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What Is Baalke's Preoccupation With 7th Round Draft Choices?

Originally posted by NCommand:
Meh, we tried to move up last year and it didn't work. And who wants a late 7th? Next year going into the draft we may have even less real holes to fill. But the bottom line is, we traded a developed 7th round pass rushing OLB for a late 7th rounder next year. Period. The Harper deal had nothing to do with it. If we wanted a 4th TE, we would have kept Gray and "continued" to develop him but we risked him to the PS and lost him. The loss of Gray is what is correlated to Harper; not Cam. The FO could have cut a number of other players if they needed a spot for Gray/Harper. If "next year" we can get even half the production out of that late 7th based on what Cam did ALL pre season (not one game, people), we still don't break even b/c we lost his potential production this year on ST and security if there is an injury to ANY OLB. And rule #1 on a 3-4 defense, you never get rid of your pass rushing OLB's. Ask the Saints/Colts how hard they are to come by! Typically, I love almost all of our moves. This is just one I certainly disagree with no matter how people try to justify it. But like I said, we can revisit it next year. We can watch Cam this year and see how he does (BTW: I was totally cool with the Haralson move). Then we can compare production/value once we see how that late 7th was used.

+1. Nice post and on the money, IMO. Again, Cam was developing nicely as a pass-rushing, end-setting vs. run OLB. Sure, we have Lemonier and Skuta as back-ups...again, Lemonier is a rookie and is still adjusting to two things; 1) the OLB position (played DE in college), and 2) the NFL game, speed, etc. Skuta is also adjusting to a newer position as he was an ILB with Cincy. Regarding making room for the new WR Harper, I'm still not sure why we couldn't cut Stupar instead...now, we're rolling w/ five ILBs for the time being w/ Stupar. I'm not still not sure about the Cam Johnson trade...must be more to it than what we know, some behind-the-scenes stuff w/ what the coaches know, saw in practice, etc. I'm hoping this turns out all right but on the surface would have liked to have kept Cam and let Stupar go when Harper arrived.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Here's a good take on it.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/108129/thoughts-on-the-49er-way

Non-insightful article aside, Baalke does a great job of accumulating assets which in turn creates competition for every single roster spot, even the guys who seem secure in their roles. That's how you get better each and every year.

And even those 7th round picks that seem like throwaways, can make a difference (see Daniels and even Cooper though he got snatched up) and you were able to draft those guys (as opposed to having them sign as UDFAs on another team) in exchange for people who you didn't want on your team/were going to cut anyway. It's just smart business.

One thing I do want to point out is that Baalke does have an eye for excellent pass rushing OLB's. I remember when he first promoted and was talking about the qualities he wanted in an OLB. I was sold! Then he cuts Lawson and Brooks was promoted and he drafts Aldon. Now we have Skuta who came out of no where as well as Lemonier who looks like a stud. And props to the coaches in the trenches for really working hard to develop them!

Definitely remember Baalke describing what a real 3-4 OLB should look like and saying something to the effect of "I don't care if they can't drop in coverage since that skill can be taught; I want them to attack the QB!" That's when I knew we had a keeper as a GM.

Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Definitely remember Baalke describing what a real 3-4 OLB should look like and saying something to the effect of "I don't care if they can't drop in coverage since that skill can be taught; I want them to attack the QB!" That's when I knew we had a keeper as a GM.


Absolutely!!!
Originally posted by LottDMontanaO:
...Cam Johnson trade...must be more to it than what we know, some behind-the-scenes stuff w/ what the coaches know, saw in practice, etc. I'm hoping this turns out all right...

Thank you. I have thought about this as well. There may be much more to the story than we realize (see, Brooks-Divens). But as of what we do know, it makes no sense on any level IMHO. At this juncture, I'm more worried about setting up a 7th-round trade precendence for future transactions and I'm very curious to see how Jim Leavitt and Vic Fangio feel about the move and how this decision was made (noting that we may never know). Vic is a straight shooter and RARELY says positive things about players and his positive comments about CJ was quite a while ago (not done recently to boost his stock via the trade). The truth is, the FO may have just made a mistake. And that happens...it happens more than we're willing to admit (b/c we're the 49ers and we can do whatever we want). LOL. Bring on Green Bay and Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace!!!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Meh, we tried to move up last year and it didn't work. And who wants a late 7th? Next year going into the draft we may have even less real holes to fill. But the bottom line is, we traded a developed 7th round pass rushing OLB for a late 7th rounder next year. Period.
It really just doesn't add up though. If the 49ers truly thought that Cam Johnson was "developed" (to me, developed means polished or ready-to-contribute, not just spent-a-year-learning with the team) and that he was poised to be a fringe-contributor, they would've held on to him.

I think the most likely scenario is that Cam Johnson was going to be cut, but after his "breakout" performance, they decided to hang on to him with the intention of trading him and getting a little compensation instead.

Draft picks are always valuable, even the late ones. You routinely see teams moving up 5-10 spots during middle/late rounds of the draft by exchanging their own pick + a late round pick. Considering there's no limit on draft picks, stockpiling them is a great strategy. Here are some examples from just this last draft:
Bucs move up 7 spots (SENT picks 196, 229, RECEIVED pick 189)
Texans move up 8 spots (SENT picks 184, 233, RECEIVED pick 176)
Rams move up 14 spots (SENT picks 184, 198, RECEIVED pick 160)

I mean sure, I agree with the premise that it's silly to have 15 picks because only a fraction of them are going to make the roster; but I don't think that's their intention -- I think they'll package some of these together to move up a little bit to leapfrog over competition that they believe to be interested in the same players as them.

I don't think it was a mistake on their part at all. I think they just decided to sell on a guy who they believed had peak value.
My theory is that Baalke is a player. He lures hot women by promising them that they can draft a player on draft day. Of course, he isn't going to waste a high pick on these vapid models and no one expects anything from 7th rounders anyway ... it's a perfect scheme. The more 7th rounders we have the more, ah, leverage he has at the clubs. Let there be no misunderstandings, Cam Johnson got pimped by the pimp.
Because 4th string olb's are only worth a 7th round pick
Originally posted by theduke85:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Meh, we tried to move up last year and it didn't work. And who wants a late 7th? Next year going into the draft we may have even less real holes to fill. But the bottom line is, we traded a developed 7th round pass rushing OLB for a late 7th rounder next year. Period.
It really just doesn't add up though. If the 49ers truly thought that Cam Johnson was "developed" (to me, developed means polished or ready-to-contribute, not just spent-a-year-learning with the team) and that he was poised to be a fringe-contributor, they would've held on to him.

I think the most likely scenario is that Cam Johnson was going to be cut, but after his "breakout" performance, they decided to hang on to him with the intention of trading him and getting a little compensation instead.

Draft picks are always valuable, even the late ones. You routinely see teams moving up 5-10 spots during middle/late rounds of the draft by exchanging their own pick + a late round pick. Considering there's no limit on draft picks, stockpiling them is a great strategy. Here are some examples from just this last draft:
Bucs move up 7 spots (SENT picks 196, 229, RECEIVED pick 189)
Texans move up 8 spots (SENT picks 184, 233, RECEIVED pick 176)
Rams move up 14 spots (SENT picks 184, 198, RECEIVED pick 160)

I mean sure, I agree with the premise that it's silly to have 15 picks because only a fraction of them are going to make the roster; but I don't think that's their intention -- I think they'll package some of these together to move up a little bit to leapfrog over competition that they believe to be interested in the same players as them.

I don't think it was a mistake on their part at all. I think they just decided to sell on a guy who they believed had peak value.

Good post duke, appreciate the response and like your insight!

What we need to remember here though is that Cam's pick will garner a late 7th (most likely), so somewhere in the neighborhood of 245+ (Colts are a good team). That's essentially an UDFA; not any leverage IMHO. And sorry, I should have specified "developed" better. I guess in this case, I am referring to a player who had high potential, although drafted late d/t a medical condition, worked hard in OUR system and when finally healthy, made the most of his opportunities; he produced about as much as one possibly could in four pre season games. Who produced more? Couple that with the early praises of Fangio for how far he had developed, noting he certainly had a spot on the 53, and I'd say yeah, he had developed nicely esp. for a 7th rounder. If anyone else had 5 sacks including a 4th down sack to preserve a win, numerous QB hits/pressures, was stout against the run and not only blocked a kick but had the presence of mind to score a TD on it before anyone else on ST even knew what happened, the WZ would be going nuts no matter what round he was drafted in. He was also good on the coverage units so to me, the value doesn't add up unless next year, we get another once-in-a-NFL-lifetime Boldin-like pick for him. I'm starting to wonder if the sickle cell was becoming more of an issue for him...in terms of his long-term sustainabiity; being able to play full games every Sunday and practice all week. I doubt that given his last two games were his best. I just question the move (return value) itself at a premium position and one where we needed quality depth just last year there. If the coaches really were going to cut him no matter what, perhaps THAT is what we should be also looking into over guys such as Sub-par and Ven-is-gone.
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 3, 2013 at 2:20 PM ]
If we had great talent evaluation, I think the plethora of picks would mean more. But to Baalke, it's a crapshoot. More picks simply means more chances to accidentally stumble onto a gem.

The strategy is not a bad one, but it's less meaningful when you lack the skill to take maximum advantage of it.

I want the 49ers to invest in scouting and talent evaluation so a debacle like the 2012 draft doesn't happen again.
Originally posted by kray28:
If we had great talent evaluation, I think the plethora of picks would mean more. But to Baalke, it's a crapshoot. More picks simply means more chances to accidentally stumble onto a gem.

The strategy is not a bad one, but it's less meaningful when you lack the skill to take maximum advantage of it.

I want the 49ers to invest in scouting and talent evaluation so a debacle like the 2012 draft doesn't happen again.

Good point. And for a 7th, wouldn't most say compared to the rest of the players, Cam played like a gem? That's sort of my case here. When your 7th is playing agaisnt all strings and producing like he did, for a 7th, at a premium position WITH great ST ability, that's a gem IMHO. Good luck finding that production from your late 7 next year...or the year after. We don't need a BJ Daniels next year...
Originally posted by LottDMontanaO:
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by SFrush:
I'm with the OP on this one. Don't like it. Cam Johnson was coming along nicely as Fangio confirmed.

We had Brooks and Aldon playing with one shoulder in the playoffs. When you're making a deep playoff run that's when that extra pass rusher or two can come in handy, especially if a starter suffers a season ending injury. It happened to the Seahawks in the playoffs with Chris Clemons who could've been the difference in them beating Atlanta.
Corey Lemonier is backing up at OLB, not Clark Hagans. Cam was never going to be active, unless someone went down.

Right, and though he's looking promising, Lemonier is still a rookie. Definitely a better option than Haggans, but this will definitely be a season of learning for Lemonier when he gets in and plays against teams' 1st string. As for Skuta, he's transitioning to OLB from ILB. Cam Johnson has had two full offseasons in our system and has shown significant progress, according to Fangio. Let me ask this: Who would you rather have on the roster right now, Cam Johnson (and thus five OLBs) or Nate Stupar (and five ILBs)? I'd take my chances with Cam any day over leaving Stupar on the roster. But, at the same time, you have to have faith in the decisions of Baalke, Harbaugh, etc. Also, I don't see Stupar being on the roster for much longer as more changes happen (Marecic?) in the next few weeks.

Personally, I'd rather have Cam. I liked him when we drafted him and thought that he could provide some quality depth. But, I'm not the one that led this team from the depths it was in during the 2000s. So even though I like Cam more, I'm usually going to defer to Baalke/Harbaugh. Also, we have no clue what's going on with the personnel moves on this team right now.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Here's a good take on it.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/108129/thoughts-on-the-49er-way

Non-insightful article aside, Baalke does a great job of accumulating assets which in turn creates competition for every single roster spot, even the guys who seem secure in their roles. That's how you get better each and every year.

And even those 7th round picks that seem like throwaways, can make a difference (see Daniels and even Cooper though he got snatched up) and you were able to draft those guys (as opposed to having them sign as UDFAs on another team) in exchange for people who you didn't want on your team/were going to cut anyway. It's just smart business.

It seems that there are a lot of short memories around here. Besides the two players you mentioned, Bruce Miller was also a 7th round pick.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Here's a good take on it.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/108129/thoughts-on-the-49er-way

Non-insightful article aside, Baalke does a great job of accumulating assets which in turn creates competition for every single roster spot, even the guys who seem secure in their roles. That's how you get better each and every year.

And even those 7th round picks that seem like throwaways, can make a difference (see Daniels and even Cooper though he got snatched up) and you were able to draft those guys (as opposed to having them sign as UDFAs on another team) in exchange for people who you didn't want on your team/were going to cut anyway. It's just smart business.

It seems that there are a lot of short memories around here. Besides the two players you mentioned, Bruce Miller was also a 7th round pick.

Love that guy! So at the time we converted an OLB to FB, developed Daniels to be our 3rd, Cam to a pass rushing OLB, SB's Cooper (lost) to Morris (PS), etc. we had major needs at these positions and open roster spots. Next year though, what 7th rounder do we need to develop and for what position? Keep in mind, we're anticipating 15 draft picks (including the 7th's)
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM ]
Originally posted by kray28:
If we had great talent evaluation, I think the plethora of picks would mean more. But to Baalke, it's a crapshoot. More picks simply means more chances to accidentally stumble onto a gem.

The strategy is not a bad one, but it's less meaningful when you lack the skill to take maximum advantage of it.

I want the 49ers to invest in scouting and talent evaluation so a debacle like the 2012 draft doesn't happen again.

Oh get the hell over it already. Even the most respected GM's lay an egg. Baalke's 2012 draft PROVES what a good GM he is, not how bad he is.

It's what a GM does when he does lay an egg that shows what he's made of. Most GM's just end up with egg on their face. Baalke made pancakes.
  • MarkD
  • Veteran
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Because there are a lot of seventh rounders with a hell of a lot of talent and potential. Cam Johnson is the most recent example. When you have good coaching you can draft anyone.