Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
A few points:
1) I don't recommend CUTTING McDonald, but I also don't think that he's done anything to dictate our draft strategy. I would love to allow him to develop. He can continue to do so, just as other #3 TEs on the team have. He'll also have the chance to compete for the #2 spot.
2) I'm not in favor of getting ASJ because I don't like McDonald and I think we need a new TE. I'm in favor of getting ASJ because he's a tremendous football player who is not even in the same universe of talent as McDonald. If, for example, we had a chance to get Sammy Watkins, I would be all for it, and it would have nothing to do with my feelings about Quinton Patton. Simply that having Patton should not change your plan to get an elite prospect. With Willis and Bowman on the team, this dictates our desire to draft an ILB, regardless of how good he is. They've earned that. McDonald has not.
3) Kind of the same as #2, but the Pats staff talked about how they let Brady drop 2 more rounds than they wanted to (had a 4th rd grade on him), because they already had a backup QB. Not sure who it was, but I'm guessing he didn't justify not drafting a player you like.
4) This also reminds me of the Willis draft where some people didn't want him because we already had pretty decent LBs in Ulbrich and Derek Smith.
5) I don't believe playcalling is the only reason for our RZ struggles. I think lacking a true big body that can go up and high-point the ball hurts.
6) While McDonald had some decent games toward the end of the year, they have been few and far between. Again, not saying throw this guy out on the street, but if you're blindly sitting by and saying that the TE2 spot is locked down for years because of a few decent blocks he's thrown in 2 or 3 games, you're setting yourself up for possible disappointment. No one is proven until they're proven. He should absolutely remain on the team, he should absolutely be allowed to develop and it's entirely possible and even quite likely that he will continue to improve, and maybe even to a point of being a great TE, but until he reaches that point, we cannot pass on elite prospects for the hope that he will become one himself.
Just curious: (1) what WR do you think would have a bigger impact for us (than ASJ) right away and (2) what do you think of ASJ? Is he someone you've watched thoroughly? If the answer to (2) is "no," I think you might change your mind once you watch some games. The guys is tremendous.
Regardless of how you feel about Seferian-Jenkins, the 49ers are set at TE with VD, McDonald and the potential of someone being brought in to compete with Celek. It isn't a priority in the slightest. WR is, especially if Boldin walks in the offseason. That means the 49ers are left with Crabtree and Patton as their WR's. That screams urgency. Even if Boldin is re-signed, there's no guarantee that Crabtree will be. WR depth is a must. They need to add a deep threat, they need to add another possession receiver type while at TE you'll still have VD and an improved McDonald.
At TE, the 49ers are fine. I expect major improvement from McDonald, by all accounts he's a hard worker and an intense competitor, I'd be slightly concerned if the guy was a space cadet the same way Jenkins was but from everything has been reported, he's working his ass off and he has shown real improvement out on the field. He's got a lot more work to do but he's moving in the right direction and we've seen flashes of the kind of monster he can be with the ball in his hands out in the open field.
Lastly, the dude completely trucked Richard Sherman. Just on that basis alone he has his spot locked in for the next couple of seasons.
This is where we disagree I suppose: need vs. talent.
I agree that you address needs, and in my mock that I've been working on, I would like to take 2-3 WRs. I don't see anyone in the 1st that I love (except maybe Adams from Fresno), but I see some tremendous players later in the draft (Abberaderis is a terrific football player and can be available with the 3rd round pick we got from TN). Having said that, I'll repeat: I don't want ASJ because we need a TE... I want ASJ because he's got superstar potential and can be a game-changer for us especially in the red zone.
He's an elite blocker, has unreal size and the best pair of hands I've seen in a long time. McDonald has as much chance of turning into ASJ as Quinton Patton has of turning into Sammy Watkins. Not saying either can't happen, but it's not how I predict things going. So I look at it the same way. To say you expect McDonald to improve by a lot, yet not having that same confidence in Patton seems contradictory to me.
How I see positions of need:
1) Kicker (this is basic. Dawson is in his contract year. If he re-signs then this isn't a need obviously. Kind of a default one until he does)
4) DE (Smith is getting older, McDonald is good not great, and until we see production out of Carredine and Dial it's too early to call the position filled)
5) PR/KR (this is quickly fading. Really like what LMJ has been doing. Keep it up a few more games and this will fall to the bottom of the list)
6) S (kind of contradicting myself with FAs here, but I really like Whitner and see no reason why he wouldn't be retained)
7) QB (backup, no statement about CK here, just observing the trend in the NFL this year. Teams with decent backups stayed in playoff races till late)
8) FB (Miller's health is the only reason for this. Need an emergency option if his recovery is slower than expected)
9) TE (let McDonald prove himself before we rest on the position)
10) NT - don't see as a need at all unless an elite prospect is available late (not a high probability of that)
11) ILB - don't see as a need at all
12) OLB - don't see as a need at all
I also don't see needs as position specific, but rather as far as what guys can do. And to me, the biggest receiving need is having a big guy that can go up for the ball