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MadDog's Niners Draft Grade and Analysis

Mad Dog, it takes two to tango when making trades. Do you know for a fact that the Niners had willing partners on the other end of the phone to go and get DeCastro? Do you know for a fact that the Niners didn't try to move up?

You put a lot of effort into your evaluation and I respect the effort. I look forward to seeing your boards and lists because they are comprehensive and well thought out. Still, giving the Jenkins pick an F grade while giving the three trade down picks that are still anonymous an A grade seems a little unrealistic.

RE: the James pick, I am still dubious of his effectiveness on the Candlestick turf, but the Niners don't always play at home and Harbaugh is all about the competition. He is a definite "wait and see" pick.
I appreciate Maddog's and OTC's work on rating the players in the overall scheme of things. However you don't see people skewing OTC because of the way he presents himslef. Madddog tends to be adamnant (sp?) about his after draft ratings and criticism of the picks even when he is in the wrong. He doesn't see the forrest for the trees, he only sees the player and not how they fit with the what the niners want to do and the type of system they are running or what the team feels they are in need of.

Like Maddog, I would have wanted Decastro and wouldn't have minded if they traded up, but I am open to knowing that:
1) Starting OL can be found in the later rounds if you have good coaches like Bob McKittrick was.
2) The niners wanted more speed.

Hill might have seemed like the answer to some instead of Jenkins, but Hill is really raw and limited, Jenkins can run a lot more routes than Hill and is smoother and more polished. This will cause a Safey to make a choice play up for the slant or back for the long ball, make the wrong choice and you will pay. Also, it seems that besides the production, and measurables like the 40's and all, there is a unique physical trait of that position that the niners are looking for. Last year Aldon's wingspan, the FO envision it helping him reach out to swat a pass, snag a pass, grab opposing teams ball carrier even when he is being held up, and helping to shed people. Well this year it was Jenkin's big mitts.

As for L James, he is a home run threat all the time he touches the ball. Harbaugh has faced him time and again. So he knows this. Limited touches perhaps, but it is what he does with that touch. Plus, I can see where JH is going with this, once Gore is gone, we won't have a single back that we rely on as the bell cow. It will be RB by committee. So Hunter and James doesn't have to be work horses. Plus, sometime down the road they will probably draft a battering ram of a running back to complement. With Vernon Davis and posiblly Moss and maybe even Owusu, the niners are showing a need for speed,

Maddog is only see the forrest and not the the forrest for the trees. In other words if they contribute to the niners making the playoffs and a SB, then it was a good draft. Baalke and JH are looking for people who can contribute to the team as a whole and not on just an individual stat basis. If you doubt that then I point to Specail teams as proof.
The beauty of the draft now with as much trading flexbility as there is, is that it even more so comes down to straight player evaluation rather than just "value." Before, teams might've had to draft a guy they didn't absolutely love at their spot because they couldnt find trading partners, but now, every player in the 1st round that is picked, is picked because a team loves that guy.

Which makes draft grades all that more silly now because all that matters is how well the 49ers evaluated/scouted prospects. I expect Jenkins to have an impact by season's end as he learns the nuances of the position, and for LaMichael James to have a big impact on every touch starting from Day One. James just looks to play the game at a faster pace than everyone else on the field in terms of anticipation, reflexes, and of course, raw speed. Hope he can be our future Chris Johnson.
Originally posted by mike:
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.


having coached him for 3 yrs harbaugh May have felt that decastro was close to or had already reached his ceiling and that they could coach up another player to that level for the cost of a 4th rounder.

I'm not doubting decastros talent just feel that guard is a position that can be coached up and doesn't need as much "natural" ability than other key positions.
Originally posted by Ether:
I don't understand how people can look at a player and automatically assume "he can't be a #1 receiver." He doesn't have prototypical receiver size like Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald? Neither does Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith or Greg Jennings. Not only does A.J. Jenkins fit the mold of the 4 aforementioned players, but he also matches the size of players like Tim Brown, Torry Holt, Marvin Harrison, Isaac Bruce, and Rod Smith. There's more to being a receiver than being tall and 220 lbs. AJ has the hands and attention to detail in route running to be a great receiver in the league.

Excellent post...

Translation: I agree with all of the major points you make here.

One of the curiosities about MD's grade on Jenkins is that he won't contribute in his first year. I disagree with that because the Niners drafted him to help stretch the field so I see him playing a lot in his rookie year...unlike a guy like Stephen Hill (a WR who MD loves), who by all accounts, is so raw that he will take at least a year or two to really adjust to the NFL.

Now, admittedly....Hill may have a higher "upside" than Jenkins but the latter has a very polished game right now (runs good routes, has great hands, knows how to get open, is very intelligent and hard-working and can assimilate a complex offense in his first year). Hill doesn't.

Therefore, I just don't see Jenkins as much of a "reach" frankly. I'm sure the Niners believe they can coach up what few flaws he has (playing more to his timed speed and doing better against press coverage) and quickly develop a productive wideout.

Note to MD... I really do understand your reasons behind your grades, and I respect them.

I think the reasons the Niners didn't draft an OG in the first round are threefold...

One...they like the guys they have and didn't feel it was necessary.
Two...they wanted to spend their two top picks on guys that they felt would make the offense more explosive.
Three...they didn't want to tie up too much money on OLmen.

Remember that they now have 3 first round draft choices starting on that line. When it comes time to resign them, they might be faced with having to let one of them walk (much like New Orleans had to do with OG Nicks) because the combined salary total would be too much to deal with in terms of the cap. If they had a fourth first rounder, that would almost certainly be the case.

I can see your point....and I can also see what the Niners might be thinking...and neither point is wrong....IMHO...

Cheers!
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Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
This forum works better when you criticize the content of the post, not the poster himself....it works even better when you add some degree of intelligence in your reply. Just saying.

This.
Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:
Originally posted by OregonDuckNiner:
Originally posted by DaDivaRecieva15:
Don't care what you think, lol

LaMike gets a D

lol

Don't know why people think he is a scat back or just a speedster. He is a way more tough and physical runner then people give him credit for.

Thank you... This should mean something coming from an Arizona State fan as wel.

And I know SunDevilNiner knows his stuff, especially in college football.
Baalke must really like some players next year to stock pile the extra picks.
Why does everyone always point to Carl Nicks when arguing the dangers of spending too many first rounders on offensive linemen?

Also, has MD responded in this thread yet?
If memory serves, last years draft got a similar if not even more damning review.



Originally posted by YouGotGored:
I think people put too much weight on the "value" of these picks. Almost every mock I saw, people had us trading back and acquiring more picks. This isn't to say that they are worthless, however, there is a reason others are trying to trade up. The reason are the players. OP is calling the Jenkins pick an F because of the value. To the 49ers, the value was appropriate (and clearly this sentiment was echoed by the Rams). In three years, if the pick pans out, nobody is going to care where this guy was taken, or if the 49ers should have traded back. If there is a player you want, you grab him. It is that simple.

Bill Walsh also threw value out the window. He said if they player helped your team, that's where he proved his value.

Baalke said quite clearly that they could have traded back if they had wanted to, but valued Jenkins enough that he didn't want to risk it. After last years success, the accomplishing of which MD was one of the most critical of, ill trust Baalke's opinion over the one posted here.

You obviously do as well so kudo's to you.
[ Edited by WINiner on Apr 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM ]
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
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...

Except that he gave us a bad grade last year for the Aldon pick, so uhhh yeah he was. Trust me, there was a big ol long thread that resulted in MD's banning for a short time where people were serving him up crow for pages and pages.
I had a blah blah blah grade on that guy
I LOVE the James pick. He is one of the elite playmakers coming out. His ability to change directions and accelerate is extremely rare. He'll be a nightmare a screens and nobody likes to check down like Alex. I think this guy is Sproles2.0. His versatility and quickness is extremely valuable.

IMO, a guy like Sproles is 1st round value. He might not be a bell cow, but he breaks defenses down and is always a threat to score. I think we found that with James. This is a brilliant pick!
i think some of the professional draft analysts, as well many here, put too much emphasis on comparing the player taken against other players that could have been taken, as opposed to how the player taken improves the team

jenkins add a needed element of speed and seperation at the wideout position, which harbaugh and baalke apparently valued more than the plays they could have drawn for fleener...decastro is a nice player, but his position --rt guard-- is not necessarily one that is viewed as a great impact position...the niners had a better chance of getting a rt guard in rd 4 (looney) than a speedy receiver comparable to jenkins

james gives the niners even more speed and explosion, and i think will make an impact on the return game....after gore pounds and softens the opponents middle, i can see them bringing in 4 receivers to spread the field and pitching it wide to james out of the i formation
....how much did niners like james-- i suspect he was one of their few picks who didnt get a gold helmet (couple brushes with law including a strangulation incident with girlfriend, skirted ncaa rules on receiving benefits to go to the ducks)

loney adds versatility with his potential to play all 3 interior line positions,,,they liked his makeup as well by all apeearances

robinson could be a bigger factor than many suspect...with niners facing rodgers, stafford, brees, eli manning and brady, among others, a safety with coverage skills could see alot of time

they didnt get much help on dine to lessen the reps of smith and mcdonald, so maybe they hope that williams, dobbs or tuakafu step up

i think i like the niners draft
[ Edited by hofer36 on Apr 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM ]