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best safety in this draft class?

Originally posted by Mercuryspeed:
Originally posted by artiga1:

Matt Elam...a little undersized but he hits HARD
Good post... I think we could use some height back there. Matt looks like London Fletcher playing safety.
Elam's size only worries me against these big 6'5 Tight ends. I know we have Willis to cover tight ends, but he doesn't do it every play.
Originally posted by JustinNiner:
Originally posted by artiga1:

Matt Elam...a little undersized but he hits HARD


sounds like another whitner...PASS

That's actually who Mayock compared Elam to at the combine.
Originally posted by SFrush:
Originally posted by JustinNiner:
Originally posted by artiga1:

Matt Elam...a little undersized but he hits HARD


sounds like another whitner...PASS

That's actually who Mayock compared Elam to at the combine.

I remember being very surprised at how high Whitner was drafted. I personally believe the Niners need an Ed Reed, Troy P type ball hawk who can help increase the time the Dline has to knock the QB down.
I have a bit of a problem with Elam's height. Hes barely 5'10 which worris me and he was beaten over the top in coverage this past year. Im not against drafting him but would rather have others. Unless they can get him some 3-4 inch spikes.
[ Edited by stonecold590 on Mar 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM ]
Originally posted by SFrush:
That's actually who Mayock compared Elam to at the combine.

Because he's not very good in coverage. Not sure why people are so hyped up on Elam, he's a hard hitting safety who struggles in coverage, sounds like exactly what the 49ers already have. Reid is another that while better in coverage than Elam, plays stiff, doesn't have the best hips...etc. Realistically its a lot easier to replace a strong safety in this draft than to replace a free safety. Lots of strong safety-type prospects, very few true centerfielder/ballhawk type safeties.

I think Phillip Thomas will be a true free safety at the next level, as will Bacarri Rambo who can be an iffy tackler but is very good in deep coverage and tied the Georgia record for interceptions. He also has a proclivity for dishing out huge hits and has talked about admiring Dashon Goldson.






I think that JJ Wilcox, although he played strong safety, is more of a hybrid, he has terrific coverage ability and has only played safety for a year, so he's very raw but I can see him playing either safety position, he has very quick feet. Josh Evans, who was Elam's teammate, is a bit raw, has some poor technique that needs to be coached up, but I see him as better in coverage than Elam.


A late round sleeper that I've liked for a long time is Jarred Holley of Pittsburgh. Doesn't have ideal size but he is an absolute gamer and playmaker. A leader on the field and a guy who always seems to be around the ball, shows very good awareness and is seldom in the wrong spot. Good tackler for his size, very hard-nosed, feisty, high-motor kind of a guy. He should be available in the 7th round.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Mar 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM ]
Originally posted by ChaunceyGardner:
I think this will be a very good SS class and an average FS class, It is so deep there are guys in each round that could end up being good starters.

Kenny Vaccaro probably the best in the class.

This, lots of quality strong safeties, kind of thin at free safety.
Originally posted by SFrush:
That's actually who Mayock compared Elam to at the combine.

I'm guessing Whitner had more than 15 reps @225 at his combine.

I like Thomas and Boyett.
Originally posted by Butter:
Originally posted by SFrush:
Originally posted by JustinNiner:
Originally posted by artiga1:

Matt Elam...a little undersized but he hits HARD


sounds like another whitner...PASS

That's actually who Mayock compared Elam to at the combine.

I remember being very surprised at how high Whitner was drafted. I personally believe the Niners need an Ed Reed, Troy P type ball hawk who can help increase the time the Dline has to knock the QB down.

The idea of having two safety's who are sub 5-10 makes me very uneasy. I think we can get away with one, but two would be problematic when covering the Jimmy Grahms and the Gronks of the world. I am still evalluating safety's overall, and will have my list soon.
[ Edited by GorefullBore on Mar 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM ]
Originally posted by GorefullBore:
The idea of having two S who are sub 5-10 makes me very uneasy. I think we can get away with one, but two would be problematic against the Jimmy Grahms and the Gronks of the world. I am still evalluating safety's overall, and will have my list soon.

Yeah, not a fan of two small TE's whatsoever.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,068
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by SFrush:
That's actually who Mayock compared Elam to at the combine.

Because he's not very good in coverage. Not sure why people are so hyped up on Elam, he's a hard hitting safety who struggles in coverage, sounds like exactly what the 49ers already have. Reid is another that while better in coverage than Elam, plays stiff, doesn't have the best hips...etc. Realistically its a lot easier to replace a strong safety in this draft than to replace a free safety. Lots of strong safety-type prospects, very few true centerfielder/ballhawk type safeties.

I think Phillip Thomas will be a true free safety at the next level, as will Bacarri Rambo who can be an iffy tackler but is very good in deep coverage and tied the Georgia record for interceptions. I think that JJ Wilcox, although he played strong safety, is more of a hybrid, he has terrific coverage ability and has only played safety for a year, so he's very raw but I can see him playing either safety position, he has very quick feet. Josh Evans, who was Elam's teammate, is a bit raw, has some poor technique that needs to be coached up, but I see him as better in coverage than Elam.


A late round sleeper that I've liked for a long time is Jarred Holley of Pittsburgh. Doesn't have ideal size but he is an absolute gamer and playmaker. A leader on the field and a guy who always seems to be around the ball, shows very good awareness and is seldom in the wrong spot. Good tackler for his size, very hard-nosed, feisty, high-motor kind of a guy. He should be available in the 7th round.

We need safeties that can cover and tackle; hitting hard is tertiary.

At free safety, I like Phillip Thomas.

At strong safety, I like Earl Wolff from NC State.

He has some ball skills. In 51 games he had 21 passes defended--6 picks and 15 passes broken up.

He can tackle. He had 361 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and 2 sacks.

He can hit. He had 7 forced fumbles.

His measurable are good. His 5-11 and weights 208 pounds. He has 31 1/2" arms.

He is fast. He ran the 40 in 4.43, which was the second fastest time for a safety.

He is quick. He ran the shuttle in 4.07, which was the second fastest for safeties at the combine.

He is explosive. He jumped 39 inches in the vertical and 11 feet 2 inches in the broad jump. He tied for first in the broad jump.

A work out warrior who can actually play football.
[ Edited by buck on Mar 17, 2013 at 4:41 PM ]
Originally posted by buck:
We need safeties that can cover and tackle; hitting hard is tertiary.

At free safety, I like Phillip Thomas.

At strong safety, I like Earl Wolff from NC State.

He has some ball skills. In 51 games he had 21 passes defended--6 picks and 15 passes broken up.

He can tackle. He had 361 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and 2 sacks.

He can hit. He had 7 forced fumbles.

His measurable are good. His 5-11 and weights 208 pounds. He has 31 1/2" arms.

He is fast. He ran the 40 in 4.43, which was the second fastest time for a safety.

He is quick. He ran the shuttle in 4.07, which was the second fastest for safeties at the combine.

He is explosive. He jumped 39 inches in the vertical and 11 feet 2 inches in the broad jump. He tied for first in the broad jump.

All in all, Wilcox is my favorite. Biggest ceiling of anyone IMO. He played safety for just one year and basically played at a comparable level to or better than the majority of safeties in this draft. He has played primarily WR and RB in the past, similar to Sherman he uses his knowledge of offensive schemes and gameplanning to anticipate where the ball is going to go, he's rock solid in coverage, some have said that he could even play cornerback due to his agility and quick feet, he has decent size and you can really put him at either safety position.


With quality coaching, this guy could really turn out to be something really special in the NFL. He's also a Baalke category of player, somewhat raw but very high ceiling, versatile...etc.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Mar 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM ]
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by GorefullBore:
The idea of having two S who are sub 5-10 makes me very uneasy. I think we can get away with one, but two would be problematic against the Jimmy Grahms and the Gronks of the world. I am still evalluating safety's overall, and will have my list soon.

Yeah, not a fan of two small TE's whatsoever.


TE's? I thought I was clearly talking about safety's. I' made some changes so that is even more clear now.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,068
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by buck:
We need safeties that can cover and tackle; hitting hard is tertiary.

At free safety, I like Phillip Thomas.

At strong safety, I like Earl Wolff from NC State.

He has some ball skills. In 51 games he had 21 passes defended--6 picks and 15 passes broken up.

He can tackle. He had 361 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and 2 sacks.

He can hit. He had 7 forced fumbles.

His measurable are good. His 5-11 and weights 208 pounds. He has 31 1/2" arms.

He is fast. He ran the 40 in 4.43, which was the second fastest time for a safety.

He is quick. He ran the shuttle in 4.07, which was the second fastest for safeties at the combine.

He is explosive. He jumped 39 inches in the vertical and 11 feet 2 inches in the broad jump. He tied for first in the broad jump.

All in all, Wilcox is my favorite. Biggest ceiling of anyone IMO. He played safety for just one year and basically played at a comparable level to or better than the majority of safeties in this draft. He has played primarily WR and RB in the past, similar to Sherman he uses his knowledge of offensive schemes and gameplanning to anticipate where the ball is going to go, he's rock solid in coverage, some have said that he could even play cornerback due to his agility and quick feet, he has decent size and you can really put him at either safety position.


With quality coaching, this guy could really turn out to be something really special in the NFL. He's also a Baalke category of player, somewhat raw but very high ceiling, versatile...etc.


JJ Wilcox just plays football--put him on the field and he balls.

He spent his first three seasons on offense, mainly as a slot receiver.

During that time, he rushed 137 times for 964 yards - a nifty 7 yards per carry average - and 13 touchdowns.

He caught 45 passes for 898 yards and four scores.

He also returned kick offs: 33 returns for 791 yards; an average of 23.96 per return.

But this season, he was switched to safety.

He responded to the switch by intercepting 2 passes and breaking up 3. He added 96 tackles.

You are right. Baalke must love Wilcox.
[ Edited by buck on Mar 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM ]


Must draft J.J. .... think of the possibilities in the photo shop thread alone!!!!

Seriously though, he is an intriguing athlete.
Originally posted by LottOfDefense:
Good call, played safety in HS. 6-1'' 205 good size, physical player.

Gotta think Baalke is leaning toward this kid! We need an extra corner and obviously a safety. Perfect fit!!