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Thinking Like Ozzie Newsome...

I know we are all supposed to be thinking like Trent Baalke, but I read an article on NFL.com about Ozzie Newsome and how the Ravens roster was built (pre-SB). I loved this little nugget from the intro by Daniel Jeremiah, "Ozzie always made a point to ask the important questions during NFL draft meetings. These were the two that he repeated most often: 1) "How will he fit in our locker room?"2) "Does he help us beat the Pittsburgh Steelers?" http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story/0ap1000000131971/article/baltimore-ravens-roster-shows-brilliance-of-gm-ozzie-newsome


I think that second point is especially well made and offers another door into considering the draft and free agency. The quickest way to the Super Bowl is by winning the division, and that should be our goal every year. A lot of players in this year's draft can make the Niners a better team, but we don't need to be thinking how the Niners can improve, we need to be thinking: How does this player improve the 49ers chances of beating Seahawks?

Thinking like this disproves the notion that we don't need a great NT. I've wavered on this this, but even with Percy Harvin the Seahawks are still going to be predicated on Lynch's power. We need someone clogging up the middle to limit Lynch's impact and force Wilson to throw on uncomfortable downs. DE depth is also a huge need. We need a very responsible, contained pass rush that can push the pocket and take throwing lanes and running lanes away from Wilson. His height is not a major impediment as he's already proved, but it is a slight impediment. Making him see through traffic is key. We do need another rush linebacker, but for the purposes of beating the Seahawks I think we need a pocket crusher. For these reasons I would love to see the Niners target a large DT - preferably one of the ankins bros - John Jenkins or Johnathan Hankins. I also like Jesse Williams a lot, just slightly below these two guys.

Offensively, the key to beating the Seahawks isn't to get bigger on the outside. Sherman and Browner can cover big receivers. Our problem isn't a lack of size, but a lack of speed. Crabs is our best slot receiver, and he's been much better after the catch, but he's not really a threat to hit a homerun on a slant or hitch from the slot. Sherman and Browner will have a hard time pressing if our receiver is lined up off the line of scrimmage and in the slot. The key is take away the element that makes them great, their physicality and use (sometimes illegal use...) of their hands. If AJ Jenkins can be shifty enough to get off the LOS from the slot unimpeded, then fantastic, but I'm looking at Tavon Austin as a potential game changer in this rivalry. Him and Vernon Davis will create huge problems for the middle of that defense, lessening our need to attack Sherman and Browner on the outside.

The Seahawks must be thinking like this already (I'm sure Baalke is as well) and that's why they made the bold decision to land Percy Harvin. Will it work? Time will tell, but as unbiased as I can possibly assess the situation, this was a genius move by Schneider and the Hawks (at least short term - who knows how they plan to resign/extend Sherman, Harvin, Browner, Wilson, Thomas, Chancellor, KJ Wright, Bobby Wagner, etc. when the time comes for that). An elite slot receiver is something the Niners have proven to have a lot of trouble with. Rogers was pretty good in 2011, acceptable in 2012 against the slot, but there's no way we can trust him to defend Percy man to man twice a year, especially in Seattle. He's simply not quick enough at this point in his career to do it. We need to look to add a CB with elite quickness for the slot. I like BW Webb a lot. He's undersized, but I think he has the feet to handle covering Percy Harvin (or Amendola, or Cruz) in the slot. Or that he has the potential to do that down the road.

Thoughts? Any players that you guys feel have a particular skill-set that will help us beat the 'Hawks? Agree or disagree with this philosophy, the strengths of the Seahawks I outlined, or the players I mentioned?
Does bring up something I've been thinking about. Whenever you read a CB scouting report for the draft, it seems to focus on their potential to match up outside against #1 WRs.

I guess being smaller and quick and only capable of excelling in the slot is a "knock" against a CB prospect, but I agree it would be perfect for us. Welker, Amendola, Harvin, and Cruz are guys that shred us.
  • KK49
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 140
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
Does bring up something I've been thinking about. Whenever you read a CB scouting report for the draft, it seems to focus on their potential to match up outside against #1 WRs.

I guess being smaller and quick and only capable of excelling in the slot is a "knock" against a CB prospect, but I agree it would be perfect for us. Welker, Amendola, Harvin, and Cruz are guys that shred us.

i guess we just have to draft Tyrann Mathieu to defend those little, faster guys...
Originally posted by KK49:
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
Does bring up something I've been thinking about. Whenever you read a CB scouting report for the draft, it seems to focus on their potential to match up outside against #1 WRs.

I guess being smaller and quick and only capable of excelling in the slot is a "knock" against a CB prospect, but I agree it would be perfect for us. Welker, Amendola, Harvin, and Cruz are guys that shred us.

i guess we just have to draft Tyrann Mathieu to defend those little, faster guys...

He's a big name and a polarizing prospect, but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to it. Seems like a great fit for him at the next level.
Agreed about Mathieu. If Harbaugh and Baalke have done their homework on his attitude/off-the-field stuff and feel comfortable adding him to the team I'd be all for it. He could even play FS if necessary, though I wouldn't envy a safety tandem who's tallest player is Donte Whitner.
If I was worried about the Hawks acquiring Percy Harvin, I would take Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, at 34 and let him cover slot receivers.
Ozzie thinking right about now we're f**ked we lost Lewis may lose Reed traded boldin lost Kruger lost ellerbe LOL
I agree with this line of thinking in that it keeps you in the playoffs by staying ahead of the competition in your division. Some people think that NT isn't that great of a need because of the limited number of snaps that Soap played, but I saw our team get dominated by the big power backs like Marshawn Lynch and Steven Jackson. Having a dominant NT that can push the pocket will not only get our run defense back to where it was in 2011 where all teams basically abandoned the run. A stronger NT would also allow Justin Smith to get some relief, where he wouldn't face as many double teams. And as we all saw in many ways this season, as Justin Smith goes, so does Aldon.
"The Baltimore Ravens "really like" Kansas State WR Chris Harper, according to draft insider Tony Pauline.

Harper unofficially ran in the 4.38 range at the school's pro day on Tuesday, but is drawing plenty of comparisons to Anquan Boldin due to his size and ability to make catches in traffic. We expect an early third day selection to be in his future."

rotoworld.com
Like the way you're thinking OP.

Mock drafts should take into account beating the Seahawks because Baalke will. e.g

1st pick Tavon Austin - Gives more explosiveness to the offence and as mentioned above Big DB's would struggle to cover him.
2nd pick Jonathan Hankins - Stuffs the run game, collapses pockets forces the Qb to throw into danger as mentioned above
3rd pick Tank Carradine - injured should be a lot higher but a long term replacement for Smith and pass rushing extreme. Rotational to start (Aldon style)
4th pick Baccari Rambo - Ballhawking Free safety replacement for Goldson
5th pick Marcus Lattimore - long term replacement for Gore for a 3rd round pick. All day
6th pick Tyrann Matthieu - Small fast CB covering the slot as mentioned above. Helps against Seahawks and long term replacement and cheaper version of Rodgers

Something like that would fill our needs for replacements for what we've lost and improve for games against especially Seahawks who will be our biggest rivals.