The Meat Market is Officially Open

I managed to stumble across the NFL Network yesterday and saw the thrilling WR drills where guys run crossing patterns and catch balls thrown at them from all angles. Then some deep balls. Needless to say, 3 minutes in and you are bored silly. I get the gist of combines to see the work habits of guys, gauge their speed and ability to adjust to thrown balls, but to base a lot of your strategy on drafting folks from these types of things is nutzo.

Yeah, back in the day I could run these WR drills and not have too much problem with them. Put me in pads and have Lawrence Taylor crash into me, and they’d might as well dig a hole and plant me there, cuz I’d be dead. Renaldo Nehemiah is a prime example of this. I give Bill Walsh credit for thinking outside the box, but the Skeets experience left a lot to be desired. Sure, Bullet Bob Hayes worked out, and other speedsters have made careers, but straight-ahead speed rarely translates into anything but ‘Hey, he’s fast. Hit him once, and he’s an alligator.’

If they worked these guys out in pads it might make a little more sense. better yet, look at their college tape. Jerry Rice is example of the other side of this. He didn’t work out well as a combine guy, but put him in pads with a football to chase down, and no one could catch him. Route running isn’t a skill that necessarily translates to a combine atmosphere as well. Freddy Biletnikoff wasn’t a burner, nor was Steve Largent, Dwight Clark, or Jerry GOAT. However, they could get open on just about any route. And that was when DBs could basically mug you till the ball was in the air.

So all the hooraw around 40 times makes me laugh a little as teams ignore a guy like Keenan Allen (gawd I wanted us to draft him), who left miles of tape showing his ability, while drooling over Darius Heyward-Bey and Jonathan Baldwin (and of course A.J. Jenkins).

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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66 Responses to The Meat Market is Officially Open

  1. Winder says:

    chuck- I agree, none of these drills measure the heart and for that you need tape. Vernon Davis was another example. He was the biggest ‘freak’ at the combine that year and in reality he was nowhere near worth the pick we gave him. Anyway, it is fun to compare stats but I think the one on one interviews are the most important aspect of the whole thing.

  2. rob says:

    Only Nolan would be dumb enough to pick a tight end with the 6th pick in the draft lol

  3. NJ49er says:

    All the Scouting tape has been reviewed forward and backward Chuck.
    The Combine puts the guys side by side for the GMs and Coaches to work them out specific to their own venues.
    Interviews, true measurements, Medicals, etc, are all part of the show.

    You also find out guys like Foster can’t pass a piss test too.
    Go figure…

  4. rob says:

    Combine measurables are over rated . Having said that Marcell Ateman’s 40 time will be interesting to see

    • NJ49er says:

      Straight line speed comes in big for DBs & WRs Rob.
      It’s 3-cone drills and other change of direction drills that help determine balance AND speed.

      Very interesting process to me but…I’m a junkie for the evaluation process overall.
      Not for everyone. I get it 😀

      Most overlooked phase, which is never disclosed publicly, is the personal interviews.
      Kids are well coached by Agents.
      Up to each team to have a good set of criteria to discuss in a very brief meeting.

      • Winder says:

        At least the combine and Pro days give us something to talk about. Spring training is going on but I haven’t got the fever yet. I think I have only guessed our #1 pick once out of over 50 years of being a fan and that was Patrick Willis. I usually don’t have a clue about who we are going to pick but once again I would like to draft some offense with our first couple of picks. I say that every year

      • rob says:

        Yeah, I try not to bite too hard on combine numbers !

  5. NJ49er says:

    Winder it’s all about guys that love the game for me.
    I’m of the belief that College stars fade more often in the NFL because of the work involved to stay relevant.
    Too many get paid big bucks when they arrive only to lose perspective.

    Give me the blue collar guys in RD3 & beyond who just want to prove they belong.
    Hard, if not impossible, to evaluate heart.

    • Winder says:

      NJ- I believe all the greats had heart and a love of the game. For the first 20 years of the NFL most of the players had outside jobs because the pay just wasn’t enough. Corporate sponsorship and TV changed all that.

  6. rob says:

    I just found out Jordan Mathews is a free agent ! Maybe we should take a look at him !

  7. rob says:

    Speaking of which …

    ” Frank Gore fired a shot at former teammate Vernon Davis on social media Tuesday, though he claimed it was only a joke.

    After Davis posted a photo of himself hugging a football on Instagram with the caption “repost if you miss football season as much as I do,” Gore chimed in and said Davis lacks passion for the game.

    “Thts bullshit— u don’t love the game,” Gore wrote.

    Gore deleted the comment shortly after he posted it, and he followed up by claiming he was “just playing around whit my boy.” While that could certainly be the case, it always looks suspicious when your initial reaction is to delete the comment.

    lol

  8. NJ49er says:

    Coin toss goes to 9ers
    Pick 9 in odd RDs

  9. alleykat69 says:

    Lots of options, Rogan Smith are Tremaine Edmunds? Courtlain Sutton big receiver? Denzel Ward, are the OL for the pick?

  10. rob says:

    It’s official we have the 9th pick !

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Funny, Winder, the only one I got right (Kentawn Balmer A) was a bust, and B) won me an Alex Smith signed jersey back in ’06. I forget who was writing the Insider back then. But I had Balmer in the 1st and Kappy in the 3rd. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    I’m not totally down on these combines, just that too much stock is made (or lost) in these. I think the interviews are the hidden jewel of these proceedings. Nolan famously asked both Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith to get onall fours and bark like a dog. Rodgers said (I
    m paraphrasing here) fuck you, while Alex did the deed.

    • Robert De Luca says:

      I guessed our first pick right once too CHUCK. It was Mike Iupati

    • Winder says:

      I remember you winning the Alex Smith Jersey, there was a lot of mixed feelings about Smith at that time. Just goes to show that McClouhan(sp) didn’t always have his shit together Balmer wasn’t his only total flop. I can’t remember if Rashaun Woods was Donahue or McClouhan, whatever, we drafted some really crappy players for quite awhile. I still think Baalky was the worst though.

      • Robert De Luca says:

        Donahue was the worst !

      • Berger says:

        Donapuke passed on Vince Wilfork and traded down twice to end up with Rashaun Woods. Our coach announced we are changing to the 3-4 and the GM passes on a once in a generation NT. I went from jumping for joy when Wilfork was available to absolutely hating Donapuke immediately.

      • Berger says:

        We did get Isaac Sopoaga with one of the picks from the trade downs. He was a decent player. He was probably a better DE than a NT. Call me crazy but I would rather have Wilfork over Woods and Sope.

      • Winder says:

        berger- That’s not crazy at all. And, Donahue was a fucking terrible GM

  12. unca_chuck says:

    I think Smith was Nolan’s pick more than Scotty’s. Nolan was GM at the time.

    Woods was Donahue IIRC. 2004?

  13. Berger says:

    What stood out to me today at the combine was a 41″ vertical by Sequan Barkley.

  14. Berger says:

    Why is Phil Manzanera so great. Here is a guitar lead that just gets on your nerves, you say WTF and then need to hear it again! BTW, we are the 801, we are the central shaft! Row, row, row! Oh oh, nothing there this time!

    • Winder says:

      That was great A little bent but that is what makes it speciall. Always liked Manzanera

  15. NJ49er says:

    Berger I’m thinking you and I were throwing sh!t at the same moment in time when they passed on Wilfork.
    Might have been the moment in time when I could first admit my admiration for the Fat Man in the Middle 😀

    Maybe next month they’ll make my day?
    Great Group of DTs this year. Should land a stud, (maybe 2), if all goes well…

  16. rob says:

    NJ I remember the same thing. There were like 6 NT prospects that year ! I liked 4 of them ! Sopoaga was the last one I thought might be worth a shot !

  17. rob says:

    As far as i can remember Tommie harris , Vince Wilfork , igor Olshansky Dwan edwards ,Isaac and Darnell Dockett were the top names in that draft !

  18. NJ49er says:

    I’m feeling much better about the potential miss on Quenton Nelson.
    The kid from UTEP, Will Hernandez looks legit as a starter at OG.
    Did very well in Indy IMO.

  19. NJ49er says:

    Also going to move Equanimeous St. Brown ahead of Courtland Sutton on the WR List –
    He turned in a 4.48/40 at 6’5″/214.
    Given the need for the big target, he’s not been in a very prolific passing system at ND so, the stats are not in line. They both averaged 16+ YPC however.
    I’ll overlook his production numbers in favor of size/speed. Clearly the best looking tall WR in the Group from a speed perspective –

    • NJ49er says:

      DJ Chark tore it up on the 40 also.
      6’3″/199 with a 4.34/40.
      Again, like EqSB, he didn’t have a prolific air attack at LSU either.
      Add a 40″ Vert to the mix as well.
      Either guy at the right slot would be a good add IMO.

    • Berger says:

      I’m liking a WR we can probably get in the 6th or 7th round. His name is Dylan Cantrell from Texas Tech.

      • NJ49er says:

        Got him on the radar too Berger. Can’t predict the pecking order of Lynch/Shanny’s wish list going in this year.
        Thinking they’ll be looking to improve OL/CB/WR Group.
        What order is anyone’s guess.

  20. alleykat69 says:

    DE Marcus Davenport has me drooling with his size, speed,quickness. Doubt the 49ers will go DL 1st but this kid is a “BEAST”

  21. Berger says:

    I watched a guy from Wazu play this year named Hercules Ma’Aafu. He jumped out from the others as a good playmaker. I just saw him at the combine, he looks like a football player. I would take him in a middle round.

  22. Berger says:

    Tremaine Edmonds ran a 4.55 and 4.56.
    DeLuca ran a 4.86. He was pulling a train!

  23. rob says:

    i just like this name
    leger douzable !

  24. rob says:

    As far as i can remember Tommie harris , Vince Wilfork , igor Olshansky Dwan edwards ,Isaac and Darnell Dockett were the top names in that draft !

    • Berger says:

      Harris was an exceptional one gapping interior pass rusher. Wilfork is a HOFer. Olshansky was as strong as any 3-4 DE ever. Dockett was very tall. I remember Edwards name but don’t remember anything about him. Sope wasn’t great but could play either NT or DE well.

      • Winder says:

        Sope was so strong he would just power through straight ahead. Many times over running the play. He was getting better over he years but he still never was a top notch player. I think a lot of that has to do with coaching.

  25. NJ49er says:

    Aldon on the run…Christ.
    Dude has reached the bottom and continues to dig.

    https://tinyurl.com/ybl3jplj

  26. NJ49er says:

    Having seen a good bit of the DL Group today, I’m all in for DE/OLB Ade Aruna from Tulane.
    I could see him in the Mid RDs and, a way to make a selection higher at another position of need.
    He’s right in the statistical wheelhouse with Edmunds, should they miss/pass on him in RD1.

    Ade Aruna, 3-4 DE/OLB, Tulane Height: 6-5 Weight: 262. 40 Time: 4.60 (DL26) (38.5″ Vert)

  27. NJ49er says:

    Like the stats I’m seeing from Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs too.
    Gotta watch the drills on him in the coming days.
    Listed as an OLB but, I see him inside.
    6’1″/246 running 4.4s is OK by me.
    Good College stat line too.

    GP TKL TFL SACK PBU INT
    59 142 15.5 6.5 3 3

  28. Winder says:

    I like the kid with one hand for ST. He’s kinda like a human rocket.

    • NJ49er says:

      Quite an inspiration Winder. Talk about a kid with heart?
      Bench Pressing (20 REPS), with a prosthetic hand, beats any tough guy story I will EVER hear from this point forward.
      Not to mention a 4.38/40

      The kind of guy you want in the locker room for sure.
      Cal me…..Very impressed.

  29. rob says:

    Da’Ron Payne – DT, Alabama (6’2″, 311)
    Payne, who was one of the heroes of Alabama’s 2017 playoff/championship run, showed off his athleticism today both in the testing phase of the combine and in the on-field drills. After running a 4.95 in the 40-yard dash (which included a 10-yard split of 1.67, tied for the top spot among all interior defensive lineman), the former 5-star high school recruit took to the field for positional drills and showed incredible movement and agility skills. Payne definitely put himself in a position to challenge Washington’s Vita Vea as the first interior defensive lineman to have his name called in the upcoming draft.

    • Berger says:

      I would compare this guy favorably to Bryant Young. He can both one gap and two gap very well. He disengages and makes plays. In the championship game he was the biggest difference why Alabama won and Georgia lost.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Someone needs to tell Reuben Foster to follow the career arc Aldon Smith. Falling from the top, the ground hits hard.

  31. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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