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Assessing Receivers and the OL: We NEED Upgrades

I am sick and tired of every WR or OL discussion turning into an Alex Smith debate. Leave Smith out of it. Period.

If we had an elite QB.. I'd STILL be sitting here saying LET'S UPGRADE OUR WR'S SO WE CAN BE EVEN MORE DOMINANT. AND.. LET'S IMPROVE THE OL TO EVEN FURTHER ASSURE THE PROTECTION OF OUR STAR/INVESTMENT.

As it stands, it appears that it's virtually guaranteed that our QB(s) is(are) going to being Alex or/and Colin Kaepernick over the next 3-5 years. But this is not about Alex, it's about the team. We want to see increased team success, but I keep seeing the whiny babies coming out and trashing Alex whenever any such suggestions are made to improve other areas like OL and WR. It's like saying those things automatically implies, "Alex is elite and everything else is holding him back!" Please. We're taking the situation and looking at it for what it is. Our QB situation is irrelevant to the collective skill level of our WR corps or protection ability of the OL. We are looking at the positions individually and assessing their value.

Irrespective of Alex Smith, this is what I see when I look at WR and OL:


OFFENSIVE LINE:

Joe Staley - Probably better than many (including myself) give him credit for, and apparently good enough to make the Pro Bowl.

Mike Iupati - Solid, but still learning the new blocking scheme. I think Staley sometimes got flack for the missed assignments of Iupati because he tried to help him on several of those occasions.

Jonathan Goodwin - Inconsistent. Smart, but physically not able to hold up sometimes, and blows assignments bad when he's off his game.

Adam Snyder - A backup on most other teams. Serviceable for the interim.

Davis - A young, developing player who looks to have improved, and seems promising. Isn't always perfect, but looks to be on the right track.

Rachal - Garbage. Get him off the team.

Boone - Looks promising.

Kilgore - Unknown, but pre-season looked promising.

Person - Unknown, but pre-season looked promising.

Overall evaluation: C and OG are weak spots. Our interior was the most glaring weak area of the OL this season and it's not surprising. We have an aging vet and a swing-player back-up starting at C and RG, respectively. The developing players behind them, OL Kilgore and Person, remain unknowns.



RECEIVERS:

Josh Morgan - Generally reliable, but really just a strong #3 possession type, and is coming off a serious season-ending injury.

Michael Crabtree - the go-to guy and emerging #1 WR, but has battled foot problems in the beginning of each year.

Ted Ginn - extremely inconsistent hands, and inconsistent in both adjusting to deep balls and tracking them in the air.

Kyle Williams - has shown flashes and potential, but still unknown and unproven, and has suffered injuries every year.

Brett Swain - Special teamer. Almost zero value as a receiving option.

Vernon Davis - Dangerous when utilized properly and target often. Best threat aside from Crabtree.

Delanie Walker - Speed for his size creates mismatches, but has serious drop problem (especially with easy ones) and can be careless running with the football. Has an injury history (although he has often played hurt) and is currently recovering from that horrific jaw injury.

Nate Byham - Coming off serious season ending injury. More of a blocking TE, but can catch.

Justin Peele - Back-up, little to no receiving value, and average blocker.


Overall evaluation: We have no true big-time starting NFL receiver opposite Crabtree, we have a potential but unproven slot man, we have no consistent and reliable deep threat, we have no wide receiver over 6-1 to create a size mismatch, and we have an inconsistent and drop-prone #2 TE and a definite unknown in Byham returning from injury to be the #3 TE in our TE-heavy system.
I think after this season, we have the pieces in place to start drafting receiver depth. We were missing too many key elements in the past. We should do it like the Packers: pretty much all their receivers are 2nd or 3rd round draft picks.
As for OL depth, I think Goodwin is enough to anchor for one more year. I'm interested in seeing what Person and Kilgore can bring. But we still need some C depth since Goodwin is old.
Need to upgrade OL depth and get a big tall WR #2 putting Morgan off the team.

We also need to upgrade TE #2 but I think our guy from last year that got injured will do fine.

Also, never draft for depth. draft for starters to replace or starters to move to the bench. that is how you get better.
[ Edited by Joecool on Jan 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM ]
IMHO, Crabtree is okay but not playing up to his pick status. We need a all-hands, money, can get it done even when he's double-covered, and doesn't jump for every pass receiver.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
IMHO, Crabtree is okay but not playing up to his pick status. We need a all-hands, money, can get it done even when he's double-covered, and doesn't jump for every pass receiver.

I think Crabtree is the guy next year (and this year in terms of playoff hopes). I like Kyle Williams a lot and he'd be a very solid #2 but he's had injury issues - this year it was the concussion, last year it was his ankle I believe. Not sure if he can stay healthy, but he's tough and fast. I think we need a receiver similar to what we thought Braylon Edwards was going to be.
Originally posted by 12b6demurrer:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
IMHO, Crabtree is okay but not playing up to his pick status. We need a all-hands, money, can get it done even when he's double-covered, and doesn't jump for every pass receiver.

I think Crabtree is the guy next year (and this year in terms of playoff hopes). I like Kyle Williams a lot and he'd be a very solid #2 but he's had injury issues - this year it was the concussion, last year it was his ankle I believe. Not sure if he can stay healthy, but he's tough and fast. I think we need a receiver similar to what we thought Braylon Edwards was going to be.

With Gronk and Graham having so much success and us using so many multiple TE looks, i think we try to find a similar body.

Maybe i chamge my mind about Morgan. I think we keep him and find a raw freak like T.O. in the 3rd or 4th.
Originally posted by Joecool:
With Gronk and Graham having so much success and us using so many multiple TE looks, i think we try to find a similar body.

Maybe i chamge my mind about Morgan. I think we keep him and find a raw freak like T.O. in the 3rd or 4th.

Yeah. I think Ginn is expendable if Williams can stay healthy to be honest. Williams can do what Ginn does and more - he can go vertical, do underneath routes, return if we need him to...although I personally don't want him to because of the injury risk.
Member Milestone: This is post number 200 for mtminer.
I've heard from multiple sources that both WR and especially OG are deep this year. ( Kiper and Rang I believe )

I think many of us are underestimating Kilgore and Persons. With the complicated blocking schemes we have, I think they
may have the best shot at unseeding Goodwin and Snyder ( if resigned ). Not to say that we shouldn't draft OL, but I'm a believer
it's best to develop mid to late rounders into interior OL. As we've seen with Chilo, it's knowing your assignments just as much as
physical talent.

Also, don't forget we have Beeler and Hall on the PS.

I think I might be in the minority, but I could see us drafting a TE in the 2nd-4th rd. Harb's likes them tall, so Fleener, Green and Egnew
are my favorites. After them, I see a major drop off.

As for receivers, I would start looking for value in the 4th on down. One speedy and one with size.
Speed: J. Wright, Adams, Coale, Graham and Hilton are some of my favorites.
Size: Quick, Mcnutt, Fuller, Boykin, Childs, Moye, Criner, Childs and Hill ( just declared out of GT )
Staley is not a franchise left- tackle. He needs to be on the right side that is his natural position. Sign Jared Geither put him on the left side much more talented, put staley on right side. Cut chilo, synder ok for back up, move Davis to guard. Look to get Nicks from New Orleans. Now the line is a dominate line. Draft a play maker or two at receiver position.
Originally posted by Southeast:
Staley is not a franchise left- tackle. He needs to be on the right side that is his natural position. Sign Jared Geither put him on the left side much more talented, put staley on right side. Cut chilo, synder ok for back up, move Davis to guard. Look to get Nicks from New Orleans. Now the line is a dominate line. Draft a play maker or two at receiver position.

hes a pro bow LT

Davis is playing great and made huge strides despite being 21 or 22 years old

i think our o line is fine except dor the deoth


at recievers we do need 1 more big bodied guy that would free up VD and crabs also give us a legit RZ target
Thanks OTC, this is a great idea for a thread and I don't think many people would argue that our biggest needs next year will be interior line, WR & CB.

Center: It is always tricky to draft a center and expect them to play right away. A rare exception can be pointed to but my preference is for a veteran FA.

RG: That said, I also think Davis needs a vet next to him at RG--FA needed if available or Kilgore.

OT: Strong group with Staley, Davis, Boone and Person (the latter being the only unknown).

WR: Don't care if the WR is 6'6" or 5'9" as long as he is a game changer. Steve Smith is very respected around the league as a tough go to guy...I want that attitude, the one we saw from Edwards for a few weeks. If he can be 6'6", 4.4 40, glue for hand and able to leap tall buildings...fine!
CB: If they can keep all the guys they have then a high draft choice is in order to push the group upward...if they lose a top guy then an experienced FA.

Draft/FA: So, unless an incredible interior lineman falls to the 9ers I would expect them to draft a WR and CB, and go after FA linemen. Youth at WR and CB is not as big a problem, especially as the 9ers will have Crabtree, Morgan and William back.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM ]
Originally posted by NinerGM:
IMHO, Crabtree is okay but not playing up to his pick status. We need a all-hands, money, can get it done even when he's double-covered, and doesn't jump for every pass receiver.

Why can't Crabtree be given the same amount of time to be judged as Smith?

he is in the first year of a new system and has battled injuries. He is improving and will only get better..
1. Happy with our QB's and think all three will stick around and work hard in the off season. We might need a 4th training camp arm from F/A pool.

2. Offensive Line, LT and LG are arrow up next season. Center and RG are OK, but not arrow up. Question is do we fill with high round draft picks of interior line men, or do we fill with lower round Tackles that we develop into interior linemen? And is Davis going to be our future RT or is he better suited for RG?

3. Crabs is finally starting to play well. Williams looks like he might be a good #3 Slot receiver. Ginn is a top return man, 5th receiver. Morgan isn't an every down #2, but I'd love to give him a one year contract and see how he does. Think we need a tall leaper with great hands. if he also has some speed it would be a plus. ??? How's Brian Quick from Appalachian St. Look? Great name for a WR!

4. Happy with our 4 TE's coming back next year.

Baalke with take care of business just fine! Aloha
If Morgan is healthy he's probably our best all around receiver. Before he got hurt he was on pace for a really good year. He's got the physical tools, has more reliable hands than Crabtree and is an excellent blocker. Very good RAC. He gets a lot of hate around here for reasons unknown to me.