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MadDog49er's FInal Draft Review and Niners' Draft Grade

Jimmie Ward: A
We've been complaining for years about needing a ballhawk in the secondary to put our defense over the top. We finally got one, and he has a clear role to step into before taking over for Bethea in a couple years. ER Ward, don't even need a nickname for our future safeties. Only reason I don't give this pick an A+ is because he won't be a full time player right away.

Carlos Hyde: A-
Emotionally I hated this pick because I'm a huge fan of Gore and Lattimore. I'm sure Baalke is too, but with Gore's age and Lattimore's uncertain health, there's no question this was the right pick to ensure that our offense retains its power first mentality for years to come. Knocking this grade down a few notches because for a 2nd round pick, you'd like to have a guy step into a larger role right away. That being said, even if he only handles 5 carries per game as a rookie, those carries are likely to occur in crucial high leverage short yardage situations.

Marcus Martin: A+++++++++++
In my opinion the most crucial pick of the draft because if he beats out Kilgore, he will step into 1000+ starter snaps right away, meaning he could end up having the biggest impact right away in this rookie class, not to mention his potential going forward since he is only 20 yrs old!! Goodwin was a solid center but more of a technician than a road grader. Since Roman's go-to short yardage play is cramming every single lineman we have into a 10 yard box and then trying to ram Gore up the middle, having Martin lead the way is a godsend. I'm not gonna lie, I think we are screwed if he can't beat out Kilgore...do you really think we can run on Seattle at their place with Kilgore manning the middle?

Chris Borland aka T-Rex: A-
Totally overlooked pick. As we found out last year, every single regular season game is crucial in the battle for home field and we can't afford to drop any games by having a converted safety playing ILB (Wilhoite) while Bo is hurt. We don't even know if Bo will be back this year. Borland won't compete for DPOY, but we shouldn't miss a beat with him stepping in alongside Willis. Make no mistake, he will start over Wilhoite...it won't even be a competition, you can't teach the instincts this guy has. Can't give him a higher grade though because he may not have anything more than a ST role once Bo is back full time.

Brandon Thomas: A+
Iupati's successor. Sorry Mike, you are my favorite lineman but you never developed into more than just a road grader. Thomas has the potential to be that and even more.

Bruce Ellington: A+
The battle is on between him and Patton to step up as our long term 3rd WR and possible starter. With such a deep WR draft, Baalke played it perfectly to land him at 106.

Stevie Johnson: A+++++
If I understand correctly, we essentially got him for a 7th rounder. His cap numbers are very reasonable going forward. I don't see us keeping Crab with what he's going to cost, especially since Stevie probably matches up better against Seattle with his ability to get separation.

As for the rest:

Johnson/Reaser/Acker: A
Bit of a shotgun approach here and trusting in our coaching staff to develop these guys. No complaints about the strategy here late in the draft. Would not surprise me if one of these guys turns into a regular a few years down the line.

Lynch: D
His postdraft interview hints at a lot of his problems (referring to himself as a first-round talent pretty much tells you that he still doesn't get it) but in such a weak OLB draft, might as well take the risk later rather than earlier. Wouldn't be surprised if the UDFA Breslin makes it over him, not that I know anything about him but at least he seems to have his head on straight.

Ramsey: F
I don't see how this guy has any future in the league. He's old and injury prone. Unless Tomsula personally requested this pick, it was wasted, even for a 7th rounder lol.

Millard: A+
We saw what happened after Bruce Miller got hurt last year. It was a travesty watching Boobie try to play FB, should've just had Tukuafu in there to mash people. Given his versatility, maybe he pushes our 3rd TE off the roster. The team will probably take it slow with his recovery, but I think he's real threat to make the roster and get some snaps as a rookie if he is healthy.


Overall: A-
Two major issues keeping this from a perfect grade:
1. Cully is still penciled in as a starter. Coming off the ACL, can't stay out of the news and not sure if anyone remembers since it was so long ago. but last time he was on the field he was getting toasted repeatedly in the SB.
2. Who the is our punt returner, and don't tell me LMJ. This franchise just DGAF about punt return position. Meanwhile it seems like in half of our excruciating postseason losses, the other team got a huge punt return against us, including last yr.

Otherwise by my count, we got two guys who can be full-time starters as rookies (Martin, Borland), two more guys who will play over half the snaps (Ward, Stevie), and two others who could have regular roles (Hyde short yardage and apparently Ellington is a candidate for punt returns despite only having 3 for 16 yds in his college career).

Long term, Ward, Martin, Stevie, Hyde, and Thomas, could all be full-time starters. Millard and Ellington could be regular rotational players, and there's a good chance one of the late DB picks will emerge as a regular too. This draft could easily wipe away the 2012 disaster and keep us as contenders for the foreseeable future even after the old guard is gone. Now let's just hope that these guys make enough of an immediate impact to send out Gore and Cowboy with a ring.
  • buck
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Since I am not giving a grade to the draft, I will not speak to the grade being giving.

In my estimation, the pick of Lynch in the fifth round was a risky pick. But, it seems that the team did the required due diligence and if we consider the fact that the team had sources with direct knowledge of Lynch that they knew and trusted, I would say that the team went beyond the required due diligence.

They took a risk on a fifth round pick. There is no need to rush to judgment. We will see, sooner or later, if they made a good call--and that pertains to the entire draft.

For me the picking of Sam by the Rams has no particular importance.

I have absolutely no insight as to their motives for picked Sam, but barring some evidence to the contrary, and speculation does not constitute evidence, I have no choice but to think that drafting Sam was a legitimate football decision.

Originally posted by znk916:
2. Who the is our punt returner, and don't tell me LMJ. This franchise just DGAF about punt return position. Meanwhile it seems like in half of our excruciating postseason losses, the other team got a huge punt return against us, including last yr.
This is puzzling to me too. We clearly value special teams (Vetrone, Osgood, Akers, etc...), but for some reason they don't seem to put a big emphasis on finding an elite return guy. Or, more likely, I'm sure they try but simply haven't found a match. I would've loved Dri Archer, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Really curious where he was on the draft board had he lasted to the end of the 3rd round.

James was okay as a punt returner. He was certainly an upgrade over Kyle Williams, but he looked very shaky at times back there. Held my breath every time he fielded a punt. James is adequate I guess, but he just doesn't seem like a true home run threat back there. Besides, with how crowded the RB situation is, I think he's gone anyway.

My guess is Ellington enters the season as the KR/PR. You mentioned that he had only limited experience on PR in college -- I bet he'll see tons of reps back there on punts during preseason and training camp.
[ Edited by theduke85 on May 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM ]
Originally posted by znk916:
Millard: A+
We saw what happened after Bruce Miller got hurt last year. It was a travesty watching Boobie try to play FB, should've just had Tukuafu in there to mash people. Given his versatility, maybe he pushes our 3rd TE off the roster. The team will probably take it slow with his recovery, but I think he's real threat to make the roster and get some snaps as a rookie if he is healthy.


It literally only occurred to me just now that we have a combo of fullbacks named Miller and Millard. lol.
Maddog you take a lot of crap from the board because you have a strong opinion, it's nice to hear a good review of the niners draft way to nail the first three. You put in the most time on the forum for this, and we all enjoy it. GREAT JOB!!

That being said.....I think Lynch has potential, he's a guy that was a high round talent. He played last year undersized from the Adderall. Yes, he could be a bust, but it's a 5th round pick that we had two.

Can't wait to see Ward, Martin, Hyde and Ellington in action.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:

Finally, and most controversially, the Rams selection of Michael Sam reeks of a PR stunt. While I salute Sam coming forward, and hope he finds success in life...I cannot believe I am about to say what I am about to say...here was a guy who was drafted because he was gay. Breaking the barrier in any sports league should be legit, and I feel that the NFL knew there would be a significant blowback if he was not selected...hence making some wink-wink deal with a team to make the pick. An orchestrated breaking of the barrier only does damage to the cause in the end. Michael Sam jumped a vertical of 25 inches at the combine. That is the level of am morbidly overweight, out of shape RT. That number would be dead last amongst the QBs at the combine. His shuttle time was dead last amongst DEs, and by a substantial margin. He was second to last in the bench press. Taking the combo stats of speed, strength, explosiveness into account, and the struggle of the Senior Bowl week, he should not have been drafted.

Sadly, I agree with you.

Here's a rhetorical question for ya... who is head of the NFL Competition Committee and has close ties to Roger Goodell and the league office?

Why that'd be St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.
Thanks for all your work analyzing these drafts for us, I know it's something I couldn't do for sure. Another thing that struck me is how much that Seahawks loss seemed to guide the 49ers moving forward.

Case in point:

- 49ers couldn't stop the deep pass <-- 49ers select J.Ward.
- 49ers lost Bowman and Seattle starts running successfully. <-- 49ers select Borland.
- 49ers lost Iupati and the run game, the entire offense really, fell off a cliff. <-- 49ers select 2 interior lineman.
- 49ers receivers can't get open. <-- S.Johnson, B.Lloyd, B.Ellington.

I could be way out to lunch here but the hindsight seems 20/20 now for me.
Originally posted by NickSh49:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:

Finally, and most controversially, the Rams selection of Michael Sam reeks of a PR stunt. While I salute Sam coming forward, and hope he finds success in life...I cannot believe I am about to say what I am about to say...here was a guy who was drafted because he was gay. Breaking the barrier in any sports league should be legit, and I feel that the NFL knew there would be a significant blowback if he was not selected...hence making some wink-wink deal with a team to make the pick. An orchestrated breaking of the barrier only does damage to the cause in the end. Michael Sam jumped a vertical of 25 inches at the combine. That is the level of am morbidly overweight, out of shape RT. That number would be dead last amongst the QBs at the combine. His shuttle time was dead last amongst DEs, and by a substantial margin. He was second to last in the bench press. Taking the combo stats of speed, strength, explosiveness into account, and the struggle of the Senior Bowl week, he should not have been drafted.

Sadly, I agree with you.

Here's a rhetorical question for ya... who is head of the NFL Competition Committee and has close ties to Roger Goodell and the league office?

Why that'd be St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.

I think a lot of guys who get picked near the end of the draft don't "deserve" to be drafted, but teams find reasons why they want that person on their roster. It happens in baseball a lot too, some guys nephew or son or whatever gets picked in the 30th round, not because he deserves it or has any hope of actually making anyone's roster, but it's done as a "solid" for someone who has meaning to them.

If that was the reason the Rams drafted Sam, all the better for them, for him and for society. I tend to think that his 11 sacks, getting named the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC and his natural pass rush abilities had more to do with it than anything else (never a bad thing to take a shot on a pass rusher), but that's me. I can see the other side of it as well.
[ Edited by GhostofFredDean74 on May 12, 2014 at 12:54 AM ]
Originally posted by NickSh49:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:

Finally, and most controversially, the Rams selection of Michael Sam reeks of a PR stunt. While I salute Sam coming forward, and hope he finds success in life...I cannot believe I am about to say what I am about to say...here was a guy who was drafted because he was gay. Breaking the barrier in any sports league should be legit, and I feel that the NFL knew there would be a significant blowback if he was not selected...hence making some wink-wink deal with a team to make the pick. An orchestrated breaking of the barrier only does damage to the cause in the end. Michael Sam jumped a vertical of 25 inches at the combine. That is the level of am morbidly overweight, out of shape RT. That number would be dead last amongst the QBs at the combine. His shuttle time was dead last amongst DEs, and by a substantial margin. He was second to last in the bench press. Taking the combo stats of speed, strength, explosiveness into account, and the struggle of the Senior Bowl week, he should not have been drafted.

Sadly, I agree with you.

Here's a rhetorical question for ya... who is head of the NFL Competition Committee and has close ties to Roger Goodell and the league office?

Why that'd be St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.

Not to mention how NFL.com writer Michael Silver was granted access to the Rams war room so he could write a detailed piece of what went down when the pick was made, as well as interview Jeff Fisher on the spot. Of all the teams to assign him to.... what a coincidence.
[ Edited by SofaKing on May 12, 2014 at 12:57 AM ]
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
I think a lot of guys who get picked near the end of the draft don't "deserve" to be drafted, but teams find reasons why they want that person on their roster. It happens in baseball a lot too, some guys nephew or son or whatever gets picked in the 30th round, not because he deserves it or has any hope of actually making anyone's roster, but it's done as a "solid" for someone who has meaning to them.

If that was the reason the Rams drafted Sam, all the better for them, for him and for society. I tend to think that his 11 sacks, getting named the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC and his natural pass rush abilities had more to do with it than anything else (never a bad thing to take a shot on a pass rusher), but that's me. I can see the other side of it as well.

how the heck did he win co-DPOY in such a tough conference with such awful measurables???
Originally posted by znk916:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
I think a lot of guys who get picked near the end of the draft don't "deserve" to be drafted, but teams find reasons why they want that person on their roster. It happens in baseball a lot too, some guys nephew or son or whatever gets picked in the 30th round, not because he deserves it or has any hope of actually making anyone's roster, but it's done as a "solid" for someone who has meaning to them.

If that was the reason the Rams drafted Sam, all the better for them, for him and for society. I tend to think that his 11 sacks, getting named the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC and his natural pass rush abilities had more to do with it than anything else (never a bad thing to take a shot on a pass rusher), but that's me. I can see the other side of it as well.

how the heck did he win co-DPOY in such a tough conference with such awful measurables???

Mostly with tenacious pass rushing skills.
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maddog calls the sam pick a pr move---I have to believe his sexual orientation dropped his ultimate place in draft and I cant say I blame a team for not wanting to deal with the distraction..still if he is not picked it is pr headache for the league--I wouldn't be surprised if the league wielded influence in trying to get some team to pick him
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by m_brockalexander:
Maybe the Niners can find someone to do an exorcism on Lynch. Just sayin.......

Maybe they can hire Mike Singletary to come back to the team and take his pants down

I honestly think Singletary would be great in a role of mentoring troubled players. Look no further than what he did with VD, Boone, Brooks (or am I wrong with the Brooks timing? whatever lol). sucks he was a train wreck or a head coach for us otherwise it would be nice to see him come in and help guys like Aldon, Culliver, Lynch and whoever the F else gets arrested on our roster.
Originally posted by matt49er:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by m_brockalexander:
Maybe the Niners can find someone to do an exorcism on Lynch. Just sayin.......

Maybe they can hire Mike Singletary to come back to the team and take his pants down

I honestly think Singletary would be great in a role of mentoring troubled players. Look no further than what he did with VD, Boone, Brooks (or am I wrong with the Brooks timing? whatever lol). sucks he was a train wreck or a head coach for us otherwise it would be nice to see him come in and help guys like Aldon, Culliver, Lynch and whoever the F else gets arrested on our roster.

Sing was awesome. I'm still kicking myself over not getting one of those 'Dont tell me, show me!' tshirts...think about all the uses for that phrase!
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
* Although Bortles was my number one QB entering the draft (Garappolo second and Bridgewater third), selecting him at 3 was ridiculous. Two of the greatest deficiencies with the Jags were pass rush and production at WR. How they could pass on Mack and Watkins is stunning.
Why should they pick a WR, regardless of his talent, in a wr-heavy draft when they need a franchise QB badly? I don't get your critique at all, to be honest. Just spend a look at Gordon or Megatron respectively (btw, dont forget where Gordon was picked):
do they win games for their teams on a constant basis? NO.

On the other hand, I hear you about the pass-rush deficiency. Still, I would have done (almost) the same. Perhaps they wanted to trade down but no one wanted to trade up. Other possibility: Bortles was THEIR guy and they didn't want to lose him.

To be honest, I am a big supporter of reaching for QBs.

BTW, the Jags drafted Lee and Robinson. And they added some DEs to their roster during FA.

* Nobody should be celebrating the Browns draft. As stated before the draft, the Browns will figure a way to screw up the draft. A;ready knowing that Gordon was going to be suspended probably for a year, they bypass Watkins by trading him for a future first and selecting Gilbert at 9. They compound the problem by selecting Manziel, a warm weather QB in Cleveland. Memo to Cleveland: Don't overthink the draft. Just select the best player and move on.
THIS. I don't get the celebration by some people either.

8- Aaron Lynch- Suddenly the dark clouds appear. Worst pick of the day in value for the team. At 150, still a bunch of guys who are going to help the team. Lynch is a formerly great, self-indulged, spoiled, bad attitude, me-first train wreck of a person. Now onto his good characteristics...haha. If he makes the 53 man roster, it will be one of the greatest shocks. Do we really want to add this kid onto a list of guys with character questions on our team? No confidence in him. My pick at 150- Jackson Jeffcoat...who went undrafted, surprisingly, but will contribute more to the NFL than Lynch. GRADE: F-
Still, a 5th-rounder. And as you stated, your favorite prospect went undrafted.
I assume that Lynch would have been picked by the Bengals anyway.

11- Ramsey- Guys with experience along the line, but not a full-time starter. Honestly, nothing to be excited about. Not that athletic, not tall, Would be shocked if he made the roster. Much better player, DE DeAndre Coleman still on the board, who was my pick at 243. GRADE: D
Weeks ago, I wanted to pick Coleman even earlier. He seems to be an almost prototypical 34-DE though according to scouting reports, he is rather a run-stuffing than pass-rushing DE. Ramsey, according to nfl.com, possesses more athletic talent so that there is a chance that he could serve as #3 RDE.