So, no one gives a shit about Scott McLoughan? Fine. I’m going to steal a cue from NJ’s positional pick leg-work for the what-should-have-started-tonight NFL 2014 draft. Instead there’s a cancelled show or some shit not going on at Radio City Music Hall this weekend. Reminiscient of when the Golden State Warriors were unceremoniously booted out of their newly built digs next to the 880 freeway by the Ice Capades during the 1975 NBA Finals. Notable in the fact that I went to game 2 at the Cow Palace. 8th grade in 1975? Shit, I’m old.
Anyhow, I digress. All the talk over the past off season has been focussing on the need for a WR or three. Fortunately, there are an abundance of them in this draft class.
Heading the class at WR are:
- Sammy Watkins
- Mike Evans
- Marqise Lee
- Odell Beckham
- Kelvin Benjamin
- Davante Adams
In case you’ve been living under a rock (or just not reading this) I’d love to see the Niners get Ol’ Dirty Bastard (aka Odell Backham). He’s not huge, but he’s fast, has great hands, and is a spot-on route runner. He also is a kick returner and would be able to take over for soon-to-be-missing LMJ. Watkins and Evans are too high up to even contemplate, and ODB could even go in the mid 20s, but the intriguing guy is Marqise Lee. He’s the forgotten guy who strugggled through a bit of a down season after putting up eye-popping numbers in 2012 (118 catches, 1721 yds, 14 TDs).
Kelvin Benjamin worries me. Despite his size and strength (he’d be a red-zone dream), he is far from a finished product like ODB and Lee. Pass. Davante Adams is a guy who looks to be better than his draft position indicates. Not quite the speed-burner I’d prefer, but if we are looking to let Crabs walk, they could plug this guy right into his spot. Great hands, may need to bulky up a little to beat press coverage at the line. But likely a solid 2nd round pick that will pay off big for someone.
After these guys are plenty of other viable candidates in later rounds. including:
- Allen Robinson
- Jordan Matthews
- ODB’s teammate Jarvis Landry
- Brandon Cooks
- Martavius Bryant
All these guys bring something to the table. Robinson has the body, but not quite the speed. Matthews is big and fast but has trouble disengaging from the line (big deal inthe NFC West). Landry had a horrible combine, which could drop him, but he plays big and has great hands. Cooks is a guy who I didn’t notice til I saw his 40 time (4.33). Yowza. He’s small but extremely quick. His combine numbers may very well rocket him up the draft board. Bryant is another guy who played upder the radar but very well could be outstanding. Tall (6’3), with some size (211 lb), he put up a solid 40 time (4.42) in the combine. Great hands as well.
Late round outliers are many and varied. Ones to keep an eye on are:
- Jared Abbrederis
- Paul Richardson
- Donte Moncrief
- NJ’s guy Dri Archer
- Kevin Norwood
- Jeremy Gallon
Richardson, Norwood, Abbrederis, and Moncrief are all big and fast. Archer and Gallon are of the diminutive speed burner slot guys. Since WR is such a glaring need, and since Harbaugh is hopefully going to give more than lip service to the 3-4 WR sets he is talking about, the opportunity to get two very capable guys is here for the taking. Given the uincertainty around Michael Crabtree and his status after this year looms as well.
My WR picks would be ODB in the first and Abbrederis in the 3rd (with out last 3rd round pick).