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Is there a "Delanie Walker" in this years draft?

ESPN's Mike Sando wonders if now that Walker is gone, and Boldin is a 49er, we don't see more 3 WR sets and less 2 TE sets. Last year, on first and second down combined, we averaged 2 TE sets on 63% of our plays, while the league as a whole averaged 38%.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/93861/te-delanie-walkers-departure-signal-shift

With Kapernick's stronger arm, he throws into tight windows further downfield than Smith. As a result, Crabtree's and to some extent, Davis' production went up.

Boldin, a wonderful possession receiver and one of the best blockers, covers some of the same route territory as a second TE.

Going forward, we want to surround Kapernick with weapons that play to his strengths. Perhaps we will see more 3 WR sets this year?
[ Edited by mebemused on Mar 12, 2013 at 11:54 PM ]
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
The Niners use a lot of two TE sets, so I expect the team to either pick up a veteran TE in free agency or use a draft choice in a pretty decent TE draft class. Keep an eye on New Mexico's Lucas Reed as a solid late round TE, with a good size and speed combination.

I am very high on Lucas Reed. Reed had an amazing Pro Day, where his numbers matched and/or bested the numbers from the top TEs at the Combine. If Reed would've been invited to the Combine, he would've left with arguably the best numbers as a TE coming out of the Combine. Reed's older brother, Brooks Reed, also had a great workout, and he is doing quite well with the Texans. Obviously, the Lobos lack of a passing offense has limited Reed's full value as a dual threat TE that has great blocking and catching skills. I really think this kid is a hidden gem in the draft.

His numbers:
Height: 6'6
Weight: 247
Arms: 35 1/4"
Hands: 10 1/2"
40-yard dash: 4.65
Bench: 27
Vertical Jump: 37"
Shuttle: 4.08
3-cone: 6.97
Broad: 10-2
Walker was good for us, but hardly irreplacable. I would alledge there are at least 2 or 3 TE's in the draft that are not only as good but better right now and a couple more that can be trained up to do exactly what he did and maybe be better a few years down the road. At the end of the day, Delanie was a demon of blocker, a special teams ace and had terrible hands paired with elite speed. Those guys can be had in mid rounds...maybe the new guy wont have the elite speed, but if you drop the pass after you blow by your LB in coverage, the speed really didnt do you much good anyway now did it?
Originally posted by PhillyNiner:
Walker was good for us, but hardly irreplacable. I would alledge there are at least 2 or 3 TE's in the draft that are not only as good but better right now and a couple more that can be trained up to do exactly what he did and maybe be better a few years down the road. At the end of the day, Delanie was a demon of blocker, a special teams ace and had terrible hands paired with elite speed. Those guys can be had in mid rounds...maybe the new guy wont have the elite speed, but if you drop the pass after you blow by your LB in coverage, the speed really didnt do you much good anyway now did it?

I see no reason why we can't find a guy that has the speed and the hands. This should be a goal of the FO. If they Walker walk(pun intended) without a solid plan for finding a replacing it would be massive fail. I think they have a guy picked out in the draft and will see him in the 1st 5 rounds.
Perhaps Baalke has his sights on Ertz @ 31?!
I really like the idea of drafting Chris Gragg or Vance McDonald later in the draft. Dion Sims would be a good choice, too, but I see Gragg and McDonald having similar skill sets to Delanie as an H-back/TE hybrid.
What do you guys think about drafting 2 TEs? I want us a joker that can run routes and lead block. Much like delanie but with hands. I also want us pick up one of the bean pole RZ threats. Our power running game is so strong and I want to add to that with the versatility of a joker TE ans creativity of tall TE. This style is right up harbaughs alley fron his time at Stanford.
I really like Brandon Ford. Not likely to be drafted, as he wasn't even invited to the combine, but performed really well at the Clemson pro day. He's a converted WR with size, and first made an impression when I was watching Xavier Rhodes versus Clemson. He made a few plays that game. It's hard to see much else from him, but here are a few highlights on YouTube (for what its worth). 8TDs on the year.

Scouting Profile:
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=82641&draftyear=2013&genpos=TE

Pro Day results:
Player-Pos-HT-WT-40YD-Bench-Vertical
Brandon Ford-TE-603-245-4.72-17

Stats:
Yr POS G Rec. Yards Avg. TD Rec./G Yards/G
SR TE13 40 480 12.00 8 3.1 36.9
JR TE 14 14 166 11.86 2 1.0 11.9
SO WR 12 10 78 7.80 2 0.8 6.5
FR WR 3 1 4 4.00 0 0.3 1.3

Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f2YSSbbII8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9geeDe3uwS4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1flr2KFAx_8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1_8CcFecnc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSCw5184wkI
Originally posted by eonblue:
What do you guys think about drafting 2 TEs? I want us a joker that can run routes and lead block. Much like delanie but with hands. I also want us pick up one of the bean pole RZ threats. Our power running game is so strong and I want to add to that with the versatility of a joker TE ans creativity of tall TE. This style is right up harbaughs alley fron his time at Stanford.

We have pushed the motioning TE into the backfield to play FB before. I wonder about motioning Miller from the backfield out to TE for blocking in running sets?
[ Edited by PhillyNiner on Mar 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM ]
Originally posted by PhillyNiner:
We have pushed the motioning TE into the backfield to play FB before. I wonder about motioning Miller from the backfield out to TE for blocking in running sets?

Miller just got a performance bonus for his play this year. So Baalke liked what he saw in Miller. Maybe an expanded role next year?
Even though they're completely different styles of players, the kid from Cincy would be a great replacement for D-Love.
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Chris Harper is the closest thing to Delanie both physically and athletically. WR for Kansas State but these days he will be able to make in NFL because of how freaskishly athletic he is.

6'1" 235

4.55 40 @ combine 4.38 40 @ pro-day

20 bench reps

35.5 vertical

9-8 broad

Now that being said I'd like his a WR/TE but I want a bigger TE like Ertz, Fauria, Tiololo or similar so they can actually be a threat in the red zone.
Originally posted by mebemused:
Originally posted by PhillyNiner:
We have pushed the motioning TE into the backfield to play FB before. I wonder about motioning Miller from the backfield out to TE for blocking in running sets?

Miller just got a performance bonus for his play this year. So Baalke liked what he saw in Miller. Maybe an expanded role next year?

I've hoped Miller would have an expanded role in the future. He seems to have pretty good hands and does well whenever he catches the ball. He comes across to me as a guy that can be a 30 catch a year guy at FB. Miller along with a better pass catching TE would more than replace Delanie Walker's production as a receiver and with some coaching, they could also equal his contributions as a blocker.
Originally posted by mebemused:
Originally posted by PhillyNiner:
We have pushed the motioning TE into the backfield to play FB before. I wonder about motioning Miller from the backfield out to TE for blocking in running sets?

Miller just got a performance bonus for his play this year. So Baalke liked what he saw in Miller. Maybe an expanded role next year?

I've hoped Miller would have an expanded role in the future. He seems to have pretty good hands and does well whenever he catches the ball. He comes across to me as a guy that can be a 30 catch a year guy at FB. Miller along with a better pass catching TE would more than replace Delanie Walker's production as a receiver and with some coaching, they could also equal his contributions as a blocker.