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49ers team stronger entering 2014 draft than 2013 draft.

Last year the 49ers lost 4 solid players before the 2013 draft:
http://www.ninersnation.com/2013/7/23/4550632/49ers-roster-turnover-fans-not-so-surprisingly-positive-about-changes

NT: Sopoaga
S: Dashon Goldson
TE: Delanie Walker
DE: Ricky Jean Francois
*ST: Ted Ginn

Heading into the 2013 draft, NT was a ? mark with an unproven Ian Williams and undersized Glenn Dorsey. There was a gaping hole at Safety and a gaping hole at the 2nd TE spot, that did not get truly filled. We didn't sign any back-up DE's, and we all missed Ted Ginn's punt returning ability.


Prior to the 2014 draft the 49ers have lost 2 solid players and 2 declining players (Goodwin & Rogers), but Whitner was replaced by a quality starter in free agency:

CB: Tarell Brown
CB: Carlos Rogers (but should be upgraded)- Return of Chris Culliver may negate the loss of Carlos Rogers.
C: Jonathon Goodwin- was aging and declining. Kilgore, Looney or Snyder may be upgrades.
S: Lost Whitner, BUT replaced by S Antoine Bethea.

Heading into the 2014 draft 49ers have:

1.) Rookies and young players on the roster that have 1 more year of experience under their belts.
2.) The "Redshirt squad" who had a year to heal and learn: Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine, Lawrence Okoye, Marcus Lattimore, Luke Marquardt
3.) The young "2nd chance squad," who can start the learning process now, 2 months before rookies: Blaine Gabbert, Jonathon Martin, Chris Cook and Baldwin.
4.) A deeper draft and fewer needs and players to replace. 49ers have fewer positions of need. Only need CB and WR.
5.) Once again have a plethora of picks and can go ahead and go BPA, draft injured players or trade for future picks.
Meh, realistically they lost Delanie and Goldson. Soap was more of a detriment than anything else by the time he left and RJF was easily replaced by TJE. Ginn was barely used as a receiver and wasn't very good as a returner either in that final season.


This season they lost Whitner and Brown as their key guys. Bethea was a response to the loss of Whitner, we'll have to see how they replace Brown.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Meh, realistically they lost Delanie and Goldson. Soap was more of a detriment than anything else by the time he left and RJF was easily replaced by TJE. Ginn was barely used as a receiver and wasn't very good as a returner either in that final season.


This season they lost Whitner and Brown as their key guys. Bethea was a response to the loss of Whitner, we'll have to see how they replace Brown.

Sopoaga was not a detriment. Detrimental NT's don't sign 3 year contracts for $12 million.

Not being rude, but not sure you get the point. Right now hindsight is 20/20

Before the 2013 season started we weren't sure...
1.) Ian Williams or Glenn Dorsey could play NT at the level of Sopoaga
2.) Had serious doubts about TJE and Dobbs, two UDFA's backing up McDonald and Justin Smith
3.) Had to rely on a rookie TE in McDonald to replace Walker (and he was definitely no Walker).
4.) Had to rely on a rookie at Safety to replace Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson.

Thus, right now, we have every starting position filled w/a competent back-up or former starter.

Essentially, heading into this year's draft there are far fewer question marks and no true holes to plug other than CB but even there we have Brock, Culliver and a former starter in Eric Wright. We complain about WR, but we have 2 Pro Bowl caliber players and a healthy Patton, which ain't bad at all.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Meh, realistically they lost Delanie and Goldson. Soap was more of a detriment than anything else by the time he left and RJF was easily replaced by TJE. Ginn was barely used as a receiver and wasn't very good as a returner either in that final season.


This season they lost Whitner and Brown as their key guys. Bethea was a response to the loss of Whitner, we'll have to see how they replace Brown.

By the way, you failed to mention the:

Redshirt Squad and the 2nd Chance Squad. Both squads add some MAJOR talent to the team. I REALLY like these guys as reclamation projects.
[ Edited by Garlicboy on Mar 14, 2014 at 11:53 PM ]
Originally posted by Garlicboy:
Sopoaga was not a detriment. Detrimental NT's don't sign 3 year contracts for $12 million.

Sure he was. That the Eagles gave him a relatively large contract as a reward for piss poor play is irrelevant, how did that go for him by the way?


"Before the 2013 season started we weren't sure... 1.) Ian Williams or Glenn Dorsey could play NT at the level of Sopoaga 2.) Had serious doubts about TJE and Dobbs, two UDFA's backing up McDonald and Justin Smith"


Who exactly is we? As fans, what "we" think is highly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

The problem with your entire premise is these situations are things that you were worried about, not necessarily the coaching staff. Just because you didn't have confidence that Williams could replace Soap doesn't mean that the coaching staff felt the same way, just as this offseason people are worried about Kilgore replacing Goodwin yet for all we know the coaching staff who has seen him daily for a few years have perfect confidence in his ability to hold up. You having doubts doesn't mean the coaching staff has doubts.



Last offseason the biggest losses were Goldson and Walker, the 49ers didn't really have anyone to offset their losses, hence they went into the draft with those two positions as their priorities to replace.

This offseason this falls upon Brown and Whitner....to a lesser extent due to the signing of Bethea. I have no doubt that they'll prioritize cornerback and will add a safety to develop sometime through this draft.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Mar 15, 2014 at 12:20 AM ]
agreed OP. it's relevant that the coaches had "confidence" in ian williams or dorsey or the other guys who stepped in but just like with drafting players even the coaches CAN'T know how a player will perform with live bullets against 1st stringers. we are in a much better position headed into the draft
Originally posted by frenchmov:
agreed OP. it's relevant that the coaches had "confidence" in ian williams or dorsey or the other guys who stepped in but just like with drafting players even the coaches CAN'T know how a player will perform with live bullets against 1st stringers. we are in a much better position headed into the draft

Here's the flip side to that argument. If the coaches think a guy is basically over the hill, are they better sticking with a known quantity with expected mediocre output, or take a chance on an unknown? How many of the guys that left the 49ers truly lived up to their contracts? Soap was an absolute disaster with Philly and NE, he clearly fell off the cliff completely after being the worst ranked NT in the NFL in 2012. RJF was nothing special, decent but certainly didn't do enough to earn the big payday he got with Indy. Goldson, he didn't come close to being worth the amount of money he was paid. Delanie is the only guy you can really argue that came close to matching what he was paid, but even then he wasn't a guy that the 49ers necessarily wanted to see leave, he was just priced out of their range.


The coaches see these guys day in and day out, we get a macro view of them, watching them in the preseason and once a week during the regular season, the coaches are around them all the time, so by the time guys like Soap and RJF hit free agency, or Goodwin this season, I think they have some confidence in the guys replacing them, knowing that at least these new guys will have some upside to them. There was absolutely no upside to bringing Soap back, he was terrible. RJF was adequately replaced by TJE, who will likely be replaced by some other Tomsula wonder-project when he comes up for free agency and gets overpaid.


When you have a solid system and good coaching, there's a lot less mystery to how some of these guys are going to perform when "the bullets are flying."



The loss of Delanie left a void that wasn't filled instantly, the loss of Goldson left a void but the 49ers lucked out that Reid was available and he came in and replaced him without skipping a beat basically. Beyond that, I don't see any of the other guys as a loss. This season, it really comes down to Brown, Rogers and Whitner. I'm hopeful and at least somewhat confident that Bethea can at least match Whitner's level of performance. I'm also hopeful that they can bring in a rookie or a free agent to offset the loss of Rogers as the nickel corner and to bring in potential depth to offset the loss of Brown and prepare for Culliver potentially walking as a free agent after this season.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Mar 15, 2014 at 4:13 AM ]
The team is in a stronger position.Some will say that losing three fourths of our defensive backfield makes us weaker. Look a little closer, with Brown, Whitner and Rogers we lost two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. It's a classic case of getting Brown and Whitner out a year sooner than later. My impression is that the secondary, even though they were better than average, was the weak link in those games. Two desperation long passes by Seattle in the NFC Championship confirmed this. IMO the team is making the right moves. Keep an eye on Morris.
I get what the OP is trying to say. I don't think we are entering the 2014 draft NEEDING a starter. Even though Kilgore is unproven, people are now confident in this staff's ability to develop guys into starters. We exchanged Donte Whitner with a similar caliber player. Everyone is comfortable with our corner situation, so we don;t absolutely need to draft a starter there as well. We are definitely stronger now than we were a year ago. The great thing about this draft is that we can get guys who could start, but don't have to immediately and get guys late in the draft that could potentially be starters later on down the road because of their injury situations.
Originally posted by RishikeshA:
The team is in a stronger position.Some will say that losing three fourths of our defensive backfield makes us weaker. Look a little closer, with Brown, Whitner and Rogers we lost two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. It's a classic case of getting Brown and Whitner out a year sooner than later. My impression is that the secondary, even though they were better than average, was the weak link in those games. Two desperation long passes by Seattle in the NFC Championship confirmed this. IMO the team is making the right moves. Keep an eye on Morris.
I fully agree, the secondary was a weakness. They provided the illusion of a solid backfield, but it was the front 7 that made possible. I hope they bring in bigger more physical corners, that will play press coverage on 3rd and 4 rather than the 6-8 Yard cushion that seemed to happen far too often.
[ Edited by 9erfreak on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:16 AM ]
The team was deep last year and even deeper this year. Last year only 1 player drafted was a projected starter. How many teams can say that? We used two 2nd round picks for a redshirt player and a 2nd TE. Our 3rd rd pick for back up OLB. Two 4th rd picks for a 3rd WR and a redshirt player and a 5th rd redshirt player.....

Could be very similar this year. Lots of picks to develop and hopefully be able to rotate in and one day start. Like to see a couple of WR's and a couple of CB's to develop along with a safety, a PR/KR, and some OL and DL depth. Maybe even an ILB.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Here's the flip side to that argument. If the coaches think a guy is basically over the hill, are they better sticking with a known quantity with expected mediocre output, or take a chance on an unknown? How many of the guys that left the 49ers truly lived up to their contracts? Soap was an absolute disaster with Philly and NE, he clearly fell off the cliff completely after being the worst ranked NT in the NFL in 2012. RJF was nothing special, decent but certainly didn't do enough to earn the big payday he got with Indy. Goldson, he didn't come close to being worth the amount of money he was paid. Delanie is the only guy you can really argue that came close to matching what he was paid, but even then he wasn't a guy that the 49ers necessarily wanted to see leave, he was just priced out of their range.


The coaches see these guys day in and day out, we get a macro view of them, watching them in the preseason and once a week during the regular season, the coaches are around them all the time, so by the time guys like Soap and RJF hit free agency, or Goodwin this season, I think they have some confidence in the guys replacing them, knowing that at least these new guys will have some upside to them. There was absolutely no upside to bringing Soap back, he was terrible. RJF was adequately replaced by TJE, who will likely be replaced by some other Tomsula wonder-project when he comes up for free agency and gets overpaid.


When you have a solid system and good coaching, there's a lot less mystery to how some of these guys are going to perform when "the bullets are flying."



The loss of Delanie left a void that wasn't filled instantly, the loss of Goldson left a void but the 49ers lucked out that Reid was available and he came in and replaced him without skipping a beat basically. Beyond that, I don't see any of the other guys as a loss. This season, it really comes down to Brown, Rogers and Whitner. I'm hopeful and at least somewhat confident that Bethea can at least match Whitner's level of performance. I'm also hopeful that they can bring in a rookie or a free agent to offset the loss of Rogers as the nickel corner and to bring in potential depth to offset the loss of Brown and prepare for Culliver potentially walking as a free agent after this season.

I agree with a lot of what you said here. Except that 49ers "Lucked out" with Reid. I see it as a well executed plan....They traded up to get him which many felt was a bad move. There were mixed reviews on Reid. I feel the 49ers saw something in Reid and felt strongly that he would replace Goldson right away. Them trading up to get him only backs this notion.
I think we also need to consider OG as a need as well in regards to the draft. Big Mike is as good as gone. So, we need a WR, CB, S, and OG with the two piriors being the most needed. Yes, we are in a good spot and when you look at he "redshirt" list, a person almost has to say wow. We get those guys with this class too. Its almost not fair.
Originally posted by Niners6262:
I agree with a lot of what you said here. Except that 49ers "Lucked out" with Reid. I see it as a well executed plan....They traded up to get him which many felt was a bad move. There were mixed reviews on Reid. I feel the 49ers saw something in Reid and felt strongly that he would replace Goldson right away. Them trading up to get him only backs this notion.

I'm not saying they lucked out on scouting him, I just said that had he been taken earlier for whatever reason, it may have thrown things off, but it worked out perfectly for them.
I think we're mostly lateral.

If you're going to use the argument that "younger players have an extra year of experience and will be better", then you also have to concede that some of the veterans are now a year older and will have lost a step or two. Boldin is an ageless wonder, but he is going to be 34 in October. He's going to start slowing down. Same thing with Justin Smith. He's going to be 35 in September. He's still a very good player, but I'm not sure that he's truly elite anymore. I think all of those things balance out and it's a wash in the end.

Carradine and Lattimore could be the wildcards though. Both of them have pretty high ceilings. If they pan out, they could legitimately be impact players. If that happens, then yes -- I do think that we're better than last year.