No News is No News

Still not much to report on here in Ninersforeverland, but all my favorite bands in the 70s seem to be losing members left and right. Gregg Allman is the latest to hit the highway to hell (or stairway to heaven) depending on your faith (or lack of it). Saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last weekend, speaking of old rockers, and while it was a pretty damn good show (Tom’s band still has its chops), Tom is getting a bit long in the tooth himself. Other than that, we are looking at safety Jairus Byrd. And as we all know, the Byrd is the word.

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R.I.P. Len Rhode, Chris Cornell and Wayne Walker

Len-rhode.jpgRest in peace, Led Rhode. Great O lineman from back in the day. He was part of an outstanding line that gelled in 1970 to become one of the best in the league, and was instrumental in the 70-72 playoff run. Rhode in particular was squared off many times against Deacon Jones of the Rams, and more often than not, Jones was the one left beaten and dismayed. The team in this era was the team I grew up watching. My first game was in 1968 at Kezar, and these guys were etched in my mind as my favorites. Sure there was Brodie, Gene Washington, Ken Willard, and Bob Windsor, but Len Rhode at left tackle, Brodie’s blind side protector, center Forrest Blue, guards Woody Peoples and Randy Biesler, and RT Caz Banazek anchored the team through their agonizingly close to Super Bowl-glory days.

Dude went out at 79, and played in 208 consecutive games, so he apparently weathered his career unscathed.

“As an offensive tackle, there aren’t too many individual stats you can hang your hat on, but I guess playing in 208 games, winning the Len Eshmont, the NFC West, going to the Pro Bowl and the sack record aren’t bad.”

Not bad, indeed. A sky-point, and a drink raised in your honor . . .

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Nothing to See Here

Until there is something to report, well I guess we can post music. Other than that I got nothing. . .

Sooo, to kick things off, this is one of the craziest live guitar solos ever put to the earth, sky, and heavens . . .

 

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Morning Has Broken

The rain has stopped anyway. And a new dawn has broken over 4949 Centennial Blvd in Santa Clara. At least that’s how it feels after this draft. Sure, we won’t know how well these picks are for a couple years, but the deals John and Kyle pulled off to get Thomas (the guy they wanted anyway) and Foster (to trade past NO) were stellar. Foster was a top 5 pick in just about everyone’s book. As was Thomas. Ending up with both is a huge shot in the arm for the defense. Throw in a lanky press corner in Witherspoon and the team looks a little better. Given that, they still managed to gather an additional 2nd and 3rd round pick next year. Handy for trying to get their next and future quarterback. Next year’s class is much better than this one, so the picks will come in handy for trades up, or even to get Kirt Cousins,

And, it’s not like this teams doesn’t need everything, so every pick is worth some value. But beyond the 10 picks they drafted, the Niners already inked a few highly touted UDFAs in Cole Hikutini, KD Cannon, and Noble Nwachukwu among others. As I said, the roster was a wasteland of limited talent and ACL guys, so this looks to be a pretty big bloodletting for the incumbent players.

Parity being what it is (hi, Flying V67!), fortunes change quickly in the NFL. And with the parity factor built in to the schedule, we have an easier row to how schedule-wise. What does this mean for the 2017 season? Well, we’ll see.

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UDFA Parade

 

UD Free agent signings:

Cole Hikutini, TE, Louisville
Donavin Newsom, LB, Missouri
Victor Bolden, WR, Oregon State
K.D. Cannon, WR, Baylor
Lorenzo Jerome, S, Saint Francis
JP Flynn, OL, Montana State
Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern
Nick Mullens, QB, Southern Miss
Jimmie Gilbert, LB, Colorado
Erik Magnuson, OT, Michigan
Darrell Williams, OT, Western Kentucky
Jon Toth, C, Kentucky – per his agent
Kendrick Bourne, WR, Eastern Washington
Jihaad Pretlow, CB, Fordham University

Of note is Sou Miss’s QB Nick Mullens. Skinny kid who can make throws. 6’1″ 187 lb. Doubtful but worth a shot. Joe part II? Right.

From NJ, some write-ups on some of these guys:

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/lorenzo-jerome?id=2558206
http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/kd-cannon?id=2557975
http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/jimmie-gilbert?id=2558776

Adrian Colbert:

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Not Bad, for a Couple of Rooks

3. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(from Bears)
Solomon Thomas, DE
Stanford
Thomas is going to make an immediate impact on the defensive line. Rule of Tree said his best comparison in the NFL is the Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, who can play multiple ways on the defensive line effectively.
RECAP REACTION

31. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(from Seahawks, via Falcons)

Reuben Foster, LB
Alabama
For the year, Foster recorded 115 tackles, including 13 for loss, five sacks and two passes defended. He was a force against the run, clamping down on opposing ball-carriers in Alabama’s historic season of defensive dominance.
RECAP REACTION

66. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB
Colorado
RECAP

104. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(compensatory pick, from Vikings via Chiefs)
C.J. Beathard, QB
Iowa
RECAP

121. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(from Colts)
Joe Williams, RB
Utah
RECAP

146. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
George Kittle, TE
Iowa
RECAP

177. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(compensatory pick, via Broncos)
Trent Taylor, WR
Louisiana Tech
RECAP

198. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(from Ravens)
D.J. Jones, DT
Mississippi
RECAP

202. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(from Broncos)
Pita Taumoepenu, LB
Utah
RECAP

229. SAN FRANCISCO49ERS
(from Saints)
Adrian Colbert, CB
Miami

Not a bad haul. And nary a knee injury among the group, although Reuben Foster is a bit of an injury risk. But if he’s playing to form, we got 2 of the top 3 players on a lot of draft boards in Salomon Thomas and Foster.

Beyond that, the Niners have two 2nd round picks and two 3rd round picks for a total of 10 picks again in 2018.  So a good looking haul and a great looking job of moving around for picks next year.

These guys get an A for the first day only. Getting the guy they wanted and gaining 4 picks was an absolute steal. The rest is gravy.  This looks to be a good start to the new front office.

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Draft Day, Parts II and III

Well, yesterday by all intents and purposes couldn’t have gone much better for John Lynch. He traded down one spot, got 4 picks, and still got the guy he wanted in Salomon Thomas. And for some reason Reuben Foster, the #1 rated LB in the class fell to the 31st spot, which the 49er promptly traded up to snag. With the help of one of the picks (#111 in the 4th round) they got from Chicago.

All in all a fairly outstanding first go-around in the draft. Jonathan Adams may have been my favorite guy but I figured they would take Thomas. But getting Foster is gravy upon gravy. There is no way anyone thought he would fall so far. But, the odd thing is this is the 3rd defensive lineman ion a row the Niners have drafted. First there was Arik Armstead, then DeForest Buckner, the bookend Ducks. Now we have fellow Pac-12 DL Salomon Thomas.

They say you build from the lines out, right?

As for day 2, what do y’all think? We need some offensive help, and we have picks 66 and 67. Then again, we need safety depth and there are still guys like Melifonwu, Budda Baker, and Marcus Williams. Then again DeShone Kizer is still around but he won’t likely fall to the 3rd. WR Chris Godwin? We do need guys that can catch the ball . . .

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