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MadDog's Final Wrap Up Grade for Niners

Several things: first, we haven't had a decent coach since Mooch left nor a decent GM when Coach Walsh left(he was the best GM
we ever had). Based on last yrs draft of two OLs in first rd, in a team desperately short of starting OLs, I like Baalke, regardless of how his draft ends up this yr. He is still way ahead of the game. As for coaching, anybody not watching Harbaugh work miracles at Stanford, missed out...badly. It isn't that I trust him so much as I just feel he has the "it" it takes to be a great coach. So their picks are all fine by me, and the QB pick at that position is where I believe JH thot he would be picking. (Actually, he may have targeted Kap a round lower, but the way teams needing QBs were taking Qbs off the board, JH may have had to go a round early for Kap plus a few late picks).

I have not trusted any coach or GM we have had since ages ago, but i do now...finally. That said, Mel Kiper on his wrap up of the draft, maybe one, possibly two days later was asked who he thot maybe did the best in the draft valuewise and he said 49ers...which made me pay more attention...and then said he could be the steal of the draft. (Paraphrasing). I saw Aldon play twice, but both games I was watching Gab bert, who I liked...just not very high in draft...maybe a late 2nd or early 3rd. Aldon, if I noticed him at all went unnoticed by guys calling the game, and I do not recall there being any stellar or memorable plays by Aldon.

Yet if Kiper thinks he may have been the steal of the draft and, primarily as a pass rusher, then I will pay special attn to whatever form of TC we see, if any at all...and I will be lasered in on Aldon, because a) the niners took him early(7), and b)kiper thot he could be steal of draft. That hasn't happened to the niners any time recently , and i can only hope it is true.

As for Kap, JH has done a fantastic job with his Qbs, and if he liked this one, then so do I. My guess he is easily teachable, and has exactly what JH wanted in a QB. So based on those points, I really liked our draft(top two). After that i got no idea, and most folks agree Rds 4-7 or even 3-7 are only rarely yield a Tom Brady caliber pick. Hence, I give us a B+, but it is 2 bets on the come.
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Several things: first, we haven't had a decent coach since Mooch left nor a decent GM when Coach Walsh left(he was the best GM
we ever had). Based on last yrs draft of two OLs in first rd, in a team desperately short of starting OLs, I like Baalke, regardless of how his draft ends up this yr. He is still way ahead of the game. As for coaching, anybody not watching Harbaugh work miracles at Stanford, missed out...badly. It isn't that I trust him so much as I just feel he has the "it" it takes to be a great coach. So their picks are all fine by me, and the QB pick at that position is where I believe JH thot he would be picking. (Actually, he may have targeted Kap a round lower, but the way teams needing QBs were taking Qbs off the board, JH may have had to go a round early for Kap plus a few late picks).

I have not trusted any coach or GM we have had since ages ago, but i do now...finally. That said, Mel Kiper on his wrap up of the draft, maybe one, possibly two days later was asked who he thot maybe did the best in the draft valuewise and he said 49ers...which made me pay more attention...and then said he could be the steal of the draft. (Paraphrasing). I saw Aldon play twice, but both games I was watching Gab bert, who I liked...just not very high in draft...maybe a late 2nd or early 3rd. Aldon, if I noticed him at all went unnoticed by guys calling the game, and I do not recall there being any stellar or memorable plays by Aldon.

Yet if Kiper thinks he may have been the steal of the draft and, primarily as a pass rusher, then I will pay special attn to whatever form of TC we see, if any at all...and I will be lasered in on Aldon, because a) the niners took him early(7), and b)kiper thot he could be steal of draft. That hasn't happened to the niners any time recently , and i can only hope it is true.

As for Kap, JH has done a fantastic job with his Qbs, and if he liked this one, then so do I. My guess he is easily teachable, and has exactly what JH wanted in a QB. So based on those points, I really liked our draft(top two). After that i got no idea, and most folks agree Rds 4-7 or even 3-7 are only rarely yield a Tom Brady caliber pick. Hence, I give us a B+, but it is 2 bets on the come.

Could you provide a link to substantiate that, please. I'm trying to find this statement but cannot find it anywhere. I have, however, found Kiper mentioned that Aldon should make an impact early on. But nothing about being a steal of the draft or the 49ers being one of the best value-grabbers in the draft. He gave us a C+ draft I believe. I actually like Kiper, even if I don't agree with every opinion of his.

Here's what I did find:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/686846-nfl-draft-2011-reaction-and-analysis-of-mel-kipers-final-draft-grades/entry/77580-nfl-draft-2011-mel-kiper-says-san-francisco-49ers-didnt-reach-for-aldon-smith

Here, it was mentioned Aldon was not a reach, but he thought Colin Kaepernick was.

Quote:
Mel Kiper: You'll hear Smith called the first big reach of Round 1, but he wouldn't have lasted long at all past the No. 7 slot where the Niners nabbed him. And beyond the obvious question at quarterback, an outside linebacker who can rush the quarterback was the biggest position of need for this team, and if Smith continues on his developmental path, he could be a star. Jim Harbaugh found a quarterback he can develop with Kaepernick in Round 2, but even with the run on quarterbacks, I saw that as a reach. There's a lot of development needed. San Fran did hit on other top needs at cornerback and wide receiver, and got decent value in Hunter for depth at running back. Kilgore also offers a little more depth at guard. It's all about what happens at quarterback in terms of how we judge the success of the 2011 49ers, but I judge this weekend as a relative success. It's just a small worry when your first two picks both have development requirements.


[ Edited by OnTheClock on May 8, 2011 at 14:55:12 ]
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Cannot wait till the lockout is lifted and see these new additions make contributions to the 49ers returning to the playoffs.
OTC, I looked up Mel Kiper, post draft analysis, Aldon smith, best value of draft, Steal of draft, and found his post draft thots that you highlighted, saw a bunch of his mock drafts prior to draft, but could find no link to the 20, maybe 30 second Mel Kiper spot I saw and heard possibly one day post, but probably 2 days post draft. Mel Kiper is not one of my favorite people, has generally not been friendly to the 49ers since I started watching him maybe 8-9 yrs ago(what was there to be friendly about on a team cut adrift just above Niagra Falls), and frankly I just watch him for entertainment, not content. I saw this brief answer to the question about potential best value of draft, and was amazed to hear him say Aldon. That's it, and my best guess this was Sportscenter either in a.m or p.m. but I would probably guess a.m., most likely. I checked Sportscenter and the above query, but got same answer. This was one of those probable Sportscenter 20 second spots, where they ask one question, allow 20 seconds, and then move on.

OTC, something this improbable, by a guy I don't often take seriously, was not conjured up. I saw and heard it, it was brief, and it was the only question asked of him. It is what he said. Now, it could have been," Who was best value in draft", or "which team got the surprise best value in draft", but i cannot find link.

Trust me, it happened.
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
OTC, I looked up Mel Kiper, post draft analysis, Aldon smith, best value of draft, Steal of draft, and found his post draft thots that you highlighted, saw a bunch of his mock drafts prior to draft, but could find no link to the 20, maybe 30 second Mel Kiper spot I saw and heard possibly one day post, but probably 2 days post draft. Mel Kiper is not one of my favorite people, has generally not been friendly to the 49ers since I started watching him maybe 8-9 yrs ago(what was there to be friendly about on a team cut adrift just above Niagra Falls), and frankly I just watch him for entertainment, not content. I saw this brief answer to the question about potential best value of draft, and was amazed to hear him say Aldon. That's it, and my best guess this was Sportscenter either in a.m or p.m. but I would probably guess a.m., most likely. I checked Sportscenter and the above query, but got same answer. This was one of those probable Sportscenter 20 second spots, where they ask one question, allow 20 seconds, and then move on.

OTC, something this improbable, by a guy I don't often take seriously, was not conjured up. I saw and heard it, it was brief, and it was the only question asked of him. It is what he said. Now, it could have been," Who was best value in draft", or "which team got the surprise best value in draft", but i cannot find link.

Trust me, it happened.

I don't doubt you, my friend, I just wanted to see it myself because it seemed so surprising to me, given his initial analysis of the Aldon pick. But you have now clarified what he said much better and I actually can very much so agree.

Aldon Smith absolutely has the potential to be the best value of the draft if he fully develops and reaches the complete potential we see in him. Of course there is a difference between what someone thinks the "current best value" of the draft is, versus who could have the "potential best value in the future."

But again, thanks for clarifying, makes a lot more sense now.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
OTC pretty much articulated, in a better way, much of my sentiments. Thanks.

I will add that whenever the Niners select a player, they suddenly become so much more talented than if another team selected them. Anyone skeptical can view the thread on which QB will be most successful in the draft....take a wild guess who is the runaway winner.

Aldon Smith was barely mentioned by any fan on this board, prior to the draft, and when the selection was made, the vast majority of fans were angry (99.9% of the OLB pre-draft chatter was centered on Quinn, not Smith). Suddenly, over the last week, he has become a star, and people will defend him as if he was their mother (I am not referring to any particular poster on this thread). I guess it is a natural reaction to think: "he is one of us, so he is better than one of you".

If you wanted an OLB for the 7th overall, I think you have the best player at that position on the board, which I have stated repeatedly. I graded Smith overall Quinn and the rest of the OLB prospects, and projected him at 11 to the Texans, who have a strong need for a 3-4 OLB. I just don't see the best value for the pick, as Smith is risky, as both OTC and I have articulated.

You're right . . . OTC said it better.

Have you considered the fact that, since he was drafted, there has been much more media attention and focus on Aldon Smith than there was before. He didn't suddenly "become a star," we've just learned more about him.

Some of us even want to discuss what we've learned about him, and share articles and clips we've seen. Go figure.

You claim that you had him ranked ahead of Quinn at OLB before the draft. Funny, I don't recall seeing you post that anywhere before the draft. Your pre-draft "Big Board" lists Quinn at #10 and Aldon Smith at #11. So your OLB ranking had them flip flopped? Where is that posted, btw.

Or have you committed that heinous crime you accuse the rest of the board of committing--suddenly you're more of a fan of Aldon Smith than you were before the draft!

Tsk, tsk. You bandwagon hopping, overly optimistic . . . fan, you! lol.

I think you misunderstand the Big Board that OTC and I put out. It is not ranking the players of the draft. It is where we believe the player will be selected. If you have followed me this offseason, you would surely know that I did not believe Cam Newton was the best player in the draft. He was in the first slot in my Big Board. I did think Quinn would be drafted one slot before Smith, but I graded Smith above Quinn.

I do have a Best Available Board, which is a ranking, but that is not the 254 Big Board that I regularly post.

As for the sudden interest in Smith from Niners' fans, more media attention does not make a player better. Just because more 49ers articles are written on him after the draft does not mean he runs faster, jumps higher, bends better, spins faster, hustles more, produces more. It just means that he is suddenly "ours", and all of the weaknesses or limitations he current possesses suddenly, magically disappears, because more attention is placed on him. In other words, why should opinion on Smith shift, suddenly because he is one of ours?He is the same player. Nobody sprinkled magic powder on him after the card was turned in. The same goes for the QB post. If Andy Dalton was the Niners' selection, he'd be at 80%, if Ricky Stanzi, 77%. If Tyrod Taylor, 60. If Fred Taylor of Florida International was picked as the last player in the draft, then maybe 50%.

I have argued this for years, players suddenly do not perform better because they put on a 49ers helmet. There is no magic in them.
I dont care who you are, Expert, member here, or anyone else, but no one knows how it will end up.

And to anyone who says look at my track record, and no disrespect to some here, I don't buy it, im sorry.

But I dont let people persuade me or my feelings. Such is why I loved the Smith pick, and many of them, the only ones that scratched my head was, the Miller to FB and maybe Last Pick.

Other than that I think we had a good draft, not great or the best, but a good one.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
OTC pretty much articulated, in a better way, much of my sentiments. Thanks.

I will add that whenever the Niners select a player, they suddenly become so much more talented than if another team selected them. Anyone skeptical can view the thread on which QB will be most successful in the draft....take a wild guess who is the runaway winner.

Aldon Smith was barely mentioned by any fan on this board, prior to the draft, and when the selection was made, the vast majority of fans were angry (99.9% of the OLB pre-draft chatter was centered on Quinn, not Smith). Suddenly, over the last week, he has become a star, and people will defend him as if he was their mother (I am not referring to any particular poster on this thread). I guess it is a natural reaction to think: "he is one of us, so he is better than one of you".

If you wanted an OLB for the 7th overall, I think you have the best player at that position on the board, which I have stated repeatedly. I graded Smith overall Quinn and the rest of the OLB prospects, and projected him at 11 to the Texans, who have a strong need for a 3-4 OLB. I just don't see the best value for the pick, as Smith is risky, as both OTC and I have articulated.

You're right . . . OTC said it better.

Have you considered the fact that, since he was drafted, there has been much more media attention and focus on Aldon Smith than there was before. He didn't suddenly "become a star," we've just learned more about him.

Some of us even want to discuss what we've learned about him, and share articles and clips we've seen. Go figure.

You claim that you had him ranked ahead of Quinn at OLB before the draft. Funny, I don't recall seeing you post that anywhere before the draft. Your pre-draft "Big Board" lists Quinn at #10 and Aldon Smith at #11. So your OLB ranking had them flip flopped? Where is that posted, btw.

Or have you committed that heinous crime you accuse the rest of the board of committing--suddenly you're more of a fan of Aldon Smith than you were before the draft!

Tsk, tsk. You bandwagon hopping, overly optimistic . . . fan, you! lol.

I think you misunderstand the Big Board that OTC and I put out. It is not ranking the players of the draft. It is where we believe the player will be selected. If you have followed me this offseason, you would surely know that I did not believe Cam Newton was the best player in the draft. He was in the first slot in my Big Board. I did think Quinn would be drafted one slot before Smith, but I graded Smith above Quinn.

I do have a Best Available Board, which is a ranking, but that is not the 254 Big Board that I regularly post.

As for the sudden interest in Smith from Niners' fans, more media attention does not make a player better. Just because more 49ers articles are written on him after the draft does not mean he runs faster, jumps higher, bends better, spins faster, hustles more, produces more. It just means that he is suddenly "ours", and all of the weaknesses or limitations he current possesses suddenly, magically disappears, because more attention is placed on him. In other words, why should opinion on Smith shift, suddenly because he is one of ours?He is the same player. Nobody sprinkled magic powder on him after the card was turned in. The same goes for the QB post. If Andy Dalton was the Niners' selection, he'd be at 80%, if Ricky Stanzi, 77%. If Tyrod Taylor, 60. If Fred Taylor of Florida International was picked as the last player in the draft, then maybe 50%.

I have argued this for years, players suddenly do not perform better because they put on a 49ers helmet. There is no magic in them.

You are right that it doesn't make a player's numbers better, however the post draft articles show what many have missed in their analysis of a player and shows what the teams may have seen. Again using Smith and Quinn comparsion, They both got 11.5 sacks the same season 2009. Smith however did it in his freshman year. Then Quinn got thrown out of football and misses a season of experience while Smith got more. Most of us knew that he got 6 sacks in 2010, but did not realize he did it with a broken fibula and that he missed 3 games (you and OTC may have, but not most of us), this tells me two things, one he in all likely hood would have had another double digit sack year. All this in his frosh and soph years. Second he is like Ronnie Lott, in that whatever his injury he still put himslef out there, you can't measure and teach heart. Armed with this I would have projected him higher than what I was reading by most people. I never say the experts make that kind of analysis about smiths production would have been better if he had been healthy in his 2nd year. They also didn't talk about how the tiger's used him all over the place. He got sacks at the DT position DE position and OLB position, which even further ups his value, cause you can cause match problems and blocking assignment confusion.
Originally posted by TxBgst9er:
Well, just wanna share that I live in Austin Tx, and was listening to the local sports radio show this morning. They interviewed a beat writer from Houston. He said the Texans biggest flop was not landing Aldon Smith. They wanted to trade up with Denver and Arizona to grab Aldon, but that they both wanted too much in return. Apparently Bumm Jr thinks Aldon will be as good or better then D Ware.. So maybe that C grade will turn into a A+ sooner then later. Who knows, hopefully some day we will thank the Elways and the Tards for not taking the bait.

interesting - I'd like to think Houston had Aldon Smith as a top 5 pick. I can't help recalling though that Dallas had Bowmen as a first round pick last year and I was encouraged about the Niners picking him up in the 3rd. When he played last year I was not sure Dallas had it called correctly.
one thing that took the gloss (and I'm not grading that gloss either) was the FO saying that it was disappointed not to get Owen Marreic (sp?) FB from Stanford.

I'd rather Balke and JH not come out after the draft and tell you who they really really wanted and failed to get. That is a recipe for disaster.

When I see the FO making 'rookie' mistakes by openly saying they wanted a player and didn't get them it brings into question their whole ability to make decisions - which doesn't help the assessment of the players they did want (or at least picked!)

Thanks MD for your work and being brave enough to stick your head on the block!
Originally posted by British9er:
one thing that took the gloss (and I'm not grading that gloss either) was the FO saying that it was disappointed not to get Owen Marreic (sp?) FB from Stanford.

I'd rather Balke and JH not come out after the draft and tell you who they really really wanted and failed to get. That is a recipe for disaster.

When I see the FO making 'rookie' mistakes by openly saying they wanted a player and didn't get them it brings into question their whole ability to make decisions - which doesn't help the assessment of the players they did want (or at least picked!)

Thanks MD for your work and being brave enough to stick your head on the block!

Thanks for the kind thoughts. Nobody will ever accuse me a being a "homer", that is for sure. If I love the draft, I love the draft, whether it is ours, the Rams, the Raiders, or any other team, friend or foe. If I dislike the draft, or feel neutral about it, then I will state the same.

I don't believe in the post-draft, "since we selected this guy, he must be great" philosophy that many fall into. In other words, a player is not "good" if we select him, or "terrible" if another team grabs him. He's good, or bad, period. There is no hometown bonus grade, "if this was someone else's draft, I'd give it a D grade, but since this is our draft it is a B grade". It is what it is. And, in my estimation, this was another lost opportunity by the team, which has been a pattern for some time.

As for Marecic, if the team is disappointed that he is not on the roster, then they should have not taken any chances that he would fall to them. The team simply needed to package a few late rounders to make the leap forward. In the end, they would be getting a future stater, instead of a few backup interior linemen, and attempt to convert a defender into that role.

[ Edited by MadDog49er on May 9, 2011 at 08:04:28 ]
A final note on the concept of a "reach". I tend to avoid the term since it means so many things to different people. I tend to use the term, "value". Teams need to select players of value, not exclusively where they are projected to land, but also how teams grade the player.

In a player's case, such as Aldon Smith, his value could be all over the place. The Texans had a giant bullseye on him, and that I why I projected him to go to them at number 11. They obviously think his upside is tremendous, and they were willing to take the risk in selecting a raw, inexperienced guy. The Niners felt the same way.

I, and probably some other teams (it is hard to know each team's board), saw a little of Jason Pierre Paul in Smith, and perceive his value to be mid-first range, since the risk is pretty high. The upside, big. The chance for being a bust, higher than average.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
A final note on the concept of a "reach". I tend to avoid the term since it means so many things to different people. I tend to use the term, "value". Teams need to select players of value, not exclusively where they are projected to land, but also how teams grade the player.

In a player's case, such as Aldon Smith, his value could be all over the place. The Texans had a giant bullseye on him, and that I why I projected him to go to them at number 11. They obviously think his upside is tremendous, and they were willing to take the risk in selecting a raw, inexperienced guy. The Niners felt the same way.

I, and probably some other teams (it is hard to know each team's board), saw a little of Jason Pierre Paul in Smith, and perceive his value to be mid-first range, since the risk is pretty high. The upside, big. The chance for being a bust, higher than average.

JPP didnt produce as much on the field as aldon smith not even close he was just a combine beast
Originally posted by 49ersalldaway126:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
A final note on the concept of a "reach". I tend to avoid the term since it means so many things to different people. I tend to use the term, "value". Teams need to select players of value, not exclusively where they are projected to land, but also how teams grade the player.

In a player's case, such as Aldon Smith, his value could be all over the place. The Texans had a giant bullseye on him, and that I why I projected him to go to them at number 11. They obviously think his upside is tremendous, and they were willing to take the risk in selecting a raw, inexperienced guy. The Niners felt the same way.

I, and probably some other teams (it is hard to know each team's board), saw a little of Jason Pierre Paul in Smith, and perceive his value to be mid-first range, since the risk is pretty high. The upside, big. The chance for being a bust, higher than average.

JPP didnt produce as much on the field as aldon smith not even close he was just a combine beast

Aldon posted better numbers, for sure. Although JPP started only 7 games, so he averaged about 1 sack per start. The height/weight/experience/big upside more than dominant productivity is the strong comparison.

When it comes to productivity off the edge, the numbers are nearly identical. A huge amount of Smith's sacks came as a result of lining up against a guard as a DT on passing downs. JPP's bulk of sacks came off the edge. Now, the team has already stated that they may have him play the DT role along with Justin on passing downs. That could be interesting as his body continues to grow.

Can he be a dominant edge rusher, even though he didn't show it in college? Maybe. Could this be a moot point if he becomes a great interior pass rusher on 3rd downs? Sure. I just see a bit too much riskiness at number seven. That is why I gave the pick a C grade.

[ Edited by MadDog49er on May 9, 2011 at 08:22:37 ]
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Originally posted by MadDog49er:

I think you misunderstand the Big Board that OTC and I put out. It is not ranking the players of the draft. It is where we believe the player will be selected. If you have followed me this offseason, you would surely know that I did not believe Cam Newton was the best player in the draft. He was in the first slot in my Big Board. I did think Quinn would be drafted one slot before Smith, but I graded Smith above Quinn.

I do have a Best Available Board, which is a ranking, but that is not the 254 Big Board that I regularly post.

As for the sudden interest in Smith from Niners' fans, more media attention does not make a player better. Just because more 49ers articles are written on him after the draft does not mean he runs faster, jumps higher, bends better, spins faster, hustles more, produces more. It just means that he is suddenly "ours", and all of the weaknesses or limitations he current possesses suddenly, magically disappears, because more attention is placed on him. In other words, why should opinion on Smith shift, suddenly because he is one of ours?He is the same player. Nobody sprinkled magic powder on him after the card was turned in. The same goes for the QB post. If Andy Dalton was the Niners' selection, he'd be at 80%, if Ricky Stanzi, 77%. If Tyrod Taylor, 60. If Fred Taylor of Florida International was picked as the last player in the draft, then maybe 50%.

I have argued this for years, players suddenly do not perform better because they put on a 49ers helmet. There is no magic in them.

I do agree that a player doesn't become better just because the 49ers picked them, but on the other hand I don't think it is good to grade a draft because a player doesn't have elite measurables. If that is the case, then Cam Newton should have been ranked on your board as the best QB available, which I believe you have stated was not the case. At this point, I think the best we can do in grading a draft is the following:

1. Was the player a reach? (i.e. if the 49ers didn't take them, would they have likely been grabbed soon)
2. Does the player fill a need? IMO, choosing BPA will probably net you a C draft. Sure you got players that will help you down the road, but your team did not get significantly better in the short term. For it to be an A draft, you must have a combination of BPA plus need.
3. Does the player fit the scheme that the team uses? For example, are you drafting a 4-3 defensive end, and trying to make him to be an OLB that doesn't really suit his skillset?

You also add an additional criteria that I respect, which is risk. Cam Newton, for example, would be a high risk pick, which I agree is not what you want at the top of the draft. Aldon Smith, imo, is a low risk player. He may not have a high ceiling due to his measurables, but it unlikely that he will be a bust. He certainly has the measurables to be a Pro-Bowl player, considering how many Pro Bowl players are not top 10 picks.