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General Draft Predictions

I picked S but my original mock had Calvin Pryor but unfortunately, he went in the teens. But I absolutely LOVE the pick - very smart and Baalke-like.
Originally posted by NCommand:
I picked S but my original mock had Calvin Pryor but unfortunately, he went in the teens. But I absolutely LOVE the pick - very smart and Baalke-like.

You are pretty highly respected here.... wonder if you would peak at this for me?
Originally posted by OldJoe:
Originally posted by NCommand:
I picked S but my original mock had Calvin Pryor but unfortunately, he went in the teens. But I absolutely LOVE the pick - very smart and Baalke-like.

You are pretty highly respected here.... wonder if you would peak at this for me?

Thank you! Yeah, take your pick! They all essentially address the same thing. We have a player currently on our roster that already has NFL experience in the return and Y/Slot WR game, named Devon Wiley (ala Ellington, Richardson, etc.). Keep an eye on him. I was bummed when Benjamin went right in front of us to Carolina b/c CK loves to throw throw and above DB's and his height and catching radius would be great for him. Remember, we also have a developing Jon Baldwin in this X & Z WR zone.

As to our other needs, let's take a look at my/our needs board and keep this info in the back of your mind:

Team Needs: (Order of Tier Importance: Top Tier, Second Tier & Third Tier)
Trending on NinerTalk - Top 5 Needs: H/W/S = Ideal Height/Weight/Speed; Would need to forfeit picks for Justin Gilbert & Mike Evans.
#1 CB/Dynamic Returner (Justin Gilbert @ #12 = H/W/S + Returner or Jeff Fuller/Jason Verrett)
#2 WR/Dynamic Returner (2) (Size: X - Mike Evans @ #16 or Donte Moncrief @ #66 = H/W/S or Y - Brandin Cooks @ #37 = Returner + S)
#3 S (Calvin Pryor, Hasean Clinton-Dix or Jimmie Ward from picks #27 - #33)
#4 ILB (Shayne Skov in the 2nd round (#56 or #61) or from the 3rd round on, Yawin Smallwood, Chris Borland, Andrew Jackson or Telvin Smith)
#5 C (Marcus Martin @ pick #71)

Top Tier: No particular order within tiers...
#1 CB/Dynamic Returner - This is especially true if he has dynamic return abilities (someone like CB Justin Gilbert who's 6'0" with elite speed AND return abilities). We have Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver, Eric Wright, Perrish Cox, Chris Cooper, Darryl Morris and Dax Swanson (dark horse). Brown and Rogers chose to end their careers in the Black Hole (where Niners go to die). Culliver is a question mark coming off the injury and potential legal issues and distractions and Darryl Morris and Eric Wright barely saw the field last year. Cox was a late add but played very well for us on the fly during the playoffs. We will probably go a top blue-chip CB here and let him compete right away for the #2 or slowly develop him along in the nickle/dime or slot esp. if he has return abilities. Ideally, Culliver regains form and he and Brock light up the NFL with Morris quickly developing as a great slot CB with a top-tier rookie developing as the #4 to push both Brock and Culliver and Wright and Cox in the future. Don't expect to see another Marcus Cooper this go-round though. Trading up for Justin Gilbert here makes sense as well given he's 6'0" and a dynamic returner with 4.37 speed but this draft is deep in CB's so we have options. Also, it appears we'll be shifting to a more balanced press and off-coverage scheme (something we couldn't do with Brown and Rogers as starters). So pay attention to the CB's in this draft who can be very physical, strong and aggressive up at the LOS and who can also be smart enough, quick, etc. to play in off-coverage schemes.
#2 WR/Dynamic Returner - Here we have X = Michael Crabtree/Jon Baldwin --- Y = Quinton Patton/Brandon Lloyd/Devon Wiley --- Z = Anquan Boldin. Manningham went home to NY. This is an area where most feel we need a dynamic speedster to stretch the field and we would probably consider the 1st pick in round 1 to find him (note: the FO has tried to acquire Sanders and Jackson in FA, etc. for this reason). However, we've had "speedsters" in Ginn, Moore, Moss and even Lockette and never once choose to use them as deep threats used to stretch the defense (i.e. actually throw to them on deep balls). They were merely used as "decoy" deep threats to get guys such as VD and Crabtree space underneath. Boldin signed a 2-year deal. I'm guessing we go with a receiver in this bigger-body range to step in for Crabtree/Boldin next year (Crabtree) and 2 years down the road (Boldin) at the X & Z positions; someone like Donte Moncrief. Baldwin also restructured and is in this same body-mold and isn't as poor as people think. Our leading receiver averages about 4-5 catches a game right now anyhow so a big-body possession and run-blocker is essential to our offense. A speedster WR (esp. one with dynamic return abilities) will most likely be brought in after the first round IMHO esp. given how deep the draft is. Trading up for Mike Evans here may be a real option since he fits our style perfectly. Either way, we probably need 2 very different types of WR's here.
#3 S - There it is: Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid together. We just restructured Craig Dahl as some insurance and C.J. Spillman is an excellent ST player (as is Dahl). I have a feeling we'll spend a top pick for S this year to be groomed behind Bethea and he'll be more of the mold of a FS with tremendous football IQ, range and coverage ability (ala Reid last year). They need a quality back-up here with tremendous upside as Reid had 2 concussions last year and we desperately need coverage ability on the back end esp. come playoff time. The signing of Bethea means we have flexibility. Add a top S this year...or next. And now it affords us the option to draft a CB or WR who doubles as a dynamic returner! But since this draft is deep at both CB & WR, do we go S with the first pick (i.e. Calvin Pryor, Hasean Clinton-Dix or Jimmie Ward)? - And Jimmie Ward it is!!!!
#4 ILB - We currently have Patrick Willis and Michael Wilhoite as starters with Nick Moody backing up; while NaVorro Bowman is way ahead of schedule, we won't rush him back from injury. I'm unsure if the team plans to continue to develop Darius Fleming inside (his original position was as an OLB). That said, Wilhoite played well for us and don't be surprised if we go the late FA route again d/t experience needed here should either he or Willis go down at some point; someone like Larry Grant. I have a feeling the team only likes Moody as a ST ace and we'll go for a higher ILB this year in the draft as well (now and for the future). They want an upgrade here.
#8 FB - We currently have a healing Bruce Miller. Last year I was screaming for FB Jason Scheplar to make the team...then was happy when we at least brought in Owen Marecic. In the end, we let both go and Miller got hurt and our running game (and partial receiving game) tanked esp. in the playoffs. I doubt the FO makes that same mistake again! We could get a top notch FB much later in the draft and we also have FB Alex Debniak coming back from I.R. from last year who the FO was high on.
#5 C - Right now, our OL QB is Jonathan Goodwin but he's not expected to be back even as a backup/insurance. Daniel Kilgore and Joe Looney have been training all year for a shot to start here (Looney, mostly at G) so don't be surprised if we make a run at the best C in the draft or even bring in another via FA like we did with Goodwin. We could get a top notch C much later in the draft (3rd and 4th round); maybe someone from Stanford.

Second Tier:
#6 DE - Currently, we have Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and then Demarcus Dobbs, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Tank Carradine and Lawrence Okoye. Quinton Dial can also play DE. On the surface, this looks stacked here. But, Justin is much older now and slowing down, McDonald is oft-injured and Carradine and Dial are huge question marks coming off their I.R. years. TJE and Dobbs had very nice years and Okoye may end up being a surprise BUT we need top-notch "quality" talent here and health here as these 3 DL are critical to our front 7 play. It would not surprise me if the FO saw this as a primary Top Tier pick. And isn't this the ideal spot to take another IR-filler, red-shirt developmental pick by Baalke? Tomsula can hold the fort down with 1 or 2 big injuries here as proven in the past and this group and depth is solid/stout/experienced already.
#9 OG - With Mike Iupati and Alex Boone, we're more than solid here when healthy. That said, Iupati had an injury-riddled season and may command high $ come FA. With a down year, this is the year to either sign him LT or consider replacing him now. We also have Joe Looney who's been training for a year as well and Adam Snyder can also play there if needed (if he sticks with us). I would not be surprised if someone like Ryan Seymour surprises as well. We need some inside pass protection here badly.Third Tier:
#7 QB - With Colin Kaepernick and Colt McCoy's departure, no doubt, we needed another QB, so they went out and nabbed QB Blaine Gabbert. Well done FO. That said, we could still use another QB in the mold of CK himself. We lost a potential good one in B.J. Daniels this past year to Seattle who sees a lot of similarities to Wilson already. My guess is we'll draft for added competition.
#10 OT - We have Joe Staley, Anthony Davis and Adam Snyder but Luke Marquardt will be back from I.R. and from all the reports, this dude is huge and has zero body fat. He should also be hungry as well. And as expected, the FO brought in a veteran OT in Jonathan Martin to compete with Snyder and Marquardt as well. Well done FO!
#11 RB - We have Frank Gore, Marcus Lattimore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Jewel Hampton. Jewel is my dark horse if Lattimore doesn't hit the ground running. He flashes to me and after another year in our system, don't be surprised to see him shine; we love to develop these UDFA's over time (Brock, Boone, Williams, etc.). This unit is stacked but Baalke loves competition and he'll probably bring in another rookie here for down-the-line thinking.
#13 TE - We have the best in Vernon Davis and the coaches love how much Vance McDonald could handle in his first year. He is expected to get more involved in the passing game next year. So that leaves Garrett Celek who is familiar with our system and is decent at both blocking and catching. Perhaps the coaches want to give the H-back (Delanie Walker role) a try again but I doubt it as we had both MarQueis Gray and Chris Harper last year and let both walk. That said, there are talks of Derek Carrier being ideal for this role and we heard good things about him late last year.
#12 NT - With Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams back healthy, and with the ability of Dial developing here more as well, we may go the route of another 2-gap plugger like Lamar Divens to develop on the PS (like Williams).
#14 OLB - With Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier on tap. we're top-notch here but you can never have too many pass rushers, right? Darius Fleming now has experience at OLB and ILB but we'll draft some competition here and try and develop him ala Cam Johnson.
#15 PK - Phil Dawson is old and his inability to kick out of the back of the EZ cost us dearly in the playoffs. And P Andy Lee had an off-year by his standards and we may need to consider late-round picks for the two that are best-in-the-country here. LS Kevin McDermott was my unpopular choice over the legend Brian Jennings last year but it turned out to be the right move. Good call Baalke/Coaches!

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