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Grade the 49ers Entire Draft & UDFA Signings!

Grade the 49ers Entire Draft & UDFA Signings!

A game missed by injury could count as the missed game too so there would be less pressure to rush back from an injury (or a concussion). I think this should be done. I've convinced myself
I wanted to wait a week and let the emotion die off a little bit before doing this. Here we go.


1st) Jimmie Ward S/CB - C+ = I think it was a reach and that there were better players available. We could of traded up in the 2nd if we valued him that high. I think we had the ammo to trade up and get a stud like Beckham, Cooks, Dennard or Fuller. His level of competition is college was not great. He is small and if moved to safety down the round would push Reid to more of a SS. And Reid's concussion issues concern me when it comes to him playing down in the box like that.

2nd) Carlos Hyde RB - A = Love the pick. Gore is getting old and declining. He was a non-factor late in the year and especially in the playoffs. His contract is up this year as well. Hunter is not the answer long-term. Hes too small and is more of a change-of-pace back.. not to mention his contract expires this year too. I love Lattimore, but lets be honest, there are a lot of uncertainties about his knee and injury prone past. LMJ is talented, but I think he is mentally checked out. Hyde is a big bruiser that will grow into a stud in our Power Offense.

3rd) Marcus Martin C - A = Great value pick. I thought he was the top Center in the draft. I was impressed watching his reps at the combine. Kid is strong and has long arms. I see him being our Center of the future and a solid starter of our Offensive Line for years to come. And to get a guy like that in the 3rd round is a great deal. I was not too excited about Kilgore being our guy at Center but with the addition of Martin I see Kilgore playing backup at Center and Guard this year.

3rd) Chris Borland MLB - C = I'm not as excited as others about this pick. I'll start with the good. The kid looks like a gamer. Tough as nails. Old school hole plugger. This is what bothers me.. I get it, Bowman is going to miss the first 6 weeks of the year, maybe longer. But both Willis and Bowman are our MLB's for at least the next 3 years. Wilhoite filled in great when called upon last year. I can see him doing the same for Bowman to start the year. I understand Baalke wants competition for that spot, but taking a guy in the 3rd round for competition at MLB behind two all-pros doesnt go well with me. Hes small. He has stupid short arms. But guess what? He has special teams value.. but so does Moody who is the other MLB on our sqd. I also thought there were better players out there, at the time.

3rd) Brandon Thomas OG/OT - A- = I love the 'redshirt' system we have working for us in San Fran. Thomas is a mountain of a man that some were saying could sneak into the 1st round before he tore his ACL visiting the Saints a few months ago. Some say he could be the replacement for Iupati next season. Thomas's ACL tear is not a 100% guarantee that he will return the same as he was before, but there was still value.

4th) Bruce Ellington WR - A = Great pick. Tons of value and filled a huge need for us, as a guy who can take the top off of defenses and help in the return game. Leading up to the draft I saw mocks predicting him as a late 1st, early 2nd round guy. I saw him as the 3rd best Speed receiver behind Beckham and Cooks. Great pick by Baalke and company.

4th) Dontae Johnson CB - B = Big bodied.. with short arms and small hands. Aggressive when he needs to be. Average ball skills. Smart. Raw but filled a need.

5th) Aaron Lynch DE/OLB - C = Project. Tons of question marks. Character issues. Some upside if he can pull his head out. Reach.

5th) Keith Reaser CB - C- = Another redshirt coming off ACL injury. Small. Good tackler. Reach. I think he would of gone undrafted.

6th) Kenneth Acker CB - C = Decent size. Could develop into special teams player or Dime/Nickel back in the future. Seemes like Baalke was just shotgunning the CB position at this point hoping one sticks. I think he would of gone undrafted.

7th) Kaleb Ramsey DT - C = Great size. Big time injury concerns. Was never a solid/consistent contributor in college.

7th) Trey Milliard FB - A- = Another ACL tear redshirt, but this guy is a stud. He was one I was hoping we would grab because of his athleticism. With how often we involve the FB in the passing game he could develop into quite the weapon for us.
^^^^^^^^

With that being said I give the draft a solid B. We are a team that are realistically 1-2 players away from winning the Super Bowl. With all the picks we had I would of liked to see us move up in the 1st and maybe again in the late 1st early 2nd. We are definitely going to cut some solid players this year cuz we just cant fit everyone. Players that could come back and bite us in the ass. But Landing Stevie Johnson is a huge PLUS. But he comes with baggage. I just hope he has the right mindset coming in the San Fran. He could be the future at WR for us.
[ Edited by JimHarbaugh on May 17, 2014 at 7:13 PM ]
I wished for a trade up for Denard, Hated the Boreland pick. Understood the Marcus Martin and Brandon Thomas pick. Loved the Hyde pick. Not in Love with the Ward pick. Hated the donte Johnson pick. Coulda gotten CB Desir with #100 and Brandon Thomas with #129.
Originally posted by ElephantHaley:
I wished for a trade up for Denard, Hated the Boreland pick. Understood the Marcus Martin and Brandon Thomas pick. Loved the Hyde pick. Not in Love with the Ward pick. Hated the donte Johnson pick. Coulda gotten CB Desir with #100 and Brandon Thomas with #129.

Looks like me and you are on the same page, partner.
Originally posted by 9moon:
I can only give this draft a B+ at best, and that's because I personally think that these players are a year or two away from contributing.
The picking of Ward kinda throws me off. First of all, the guy is a natural FS, a very athletic FS even, but can he play CB?? Is that the plan?? If so, then why didn't just take Jason Varrett???

Sure it's a good draft, every player has a chance to stick w/ that team.. I like the drafting of Hyde because he's an insurance to the RB position. Gore is old and done, Lattimore of course is a question mark.. Both LeMichael and Hunter are nothing but a backup, and this is why Hyde was a good pick in my opinion.

The OLs we drafted, personally, I liked both of them. But they too, are insurance to Kilgore (center) and free agent to be (Iuapti).. Both are very good players in my opinion and we're lucky to have them..

Was Ellington a better pick than Clemson's Bryant?? or did we pick Ellington to be that returner, and if that's the case, is he a better player/returner than the REAL Black Mamba (D'Anthony Thomas)??

As good as ILB Borland is, does he fit in our system?? Are his excellent instincts better than both Moody and Wilhoite as a player?? Will he be the next Zack Thomas or Keith DeLong??
First, every draft pick is a gamble. Make no mistake about that. Even highly rated guys flame out every year. However, to answer a couple of the questions you raise, Ward was considered an excellent cover DB, not just a good cover S. He dominated at the Senior Bowl facing the best competition so don't underestimate his skills. Also, both the Niners' starting CBs this year (Brock and Culliver) were college safeties so the fact that Ward was doesn't mean the team won't convert him to CB. In fact, his body type is probably more suited to the corner anyway...and he is bigger than Brock BTW.

As far as Borland is concerned, he does fit the 3-4 system, which allows him to go right after the ball carrier rather than fend off d-linemen constantly. Despite his obvious physical limitations (height, speed, arm length), he has amazing instincts (which makes up for his pedestrian straight line speed) and is really tough. Also, he has apparently always been a play-maker (that is, he makes tackles and forces fumbles at the right time, like Bowman does). He will also provide an emotional lift for a defense probably needing one after the loss of Bowman. Finally, there have been many examples of short, effective LBs in the NFL so height is overrated. He is plenty big enough (245 lbs.) and with 4.83 speed, isn't a plodder. In my humble opinion, he has a good chance to be a fill in for Bowman unless Wilhoite wins the job...don't discount his effort or attitude. At the very least, Borland will be an absolute beast on special teams, which is becoming more and more important in the NFL.

Cheers!
Sorry Mod~ Double post.

Cheers!
[ Edited by nw9erfan on May 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM ]
More credit should be given for the Ward pick. Almost every defensive back went earlier than projected in the 1st round, thats why I'm not so sure it should be considered a reach. Borland may not have the upside, but can start immediately and is supposedly a smart player. Good picks there. We all would have loved a big trade up for a potential superstar, but we have no idea what the cost would have been, I'm sure Baalke tried, that's why i graded it A-. Got some potential starters, filled needs, if one guy becomes all pro thats a bonus.
Originally posted by T-9ers:
More credit should be given for the Ward pick. Almost every defensive back went earlier than projected in the 1st round, thats why I'm not so sure it should be considered a reach. Borland may not have the upside, but can start immediately and is supposedly a smart player. Good picks there. We all would have loved a big trade up for a potential superstar, but we have no idea what the cost would have been, I'm sure Baalke tried, that's why i graded it A-. Got some potential starters, filled needs, if one guy becomes all pro thats a bonus.

Agree regarding the non-reach for Ward! Who knows where the draft would have gone if they had not taken Ward, and who is to say he wasn't exactly what the 9ers were looking for?

The other CBs were not sure things but all debatable...I'm fine with the entire draft...even the guys who are fliers...Lynch & Reaser (for different reasons) are small investment for potential huge dividends.

Baalke did say they were talking with other teams all the way through the draft but that nothing cam of the talks. He's not foolish enough to trade for the sake of trading...thank heavens!
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Agree regarding the non-reach for Ward! Who knows where the draft would have gone if they had not taken Ward, and who is to say he wasn't exactly what the 9ers were looking for?

The other CBs were not sure things but all debatable...I'm fine with the entire draft...even the guys who are fliers...Lynch & Reaser (for different reasons) are small investment for potential huge dividends.

Baalke did say they were talking with other teams all the way through the draft but that nothing cam of the talks. He's not foolish enough to trade for the sake of trading...thank heavens!

Indeed. Lamarcus Joyner went at #41, Ward could have easily been that pick if not earlier. Not sure about the rest of you, but i'll take Ward over Joyner, prototypical size, better in coverage.
Originally posted by T-9ers:
More credit should be given for the Ward pick. Almost every defensive back went earlier than projected in the 1st round, thats why I'm not so sure it should be considered a reach. Borland may not have the upside, but can start immediately and is supposedly a smart player. Good picks there. We all would have loved a big trade up for a potential superstar, but we have no idea what the cost would have been, I'm sure Baalke tried, that's why i graded it A-. Got some potential starters, filled needs, if one guy becomes all pro thats a bonus.

Way to stay positive. I sure pray Ward is the player we all hope he is.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Agree regarding the non-reach for Ward! Who knows where the draft would have gone if they had not taken Ward, and who is to say he wasn't exactly what the 9ers were looking for?

The other CBs were not sure things but all debatable...I'm fine with the entire draft...even the guys who are fliers...Lynch & Reaser (for different reasons) are small investment for potential huge dividends.

Baalke did say they were talking with other teams all the way through the draft but that nothing cam of the talks. He's not foolish enough to trade for the sake of trading...thank heavens!


Not sure how people can call Ward a "reach" if you observed how fast defensive backs were going in the draft. I think it's ridiculous to claim that the 49ers could have traded back and somehow still drafted him later. The upside of that is that they pick up a 4th round pick, the downside is that they miss out on a player they seemingly coveted and liked quite a bit. When comparing the upside and downside, especially in a draft where they had like 1,000 other picks, I'd say you take the guy you want, then and there and you have the ability to lock him up for 5 years by taking him in the 1st instead of the 4 years you get if you were to take him just a few picks later.
Baalke essentially said he was having problems finding a partner to trade up with in the first or the 2nd, so complaining about who they didn't trade up to take in the first or second makes no sense.
I did not like Verrett or Dennard before the draft, particularly in a trade up scenario. I didn't love Ward either, certainly not in the first, but I can acknowledge that if the 49ers didn't take him at 30 they would not have got him at all.

I don't understand the apparently passionate love for Desir either.

I didn't like the Borland pick ... would rather have had Kareem Martin, Donte Moncrief, or Phillip Gaines. Borland pick looks even worse in light of Skov landing with the 49ers ... not that Skov is Borland's equal, just that the difference isn't enough.

Overall, adding 21 players to the team in 4 days including several players likely to be carrying a designation of starter within a few years make it an A for me.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Not sure how people can call Ward a "reach" if you observed how fast defensive backs were going in the draft. I think it's ridiculous to claim that the 49ers could have traded back and somehow still drafted him later. The upside of that is that they pick up a 4th round pick, the downside is that they miss out on a player they seemingly coveted and liked quite a bit. When comparing the upside and downside, especially in a draft where they had like 1,000 other picks, I'd say you take the guy you want, then and there and you have the ability to lock him up for 5 years by taking him in the 1st instead of the 4 years you get if you were to take him just a few picks later.

Member Milestone: This is post number 1,200 for JimHarbaugh.
Originally posted by Scoots:
Baalke essentially said he was having problems finding a partner to trade up with in the first or the 2nd, so complaining about who they didn't trade up to take in the first or second makes no sense.
I did not like Verrett or Dennard before the draft, particularly in a trade up scenario. I didn't love Ward either, certainly not in the first, but I can acknowledge that if the 49ers didn't take him at 30 they would not have got him at all.

I don't understand the apparently passionate love for Desir either.

I didn't like the Borland pick ... would rather have had Kareem Martin, Donte Moncrief, or Phillip Gaines. Borland pick looks even worse in light of Skov landing with the 49ers ... not that Skov is Borland's equal, just that the difference isn't enough.

Overall, adding 21 players to the team in 4 days including several players likely to be carrying a designation of starter within a few years make it an A for me.

Good points