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MadDog's Niners Draft Grade and Analysis

Originally posted by candlestick49er:
MadDog, thanks for your draft analysis. I happen to find your posts very entertaining because I tend to strongly (but respectfully) disagree with your views. I know my timing in this thread isn't the greatest but I've been meaning to respond to it. I'm not a draft expert by any means. My knowledge of the rookies are based mainly on scouting reports I've come across. Therefore, I'm not here to debate or argue with your player evaluations. I'm more focused on your reasoning behind the grades.


I think it's unfair to grade Jenkins an F because you believe we "could've/should've" drafted DeCastro. Unless you were in the war room during the draft, you don't know if a trade up was even a possibility. Its unreasonable to give an F grade based on an assumption. If you believe that Jenkins at 30th overall deserves a C+ then it makes sense to just go with that grade since its based on what actually happened.



Based on your reasoning, I'm confused why you think this pick deserves a D. I'm not sure what you expect from a 5th round pick but I think selecting a "Good football player that is athletic, quick, and productive" in this round is great. I understand you believe we had greater needs/better players on the board, but why is picking a good football player in the 5th round (or any late round) worthy of a below average grade?



You chose to put more emphasis on the first few picks and less on the later selections, but don't you think ALL the picks are equally as important when analyzing a draft class? The most successful draft classes include gems that were found in the mid-late rounds. Consider the greatness of Walsh's 1986 draft class (which didn't have a 1st rounder but instead had many mid-late round picks). The point I'm trying to get across is that the draft is about getting good football players throughout the process, not just the first few picks. The mid-late rounds are pretty important too. With that said, lets take a look at your draft analysis (with equal emphasis across the entire class):

1. Jenkins (C+) "good player, solid #2 WR"
2. James (D) "rotational back"
3. Trade (A) "good negotiation"
4. Trade (A) "great value"
4. Trade (A) "great value"
4. Looney (B-) "smart, savvy, technically sound"
5. Fleming (D) "athletic, quick, productive"
6. Robinson (A) "steal, one of the best FS prospects, outstanding pick"
6. Slowey (A) "terrific pick, brilliant play for a 6th rounder"
7. Johnson (A) "2nd-3rd round value, could be starting material"

According to your analysis, the positives include: 4 potential starters (Jenkins, Looney, Robinson, Johnson), 3 great/good trades, and a versatile backup with excellent upside (Slowey). The negatives include: a rotational back who wont be getting significant snaps and a backup LB who's out of place. It appears your pros far outweigh your cons regarding this draft. Take away your disappointment in not "trading up" for DeCastro and it no longer looks like a "C" draft anymore.

Thanks for your post and kind thoughts.

In regards to the first rounder, most teams in a pre-draft sample were actively attempting to move down the board in the first round. While it is possible that a whole run of teams were not willing to move down, it is highly unlikely. At 21, the Bengals did move down from 21 to 27. I don't think they would have mind selecting at 30 instead. At 22, the Browns lost out on the player they wanted, Kendall Wright, to the Titans at 20. At 23, the Lions may have been willing to trade down. Not sure on them. I just think that if you really valued the player, you would have sealed the deal. The team didn't, for whatever reason. I understand you questioning the downgrade for not making the deal, but if this was a franchise QB, and the team didn't make the move to ensure the pick, I think more people would tend to feel the same way I do in this downgrade.

As for Fleming, the grade was really about finding good value at a position of need. The team is set at OLB and ILB for 2012 and 2013 with solid players across the board. So, while a 7th round selection for a backup at the position makes sense, as they did with Johnson, using a 5th rounder is simply not good value. So, while the player is athletic, and was a good player at ND, to me, he is a tough fit in our scheme, and there were better players on the board in more needy areas. Hence, the head scratcher comment.

Draft grades are almost top heavy in their evaluation since late rounders are generally thought of as bench/role players, not difference makers. I don't see Jenkins or James to make the same impact as other guys that were on the board.

We'll see how it all plays out.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
In regards to the first rounder, most teams in a pre-draft sample were actively attempting to move down the board in the first round. While it is possible that a whole run of teams were not willing to move down, it is highly unlikely. At 21, the Bengals did move down from 21 to 27. I don't think they would have mind selecting at 30 instead. At 22, the Browns lost out on the player they wanted, Kendall Wright, to the Titans at 20. At 23, the Lions may have been willing to trade down. Not sure on them. I just think that if you really valued the player, you would have sealed the deal. The team didn't, for whatever reason. I understand you questioning the downgrade for not making the deal, but if this was a franchise QB, and the team didn't make the move to ensure the pick, I think more people would tend to feel the same way I do in this downgrade.

Can you supply a link for the bolded? To what "pre-draft sample" are you referring?

You don't think the Browns would care if they picked at 30 rather than at 27, but do you have any evidence to support that statement?

You further state: ". . . if this was a franchise QB and the team didn't make the move to ensure the pick, I think more people would tend to feel the same way I do. . . ."

How is it fair to compare a RG to a franchise QB?

Are you saying that DeCastro's gonna be the equivalent of Andrew Luck? If so, why wasn't DeCastro taken in the top 5, at least?

Can you explain how, in your hypothesis, an Andrew Luck would fall to #21?

Do you have any evidence to support the assumption that if Luck was somehow still on the board at #21, (a) any team with the pick at #21 would be willing to trade down and forego drafting a franchise QB, OR (b) the Niner's would not have tried to move up for him?

The problem with speculation and unsupported hypotheticals is that they can lead to virtually any conclusion.

I.e., "If frogs had wings, they wouldn't land on their butts when they jump." Its difficult to argue with that statement, unless you recognize that its just imaginary.

You have an absolute right to express your beliefs, feelings, and opinions about the draft, and I am glad that you continue to do so. Your posts almost always provide food for thought.

However, if you want to convince the rest of us of the merit of your stated positions, some evidence would be helpful.
[ Edited by oldninerdude on May 21, 2012 at 4:12 PM ]
DeCastro was by far one of the better players regardless of postion, available in this draft.

The Steelers got thier perfect Lineman.

The Niners want a guard suited at pushing the pile, sealing and pinching off. They have thier pulling guard in Iupati.

Wouln't be suprised if none of the players drafted in 2012 are still on the roster in 5 years
Originally posted by Grinner:
DeCastro was by far one of the better players regardless of postion, available in this draft.

The Steelers got thier perfect Lineman.

The Niners want a guard suited at pushing the pile, sealing and pinching off. They have thier pulling guard in Iupati.

Wouln't be suprised if none of the players drafted in 2012 are still on the roster in 5 years


Obviously DeCastro wasn't rated as highly as some on the board think that's why he dropped. Looney is faster 4.9 vs 5.4 (Decastro), more physical than DeCastro and they got him in the 4th and picked up 3 picks.....Genius move by Baalke.

Are you saying that none of the players we drafted in 2012 will be on the team in 5 years......I disagree.
With all due respect to Maddog (and he does deserve a lot of respect for his tireless research and for compiling his lists), I do disagree with his assessment for the simple reason that he seemed to have misunderstood the intent of the Niners' first two picks, which was to add explosive, fast, and dangerous players to their rather pedestrian offense.

Now, one can certainly disagree with...

1) Their strategy or approach to personnel decisions this off-season (which was clearly to shore up any major weaknesses through free agency and then to have the luxury of choosing whomever they really liked in the draft)...or...

2) Their choice of players in the draft based on their strategy...or...

3) The positions they chose to fill in the draft (WR, RB, OG, OLB, FS, C, and OLB)...and the value that those players bring to the team.

MD seems to be questioning the strategy itself (but please correct me if I am wrong) because he felt they should have shored up their biggest obvious weakness (at RG) in the first round and then gone after the so-called "skill-position" players later. That is certainly a valid criticism based on the recent failures of the OL and in particular, the RG position.

However, what that fails to take into account is the Niners' own player evaluations on the guys they had on the current roster. If for example, the Niners really like Kilgore, Boone, and Person and believe that any or all of those guys can effectively play RG, then using a first round pick on a guy like DeCastro doesn't make sense in their minds....especially when one takes into account that they are already committing a lot of money to the other 4 OL starters. Even if DeCastro ends up being a Pro Bowl player, the team may not be able to afford 2 Pro Bowl OGs in the long term....just saying.

I tend to think that each player chosen in a draft should be evaluated on...

1) His overall talent
2) What immediate need he fills
3) His work ethic / love for the game
4) What intangibles he brings to the team (leadership, enthusiasm, etc.)
5) The chances that he has to play and contribute to the team in his first year or two in the league
6) Whether or not he is a good "fit" in whatever offensive or defensive scheme the team plays

Because all post-draft grades are not based on a player's actual field production (because the player hasn't even played yet), they really are all simply educated guesses. I admit that I like to read draft grades as much as the next guy does but I think the Niners' approach this year was rather unique because they had so few obvious needs. Therefore, they could afford to take a few risks (or felt they could) and go after specific players they really liked. Such an approach is very difficult to praise or criticize because again, so much is unknown to us.

Based on the above criteria however, I think the Niners did a very good job with their picks. There is no telling how they will all play out (whether they will all be productive players or not) but I believe the Niners had a solid strategy, stuck with that strategy, and made solid picks based on it.

Cheers!
[ Edited by nw9erfan on May 22, 2012 at 12:20 AM ]
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
With all due respect to Maddog (and he does deserve a lot of respect for his tireless research and for compiling his lists), I do disagree with his assessment for the simple reason that he seemed to have misunderstood the intent of the Niners' first two picks, which was to add explosive, fast, and dangerous players to their rather pedestrian offense.

Now, one can certainly disagree with...

1) Their strategy or approach to personnel decisions this off-season (which was clearly to shore up any major weaknesses through free agency and then to have the luxury of choosing whomever they really liked in the draft)...or...

2) Their choice of players in the draft based on their strategy...or...

3) The positions they chose to fill in the draft (WR, RB, OG, OLB, FS, C, and OLB)...and the value that those players bring to the team.

MD seems to be questioning the strategy itself (but please correct me if I am wrong) because he felt they should have shored up their biggest obvious weakness (at RG) in the first round and then gone after the so-called "skill-position" players later. That is certainly a valid criticism based on the recent failures of the OL and in particular, the RG position.

However, what that fails to take into account is the Niners' own player evaluations on the guys they had on the current roster. If for example, the Niners really like Kilgore, Boone, and Person and believe that any or all of those guys can effectively play RG, then using a first round pick on a guy like DeCastro doesn't make sense in their minds....especially when one takes into account that they are already committing a lot of money to the other 4 OL starters. Even if DeCastro ends up being a Pro Bowl player, the team may not be able to afford 2 Pro Bowl OGs in the long term....just saying.

I tend to think that each player chosen in a draft should be evaluated on...

1) His overall talent
2) What immediate need he fills
3) His work ethic / love for the game
4) What intangibles he brings to the team (leadership, enthusiasm, etc.)
5) The chances that he has to play and contribute to the team in his first year or two in the league
6) Whether or not he is a good "fit" in whatever offensive or defensive scheme the team plays

Because all post-draft grades are not based on a player's actual field production (because the player hasn't even played yet), they really are all simply educated guesses. I admit that I like to read draft grades as much as the next guy does but I think the Niners' approach this year was rather unique because they had so few obvious needs. Therefore, they could afford to take a few risks (or felt they could) and go after specific players they really liked. Such an approach is very difficult to praise or criticize because again, so much is unknown to us.

Based on the above criteria however, I think the Niners did a very good job with their picks. There is no telling how they will all play out (whether they will all be productive players or not) but I believe the Niners had a solid strategy, stuck with that strategy, and made solid picks based on it.

Cheers!
You make some good points and obviously put some thought into your post. Well stated.

Two points. 1. The building of an effective OL seems, to me, to require more than just throwing the best five athletes out there and hoping they'll work together. Sometimes a guy who is not the most athletic is the one who has other intangibles that make the unit work best together. Snyder wasn't the physical specimen that Rachal was, but its hard to argue that the OL was better with Rachal at RG instead of Snyder. I was a little surprised, and disappointed, that they let Snyder walk, but he apparently priced himself off the team--and to his credit got what he was looking for. Its a business.

I find it difficult to believe that Boone is the answer at RG, but if he is, he wouldn't be the first guy 6'7" who played guard for the Niners. Wasn't Gogan 6/8" or so? If Boone can play himself onto the field at RG, so be it. However, like Snyder getting reps last year at Center, it looks like Boone is just getting some reps at G during the offseason. My belief is that Kilgore will be the starter at RG on opening day--and he is also the reason they let Snyder walk. Boone is too valuable at swing tackle. IMHO.

2. The drafting of LMJ was a real surprise, to me. He appears to fit all the categories you list, but with the addition of Jacobs in FA, and with Hunter already aboard, I thought they'd take someone a little bigger to groom as Gore's eventual replacement. In retrospect, and based on the explosiveness and versatility of LMJ, it appears that they wanted to add another weapon on short yardage plays, third downs, and in the red zone. That was a major weakness on offense last season.

It remains to be seen how the selection of LMJ will affect the roster. How many RBs will they keep? Who goes? Dixon? Jacobs? Cartwright? Or maybe even the unthinkable . . . ?

Finally, your post looks beyond the obvious draft strategy: "draft the highest rated guys to fill any holes on the roster;" and examines what the Niner's strategy may have been: "address the biggest weakness of the offense--the lack of speed and explosive playmakers."

As you point out, it remains to be seen whether the picks they made will adequately address that weakness, but its difficult to question the shrewdness, the intelligence of the stragegy. IMHO.
I will admit i had a man crush on DeCastro and Fleener, and went ballistic when Harbaugh did not trade up for DeCastro and passed on Fleener. Then someone pointed out to me that Harbaugh has worked with these kids for 5 years, recruiting process through their 3-4 years at Stanford. Harbaugh knows them as well as anyone evaluating them. If he felt so strongly about their talents, he would have taken one of them. Obviously he feels the present Guards and TE's are not the teams weakness and that the former Stanford stars where not his top pick,

You have to respect that.
Originally posted by 9erred:
I will admit i had a man crush on DeCastro and Fleener, and went ballistic when Harbaugh did not trade up for DeCastro and passed on Fleener. Then someone pointed out to me that Harbaugh has worked with these kids for 5 years, recruiting process through their 3-4 years at Stanford. Harbaugh knows them as well as anyone evaluating them. If he felt so strongly about their talents, he would have taken one of them. Obviously he feels the present Guards and TE's are not the teams weakness and that the former Stanford stars where not his top pick,

You have to respect that.
I thought, early on, that the Niners would try to add a playmaker with their first pick. And I hoped and believed that the guy they picked would be Fleener, who appears to be as much WR as TE, knows Harbaugh's system, and with VD and Walker would have caused opposing defenses all sorts of headaches.

So I, too, was disappointed that they passed on him, but like you say, who knows more about him and the other Stanford guys than Harbaugh?

As for DeCastro, I thought he was overrated by some. Larry Allen he's not, nor is he Steve Hutchinson. DeCastro is very, very good, and will undoubtedly have an outstanding career, barring injury, but he's more cerebral than physical, more technician than mauler (which may be a good thing), and his average speed is going to inhibit his ability to pull and to get to the second level in the pros. IMHO. I can see why Harbaugh would pass on him in the first round.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
You make some good points and obviously put some thought into your post. Well stated.

Two points. 1. The building of an effective OL seems, to me, to require more than just throwing the best five athletes out there and hoping they'll work together. Sometimes a guy who is not the most athletic is the one who has other intangibles that make the unit work best together. Snyder wasn't the physical specimen that Rachal was, but its hard to argue that the OL was better with Rachal at RG instead of Snyder. I was a little surprised, and disappointed, that they let Snyder walk, but he apparently priced himself off the team--and to his credit got what he was looking for. Its a business.

I find it difficult to believe that Boone is the answer at RG, but if he is, he wouldn't be the first guy 6'7" who played guard for the Niners. Wasn't Gogan 6/8" or so? If Boone can play himself onto the field at RG, so be it. However, like Snyder getting reps last year at Center, it looks like Boone is just getting some reps at G during the offseason. My belief is that Kilgore will be the starter at RG on opening day--and he is also the reason they let Snyder walk. Boone is too valuable at swing tackle. IMHO.

2. The drafting of LMJ was a real surprise, to me. He appears to fit all the categories you list, but with the addition of Jacobs in FA, and with Hunter already aboard, I thought they'd take someone a little bigger to groom as Gore's eventual replacement. In retrospect, and based on the explosiveness and versatility of LMJ, it appears that they wanted to add another weapon on short yardage plays, third downs, and in the red zone. That was a major weakness on offense last season.

It remains to be seen how the selection of LMJ will affect the roster. How many RBs will they keep? Who goes? Dixon? Jacobs? Cartwright? Or maybe even the unthinkable . . . ?

Finally, your post looks beyond the obvious draft strategy: "draft the highest rated guys to fill any holes on the roster;" and examines what the Niner's strategy may have been: "address the biggest weakness of the offense--the lack of speed and explosive playmakers."

As you point out, it remains to be seen whether the picks they made will adequately address that weakness, but its difficult to question the shrewdness, the intelligence of the stragegy. IMHO.

First, thanks very much for the kind words...and for actually reading my very long post.....

I really enjoy these type of respectful, thoughtful interactions in the zone, when we can share insights and opinions without immediate, emotionally-charged criticism. To me, this is when the Zone is at its best....and I appreciate you, and many of the vets for trying to keep the conversations interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking while remaining civil. As Harvey Keitel stated in Pulp Fiction, "That shows character"......not to mention maturity.

As I have said, I respect MD as much as any Zoner because he is a tireless researcher and a proven draft "expert"....often bettering even the most respected national "draftniks" out there. IMHO, the Zone is blessed to have guys like him, AB, OTC, and others such as yourself to add depth to these conversations. All of that said, I don't agree with everything these guys write...and that is when it gets even more interesting...because all of these "good Zoners" add perspective, and therefore, opportunities to learn more about the game and the team.

Now...to your post....

I completely agree with your comments about the building of an effective OL...and I myself would prefer Boone remain at his current post as "swing tackle", an extremely important position IMHO. However, what it always comes down to is this question.....what is ultimately going to make the team better? If Boone is the best option at RG on the team, then I'm cool with him taking that spot. For the first time since the Mariucci era ended, I can honestly say that I have complete faith in the Niner coaching staff to make these type of decisions because of how they pulled this team together so quickly last season.

Like you, I was very surprised when the Niners chose LMJ.....but unlike many others, I don't see him as a Kendall Hunter clone. I actually think he has more explosiveness or if you will...."to the house" ability. Hunter, IMHO, is being groomed to be another Ray Rice. He may never be an every down RB but I think the Niners are looking him to carry the bulk of the load when Frank Gore starts winding down...and I think that will happen next season, with Gore and Hunter splitting carries and then LMJ pairing with Hunter to really scare the cr*p out of the opposing defenses. Trying to cover both of those guys out of the backfield will be a LB's nightmare and the Niners' dream.

Before the draft, many zoners were wanting the Niners to draft Fleener (including me), because we all thought he would create mismatches for opposing defenses... Well, I think the choice of LMJ was made for precisely the same reasons.

Cheers!
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Can you supply a link for the bolded? To what "pre-draft sample" are you referring?

You don't think the Browns would care if they picked at 30 rather than at 27, but do you have any evidence to support that statement?

You further state: ". . . if this was a franchise QB and the team didn't make the move to ensure the pick, I think more people would tend to feel the same way I do. . . ."

How is it fair to compare a RG to a franchise QB?

Are you saying that DeCastro's gonna be the equivalent of Andrew Luck? If so, why wasn't DeCastro taken in the top 5, at least?

Can you explain how, in your hypothesis, an Andrew Luck would fall to #21?

Do you have any evidence to support the assumption that if Luck was somehow still on the board at #21, (a) any team with the pick at #21 would be willing to trade down and forego drafting a franchise QB, OR (b) the Niner's would not have tried to move up for him?

The problem with speculation and unsupported hypotheticals is that they can lead to virtually any conclusion.

I.e., "If frogs had wings, they wouldn't land on their butts when they jump." Its difficult to argue with that statement, unless you recognize that its just imaginary.

You have an absolute right to express your beliefs, feelings, and opinions about the draft, and I am glad that you continue to do so. Your posts almost always provide food for thought.

However, if you want to convince the rest of us of the merit of your stated positions, some evidence would be helpful.
Feel free to research what I read regarding writers who interviewed GM's before the draft about trading down in the first round.

The Browns did not pick at 27, the Bengals did.

Nobody is stating DeCastro is Andrew Luck. Certainly not on my board.

Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn, both considered franchise QB's, fell into the 20's.

As for the final statement, there were a myriad of trades in the first round. In fact, to my knowledge, it had more trades in the first 32 picks (8 on draft day) than any draft before, and I am not so sure it was close. I sincerely doubt it was impossible to move up to get the player, if they really wanted him. The Pats certainly did in moving from 27 to 21 to get Jones.

Teams rarely disclose to the media, post draft, their intent to move up and down. But, if you can get me media credentials for the teams in the 20's that selected before Pittsburgh, I'd be happy to ask the question.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Can you supply a link for the bolded? To what "pre-draft sample" are you referring?

You don't think the Browns would care if they picked at 30 rather than at 27, but do you have any evidence to support that statement?

You further state: ". . . if this was a franchise QB and the team didn't make the move to ensure the pick, I think more people would tend to feel the same way I do. . . ."

How is it fair to compare a RG to a franchise QB?

Are you saying that DeCastro's gonna be the equivalent of Andrew Luck? If so, why wasn't DeCastro taken in the top 5, at least?

Can you explain how, in your hypothesis, an Andrew Luck would fall to #21?

Do you have any evidence to support the assumption that if Luck was somehow still on the board at #21, (a) any team with the pick at #21 would be willing to trade down and forego drafting a franchise QB, OR (b) the Niner's would not have tried to move up for him?

The problem with speculation and unsupported hypotheticals is that they can lead to virtually any conclusion.

I.e., "If frogs had wings, they wouldn't land on their butts when they jump." Its difficult to argue with that statement, unless you recognize that its just imaginary.

You have an absolute right to express your beliefs, feelings, and opinions about the draft, and I am glad that you continue to do so. Your posts almost always provide food for thought.

However, if you want to convince the rest of us of the merit of your stated positions, some evidence would be helpful.
Feel free to research what I read regarding writers who interviewed GM's before the draft about trading down in the first round.

The Browns did not pick at 27, the Bengals did.

Nobody is stating DeCastro is Andrew Luck. Certainly not on my board.

Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn, both considered franchise QB's, fell into the 20's.

As for the final statement, there were a myriad of trades in the first round. In fact, to my knowledge, it had more trades in the first 32 picks (8 on draft day) than any draft before, and I am not so sure it was close. I sincerely doubt it was impossible to move up to get the player, if they really wanted him. The Pats certainly did in moving from 27 to 21 to get Jones.

Teams rarely disclose to the media, post draft, their intent to move up and down. But, if you can get me media credentials for the teams in the 20's that selected before Pittsburgh, I'd be happy to ask the question.
Sorry, I meant the Bengals, not the Browns--as you could easily tell from comparing your actual post to what I was trying to quote. Inserting in the term "Bengals" for the term "Browns," the question remains--do you have any evidence to support your statement that the Bengals would not have cared about drafting at #30 instead of #27?

We'd love to read the "pre-draft sample" to which you referred. I'm asking you for a link to it, or the name of it, or some description of it. Your response seems to imply that there really was no such "pre-draft sample" specifically.

Your post here is pretty much a non-response to any of the questions raised.

Nuff said. Thanks anyway.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Sorry, I meant the Bengals, not the Browns--as you could easily tell from comparing your actual post to what I was trying to quote. Inserting in the term "Bengals" for the term "Browns," the question remains--do you have any evidence to support your statement that the Bengals would not have cared about drafting at #30 instead of #27?

We'd love to read the "pre-draft sample" to which you referred. I'm asking you for a link to it, or the name of it, or some description of it. Your response seems to imply that there really was no such "pre-draft sample" specifically.

Your post here is pretty much a non-response to any of the questions raised.

Nuff said. Thanks anyway.

I think what you really want is an admission on camera or on audio tape from a Gm or GM's that they were: 1) actively attempting to trade down; 2) and at least to the 30th spot; before you believe that Baalke had this option. I think this option was available, but as stated, the GM's don't go around post-draft saying that they really wanted to move down but couldn't find a trade partner. It just doesn't happen.

I have already laid out the number of teams that did move down in the first round, have stated from my reading in the days before the draft that the bulk of teams in the first round wanted to move down (if you are skeptical, then you will have to do the research, otherwise trust that I understand the English language and that I am not making stories up).

You want undeniable proof that there was absolutely no option for the Niners to move up, that Cincinnati thought it was impossible to land their man at 30 if they traded back too far, that Cleveland had to stay at 22 (even though from all reports in nearby Cleveland that the target they wanted at 22 was gone at 20, which usually causes teams to trade back), that the Lions were in no way interested in moving down 7 slots to 30, and much more. I just don't buy the argument, based on following the draft for decades now, following information before, during, and after the draft, and what was happening in the first round, with the high number of trades. I sincerely doubt that Baalke's hands were tied, that he was stuck with that pick, and had no ability to go up and get DeCastro.
Ur opinion on our draft gets a F.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
I thought, early on, that the Niners would try to add a playmaker with their first pick. And I hoped and believed that the guy they picked would be Fleener, who appears to be as much WR as TE, knows Harbaugh's system, and with VD and Walker would have caused opposing defenses all sorts of headaches.

So I, too, was disappointed that they passed on him, but like you say, who knows more about him and the other Stanford guys than Harbaugh?

As for DeCastro, I thought he was overrated by some. Larry Allen he's not, nor is he Steve Hutchinson. DeCastro is very, very good, and will undoubtedly have an outstanding career, barring injury, but he's more cerebral than physical, more technician than mauler (which may be a good thing), and his average speed is going to inhibit his ability to pull and to get to the second level in the pros. IMHO. I can see why Harbaugh would pass on him in the first round.


Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by 9erred:
I will admit i had a man crush on DeCastro and Fleener, and went ballistic when Harbaugh did not trade up for DeCastro and passed on Fleener. Then someone pointed out to me that Harbaugh has worked with these kids for 5 years, recruiting process through their 3-4 years at Stanford. Harbaugh knows them as well as anyone evaluating them. If he felt so strongly about their talents, he would have taken one of them. Obviously he feels the present Guards and TE's are not the teams weakness and that the former Stanford stars where not his top pick,

You have to respect that.
I thought, early on, that the Niners would try to add a playmaker with their first pick. And I hoped and believed that the guy they picked would be Fleener, who appears to be as much WR as TE, knows Harbaugh's system, and with VD and Walker would have caused opposing defenses all sorts of headaches.

So I, too, was disappointed that they passed on him, but like you say, who knows more about him and the other Stanford guys than Harbaugh?

As for DeCastro, I thought he was overrated by some. Larry Allen he's not, nor is he Steve Hutchinson. DeCastro is very, very good, and will undoubtedly have an outstanding career, barring injury, but he's more cerebral than physical, more technician than mauler (which may be a good thing), and his average speed is going to inhibit his ability to pull and to get to the second level in the pros. IMHO. I can see why Harbaugh would pass on him in the first round.
I'm curious to know, just how much of Allen in college you saw ? Local broadcasting used to show Butte College games. Sonoma State wasn't exactly a regular on TV either. Hutch started as a true frosh and of course Michigan was often on the tele.
  • buck
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Originally posted by Grinner:
I'm curious to know, just how much of Allen in college you saw ? Local broadcasting used to show Butte College games. Sonoma State wasn't exactly a regular on TV either. Hutch started as a true frosh and of course Michigan was often on the tele.

Allen played at Sonoma St. I think we can safely assume that very few people saw him play.

But, if you were in the Bay Area, it was apparent that he was going to drafted and have a good NFL career.

I really thought he would do well, but on the other hand, very few people knew he would be the player he became.