Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Nice work as always, MD. Even if I might disagree with some of your assessments, you always back up your views with evidence, which I respect.
All of that being said, it is my view that this is an extremely difficult draft to judge because of the labor circumstances and the behind the scenes stuff going on.
I think what this draft also proves is that the Niners have different criteria for evaluating players than most so-called NFL experts do. Harbaugh has definitely left his mark on this draft...and one can see that he allowed a lot of input from his coaching staff.
Now it seems the Niners place a high priority on character, on a "team first" attitude, on versatility, and on guys who truly love the game. In other words, they value guys who may not be the most talented or highly rated but who are going to work hard to develop their skills and become better players.
Obviously, they also have a tremendous amount of confidence in their coaching staff to identify the types of guys they like and then to develop them into effective players. Bill Walsh had the same type of approach as a matter of fact, and Dwight Clark was the poster child of just such a player.
It is certainly a different way of drafting than most teams do. The only other team that has drafted this way in the past few years is New England. They tend to draft versatile, under the radar players who fit their system. It has certainly worked for the Patriots. Let's hope it does for the Niners.
I concur. Ballke and Bellichek said value is defined by a players ability to perform in the system they run. Sometimes the BPA is not needed or does not possess the characteristics needed to perform well in their system. Areas of need must fit into the equation.
Couple of observations about the picks. Kap will be fine. He does have a funky throwing motion but he gets the ball out and assesses situations quickly. (combination of Rivers and Roethlisberger) I have watched him play numerous times over the last three years. The kid can play. His growth as a QB is impressive. He plays big in big games. Harbaugh will morph the pistol offense into the WCO with Kap leading the way in a few years. Was not impressed with Aldon initially but after reviewing some games he reminds me of Tim Harris. He may play upright but nobody was pushing him around. He has a strong upper body and leverages his length well. Fangio will move him around and take advantage of his skills. QB pressure will result.
It appears the premise for the other picks was draft athletic ability, attitude, and speed, we can coach and teach them to play in our system. I think they did a good job of doing just that. OL picks make sense. I forget who said just because they played a position in college does not mean that is the best use of their skills. Maybe they needed a tackle more than a center and thus had them play that position because that was the need for their team. It will be interesting to watch the fit. Miller will be fun to watch as well. One thing that impressed is that we picked players that the coaching staff spent time with. They did not just depend on the scouting dept. assessment. Coaches coach and I think they understand the type of player they like to work with. Not disappointed that we did not select a NT. My guess that this position was low on the radar. If Franklin is not signed they have Sopoaga and Will T. to compete for that position. I would move Ricky Jean off the NT and take advantage of his bulk and quickness. I think the emphasis on the DL will be plugger in the middle and aggressive players attacking from the outside. Force plays to the middle of the field. Will see.
Enough said, other than, tremendous work by the draft gurus on this board. Maddog, OTC, and others, your hard work and opinions are first rate. You are to be congratulated. Frankly I think Ballke should invite you guys to TC for a day compliments of the 49ers so you can assess your work first hand. Jed are you listening. You guys rock.
[ Edited by fortyyearniner on May 2, 2011 at 09:01:26 ]