact that Trey Lance is the guy we pick.

Yeah, this is worth the bitcoin it is printed on, but all the Mac Jones talk is some kind of smokescreen I think. Not that the Jets would suddenly bail on Zach, but who knows? Jones makes the least sense to me as the NFL unfolds in looking at mobile athletic guys in favor of stationary ones.

Shanny has learned how to change his mind, going from Cousins to Garoppolo when the opportunity arose, so he isn’t stubborn to the point of intractability. We did upgrade our line by getting a center that can hopefully stay on the field, and I imagine that we will look to draft two more guys to provide depth. And of course, we backed up the truck for Trent Williams.

Guys like Brunskill, Skule, Tomlinson, and even rookie McKivitz played pretty well, and Shon Coleman played well before being lost for the season. They have some experience in the system, and should improve. And with a guy like Lance, the imperative isn’t as dire to keep a clean pocket for 5 minutes as we would have to with Mac Jones.

As lots of people have been saying, this is a huge gamble. One that hasn’t paid off recently for many teams. Just ask the Rams. Or the Jets. Or the Cards. Or us.

6 days!

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Trey Lance?

Word out there is that the QB search is now down to Jones and Lance. This according to Mike Lombardi. Fields will not the the 3rd pick by the 49ers according to whatever inside source Lombardi has. Granted, no one gets held to these pronouncements very much so the grain of salt is 20 feet high.

As I’ve said from the beginning, my thought has always been that Lance provides the best fit for the style of Shanahan’s offense. He runs more play action than the others, and checks the boxes for mobility, accuracy and throwing the deep ball.

Lance is of course having a second pro day tomorrow so we will send the gang out to North Dakota for a look-see. At least the draft is coming up. 11 days!

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Justin Fields?

The 49ers, among others, attended Justin Fields pro day #2 today. This included John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and QB coach Rick Scangarello. The little snippets look great. Then again, they SHOULD look great as there are no pads and no human missiles chasing him around.

Still and all, those deep passes dropped into tiny windows sure look awesome though.

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Nate Sudfeld?

Color me worried. Why sign a guy like Sudfeld? I mean, I get they need bodies, but they will soon have 5 QBs. Josh Johnson, Jimmy G, Josh Rosen, Sudfeld, and whoever we draft. I also know Shanahan is on record as saying that he likes his QBs to be the same style of QB to be in camp. And one trait Shanny shares with his dad is his abject pig-headedness when it comes to his self-belief. He thinks he can turn shit to gold where it comes to QBs, and he didn’t want anything to do with our ex-running QB, Colin Kaepernick. And every guy since has been a pocket passer.

This sure sounds to me like Shanny wants Mac Jones, since 4 out of these 5 QBs are slow-footed white guys who don’t move very well. As I’ve said, Jones could be the 2nd coming of Big Ben, but it is a huge gamble seeing as how he has 17 starts, and played behind a very stout Alabama line.

And really. The last Alabama QB to make his mark in the NFL? Kenny Stabler. Then agan, Ohio State has a shitty track record. Fuck, I don’t know. I think the Niners are playing chicken with the Jets to try and deke them into Jones.

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