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MadDog's Niners Draft Grade and Analysis

All this guard speculation is based on something that none of us can know; what do the 49ers know about Daniel Kilgore and his ability to play RG?

The 3rd round pick really doesn't play into this because it is hindsight. The only question worth asking: Would DeCastro be that much better than Kilgore AND AJ Jenkins? Would DeCastro help diversify the offense in the same way with Over-the-Hill Moss and Mario Mannigham as would Kilgore and Jenkins?

As anyone who has read any of my stuff here knows, I have been very critical of the interior of the OL last season. Snyder was below average and Goodwin was not as good as his rep. However, if Kilgore is a big improvement over Snyder, which is what we must take from the fact the team let AS walk, then the coaches are saying that the offense is better with Jenkins/Kilgore than it would have been with DeCastro/Manningham. (I don't include Moss until he proves he can still play...and WANTS to play every play.)
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
As for my draft board, based on my best player available board, in a straight up, no trade draft, I had:
Round One- Peter Konz, C/G
Round Two- Mohamed Sanu, WR
Round Three- Brandon Thompson, NT
Round Four- Malik Jackson, DE
Round Five- Vick Ballard, RB
Round Six- Antonio Allen, SS
Round Seven- Derrius Brooks, CB
Well just for fun, like we did last year, lets compare your posted "mock" draft to Baalke's actual draft in light of what actually occurred. You and Baalke, "mano a mano". Or "mano a perro" if you prefer.

And since you did not grade Baalke based just on the picks, but threw in trade speculation as well, that's got to apply to your "mock" as well.

Round 1--Peter Konz. C/G Drafted in the first round by you, but all 32 teams passed on him in the first round and he was taken by the Falcons at #55. He's 6'5" and 315 out of Wisconsin, and in previous posts you have expressed that you rated him very highly, espcecially at C. In other posts you have been highly critical of Jonathan Goodwin, the team's center who was a two time pro bowler (with the Saints).

Baalke's Round 1 pick was A.J. Jenkins at #30. A very fast, knowledgeable, productive WR with excellent hands and route running skills. Hard to find fault with taking him at #30, especially when guys like Blackmon and Floyd were already taken. Perhaps this is why you spend so much time with the speculative "they missed on a golden opportunity to move up and take DeCasto" argument. Its impossible to argue that they should have moved back to take Jenkins--since there's evidence that the Rams would have taken him at #33.
So head up, you would have taken a C that was clearly overrated by you, that would have been available in the mid to late second round, and Baalke took an underrated WR just before a rival would have snagged him. Advantage: Baalke

Round 2--Mohamed Sanu. WR drafted in the Second by you, actually taken in the Third round by the Bengals at #83 overall. He's 6'2" and 215 lbs. A possession type WR, who lacks the speed necessary to be a deep threat, but is very capable of catching in traffic and downfield blocking--characteristics that you have previously posted you believe the Niners value (who wouldn't). Trouble with the pick is that he's really just a mirror image, at best, of Crabtree--who's also 6'2" and 215ish, without the elite speed. Sanu, however, also lacks the extra long reach that Crabtree has.
Baalke used the second round pick, #61, to take LMJ, an explosively quick RB who adds a speed dimension out of the backfield that the Niners have been lacking for at least the past 8 years. Combined with the speedy Jenkins, the Niners now have two new playmakers who will increase the team's effectiveness on third down and short yardage situations. This will improve the entire OL play by making it less likely that the 5 OL will have to face 8 an 9 man defensive fronts in those situations.
Head to head: Advantage Baalke again. You did not increase the WR depth at all by adding a new or different dimension, but simply got a clone of Crabs.

Round 3--Brandon Thompson. NT out of Clemson, he's 6'2" and 314 lbs who was taken at #93 by the Bengals. He is, again, a virtual clone of a guy already on the Niners, Ian Williams, who signed with the Niners last season as an UDFA, and played NT at Notre Dame. So you spend a 3rd rounder on a guy who's gonna be fourth on the depth chart behind Sopoaga, RJF, and Williams. Seems like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the Third Round to pick Joe Looney at #117. He will compete for RG with Kilgore, Person, and Boone, and will, according to Baalke, someday be a starter. Considering the fact that your NT was not even on the board when Baalke selected Looney, the fact that Looney fell a little due to an untimely foot injury (and was actually rated as a second round value), and the fact that this pick addresses a position of actual, present need--
Head to head: Advantage Baalke again.

Round 4--Malik Jackson. DT out of Tennessee, he's 6'4" and 284, drafted by the Broncos, probably as a 3-4 DE, with the #137 pick overall. Again, he appears to be a clone of a guy already on the Niner's roster, Demarcus Dobbs. If the Niners had taken Jackson he'd be behind Justin Smith, Ray MacDonald, Takuafu, RJF, and Dobbs. In other words, a long shot to even make the roster. Again, why would the Niners want to take him in the Fourth to line up behind all those other DL guys? Seems, again, like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the Fourth round to pick Darious Fleming, a 6'2", 245 lb OLB out of Notre Dame, at #165. You described him above as "a good football player, athletic, fast, and productive." He plays ST, and will back up at OLB--where the Niners took a risk last year in carrying only 3 OLB. Fleming fills a need for depth and will contribute on ST. What's not to like.
Advantage: Baalke, again.

Round 5--Vick Ballard. RB out of Miss. St. who is 5'10" and 219 lbs that was drafted by the Colts at #170 overall. Strong and tough, but no elite speed or explosiveness, he would, again, have to compete with Gore, Hunter, Jacobs, Dixon and Cartwright. Adds nothing that Hunter and Dixon don't already provide, Seems like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the 5th round to take Trent Robinson at #180, a safety who's projected to backup Goldson and Whitner. Somewhat undersized, he's tough and has excellent coverage skills, and may find his way onto the field in nickel and dime situations, where coverage skills are more important than playing in the box. You gave him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.

Round 6--Antonio Allen. SS taken by the Jets at #242 overall, in the 7th round. He's 6'1", 210 and has the size expected of a SS. He fell, however to the 7th round, and you're taking him in the 6th. Doesn't appear to be a great value.
Baalke used the 6th round, pick #199 overall, to take Slowey, a small school OL with excellent strength, speed, and nastiness, who's probably gonna need a year on the PS to get a little bigger. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: this one might be even, depending on how these two guys develop over the next couple years.

Round 7--Darrious Brooks. CB out of W. Kentucky, he's 5'10" and 192 who went undrafted. All 32 teams passed on him in all 7 rounds.
Baalke used the 7th round to pick Cameron Johnson at #237, who surprisingly fell precipitously in the draft, but who appears to offer great value at OLB. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.

Now, if we take the hypothetical "trade up" "golden opportunity" scenario that you use to criticize Baalke, and apply it to your "mock" draft, it just gets worse. You'd have to subtract Konz AND Brandon Thompson, and add DeCastro, leaving you with one guy who might make the team, and start--DeCastro--and five other guys who would struggle to even make the roster.

Your "mock" does nothing to address the now very apparent preexisting problem with the Niner offense--the lack of speed.

Swapping DeCastro in for Snyder is not gonna make the OL better on short yardage downs when faced with 8 and 9 men fronts. The OL last year got swamped and overwhelmed in those situations, frequently. In retrospect, it was the most glaring problem with the team last season. The additions of Jenkins, LMJ, and Looney on the other hand will force defenses to rethink the "stacking the box, run-blitz" attitude after they get burned a few times by Jenkins on a slant, or LMJ out fo the backfield.

Thank goodness we now have a HC who is capable of identifying the problem and a GM capable of addressing it in the draft.

Compare that to Singletary's response to the same problem: "Give me some offensive linemen with bite." Sorta what you're proposing with the "draft Konz" or "draft Decastro" draft strategy. BTW, how'd that turn out for Singletary? Oh, right.

So thanks again for posting this whole "draft grade and analysis" thread. Its been a great way to help think about what Baalke and Harbaugh have done in this year's draft.
[ Edited by oldninerdude on May 3, 2012 at 11:12 AM ]
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Round 1--Peter Konz. C/G Drafted in the first round by you, but all 32 teams passed on him in the first round

Baalke's Round 1 pick was A.J. Jenkins at #30. since there's evidence that the Rams would have taken him at #33.
Pretty much the entire NFL passed on Jenkins in the first, not a knock on the kid but a fact. Just because the Rams were going to take him doesn't mean a whole lot of s**t to me...should we base our draft off the Rams board? Thats like saying Seattle is smart by taking Irvin that high because other teams were high on him. And I take the "comments from inside knowledge of war rooms" with a grain of salt, the Rams had 3 2nd round picks...we don't know their board.
Round 2--Mohamed Sanu. Trouble with the pick is that he's really just a mirror image, at best, of Crabtree--who's also 6'2" and 215ish, without the elite speed. Sanu, however, also lacks the extra long reach that Crabtree has.
Baalke used the second round pick, #61, to take LMJ, an explosively quick RB who adds a speed dimension out of the backfield that the Niners have been lacking for at least the past 8 years. You did not increase the WR depth at all by adding a new or different dimension, but simply got a clone of Crabs.

A clone of Crabs would be a always injured baby who doesn't play good in big games, that is not Sanu. Just because they share the same height/weight doesn't mean they are the same player.
Round 3--Brandon Thompson. NT out of Clemson, he's 6'2" and 314 lbs who was taken at #93 by the Bengals. He is, again, a virtual clone of a guy already on the Niners, Ian Williams
Joe Looney at #117. He will compete for RG with Kilgore, Person, and Boone, and will, according to Baalke, someday be a starter. Considering the fact that your NT was not even on the board when Baalke selected Looney, the fact that Looney fell a little due to an untimely foot injury (and was actually rated as a second round value), and the fact that this pick addresses a position of actual, present need--
Head to head: Advantage Baalke again.
Again thinking he's a "clone". Ian Williams is an UDFA who the NFL saw having no draft value, Thompson is the better athlete...having draft value. If we are going to skip over guys because they look similar then Trent is a massive idiot. And both NT's on the roster are without contracts after this season.

Boone is not going to RG. If you laugh at the "expert" rankings, why site them to make an argument. Crabs was injured but the talent was too go to pass up...with Looney that wasn't the case and the ratings were obviously wrong.
Round 4--Malik Jackson. DT out of Tennessee, he's 6'4" and 284, drafted by the Broncos, probably as a 3-4 DE, with the #137 pick overall. Again, he appears to be a clone of a guy already on the Niner's roster, Demarcus Dobbs. If the Niners had taken Jackson he'd be behind Justin Smith, Ray MacDonald, Takuafu, RJF, and Dobbs. In other words, a long shot to even make the roster. Again, why would the Niners want to take him in the Fourth to line up behind all those other DL guys? Seems, again, like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the Fourth round to pick Darious Fleming, a 6'2", 245 lb OLB out of Notre Dame, at #165. You described him above as "a good football player, athletic, fast, and productive." He plays ST, and will back up at OLB--where the Niners took a risk last year in carrying only 3 OLB. Fleming fills a need for depth and will contribute on ST. What's not to like.
Advantage: Baalke, again.
And again the clone argument. We need to get better everywhere, not sure why that is hard to understand. A 4th round pick should make the roster and the talent should be able to beat out the other backups. Who is the main DE if RJF is at NT......? No clear cut player means we dont have one.

Round 5--Vick Ballard. RB out of Miss. St. who is 5'10" and 219 lbs that was drafted by the Colts at #170 overall. Strong and tough, but no elite speed or explosiveness, he would, again, have to compete with Gore, Hunter, Jacobs, Dixon and Cartwright. Adds nothing that Hunter and Dixon don't already provide, Seems like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the 5th round to take Trent Robinson at #180, a safety who's projected to backup Goldson and Whitner. Somewhat undersized, he's tough and has excellent coverage skills, and may find his way onto the field in nickel and dime situations, where coverage skills are more important than playing in the box. You gave him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.


Dixon is trash at RB and Jacobs is a short term deal and may get cut now anyways. You do need power to move the ball and having a young option is not a bad idea. Chances are we add the same type of player in a year or two to replace Gore. Midget FS, time will tell.

Round 6--Antonio Allen. SS taken by the Jets at #242 overall, in the 7th round. He's 6'1", 210 and has the size expected of a SS. He fell, however to the 7th round, and you're taking him in the 6th. Doesn't appear to be a great value.
Baalke used the 6th round, pick #199 overall, to take Slowey, a small school OL with excellent strength, speed, and nastiness, who's probably gonna need a year on the PS to get a little bigger. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: this one might be even, depending on how these two guys develop over the next couple years.
At this point in the draft its hard to speculate how far guys will fall, Slowey may of fallen to the 7th as well. And some of these guys will get cut so thinking every prospect we draft is great while any alternative is not is a bit homerish and not thinking objectively.


Round 7--Darrious Brooks. CB out of W. Kentucky, he's 5'10" and 192 who went undrafted. All 32 teams passed on him in all 7 rounds.
Baalke used the 7th round to pick Cameron Johnson at #237, who surprisingly fell precipitously in the draft, but who appears to offer great value at OLB. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.
Again Johnson may of gone undrafted had we not taken him. And does it matter what other teams do...should we be basing our draft off of other teams, because they say its good? Lots of teams passed on lots of guys...we passed on guys who will turn out to be great.

The additions of Jenkins, LMJ, and Looney on the other hand will force defenses to rethink the "stacking the box, run-blitz" attitude after they get burned a few times by Jenkins on a slant, or LMJ out fo the backfield.

You don't even know if Looney will be starting so to assume he will force any team to do anything is pure speculation....and probably wrong. Take a good look at the roster and look to next year and you will probably see DE-NT-WR get drafted, even though we have "clones" of those guys right now. Trent will make mistakes, he is human. Following him blindly and thinking every pick is the best pick and not questioning him or at least looking at the other alternatives is not what this site is about. Critiquing players and the FO and discussing them is why we are here. You guys act like the FO is infallible and that's not the case, but going after posters who disagree with them like they did something wrong is dumb. I prefer a wait and see approach but crowning every pick in this draft better then any other alternative shows a lack of knowledge.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
As for my draft board, based on my best player available board, in a straight up, no trade draft, I had:
Round One- Peter Konz, C/G
Round Two- Mohamed Sanu, WR
Round Three- Brandon Thompson, NT
Round Four- Malik Jackson, DE
Round Five- Vick Ballard, RB
Round Six- Antonio Allen, SS
Round Seven- Derrius Brooks, CB
Well just for fun, like we did last year, lets compare your posted "mock" draft to Baalke's actual draft in light of what actually occurred. You and Baalke, "mano a mano". Or "mano a perro" if you prefer.

And since you did not grade Baalke based just on the picks, but threw in trade speculation as well, that's got to apply to your "mock" as well.

Round 1--Peter Konz. C/G Drafted in the first round by you, but all 32 teams passed on him in the first round and he was taken by the Falcons at #55. He's 6'5" and 315 out of Wisconsin, and in previous posts you have expressed that you rated him very highly, espcecially at C. In other posts you have been highly critical of Jonathan Goodwin, the team's center who was a two time pro bowler (with the Saints).

Baalke's Round 1 pick was A.J. Jenkins at #30. A very fast, knowledgeable, productive WR with excellent hands and route running skills. Hard to find fault with taking him at #30, especially when guys like Blackmon and Floyd were already taken. Perhaps this is why you spend so much time with the speculative "they missed on a golden opportunity to move up and take DeCasto" argument. Its impossible to argue that they should have moved back to take Jenkins--since there's evidence that the Rams would have taken him at #33.
So head up, you would have taken a C that was clearly overrated by you, that would have been available in the mid to late second round, and Baalke took an underrated WR just before a rival would have snagged him. Advantage: Baalke

Round 2--Mohamed Sanu. WR drafted in the Second by you, actually taken in the Third round by the Bengals at #83 overall. He's 6'2" and 215 lbs. A possession type WR, who lacks the speed necessary to be a deep threat, but is very capable of catching in traffic and downfield blocking--characteristics that you have previously posted you believe the Niners value (who wouldn't). Trouble with the pick is that he's really just a mirror image, at best, of Crabtree--who's also 6'2" and 215ish, without the elite speed. Sanu, however, also lacks the extra long reach that Crabtree has.
Baalke used the second round pick, #61, to take LMJ, an explosively quick RB who adds a speed dimension out of the backfield that the Niners have been lacking for at least the past 8 years. Combined with the speedy Jenkins, the Niners now have two new playmakers who will increase the team's effectiveness on third down and short yardage situations. This will improve the entire OL play by making it less likely that the 5 OL will have to face 8 an 9 man defensive fronts in those situations.
Head to head: Advantage Baalke again. You did not increase the WR depth at all by adding a new or different dimension, but simply got a clone of Crabs.

Round 3--Brandon Thompson. NT out of Clemson, he's 6'2" and 314 lbs who was taken at #93 by the Bengals. He is, again, a virtual clone of a guy already on the Niners, Ian Williams, who signed with the Niners last season as an UDFA, and played NT at Notre Dame. So you spend a 3rd rounder on a guy who's gonna be fourth on the depth chart behind Sopoaga, RJF, and Williams. Seems like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the Third Round to pick Joe Looney at #117. He will compete for RG with Kilgore, Person, and Boone, and will, according to Baalke, someday be a starter. Considering the fact that your NT was not even on the board when Baalke selected Looney, the fact that Looney fell a little due to an untimely foot injury (and was actually rated as a second round value), and the fact that this pick addresses a position of actual, present need--
Head to head: Advantage Baalke again.

Round 4--Malik Jackson. DT out of Tennessee, he's 6'4" and 284, drafted by the Broncos, probably as a 3-4 DE, with the #137 pick overall. Again, he appears to be a clone of a guy already on the Niner's roster, Demarcus Dobbs. If the Niners had taken Jackson he'd be behind Justin Smith, Ray MacDonald, Takuafu, RJF, and Dobbs. In other words, a long shot to even make the roster. Again, why would the Niners want to take him in the Fourth to line up behind all those other DL guys? Seems, again, like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the Fourth round to pick Darious Fleming, a 6'2", 245 lb OLB out of Notre Dame, at #165. You described him above as "a good football player, athletic, fast, and productive." He plays ST, and will back up at OLB--where the Niners took a risk last year in carrying only 3 OLB. Fleming fills a need for depth and will contribute on ST. What's not to like.
Advantage: Baalke, again.

Round 5--Vick Ballard. RB out of Miss. St. who is 5'10" and 219 lbs that was drafted by the Colts at #170 overall. Strong and tough, but no elite speed or explosiveness, he would, again, have to compete with Gore, Hunter, Jacobs, Dixon and Cartwright. Adds nothing that Hunter and Dixon don't already provide, Seems like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the 5th round to take Trent Robinson at #180, a safety who's projected to backup Goldson and Whitner. Somewhat undersized, he's tough and has excellent coverage skills, and may find his way onto the field in nickel and dime situations, where coverage skills are more important than playing in the box. You gave him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.

Round 6--Antonio Allen. SS taken by the Jets at #242 overall, in the 7th round. He's 6'1", 210 and has the size expected of a SS. He fell, however to the 7th round, and you're taking him in the 6th. Doesn't appear to be a great value.
Baalke used the 6th round, pick #199 overall, to take Slowey, a small school OL with excellent strength, speed, and nastiness, who's probably gonna need a year on the PS to get a little bigger. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: this one might be even, depending on how these two guys develop over the next couple years.

Round 7--Darrious Brooks. CB out of W. Kentucky, he's 5'10" and 192 who went undrafted. All 32 teams passed on him in all 7 rounds.
Baalke used the 7th round to pick Cameron Johnson at #237, who surprisingly fell precipitously in the draft, but who appears to offer great value at OLB. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.

Now, if we take the hypothetical "trade up" "golden opportunity" scenario that you use to criticize Baalke, and apply it to your "mock" draft, it just gets worse. You'd have to subtract Konz AND Brandon Thompson, and add DeCastro, leaving you with one guy who might make the team, and start--DeCastro--and five other guys who would struggle to even make the roster.

Your "mock" does nothing to address the now very apparent preexisting problem with the Niner offense--the lack of speed.

Swapping DeCastro in for Snyder is not gonna make the OL better on short yardage downs when faced with 8 and 9 men fronts. The OL last year got swamped and overwhelmed in those situations, frequently. In retrospect, it was the most glaring problem with the team last season. The additions of Jenkins, LMJ, and Looney on the other hand will force defenses to rethink the "stacking the box, run-blitz" attitude after they get burned a few times by Jenkins on a slant, or LMJ out fo the backfield.

Thank goodness we now have a HC who is capable of identifying the problem and a GM capable of addressing it in the draft.

Compare that to Singletary's response to the same problem: "Give me some offensive linemen with bite." Sorta what you're proposing with the "draft Konz" or "draft Decastro" draft strategy. BTW, how'd that turn out for Singletary? Oh, right.

So thanks again for posting this whole "draft grade and analysis" thread. Its been a great way to help think about what Baalke and Harbaugh have done in this year's draft.

Thanks for Mad for putting yourself out there and playing GM; not easy to do esp. when faced with rebuttals. OND, awesome job on capturing the thinking from a HarBaalke perspective to address the bigger-picture and immediate needs. I wanted Fleener and Alemeda and others so we shall see how things turn out down the road. Time will tell. This will be fun to revisit someday. Nice work to all that contributed.
  • fryet
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Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Originally posted by fryet:
Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Wow you completely missed the point.

MadDog is framing the argument in such a way to cast Baalke in a bad light by conveniently leaving out other possibilities.

He's essentially saying that the only reason we didn't trade up to grab DeCastro was because he was ill prepared, or because he overvalues a 3rd round pick. He assumes he knows that Baalke coveted DeCastro and he wasn't savy enough to trade up for the guy he wanted when in fact he has no way of knowing whether Baalke even had the desire to draft DeCastro at all. I'm not saying the Baalke knows best and knows more than MadDog. I'm saying the MadDog is jumping to a faulty logical conclusion in order to justify his continuing ongoing assault against Trent Baalke, which he has been doing since the day Baalke was hired.

Not sure why you chose to single out my post out of all of the responses in this thread....

You certainly aren't the only one who has used the argument "Ballke knows more than you". You were just the most recent. As I understand MadDog's reasoning, he was responding to those that were saying that Baalke was unable to trade up to get DeCastro. He was trying to show that it is likely that Baalke could have traded up, but chose not to. You are correct in saying that he assumed the reason was based on not being prepared for the scenario, and I will agree that you are correct that it may not have been unpreparedness, but a lower value on DeCastro that resulted in Baalke not trading up.

For what it is worth, personally I don't think it is worthwhile to grade a draft on a team failing to trade up, so I do have that issue with MD.
Again I never said that Baalke knew best or that he was right in his analysis. I was just trying to make a point that it could have been that Baalke just didn't like DeCastro as much as MadDog does and therefore had no motivation to move even if he had the option to. Whether Baalke would be right or wrong in this judgment I have no opinion as I do not follow the draft all that closely. MadDog could very well be right and Baalke indeed want to trade up. My point is not that MadDog is wrong, but that he is not presenting a balanced argument.

He said more than just that Baalke could have traded up but chose not to. That was stated in the 2nd paragraph and I have no problem with that statement. What he says after that is what I am taking issues to.


Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Again I never said that Baalke knew best or that he was right in his analysis. I was just trying to make a point that it could have been that Baalke just didn't like DeCastro as much as MadDog does and therefore had no motivation to move even if he had the option to. Whether Baalke would be right or wrong in this judgment I have no opinion as I do not follow the draft all that closely. MadDog could very well be right and Baalke indeed want to trade up. My point is not that MadDog is wrong, but that he is not presenting a balanced argument.

He said more than just that Baalke could have traded up but chose not to. That was stated in the 2nd paragraph and I have no problem with that statement. What he says after that is what I am taking issues to.

Ok, it looks like I misunderstood what you were saying originally. I was just tired of people using the argument that MadDog is wrong becomes Baalke knows more. Sorry for lumping you into that crowd.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Last year's post draft grade was a C, but many erroneously think I gave an F grade to the Smith pick and the entire draft. Just like last year, it has some highs and lows.

As for trading up, the Pats found a partner at 21 in the Benglas to move up from their 27th spot. The Browns probably would have moved down since the pick they really wanted from Cleveland media sources, K. Wright, was selected at 20. The Lions may have moved down as well.

In the end, teams like the Eagles and Patriots took the right approach, and did not use excuses to prevent them from the player they wanted. The Eagles waited and then pounced on Cox, the Pats waited and pounced on Jones. Either Baalke did not prepare for this situation effectively, or he did not believe sacrificing a third rounder was good value. In either case, the consequences will be that the team missed on a player that grades the best of any guard entering the draft in a decade, and in a serious position of need.

DeCastro walks in from Day One as the starter, and the team doesn't have to play games attempting to figure out how to resolve the position. It allows Kilgore to prepare to take over for Goodwin in a year, and allows Boone to be the primary backup for LT and RT. In the end, it solves our OL problems. If Looney comes in and plays at DeCastro's level, or if Kilgore or Boone or A. Davis steps in and plays at DeCastro's level, then I will be wrong in my review (and you will see a mountain of responses from board members who think I am way too harsh). I just don;t see it happening.

As for trade down partners, according to multiple reports, the majority of teams in the first round stated that they were looking to move down. I have a hard time believing that Baalke was a the cruel victim of circumstances, and that nobody wanted to trade with him. That was the excuse used last year regarding Patrick Peterson.

I think you're faulting the team for the wrong things. If Baalke liked DeCastro as much as you did, then he probably would've traded up to get his guy, much as he did with Kilgore, Davis, and Looney. But he didn't, which really means that you're disagreeing with his evaluation of DeCastro rather than his actions in the draft. There are people out there who didn't like DeCastro that much, so it's not really a slam-dunk proposition that you've made.
Originally posted by jreff22:
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Round 1--Peter Konz. C/G Drafted in the first round by you, but all 32 teams passed on him in the first round

Baalke's Round 1 pick was A.J. Jenkins at #30. since there's evidence that the Rams would have taken him at #33.
Pretty much the entire NFL passed on Jenkins in the first, not a knock on the kid but a fact. Just because the Rams were going to take him doesn't mean a whole lot of s**t to me...should we base our draft off the Rams board? Thats like saying Seattle is smart by taking Irvin that high because other teams were high on him. And I take the "comments from inside knowledge of war rooms" with a grain of salt, the Rams had 3 2nd round picks...we don't know their board.
Round 2--Mohamed Sanu. Trouble with the pick is that he's really just a mirror image, at best, of Crabtree--who's also 6'2" and 215ish, without the elite speed. Sanu, however, also lacks the extra long reach that Crabtree has.
Baalke used the second round pick, #61, to take LMJ, an explosively quick RB who adds a speed dimension out of the backfield that the Niners have been lacking for at least the past 8 years. You did not increase the WR depth at all by adding a new or different dimension, but simply got a clone of Crabs.

A clone of Crabs would be a always injured baby who doesn't play good in big games, that is not Sanu. Just because they share the same height/weight doesn't mean they are the same player.
Round 3--Brandon Thompson. NT out of Clemson, he's 6'2" and 314 lbs who was taken at #93 by the Bengals. He is, again, a virtual clone of a guy already on the Niners, Ian Williams
Joe Looney at #117. He will compete for RG with Kilgore, Person, and Boone, and will, according to Baalke, someday be a starter. Considering the fact that your NT was not even on the board when Baalke selected Looney, the fact that Looney fell a little due to an untimely foot injury (and was actually rated as a second round value), and the fact that this pick addresses a position of actual, present need--
Head to head: Advantage Baalke again.
Again thinking he's a "clone". Ian Williams is an UDFA who the NFL saw having no draft value, Thompson is the better athlete...having draft value. If we are going to skip over guys because they look similar then Trent is a massive idiot. And both NT's on the roster are without contracts after this season.

Boone is not going to RG. If you laugh at the "expert" rankings, why site them to make an argument. Crabs was injured but the talent was too go to pass up...with Looney that wasn't the case and the ratings were obviously wrong.
Round 4--Malik Jackson. DT out of Tennessee, he's 6'4" and 284, drafted by the Broncos, probably as a 3-4 DE, with the #137 pick overall. Again, he appears to be a clone of a guy already on the Niner's roster, Demarcus Dobbs. If the Niners had taken Jackson he'd be behind Justin Smith, Ray MacDonald, Takuafu, RJF, and Dobbs. In other words, a long shot to even make the roster. Again, why would the Niners want to take him in the Fourth to line up behind all those other DL guys? Seems, again, like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the Fourth round to pick Darious Fleming, a 6'2", 245 lb OLB out of Notre Dame, at #165. You described him above as "a good football player, athletic, fast, and productive." He plays ST, and will back up at OLB--where the Niners took a risk last year in carrying only 3 OLB. Fleming fills a need for depth and will contribute on ST. What's not to like.
Advantage: Baalke, again.
And again the clone argument. We need to get better everywhere, not sure why that is hard to understand. A 4th round pick should make the roster and the talent should be able to beat out the other backups. Who is the main DE if RJF is at NT......? No clear cut player means we dont have one.

Round 5--Vick Ballard. RB out of Miss. St. who is 5'10" and 219 lbs that was drafted by the Colts at #170 overall. Strong and tough, but no elite speed or explosiveness, he would, again, have to compete with Gore, Hunter, Jacobs, Dixon and Cartwright. Adds nothing that Hunter and Dixon don't already provide, Seems like a wasted pick.
Baalke used the 5th round to take Trent Robinson at #180, a safety who's projected to backup Goldson and Whitner. Somewhat undersized, he's tough and has excellent coverage skills, and may find his way onto the field in nickel and dime situations, where coverage skills are more important than playing in the box. You gave him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.


Dixon is trash at RB and Jacobs is a short term deal and may get cut now anyways. You do need power to move the ball and having a young option is not a bad idea. Chances are we add the same type of player in a year or two to replace Gore. Midget FS, time will tell.

Round 6--Antonio Allen. SS taken by the Jets at #242 overall, in the 7th round. He's 6'1", 210 and has the size expected of a SS. He fell, however to the 7th round, and you're taking him in the 6th. Doesn't appear to be a great value.
Baalke used the 6th round, pick #199 overall, to take Slowey, a small school OL with excellent strength, speed, and nastiness, who's probably gonna need a year on the PS to get a little bigger. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: this one might be even, depending on how these two guys develop over the next couple years.
At this point in the draft its hard to speculate how far guys will fall, Slowey may of fallen to the 7th as well. And some of these guys will get cut so thinking every prospect we draft is great while any alternative is not is a bit homerish and not thinking objectively.


Round 7--Darrious Brooks. CB out of W. Kentucky, he's 5'10" and 192 who went undrafted. All 32 teams passed on him in all 7 rounds.
Baalke used the 7th round to pick Cameron Johnson at #237, who surprisingly fell precipitously in the draft, but who appears to offer great value at OLB. You give him an A grade.
Advantage: Baalke.
Again Johnson may of gone undrafted had we not taken him. And does it matter what other teams do...should we be basing our draft off of other teams, because they say its good? Lots of teams passed on lots of guys...we passed on guys who will turn out to be great.

The additions of Jenkins, LMJ, and Looney on the other hand will force defenses to rethink the "stacking the box, run-blitz" attitude after they get burned a few times by Jenkins on a slant, or LMJ out fo the backfield.

You don't even know if Looney will be starting so to assume he will force any team to do anything is pure speculation....and probably wrong. Take a good look at the roster and look to next year and you will probably see DE-NT-WR get drafted, even though we have "clones" of those guys right now. Trent will make mistakes, he is human. Following him blindly and thinking every pick is the best pick and not questioning him or at least looking at the other alternatives is not what this site is about. Critiquing players and the FO and discussing them is why we are here. You guys act like the FO is infallible and that's not the case, but going after posters who disagree with them like they did something wrong is dumb. I prefer a wait and see approach but crowning every pick in this draft better then any other alternative shows a lack of knowledge.
Not saying that Baalke is infallible, or that every pick he made is gonna be great. Just comparing MD's "mock" draft to the Niner's draft in light of what actually occurred on draft weekend.

An exercise in thinking through the Niner's draft strategy, just using MDs "mock" as a tool for comparison purposes.

MD's mock contains a number of excellent players who will undoubtedly have some success in the NFL. Don't really care--more interested in trying to figure out the Niner's thinking process in this draft. The Niners, after all, are the ones who actually field a team in the NFL.

Try rereading my post from that point of view. Don't assume its an attack on MD's post, cause its not intended to be.

Critical reading skills are critical.
[ Edited by oldninerdude on May 3, 2012 at 12:37 PM ]
Originally posted by fryet:
Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Again I never said that Baalke knew best or that he was right in his analysis. I was just trying to make a point that it could have been that Baalke just didn't like DeCastro as much as MadDog does and therefore had no motivation to move even if he had the option to. Whether Baalke would be right or wrong in this judgment I have no opinion as I do not follow the draft all that closely. MadDog could very well be right and Baalke indeed want to trade up. My point is not that MadDog is wrong, but that he is not presenting a balanced argument.

He said more than just that Baalke could have traded up but chose not to. That was stated in the 2nd paragraph and I have no problem with that statement. What he says after that is what I am taking issues to.

Ok, it looks like I misunderstood what you were saying originally. I was just tired of people using the argument that MadDog is wrong becomes Baalke knows more. Sorry for lumping you into that crowd.
No problem man. Glad I could clarify.
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:

Awesome!!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Thanks for Mad for putting yourself out there and playing GM; not easy to do esp. when faced with rebuttals. OND, awesome job on capturing the thinking from a HarBaalke perspective to address the bigger-picture and immediate needs. I wanted Fleener and Alemeda and others so we shall see how things turn out down the road. Time will tell. This will be fun to revisit someday. Nice work to all that contributed.
Thanks for the kind words, and glad you see what I was trying to do.

I admit that I, too, wanted Fleener and was surprised at the selection of Jenkins in the first. I did not know who Jenkins was at first, although I was sure the Niners would pick someone other than what we all expected. Trying to figure out what they were up to in this draft has been fun and enlightening.

I have no idea how well Jenkins or LMJ, or any other pick will perform this coming season. I am, however, more and more impressed with Harbaugh and Baalke and their respective abilities. If this draft lives up to my newfound expectations--cures even some of the short yardage woes we're so used to seeing for so long--then next season is gonna be another very pleasant surprise. Harbaugh's team's gonna crush some opponents.
Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Lol. Couldn't it also be possible that Baalke and Harbaugh thought DeCastro was overrated? After all, Harbaugh had a perspective on DeCastro that no other coach had access to. Not saying you're wrong, but I don't think you're looking at this completely objectively here.

Could be they didn't grade him very well, could be they are depending on someone, fill in the blank to step up and assume the starting RG role, could be that they didn't value a trade up for a RG.

I think it was a mistake in judgment.
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
It could be a number of reasons:
1) Harbaugh who knows DeCastro better than any scout or anyone on this board did not agree that he was "the best guard entering the draft in a decade:
2) The team does not value Right Guard as a prime postion to use a first round pick on
3) The Niners think Kilgore could be very good ( which is why they traded up to get him)
4) They thought Looney is better than most think ( and again traded up for him)
5) Valued a 3rd rd pick and what they could potentially gather in picks by trading down ( which happened)
6) Felt that getting dynamic playmakers was the most important thing for this team

I have to admit I was hoping the Niners would move up to get DeCastro is well but I dont have the benefit of knowing what Harbaugh knows. Pretty sure Maddog doesnt either.

Could be any of the mentioned points. What I do know is that DeCastro is one helluva good player who would have instantly upgraded the position for a decade. No more games at RG, which the team has been playing since Justin Smiley left.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
So now you're saying the Niners shouldn't have taken Fleming in the 5th round because he's not gonna start? He's just a special teams guy? Just how many fifth round picks are expected to be starters as rookies in the NFL? That doesn't sound like a very sound basis for your continued criticism of the Fleming pick.

Just how many NTs or DEs or Cs or Gs play special teams? Not many. And not many TEs play special teams either. Not when there's a mobile and hostile ILB, OLB, or FB who can fill the bill. And the Niners got a secondary guy, Trent Robinson, a guy you actually like, so your reasoning there seems a little hollow.

Looks like Fleming was drafted primarily for ST, and has the versatility to play OLB and maybe ILB if need be. He's 6'2" and 245, ran a 4.55 at his pro day, and appears to be a good character, gold helmet, football player type. Not a superstar, but not a "D": pick either. .

Bottom line, you had Fleming listed at #168 on your board, the Niners took him at #165, but you still give them a "D" for the pick. Seems, at the least, inconsistent on your part.

Fleming is a square peg in a round hole. He is a short OLB in a 34 defense, and few of these guys are effective in the NFL. Of course, there are acceptions, but not many. My argument once again, better players on the board.

The Niners made a better sixth round choice in Robinson, who actually has a chance to be a starter for the team someday. Fleming has zero chance. It is all about gettting value for the pick, and to select a LB who will be buried on the depth chart, having no chance to play outside of special teams...with a fifth rounder. Value, my friend. Just don't see it.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
This post is full of unsupported speculation.

Further, the posted argument--that the Niners needed to draft DeCasto in order to solve their "OL problems"--also appears to be badly misguided. One could argue that the position stated in this post completely ignores or overlooks the state of the Niner's offense last season.

According to the post, the Niners needed yet another first round selection at OL in order to cure a somewhat anemic offense that struggled on third downs, on short yardage situations, in the red zone, and with pass protection. As if adding DeCastro would suddenly, magically cure all these ills.

But the trouble did not lie solely with the OL. Rather, it could be traced to a lack of a sufficient number of playmakers who are able to get separation and get open, especially on third down and in short yardage situations. Opposing teams last season were frequently able to overwhelm the OL with numbers in these situations because they knew our skill players did not have the speed necessary to get open quickly and allow the QB to get the ball out of his hands fast enough.

So the genius cure by Harbaugh and Baalke is to add two speedy playmakers to stretch the field, get separation (and get open), and take the pressure off the QB and the OL.

There's just no way the addition of DeCasto at RG would have cured the third down ills that plagued the team last year. But the addition of Jenkins, James and Looney will go a long way towards doing so. IMHO.

So the post above is really just speculating about something that's a non-issue as far as improving the offense is concerned. Would adding DeCastro have helped? Probably. Would it have solved the third down problems. Not likely. Good as he is, DeCastro is not quick, fast, or speedy enough to get separation and get open on critical downs, nor is it his job to do so, obviously.

It seems pretty clear that Baalke got the guy he was targeting all along--both in the first and in the second round. So the completely unsupported argument that he coulda or shoulda tried to trade to get DeCastro is not only purely speculative, its also compeletely frivolous.

The post shows a lack of understanding about what the Niners were trying to accomplish in the draft, for the offense, in the first place. IMHO.

Which would be better to cure the third down/short yardage ills, getting a great RG, or getting a really good RG, a terrific WR with great speed, AND a terrific third down RB with great speed (and adding a bunch of picks next year as well). Seems like a pretty easy call.

BTW, thanks to MadDog for framing this issue the way he did. It may not have been his intent to do so, but presenting the argument the way he does allows Niner fans to more closely examine just what Baalke and Harbaugh set out to do, and accomplished, in the draft this year.

This draft was deep in WR's, and the difference between a player like Jenkins and another WR like Randle, Quick, Jones, to me is negligible. The difference between DeCastro and every other guard not named Glenn or Brooks, is wide. It is the way you grade players and the value you place on how they project in the future.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Thanks for Mad for putting yourself out there and playing GM; not easy to do esp. when faced with rebuttals. OND, awesome job on capturing the thinking from a HarBaalke perspective to address the bigger-picture and immediate needs. I wanted Fleener and Alemeda and others so we shall see how things turn out down the road. Time will tell. This will be fun to revisit someday. Nice work to all that contributed.

Thanks for the kind thoughts. Once again, this is just for fun. Nobody should get upset in the process.