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Best Player Available? I don't think so!

Originally posted by OnTheClock:
In the first round, teams typically go BPA with respect to their most pressing need, but not always.

Like many teams, we draft BPA but with need in consideration. The team felt Aldon was the #1 (or at worst #2 behind Miller) OLB prospect in the draft, so they felt justified taking him with our first pick last year. It happened to be a position of pressing need. Many of us thought it'd be CB Amukamara, including myself, considering we lost Clements.. Spencer had injury issues, and Tarell Brown had not been very good so far. CB was also a pressing need, but we obviously felt Aldon was the better player at that spot, and it seems he was. The 49ers drafted the BPA with "reasonable consideration for needs" at that spot and their value board got it right.

"ABSOLUTE BPA" would pick the best player no matter what, and team selections would look rather weird if that took place obviously. I think some teams have to have at least a TINY consideration for need, but you can tell which ones look less at need and draft purely from their big board, opting to put heavier emphasis on overall value compared to the entire player pool rather. That simplifies it, and weighs "one players collective value" vs. another players' value.

What we do appears to be weighing "collective value" vs. "positional value". Just another form of BPA. Because sometimes the collective value is too great to pass up, and a player that may be the best available at a certain position we need simply is not as high as a player that is overall, better than everyone else in the draft remaining -- according to our board -- at that point.

2 teams that seem like they draft exclusively on BPA, with almost no other considerations are the Giants and Patriots. I didn't just pick these teams because they wen to the Super Bowl either. Pats will draft another LT next year if they feel he gives them slightly more value than a WR--the position they really need. The Giants will do the same thing with a defensive lineman. Of course, in the middle rounds most teams look at position over BPA
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Ok then. Worst player available...

This made me laugh...

Yeah I think The BPA is something that is thrown around. If you ask a coach or GM, of course they are going to say they made the pick of the best player available for their team. We just don't always agree with their decision and only time will tell who was right.

This year it does look like RG is a need but didn't we trade up for Kilgore...they must see something there. Giving Alex another big target might help with how fast he gets rid of the ball which equals less sacks. Whether that's Fleener or some other offensive weapon.
Originally posted by doc_brown_:
Looking at the current roster leads me to believe that the 49ers will not draft the BPA and will instead draft a player to fill a specific need. Here's an outline of the projected starting lineups and where the weaknesses are.

QB: Alex Smith
RB: Frank Gore
FB: Bruce Miller
WR: Michael Crabtree
WR: Mario Manningham/Randy Moss
TE: Vernon Davis

Coby Fleener will be long gone by the time the Niners pick and trading up in the first round isn't our style. The Niners already have very talented "skill position" players and even though I do envision them drafting a WR at some point, I do not see them taking a WR or TE in the 1st round.

LT: Joe Staley
LG: Mike Iupati
C: Johnathan Goodwin
RG: ??????????
RT: Anthony Davis

The Niners did not fill this hole in free agency and did not re-sign Adam Snyder. Daniel Kilgore was chosen in the 5th round of last years draft and will either start or provide depth. We'll assume the latter, which makes RG an area of huge concern. We saw last year how a weak interior translates into inconsistent offensive production. Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin), Cordy Glenn (Georgia), Amini Silatolu (Midwestern State) and Brandon Brooks (Miami OH) are possible selections.

DE: Ray McDonald
DT: Isaac Sopoaga
DE: Justin Smith

Sopoaga and Smith are old and there isn't much depth here (Dobbs, Jean Francois, Tukufu). D-lineman coming out of college usually need at least a year to adjust to the NFL. It's safe to say that if the Niners draft a defensive player in the first round, he will not start (All 11 starters will be back for 2012). Therefore it makes sense to draft an eventual replacement for Sopoaga or Smith. He can develop while providing depth along the line. Nick Perry (USC), Jared Crick (Nebraska), Vinny Curry (Marshall), Jerel Worthy (Michigan State), Kendall Reyes (Connecticut) and Devon Still (Penn State) are possible selections. It's worth noting that all the current Niner d-lineman are heavier than 275lbs.

OLB: Ahmad Brooks
ILB: Navarro Bowman
ILB: Patrick Willis
OLB: Aldon Smith

Our LB's are young and talented. Excellent starters and good depth (Haralson, Grant, Gooden). No need to spend a 1st round pick here.

CB: Carlos Rogers
CB: Tarell Brown/Chris Cullliver
SS: Donte Whitner
FS: Dashon Goldson

The Niners are set at safety for the next few years. If there is a CB rated highly on Baalke's draft board who is available at #30, I personally wouldn't be upset if the Niners pulled the trigger on him. Brown is good but not great. Culliver had a good amount of playing time last season, which bodes well for his development, but we'll have to wait and see if he can be a #2. The CB depth is encouraging but also questionable (Cox and Brock). CB's coming out of college usually need a year to adjust to the NFL, so this could be the perfect time to draft an eventual replacement for Rogers (who will be 31 in July). The Niners like big physical CB's and it's worth noting that all the current 49ers CB's are above 190lbs. Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama), Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama), Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina) and Josh Robinson (Central Florida) are possible selections.


Remember, this analysis applies only to the 1st round. Do you agree with my rational? Who would you draft if you were GM?

I think that you are taking the best player available to extreme. The way the I am reading it you are suggesting that who ever is on the top of the board regardless of position you take that player. I think that is a case for teams that have a tone of holes to fill or a team that has a solid line up that doesn't want to reach at a position.

If I were the GM I would want a player that can contribute early. I think that is the general rule of thumb. A plug n play type guy. If I were running the draft I would not be looking at positions. This game is about scoring touchdowns. I would look at the players that got in the end zone the most and assess if it would translate in the NFL. I think we will draft a skill player for our offense. It really doesn't matter if it is WR, TE, or RB.

Here are the players that I would consider drafting with the first over pick.

WR

Justin Blackmon (18 TD in 2011) Most like drafted by our turn.
Kendall Wright (14 TD in 2011) Most likely gone.
Michael Floyd (9 TD in 2011) Most likely gone.
Reuben Randle (8 TD in 2011)
Stephen HIll (5 TD in 2011) That is with only 28 receptions

TE

Coby Fleener (10 TD in 2011)

RB

Trent Richardson (21 TD rushing 3 receiving) Most likely gone.
Doug Martin (16 TD Rushing 2 receiving) Smaller school but I think his game translates well to the NFL.
LaMichael James (18 TD rushing 1 receiving) He had 24 total TD in 2010.

I know that my idea is different. Then I thought of the movie Money Ball. Principle is the same. I would pick the BPA of these players listed. That's how I would do it.

As for the need to OG I really think that Killgore is the future at OG. Most teams believe they can find good OG in the mid to later rounds. I think we will still draft a OG in the draft just not early.

DL has great depth IMHO. Smith and Sop are getting a little long in the tooth but still have a lot of good football left. I wouldn't waste a high pick there especially were they have no way of cracking the starting line up anytime soon. By the way you forgot to list Ian Williams.
I agree that is the BPA is the way to go but after watching video of Kevin Zeitler I think he has to be the pick.
Zeitler has the best run blocking skills I have seen in a draft prospect in a long long time. You tube
Also David Decastro has the same type of skills at pass blocking and that is very very rare.
Originally posted by D-Money:
Yeah Doc, that was actually a great breakdown for why to take the BPA.

Karma, couldn't agree more, RB is a huge need especially in Harbaugh's offense. Everyone was hating on the idea earlier, but I still would like us to get Lamar Miller with our first, maybe a possible trade down scenario to 35-40 while picking up extra picks as well.

There is a need to bring in some competition for Dixon and insurance for Gore, but with the low value being placed on RB these days, we might be able to get Miller with our second round pick. No way we draft a RB that high.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
In the first round, teams typically go BPA with respect to their most pressing need, but not always.

Like many teams, we draft BPA but with need in consideration. The team felt Aldon was the #1 (or at worst #2 behind Miller) OLB prospect in the draft, so they felt justified taking him with our first pick last year. It happened to be a position of pressing need. Many of us thought it'd be CB Amukamara, including myself, considering we lost Clements.. Spencer had injury issues, and Tarell Brown had not been very good so far. CB was also a pressing need, but we obviously felt Aldon was the better player at that spot, and it seems he was. The 49ers drafted the BPA with "reasonable consideration for needs" at that spot and their value board got it right.

"ABSOLUTE BPA" would pick the best player no matter what, and team selections would look rather weird if that took place obviously. I think some teams have to have at least a TINY consideration for need, but you can tell which ones look less at need and draft purely from their big board, opting to put heavier emphasis on overall value compared to the entire player pool rather. That simplifies it, and weighs "one players collective value" vs. another players' value.

What we do appears to be weighing "collective value" vs. "positional value". Just another form of BPA. Because sometimes the collective value is too great to pass up, and a player that may be the best available at a certain position we need simply is not as high as a player that is overall, better than everyone else in the draft remaining -- according to our board -- at that point.

Very well articulated, OTC...
Wow this is a really well thought out issue imho.

Maybe we take "best player available of need?"

Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by D-Money:
Yeah Doc, that was actually a great breakdown for why to take the BPA.

Karma, couldn't agree more, RB is a huge need especially in Harbaugh's offense. Everyone was hating on the idea earlier, but I still would like us to get Lamar Miller with our first, maybe a possible trade down scenario to 35-40 while picking up extra picks as well.

There is a need to bring in some competition for Dixon and insurance for Gore, but with the low value being placed on RB these days, we might be able to get Miller with our second round pick. No way we draft a RB that high.

Can you say Fleener and Miller.
Overall, I like your thought process. I wouldn't be so sure Baalke won't trade up in the 1st rd, though. He did to take AD a couple of years ago. No doubt, Fleener wowed coaches/scouts at the Stanford Pro Day, so his draft stock should be rising. That said, it wouldn't surprise me to see Baalke trade up a few slots IF he's the guy he and Harbaugh want. The other possibility is to trade up to get DeCastro (although probably a big jump up) or Jonathan Martin if the plan is to shift AD inside to RG. You'll notice these are all Stanford guys...Coach knows them all very well and would feel comfortable taking any one of 'em. Also can't count out taking one of Wisconsin's standout OL's, Konz and Zeitler. Either would be welcome on the OL. A DL's always possible, but I think they're pretty high on the youngsters they have, but we'll see. I doubt you'd see Baalke take a S that early, but a CB is always a possibility. We all have to remember Culliver can also play S.
I posted this in its own thread (which was redundant, apologies). I don't see RG as a gaping hole. Kilgore + a vet FA + mid round pick this year will fight it out for the starting job. Starting guards can be found pretty late in the draft. I think we can therefore go BPA in the first round, with a few positional exceptions:

QB - Unless one is viewed as a franchise guy, but where we're picking I don't see it.
OT
ILB
OLB - Not sure. Can never have enough good pass rushers.

I think that's really it. I almost said CB, but, like pass rushers, you can never have enough good cover men.
I'd be OK with any position at #30 except QB, OT or ILB. D-Line wouldn't be sexy, but if it's a Blue Chipper I'd be down with it.

My preference at #30 would be:

1. Offensive play maker (WR or TE)
2. Plug & play OG/Future OC
3. Bell cow running back
4. Outside linebacker
5. Defensive back
6. Defensive lineman
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Ok then. Worst player available...

i doubt fleener will be "long gone" when we pick..he should be there late 1st/early 2nd
Originally posted by MadDog49er:

5. Goodwin graded out poorly in 2011 (23rd overall and 32nd in pass protection).

You constantly make this assertion about Goodwin, but we have yet to see a link.

Who graded the former pro bowler like that? Some pundit from ProFootballTalk? You? Some other team?

Without a link, its hard to assess the credibility of such "grades."

Just from a fan's perspective, Goodwin appeared to play as well as, or better than Baas, and Heitmann, neither of whom were ever considered for a pro bowl berth at any point in their respective careers.

So, link?

Thank you in advance.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
You constantly make this assertion about Goodwin, but we have yet to see a link.

Who graded the former pro bowler like that? Some pundit from ProFootballTalk? You? Some other team?

Without a link, its hard to assess the credibility of such "grades."

Just from a fan's perspective, Goodwin appeared to play as well as, or better than Baas, and Heitmann, neither of whom were ever considered for a pro bowl berth at any point in their respective careers.

So, link?

Thank you in advance.

I couldn't find the overall, but here are the pass blocking rankings according to Pro Football Focus:

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/02/21/2011-pass-blocking-efficiency-guards-and-centers/

Notice Adam Snyder was also one of the worst guards.