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What we learned from the 2013 Draft

I think we learned a lot about last years "redshirt" class as well as our entire roster from this draft. Here are 10 takeaways from the draft.

1. Every expert thought that we would draft a NT high, so what did we do? Not draft ANY true NT prospects. I think the staff felt like having a 2 down NT is a thing of the past and not worth another roster spot. They addressed the loss of Soap and RJF with Dorsey, who wasn't the pass rusher KC thought they were getting, but can stuff the run. Unlike RJF and Soap, Dorsey can shoot the gap much better and can push the pocket. To back him up we still have Ian Williams who the staff deemed better than Jessie Williams or they would have drafted Jessie ( we could have had him a couple times ). The 9ers feel very comfortable with Dorsey and Ian at NT.

2. Most people thought we would draft a second Safety to groom for Dante's replacement. We drafted a long, fast safety in Reid who runs a 4.5 forty and has a 40 in vert. Some people wanted us to draft Elam, but Reid is a better all around prospect. On top of that, we may already have Elam???

Matt Elam
5'10", 208 lbs, 4.54 forty, 17 reps, 35.5 vert, 118 broad
Last two years of college production
154 Tackles, 6 INT, 18 PD

Trent Robinson
5'10", 195, 4.52 forty, 15 reps, 35 vert, 125 broad
Last two years of college production
156 Tackles, 8 INT, 18 PD

The 9ers like what Trent can do to fill in for Dante next year, or flip him to FS and have Ried as the SS. Both seem to be interchangable, something the staff covets.

3. Most people did not see us drafting OLB. We drafted pass rush stud Corey Lemonier. This means that the 9ers staff wanted to provide as much competition at OLB as possible. If Lemonier can show the 1st round burst he displayed his soph year at Auburn, Cam is probably a gonner. The 9ers may opt to stay young and cut Haralson, but with a SB on the line this year, I really think they keep the well rounded Haralson on the roster to protect against an injury. He restructured so he is cheap, experienced, can stuff the run and provide a pass rush if needed. He is way too valuable to let go and can rotate with both OLB right now with little drop off. Fleming, Cam and Lemonier are all raw, there is a steep drop off from Haralson to those in this D. This also may mean Fleming may shift to ILB with Haralson and Corey as the top backups. Corey may also see some time in Nickle to rush the passer.

4. Most people thougth we would draft a CB high. We picked up some bodies at the end, but it is clear that the 9ers staff reviewed the pass breakdowns at the end of the year and pinpointed them to pass rush, not covering. When the 9ers had the pass rush, we ranked 2nd in the league in Pass D ( still finished 1st in NFC passing yards per game ). With the 9ers investing in Tank and Corey, the message is loud and clear, the pass rush is the key. Hell the Giants have been winning for years with a great pass rush and no corners. The 9ers must also like Rogers to bounce back or Cox to step up this year in the slot.

The rest of the picks made sense.

5. No C or OG were drafted high since they like Looney and Kilgore. One if not both will be groomed to compete/start at C in 2014.

6. They brought in some OT bodies to compete for the swing tackle opening.

7. Brought in some bodies to compete at backup ILB and for ST's: Nick Moody, Dan Skuta, Michael Wilhoite, Nate Stupar..add in Fleming I think.

8. Brought in a perfect slot WR with great hands in Patton. He has the makeup this staff loves and should push AJ and Lockette for the starting #3 spot.

9. Brought in a big bodied, strong TE who can develop into a premier blocker and red zone threat. He is bigger, faster, stronger, has a higher vert, wing span and hands than Ertz or any other TE in this class. Jimmy has always had an eye for TE talent, Im pumped to see what his first handpicked NFL TE prospect will become.

10. Drafting Lattimore to stash on the PUP for a year and unleash when Frank hangs em up. Was always a big fan of Lattimore and this is the perfect situation for him.





I have to say that I loved this draft, solid B+! We wont really know how good this class is until a couple years down the line, but god I love the look of it initially.



What do you guys think? What conclusions did you come to with what you thought before and what was actually done?
[ Edited by DRUSTOPO on Apr 29, 2013 at 8:41 AM ]
I wouldn't say that CB is not a need just because we didn't pick one. Obviously all that we learned is that the right guy didn't land at the right spot. I thought B.W. Webb instead of Lemonier in the 3rd round was the obvious pick change that could have addressed our CB situation. But Webb is a small school guy, and perhaps Lemonier was much higher on our board. In which case, it makes sense for Baalke to pick the better prospect.

I'm also confused why we didn't take a chance on Jordan Poyer in the 6th round. But again, perhaps he just didn't have a very high grade by our scouting team.

Can we get buy with our current CBs? Yes. Brown, Culliver, and Rogers are all above average CBs. The only problem is that none of them match up very well against quick slot receivers.We'll have to rely on scheme and pass rush to compensate.
Originally posted by blm7754:
I wouldn't say that CB is not a need just because we didn't pick one. Obviously all that we learned is that the right guy didn't land at the right spot. I thought B.W. Webb instead of Lemonier in the 3rd round was the obvious pick change that could have addressed our CB situation. But Webb is a small school guy, and perhaps Lemonier was much higher on our board. In which case, it makes sense for Baalke to pick the better prospect.

I'm also confused why we didn't take a chance on Jordan Poyer in the 6th round. But again, perhaps he just didn't have a very high grade by our scouting team.

Can we get buy with our current CBs? Yes. Brown, Culliver, and Rogers are all above average CBs. The only problem is that none of them match up very well against quick slot receivers.We'll have to rely on scheme and pass rush to compensate.

Indeed, I agree 100% that the slot WR's are our achilles. I really thought that we would draft Slay or Banks to start off the 2nd, even though I love tank. I also was certain that we would draft Jessie Williams, especially when he was dropping. But again, who we did and did not pick is a peek into what the staff is thinking. With the amount of picks we have this year and next, we could have moved up at ANY time in ANY round to grab ANY player we wanted, and we did in most rounds, just not the players we all thought. It's interesting to see how Fangio is going to contain Harvin after he killed us last year. Plus Austin x2, TY Hilton and Cruz if we see him in the playoffs. We will have at least 5 opportunities during the regular season to see if not drafting a true slot cover corner will burn us in the end.

Cox is my sleeper to step up if Rogers continues to drop off.
Is this thread too similar to the MadDog one? If so, I apologize, feel free to delete it and Ill move my stuff there.
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
I think we learned a lot about last years "redshirt" class as well as our entire roster from this draft. Here are 10 takeaways from the draft.

1. Every expert thought that we would draft a NT high, so what did we do? Not draft ANY true NT prospects. I think the staff felt like having a 2 down NT is a thing of the past and not worth another roster spot. They addressed the loss of Soap and RJF with Dorsey, who wasn't the pass rusher KC thought they were getting, but can stuff the run. Unlike RJF and Soap, Dorsey can shoot the gap much better and can push the pocket. To back him up we still have Ian Williams who the staff deemed better than Jessie Williams or they would have drafted Jessie ( we could have had him a couple times ). The 9ers feel very comfortable with Dorsey and Ian at NT.

2. Most people thought we would draft a second Safety to groom for Dante's replacement. We drafted a long, fast safety in Reid who runs a 4.5 forty and has a 40 in vert. Some people wanted us to draft Elam, but Reid is a better all around prospect. On top of that, we may already have Elam???

Matt Elam
5'10", 208 lbs, 4.54 forty, 17 reps, 35.5 vert, 118 broad
Last two years of college production
154 Tackles, 6 INT, 18 PD

Trent Robinson
5'10", 195, 4.52 forty, 15 reps, 35 vert, 125 broad
Last two years of college production
156 Tackles, 8 INT, 18 PD

The 9ers like what Trent can do to fill in for Dante next year, or flip him to FS and have Ried as the SS. Both seem to be interchangable, something the staff covets.

3. Most people did not see us drafting OLB. We drafted pass rush stud Corey Lemonier. This means that the 9ers staff wanted to provide as much competition at OLB as possible. If Lemonier can show the 1st round burst he displayed his soph year at Auburn, Cam is probably a gonner. The 9ers may opt to stay young and cut Haralson, but with a SB on the line this year, I really think they keep the well rounded Haralson on the roster to protect against an injury. He restructured so he is cheap, experienced, can stuff the run and provide a pass rush if needed. He is way too valuable to let go and can rotate with both OLB right now with little drop off. Fleming, Cam and Lemonier are all raw, there is a steep drop off from Haralson to those in this D. This also may mean Fleming may shift to ILB with Haralson and Corey as the top backups. Corey may also see some time in Nickle to rush the passer.

4. Most people thougth we would draft a CB high. We picked up some bodies at the end, but it is clear that the 9ers staff reviewed the pass breakdowns at the end of the year and pinpointed them to pass rush, not covering. When the 9ers had the pass rush, we ranked 2nd in the league in Pass D ( still finished 1st in NFC passing yards per game ). With the 9ers investing in Tank and Corey, the message is loud and clear, the pass rush is the key. Hell the Giants have been winning for years with a great pass rush and no corners. The 9ers must also like Rogers to bounce back or Cox to step up this year in the slot.

The rest of the picks made sense.

5. No C or OG were drafted high since they like Looney and Kilgore. One if not both will be groomed to compete/start at C in 2014.

6. They brought in some OT bodies to compete for the swing tackle opening.

7. Brought in some bodies to compete at backup ILB and for ST's: Nick Moody, Dan Skuta, Michael Wilhoite, Nate Stupar..add in Fleming I think.

8. Brought in a perfect slot WR with great hands in Patton. He has the makeup this staff loves and should push AJ and Lockette for the starting #3 spot.

9. Brought in a big bodied, strong TE who can develop into a premier blocker and red zone threat. He is bigger, faster, stronger, has a higher vert, wing span and hands than Ertz or any other TE in this class. Jimmy has always had an eye for TE talent, Im pumped to see what his first handpicked NFL TE prospect will become.

10. Drafting Lattimore to stash on the PUP for a year and unleash when Frank hangs em up. Was always a big fan of Lattimore and this is the perfect situation for him.

I have to say that I loved this draft, solid B+! We wont really know how good this class is until a couple years down the line, but god I love the look of it initially.

What do you guys think? What conclusions did you come to with what you thought before and what was actually done?

Absolutely fantastic post! I love read-between-the-lines posts like this. Thank you.

1. I think with the addition of Tank (6'4" 276) to spell Aldon (OLB/RDE at the LOS) and Justin inside (RDT) and Lemonier (6'4" 255) for Brooks and Quinton Dial (6'6" 318) for McDonald along with Doresy and the upswing of Ian Williams (for Sopoaga and RJF), it's safe to say, Baalke gets that we need to run a MUCH heavier rotation next year with a small switch in philosophy. I expect many many more 4-man fronts with an array of pass rush options, esp. inside. BUT, don't forget our base 3-man DL as well. On paper, it appears Doresy and Williams can handle this role adequately and both have upside esp. against a pass-heavy offense (run stuffers).

That said, don't forget NT Lamar Divens (6'4" 340) either. He's a guy we can plug in there against teams that are power-running focused; something we struggled with in the past in our base 3-man DL. And we'll be playing a lot of those teams this year as well. But clearly, the shift is to a heavy rotation on the DL and OLB's with an added focus on pass rush. Lemonier looks like a clone of Ahmad Brooks and both even wear #55. LOL

2. This is a good point about Robinson and he's had an entire year to fully learn this defense. That said, I feel Baalke wants an additional shift in philosophy here as well. B/c we'll be playing more 4-man DL fronts and heavy rotation on pass rushing, I think Fangio/Baalke want to get more physical up at the LOS and press the $^&%^ out of WR's. With this philosophy, you could end up with a starting unit of:

Asomugha (6'2" 210) (LCB) - Woodson (6'1" 202) (FS) - Reid (6'2" 212) (SS) - Culliver (6'0" 200) (RCB)

And you can add a Brown/Rogers epic battle for the slot role which I think Brown would win, hands-down.

3. Agreed. The only thing I disagree on is that Haralson, while a veteran, he is a well-documented one-trick pony. He's a good run defender coming off a tackling-injury but is pretty slow/not quick and can struggle containing the edge and he has zero pass rush ability unless coming off the bench (we used him as a run defender on 1st and 2nd downs). Johnson and Fleming have had an entire year to heal up and fully know our defense. And now we add Lemonier for Brooks. If either Johnson or Fleming show more "complete OLB skills," Haralson is gone.

4. Agreed fully and I already addressed this change in philosophy and potential starters in the secondary.

5. I think Looney is competing with Goodwin THIS year. If successful, don't be surprised to see Goodwin a salary cap casualty come June 1st.

6. - 10. - Fully agree.

Offense: I'd also add, it appears our offensive philosophy isn't going to change with the drafting of McDonald. He will be our swiss army knife like Walker used to be. Patton appears to be a push to AJ in the slot and to groom for next year as a potential starter. I thought if we drafted WR early and drafted a couple of them with a late TE, it may symbolize we'd go to a more spread offense with CK at the helm. Clearly now, that is not the case. It will be the exact same offense as last year under CK...hopefully, just more efficient with much more depth and competition.

I gave it an A-grade esp. when you factor in a 6th and 7th for Boldin and McCoy and a 3rd for next year. The FO killed it.
[ Edited by NCommand on Apr 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:

Absolutely fantastic post! I love read-between-the-lines posts like this. Thank you.

1. I think with the addition of Tank (6'4" 276) to spell Aldon (OLB/RDE at the LOS) and Justin inside (RDT) and Lemonier (6'4" 255) and Quinton Dial (6'6" 318) for McDonald along with Doresy and the upswing of Ian Williams (for Sopoaga and RJF), it's safe to say, Baalke gets that we need to run a MUCH heavier rotation next year with a small switch in philosophy. I expect many many more 4-man fronts with an array of pass rush options, esp. inside. BUT, don't forget our base 3-man DL as well. On paper, it appears Doresy and Williams can handle this role adequately and both have upside esp. against a pass-heavy offense (run stuffers).

That said, don't forget NT Lamar Divens (6'4" 340) either. He's a guy we can plug in there against teams that are power-running focused; something we struggled with in the past in our base 3-man DL. And we'll be playing a lot of those teams this year as well. But clearly, the shift is to a heavy rotation on the DL and OLB's with an added focus on pass rush. Lemonier looks like a clone of Ahmad Brooks and both even wear #55. LOL

2. This is a good point about Robinson and he's had an entire year to fully learn this defense. That said, I feel Baalke wants an additional shift in philosophy here as well. B/c we'll be playing more 4-man DL fronts and heavy rotation on pass rushing, I think Fangio/Baalke want to get more physical up at the LOS and press the $^&%^ out of WR's. With this philosophy, you could end up with a starting unit of:

Asomugha (6'2" 210) (LCB) - Woodson (6'1" 202) (FS) - Reid (6'2" 212) (SS) - Culliver (6'0" 200) (RCB)

And you can add a Brown/Rogers epic battle for the slot role which I think Brown would win, hands-down.

3. Agreed. The only thing I disagree on is that Haralson, while a veteran, he is a well-documented one-trick pony. He's a good run defender coming off a tackling-injury but is pretty slow/not quick and can struggle containing the edge and he has zero pass rush ability unless coming off the bench (we used him as a run defender on 1st and 2nd downs). Johnson and Fleming have had an entire year to heal up and fully know our defense. And now we add Lemonier for Brooks. If either Johnson or Fleming show more "complete OLB skills," Haralson is gone.

4. Agreed fully and I already addressed this change in philosophy and potential starters in the secondary.

5. I think Looney is competing with Goodwin THIS year. If successful, don't be surprised to see Goodwin a salary cap casualty come June 1st.

6. - 10. - Fully agree.

Offense: I'd also add, it appears our offensive philosophy isn't going to change with the drafting of McDonald. He will be out swiss army knife like Walker used to be. Patton appears to be a push to AJ in the slot and to groom for next year as a potential starter. I thought if we drafted WR early and drafted a couple of them and a late TE, it may symbolize we'd go to a more spread offense with CK at the helm. Clearly now, that is not the case. It will be the exact same offense as last year under CK...hopefully, just more efficient.

I gave it an A-grade esp. when you factor in a 6th and 7th for Boldin and McCoy and a 3rd for next year. The FO killed it.

Totally agree NCommand, I went with the B+ because with my own team, Im like the Russians in Olympic figure skating, Im a tough judge...lol

I touched on your back 4 in the other thread, I would LOVE Asomugha and Chris to take the starting gigs and have Brown beat out Carlos and move him into a dime competion with Cox ( who I think is a solid cover guy ). I want to replace Dante real bad, he gave up way too many big plays last year, but he is the QB of this D. It would be hard to trust a rookie and new guy with getting everyone set up. I think Charles can do that though since he played in the same D at GB and is a smart vet. I think it would help out the pass coverage though and this staff really does try and put the best 11 on the field at all times. We shall see!
[ Edited by DRUSTOPO on Apr 29, 2013 at 9:26 AM ]
I learned that Baalke is a BAWSE
Originally posted by DaDivaRecieva15:
I learned that Baalke is a BAWSE

  • Kolohe
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 31,116
I learned that Baalke can do things you can't do in Madden.
Great post OP I also think we drafted guys with a very high work ethic that can play multiple positions:

Reid - SS or FS known to be a very hard worker
Tank - DE or OLB working hard and doing great recovery with his knee and has a very high motor
Lattimore - Everyone says this kid is just great be around and has fantastic work ethic
Patton - very high work ethic
McDonald - great blocker which I think shows work ethic in my opinion as its the not so glamorous side of the TE job and can play on the line, slot or out wide.

The rest i'm not sure on but you can decide for yoursleves I've not heard anyone say anything bad about anyone getting complacent or that they don't have a high motor.

Maybe this is a slight and overcompensating for some picks last year I don't know maybe I'm aiding 2+2 and getting 5 but that's what is see.
[ Edited by smithc28 on Apr 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM ]
Excellent post and comments!

I was pounding it for a long time that the secondary wasn't the main issue but the DLine roataion was.

I won't comment further sice you and NCommand covered it so well.

Two points -

First,our coaches see these guys EVERY DAY and based on what they saw in the draft we didn't need CB, WR in the early rounds.

Next, I really think McDonald will be MUCH better than advertised. They're really going to use this guy more & more as the season progresses.

I grade a soild "A".
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Excellent post and comments!

I was pounding it for a long time that the secondary wasn't the main issue but the DLine roataion was.

I won't comment further sice you and NCommand covered it so well.

Two points -

First,our coaches see these guys EVERY DAY and based on what they saw in the draft we didn't need CB, WR in the early rounds.

Next, I really think McDonald will be MUCH better than advertised. They're really going to use this guy more & more as the season progresses.

I grade a soild "A".

Thanks Wally! Yeah out of all the players, I'm really pumped about McDonald. He's got all the raw material, he just needs to be refined a little with the pass catching and inline blocking. Since Jimmy is a wiz with coaching up TE talent, we may have ourselves something REAL special! I wrote this about Vance before the draft on a TE thread.


=====================================================================================================

I really think our #2 TE needs to be a solid blocker first, pass catcher 2nd. Our coaches love multi dimension players who can line up anywhere and keep the defenses guessing. Ertz, Eifert, Reed and Escobar are excellent receivers of balls, but lack the size and strength to put their hand in the dirt and take on a 280 DE. Can they be coached up to block and add size after a couple years? Sure they could, over time, but that would have been a better idea LAST year with a #3 TE. Since Celek has hands of stone, we really need a solid blocking TE who can also catch, one we can plug in THIS season. I think 2 players fit that mold better than the rest, Kelce and Vance McDonald.

Vance McDonald, TE, Rice Height: 6-4. Weight: 267. Arm: 34 1/2. Hand: 10.18. 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2013): 3-4

He mostly played in the slot at Rice, but he has strength ( 31 reps was tops for TE at the combine - and more than most Olinemen ) and the size ( 267 ) to be an effective inline blocker. He also was the top performer in the Broad Jump, 3 cone and 60 yard shuttle....so he's not just a big meathead, he's athletic too. I think his size, strength and athleticism will allow him to adapt to inline blocking pretty quick.

Here's NFL.com's breakdown =

=================================
Analysis
Strengths Used all over the formation but mainly as a slot receiver. Smooth athlete, comfortable in space for someone his size. Engages with good hand placement when blocking, uses body to shield off running lane. Very long arms, flashes using them to his advantage when run blocking. Sticks to the latch even if jolted on first contact. Flashes driving smaller defenders to the ground. Fluid mover after the catch, natural with the ball in his hands, reads upfield blocks and cuts off of them. Plenty of receiver screens, shows patience and strength to finish off runs. Snap-to-whistle player, known to make multiple blocks on the same play. Comfortable with bucket catches. Quickly turns upfield and makes the most of each play. Can make contested catches. Hands catcher away from his body.

Weaknesses Lacks strength on first contact. Majority of blocking took place in space, no inline, which could show in NFL. At least one drop or bobble per game, occurred even more often at the Senior Bowl. Most occur when he has to adjust or move off his stationary spot. Other times when the ball gets there quickly, unexpected targets. Would like to see him high point more frequently.

NFL Comparison Todd Heap

Bottom Line Despite being built like an inline tight end, the majority of McDonald's experience is in the slot. This certainly helps his comfort blocking on the edge and as a receiver who picks up yards after the catch. In fact, McDonald is still learning how to use his frame effectively. Teams could view the Rice product as an inline prospect or as a Joker mismatch, but either way McDonald should be selected on the second day.
================================

I believe his versatility and size make him a perfect fit as our #2 TE. He already knows how to run routes and work in space, he also has big hands and long arms ( assets in the Red Zone ) if he can adapt to inline blocking, he would be a great weapon for our team.=

=======================================================================================================

Cant wait to see him develop!
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
Totally agree NCommand, I went with the B+ because with my own team, Im like the Russians in Olympic figure skating, Im a tough judge...lol

I touched on your back 4 in the other thread, I would LOVE Asomugha and Chris to take the starting gigs and have Brown beat out Carlos and move him into a dime competion with Cox ( who I think is a solid cover guy ). I want to replace Dante real bad, he gave up way too many big plays last year, but he is the QB of this D. It would be hard to trust a rookie and new guy with getting everyone set up. I think Charles can do that though since he played in the same D at GB and is a smart vet. I think it would help out the pass coverage though and this staff really does try and put the best 11 on the field at all times. We shall see!

LOL, nothing wrong with that!

There may be some concerns about our matchups against great slot WR's (Harvin and Austin) and against power-running teams d/t smaller sized, one-gap NT's (and not having a 2-gap NT to collapse the step-up lane) but "scheme" appears to intimate that our "personnel" is fine.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
I think we learned a lot about last years "redshirt" class as well as our entire roster from this draft. Here are 10 takeaways from the draft.

1. Every expert thought that we would draft a NT high, so what did we do? Not draft ANY true NT prospects. I think the staff felt like having a 2 down NT is a thing of the past and not worth another roster spot. They addressed the loss of Soap and RJF with Dorsey, who wasn't the pass rusher KC thought they were getting, but can stuff the run. Unlike RJF and Soap, Dorsey can shoot the gap much better and can push the pocket. To back him up we still have Ian Williams who the staff deemed better than Jessie Williams or they would have drafted Jessie ( we could have had him a couple times ). The 9ers feel very comfortable with Dorsey and Ian at NT.

2. Most people thought we would draft a second Safety to groom for Dante's replacement. We drafted a long, fast safety in Reid who runs a 4.5 forty and has a 40 in vert. Some people wanted us to draft Elam, but Reid is a better all around prospect. On top of that, we may already have Elam???

Matt Elam
5'10", 208 lbs, 4.54 forty, 17 reps, 35.5 vert, 118 broad
Last two years of college production
154 Tackles, 6 INT, 18 PD

Trent Robinson
5'10", 195, 4.52 forty, 15 reps, 35 vert, 125 broad
Last two years of college production
156 Tackles, 8 INT, 18 PD

The 9ers like what Trent can do to fill in for Dante next year, or flip him to FS and have Ried as the SS. Both seem to be interchangable, something the staff covets.

3. Most people did not see us drafting OLB. We drafted pass rush stud Corey Lemonier. This means that the 9ers staff wanted to provide as much competition at OLB as possible. If Lemonier can show the 1st round burst he displayed his soph year at Auburn, Cam is probably a gonner. The 9ers may opt to stay young and cut Haralson, but with a SB on the line this year, I really think they keep the well rounded Haralson on the roster to protect against an injury. He restructured so he is cheap, experienced, can stuff the run and provide a pass rush if needed. He is way too valuable to let go and can rotate with both OLB right now with little drop off. Fleming, Cam and Lemonier are all raw, there is a steep drop off from Haralson to those in this D. This also may mean Fleming may shift to ILB with Haralson and Corey as the top backups. Corey may also see some time in Nickle to rush the passer.

4. Most people thougth we would draft a CB high. We picked up some bodies at the end, but it is clear that the 9ers staff reviewed the pass breakdowns at the end of the year and pinpointed them to pass rush, not covering. When the 9ers had the pass rush, we ranked 2nd in the league in Pass D ( still finished 1st in NFC passing yards per game ). With the 9ers investing in Tank and Corey, the message is loud and clear, the pass rush is the key. Hell the Giants have been winning for years with a great pass rush and no corners. The 9ers must also like Rogers to bounce back or Cox to step up this year in the slot.

The rest of the picks made sense.

5. No C or OG were drafted high since they like Looney and Kilgore. One if not both will be groomed to compete/start at C in 2014.

6. They brought in some OT bodies to compete for the swing tackle opening.

7. Brought in some bodies to compete at backup ILB and for ST's: Nick Moody, Dan Skuta, Michael Wilhoite, Nate Stupar..add in Fleming I think.

8. Brought in a perfect slot WR with great hands in Patton. He has the makeup this staff loves and should push AJ and Lockette for the starting #3 spot.

9. Brought in a big bodied, strong TE who can develop into a premier blocker and red zone threat. He is bigger, faster, stronger, has a higher vert, wing span and hands than Ertz or any other TE in this class. Jimmy has always had an eye for TE talent, Im pumped to see what his first handpicked NFL TE prospect will become.

10. Drafting Lattimore to stash on the PUP for a year and unleash when Frank hangs em up. Was always a big fan of Lattimore and this is the perfect situation for him.

I have to say that I loved this draft, solid B+! We wont really know how good this class is until a couple years down the line, but god I love the look of it initially.

What do you guys think? What conclusions did you come to with what you thought before and what was actually done?

Absolutely fantastic post! I love read-between-the-lines posts like this. Thank you.

1. I think with the addition of Tank (6'4" 276) to spell Aldon (OLB/RDE at the LOS) and Justin inside (RDT) and Lemonier (6'4" 255) for Brooks and Quinton Dial (6'6" 318) for McDonald along with Doresy and the upswing of Ian Williams (for Sopoaga and RJF), it's safe to say, Baalke gets that we need to run a MUCH heavier rotation next year with a small switch in philosophy. I expect many many more 4-man fronts with an array of pass rush options, esp. inside. BUT, don't forget our base 3-man DL as well. On paper, it appears Doresy and Williams can handle this role adequately and both have upside esp. against a pass-heavy offense (run stuffers).

That said, don't forget NT Lamar Divens (6'4" 340) either. He's a guy we can plug in there against teams that are power-running focused; something we struggled with in the past in our base 3-man DL. And we'll be playing a lot of those teams this year as well. But clearly, the shift is to a heavy rotation on the DL and OLB's with an added focus on pass rush. Lemonier looks like a clone of Ahmad Brooks and both even wear #55. LOL

2. This is a good point about Robinson and he's had an entire year to fully learn this defense. That said, I feel Baalke wants an additional shift in philosophy here as well. B/c we'll be playing more 4-man DL fronts and heavy rotation on pass rushing, I think Fangio/Baalke want to get more physical up at the LOS and press the $^&%^ out of WR's. With this philosophy, you could end up with a starting unit of:

Asomugha (6'2" 210) (LCB) - Woodson (6'1" 202) (FS) - Reid (6'2" 212) (SS) - Culliver (6'0" 200) (RCB)

And you can add a Brown/Rogers epic battle for the slot role which I think Brown would win, hands-down.

3. Agreed. The only thing I disagree on is that Haralson, while a veteran, he is a well-documented one-trick pony. He's a good run defender coming off a tackling-injury but is pretty slow/not quick and can struggle containing the edge and he has zero pass rush ability unless coming off the bench (we used him as a run defender on 1st and 2nd downs). Johnson and Fleming have had an entire year to heal up and fully know our defense. And now we add Lemonier for Brooks. If either Johnson or Fleming show more "complete OLB skills," Haralson is gone.

4. Agreed fully and I already addressed this change in philosophy and potential starters in the secondary.

5. I think Looney is competing with Goodwin THIS year. If successful, don't be surprised to see Goodwin a salary cap casualty come June 1st.

6. - 10. - Fully agree.

Offense: I'd also add, it appears our offensive philosophy isn't going to change with the drafting of McDonald. He will be our swiss army knife like Walker used to be. Patton appears to be a push to AJ in the slot and to groom for next year as a potential starter. I thought if we drafted WR early and drafted a couple of them with a late TE, it may symbolize we'd go to a more spread offense with CK at the helm. Clearly now, that is not the case. It will be the exact same offense as last year under CK...hopefully, just more efficient with much more depth and competition.

I gave it an A-grade esp. when you factor in a 6th and 7th for Boldin and McCoy and a 3rd for next year. The FO killed it.

I think another issue that is easy to overlook is that Harbaalke still sees the 2012 draft as unfolding and developing. So when they looked at this years draft they were factoring in this players from last year.

I think that Moody is another potential for the SS position. He was drafted as a LB but has the potential to be the Strong Safety if he plays well. Trent Robinson is a nother player that we have to factor into the SS position as well.

CB is going to be a work in progress to see if Asomugha replaces anyone and how much Cooper becomes a part of the process. Then Rogers, Cox, Culliver need to get their play up to speed to smooth out the coverage problems we saw in the playoffs. There should have nowhere near that many mistakes in coverage and confusion in the backfield. This also could have been why the Niners did not hold on to Goldson because they may have concluded that he was the cause of the confusion and the coverage mistakes.

I think that the offensive line is nearly settled and this will be the year that Kilgor and Looney get revealed as players.

I think that the NT position was already settled by Dorsy, Williams, and the current dark horse of Divens. So there will be a lot of sorting out in the Training Camp.

The other position that I thought was interesting in this draft is that of WRs. There were a lot of receivers in this draft and the Niners only took one - Patton. But with Jenkins still an unknown and Kapernick getting special time with Jenkins, and Lockette, and Hastings we will see our speedsters in play so we did not need to draft one. We will also get to see if Williams and Manningham heal well from their injuries. So if we can get all our WRs going we should have all the talent in the world with Boldin and Crabtree.

TE looks to be a work of art this year. We have our Walker replacment in McDonald and or Morrah, and our steady backup in Celek. So it will be interesting to see that unfold.

RB looks good especially with Lattimore in the background. It will be interesting to see if Jewel can be a participant and if Hunter recovers fully.

That leaves the DL. I think that Dial will be a very interesting player and to see if he can contribute at all to our rotation. He would be a monster if he can get channeled, coached, and get focused for he has the size to be a wonderful DE. Carradine will be interesting to see if he is ready for camp or if they will take their time with his rehab. Then we have Dobbs and Tukuafu and it will be interesting to see if they have anything to offer or were they just fillers until talented people arrived. So there will be lots of sifting in our Dline this year.

I think LB has been covered pretty well.

That leaves ST. In all our drafting we did not settle on a PR. That will be one of the interesting developments and apparently HarBaalke is satisfied that there is one on the team already.

Can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
Nice rundown, Drust. I thought we'd take a CB earlier, but with signing Asomugha, the FO apparently thought they were good for the coming season. We also don't know if they have long-term plans for Brown...if they do, that'd add to the reasons they only drafted Cooper late. BTW, since he played w/Logan Ryan at Rutgers, he most likely gained some very good experience, since he was undoubtedly picked on quite a bit. Like his size and speed, not to mention his strength (20 reps X 225 lbs). WRT to McDonald, some fans have apparently forgotten that Walker wasn't a good blocker at first, but improved over the years. With his size and strength, he can be coached up to be the blocker they need him to be. Good point WRT interior OL, particularly C. Can't tell you how many mocks, both in this forum and a ton of others had us taking a C, some as early as the 2nd rd! I agree, it's going to be Looney. The man's a real bad-ass and could be the kind of dominating C Newberry was in his prime. For OT, I like Marquardt's chances. Dude came from a small school, but was projected to be drafted 5th-6th rds. I figured we'd draft an OLB if for no other reason than Haralson's only signed for 1 yr. I like the Lemonier pick. Mayock and others were talking about how he could line up opposite Aldon in the hybrid to pressure the QB. I was calling for Baalke to pick Da'Rick Rogers, but he went undrafted and signed w/Bills. I'm very happy we got Patton, though. Dude's an excellent receiver with no baggage...NFL.com draft profiles compared him to Reggie Wayne, yes! I understand Moody's a ST demon, so coupled w/Skuta, Coach Seeley should have fun with those two. Again, very nice rundown.