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Neglected D Line

Neglected D Line:
D Line is the most important position group on the defense, as evidenced by the Dline dominating the first round of almost every draft. Yet we waste 1st rd picks on WR's who don't even play.
With Justin Smith (33 y/o) injured, our D line draft positions are:
Rd 3 #91 Ray McDonald (age 28 y/o)
Rd 4 #104 Isaac Sopoaga (31 y/o)
Rd 7 #244 RJF (26 y/o)
FA Ian Williams
FA Demarcus Dobbs
We definitely have neglected the D line, and need to bolster it

We have by far the lowest drafted Dline in NFC West:
The Rams have THREE 1st round plus a HIGH 3rd and a high 4th on the D line. And their 1st rd picks are #2 overall (Long) and two guys picked #14 overall.
The Seahawks have two 1st rd picks plus one 3rd and two 4th rd picks on the D line
The Cardinals have TWO 1st rd, one 2nd, one 3rd and one 4th

We make up for it with great linebackers, but we are skating on thin ice, as seen with just one key injury on the D line.
[ Edited by maxsmart on Jan 4, 2013 at 6:28 PM ]
So are you saying you'd rather us be the Rams or the Seahawks right now? Or better yet, who do you think the Rams would prefer to be? Those teams have good defensive line players. We have All-Pros at LB.

We have been a terrible team for years and had other needs at the time. All of our 1st round draft picks, minus our 2008 first rounder (ironically a defensive line pick) had performed decent to good to great up until 2012. You could also argue that we had greater needs at the positions we drafted at up until then. I wouldn't say that the defensive line has been neglected. It's just that you can meet so many needs with your first round picks. We'll deal with it this year as now it is clearly the number 1 need.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
So are you saying you'd rather us be the Rams or the Seahawks right now? Or better yet, who do you think the Rams would prefer to be? Those teams have good defensive line players. We have All-Pros at LB.

We have been a terrible team for years and had other needs at the time. All of our 1st round draft picks, minus our 2008 first rounder (ironically a defensive line pick) had performed decent to good to great up until 2012. You could also argue that we had greater needs at the positions we drafted at up until then. I wouldn't say that the defensive line has been neglected. It's just that you can meet so many needs with your first round picks. We'll deal with it this year as now it is clearly the number 1 need.

They should have picked D line this last year instead of AJ Jenkins.
Should have picked Derek Wolfe (40 tackles 6 sacks) or Kendall Reyes (28 & 5.5) (might have even traded down). Serviceable WR's (like AJ Jenkins) are easy to find, but good DL are hard to find.

When you say 'the d line hasn't been neglected', when was the last time we drafted one? Answer: RJF in the 7th rd #244 in 2009. We need strong back-ups on the D line to rotate in (like Walsh did to keep them fresh) and in case of injury.
[ Edited by maxsmart on Jan 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM ]
Originally posted by maxsmart:
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
So are you saying you'd rather us be the Rams or the Seahawks right now? Or better yet, who do you think the Rams would prefer to be? Those teams have good defensive line players. We have All-Pros at LB.

We have been a terrible team for years and had other needs at the time. All of our 1st round draft picks, minus our 2008 first rounder (ironically a defensive line pick) had performed decent to good to great up until 2012. You could also argue that we had greater needs at the positions we drafted at up until then. I wouldn't say that the defensive line has been neglected. It's just that you can meet so many needs with your first round picks. We'll deal with it this year as now it is clearly the number 1 need.

They should have picked D line this last year instead of AJ Jenkins.
Should have picked Derek Wolfe (40 tackles 6 sacks) or Kendall Reyes (28 & 5.5) (might have even traded down). Serviceable WR's (like AJ Jenkins) are easy to find, but good DL are hard to find.

Writing off a WR after one year isn't very smart, and neither is comparing other draft picks to ours. Hindsight is 20-20. Anyone can look back one year after a draft a say what a team should or should not have done, and even then, you don't know how it's all going to shake out. Wolfe and Reyes could eventually bust out of the league, and Jenkins could turn into the next Jerry Rice (who, btw, some thought was a bust after his rookie year too).

Saying, "they should've drafted this guy or this guy instead of that guy" after only one year just doesn't add a lot of value to this board.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Writing off a WR after one year isn't very smart, and neither is comparing other draft picks to ours. Hindsight is 20-20. Anyone can look back one year after a draft a say what a team should or should not have done, and even then, you don't know how it's all going to shake out. Wolfe and Reyes could eventually bust out of the league, and Jenkins could turn into the next Jerry Rice (who, btw, some thought was a bust after his rookie year too).

Saying, "they should've drafted this guy or this guy instead of that guy" after only one year just doesn't add a lot of value to this board.

They haven't drafted ANY D line in 3 years. The drafted RJF in 7th rd 4 years ago and McDonald in 3rd rd 6 years ago. Not even throwing a couple of late 5-7th rd picks at the D line over the last few years. The "value this adds to the board" is that we need to look at the truth of what mistakes we made in order to correct them going forward. The truth is that we have neglected the D line.

I have nothing against AJ Jenkins, but to compare Jenkins to Rice doesn't "add any value to this board"
Rice's Rookie stats:
49 catches
927 yards
18.9 yards per catch
[ Edited by maxsmart on Jan 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM ]
We've neglected to upgrade the NT position and draft depth. I can't necessarily fault the team though. We've added a ton of talent to the roster. RJF was thought of as a future 1st round pick at LSU, but battled injuries.

Arizona hasn't drafted that well. Dan Williams was overrated and a waste of a 1st round pick, IMO. The Rams put a lot into their pass rush, but neglected their offense. A big failure on their part. Seattle has just drafted really well as of late.

The team has been looking to upgrade the Dline, but the draft just fell a different way. Baalke was questioned for bringing Bruce Irvin in for a visit, a year after drafting Aldon and resigning Brooks. We'll figure it out. I think the team tries to keep RJF for a discount and continue his development. We really need to draft a NT fairly early in the draft. Don't rule out Aubrayu Franklin coming back for cheap. He proved he was a system player and failed on other teams. I think we'll lose Soap, sign a vet NT, and draft a rookie NT in rounds 2-4.
Originally posted by strickac:
We've neglected to upgrade the NT position and draft depth. I can't necessarily fault the team though.

Why not fault the team? They should have picked D line this last year instead of AJ Jenkins. They had poor depth and hadn't picked a dline in 3 years.
Should have picked Derek Wolfe (pick 36) (40 tackles 6 sacks) or Kendall Reyes (pick 49) (28 & 5.5) (might have even traded down). Serviceable WR's (like AJ Jenkins) are easy to find, but good DL are hard to find.
Originally posted by maxsmart:
Originally posted by strickac:
We've neglected to upgrade the NT position and draft depth. I can't necessarily fault the team though.

Why not fault the team? They should have picked D line this last year instead of AJ Jenkins. They had poor depth and hadn't picked a dline in 3 years.
Should have picked Derek Wolfe (pick 36) (40 tackles 6 sacks) or Kendall Reyes (pick 49) (28 & 5.5) (might have even traded down). Serviceable WR's (like AJ Jenkins) are easy to find, but good DL are hard to find.


I agree, if only we had that looking glass and drafted Brady, Brees, Marquis Colston in the 6th round. In all seriousness though I agree with you and wanted Wolfe at that position.
Originally posted by maxsmart:
Why not fault the team? They should have picked D line this last year instead of AJ Jenkins. They had poor depth and hadn't picked a dline in 3 years.
Should have picked Derek Wolfe (pick 36) (40 tackles 6 sacks) or Kendall Reyes (pick 49) (28 & 5.5) (might have even traded down). Serviceable WR's (like AJ Jenkins) are easy to find, but good DL are hard to find.

why? because we weren't blessed with your obviously amazing wizardry.

at the time, i saw our picks as luxury picks. Most experts agree that WR usually take some time to develop. I didn't see anyone we could have drafted that would have made an immediate impact. I was happy with the Jenkins and LMJ picks.

Who knew that our best defensive player would get hurt in week 15. And you really think Wolf or Reyes would be doing better than RJF? Especially considering we don't rotate guys in, so we'd have played a rookie in week 15. what impact do u think he would have had?
[ Edited by Sinsation on Jan 4, 2013 at 3:15 PM ]
Originally posted by maxsmart:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Writing off a WR after one year isn't very smart, and neither is comparing other draft picks to ours. Hindsight is 20-20. Anyone can look back one year after a draft a say what a team should or should not have done, and even then, you don't know how it's all going to shake out. Wolfe and Reyes could eventually bust out of the league, and Jenkins could turn into the next Jerry Rice (who, btw, some thought was a bust after his rookie year too).

Saying, "they should've drafted this guy or this guy instead of that guy" after only one year just doesn't add a lot of value to this board.

They haven't drafted ANY D line in 3 years. The drafted RJF in 7th rd 4 years ago and McDonald in 3rd rd 6 years ago. Not even throwing a couple of late 5-7th rd picks at the D line over the last few years. The "value this adds to the board" is that we need to look at the truth of what mistakes we made in order to correct them going forward. The truth is that we have neglected the D line.

I have nothing against AJ Jenkins, but to compare Jenkins to Rice doesn't "add any value to this board"
Rice's Rookie stats:
49 catches
927 yards
18.9 yards per catch

Reading comprehension is important. I didn't compare Jenkins to Rice (that would be stupid). I said, Wolfe and Reyes could bust out, and Jenkins COULD BE the next Rice...not that he will or definitely is or compares to him. Clearly my point was, you or I don't know how things will all shake out when it comes to draft picks, especially after only one year.

I don't disagree that we need to add more quality d-lineman, and do agree with you that we've neglected to draft for this particular position. It's just my opinion that saying after the fact that "we should've done this or done that" is rather pointless, since you can't go back and re-do the draft. Clearly they felt they need to add more playmakers on offense last year, so they drafted Jenkins and James early. Hard to fault them for that given how non-explosive our offense was last year, but young offensive players typically take time to develop especially if they have a number of quality veterans ahead of them.

And obviously they likely felt that their defensive front could hold up with the 3 quality starters/depth they had for this year (which was the case until the NE game) and address that in 2013.

I guess I just feel that almost every year, with just about every team, you can say "they should've done this or that." There's almost always one or two areas that teams just couldn't get to and address the depth properly, but you just can't fix everything every year. D-line is definitely the area needing quality depth/young talent in the upcoming draft.
Originally posted by Sinsation:
Originally posted by maxsmart:
Why not fault the team? They should have picked D line this last year instead of AJ Jenkins. They had poor depth and hadn't picked a dline in 3 years.
Should have picked Derek Wolfe (pick 36) (40 tackles 6 sacks) or Kendall Reyes (pick 49) (28 & 5.5) (might have even traded down). Serviceable WR's (like AJ Jenkins) are easy to find, but good DL are hard to find.

why? because we weren't blessed with your obviously amazing wizardry.

at the time, i saw our picks as luxury picks. Most experts agree that WR usually take some time to develop. I didn't see anyone we could have drafted that would have made an immediate impact. I was happy with the Jenkins and LMJ picks.

Who knew that our best defensive player would get hurt in week 15. And you really think Wolf or Reyes would be doing better than RJF? Especially considering we don't rotate guys in, so we'd have played a rookie in week 15. what impact do u think he would have had?

It's not wizardry. Our d line depth was and is POOR. Our O line has 4 1st rd picks, our D line just one. D line is hard to find, and WR's more often bust out, so D line was a safer pick. And we definitely should rotate in players on D line (like Walsh) so that the starters aren't beat-up by the end of the year, and risk injury.
Originally posted by maxsmart:
It's not wizardry. Our d line depth was and is POOR. Our O line has 4 1st rd picks, our D line just one. D line is hard to find, and WR's more often bust out, so D line was a safer pick. And we definitely should rotate in players on D line (like Walsh) so that the starters aren't beat-up by the end of the year, and risk injury.

We had an All-Pro and 2 ok starters on D-line last season. Compare that to the receivers we had this time last year. Forget depth. You could argue that we didn't have 2 starting caliber receivers last season. Even if you had in free agency, we didn't know what Randy Moss had left and many felt you could go either way with Michael Crabtree. The need we had at receiver after the 2011 season > the need we had on D-Line. And it's not even close.

I think this is mostly about frustration that the receiver we did take didn't contribute much. We'll see what happens during the playoffs because the opportunities will be there. I wish we had a quality D-lineman behind Justin Smith, but the fact is, unless you are talking about a JJ Watt caliber player (and who fit that description in the 2012 draft at pick 30 or lower), no one was going to come close to matching his production once Justin Smith got hurt.
It really blows my mind how people seem to think our defense is the only thing that matters. I mean I know were good but theres two sides to the ball. The fact that the niners are struggling is due to fatigue. They played 90 d snaps and some of them played an extra 20 on specials teams. These past 3 games Kaep has.thrown it deep the firsy play of the game and each time the ball was left hanging. If the offense was clicking the defense would look even better this year i promise you. So lets not say last years first pick was waste. 2011 was aldon, 2012 couldve been bruxe Irvin but it didnt workout. Honestly our offense needs help and anyone who doesnt think so is in denial. We have maybe two solid wide receivers. How many does brady have? What about rodgers? All im saying is we should draft terrence williams first round and we would be set with manningham,crab,jenkins and williams with kaep dropping care packages for at least five years.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
I don't disagree that we need to add more quality d-lineman, and do agree with you that we've neglected to draft for this particular position. It's just my opinion that saying after the fact that "we should've done this or done that" is rather pointless, since you can't go back and re-do the draft.
"Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
I'm sure that good teams go back and grade themselves on the draft and determine where they went right and wrong so that they don't repeat the same mistakes next year. I think it's clear that they made a mistake by not picking a DL (Wolfe or Reyes). They wanted to make sure that they had enough WR's to avoid what happened last year, but instead they are short on the DL. They could have found an average WR easily, but DL is harder to find. We all make mistakes, it's just a learning opportunity:
All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes. - Winston Churchill
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. - Albert Einstein
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw
A man's mistakes are his portals of discovery. - James Joyce
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. - John Powell
Fall down seven times, stand up eight. - Chinese proverb
The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything. - Theodore Roosevelt
I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing. - Rene Descartes
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. – Santayana
(On repeatedly failing to design a working light bulb) "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" -Thomas Edison


Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
And obviously they likely felt that their defensive front could hold up with the 3 quality starters/depth they had for this year.
That was a mistake. After Smith, there best DL were McDonald and Sopoaga who are average starters at best. With very little depth. They were very lucky those guys have held up as long as they have going against the friggin monsters in the NFL. Hopefully they learned from it.
Originally posted by eonblue:
It really blows my mind how people seem to think our defense is the only thing that matters. I mean I know were good but theres two sides to the ball. The fact that the niners are struggling is due to fatigue. They played 90 d snaps and some of them played an extra 20 on specials teams. These past 3 games Kaep has.thrown it deep the firsy play of the game and each time the ball was left hanging. If the offense was clicking the defense would look even better this year i promise you. So lets not say last years first pick was waste. 2011 was aldon, 2012 couldve been bruxe Irvin but it didnt workout. Honestly our offense needs help and anyone who doesnt think so is in denial. We have maybe two solid wide receivers. How many does brady have? What about rodgers? All im saying is we should draft terrence williams first round and we would be set with manningham,crab,jenkins and williams with kaep dropping care packages for at least five years.

They picked ZERO DL for the last 3 years, RJF in the 7th rd 4 years ago and McDonald in 3rd Rd 6 years ago. Soap in the 4th Rd 7 years ago. I'm all for drafting on both sides of the ball, but the D line is the key to the defense and has been neglected.