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Round 3, #80, the San Francisco 49ers selects Chris Culliver, CB, South Carolina

People need to understand that we can now not feel as nervous about drafting developmental players. Culliver, as everyone knows, is a physical beast, fast, big, has all the talents to be successful. What he lacks is things like technique and experience. Thats exactly what coaching is for, something we didn't have in the past. Both Baalke and Harbaugh understand the importance of coaching on a players performance, and it's great to know that they have the confidence in drafting players such as Smith and Kap and Culliver to successfully mold them into great players.
Originally posted by Eskendale:
Originally posted by TheBlueHell:
Originally posted by whatawegot:
Originally posted by TheBlueHell:
Culliver has speed and ZERO instinct. He's a terrible reach in the third round. His kickoff numbers are inflated considering he's one of the few people to ever return all four years, but SCAR's return game sucks and lacks any other decent options except for a little midget named Sherman.

Culliver never scored a TD on any returns in four years. Think about that.

He's also a nondescript defensive back with a questionable attitude

.

great post from the webzone niner scout. Who needs our scouts

Hey noob, I've been familiar with Culliver since he was a junior playing high school ball in North Carolina, and I'm pretty sure I've seen him play more than anyone here. I would love for him to succeed, but Culliver has been tantalizing people with his "potential" for years now without delivering. Taking him this early in the draft was a joke.

Do you feel that he could be a better CB than S? Safeties generally need good instincts just like linebackers, whereas CBs need measurables and ball skills (like the moment when Nate Clements was stride for stride with Vincent Jackson but couldn't time his jump correctly).

The way Harbaugh has talked about him makes it seem as if his move to CB will give him a chance to capitalize on athletic ability comparable to Peterson's, regardless of his lack of production at safety.

I guess my other question would be about how good he was at covering receivers when he had to.

Players like Ulracher could play safety and be dominant and have that translate to linebacker especially because of instincts.

When I think of college players who went from safety to corner, I think of Nnamdi and Reggie Smith. Part of Smith's problem when he was drafted was his lack of speed, and we all know now that the experiment with putting him at CB failed. Culliver has the measurables, and I just know that Baalke is just going based on potential with picks like Anthony Davis, Smith, etc.

You make a good point about needing better instincts to play safety, so that would certainly help Culliver in terms of playing CB since he doesn't have good instincts. He only played a handful of games at CB before getting hurt, but I can tell you that he's always had the reputation as being a great athlete and not a great player. Maybe our staff can wring something out of him, but I don't like using a third rounder on this kind of player.

Some people are trumpeting his return skills, but I can honestly say that nobody ever feared kicking the ball to him. Guys like C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford at Clemson scared people, but Culliver never seemed like anything special as a returner. He just made a lot of returns over his career beginning as a freshman and piled up some yardage. My best friend is a huge SCAR fan, and he called him "Mr. 35 Yard Line" when it came to his return game. Sure, if he could get us to the 35 yard line in the NFL, that'd be great, but with the change in the kicking rules and the fact that he isn't really a dynamic returner anyway, I think this was a huge reach.
http://www.garnetandblackattack.com/2011/3/27/2075670/south-carolina-gamecocks-in-the-nfl-draft-chris-culliver

Found a website with some posts concerning Culliver, mentioning the obvious weaknesses already pointed out on our board. One poster defends him, however:

"paying special attention to the game day open threads, and no where was Culliver singled out for criticism anywhere by anyone except for the two or three personal fouls he committed. He had an awful game against Tennessee where we, including myself, criticized him for several big gains, but he was playing that thing injured. Folks, if he was blowing coverages I would’ve been the first to mention it in an open thread. I pointed that stuff out all the time about many players, as did you all. Me, and others, praised Culliver for a few great plays. I just don’t see where all this negativity is coming from. Culliver didn’t have an All-SEC performance at corner this season, but I think you all are being a bit harsh. I personally thought he was the only member of the secondary, outside of Swearinger (also Allen if you count him), who was consistent enough to relax my nerves every time the ball hit air."

There is a reason why WRs like DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith are also great returners and vice versa, that is to say they possess great instincts that allow them to score; just as Ed Reed needs instincts as a ball-hawking safety, he is an extremely talented pun returner. Culliver's inability to score on his kick returns (one poster said he would just run into the opposition's wall instead of finding seams) reflects his poor choice of angles, his hesitancy when coming in as safety support for the pass, etc.

The same poster further defends Culliver, saying: "Culliver isn't about picks, he's about making highly athletic deflection. He’s not typically close enough to his man to get a pick, but he has great recovery ability to make the tip regardless. He had as many deflections as Gilmore last season, despite only playing half as many games. He led the team in that statistic in 2009."
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/blog/2010/08/catching-up-with-culliver.html

Culliver on why he sucked at safety: "There isn't that much difference. At corner you have to show much more coverage ability. At safety it is like two positions in one," says Culliver. "You are worrying about the coverage, and being able to come up in the run game. At corner it is much more about focusing in on that one receiver, and not allowing him to catch the ball."

The problems I see with Chris from most of these sites: He can't recognize routes or coverages, can't tackle, takes bad angles, isn't aggressive attacking the ball to make the pick, is poor in run support, and in general lacks situational instincts.

Nonetheless, I would think that if Chris had spent more than half a year at CB he might have done better with route recognition and just being a corner in general, but as implied by his own words above a safety has to juggle many hats while a corner can just focus on the craft of covering a receiver. I think this is what Baalke saw, the idea that his problems with covering are a lack of experience and time devoted to it while he was busy trying to be a safety. So in other words, the 49ers don't believe his failure as a safety proves that he can't be a cornerback, and just like the idea of you're innocent until proven guilty, they believe his inexperience at the position is actually a reason to be hopeful.
Originally posted by WillistheWall:
Originally posted by turfdoggs49:
So I'm a steelers fan because I think their front office does a better job than ours? If you really mean that then that'd make 75% of this board steelers fans. Their fo has won 2 of the last 6 superbowls. Ours hasnt even made the playoffs since 2002. Logic says they pick better players than we do. Even a homer should be able to see that.



All Iam saying is that if the 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh likes the pick then let see what he can do they just had j John p in and he must not been what they where looking 4 that it.

Yeah but whether you like a guy or not you have to know his value. They took Culliver way too high. Its the same s**t as last year, they picked Taylor Mays when better cover guys were available and then he struggles and we are all supposed to be shocked or something. YOu can fool me once but you cant fool me twice and Baalke better hope that Harbaugh can save his ass by coaching these guys up or he is really going to have f**ked us over. Baalke made the same type of picks last year and we all blamed it on Singletary, but the guy Sing really liked (Iupati) wound up being the only player who actually turned out to be really good.

We took Taylor Mays because Nate Allen got stolen from us by the Eagles!! If u knew anything, Singh threw his drink across the room when that happened!!!
Originally posted by Travisty13:
Chris Culliver Scouting Report
Quote:
Pros
•Excellent speed (4.36 40)
•Has very good size
•All-Around great athlete. Very smooth, fluid, good jumper, and explosive
•Very agile, can change directions and accelerate quickly. Dynamic return man as well
•Very good ball skills. Former receiver
•Experienced at both safety and corner
•Does well in man, and zone coverage

Cons
•Gets too high in his back pedal
•Suffered torn Pectoral muscle and missed half of 2010
•Inexperienced at Corner. Only played for half a season
•Footwork and technique at corner is very raw
•Takes too many false steps

Overall
Many people may be surprised when they see how high we have Chris Culliver in my rankings, but anybody who follows this site knows that what we value is talent, and Culliver has as much physical talent as any DB in this draft not named Patrick Peterson. Culliver started 2 years at Free Safety and did well, but his skill set does seem to be better suited for cornerback, and so he was moved there for his Senior season. Things didn't go as planned as early on he got caught up in the South Carolina agent scandal thing, and missed the beginning of the season. Then right when he was started to get acclimated to corner, he tore his pectoral muscle and missed the rest of the season. Culliver is a tremendous athlete, evidenced by his abilities as a return man (South Carolina's all time return yardage leader) and his dominance at the combine (4.36 40) (38.5 Inch Vertical). I will readily admit that Culliver comes with a lot of risk, and he is not NFL ready. But is talent level is off the charts, but with some development and good coaching, he could develop into an upper echelon DB.

Nice read
people talk about how he is a reach because of his bad insticncs i think we drafted him as a saftey i think he is better suited for that anyway
Originally posted by 49ersalldaway126:
people talk about how he is a reach because of his bad insticncs i think we drafted him as a saftey i think he is better suited for that anyway

hes going to cb
Originally posted by 49erWill:



hes a big head that looks like a Pitbull Or Bull's head...
my least favorite pick in the draft however he can blossom
Corner. end of story
  • KID9R
  • Veteran
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Originally posted by playmake1:
Bill Parcels has Culliver as a third round pick along with curtis brown and shareece wright. I'd go with his evaluation over most other experts. When I saw that it made me feel a lot better about the pick. By the way, he also rated Aldon Smith as the second best rush olb behind miller.

How much tape work do you think a retired GM does?
Originally posted by KID9R:
Originally posted by playmake1:
Bill Parcels has Culliver as a third round pick along with curtis brown and shareece wright. I'd go with his evaluation over most other experts. When I saw that it made me feel a lot better about the pick. By the way, he also rated Aldon Smith as the second best rush olb behind miller.

How much tape work do you think a retired GM does?

a lot more than fans
Originally posted by KID9R:
Originally posted by playmake1:
Bill Parcels has Culliver as a third round pick along with curtis brown and shareece wright. I'd go with his evaluation over most other experts. When I saw that it made me feel a lot better about the pick. By the way, he also rated Aldon Smith as the second best rush olb behind miller.

How much tape work do you think a retired GM does?

a lot considering his dick don't get hard anymore.
Originally posted by communist:
we'll see it...i dont think that baalke and fangio drafted him b/c of his special teams ability and his 7 games at CB for playing nickel and returning kicks and punts.

The Culliver pick has Fangio written all over it. The defensive scheme requires physical corners who can jam receivers and disrupt timing while blitz packages harass the QB into bad throws or sacks. Patrick Peterson would have been ideal in Fangio's defense, and that's why the Niners were so clearly disappointed that he was drafted ahead of their first pick.

BTW, if they can work out a deal, Clements would probably thrive in this defense, too. He was misused as a cover corner playing off the line, often without help from a safety, and it wasn't a good fit.

I don't know if Asomugha is ideal for Fangio's game, but my hunch is that he's versatile enough to make any defense better. Hope the Niners make a strong play for him.

[ Edited by 49erThrowback on May 1, 2011 at 07:56:13 ]