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Drafting a TE This Year: Why it Would Possibly Be a GREAT Move

Originally posted by RedWaltz24:
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
WR, not TE, is where our biggest need is. Simple as that. If we draft anything other than a WR in the first I'll be worried (unless we pickup Colston in FA). A TE pick in the first is a luxury we don't have.

So you are saying the Niners should draft a WR in the first all costs, even if it is a reach and not the best player available? As has been stated over and over again, Harbaugh uses 2 TE sets more than any other set and often puts TE's out at WR.

People thought the Patriots were crazy when they spent two pretty high picks on Gronk and Hernandez when they needed a WR also. Not so crazy anymore.
To answer your question, no, not at all cost. As stated before, this draft is pretty deep with big physical WR with good hands and run good routs. If by chance there is a major run on WR's in the first (I doubt it) them I say we go CB and get a WR in the 2nd. Look, people thought Aldon Smith was a reach as well but team need trumped "best available" and look at how that worked out. Yeah, JH uses two TE's and with Nate Byham coming back the 49ers will have three very good ones. Most teams cannot say that. But the use of two TE's don't mean WR's are not valued anymore. Again, just rewind the NFC title game. I have broken down the NO game and the title game. What struck me most was how both those defenses played our WR's and, more importantly, how our WR's responded (or couldn't respond). Our wideouts, in both games, were horrible at getting open, did not run good routs, were horrible at recognizing the blitz, and, most glaring to me, were routinely out muscled at the point of attack (which caused Alex to hold the ball longer than he wanted to). And the Giants, more so than NO, were really good at taking away our WR, even in three WR sets. It was alarming to me just how bad our WR got exposed in the playoffs and just how badly we missed Josh Morgan.

Look, I agree to disagree. Fellow fans are family to me. But, more than any position, our 49ers really need a WR, at least 2 or 3 in this draft. "Best available" after we've addressed our needs.

Originally posted by WRATHman44:
Agree to disagree, dude. The absolute statements you make are still just your opinion, by the way. I would agree with the OPINION that our greatest need is a playmaker in the passing game, I just think there are several different ways to skin that cat.
True, it is MY opinion. And I doubt I presented it as anything other than that. However, I do tend to have strong opinions and often speak/write them with conviction. But make no mistake, it's just MY opnion, and that opinion is based on years of football intimacy and film breakdown.
Member Milestone: This is post number 400 for 9ersLiferInChicago.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
This is sort of logic is how teams end up with busts and nothing to show for their draft pick. How would you feel if in 2 years the 49ers passed up Rob Gronkowski V2.0 for Rashaun Woods v2.0. WR isn't a need, playmakers on offense is a need, whether that playmaker is a WR or TE is irrelevant, in this case a big physical tight-end is a better red-zone threat and a bigger matchup problem for teams that are seldom prepared to deal with one top tight-end, let alone two.
Fare enough. . . .
But this isn't the Patriots. It's the 49ers. Our needs are different from theirs (if my memory serves me right the Patriots needed a TE badly at that time). And in the NFL there are no guarantee's, I admit. Therefore, that (i.e the fear of a bust) should not be a metric by which our coaching staff selects draftees. You hit on most, and miss on some - thats the nature of drafting. Our red-zone O suffered, I believe, mostly due to having no real threat at WR. After Morgan got hurt our WR's offered no matchup problems for anyone. Harbaugh and Co. had to get really creative to hide that weakness. In the NFL you can only scheme around weaknesses for so long before you have to address it. In this draft we need to seriously address this glaring weakness. Now, thats my opinion. And I'm ok with being a lone horse on this issue. But I dare anyone to seriously break down film and come away feeling comfortable about our current WR position going into the 2012-13 season.
[ Edited by 9ersLiferInChicago on Jan 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM ]
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
To answer your question, no, not at all cost. As stated before, this draft is pretty deep with big physical WR with good hands and run good routs. If by chance there is a major run on WR's in the first (I doubt it) them I say we go CB and get a WR in the 2nd. Look, people thought Aldon Smith was a reach as well but team need trumped "best available" and look at how that worked out. Yeah, JH uses two TE's and with Nate Byham coming back the 49ers will have three very good ones. Most teams cannot say that.

What the heck are you on about? THREE VERY GOOD TE's? Which team is this? All anyone knows is that Byham can be a solid blocker, that's it. Delanie Walker has played well at times, but he's also undersized as hell and if he walks at the end of the year, 49ers are down to one really good tight-end. I think taking the shot on the big physical tight-end who runs great routes, has great hands, is a terrific leaper and already knows Harbaugh's system is a better idea than taking a shot at a random WR early and hoping and praying that it isn't one of the multitude of busts that we've seen over the past 10 years.
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Fare enough. . . .
But this isn't the Patriots. It's the 49ers. Our needs are different from theirs (if my memory serves me right the Patriots needed a TE badly at that time). And in the NFL there are no guarantee's, I admit. Therefore, that (i.e the fear of a bust) should not be a metric by which our coaching staff selects draftees. You hit on most, and miss on some - thats the nature of drafting. Our red-zone O suffered, I believe, mostly due to having no real threat at WR. After Morgan got hurt our WR's offered no matchup problems for anyone. Harbaugh and Co. had to get really creative to hide that weakness. In the NFL you can only scheme around weaknesses for so long before you have to address it. In this draft we need to seriously address this glaring weakness. Now, thats my opinion. And I'm ok with being a lone horse on this issue. But I dare anyone to seriously break down film and come away feeling comfortable about our current WR position going into the 2012-13 season.

Once again, the 49ers problem wasn't lack of receivers, it was a lack of playmakers, period. Doesn't matter one bit whether that playmaker is a TE or WR, frankly this team could use playmakers period. When looking at the red-zone offense, call me crazy but I feel a 6'6", highly polished tight-end familiar with Harbaugh's system will present more of a threat to defenses than a rookie receiver that may easily be shutdown by a single cornerback for all we know.


Meanwhile, how would you defend both Davis AND Fleener running routes at the same time, all while not cheating so much that Crabtree or Morgan end up burning you?
  • sfout
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Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Fare enough. . . .
But this isn't the Patriots. It's the 49ers. Our needs are different from theirs (if my memory serves me right the Patriots needed a TE badly at that time). And in the NFL there are no guarantee's, I admit. Therefore, that (i.e the fear of a bust) should not be a metric by which our coaching staff selects draftees. You hit on most, and miss on some - thats the nature of drafting. Our red-zone O suffered, I believe, mostly due to having no real threat at WR. After Morgan got hurt our WR's offered no matchup problems for anyone. Harbaugh and Co. had to get really creative to hide that weakness. In the NFL you can only scheme around weaknesses for so long before you have to address it. In this draft we need to seriously address this glaring weakness. Now, thats my opinion. And I'm ok with being a lone horse on this issue. But I dare anyone to seriously break down film and come away feeling comfortable about our current WR position going into the 2012-13 season.

Once again, the 49ers problem wasn't lack of receivers, it was a lack of playmakers, period. Doesn't matter one bit whether that playmaker is a TE or WR, frankly this team could use playmakers period. When looking at the red-zone offense, call me crazy but I feel a 6'6", highly polished tight-end familiar with Harbaugh's system will present more of a threat to defenses than a rookie receiver that may easily be shutdown by a single cornerback for all we know.


Meanwhile, how would you defend both Davis AND Fleener running routes at the same time, all while not cheating so much that Crabtree or Morgan end up burning you?

this logic wins out. Its the same question I asked in my hypothetical 4TE/4WR mock the other day. Teams can only bracket 1 TE at a time, if by some madness they tried to bracket both then Crabtree or Morgan would be matched with an OLB or maybe a smaller nickelback if the defense was lucky enough. We'd terrorize defenses with matchups like that.

Bottom line is that Fleener could be a legitimate possibility at #30 after a good combine and/or pro day but if nothing else changes he could and should be on the board at #60 and if we re-sign Alex, Brooks, Goldson, and Rogers it would be a no brainer to add a playmaker like Fleener in round 1 or 2.
[ Edited by sfout on Jan 30, 2012 at 7:18 PM ]
Cool, I'll be the only one on this one. But this team don't need another TE, and I don't care how big and good he is. A TE in the first isn't wise giving the gapping need at WR. "Best available" can be a multi-year trap (see Detroit). And, yes, I was talking about our 49ers when I mentioned 3 very good TE's. OK, maybe I should not have used the word "very". But our TE corp is still better than most in the league and, therefore, not a need for us. Good teams don't draft for depth, "best available", or situational football until they have addressed their weakness. Now, if he's there in the 2nd (doubt he gets past pick 25) then you'd have a good case with me. But our first rounder needs to be a real ace at WR. We haven't had one since TO and its what we need going foward I believe. I know most here disagree but it's what I believe based on what I've seen and broken down.
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Cool, I'll be the only one on this one. But this team don't need another TE, and I don't care how big and good he is. A TE in the first isn't wise giving the gapping need at WR. "Best available" can be a multi-year trap (see Detroit). And, yes, I was talking about our 49ers when I mentioned 3 very good TE's. OK, maybe I should not have used the word "very". But our TE corp is still better than most in the league and, therefore, not a need for us. Good teams don't draft for depth, "best available", or situational football until they have addressed their weakness. Now, if he's there in the 2nd (doubt he gets past pick 25) then you'd have a good case with me. But our first rounder needs to be a real ace at WR. We haven't had one since TO and its what we need going foward I believe. I know most here disagree but it's what I believe based on what I've seen and broken down.

Once again, they don't need a WR or a TE.

They need playmakers on offense, IMO Fleener is a much better playmaker than any receiver that will be available at that point, not to mention he's a MUCH bigger mismatch for the defense to handle than a single 6'2" receiver that the average corner can lock up or at least slow down 1-1.
  • sfout
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Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Cool, I'll be the only one on this one. But this team don't need another TE, and I don't care how big and good he is. A TE in the first isn't wise giving the gapping need at WR. "Best available" can be a multi-year trap (see Detroit). And, yes, I was talking about our 49ers when I mentioned 3 very good TE's. OK, maybe I should not have used the word "very". But our TE corp is still better than most in the league and, therefore, not a need for us. Good teams don't draft for depth, "best available", or situational football until they have addressed their weakness. Now, if he's there in the 2nd (doubt he gets past pick 25) then you'd have a good case with me. But our first rounder needs to be a real ace at WR. We haven't had one since TO and its what we need going foward I believe. I know most here disagree but it's what I believe based on what I've seen and broken down.

Once again, they don't need a WR or a TE.

They need playmakers on offense, IMO Fleener is a much better playmaker than any receiver that will be available at that point, not to mention he's a MUCH bigger mismatch for the defense to handle than a single 6'2" receiver that the average corner can lock up or at least slow down 1-1.

Being a WR isn't a prerequisite for being a playmaker, if the best option on the board is a TE not drafting him would be a mistake(whether it be Allen or Fleener). Bottom line is we need production from our passing game.

Realistically Blackmon could go top 5, Floyd top 10, then wright and jeffery in the top 20, subsequently leaving Sanu, Rueben Randle as our only options at WR. Most mocks have wised up and realized that the Colts will be taking Luck #1 overall and Fleener with the #34th pick. We would be wise to throw a kink in that by drafting Fleener at #30.

However JH could get all sentimental and decide Luck and Fleener should get the opportunity to play together but seriously Fleener is already a fringe 1st round prospect and you know he'll impress at his pro day and the combine so he'll be there at 30 and be worth it.
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Fare enough. . . .
But this isn't the Patriots. It's the 49ers. Our needs are different from theirs (if my memory serves me right the Patriots needed a TE badly at that time). And in the NFL there are no guarantee's, I admit. Therefore, that (i.e the fear of a bust) should not be a metric by which our coaching staff selects draftees. You hit on most, and miss on some - thats the nature of drafting. Our red-zone O suffered, I believe, mostly due to having no real threat at WR. After Morgan got hurt our WR's offered no matchup problems for anyone. Harbaugh and Co. had to get really creative to hide that weakness. In the NFL you can only scheme around weaknesses for so long before you have to address it. In this draft we need to seriously address this glaring weakness. Now, thats my opinion. And I'm ok with being a lone horse on this issue. But I dare anyone to seriously break down film and come away feeling comfortable about our current WR position going into the 2012-13 season.

Since we're using the Patriot example, it stands up to history and reason that the Patriots have gotten worse at WR and significantly better at TE, and that has resulted in a more dangerous offense. The line b/w WR & TE is blurring, as WRs get bigger and TEs get more athletic. The greatest difference is the ability of a TE to win as a blocker from multiple locations. This makes the run threat a real concern from every formation, which keeps defenses honest. No one said that the passing game is where it should be, but PLAYMAKERS are the name of the game, not an idealized positional contribution. See what VErnon did in the playoffs, and imagine 2 of those running around. The WRs would be more open, and there would be less dependence on their contribution. Include the fact that Vernon, DW, and any athletic rookie TE (yes, I'm hoping for Fleener) can and have lined up at WR, and you have a dangerous ability to dictate defenses and create mismatches. "Three very good TEs" is a reach, as DW was about 225-230 at the start of the season and he drops too many balls, and Byham is strictly on board to block.

Incidently, while your experience and opinions are always welcome and deserving of respect, many of us have spent the majority of or lives playing, watching, and coaching football, and we all can form pretty strong opinions.


and GO NINERS!
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Cool, I'll be the only one on this one. But this team don't need another TE, and I don't care how big and good he is. A TE in the first isn't wise giving the gapping need at WR. "Best available" can be a multi-year trap (see Detroit). And, yes, I was talking about our 49ers when I mentioned 3 very good TE's. OK, maybe I should not have used the word "very". But our TE corp is still better than most in the league and, therefore, not a need for us. Good teams don't draft for depth, "best available", or situational football until they have addressed their weakness. Now, if he's there in the 2nd (doubt he gets past pick 25) then you'd have a good case with me. But our first rounder needs to be a real ace at WR. We haven't had one since TO and its what we need going foward I believe. I know most here disagree but it's what I believe based on what I've seen and broken down.

Where was TO drafted again? I know we took an ace at WR in the first round -- traded up for him, in fact. That guy was destined for greatness, and TO was gonna provide great depth and, with coaching and time emerge as a good WR. Oh, that real ace was JJ Stokes. My point is, there are no sure-thing ace WRs at the bottom of the 1st
Originally posted by NC49erfan82:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by dhp318:
We could even run 4 TE sets. Wutttt

What would be hilarious is a goal-line package shift. With Fleener, Byham, Davis, and Walker.. all are so capable at blocking, we could easily run or pass. So think about it.. All 4 TEs in the game... Byham and Walker lined up tight next to the left tackle, Davis and Fleener in tight next to the right tackle.. It looks like a run for sure.

BOOM. SHIFT.

All TE's split out wide except for Byham, who stays on the line. Walker wide left, Davis in the slot, Fleener wide right. "Uh oh."
If this was Facebook I would so like this comment.

Originally posted by WRATHman44:
Since we're using the Patriot example, it stands up to history and reason that the Patriots have gotten worse at WR and significantly better at TE, and that has resulted in a more dangerous offense. The line b/w WR & TE is blurring, as WRs get bigger and TEs get more athletic. The greatest difference is the ability of a TE to win as a blocker from multiple locations. This makes the run threat a real concern from every formation, which keeps defenses honest. No one said that the passing game is where it should be, but PLAYMAKERS are the name of the game, not an idealized positional contribution. See what VErnon did in the playoffs, and imagine 2 of those running around. The WRs would be more open, and there would be less dependence on their contribution. Include the fact that Vernon, DW, and any athletic rookie TE (yes, I'm hoping for Fleener) can and have lined up at WR, and you have a dangerous ability to dictate defenses and create mismatches. "Three very good TEs" is a reach, as DW was about 225-230 at the start of the season and he drops too many balls, and Byham is strictly on board to block.

Incidently, while your experience and opinions are always welcome and deserving of respect, many of us have spent the majority of or lives playing, watching, and coaching football, and we all can form pretty strong opinions.


and GO NINERS!
Dito.

I wasn't meaning to minimize anyone's opinion. You are right about the blurring lines between TE and WR in the NFL. About the only difference is 40 time. But that don't mean the WR is less important. It just mean the TE is becoming more utilized as NFL defenses catch up to the offense-leaning rules. This is why I don't think Fleener won't be there by the time we pick. But I think WR is our biggest need. Go Niners
Originally posted by 9ersLiferInChicago:
Dito.

I wasn't meaning to minimize anyone's opinion. You are right about the blurring lines between TE and WR in the NFL. About the only difference is 40 time. But that don't mean the WR is less important. It just mean the TE is becoming more utilized as NFL defenses catch up to the offense-leaning rules. This is why I don't think Fleener won't be there by the time we pick. But I think WR is our biggest need. Go Niners
Not really, Vernon runs a faster 40 than most WR's......Fleener is expected to run around 4.5-4.6.......people are expecting Floyd to run about a 4.5 Not a big difference at all, meanwhile the TE has a huge advantage due to their size and the uncertainty of whether they're staying in to block or going out on a route.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Not really, Vernon runs a faster 40 than most WR's......Fleener is expected to run around 4.5-4.6.......people are expecting Floyd to run about a 4.5 Not a big difference at all, meanwhile the TE has a huge advantage due to their size and the uncertainty of whether they're staying in to block or going out on a route.

My favorite is the route off of run-action where they run straight at the safety, then break off of him when he chickens out -- always hilarious and effective.
Great move for many reasons. People want to upgrade the wr corp with the high priced FA wr like colston and bowe and v. jacks. We can't resign our own guys like brooks, smith, goldson, rodgers, etc... if we break the bank for a wr. we can get a mid level FA wr like doucet, Jerome Simpson, or maybe Eddie Royal. Then draft Fleener or another TE and then even draft a wr in the 3rd or 4th. That would give us Fleener and VD, mismatch TE's and great for blocking in our ball control offense. Crabtree and Morgan as the wr's (Crabs as much as people hate him actually accounted for almost 1000 yards of the 3000 Alex threw). adding Royal would be speed and I think he does punt returns as well. Ad we could do all of it without breaking the bank and can still build through the draft.