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MadDog's Niners Draft Grade and Analysis

Originally posted by daragon:
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
MadDog, thanks for the analysis. As the first draft was unfolding I was hoping like heck the 49ers were going to make a move for DeCastro. Then, in the second round, I was hoping like heck Konz would fall just a little bit further (after the Bears traded up for Jeffrey instead of Konz, I thought he had a chance).

But don't you think it's obvious in hindsight that (1) the 49ers didn't consider OL a big need, (2) they didn't have DeCastro or Konz graded as highly as most of us (for that matter, none of the NFL teams seemed to)?

Given (1) and (2), don't you think your grades are too low? You're projecting your own draft crush (DeCastro) onto what you think the 49ers should have done, but the 49ers did exactly what they set out to do. It's not like they botched their plan. They just didn't want the guys that we wanted them to want...

Great post. I completely agree with you. I think this draft was outstanding.

This. I'm not sold on the first 2 picks either but the potential is def there. Also our ability to create match-up nightmares has increased significantly. Baalke and Harbaugh are trying to turn us into a very dangerous team on both sides of the ball. For now, I think everyones grade should be incomplete untill a few years pass.
  • cciowa
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 22,992
the dog does not like the first two picks, most disagree. they hope he is wrong. the dog is a good poster who hopes he is not right. it is ok to be critical of the team when you think they did not draft well and despite what some say, it is ok to be critical of JH and the front office when you think they screwed up,, aka almost losing alex after they lost out on manning due to thier arrogance. but back to topic. we needed to get better and maybe faster on offense, i think we did and we really needed to draft for depth in key areas and we did that to. In regards to the players themselves i do not know much about any of them cuz i do not watch college football. I guess i go by highlights, stats, who they play against and what most of the posters here say.My only want was marvin mcnutt, oh well
Forget personal attacks on MD, he has logic to back opinions. Even if I disagree with him
I feel the same about AJ Jenkins as I did about Aldon last year. It was the "what the F___?" But Baalke's track record has allowed me to calm down and be optimistic. The concern is the whole "Ronald Johnson" thing, blew that eval.


And if LaMichael James stays healthy, he will outperform his draft position. Too explosive and I think the Darren Sproles comparison is real.
  • dj43
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,131
I enjoy all the analysis from MD, OTC, AB and the others. I had a very busy schedule this year so I didn't have as much time to follow it all as I would have liked.

I am not as down on the first two picks as MD. The way I saw this draft was Harbaugh saying loudly and clearly, "WE ARE NOT JUST GOING TO BE A POWER RUNNING TEAM AGAIN! WE ARE NOT. Someone else said that JH ran what he ran last season because that is all he had. I agree fully with that. That is why they signed Manningham and Moss to replace (?) Edwards and Morgan, a move I believe will result in a marginal improvement. However, that clearly was not enough to satisfy Harbaugh. He was embarrassed with the lack of production and weapons on the offense for a franchise that wrote the book on offense. The AJ Jenkins pick was about weapons to restore the historical orientation of this franchise. Nothing less.

Same overall analysis works for the LMJ pick. Gore, even when healthy and younger was never a breakaway back. Bill Walsh used to say that "the first sign of a player beginning to show his age was not the lack of productivity but the fact they could not stay away from injuries. Once that begins to occur the production drop off is right behind it." Last year we saw that begin to happen with Gore. He was productive early in the season and then the injuries started piling up and his production dropped. He has been a great warrior for this franchise but if we apply the Walshian analysis, his career is much closer to the end than we want to admit. Hence, his replacement needed to be on the roster NOW.

As to Gore's replacement, Hunter is the immediate future. Short, strong, quick and decisive. He is ready to be the every down back...until he is injured, something that happens to every down backs. When/if that happens, the next man up is Jacobs and he is NOT going to scare anyone. IMO, Jacobs was signed because Baalke/Harbaugh do not expect Dixon to make the roster again. Hence, the James pick not only provides a young quality back, but also one that provides more of that explosiveness that Harbaugh has demanded. By mid-season, I expect to see Hunter starting with Jacobs in spot duty and James playing the Sproles role much sooner than some expect. Afterall, as a former college coach used to developing players in a short period of time, Harbaugh will get James into the lineup much quicker than the typical pro coach.

The key point I take away from the 1st pick is that Harbaugh is convinced that Kilgore is going to provide at least Snyder quality RG play right away. If not, and if they thought DeCastro was as good as some think, they would have made the move up. Since they did not, I have to assume Looney is a project guard and Jenkins solved the most immediate need...and that says a lot because a lot of you have read how dissatisfied I was with the interior OL pass protection this past season.

Overall I give them a B for both the #1 and #2. Baalke is a former scout and a pretty good one and Harbaugh has seen some pretty good players develop on his watch. I believe they have a solid plan in place based on a lot of scouting and observation of last year's roster in practice time that was not open to the press.

We all want to be experts at this time of the year, so there is my "expert" opinion. Now take that and $2.25 and go get yourselves a Starbucks.
So let me grade the maddog draft

Round One- Peter Konz, C/G - Team wants to improve offense and move chains. Konz is veratile, but often injured, pro bowl center on the niners with two years left on contract, question mark on ability to move to RG. Grade B because position of need.

Round Two- Mohamed Sanu, WR - Does not bring anything to the table that Manningham or Crabtree cannot do. Good possession WR, but with Moss also under contract, he is the 4th to 5th best WR and cannot return kicks. Grade C

Round Three- Brandon Thompson, NT - Great pick, with Isaac Sopoage having only 1 year left on his contract, and Ian Williams unproven, this is a good pick. A


Round Four- Malik Jackson, DE - Potentially will not make the team as he is no better than Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, RJF and Tukufua (who has 2 years left on his contract). Grade-C

Round Five- Vick Ballard, RB - A straight line runner is not what this offense needs. No return ability, going away from smash mouth football. A DiXon clone. Grade- incomplete, because any player in round 5 or lower should not warrant lower than a C. IT your grade of a D on the ND linebacker was puzzling. At least he can contribute on ST's, and step in if Larry Grant gets signed away.

Round Six- Antonio Allen, SS - Team needs a safety who can cover better, not a SS. Grade C

Round Seven- Derrius Brooks, CB - PS bound, grade incomplete.

So with knowing how the draft would unfold I give you a B-/C+

I am in one million percent agreement that the Niners should have traded up to grab De Castro. I was screaming at my TV like a lunatic, give up this years 3 or next years 2, I don't care, grab De Castro NOW at 22 or 23.
Originally posted by 9erred:
So let me grade the maddog draft

Round One- Peter Konz, C/G - Team wants to improve offense and move chains. Konz is veratile, but often injured, pro bowl center on the niners with two years left on contract, question mark on ability to move to RG. Grade B because position of need.

Round Two- Mohamed Sanu, WR - Does not bring anything to the table that Manningham or Crabtree cannot do. Good possession WR, but with Moss also under contract, he is the 4th to 5th best WR and cannot return kicks. Grade C

Round Three- Brandon Thompson, NT - Great pick, with Isaac Sopoage having only 1 year left on his contract, and Ian Williams unproven, this is a good pick. A


Round Four- Malik Jackson, DE - Potentially will not make the team as he is no better than Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, RJF and Tukufua (who has 2 years left on his contract). Grade-C

Round Five- Vick Ballard, RB - A straight line runner is not what this offense needs. No return ability, going away from smash mouth football. A DiXon clone. Grade- incomplete, because any player in round 5 or lower should not warrant lower than a C. IT your grade of a D on the ND linebacker was puzzling. At least he can contribute on ST's, and step in if Larry Grant gets signed away.

Round Six- Antonio Allen, SS - Team needs a safety who can cover better, not a SS. Grade C

Round Seven- Derrius Brooks, CB - PS bound, grade incomplete.

So with knowing how the draft would unfold I give you a B-/C+

I am in one million percent agreement that the Niners should have traded up to grab De Castro. I was screaming at my TV like a lunatic, give up this years 3 or next years 2, I don't care, grab De Castro NOW at 22 or 23.
Interesting that you'd be so passionate about getting DeCastro, yet Harbaugh--who recruited him for one year and coached him for three--apparently was not so inclined. Wonder why.

Was it because of something about DeCasto's game that Harbaugh knows about but we don't?

Was it that the Browns simply were not interested in trading down?

Or was it because there were other guards available later who graded as high, or almost as high, that could be taken without sacrificing the option of drafting a fast, sure handed, intelligent WR the likes of whom the team has not seen in a decade?
Originally posted by dj43:
I enjoy all the analysis from MD, OTC, AB and the others. I had a very busy schedule this year so I didn't have as much time to follow it all as I would have liked.

I am not as down on the first two picks as MD. The way I saw this draft was Harbaugh saying loudly and clearly, "WE ARE NOT JUST GOING TO BE A POWER RUNNING TEAM AGAIN! WE ARE NOT. Someone else said that JH ran what he ran last season because that is all he had. I agree fully with that. That is why they signed Manningham and Moss to replace (?) Edwards and Morgan, a move I believe will result in a marginal improvement. However, that clearly was not enough to satisfy Harbaugh. He was embarrassed with the lack of production and weapons on the offense for a franchise that wrote the book on offense. The AJ Jenkins pick was about weapons to restore the historical orientation of this franchise. Nothing less.

Same overall analysis works for the LMJ pick. Gore, even when healthy and younger was never a breakaway back. Bill Walsh used to say that "the first sign of a player beginning to show his age was not the lack of productivity but the fact they could not stay away from injuries. Once that begins to occur the production drop off is right behind it." Last year we saw that begin to happen with Gore. He was productive early in the season and then the injuries started piling up and his production dropped. He has been a great warrior for this franchise but if we apply the Walshian analysis, his career is much closer to the end than we want to admit. Hence, his replacement needed to be on the roster NOW.

As to Gore's replacement, Hunter is the immediate future. Short, strong, quick and decisive. He is ready to be the every down back...until he is injured, something that happens to every down backs. When/if that happens, the next man up is Jacobs and he is NOT going to scare anyone. IMO, Jacobs was signed because Baalke/Harbaugh do not expect Dixon to make the roster again. Hence, the James pick not only provides a young quality back, but also one that provides more of that explosiveness that Harbaugh has demanded. By mid-season, I expect to see Hunter starting with Jacobs in spot duty and James playing the Sproles role much sooner than some expect. Afterall, as a former college coach used to developing players in a short period of time, Harbaugh will get James into the lineup much quicker than the typical pro coach.

The key point I take away from the 1st pick is that Harbaugh is convinced that Kilgore is going to provide at least Snyder quality RG play right away. If not, and if they thought DeCastro was as good as some think, they would have made the move up. Since they did not, I have to assume Looney is a project guard and Jenkins solved the most immediate need...and that says a lot because a lot of you have read how dissatisfied I was with the interior OL pass protection this past season.

Overall I give them a B for both the #1 and #2. Baalke is a former scout and a pretty good one and Harbaugh has seen some pretty good players develop on his watch. I believe they have a solid plan in place based on a lot of scouting and observation of last year's roster in practice time that was not open to the press.

We all want to be experts at this time of the year, so there is my "expert" opinion. Now take that and $2.25 and go get yourselves a Starbucks.





really?

gore's comin off a pro-bowl season. he ain't done. do you know why he played well in the playoffs? he was well rested. With James, there is now more opportunity to rest Gore.

It is my belief Harbaugh wants to take care of his bell cow, which Gore will continue to be, at least through this season.

gettin sick of ppl saying he's done
  • mike
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 1,827
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Interesting that you'd be so passionate about getting DeCastro, yet Harbaugh--who recruited him for one year and coached him for three--apparently was not so inclined. Wonder why.

Was it because of something about DeCasto's game that Harbaugh knows about but we don't?

Was it that the Browns simply were not interested in trading down?

Or was it because there were other guards available later who graded as high, or almost as high, that could be taken without sacrificing the option of drafting a fast, sure handed, intelligent WR the likes of whom the team has not seen in a decade?

Could have been a lot of those options. Also it seemed like Baalke had the whole thing planned out(names put in envelopes) and wasn't going to get too excited when someone unexpected started falling. Certainly it would have made for an interesting discussion if he fell past the Steelers but I think they weren't interested in trading up that pick because it would throw off their whole plan.

It's easy to look back and say we should have hopped up to 23, but maybe when you're seeing someone fall he keeps falling past the Steelers. You never know. Maybe Cleveland wasn't interested in a trade like you said, they got Weeden and if they traded back they likely could have missed him.
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by 9erred:
So let me grade the maddog draft

Round One- Peter Konz, C/G - Team wants to improve offense and move chains. Konz is veratile, but often injured, pro bowl center on the niners with two years left on contract, question mark on ability to move to RG. Grade B because position of need.

Round Two- Mohamed Sanu, WR - Does not bring anything to the table that Manningham or Crabtree cannot do. Good possession WR, but with Moss also under contract, he is the 4th to 5th best WR and cannot return kicks. Grade C

Round Three- Brandon Thompson, NT - Great pick, with Isaac Sopoage having only 1 year left on his contract, and Ian Williams unproven, this is a good pick. A


Round Four- Malik Jackson, DE - Potentially will not make the team as he is no better than Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, RJF and Tukufua (who has 2 years left on his contract). Grade-C

Round Five- Vick Ballard, RB - A straight line runner is not what this offense needs. No return ability, going away from smash mouth football. A DiXon clone. Grade- incomplete, because any player in round 5 or lower should not warrant lower than a C. IT your grade of a D on the ND linebacker was puzzling. At least he can contribute on ST's, and step in if Larry Grant gets signed away.

Round Six- Antonio Allen, SS - Team needs a safety who can cover better, not a SS. Grade C

Round Seven- Derrius Brooks, CB - PS bound, grade incomplete.

So with knowing how the draft would unfold I give you a B-/C+

I am in one million percent agreement that the Niners should have traded up to grab De Castro. I was screaming at my TV like a lunatic, give up this years 3 or next years 2, I don't care, grab De Castro NOW at 22 or 23.
Interesting that you'd be so passionate about getting DeCastro, yet Harbaugh--who recruited him for one year and coached him for three--apparently was not so inclined. Wonder why.

Was it because of something about DeCasto's game that Harbaugh knows about but we don't?

Was it that the Browns simply were not interested in trading down?

Or was it because there were other guards available later who graded as high, or almost as high, that could be taken without sacrificing the option of drafting a fast, sure handed, intelligent WR the likes of whom the team has not seen in a decade?

the Dunning-Kruger effect explains, in large part, why fans become arm-chair GM's
  • AmpLee
  • Hall of Fame
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Hey everyone, don't insult Maddog, but rest assured nothing will happen when he insults you.

As for the grades, I don't know why anyone would have a clue. Some guys turn into Desean Jackson, some turn into Peter Warrick. It's almost impossible to tell what a draft will give on hype alone. I will say this though, our biggest weakness last year was our receiving corps and our FO has given us a polished draft pick along with some potential help via free agency. The luxury of grabbing a RB that is dangerous in the open field is also something we were lacking. Sure, on paper, these guys might not look like needs, but all one needs to do is rewatch our NFC championship game to find the biggest areas of need on our team; areas we addressed with our first two picks. It's hard not to like the guys we selected and I can't wait to see them on the field. It's no surprise MD didn't like these picks as he fancies himself more qualified to run our team than the guy who just won executive of the year. But I'm sure he'll come around once Baalke builds us a perennial super bowl contender.

Cheers
  • flow
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,394
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
We differed a bit this year and one example would be our sixth rounder. I was very unenthused by the Trenton Robinson pick. In my opinion, his trait of "not being afraid to tackle" is negated by his inability to tackle well or get run over because of his midget size compared to most NFL players.

I gave him a 6th-7th round grade because I thought the primary attributes needed to be a starting safety weren't there -- good tackling and the ability to physically match up with strong receivers. His IQ is good I think and he's decently athletic, so my belief is he would make he mark on special teams.

Robinson to me was a guy that wouldn't fit what we need at safety. Too short (below 5-10), easy to throw over because of that and his tendency to get outmuscled would make him less effective fighting for balls he might have a chance at, and a guy who even if he was in position with the receiver may not be able to make the tackle after the catch since I don't think he tackles all that well. In the Senior Bowl, he was horrendous really.

In my mind, he's actually a better fit for a slot corner. I think that matches up to his abilities better. It's all a matter of opinion though, so we'll see. If they really like him, it wouldn't shock me to see them let Goldson walk for big money in 2013. But that'd be a terrible move.

But if he's anything like these early minutes of this clip (and to be honest, this was a game I didn't even catch, but was much like the others I watched of Robinson), he won't do much here.


I pretty much like all our picks except Robinson. I hope he was just a "Seely pick" and stays on special teams.
  • mike
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 1,827
Originally posted by cciowa:
people who loved taylor mays and nate davis and ripped the dog when he dared to disagree with them should talk about credibility
MD hates on nearly every pick so yeah he's gonna get some right lol.

But to be fair JJ watts over Aldon is not that big of a deal. JJ didn't have the sacks Aldon did but made a tremendous impact and looked like a more complete every down DE. It's not fair to just look at one year of production and call it done. Being a homer of course I'd like to think this is just the beginning for aldon and JJ won't catch him but only time will tell.
[ Edited by mike on Apr 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM ]
Originally posted by joey82:
Originally posted by defenderDX:
Coming from the guy who wanted JJ Watt over Aldon Smith, yeah, lost your credibility a long time ago. D's and F's for the first 2 picks? lmao

If you are going to give a guy s**t when he gets it wrong you can at least give him props when he gets it right. He was right on N. Davis, Rachal and Mays just for example.

I appreciate the time you put into this draft to share your thoughts and I realize that your opinions are just that opinions.

Absolutely....and just for the record, both JJ Watt and Aldon Smith turned out to be studs so Maddog sure as hell wasn't wrong... He simply preferred one stud over another.

Man...some of you people who post don't do your homework...

I got your back, MD...
[ Edited by nw9erfan on Apr 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM ]
We happen to have the guy who groomed DeCastro though, and if he's actually as good as advertised I would have to believe they would have traded up to grab him. Obviously Harbaugh believes it was coaching that made him such a great prospect more than anything. Whether its hubris or reality remains to be determined.
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