The primary purpose of the poll, is to show the extent of "homerism" on the Zone.
Currently, the direction favors MadDog's prediction, but the magnitude estimate is off by -20%, 40% vs 28%. Not bad, MD, Not bad.
So lets freely admit that we have a "homer" bias, thought not quite as blind as MD predicted.
Think of the pole as MD's and Buck's mirror to show us our bias. MD is urging us to keep looking for "truth", by seeing past our bias.
MD, thanks for the reminder. The pursuit of clarity is a virtue. The kids in your classroom are lucky to have you.
As to the topic of the poll, who is the better guard, I'm not really interested in this issue, cause odds are, DeCastro will be the better guard. Even with the counter examples. (Missing on Carl Nicks in the 5th still hurts!)
But the question for me is: Can whoever wins the competition, Looney, Kilgore, Boone, or Slooey be a "good enough guard"? Here's why:
If we get serviceable RG play this year, (without using our first pick on a RG), and Jenkins gets 600 yds as a rookie, averaging a mere 37 yds/game, the systemic impact may be surprising:
• Crab's increases his production by 33%,
• Davis increasing his production by 33%,
• reduces the number of downs that D's can put an extra man in the box, resulting in a substantial increase in yards on the ground and 3rd down conversions.
Thanks to Jenkins separation, speed and hands, he can have modest success as a rookie, and still reduce FS's shading to Crabs side, clear seam + crossing patterns for Davis, which will also achieve one less defender in the box. Add Manningham, and now the question becomes can Jenkins separate against the #3 CB, and will that leave a LB on Davis? In contrast, DeCastro will be up against the best DT. In theory, the net would be our O becomes harder to key against, with a viable passing attack, creating open spaces for Hunter and James to break-off some long ones.
Than the question becomes could DeCastro and whomever was the best 4th round value WR on MD's board have a similar impact? The comparison becomes [Looney + Jenkins vs DeCastro + WR?]
I'll leave it to someone else to work out how to measure DeCastro's team impact. He will surely make Davis better at RT. But I recently saw on another thread, that we had the worst number of sacks in the league, 3.37% of plays where Alex still has the ball in his hand up to 2.5 secs, (with release in 3 secs being the target.) If we run 60 passing plays on offense that would be 2 sacks/game for the entire line. If we estimate "QB hurries" as 3x more frequent than sacks, there would be 2+6 = 8 plays from scrimmage that would be adversely affected. If DeCastro is 1/3 better than Looney at pass protection, than the 49ers, with Looney, will have roughly 3 more plays/game with a suboptimum outcome, assuming all the sacks and hurries occur through RG.
In contrast, if Jenkins is in for 20 plays, and we get the 1/3 increase in total offense, due to his presence including his modest production of 37 yds/game, we would increase our passing yds/game from 183 to 244 or 61 yds/game . That would move us from 29th to 13th in passing yds/game based on 2011 numbers. And it would help our run game as well.
What I'm concluding is that in our pass-first NFL, the WR position potentially has a bigger impact on total offensive production than the RG position. This is a different basis for evaluating our draft selections than the original question of the poll, "Who is most likely better, the best guard in the draft vs the 13th best guard in the draft." I think Baalkebaugh is thinking like this too, but its just a guess.
Of course, if Jenkins can't learn how to beat press coverage from a third or 4th CB, than we clearly should have taken DeCastro.