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MadDog's Niners Draft Grade and Analysis

Peter King from SI would differ from your opinion on the job Baalke did. It's just one opinion but not EVERYONE thinks this draft and the job the Niners did was horrible.

GM of the weekend (tie): Trent Baalke, San Francisco; Buddy Nix, Buffalo. I detailed Baalke's multiple moves to set up the Niners as a power player in the 2013 draft. And getting LaMichael James late in the second round gives Jim Harbaugh the home-run back he hasn't had in an offense that needs a threat like that. As for Nix, who rebuilt his defensive end position in free agency (Mario Williams, Mark Anderson), he bought a new secondary over the weekend, with first- and fourth-round corners (Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks) who will become starting and nickel corners, respectively.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/04/30/mmqb/index.html#ixzz1tYCt2Lzl


love what the 49ers did late Friday night and Saturday.

To become a great general manager, you have to be willing to take some chances. You have to be willing, on draft day, to make decisions that can impact your team for the next few years, positively or negatively. You have to have the courage of your convictions that if you trade down and lose the player you wanted in the first place, you'll be OK with that; the risk was worth it.

That happened to San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke late Friday night, as the third round was winding down. The 49ers had the 29th pick in the round, the 92nd pick overall. They liked a guard from Wake Forest named Joe Looney. Baalke knew the Niners liked Looney better than a lot of teams. He knew he might be able to get Looney in the fourth round. Might. No guarantees. And if he lost him, Baalke felt fine going with the next man on the board. So when the Colts called looking for a late-third-round pick, Baalke traded 92 to the Colts for the 97th pick and Indy's fifth-round pick in 2013.

On Saturday, at the start of round four, Baalke still thought he could wait for Looney. He dealt 97 to Miami for the Dolphins' fourth-round pick, 103 overall, plus the 196th pick and a sixth-round pick in 2013. At 103, Looney was still there. San Francisco was picking 125th. Dare Baalke wait? Carolina came calling for the 103rd pick, and Baalke dealt that pick for the 180th in this draft and a third-round pick in 2013.

Tick. Tick. Tick. No guards went from 103 to 111, and Chicago was a candidate, but the Bears passed on the line, as did Arizona at 112, and now Baalke was pressing the outer limits, and he picked up the phone and made a deal with Detroit, trading up eight spots from 125 to 117 and throwing in the Miami pick acquired an hour earlier (196) in order to draft Looney ... 25 picks after the Niners were going to take him at 92.

So at the end of the dealing, the Niners got their man. And they got this:

• The 180th pick in 2012 -- Michigan State free safety Trenton Robinson.

• Carolina's third-round pick in 2013.

• Indianapolis' fifth-round pick in 2013.

• Miami's sixth-round pick in 2013.

Along with a seventh-round pick in 2013 from Cincinnati in the Taylor Mays trade, and likely compensatory picks for losing guard Adam Snyder and wide receiver Josh Morgan in free agency, San Francisco now sits with a projected 13 picks in the 2013 draft, the most of any team in the league.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/04/30/mmqb/index.html#ixzz1tYDXStnl
you know the world is close to freezing over when guys on a niner board are praising peter king's opinion
Originally posted by lamontb:
you know the world is close to freezing over when guys on a niner board are praising peter king's opinion

exactly

bash a guy when he disagrees with you but love him when he agrees......zone logic
Originally posted by lamontb:
you know the world is close to freezing over when guys on a niner board are praising peter king's opinion

I didnt praise his opinion. I simply said that not EVERYONE thinks Ballke screws up like Maddog does every year. You can be critical of King all you want but he has more connections and talks to NFL people unlike you or anyone else on this board that claims to be analysts. Just sharing his thoughts.

I also happen to agree that Baalke did a great job with his trades. I also like that he had a plan to get play makers on offense. I didnt agree with everything but at least he had direction to the draft.
[ Edited by Ninerjohn on Apr 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM ]
Round 1, Coby Fleener TE 6' 3' Stanford
Round 2, A.J Jenkins WR 6' 0" Illinois (Or other WR)
Round 3, Robert Turbin RB 5' 10" Utah State
Round 4, Joe Looney G 6'3 Wake Forest
Round 5, Darius Fleming OLB 6'2" Notre Dame
Round 6, Trent Robinson FS 5'10" Michigan
Round 6, Jason Slowey C 6'3" Western Oregon
Round 7, Cam Johnson DE 6'3" Virginia

I think this would have been better!
Crazy grades you must work for the Press Democrat, You and Grant are thinking along the same lines, some would say Great minds think alike. I say if your thinking a like are you really thinking.
MDs grades are seriously flawed. The overwhelming weighting on the grades seems to be based on what MadDog thought the team should do, not on the player taken. The "pros" (Mayock/Kiper) grade based on the quality of the player and the value of the pick, to base a grade solely based on what you think should of happen (despite not knowing if it could of happened) is ridiculous.
[ Edited by Oakland-Niner on Apr 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM ]
Originally posted by MadDog49er:

Round 5- Darius Fleming- Good football player that is athletic, quick, and productive. Not sure how he fits on our team. I speculate the team will shift him inside to ILB, and he will compete for the primary backup role under Bowman. He provides some insurance in case Bowman does not re-sign with the team in the future. The team had greater needs, and there were better players on the board, so this is a head scratcher to me. Grade: D.

On the last version of your big board you had Fleming at #168. The Niners took him at #165, as an OLB. (That's where the Niners say he's gonna play, along with ST.)

Yet you think this pick only merits a "D" grade? That seems inconsistent on your part.

To the extent your criticism is based on the assumption that Fleming's gonna be an ILB, it appears you have made an error.

No wonder you're scratching your head over this pick; it appears you misdiagnosed the selection. It wouldn't be fair to assume that the team took AJ Jenkins as a TE, then criticise them for making a bad TE pick. Or to say that LMJ was drafted as a DE, and then argue that he can't set the edge on the run and lacks sufficient push to get to the QB, so the pick gets a low grade.

In addition, what better players--at OLB--were still on the board at #165? Cam Johnson? You had him pretty high (#76), and the Niners got him a #237. It doesn't seem fair to criticise them for not taking him at #165 when they got him at #237, does it?
[ Edited by oldninerdude on Apr 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM ]
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
MDs grades are seriously flawed. The overwhelming weighting on the grades seems to be based on what MadDog thought the team should do, not on the player taken. The "pros" (Mayock/Kiper) grade based on the quality of the player and the value of the pick, to base a grade solely based on what you think should of happen (despite not knowing if it could of happened) is ridiculous.
Seriously. There is no evidence that the Browns were open to trading back from #22 to #30, or that any other team with a pick before #24 (where DeCasto was taken) was willing or interested in making such a trade. MD's criticism is purely hypothetical, all imaginary. Its based on the assumption that within less than 5 minutes the Niners could have (a) read the minds of the Brown's war room staff and known that they were not happy with the selection before them, then (b) called them up and convinced them to swap #22 for #30 and #92. (IIRC, the Browns took QB Weedon at #22, and turned in their pick promptly, in less than two and a half minutes--as if they were happy with the pick at a position of need for them. Not a likely trade partner, it seems.)

Then there's the cost. Assuming they chose to make the deal, they get a RG who MIGHT be a probowler someday and lose AJ Jenkins--who also MIGHT be a probowler someday, and the #92 pick--which Baalke brilliantly turned into not one, not two, but THREE future picks, including a third rounder next year.

The question that presents itself is this: if DeCastro was THAT good (third best pick of the draft, behind Luck and RG III per MD), isn't it likely that Harbaugh would have known it and made sure they landed the guy? Isn't it more likely that DeCastro, although good, is really not THAT good--not the second coming of Steve Hutchinson or Larry Allen after all. The Niners clearly made the best call--sticking with what they had at #30, not sacrificing #30 and #92 for a RG.

Then there's the question of just how big an impact a RG, even a very good one, is gonna have. RGs typically pass protect and open running lanes. Its not an easy job, but its not considered a skill position. So who's more important for the current version of the Niners--who have four first round draft picks on the OL already--another OL, or additional skill players at WR and at RB, who will take the offense to the next level? Seems like a no brainer.
[ Edited by oldninerdude on Apr 30, 2012 at 3:54 PM ]
Originally posted by bzborow1:
I honestly don't know why people have a problem with Maddog49er's assessment of the 49ers draft. Why?

1. Before the draft, it was near consensus here that the 49ers needed a talented G/C early. This was not addressed in the draft.
2. The 49ers didn't need a RB. This was a luxury pick that the 49ers made instead of focusing on an impact G/C early in the draft. Also, is a 3rd down back who's not a natural pass catcher REALLY going to be our Darren Sproles?
3. I don't think any mock draft by any 'zoner had Jenkins going that early...it would appear ppl are attempting to rationalize the decision after the fact.

It would seem the 49ers draft was in violation of the 'zoners consensus which was the need for a G/C early in the draft. They violated this prediction with a WR many would consider to be a reach. I have no problem with an initial grade of C+ for this year and I hope MD is wrong....

1. The team disagrees. I think the team probably did the smart thing (took the best guy on their board) when no reasonable talents @ OG fell to them in the second round.
2. Frank has clearly shown he's on his last legs. Folks talk about the good season he had last year, it wasn't. He dropped a tonne of passes and created almost no yards on his own (and left plenty on the field). Jacobs is 30 years old. Dixon is terrible.
3. He's got the tools and the tape. I don't really care where he was mocked. He looks like he could be a nice player for us at a position of need (and he has the speed to stretch the field).
[ Edited by Evilgenius on Apr 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM ]
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Seriously. There is no evidence that the Browns were open to trading back from #22 to #30, or that any other team with a pick before #24 (where DeCasto was taken) was willing or interested in making such a trade. MD's criticism is purely hypothetical, all imaginary. Its based on the assumption that within less than 5 minutes the Niners could have (a) read the minds of the Brown's war room staff and known that they were not happy with the selection before them, then (b) called them up and convinced them to swap #22 for #30 and #92.

Then there's the cost. Assuming they chose to make the deal, they get a RG who MIGHT be a probowler someday and lose AJ Jenkins--who also MIGHT be a probowler someday, and the #92 pick--which Baalke brilliantly turned into not one, not two, but THREE future picks, including a third rounder next year.

The question that presents itself is this: if DeCastro was THAT good (third best pick of the draft, behind Luck and RG III per MD), isn't it likely that Harbaugh would have known it and made sure they landed the guy? Isn't it more likely that DeCastro, although good, is really not THAT good--not the second coming of Steve Hutchinson or Larry Allen after all. The Niners clearly made the best call--sticking with what they had at #30, not sacrificing #30 and #92 for a RG.

Then there's the question of just how big an impact a RG, even a very good one, is gonna have. RGs typically pass protect and open running lanes. Its not an easy job, but its not considered a skill position. So who's more important for the current version of the Niners--who have four first round draft picks on the OL already--another OL, or additional skill players at WR and at RB, who will take the offense to the next level? Seems like a no brainer.

I think you can make a pretty good argument Zeitler will be a better pro than DeCastro anyway. I don't think DeCastro was worth trading up for. Not sure any interior lineman is given a lot of them come out of the middle rounds (including All Pros, ala: Nicks & Evans).
So the issue here is credibility.... and I really appreciate how passionate you are with your analysis. It takes a lot of commitment to put something together like that and have a pretty solid opinion. However, given last off seasons picks and thus their results this season, your analysis this year has deservedly created many doubters. So I hope you're not shocked by their numbers.
  • fryet
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First, thank you MD for giving your draft analysis. I always look for your opinion first for the players that the 49ers draft. It is not surprising that you will rate the 49ers lower when they draft a player that you had ranked lower. That is what you have to expect from a draft analysis immediately after a draft. If you thought the player was better, you would have ranked them higher pre-draft. As you even stated in your analysis, post-draft analysis can be very wrong. A couple of comments that I have on your analysis and the players selected. Personally, I wouldn't rank the 49ers lower for not trading up in a draft. I think a fairer ranking system would be to judge them based on what players were available at their draft pick, as there are too many variables when you start to plan for trades. I would also consider WR and RG to be about equal in need for the 49ers. Sure, the bigger hole is at RG, but WR is a more impactful position. The 49ers could have gone either way at 30, and filled a big need.

The more I look at the first 2 players selected, I like the Jenkins pick. For the most part good measurables (except size and strength), good production, and most likely a better player than his college stats would indicate since he had a poor QB. Combine all of that and I can see big things coming from him.

I am not as big of a fan of LMJ. I watched his highlight film, and you certainly see the speed, however I don't see much of a football IQ. He isn't shifty, and he doesn't even use angles to extend runs. He just turns on the burners, and if he gets behind the defender he scores, but if the defender takes the right angle, he gets tackled. I am probably spoiled with Gore, but with Gore you see him get so much more yardage by just choosing the right direction to run. We can only hope that Gore can teach LMJ some of those tricks so that LMJ can score even when there is a defender between him and the end zone.
Thanks, MD, for putting all the time in to do this.

Thanks also to those of you who have remained civil in this thread and others concerning MD's (and OTC's) draft work.

As for the rest of you:

Originally posted by GolittaCamper:
Round 1, Coby Fleener TE 6' 3' Stanford
Round 2, A.J Jenkins WR 6' 0" Illinois (Or other WR)
Round 3, Robert Turbin RB 5' 10" Utah State
Round 4, Joe Looney G 6'3 Wake Forest
Round 5, Darius Fleming OLB 6'2" Notre Dame
Round 6, Trent Robinson FS 5'10" Michigan
Round 6, Jason Slowey C 6'3" Western Oregon
Round 7, Cam Johnson DE 6'3" Virginia

I think this would have been better!

disagree. Jenkins would of been picked 33rd by STL, and Harbaugh/Baalke said they felt Jenkins was a better WR then Fleener was a TE, so they went with the better player and a bigger need.

Also rather have it the way happened, got the extra 3 picks for 2013, when we have little need right now, where after 2012 we may lose Sopoaga, RJF, maybe Walker, and unsure of Moss, Jacobs and Goldson isn't extended yet.