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2013 Team Needs - Updates

Originally posted by Harbaalke:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Backup QB.

Backup O Line.



Special teams as well

Yes. LOL.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
The good news is that the coaches likely care less about the preseason games than the practices. It's hard to judge a WR when a back up QB is running for their lives! In practice they can see how the guy does off the line, with CK tossing the ball, and against our DBs, who are pretty good. Some guys do really well in confused preseason situation...ad-libbing. But others need the play to work like it does in practice...doesn't necessarily tell us who will be better once games are for real. In other words, I doubt the coaching staff is as confused as we are!

I have thought about this as well...it's the big picture for the coaches and these games are used for nothing more than a glorified practice for in-game perspectives. You could see how we featured Jewel Hampton this past week, along with the backup QB's. Once again we featured Jenkins outside (Z last game and more X this game). McDonald was the feature in game 1 and did very well (so no need to play him game 2). Same with Moore.

Many players haven't even had a chance yet esp. at WR (Osgood, Lockette, Collie, etc.) but it doesn't mean they aren't high on the coaches list. Moore is a perfect example of that. He is one of the WR highlights of practice, starts opposite Boldin and now the coaches need to see others.

So yeah, I'm with you...and THIS is why there always seems to be a few HarBaalke 53-man surprises every year.
the telling story is that they ended up bringing in a couple late free agent receivers. along with jenkins, lockette and osgood must not have really distinguished themselves in practice.
Updated: Seneca Wallace for Ricardo Lockette.
Originally posted by NCommand:

Kyle Williams cut? - this one can go any way and about 30 different directions. But I think we end up finding that James and others like AJ or Patton or others show more potential on returning kicks. Both AJ and Patton probably have more upside than Williams (and are healthier), this could be a surprise here. Then the question is, if you DON'T cut him, who do you cut between AJ and Patton? Lockette? Lockette is the most viable like-option behind our bigger WR's in Crabtree and Boldin. Period.


lol
Originally posted by 9erReign:
Originally posted by NCommand:

Lockette is the most viable like-option behind our bigger WR's in Crabtree and Boldin. Period.

lol

The point? Lockette WAS a true viable option behind Moore at the time...then we traded Jenkins and brought in ANOTHER bigger body with potetially, even more upside in Baldwin. So now you have: X = Moore/Baldwin Y = Williams X= Boldin/Patton. Where we really lost here is on ST. Unless Baldwin can be a top gunner as well, we are in trouble as Lockette was exceptional here this pre season (along with Osgood and Morris). The coaching staff must have felt that Baldwin adds more to the receiving group over Lockette's receiving ability and ST value.
[ Edited by NCommand on Aug 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by 9erReign:
Originally posted by NCommand:

Lockette is the most viable like-option behind our bigger WR's in Crabtree and Boldin. Period.

lol

The point? Lockette WAS a true viable option behind Moore at the time...then we traded Jenkins and brought in ANOTHER bigger body with potetially, even more upside in Baldwin. So now you have: X = Moore/Baldwin Y = Williams X= Boldin/Patton. Where we really lost here is on ST. Unless Baldwin can be a top gunner as well, we are in trouble as Lockette was exceptional here this pre season (along with Osgood and Morris). The coaching staff must have felt that Baldwin adds more to the receiving group over Lockette's receiving ability and ST value.

His receiving ability is 0.
Originally posted by 9erReign:
His receiving ability is 0.

Coaches agree with you.
Team needs updated. Let's see if some of these answers start to reveal themselves tonight:

Current Interests/Needs (in order of importance IMHO) - Rationale: This is what I had after the FA signings and coming into the draft and this is where we are at after PreSeason Game 2. These were my priorities in order of importance (check post #1 for more details):
Top Tier T - We needed a "swing T" so we got three: Carter Bykowski, Luke Marquardt (PUP) and we brought back Adam Snyder. That said, Marquardt is hurt, Bykowski is weak and NOBODY wants Snyder to be the backside blocker for CK. Worse off, if there is another injury to Staley, we may have to mess with the chemistry along the entire OL and move Boone from G to T (not easy on the fly) and insert someone else at RG (2 of 5 positions); that would be Looney or Kilgore. This is NOT good.
Top Tier Cover SS - It's safe to say the FO got their man in Reid. Dahl seems like a viable backup at both SS/FS and will also help on ST. That said, Whitner still can't cover in the RZ (esp.) so scheme will have to be the theme for 2013 here. Spillman? Robinson, like Dahl and Whitner are short and don't add much. We shouldn't have to rely solel on the pass rush esp. in the RZ where passes are typically less than a 3-step drop and right down the middle of the field.
Top Kickoff Coverage Unit/Ace Kick-Punt Returner - Once again, despite speedsters in Morris, Moore, Osgood, Lockette, Dixon, etc. getting there early, not always do they make the tackle and as a result, we continue to get torched for huge plays, even in pre season. Lockette, our #1 gunner is now gone and neither Morris or Osgood are expected to make it. If Moore makes it as the #2 or #3 he won't be playing gunner on ST anymore. This is an ignored area of concern and it cost us in the Superbowl and is still affecting us greatly in pre season. Cox has looked way better than James but nobody would classify him as "dynamic/electric" and nobody fears him taking it to the house every time he touches the ball (like do against every team we face, it seems). While some teams have 2 dynamic returners, we can't seem to find one.
Top Tier TE - HaRoman got HIS man in Vance McDonald. Team also brought in MarQueis Gray as a project as well. I originally had VD, McDonald and Gray (H-back) making the team with Celek getting cut. We are on par with that but Celek is not a poor player and we could end up keeping 4 TE's at the expense of the WR group (keeping 5 instead of 6). Let's be real here; the 2-TE sets are going to be dominant this year and expect many looks for these TE's from the Q-formation, slot position and even split out wide as a WR. As a result, that #5 and/or #6 WR won't see the field much as all.
Top or Second Tier DE - Tomsula had Christmas with getting Cornellius Carradine, Quinton Dial and a major project in Lawrence Okoye. That said, Tank and Dial will most likely be red-shirted this year (PUP) and Okoye still has a long ways to go still and thus far, has gotten limited snaps. Fortunately, Dobbs continues to impress and Dorsey can play DE and NT behind Ian Williams. McDonald and Smith are 100% healthy.
Top or Second Tier CB - Only picking up Marcus Cooper screams to me, "SCHEME is the THEME for 2013!" Look for bigger, stronger, taller more physical starting CB's this year to play press more and perhaps, all across the DB lineup. Look for our shiftier CB's (esp. Brown) to move into the slot to cover the micro-talented WR's of Harvin (done) and Austin. Darryl Morris has a real shot here! Cooper seems to play very disciplined in the games (smart, mature) and Morris has made some big splashes in practices and has epic speed and great coverage on deep balls. Rogers is still OK (still loses battles) but Nnamdi and Cox have both looked tremendous and Brock has looked good as well. Obviously, the pass rush has allowed them to play with the WR's in front of them and plays much more aggressively.
Top or Second Tier NT - Well, let's be real here, passing up every single NT in the draft tells me, "SCHEME is the new THEME in 2013!" Look for many more 4-man DL and inside and outside pass rushers. Boy, hasn't THIS become true thus far. Even Okoye has lined up outside DE and inside DT. And with Lemonier, Haralson back to form and new-comer, Skuta, we're golden at OLB. My underrated dark horse thus far is Lamar Divens who has played very well and appears to be the only true 2-gap NT we have. His wide-body could really help in short yardage, goal line situations and against some of the power running teams we'll face this year. Ian thus far, has been tremendous and appears to be a lock for the starting role over Dorsey!
Second Tier WR - Seriously? AJ is finally history and we wish him well...sort of. Crabtree's injury hurts a lot but thankfully we have an evenr more productive veteran in Boldin to ease that loss. Do not expect Crabtree back at all this year. That said, we can expect Manningham back after week 6 which is why we will probably only start the year with 5 or 6 WR's: X = Marlon Moore/Jon Baldwin --- Y = Kyle Williams/Chad Hall --- Z = Anquan Boldin/Quinton Patton
Second Tier C - Patrick Omameh and Sherman Carter were added to compete with our red-shirted Looney and Kilgore (but both stink). Do we have a potential cut of Goodwin here? If not he'll most likely have to restructure but make no mistake about it he's in a dog fight to start now with Kilgore playing very well. So far, Kilgore seems to be the man here with Goodwin just now coming back and Looney working at G and backup C.
Second Tier FB - We have nobody behind our pro bowler Bruce Miller. Dixon may make the team as the short yardage back and backup FB but he's a pretty poor blocker and blows many pass protection assignments. We probably need a pure FB here; someone like Jason Schepler (if he can excel on ST coverage units as well).

Any other concerns fans? Adjustments in this list?
[ Edited by NCommand on Aug 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM ]
Good post NC!

Some things:

  • Dixon has actually looked like a big back--could back up Miller and still be a key on ST.
  • Kilgore has a legitimate shot--was beginning to wonder.
  • Keeping a third or even fourth TE at the expense of WRs...seems more likely now the way they have played VD.
  • Massive influx for the D-Line (front 7)...wow! Getting guys in to develop behind J Smith and all.
  • Killer B's at WR? If Baldwin is for real, he could benefit being across from Boldin and VD...two guys teams would like to double.
  • NT--still would like to see a monster in there but the stength of this team is the front seven and particularly MLBs. That makes up for a lot. Now it would be nice to see some blitz packages to offset not having a pocket stuffer.
I think people are definitely overrating how bad our backup O-linemen are. THe truth is that they'll be plugged into the starting o-line when needed... I agree that we'll be f**ked if the whole starting o-line gets hurt, but what we're seeing in preseason is just a bunch of random backups playing alongside one another without any chemistry.
Took NCs excellent list and added a few comments:

NC ... in my mind "Top Tier" means one of the better starters at the position in the NFL ... I don't think we can expect our backups to be Top Tier most of the time, we should be happy with them having good potential and showing enough to make us comfortable they are not going to be the reason the team loses.

T - We needed a "swing T" so we got three: Carter Bykowski, Luke Marquardt (PUP) and we brought back Adam Snyder. Bykowski showed some flashes, and I really liked Marquardt as a mid-round development project pre-draft so there is real Boone-like prospects, we just need to make it through this year.

SS - I think the coaches would be okay with the safety pair being Reid and Spillman for next year. But every position is a possibility for upgrade and the 49ers have a lot of draft picks to spend. Who is a "Top Tier Cover SS" now? Most SS are not great cover guys, and I think the 49ers would rather have two Eric Reid's. Patrick Willis' coverage ability is better than most SS in the NFL now.

TE - Dobbs was the 4th TE last year and essentially never got used at the position. With McDonald, Celek, and Gray the 49ers have a trio of good, raw, and very different players at the position that I'm comfortable going forward with.

Top or Second Tier DE - The 49ers should always draft a DL but if they are only going to keep 5 or 6 on the roster there isn't much room to add more in the next few years.

Top or Second Tier CB - Since Harbaugh/Fangio came in the only CBs drafted have been "big" corners ... Fangio prefers corners who can come up and fill effectively on the run. He still dramatically favors stopping the run first in his defensive players and scheme and thus shys away from the "slot" corner idea. I think Morris was an excellent pickup because he may get a chance to impress Fangio into loosening up some of his ideas. All that said, CB is still a need because you can never have too many quality corners and our current group is likely to be massively different next year with cuts, age, and ending contracts.

Top or Second Tier NT - NT is in good shape with Williams ... The last early round NT the 49ers drafted was Michael Carter. Ted Washington was, IIRC, a 1st round pick but didn't play NT until he was far away from the 49ers. It takes time to make NTs and Williams came in with all of the material needed to make one. Dorsey, Dial, Divens, and Okoye ... there is depth that will get better not worse in the next couple years.

Second Tier WR -Why not Top Tier? The 49ers have not had a stable WR group in a decade. Baalke said years ago when he was a scout that he felt it was generally a bad idea to draft a WR in the first round, he didn't take his advice and he got smacked around by reality. I think the 49ers will be drafting WRs early, but not in the 1st round for the next few years. And keep in mind that the 49ers WR cupboard is nearly bare next year without extensions and signings.

Second Tier C -It's only a matter of time until Kilgore takes over. Probably at some point this year.

Second Tier FB - Dixon isn't a good runner or blocker and he may not stick around. Tukuafu played a lot as a FB last year I expect this will be filled by a player from a different position group in the future too ... TE, OL, DL ... they'll find someone without adding a 2nd designated FB. On the other hand, they may try to keep a developmental FB on the PS as insurance.
Scoots--agree with most of your points but--

  • Top Tier--can be a top tier back up. A top tier back up is one who would play well given the chance. Usually backing up a better player. What back up would make J Smith take a seat on the bench?
  • Dobbs made it in as a blocker a couple of times but that was all his role was going to be unless injuries forced the issue. Will the team do this again? Probably.
  • I agree about the swing tackle and was unpleasantly surprised when the team picked up Snyder...does not speak well of the young guys unless he is just camp fodder and insurance. I liked the guy but he was slipping and likely is not better now.
  • Coaches may be OK with Spillman next year but there will be competition...the more the merrier. Likely high draft spot next year.
  • I'll wait to see how Williams does at the NT before anointing him as good. Have my fingers crossed.
  • WR--they desperately need to find at least two guys who require more than man coverage by a CB.
  • Dixon has upped his game...but it's preseason. He has stopped dancing and is hitting the hole like a fullback...huge improvement...but a very competitive spot and he may be the odd man out.
One area the niners will use wisely this year is the injured list. I would think the key guys who don't make the team will find themselves dinged up.
man man man...havent been here for months. now I have to read that Crab is down, AJ Jenkins is a de facto bust and Colt McCoy is on the roster...at least, the pre-season is far away from being boring.
It feels strange to say "top tier backup" ... Steve Young was a top tier backup :)

Dobbs looked better in PS, and the best of the DL after Smith, McDonald, Williams, and Dorsey ... but he's not going to be on the roster for game 1. Does Tukuafu get one regular season game to earn his spot? 6 DL isn't unusual for a 3-4 team.

Justin Smith was extended ... I wonder if the team asks him to leave at some point even if he's still performing just to free up the roster spot (not this year, and probably not next year, though Tank will be, we hope, pushing him hard).

I think the team, right now, is good enough that the first pick next year will, if they keep the pick, be a BPA at a long list of positions, but with so many picks to burn my guess is they trade up again for the best talent available at a need position.