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Drafting to beat your rivals -- who should we look at?

Traditionally, draft watchers discuss two draft strategies: filling your biggest needs and taking the best player available. However, another approach teams tend to take is drafting to beat their biggest rivals.

For us, I list those teams as the Seahawks, Rams, Redskins, Packers, and maybe Carolina. I excluded the Cardinals because they're IMHO rebuilding and we don't know what they're going to look like in 2 - 3 years. I included the Redskins and Packers because I believe that they will be Conference contenders over the next few years -- I put Carolina in there because I see them as a team on the rise.

Based on that, who should we draft? Team by team strength mismatches with the 49ers:

SEA - extremely mobile quarterback, big, physical CBs, solid defensive line, all pro left tackle. good speed pass rusher
STL - phenomenal defensive line, especially on the inside. impressive, physical corners
WAS - extremely mobile quarterback, all pro left tackle
GB - Amazing quarterback, good pass rush
CAR - Dynamic quarterback with a cannon for an arm

Based on that, here's where I see needs:
- pass rush. Yes, we have Aldon Smith and Brooks, but chasing Wilson around and (to a lesser extent) RGIII will wear out our pass rushers. We need depth there. We also need D-line depth -- everyone saw RJF winded chasing Wilson around
- Large WRs; Sherman and Browner get away with a lot of contact, but they're extremely physical regardless of officiating. We have relatively smallish receivers -- we need some bigger ones...Crabtree is 'physical' in my opinion
- Center. we have solid guards, but Goodwin is lacking.
- swing tackle. Staley and Davis are good tackles, but we have no depth. If one goes down, Chris Long, Clay Matthews, Clemons, or Irvin could 'take over the game' if a backup can't step in
- Secondary depth - the Packers can go 4-wide and pick you apart without depth in the secondary.

So based on all that, what would our first three rounds look like - ** Obviously, we won't draft 15 players, but I drafted them anyways.

1-31 - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - huge plus-up at the defensive end position
2-34 - Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas - another speed rusher to rotate in with Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks
2-61 - David Amerson, S/CB, N.C. State - CB/Safety hybrid that will allow us to put him at safety or corner, depending on how the rest of the roster develops
3-74 - Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
3-93 - Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas - He's 6-2, but incredibly physical and breaks a lot of tackles. can beat the press
4-125 - Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida - Big tackle who can fill in if something happens to Staley or Davis...and Davis is a free agent after 2014 with a voided final year.
4-comp - Matt Scott, QB, Arizona - solid QB prospect with some athleticism and is a good fit for our system
5-150 - Chris Gragg, TE/H-Back, Arkansas - He's projected as a 5th rounder by many, and he could replace Delanie Walker
5-157 - Robert Lester, S, Alabama - obviously lacking in certain areas, but provides safety depth
6-180 - PJ Longeran, C, LSU - Center Depth/Project
6-189 - Marlon Brown, WR, Georgia - Big, Physical Receiver that could be a steal
6-comp - Nickell Roby, DB/PR, USC - Punt Returner, reserve corner
7-211 - Orhian Johnson, SS, Ohio State - special teams contributor, reserve safety
7-221 - Nick Clancy, ILB, Boston College - lots of hustle, we'll need ILB depth
7-comp - La'Rod King, WR, Kentucky - Camp fodder (probably)
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Traditionally, draft watchers discuss two draft strategies: filling your biggest needs and taking the best player available. However, another approach teams tend to take is drafting to beat their biggest rivals.

For us, I list those teams as the Seahawks, Rams, Redskins, Packers, and maybe Carolina. I excluded the Cardinals because they're IMHO rebuilding and we don't know what they're going to look like in 2 - 3 years. I included the Redskins and Packers because I believe that they will be Conference contenders over the next few years -- I put Carolina in there because I see them as a team on the rise.

Based on that, who should we draft? Team by team strength mismatches with the 49ers:

SEA - extremely mobile quarterback, big, physical CBs, solid defensive line, all pro left tackle. good speed pass rusher
STL - phenomenal defensive line, especially on the inside. impressive, physical corners
WAS - extremely mobile quarterback, all pro left tackle
GB - Amazing quarterback, good pass rush
CAR - Dynamic quarterback with a cannon for an arm

Based on that, here's where I see needs:
- pass rush. Yes, we have Aldon Smith and Brooks, but chasing Wilson around and (to a lesser extent) RGIII will wear out our pass rushers. We need depth there. We also need D-line depth -- everyone saw RJF winded chasing Wilson around
- Large WRs; Sherman and Browner get away with a lot of contact, but they're extremely physical regardless of officiating. We have relatively smallish receivers -- we need some bigger ones...Crabtree is 'physical' in my opinion
- Center. we have solid guards, but Goodwin is lacking.
- swing tackle. Staley and Davis are good tackles, but we have no depth. If one goes down, Chris Long, Clay Matthews, Clemons, or Irvin could 'take over the game' if a backup can't step in
- Secondary depth - the Packers can go 4-wide and pick you apart without depth in the secondary.

So based on all that, what would our first three rounds look like - ** Obviously, we won't draft 15 players, but I drafted them anyways.

1-31 - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - huge plus-up at the defensive end position
2-34 - Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas - another speed rusher to rotate in with Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks
2-61 - David Amerson, S/CB, N.C. State - CB/Safety hybrid that will allow us to put him at safety or corner, depending on how the rest of the roster develops
3-74 - Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
3-93 - Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas - He's 6-2, but incredibly physical and breaks a lot of tackles. can beat the press
4-125 - Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida - Big tackle who can fill in if something happens to Staley or Davis...and Davis is a free agent after 2014 with a voided final year.
4-comp - Matt Scott, QB, Arizona - solid QB prospect with some athleticism and is a good fit for our system
5-150 - Chris Gragg, TE/H-Back, Arkansas - He's projected as a 5th rounder by many, and he could replace Delanie Walker
5-157 - Robert Lester, S, Alabama - obviously lacking in certain areas, but provides safety depth
6-180 - PJ Longeran, C, LSU - Center Depth/Project
6-189 - Marlon Brown, WR, Georgia - Big, Physical Receiver that could be a steal
6-comp - Nickell Roby, DB/PR, USC - Punt Returner, reserve corner
7-211 - Orhian Johnson, SS, Ohio State - special teams contributor, reserve safety
7-221 - Nick Clancy, ILB, Boston College - lots of hustle, we'll need ILB depth
7-comp - La'Rod King, WR, Kentucky - Camp fodder (probably)

Trade every other pick in the first 5 rounds then draft BPA in positions of backup need.
I would say we need to draft more for teams we struggled against and more specifically the deep pass:

Seattle
St. Louis
Baltimore
New York Giants

Secondarily for teams we will need to get by in the playoffs the next few years:
Green Bay
Atlanta
Seattle
Washington

All good passing teams, we need to shore up the back end defense and game planning.

1st round: trade up for Vaccaro or Cyprien S
2nd round: trade up for Jesse Williams DT
2nd round: trade up for Jordan Poyer CB
3rd round: Cobi Hamilton WR
4th round: Chris Harper WR/Hback
5th round: Gavin Escobar or Chris Gragg TE
6th round: Mike Catapano DE
7th round: Will Pericak DT
I think No.1 priority has to be winning the divison so you look at the Seahawks & Rams and think about our needs vs theirs.... They're actually quite simliar. D/L, Secondary & WR.

Then make the the call to get in front of those guys(Indianapolis gets us in front of the Seahawks and they'll be looking for picks) and pick up the guy who you think might be looking good on those teams radars?

Imagine stealing Seattles big WR from under their nose or a strong DT.
Originally posted by AUniner:
I think No.1 priority has to be winning the divison so you look at the Seahawks & Rams and think about our needs vs theirs.... They're actually quite simliar. D/L, Secondary & WR.

Then make the the call to get in front of those guys(Indianapolis gets us in front of the Seahawks and they'll be looking for picks) and pick up the guy who you think might be looking good on those teams radars?

Imagine stealing Seattles big WR from under their nose or a strong DT.

I think that STL has an elite defensive line, while SEA is more balanced.
Originally posted by AUniner:
I think No.1 priority has to be winning the divison so you look at the Seahawks & Rams and think about our needs vs theirs.... They're actually quite simliar. D/L, Secondary & WR.

Then make the the call to get in front of those guys(Indianapolis gets us in front of the Seahawks and they'll be looking for picks) and pick up the guy who you think might be looking good on those teams radars?

Imagine stealing Seattles big WR from under their nose or a strong DT.

that's called buddy-f**king
Ezekiel Ansah. No way Wilson will be able to get away from him once he brings pressure from the middle. He will be the best defensive player from this draft. I wish we would get him, but if we dont, then Baalke has better plans
We need big WR not so much because our WR can't get separation, but because as a running team we need WR's who can block big DB's. Because Seattle is our top competition, I wouldn't put it past Baalke to replace Walker with a big bruising playmaking TE and also pick up a big WR. I would love the guy from Notre Dame but this team needs DL help early and often
Originally posted by Big_Daddy:
We need big WR not so much because our WR can't get separation, but because as a running team we need WR's who can block big DB's. Because Seattle is our top competition, I wouldn't put it past Baalke to replace Walker with a big bruising playmaking TE and also pick up a big WR. I would love the guy from Notre Dame but this team needs DL help early and often

doesn't he have T-Rex arms?

http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2013/2/21/4015708/2013-nfl-scouting-combine-results-mock-draft-zach-ertz

[ Edited by nickbradley on Feb 28, 2013 at 7:10 PM ]
Originally posted by SFL49ER:
Ezekiel Ansah. No way Wilson will be able to get away from him once he brings pressure from the middle. He will be the best defensive player from this draft. I wish we would get him, but if we dont, then Baalke has better plans

I'm totally down with another pass rusher
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by SFL49ER:
Ezekiel Ansah. No way Wilson will be able to get away from him once he brings pressure from the middle. He will be the best defensive player from this draft. I wish we would get him, but if we dont, then Baalke has better plans

I'm totally down with another pass rusher


I think hes going to be better than Aldon Smith. When we go to our nickel, keep Aldon out there at OLB, but use Ziggy the same way Missouri used Aldon as a DE and have him rush up the middle. I think he uses his strength better than Smith. He plays with more force. And Ziggy is very quick to snuff the screens out from bothe sides, which is helpful if your rushing up the middle
HAHA! Ertz may well have T-Rex arms, but the ND Tight end, Eifert or whatever, would be nice
Originally posted by Big_Daddy:
HAHA! Ertz may well have T-Rex arms, but the ND Tight end, Eifert or whatever, would be nice

got em confused
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Traditionally, draft watchers discuss two draft strategies: filling your biggest needs and taking the best player available. However, another approach teams tend to take is drafting to beat their biggest rivals.

For us, I list those teams as the Seahawks, Rams, Redskins, Packers, and maybe Carolina. I excluded the Cardinals because they're IMHO rebuilding and we don't know what they're going to look like in 2 - 3 years. I included the Redskins and Packers because I believe that they will be Conference contenders over the next few years -- I put Carolina in there because I see them as a team on the rise.

Based on that, who should we draft? Team by team strength mismatches with the 49ers:

SEA - extremely mobile quarterback, big, physical CBs, solid defensive line, all pro left tackle. good speed pass rusher
STL - phenomenal defensive line, especially on the inside. impressive, physical corners
WAS - extremely mobile quarterback, all pro left tackle
GB - Amazing quarterback, good pass rush
CAR - Dynamic quarterback with a cannon for an arm

Based on that, here's where I see needs:
- pass rush. Yes, we have Aldon Smith and Brooks, but chasing Wilson around and (to a lesser extent) RGIII will wear out our pass rushers. We need depth there. We also need D-line depth -- everyone saw RJF winded chasing Wilson around
- Large WRs; Sherman and Browner get away with a lot of contact, but they're extremely physical regardless of officiating. We have relatively smallish receivers -- we need some bigger ones...Crabtree is 'physical' in my opinion
- Center. we have solid guards, but Goodwin is lacking.
- swing tackle. Staley and Davis are good tackles, but we have no depth. If one goes down, Chris Long, Clay Matthews, Clemons, or Irvin could 'take over the game' if a backup can't step in
- Secondary depth - the Packers can go 4-wide and pick you apart without depth in the secondary.

So based on all that, what would our first three rounds look like - ** Obviously, we won't draft 15 players, but I drafted them anyways.

1-31 - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - huge plus-up at the defensive end position
2-34 - Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas - another speed rusher to rotate in with Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks
2-61 - David Amerson, S/CB, N.C. State - CB/Safety hybrid that will allow us to put him at safety or corner, depending on how the rest of the roster develops
3-74 - Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
3-93 - Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas - He's 6-2, but incredibly physical and breaks a lot of tackles. can beat the press
4-125 - Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida - Big tackle who can fill in if something happens to Staley or Davis...and Davis is a free agent after 2014 with a voided final year.
4-comp - Matt Scott, QB, Arizona - solid QB prospect with some athleticism and is a good fit for our system
5-150 - Chris Gragg, TE/H-Back, Arkansas - He's projected as a 5th rounder by many, and he could replace Delanie Walker
5-157 - Robert Lester, S, Alabama - obviously lacking in certain areas, but provides safety depth
6-180 - PJ Longeran, C, LSU - Center Depth/Project
6-189 - Marlon Brown, WR, Georgia - Big, Physical Receiver that could be a steal
6-comp - Nickell Roby, DB/PR, USC - Punt Returner, reserve corner
7-211 - Orhian Johnson, SS, Ohio State - special teams contributor, reserve safety
7-221 - Nick Clancy, ILB, Boston College - lots of hustle, we'll need ILB depth
7-comp - La'Rod King, WR, Kentucky - Camp fodder (probably)

I really like your picks through the Gragg selection, but after that I'm not sure. I also agree with your ratonale of us needing a physical receiver to battle with Sherman and Browner. In the first game vs the Seahawks they pretty much man-handled our receivers. I think we need a receiver who has at least decent speed and the strength to beat press coverage. I am a little intrigued by Hamilton as well, and I would also include Da'Rick Rogers as well as long as the team is comfortable with his background checks out.
Originally posted by GorefullBore:
I really like your picks through the Gragg selection, but after that I'm not sure. I also agree with your ratonale of us needing a physical receiver to battle with Sherman and Browner. In the first game vs the Seahawks they pretty much man-handled our receivers. I think we need a receiver who has at least decent speed and the strength to beat press coverage. I am a little intrigued by Hamilton as well, and I would also include Da'Rick Rogers as well as long as the team is comfortable with his background checks out.

Cobi Hamilton is a poor man's Michael Crabtree
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