Originally posted by NCommand:
My only real issues with Baalke's drafts (which have been stellar IMHO) is that everyone and their mother knew Goldson was running towards the payday. Period. We had him on multiple one-year deals and he made his demands clear. He wanted top 3 money. So why didn't we draft and train his replacement (like Baalke says, 1 to 2 years out) fully knowing this? That said, I have a strong feeling they did...and his name is Chris Culliver. Experience at CB will help him as a FS. But then who is Whitner's replacement? Trenton Robinson?
We should already have answers for these two scenarios.
I wanted Fleener badly last year b/c he would have been able to start from day 1 and play 50-60% of the snaps, create mismatches and really help Alex/CK in the RZ/EZ. And more importantly, he was perfect insurance for VD should he ever go down. We run a heavy two-TE happy offense so a #1 "slot WR" such as AJ does nothing for you in year 1. And now he'll be up against Manningham and Williams.
Now here is a scenario where this pick makes the most sense: With CK and his love for the WR position, we may become more diversified. We may get Ertz this year who sounds like a more complete TE compared to Fleener AND we may evolve into a more 3 and 4 WR set team...a more spread-style offense. If this is the case, you CAN have AJ, who's had a year to learn all three WR positions, contribute a ton. He could have a "break out" year and be part of a sweet rotation with Crabtree and Boldin/Lockette and Williams and Manningham (slot). AJ can now play all three positions...he can burn you inside as a slot and beat you deep outside (deep threat). He can also line up in the backfield next to CK and a TE/RB out of the Q formation and create additional mismatches.
Let's watch how "the plan" unfolds before we're too quick to judge last year's draft choices.
Having a FS ready to step in probably was his plan all along. We can't say for certain that Trenton Robinson is the guy, no more than we could've said that NaVorro Bowman wasn't ready in 2011. You just never know about these things. The only thing we do is that when a guy has had to step up and replace someone on this team, it has ALWAYS worked out. So I'll give Baalke the benefit of the doubt.
Because of the picks he has made, we have 2 possible options at center once Goodwin leaves, are in position to take another starting caliber receiver who could either complement Crabtree or replace him (depending on Michael Crabtree's contract demands and the development of AJ Jenkins), we are in position to draft a more talented TE to pair up with Vernon Davis, and a true franchise QB. We'll be ok. If we answered every question in the 2012 draft we wouldn't even need the 2013 draft
. I'm just going to sit back, relax, and smile as he solidifies the short and long term future of this team in less than 2 days.
Also, in response to the post about not adding anyone in 2012, we added LaMichael James who is an offensive weapon and gives us a legit 3-headed monster at running back, who also can return kicks. Outside of him, no one else really played. The one guy who did, did it well. I expect that most of the other picks, including AJ Jenkins, when given opportunities (plural, not singular), will do well as also.
P.S. I also have to admit Coby Fleener was my guy last year and I still stand by that pick, believing we should have taken him. However if the logic is to get a TE with better blocking ability but also the playmaking ability of Fleener I'm on board.
[ Edited by LifelongNiner on Apr 23, 2013 at 11:17 PM ]