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Good safety prospects after the first round?

Michael Lewis has been a valuable SS for us, (kudos to McCloughlan for picking him up from the Eagles.) But this season he had 3 concussions. And the more concussions you have had, the more likely you will be to have the next one. At 29, he may have 4 or 5 more seasons, but future concussions could end his career next year.

If we were looking for a safety in the draft, what kind of safety, a SS or FS makes sense? Based on his M Lewis' size, , 6'1" 220 lbs, you would naturally think SS.
Based on the Saints and Colts in the Superbowl, I would think that cover skills are more important than ever. The problem is that big safeties don't have the fluid hips to stay with WRs coming out of breaks. But can FS's with cover skills take the pounding that a SS takes?

Below in descending order, is the total number of tackles for 49er LBs and Ss in 2009:
P Willis 152
D Goldson 94 6'2" 200 lbs
M Lewis 82 6'1" 220 lbs
T Spikes 75
M Lawson 68
P Harrison 45

Interestingly, after P Willie, the 2 safeties make about as many tackles as the other 3 LBs combined. So cover skills and resilience are required. And of course, you want someone who can intimidate WRs over the middle, but most intimidation occurs at the expense of wrap-up tackling.

Our backup safeties:
Reggie Smith 6'1" 200 lbs (If he stays healthy, he is a ball-hawker.)
Curtis Taylor 6'2" 209 lbs (Great physical specimen, but can he take the right angles?)

Whose available? Rather than say, draft X, I have listed players that should be within 10 spots of where we pick in each round. We might find someone with even more value drops to one of our picks, so than we move down a round. For instance Myron Rolle in the 3rd round might represent very good value at #79. Sorry, no dash and shuttle times till the combine.

At #49:
Nate Allen 6'1" 205 lbs. 4 interceptions in 2009. Wes Buntings assessment at the Senior Bowl practices: "South Florida safety Nate Allen has been impressive this week. Not only does he display good instincts and ball skills in coverage, he also possesses by far the best footwork of any safety on the South. Allen looks fluid when asked to get out of his breaks and does a nice job getting up to speed quickly. He’s very quietly been one of the most impressive prospects here."

Chad Jones 6'3" 230 lbs. Not as productive as his impressive physicality,

Latter 2nd round:
Reshad Jones 6'2" 215 lbs. Appeared in 39 games for the Bulldogs including 27 starts. He started all 13 games this past season and ranked second on the team with 73 tackles including a team-leading four interceptions
Morgan Burnett 6'1" 210 lbs. All-ACC defender (2009), 14 career interceptions, 235 career tackles. Anemic pass rush this season exposed Georgia Tech's secondary.

At #79
Myron Rolle 6'2" 217 lbs. Rhodes Scholar (missed 2009 season) 206 total career tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 13 pass deflections.
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-senior-bowl/09000d5d8162015a/Myron-Rolle-preps-for-Senior-Bowl
Major Wright 6'0" 204 lbs. He finished his collegiate career with 165 tackles, 10 passes defended, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 41 games played. This past season, the 6-foot-0, 204-pound defender tied for second on the Gators with three interceptions and registered 32 tackles, 28 of which were solo.

At #111 (don't know how many 4th round comp picks will be awarded)
TJ Ward 5'10" 199 lbs. East-West Shrine Monday Practice: Oregon's T.J. Ward is a safety a lot of teams still like because of his hitting ability and agility in the back half.
[ Edited by mebemused on Feb 10, 2010 at 8:49 AM ]
Kam Chancellor is another guy to consider. He's projected around the 3rd-4th.
a guy i like is Kansas Darrell Stuckey, potential 3rd-4th rd pick.
I love Reshard Jones in the third. He can hit, cover, has good ball skill, and takes good angles and wraps up on his tackles. Him and Chad jones would be my top choices for post-first round safteys. Btw, Chad jones is also a baseball player (pitcher) and has only been playing saftey for 2 years or something he is a quick learner and a smart kid. He will quickly learn the tricks of the trade and, with his athleticism will become a real good saftey prospect.
Major Wright almost killed that guy in the national championship game a couple years ago, I have loved him ever since!
I say Draft Chad Jones, let him take Lewis' spot when he retires or gets hurt. Chad is a monster.
Interesting topic and solid opening post.

Agree that identifying the player who can share time with Lewis at SS in 2010 and start in 2011, should be a team priority for this off-season.

Right now that would be Roman, but he's not the long term starter solution.

Smith and Taylor are both mystery men to some degree. McCloughan has never selected a DB higher than Smith in the 3rd round. But Smith came in as an underclassman and has been slow to develop. Taylor hasn't had much of a shot yet, but major improvement often occurs between year 1 and year 2 for a young player.

I think that it's important to upgrade the team's speed, when considering Lewis' replacement. I totally respect Lewis' game. He always gives 100 and plays hurt, but I don't want a Lewis clone to replace him, given the marked increase in passing for most NFL offenses. I also think that Goldson has begun to establish himself at FS and changing up at 2 positions at the same time does not seem wise. So no move of Goldson to SS.

McCloughan has really never drafted a pure safety higher than the 7th round. Smith (3rd), Goldson (4th), Brown (5th) and Hudson (6th) were all drafted with the idea of playing CB, with S as a fallback, if they didn't make the grade at CB. That seems to be Scott's ongoing philosophy, much as some clubs (not the Niners) draft OT's, with the idea that the player can be moved to OG, if he doesn't cut it at OT.

I expect McCloughan to look for a premium CB with one of his two first round picks (Haden?). If a CB is not the BPA at #13 or #17, then McCloughan will likely go for a CB in Round 2 or nolater than Round 3, probably one with some PR skills. I will be very surprised if McCloughan drafts a pure SS or FS, unless it's as a very late round ST player. Targeting a pure SS or FS just goes against McCloughan's track record.

I expect the club to really push Smith and Taylor during OTA's and TC. I also expect the club to bring in a FA SS, though probably not a name that anyone would easily recognize. I don't expect McCloughan to draft a legitimate SS candidate, who would be able to possibly be a major 2010 contributor, if Lewis' concussions put him on the sideline.

Sorry to throw water on the draft buzz for a SS or FS, but that's just the way that I see it.
[ Edited by jimbagg on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:45 PM ]
Originally posted by GoldenGateFan:
I love Reshard Jones in the third. He can hit, cover, has good ball skill, and takes good angles and wraps up on his tackles. Him and Chad jones would be my top choices for post-first round safteys. Btw, Chad jones is also a baseball player (pitcher) and has only been playing saftey for 2 years or something he is a quick learner and a smart kid. He will quickly learn the tricks of the trade and, with his athleticism will become a real good saftey prospect.

For all the reasons you love him, he should be gone by our 3rd round pick.
Scotts never hit the home run on a secondary pick. Gholston is showing up as a good FS though. I think t would be nice to see us land Jones in the second but if we go CB in the second I'd like Patrick Robinson if we're talking pure CB or Arenas a CB with PR abilities.
Originally posted by OtisDriftwood:
I say Draft Chad Jones, let him take Lewis' spot when he retires or gets hurt. Chad is a monster.

Completely agree & he is the kid I want us to draft!
Originally posted by tohara3:
Originally posted by OtisDriftwood:
I say Draft Chad Jones, let him take Lewis' spot when he retires or gets hurt. Chad is a monster.

Completely agree & he is the kid I want us to draft!

monster athlete, quick, big enough to play SS let Dashon Ball Hawk..:)
While not as impressive a physical specimen as Chad Jones, I really like Morgan Burnett 6'1" 210 lbs. All-ACC defender (2009), 14 career interceptions, 235 career tackles. Anemic pass rush this season exposed Georgia Tech's secondary.

With Chad Jones, you are going on potential, cause he hasn't been a starter till this year. Yes he is big, very fast, and a natural athlete (relief pitcher), but pitching skills don't translate to the football field. If Michael Lewis can play another season or two, Chad Jones might learn to be a good safety, even a monster safety. But in 2008, Chad Jones couldn't become a starter at LSU, because Curtis Taylor who we drafted in the 7th round, was the starter.

In contrast, Morgan Burnett has a 3 year record of game accomplishments. Not as much upside, but you know what your getting, averaged just under 5 interceptions over 3 years. One of the better coverage safeties in this draft.