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What we learned from the 2013 Draft

  • dj43
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,155
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
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.=


Thanks for this piece.

I love what Vernon Davis brings to the table; unmatchable speed and great blocking strength. What he lacks is what McDonald brings: smooth, clean routes and the ability to work in space. That is the component that has been missing from the passing game the past two years.

Every good passing team needs a TE that can read the defense and get quickly into space opened by a blitzing LB. That space is almost always an area that a good TE can quickly occupy and the QB can quickly spot thereby taking advantage of the blitz instead of being defeated by it. Davis has still not learned to do that and likely will not learn it at this point in his career. The fact that the FO moved up to grab this kid shows they are aware of Davis' weakness and chose to bring in someone with strength in that area rather than trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.

Again, good analysis and nice to see the FO agrees with the 'zone...again.
Originally posted by NinerBuff:
Bumping my post from another thread...

Overall, I think we had a GREAT draft! We solidified our 2 glaring openings at FS and backup/2nd TE, plus added good depth/future starters at DE, OLB, WR, and RB. I can see 6 starters from this draft, which would be stellar.

QB: Waiting until the 7th round demonstrates that the FO is set with Kaep/McCoy/Tolzien. It's possible that Daniels can usurp Tolzien as our #3 QB.

RB: I love the Lattimore pick, as most of us do, but this was obviously a luxury pick. He probably wont have much of an impact this year, but he could be the heir apparent to Gore. Going forward, the backfield of Gore, Hunter, James, Lattimore, Dixon is DEADLY!!! We probably wont be able to keep everyone, but we have great talent.

WR: The addition of Patton makes a lot of sense for multiple reasons: he wont be required to contributed significantly this year, can watch and learn from Boldin, and presents some insurance against Crabtree leaving via FA. If Jenkins can step up this year, which the FO seems to have faith in, given Patton fell into their laps in the 4th round, then we can expect a Crabtree/Jenkins/Patton WR corp going into 2014.

TE: I will be the first to admit I was slightly disappointed with McDonald over Kelce, but that was more ignorance on my part. McDonald possesses game-changing ability, but has to work on his hands (remarkably similar to D. Walker). Trading up in the 2nd demonstrated the importance of the TE position to this team.

OL: Other than Bykowski and Marquardt, the O-line didn't change. We have long-term answers at 4 of the 5 positions (assuming we extend Iupati), and the lack of a center demonstrates that our FO is confident in Looney/Kilgore to take over for Goodwin.

DL: LOVE the Carradine pick!!! Heir apparent to Justin Smith! And we got an additional 3rd rounder, AMAZING! We passed over Jesse Williams several times, which tells me we have faith in Dorsey/Williams to man the NT position (although we rarely run that formation). Dial also adds some additional depth, which we sorely lacked. Okoye remains the ultimate wildcard too. We now have a bevy of depth at the position.

OLB: Again, loved the Lemonier pick. He looks very good, and will replace Haralson after this year, potentially Brooks. With A. Smith, Brooks, Haralson, and Lemonier, we have 4 really talented OLBs.

ILB: The addition of Moody represents competition for the backup ILB. Really nothing has changed here.

CB: This is one area where a lack of a new draftee speaks volumes. Obviously, or FO has faith in Culliver and our CB rotation will be: Brown, Rogers, Asumogha, Culliver, and Cox. This presents the most glaring need for 2014 draft. The addition of Austin and Harvin into our division will push our CBs, and our FO has chosen to put our draft capital into passrush (which I completely agree with).

S: We can pencil Reid in as our starting FS for the foreseeable future. He has the speed, size, athleticism, burst, and recovery speed you look for. The fact that we didn't address the SS position means that we value Whitner more than I expected and that positions becomes another 2014 position of need.

P/K: No additions, will readdress K in 2014.

KR/PR: The James / Hunter / Williams return crew most likely wont change, no draft picks seem ideally suited. Another area of need for 2014.



Nice! My brotha from anotha motha! We're on the same page for sure.

Originally posted by dj43:
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.

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.

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?

That is a great point, and one that some have missed.

I had a discussion with someone in the draft thread on that very topic: It was clear the 49er staff blamed the secondary issues on the lack of pass rush, not Dante Whitner or Chris Culliver or Tarell Brown. It was a lack of pass rush. If we learned nothing else from this draft, it was that Harbaugh does not plan to sit idly by and watch teams throw the ball down the field with little challenge from the defense.

MM wrote the following piece today in which he made the same comment.

http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/matt-maiocco/49ers-draft-evidence-pass-rush-was-problem

Sometimes the 'zone gets it right.



Thanks my friend! We get lucky sometimes. But If I was calling the shots Ryan Mallet would be our QB...
  • dj43
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,155
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
Originally posted by dj43:
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.

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.

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?

That is a great point, and one that some have missed.

I had a discussion with someone in the draft thread on that very topic: It was clear the 49er staff blamed the secondary issues on the lack of pass rush, not Dante Whitner or Chris Culliver or Tarell Brown. It was a lack of pass rush. If we learned nothing else from this draft, it was that Harbaugh does not plan to sit idly by and watch teams throw the ball down the field with little challenge from the defense.

MM wrote the following piece today in which he made the same comment.

http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/matt-maiocco/49ers-draft-evidence-pass-rush-was-problem

Sometimes the 'zone gets it right.



Thanks my friend! We get lucky sometimes. But If I was calling the shots Ryan Mallet would be our QB...

Ooops!

Putting pressure on the ball is always the first goal of any defense. I have been a football fan all my life, also became a club and walk-on HS soccer coach. It is the same in both sports: If you cannot pressure the ball, it is going to be a long day. The FO obviously felt that was the greater need on defense.

Also, for those who have been around here for a while, they will recall I have long been saying we needed a traditional TE to be the quick relief valve for the QB. An outlet pass to a back circling out of the backfield is a harder target to hit than a TE sitting down right in front of the QB. Also, a relying on a back to clear for a check down takes longer, and takes away from protection. For all of those reasons, I am not at all surprised at the use of a 2nd round pick to get the guy Harbaugh feels will best give them that solid route-runner in those short zones.
Originally posted by dj43:
Ooops!

Putting pressure on the ball is always the first goal of any defense. I have been a football fan all my life, also became a club and walk-on HS soccer coach. It is the same in both sports: If you cannot pressure the ball, it is going to be a long day. The FO obviously felt that was the greater need on defense.

Also, for those who have been around here for a while, they will recall I have long been saying we needed a traditional TE to be the quick relief valve for the QB. An outlet pass to a back circling out of the backfield is a harder target to hit than a TE sitting down right in front of the QB. Also, a relying on a back to clear for a check down takes longer, and takes away from protection. For all of those reasons, I am not at all surprised at the use of a 2nd round pick to get the guy Harbaugh feels will best give them that solid route-runner in those short zones.


Too true. Speaking of TE's, I think we also learned a couple more things from the past two drafts, when we passed on Fleener in 2012 and now Ertz in 2013...

1. Jimbo wants TE's who have the size and strength to become solid blockers as well as receiving threats. There were plenty of receiving TE's in this draft, yet we traded up in the 2nd to grab one who didn't put up huge numbers in a college offense. We also picked up Celek last year who had no receiving experience. The coaching staff is looking for big TE's, not big WR's who call themselves TE's.

2. When we passed on both Stanford TE's, it was for a reason. Even with following Luck to Indy, Fleener did nothing his rookie year and was completely outshined by fellow rookie TE Dwayne Allen. With Ertz sitting there in the 2nd round, we passed again, Jim knows those players better than anyone in the league.
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
Originally posted by Born49R:
Great post imho. I think you, Ncommand and Corva have really nailed it. Plus I don't see us resigning Crabs next year for the money he will want and I think Patton is basically the same receiver who will take his spot.

I was in the same boat as you a couple months ago with Crabs. After we signed Davis to a long term contract, I was arguing the advantage of locking up Iupati over Crabs. ( wont rehash that one....lol ). But basically another poster brought up a great point.

We don't need to do anything with Crabs next year, he's signed for this year @ 6.3M and 2014 @ 5.3M. There is no doubt that Crabtree will want megabucks, since he's about to blow up with Kaep at the helm, and we probably wont be able to sign him. But really I don't think we need to go down that road yet. Let him play out his two years and then tag him for a 3rd. The current franchise cap figure is at 10.357 for WR's. Lets say it goes up to 11-12M in 3years, we may be able to work out making room for that by then. But in 3 years Aldon and Kaep will be on big money deals, so we may not. At the worst, we get Crabs for 2 more years, hopefully guys like AJ and Patton ( plus next years pick ) will have emerged into legit threats by then.
LOL, man I'm getting forgetful. I remember reading that post and totally forgot we have Crabs locked up for that long. Thanks for reminding me.
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 Skuta..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?
I really hope they think Fleming can be the backup ILB because I am really worried that we didn't address that stop in the draft. After Willis and Bowman we have nothing that I've seem. Moody AT 236 I'm not sure he can hold up, so I see him as a ST guy. D. Skuta is ST. Stupar is probably a camp body. And I have no confidence in Wilhoite at all. If Willis or Bowman go down we are gonna be in trouble.
An excellent and provocative post. Thanks for that.

While I read your original post and some of the follow-ups, I haven't have time to read the entire thread. There appears to be very good follow-up and responses, so I will surely return to give the whole thread a good read.

One comment though: I think that you have just assumed that the draft went as the Niners wanted it to go and that all of their picks where for players who they targetted. Off this you have extrapolated the teams philosophy going forward.

I believe the fundamental premise, i.e., that the draft fell as expected, may be (and in fact is IMO) flawed. Harbaugh hinted as much when he said that while the Niners had several CBs targetted the draft did not fall as expected, Meaning, I assume that those guys got picked before the Niners could. Same could be expected of other positions and players.

For example: Let's assume that Tank was gone when by #40. Could easily have happened and the Niners did not place a premium on getting him, because they traded down from #34 and risked losing him in the intervening picks. Baalke said that there was a grouping of players any one of whome they would have been happy picking up. One may very well have been a CB and he may have been selected assuming Tank was not available. If this had happened, the rest of the draft would undoubtedly have tracked differently and you may very well be painting a very different picture. More like "Niners lack faith in their existing backfield, etc., etc."

So there's a danger in reading too much re the team's philosophy off a series of happenstances. The draft falling as it did, will surely cause the team to adapt to it, as any good team should, and some of the insightful stuff that you have laid out may come to pass, but I don't think its necessarily demonstrative of the teams' thinking going in.

I think that the team still realizes that they have a weak link in their defensive backfield (extrapolating from Harbaugh's comment), but will live with it until they have the opportunity to address it. Presumably in next years' draft or through FA pick-ups. I think that it is unfortunate that they were not able to add to the pipeline in this draft, but one cannot have everything.

Like you, I am very pleased with the way the draft did fall. IMO the teams biggest need was in bolstering their ability to pressure the QB. That meant getting enough quality bodies into the rotation to keep the pressure on. Something they did not have last season.

I was hoping for a CB at the end of round two, but I am very pleased with the addition of another offensive weapon for CK7 (reliable pass catching TE with a skill set diffent from Vernon Davis'). It was sorely needed. And the Patton pick-up looks, on its face, like another fortuitous and very lucky pick-up for the offense.

I was originally going to give the draft a B grade, but I succumbed to homerism and also gave it a B+.
Originally posted by Rsrkshn:
An excellent and provocative post. Thanks for that.

While I read your original post and some of the follow-ups, I haven't have time to read the entire thread. There appears to be very good follow-up and responses, so I will surely return to give the whole thread a good read.

One comment though: I think that you have just assumed that the draft went as the Niners wanted it to go and that all of their picks where for players who they targetted. Off this you have extrapolated the teams philosophy going forward.

I believe the fundamental premise, i.e., that the draft fell as expected, may be (and in fact is IMO) flawed. Harbaugh hinted as much when he said that while the Niners had several CBs targetted the draft did not fall as expected, Meaning, I assume that those guys got picked before the Niners could. Same could be expected of other positions and players.

For example: Let's assume that Tank was gone when by #40. Could easily have happened and the Niners did not place a premium on getting him, because they traded down from #34 and risked losing him in the intervening picks. Baalke said that there was a grouping of players any one of whome they would have been happy picking up. One may very well have been a CB and he may have been selected assuming Tank was not available. If this had happened, the rest of the draft would undoubtedly have tracked differently and you may very well be painting a very different picture. More like "Niners lack faith in their existing backfield, etc., etc."

So there's a danger in reading too much re the team's philosophy off a series of happenstances. The draft falling as it did, will surely cause the team to adapt to it, as any good team should, and some of the insightful stuff that you have laid out may come to pass, but I don't think its necessarily demonstrative of the teams' thinking going in.

I think that the team still realizes that they have a weak link in their defensive backfield (extrapolating from Harbaugh's comment), but will live with it until they have the opportunity to address it. Presumably in next years' draft or through FA pick-ups. I think that it is unfortunate that they were not able to add to the pipeline in this draft, but one cannot have everything.

Like you, I am very pleased with the way the draft did fall. IMO the teams biggest need was in bolstering their ability to pressure the QB. That meant getting enough quality bodies into the rotation to keep the pressure on. Something they did not have last season.

I was hoping for a CB at the end of round two, but I am very pleased with the addition of another offensive weapon for CK7 (reliable pass catching TE with a skill set diffent from Vernon Davis'). It was sorely needed. And the Patton pick-up looks, on its face, like another fortuitous and very lucky pick-up for the offense.

I was originally going to give the draft a B grade, but I succumbed to homerism and also gave it a B+.

Excellent points and well written to boot! Agreed that if we did in fact miss on players and were truly drafting from a BPA standpoint, inaccurate conclusions can be drawn.

At a draft party on Friday I was screaming Jessie Williams name every time the 9ers were on the clock, yet he continued to fall. The Corey Lemonier pick was the final one where I asked myself, do I really know what our team needs are and what this FO's long term plan is? Hence the post.

Thanks for the well thought out response!
First of all, I believe that this might be the most intelligent thread (top to bottom) that I've read in the Zone in the past year. Great posts by many of you!

Here is what I think we learned from this draft....more specifically, what qualities the Niners covet in the players they bring in.

1) Long arms (duh!) A pretty obvious point to begin.
2) Size
3) Speed
4) Athleticism
5) Versatility
6) Intelligence
7) Toughness
8) Hard-working / good character / good motor
9) Loves the game of football


If you look at all the guys the Baalke / Harbaugh pairing have brought in since they have been together, virtually all of them have at least 5 or 6 of the above qualities and many of them have them all. Clearly, they have a blueprint for what they believe will result in a successful player in the NFL. Most draft "experts" only take a few criteria into account when they evaluate players. However, most NFL teams, certainly the successful ones, have a longer list and that is why we see "surprises" on draft day.

Eric Reid, for example, was considered an early second round pick by most draftniks but it became clear on draft day that he was coveted by several teams and if the Niners were to get him, they would have to trade up into the middle of the first round, which of course, they did. The point is that Reid, despite his current flaws, was felt to be a first round talent not only because of his physical measurables, but his "intangibles". In addition to being very fast for his size and able to jump through the roof, he is very bright, hard-working, tough, has great character, loves the game, wants to be great, and perhaps most of all, wants to win. I believe it was these "intangibles" that made him a very attractive player.

Cheers!.....and congrats on the terrific thread guys....
[ Edited by nw9erfan on May 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM ]
By the way Drust, this is terrific research...and I think we can assume that after a full year in an NFL weight room, Robinson has added a few pounds onto his frame and a few more reps to his total.

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
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
First of all, I believe that this might be the most intelligent thread (top to bottom) that I've read in the Zone in the past year. Great posts by many of you!

Here is what I think we learned from this draft....more specifically, what qualities the Niners covet in the players they bring in.

1) Long arms (duh!) A pretty obvious point to begin.
2) Size
3) Speed
4) Athleticism
5) Intelligence
6) Hard-working / good character / good motor
7) Loves the game of football
8) Toughness

If you look at all the guys the Baalke / Harbaugh pairing have brought in since they have been together, virtually all of them have at least 5 or 6 of the above qualities and many of them have them all. Clearly, they have a blueprint for what they believe will result in a successful player in the NFL. Most draft "experts" only take a few criteria into account when they evaluate players. However, most NFL teams, certainly the successful ones, have a longer list and that is why we see "surprises" on draft day.

Eric Reid, for example, was considered an early second round pick by most draftniks but it became clear on draft day that he was coveted by several teams and if the Niners were to get him, they would have to trade up into the middle of the first round, which of course, they did. The point is that Reid, despite his current flaws, was felt to be a first round talent not only because of his physical measurables, but his "intangibles". In addition to being very fast for his size and able to jump through the roof, he is very bright, hard-working, tough, has great character, loves the game, wants to be great, and perhaps most of all, wants to win. I believe it was these "intangibles" that made him a very attractive player.

Cheers!.....and congrats on the terrific thread guys....

Couldn't agree more. Many of the Zoner's wanted two guys who didn't fit that mold...Da'Rick Rogers and Tyrann Mathieu. Both did not seem to match the criteria for

6) Hard-working / good character / good motor
7) Loves the game of football

That was the thing that drew me to Reid. He was the leader of that Defense, named permanent team captain in vote of teammates, and a very intelligent young man. Some coaches like Fisher always take the best talent available and figure that they can mold "problem childs" ( Pac Man - Janoris Jenkins ). Sometimes it works and sometimes it backfires. It can go the other way too with ignoring "problem childs" like Harbs not drafting Richard Sherman because of character concerns. BUT I think this FO truly understands that chemistry is very tangible. We seem to have many leaders on this team who hold themselves accountable.

Now with

Reid = LSU team captain
Lemonier = Auburn team captain
Patton = LA Tech team captain
Lattimore = SC team captain
Moody = FSU team captain

Added in the mix, that long line of high character players will continue!

GO 9ERS!!!!
Forgive me if this has been mentioned, but I think it's noteworthy that several of our picks had dropped in value for one reason or another.

1) Eric Reid - Excellent junior year, disappointing senior year. Held in higher regard prior to this season.
2) Tank Carradine - ACL injury. Held in higher regard prior to that.
3) Corey Lemonier - Excellent junior year, disappointing senior year. Held in higher regard prior to this season.
4) Marcus Lattimore - Knee injury. Held in higher regard prior to that.

It seems to me that we really leaned toward guys that showed flashes of brilliance and then dropped off, for one reason or another. That indicates a high level of confidence in the coaching staff's ability to get these guys to consistently display their talents, IMO.
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Forgive me if this has been mentioned, but I think it's noteworthy that several of our picks had dropped in value for one reason or another.

1) Eric Reid - Excellent junior year, disappointing senior year. Held in higher regard prior to this season.
2) Tank Carradine - ACL injury. Held in higher regard prior to that.
3) Corey Lemonier - Excellent junior year, disappointing senior year. Held in higher regard prior to this season.
4) Marcus Lattimore - Knee injury. Held in higher regard prior to that.

It seems to me that we really leaned toward guys that showed flashes of brilliance and then dropped off, for one reason or another. That indicates a high level of confidence in the coaching staff's ability to get these guys to consistently display their talents, IMO.

On Reid's senior year drop-off, Charley Casserly mentioned that LSU lost two high quality CBs in the 2012 draft: Patrick Peterson, and Morris Claiborne. Charley guessed that Reid might have gambled more in 2012 to try and compensate for the loss of coverage skills from those two talented CBs taken in the 2012 draft.

On Lemonier, the commentators mentioned that Auburn had a disasterous season in 2012, with the Auburn defense giving up almost 19 more points per game than the opposing defense. Without quality players around him, Lemonier's production fell, as did the entire Auburn defense.

Lastly, when you pick towards the end of each round, you have to take players like Lemonier, who have a flaw. As pointed out by Drustopo, the fact that we didn't take Mathieu, or Rogers suggests that suspect character is one flaw our FO doesn't indulge in.
[ Edited by mebemused on May 1, 2013 at 7:45 PM ]
Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
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???


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.

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.


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

I think the niners didn't draft a nose tackle more because the niners DL are a little more interchangable, most agreed that we needed to get more pass rush and that we didn't need to get CB, that wasn't the problem. They still have Rogers under contract this and the following season. That NA might actually perform with us and sign a contract that is cheaper just to stay after the season. The biggest need was just to fill Dashon's replacement, Donte is not a concern till 2014 and we have options-Trent or Culliver, who could also cover for CB depending on the draft in 2014.

It went exactly as I thought as far as postion and possible players Safety, DL, TE, I did think the rest were dependent on who was there we needed a good b/u olb, and OT and felt we would take Lattimore in the 4th with the second if still there. Did think that CB was a possibility if certain player was still there. Though I also thought we would have addressed Tackle earlier.