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MadDog's 2013 NFL Draft Review

Another exciting draft weekend has come and gone, and now....a little more than 51 weeks before we do it all over again. Yikes!

The Niners had 13 selections, used 11 and stockpiled a third rounder for next year, to no one's surprise. The question is, "How did they do with their 11 selections?" While every person has their own interpretation of a "good" draft, to me, it is a combination of matching the best player with a specific need and at an acceptable slot. When the top need matches the top player at a top value location, it is nirvana...which rarely happens. With all of this in mind, here is my breakdown of the Niners' selections.

1 Eric Reid, 18th overall. The Niners needed to sacrifice a third rounder to jump up 13 slots to select Reid. To me, this was a selection out of desperation more than of true value. Reid was not a "reach" at 18, because some teams following the 18th slot were probably in position to draft him (Bengals more than likely). The issue is that he is not the 18th best player in this draft. In fact, I don't think he is close to the 18th best player in the draft. Now, three picks before Reid was selected, the Saints grabbed Kenny Vacarro, who I believe is FAR superior to Reid. So, this was not a good value pick. Is Reid a bad player? No. Is he worth the 18th overall, a big NO! The NIners gambled with Goldson over the last couple of years, and while they won in the past with his contract, this time the time was up. So, the cheaper route was a draftee. Reid regressed in 2012, and that should concern fans. He was not nearly the same player as the year before. He has all the physical and mental tools to become a great pro, but to me, lack something to be consistently great. Some might label it inconsistent instincts, some might call it stiff hips, I call it a move to strong safety in a couple years.

If the team if moving up to 18, get a player than matches the value. The pick should have been Tyler Eifert, who is going to be a stud in the NFL. Maybe the Bengals should send a Thank You card to the Niners for Christmas. The Niners obviously saw need at TE, as they selected McDonald 37 picks later. They should have picked up the best player on the board at that point, Eifert.

Grade for Reid: C- grade. Good player, not great, poor value, and lost opportunity and sacrificed third rounder. For the record, I did not advocate moving up. In fact, as I will show later, I held tight across all 13 picks.

2. Tank Carradine, 40th overall. Trent making the Dog a happy camper, as Carradine was the best player on the board at 40. Obviously will assume the role that J. Smith plays down the road. Just a beast all around, with a wide array of moves to get to the QB. Very impressive strength and speed combo, and is extremely determined to get on the field as soon as possible. Can't wait to see him develop as a pro. Will need to stack on about 10-15 pounds to handle the pounding that a 34 base DE takes, but in the meantime can either rush from the outside on passing downs, or inside next to Smith. Dropping down six slot and picking up extra compensation adds extra value.

Grade for Carradine: A.

2. Vance McDonald, 55th overall. Extremely athletic TE, with big upside. Outstanding combination of size, speed, strength. Still raw at TE. Reminds me a lot of James Casey. McDonald was the number 4 TE on my board after Eifert, Kelce and Ertz. Hands can be suspicious at times, and he will need to work on concentrating on catching the ball cleaner at the pro level. Should be a concern that, like Reid, he performed better statistically earlier in his career. Only 2 TD's in 2012 compared to 8 in 2010. I like the player, but assign him a slightly lower grade. To me, in a deep draft, he is more an early-mid third round value. The team really needed some CB or NT help by this point, in my opinion, and there were very talented guys on the board that could have been a better value pick in this slot. Since the team felt the need to move up six slots, and sacrifice another pick once again, it should be for a game changer, difference maker. I don't see that in McDonald. Could have picked Kelce at 61, one pick before the Chiefs nabbed him at 62.

Grade for McDonald: C+

3. Corey Lemonier, 88th overall. Lemonier is a long, athletic, 6'4" OLB with a quick first step and solid experience in the SEC for Auburn. Another very hard working player, with excellent determination and a relentless motor, he adds another edge rusher to the team. There is a lot to like from this kid. The downside is a siginificant drop in productivity on the back end of the 2012 season, as the competition became stiffer. For me, Lemonier is a bit of a one trick pony at rushing the QB. If he beats you to the edge, he's got you. However, if the OT gets his hands on him, he's done. Lemonier needs to work on counter moves if cannot beat the OT to the edge. Since this was another trade up, extra value is placed on it, as another draft choice will be used for compensation.

Grade for Lemonier: C+

4. Quinton Patton, 128th overall. He was the top guy left on my board for the team at the pick, so I saw great value and a need come into harmomic alignment, as with Carradine, with this pick. Patton was hyperproductive at Louisiana Tech, is very smooth on the field, and knows how to play the game. I saw him as second round value, so to pluck him in the fourth is a home run. Dare I say I graded him higher than the Niners' first rounder last year, AJ Jenkins. To me, he should surprise a lot of people with the productive career ahead.

Grade for Patton: A

4. Marcus Lattimore: 131st pick. A terrific football player, with great spirit and heart. The team could take a high risk player in Lattimore at this juncture with so many picks at their disposal. Why not roll the dice with a guy who could end up the best back in the draft? This is the positive spin on Lattimore. The reality is that Lattimore suffered a horrific injury, and while there are examples of RBs who return to form after major ACL surgery (Peterson, McGahee), most are not the same. Further, Lattimore has a lot of mileage on that body, even before the injury, as he has been taking big hits for four college years. He does not shrink from violent collisions, and that takes an extra toll. If I was a betting man, I'd say he won't end up the NFL player that I imagined when he tore up college football as a freshman. However, I wish the best for him.

Grade for Lattimore: B+

5. Quinton Dial, 157th overall. Dial is a very intriguing prospect. He has excellent size for a 34 DE, and played in a terrific program. He has a nasty streak about him. In fact, to me, he is one of the dirtier college football players. Some like that nasty streak, others see it as a sign of bad character. Honestly, I couldn't care less, as long as he is productive. Looking at his numbers, 40 total tackles in two years. To me, a bit on the low side. I look at a player like Kapron Lewis Moore who played the exact position as Dial, a 34DE, and see 40 tackles in 2012. To me, this would have been the better choice between the two players.

Grade for Dial: C

6, Nick Moody, 180th overall; 7. BJ Daniels, 237th overall; 7. Carter Bykowski, 246th; 7. Marcus Cooper, 252 overall
For the sake of brevity, I won't go into a long elaboration of the four late rounders. Let's be honest, all of these guys are going to be practice Squaders at best. I haven't read any of the 49ers write-ups post draft, but sure that Moody is shifting inside to ILB. He's a really good special teamer but nothing more. I'm guessing Daniels is also being moved to FB, TE, Hback. Good athlete, but a long shot to even make the PS in my opinion. Bykowski was selected to gain the Polish-American community, and Marcus Cooper was selected because every other back seven defender on Rutgers' squad was selected and we didn't want him to feel left out. I hope they didn't base their opinion on him due to the forty times posted at Rutgers. That track is so fast, my granny can run a forty in 4.55.

Grade for the collective bunch of late rounders: C...does it even matter?

Overall, I give the team a B- grade for the draft. I do rate it as a top 10 draft this year, but it could have been so much more. Got to hand it to Baalke for stockpiling picks this season and grabbing an extra third rounder next year. At the same time, if Justin Hunter blows up the league, and Carradine does not, we will look back at that number 34 pick and scream for the heavens.

As chronicled in the ongoing Draft Discussion Thread, and my Resetting the Board for Day Three thread, here was my 13 selections at the time of the selection. It will be fun to compare over the years.

31. Tank Carradine-DE
34. Justin Hunter- WR
61. Jesse Williams-NT/DE
74. BW Webb-CB
93. Phillip Thomas-S
128. Quinton Patton-WR
131. Cornelius Washington-OLB
157. Josh Evans-S
173. David Quessenberry-OT/G
180. Rex Burkhead-RB
237. Reid Fragel-OT
246. Marcus Cromartie-CB
252. Lucas Reed-TE

I give myself an "A" grade...of course, these were my picks.

In wrapping up, let no one ever state that they get the draft. It is like reading the mind of a woman for guys....good luck. Just when you think you've got it all figure out, you realize you know nothing. Back to square one. That is the great joy of the draft, realizing that the impossible task of mastering it will never happen, but you want to so badly. For those fixated on draft grades, one special note. The Seahawks last year were roundly booed, heckled, jeered by professions and amateurs alike for their sophomoric attempt to make selections. In the end, Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and Russell Wilson ended up being sensational picks. So, while it is fun to assign grades at this point, history shows that it can go any direction.
  • AmpLee
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I draft 6 players in MadDog's top 108 and get a B-
[ Edited by AmpLee on Apr 28, 2013 at 9:14 PM ]
So the only TE you would have taken is someone who didnt even get drafted? Other than FS the one position where someone was going to play the most was at TE. That would have been horrible. Sorry.
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
So the only TE you would have taken is someone who didnt even get drafted? Other than FS the one position where someone was going to play the most was at TE. That would have been horrible. Sorry.

It sometimes works that way in the draft. The Niners have a need at corner, whether it be in 2013 or 2014 and they bypassed the position until the 7th round, as I did with Reed. If a team gets caught up in the "what is our next hole" situation, and drafts a guy to fill it, even though they have him at a lower grade, it will hurt the roster at some point. There will be available guys in FA that can play a backup role to Davis for 2013 if needed. In the same way, there will be FA corners that can play a backup role to our starters if needed.
5. Quinton Dial, 157th overall. Dial is a very intriguing prospect. He has excellent size for a 34 DE, and played in a terrific program. He has a nasty streak about him. In fact, to me, he is one of the dirtier college football players. Some like that nasty streak, others see it as a sign of bad character. Honestly, I couldn't care less, as long as he is productive. Looking at his numbers, 40 total tackles in two years. To me, a bit on the low side. I look at a player like Kapron Lewis Moore who played the exact position as Dial, a 34DE, and see 40 tackles in 2012. To me, this would have been the better choice between the two players.

Actually it is 46 tackles and he had 20 solo tackles compared to 17 for your 32nd rated player Jesse Williams. Maybe the #s are why Jesse Williams wasnt drafted where you thought he should go but fell to the 5th.
[ Edited by Ninerjohn on Apr 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM ]
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
So the only TE you would have taken is someone who didnt even get drafted? Other than FS the one position where someone was going to play the most was at TE. That would have been horrible. Sorry.

It sometimes works that way in the draft. The Niners have a need at corner, whether it be in 2013 or 2014 and they bypassed the position until the 7th round, as I did with Reed. If a team gets caught up in the "what is our next hole" situation, and drafts a guy to fill it, even though they have him at a lower grade, it will hurt the roster at some point. There will be available guys in FA that can play a backup role to Davis for 2013 if needed. In the same way, there will be FA corners that can play a backup role to our starters if needed.

I think the Niners have much more depth at the CB spot than had at TE. I would have liked someone like Poyer picked late but I think the team has enough depth at corner for the upcoming year. I dont think an undrafted TE would have cut it as 2nd guy. Im sure you realize that our 2nd TE is more than just a backup.
I can't see how taking Eifert would of worked. We have to look financially at this. We aren't gonna pay 2 TEs top dollar in 4 years, because both would be young and still in prime. Plus what does it say to Vernon, if we draft a TE 18?

I always stress, draft for need, but not always the same position under the new CBA, that option, and paying top 10 and top 20 kills you. It makes more sense to draft a WR then a TE, since most teams carry between 5 and 6 WRs each year.

Money comes into this big time, and needs, Reid was a higher need then a 2nd TE.
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
5. Quinton Dial, 157th overall. Dial is a very intriguing prospect. He has excellent size for a 34 DE, and played in a terrific program. He has a nasty streak about him. In fact, to me, he is one of the dirtier college football players. Some like that nasty streak, others see it as a sign of bad character. Honestly, I couldn't care less, as long as he is productive. Looking at his numbers, 40 total tackles in two years. To me, a bit on the low side. I look at a player like Kapron Lewis Moore who played the exact position as Dial, a 34DE, and see 40 tackles in 2012. To me, this would have been the better choice between the two players.

Actually it is 46 tackles and he had 20 solo tackles compared to 17 for your 32nd rated player Jesse Williams. Maybe the #s are why Jesse Williams wasnt drafted where you thought he should go but fell to the 5th.

According to College Football Stats (cfbstats.com), Dial has 21 total tackles (unassisted and assisted) in 2012, while Jesse Williams had 37 total tackles in 2012.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
5. Quinton Dial, 157th overall. Dial is a very intriguing prospect. He has excellent size for a 34 DE, and played in a terrific program. He has a nasty streak about him. In fact, to me, he is one of the dirtier college football players. Some like that nasty streak, others see it as a sign of bad character. Honestly, I couldn't care less, as long as he is productive. Looking at his numbers, 40 total tackles in two years. To me, a bit on the low side. I look at a player like Kapron Lewis Moore who played the exact position as Dial, a 34DE, and see 40 tackles in 2012. To me, this would have been the better choice between the two players.

Actually it is 46 tackles and he had 20 solo tackles compared to 17 for your 32nd rated player Jesse Williams. Maybe the #s are why Jesse Williams wasnt drafted where you thought he should go but fell to the 5th.

According to College Football Stats (cfbstats.com), Dial has 21 total tackles (unassisted and assisted) in 2012, while Jesse Williams had 37 total tackles in 2012.

I see you conveniently left off that Dial had more solo tackles and more tackles for loss than Williams in 2012. All I am saying is that you throw out numbers for Dial and say it should be higher to justify your grade and then ignore numbers for JW. Cant have it both ways.
Originally posted by AB83Rules:
I can't see how taking Eifert would of worked. We have to look financially at this. We aren't gonna pay 2 TEs top dollar in 4 years, because both would be young and still in prime. Plus what does it say to Vernon, if we draft a TE 18?

I always stress, draft for need, but not always the same position under the new CBA, that option, and paying top 10 and top 20 kills you. It makes more sense to draft a WR then a TE, since most teams carry between 5 and 6 WRs each year.

Money comes into this big time, and needs, Reid was a higher need then a 2nd TE.
AB looking at dollars and cents. No surprise. Davis is entering his 8th year in 2013, and I am not sure there is another big payday out there for him. He'll be 32 when he hits free agency in 2016. Have to see how his body holds up over the next three years.

As for selecting Eifert, I was playing devil's advocate with the 18th pick. I didn't want the trade up, but if you are making that move, pick the best guy. NE has shown that they can be a serious headache with two monster TEs on the field at the same time. You burn that contract bridge when you get to it, I would say. Pick the best player.
  • Jcool
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Originally posted by MadDog49er:
AB looking at dollars and cents. No surprise. Davis is entering his 8th year in 2013, and I am not sure there is another big payday out there for him. He'll be 32 when he hits free agency in 2016. Have to see how his body holds up over the next three years.

As for selecting Eifert, I was playing devil's advocate with the 18th pick. I didn't want the trade up, but if you are making that move, pick the best guy. NE has shown that they can be a serious headache with two monster TEs on the field at the same time. You burn that contract bridge when you get to it, I would say. Pick the best player.

And how many Superbowl rings has that produced?
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
I see you conveniently left off that Dial had more solo tackles and more tackles for loss than Williams in 2012. All I am saying is that you throw out numbers for Dial and say it should be higher to justify your grade and then ignore numbers for JW. Cant have it both ways.

NT;s in 34 alignments are not going to pad a ton of stats. They are almost always double-teamed, so the 34 DE should naturally have more numbers, which Dial does in solo tackles and tackles for loss , but not in overall tackles.In the end, Williams had nearly twice the amount of tackles in 2012 as Dial. And, as stated before, Kapron Lewis Moore has far more production than Dial did in the same role.
I would have taken Kelce over Jesse Williams in your draft. Given how often we are in the nickel, I think we are fine with Dorsey and Ian Williams at that position. Plus, I have to think that Williams' medicals were pretty bad. Obviously we don't have access to the medicals, but when you're grading the draft after the fact you have to take into account what happened during the draft: and it's obvious that his medical issues were concerning enough that he dropped to the 5th round. Given the red flags, to take him at the end of the 2nd round would be very bad value.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by AB83Rules:
I can't see how taking Eifert would of worked. We have to look financially at this. We aren't gonna pay 2 TEs top dollar in 4 years, because both would be young and still in prime. Plus what does it say to Vernon, if we draft a TE 18?

I always stress, draft for need, but not always the same position under the new CBA, that option, and paying top 10 and top 20 kills you. It makes more sense to draft a WR then a TE, since most teams carry between 5 and 6 WRs each year.

Money comes into this big time, and needs, Reid was a higher need then a 2nd TE.
AB looking at dollars and cents. No surprise. Davis is entering his 8th year in 2013, and I am not sure there is another big payday out there for him. He'll be 32 when he hits free agency in 2016. Have to see how his body holds up over the next three years.

As for selecting Eifert, I was playing devil's advocate with the 18th pick. I didn't want the trade up, but if you are making that move, pick the best guy. NE has shown that they can be a serious headache with two monster TEs on the field at the same time. You burn that contract bridge when you get to it, I would say. Pick the best player.

I always look at it from a financial aspect . I think we had our guy(Reid) rated higher. Baalke said he had the deal agreed to contingent on Reid being there at 18, and the Cowboys wanted to still do the trade.

Idk, I like the pick, I thought the trade up was weird, but I'm cool with it. We got a good FS to be next to whitner, then whoever we add to take over for Whitner.
[ Edited by AB83Rules on Apr 28, 2013 at 9:48 PM ]
Originally posted by Jcool:
And how many Superbowl rings has that produced?

A few answers: Hernandez has been in the league 3 years. NE's problems are related to defense. Hernandez was a fourth rounder, so his selection did not impact the defense.