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. . . .

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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50 Responses to Draft Strategies

  1. Winder says:

    This draft is real important for the whole franchise and to say the least Baalke is on a highwire. We all know that very few rookies make a sudden impact their first year and it would be fantastic if we could pull a Alden or a Bowman out of the hat. Personally I have mixed feelings about a 1st rd WR, ever since Rice we have pretty much struck out. We are playing a monster of a schedule this year and I still think we need to bolster our lines and work on our defensive backfield and linebackers. Usually I like to see us go for a player we need, but I think this year we should go with the BPA and pick up the rest down the road.

  2. Berger says:

    Dial was an injury pick. He fell to 5th rd because he had a toe injury and wasn’t available until late in the year.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah you’re right, Bergs. I don’t think they go that route this year.

  4. NJ49er says:

    Q) – How many Draftees actually step into the NFL and produce immediately?
    A) – Very few.

    For me, the Draft is about developing talent.
    If Baalke identifies value that he feels can improve, he goes for it.
    Finding a starter is basically a bonus in Year 1.

    By taking the injured guys with upside, he gets to Red-Shirt them.
    Buy a year early and see what develops.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    I get why he does it, but it hasn’t paid off fantastically yet.

    • NJ49er says:

      We’ve been pretty well stacked on the starter side of the roster too Chuck.
      Only so many places to stash guys away I guess?
      He got a good return with Borland, (for what that got us now) but, it sure would be nice to see Tank and Dial contribute this year.

      His biggest weakness has been with the WR/TE Group.
      To his credit, he realized AJJ wasn’t gonna cut it and moved on.
      We’ve just not had much production in terms of development in that area.

      My Son and I were debating the possibility of dealing Boone on Draft Weekend.

      He’s in the final year of his deal with a no F-Tag clause attached.
      I’m still thinking there’s a possibility that an OT could be our Pick at 15 if the value is there.

  6. NJ49er says:

    Looks like Crabtree saw the handwriting on the wall, finally.
    1-yr deal with Oaktown –


  7. NJ49er says:

    Final answers on my O-Line Wish List –

    OG –
    Laken Tomlinson – Duke – 6’3″/323
    Daryl Williams – (OT) – OK – 6’5″/327
    Brandon Scherff (OT) – IA – 6’5″/320
    Jarvis Harrison – TX A&M – 6’4″/330
    Jon Feliciano – Miami – 6’4″/323 (Swing Man – Multiple OL position experience)

    OT –
    Ereck Flowers – Miami – 6’6″/329
    La’el Collins – LSU – 6’4″/305
    Jake Fisher – OR – 6’6″/306
    DJ Humphries – UF – 6’5″/307
    Daryl Williams – OK – 6’5″/327

    • NJ49er says:

      Sh!t – Messed up with Daryl Williams – Moved him to OT – Left him in my OG Group –

      OG S/B –

      Laken Tomlinson – Duke – 6’3″/323
      Jeremiah Poutasi – (OT) – Utah – 6’5″/335
      Brandon Scherff (OT) – IA – 6’5″/320
      Jarvis Harrison – TX A&M – 6’4″/330
      Jon Feliciano – Miami – 6’4″/323 (Swing Man – Multiple OL position experience)

  8. Berger says:

    NJ- I’m starting to lean toward McKinney from Miss St at ILB.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    I see Skeebs is in full whine mode still.

    The poor media is writing us off? Boo hoo!

    The Giants are defending champions and have won 3 World Series in 5 years yet are overlooked even now. Besides, the media doesn’t decide the winners and losers.

    Whine on, whiners. This is all a crapshoot. I prefer to let the players decide their fate in the fall, not bury them in the spring.

  10. Nipper says:

    Skeebs claims the 49ers are a “cruel joke.” He’s none too happy.

  11. Berger says:

    I’m leaning toward trading back in the 1st round and picking up McKiiney and then Funchess in rd 2 and playing him at TE.

  12. unca_chuck says:

    I’m pretty much deal set against that idea bergs. I think at 15 we can get an immediate impact player. I think CB just may be the way we go. I could see them Trade up for Waynes.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    I Can see teasing out of round 3 for more picks but not 1. Maybe 2 but I’m not really down with that either.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    If you are out there Winder, kudos for at least trying to post shit that is reasonable on Skeebie’s site. I post that and get ripped for days. Like Bergs, I’ve given up.

    Blaming the tweet on the fallout of the cratering this season is pure insanity. NoFear as well posts everything that fits his agenda. Nothing gets through without it fitting the narrative to a T. Like me complaining about the offense for these past couple seasons its tantamount to treasonous behavior. And I’m an idiot for thinking the offense was a problem. Despite the fact that the defense was carrying the team.

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Hah! Thanks ROB!!!!

    Someone has to keep the faith. Got a few folks here anyway!

  16. robbiedeluca says:

    As for me how about trea waynes in one and jordan Philips in one two

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah Waynes is the guy id love to get.

  18. robbiedeluca says:

    Well chuck , it’s funny but if shelton and waynes are gone when we pick trading down a few spots might make some sense

    • robbiedeluca says:

      Brown and collins will probably be among the guys likely still on the board somewhere aroind pick 20

  19. NJ49er says:

    Berger I had McKinney on my list until recently as well.
    I like his stats, and his size.
    The reason I took him off was, he’s said to be a liability in space.
    He’s sort of big for an ILB, which isn’t a bad thing but, he’s got to cover.
    I think we’d be better served with another option, we’ll see how Baalke plays the Board.

    IMO, I don’t think we go for an ILB until RD3.
    I like Stephone Anthony ahead of McKinney. I don’t think Anthony would survive until RD3 though.

    Here’s where I’m at with ILB research – This years’ Group all appear to be shorter than desired too. Might be prudent to wait on this position and address the DL/CB position early?

    Chuck, we could slide back from 15 if the perfect guy isn’t there.
    Gaining another 3rd to drop into the latter part of RD1 wouldn’t kill me.

    ILB –
    Stephone Anthony – Clemson 6’2″/245
    Eric Kendricks – UCLA – 6’0″/232
    Ben Heeney – KS – 6’0″/231
    Bryce Hager – Baylor – 6’1″/234
    Taiwan Jones – MI St – 6’3″/252

    • NJ49er says:

      I’ve got OLBs Jake Ryan from Michigan/ Mike Hull from PSU, as guys that could come in and play ILB as well – They’d come cheaper in terms of Draft slotting too.
      Both of them appear to have better coverage skills as well.

      If we have Funchess on the radar, he’d be positioned in slots where Kendricks or Anthony might be expected to go, at the top of RD2.
      Hence the reason I stack my Board to get other options in case we miss a target or 2.

  20. Berger says:

    NJ- I heard Kiper and McShay talking up McKinney as possibly the best ILB in the draft so I decided to look him up. I then watched some video. We need a TED and he has the necessary size for the position. Here is what Walter Football ad to say about him:
    Benardrick McKinney*, ILB/OLB, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 246.
    40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2015): 1-2.
    4/4/15: McKinney didn’t impress teams in the Combine meetings, and that could hurt him come draft day. However, a ton of teams are showing interest in McKinney and view him as a play-maker.

    McKinney had 71 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and four passes broken up in 2014. One of those sacks came when he beat Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi off the edge. McKinney was a big-time presence in the Bulldogs’ defense and displayed the ability to be a three-down starter who can drop into pass coverage or rush the quarterback.

    Read more at http://walterfootball.com/draft2015ILB.php#DrB3JlySwWLVvIEh.99

    He might not have impressed at the meat market you love so much but his film looked good. I think he is an interesting prospect for our San Francisco 49ers. IMO, we don’t need another 230 lb injury magnet.

    • NJ49er says:

      He made my early list Berger, I’m not averse to his stats and size.
      I just couldn’t ignore the coverage limitations.
      Read somewhere that he might not be more than a 2-Down LB at the NFL level?
      Not that he couldn’t be Coached up certainly.

      In an effort to keep my Board at 5 guys/position, I chose Stephone Anthony ahead of him, along with some of the smaller ILBs with similar tackling prowess.

      It’s going to be interesting to see how Baalke plays this Draft Board, in terms of his valuation/targets.

      I’d prefer to see him look to the trenches at 15, with a cover CB being a possibility if his guy is there.
      Wouldn’t shock me to see an OT taken there either if someone worthy slides through ahead of us.
      My philosophy – Protect the QB/Sack the QB.

  21. NJ49er says:

    I’m curious to see how we address the 3-4 under Mangini now too.
    I could see us surviving with smaller ILBs if, we stack some Fat Men in the Middle of the D-Line, to keep them clean.

    Losing Patrick and Borland really puts a crimp in the Draft strategy I’m sure.
    For me, in a game where passing rules the landscape, we need pressure and coverage guys.
    I’m very high on Shaq Thompson from Washington as a possible ‘Tweener’ to use more like a SS on passing downs.
    Should be fun to see how this thing develops with Baalke on Draft weekend –

  22. Berger says:

    I like Waynes but there is one thing that makes me worry. I don’t know if it is something to worry about but he played aggressive bump and run in college. That isn’t allowed in the pros. Can he be nearly as effective with being able to be as physical? Just a thought.

    • NJ49er says:

      Agree Berger.
      There’s a learning curve involved, as there is with most positions.
      My favorite CBs in this Draft Class are Kevin Johnson from WFU and Eric Rowe from Utah.
      Rowe is interesting because he could make a nice compliment to Reid at FS.

      • NJ49er says:

        I’m not even putting Waynes on my Wish List simply because I figure he’ll be gone by 15.
        Will be interesting to see what happens if he’s there.
        I like Marcus Peters ahead of him too, character concerns in need of being weighed/addressed of course.

  23. unca_chuck says:

    My thought is we trade up for him. I think the Amari Cooper talk is a smoke screen.

    • NJ49er says:

      Could happen Chuck?
      We only ‘guess’ on this side of the process 😉

      Given our unexpected losses this off-season, I’m thinking Baalke might be more inclined to add Picks if possible, rather than give any away.

      If he values a guy he can deal up for, he certainly would.
      I just think he’s in the mode of restocking the Defense now, at multiple positions.

  24. Winder says:

    One thing we can count on for sure, and that’s we don’t have a clue as to what Baalke is gonna do. It’s always fun to see what he does. My guess is still D-line for our 1st pick, after that BPA.
    NJ- you throw out so many names I can’t keep track but I sure love the research you put in. Thanks. I kinda think like Berger when it comes to the D-line, it really is what football is all about.

    • NJ49er says:

      Winder the passion for me is, trying to locate guys all around the spectrum.
      Which is likely what the GMs do?
      Target guys that might fit, try to see how many of them can be had through the RDs.

      I enjoy reading all the stats, and getting some perspective on these guys, while waiting for the festivities to begin.
      So much information to digest too.
      At least the Scouts/GMs get the ‘real’ information that we don’t see much of.
      We’re left to the Web/TV Pundits who deliver the fluff.

  25. Berger says:

    If we stay at 15 I’m still leaning toward Brown from Texa$$. Trading back to pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder and staying in the 1st round to pick up McKinney does sound interesting to me.

  26. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, NJ it rarely happens how we think! But hey, a blind nut finds a squirrel once in a while.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    Once again the spineless troll that is Bullit is taking shots. I guess due process only counts when he wants it to.

    What a pussy. A child. A fucking waste of time.

  28. NJ49er says:

    Time to start making my Wish List official –
    I’m pretty much done with my homework for this year.

    These are the guys I’d defer to Baalke and Co on, to have a complete evaluation done, to determine if they warrant a Draftable Grade or, might be too risky.

    Risk/Reward –
    Marcus Peters – (CB) – UW – 6’0″/191 – Character concerns-Coachability/Great production
    Cedric Ogbuehi – TX A&M – 6’5″/306 – ACL Injury / Excellent College production
    Dorial Green-Beckham (WR) OK – 6’5″/237 – Character concerns / Freakish measurables
    Josh Shaw (CB) – USC – 6’0″/201 (SS?) – Character concerns / Excellent speed
    Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB) – OR – 5’9″/192 – ACL Injury / Excellent production
    Markus Golden – (OLB/DE) – MO – 6’2″/260 – Size/Speed concerns / Non-stop motor

    Markus Golden is intriguing. He could be a nice option to move to ILB?
    I’m comparing him to McKinney, in terms of size, and, Golden could be a steal in RD4.

  29. NJ49er says:

    One of the WRs on my list is Tony Lippett from MI St.
    Heard today from his College Coach that he was asked to play 2-ways there.
    HC Mark Dantonio was interviewed, about his players coming into the Draft and, he praised Lippett’s ability to play CB.

    Interesting information…..
    The kid is 6’2″/192 with 2247yds worth of production at WR.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    These are late round guys right, NJ?

    • NJ49er says:

      Chuck I’d consider them anywhere beyond RD1.
      DGB for example could land in RD1 if someone is convinced he’s not a risk character wise.

      Ifo E-O is a talented kid as is Ogbuehi.
      They are coming off injuries however.

      IMO the real value this year is between RDs2-5 for positions we’re likely to have the most need for.
      At 15 we should do fine.
      Question there becomes value I think.
      If Baalke doesn’t have HIS guy there, a trade down for another mid RD pick sure wouldn’t hurt IMO.
      We’ll see in 2 weeks….

  31. unca_chuck says:

    The thing about this is Anyone can have character concerns. Some guys hide their shit well. I do t know how hard people looked at Rae Carruth, but some people turn when they GET the money.

    Funny how Bullitt can’t stop talking about me. I guess he misuses the abuse.

  32. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, Baalke rarely does what I think he will. Or what anyone thinks. Shit, the experts get this all wrong past the first 12 picks.

    How can we fare any better?

    • Winder says:

      tru dat. That’s kinda why the draft is so much fun. I mean KIper has been cheating them out of a check for years and he is always wrong.

  33. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, NJ, Sthephone Anthiny looks like a steal in the 2nd. He might be there.

  34. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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