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MadDog49er 2016 Draft Review

Another year came and went quickly, and to wrap up this 2016 NFL draft, I am scribing my yearly review of the team's draft.

Let's go pick by pick, and I will list who I would have selected:
1. DeForest Buckner- A+ grade- The board knows my affinity for Buckner, who I ranked as the 3rd best player in the draft. Equally adept at getting after the passer and playing run support, he is an all-around stud 34 DE. Lining up as a RDE at Oregon, he went through a Murderer's Row of tough competition, with the likes of Stanford's Garnett, Michigan St LT Jack Conklin, ASU's Christian Westerman, Colorado's Nembot, Oregon State's Seumalo, and many other superb college OL. He held up well, posted unreal numbers for a 34 DE, and scored extremely well with Pro Football Focus. An absolute steal at 7.
MadDog pick- DE Buckner

1. Joshua Garnett- B- grade- The Garnett pick nets a decent grade because the kid is a very good football player. A very strong run blocker and adequate pass protector, he played a huge role in Christian McCaffrey having a monster season in 2015. Garnett was my number one pure offensive guard (non-transition) in the draft. The only downgrade is the moving up of 9 slots to gain the pick, and the transition he will supposedly be making to RG because of Z. Beadles. The Niners did not do much in free agency, but one action they did take was securing a RG. How that impacts Garnett's development by playing in a new position for him (he was a RT and LG in college) waits to be seen.
MadDog pick- WR Sterling Shepard

3. Will Redmond- C+ grade- The first of the defensive backs the Niners picked up, Redmond was a good college football player. Plays taller than he is, has good read and react skills, seems to have enough football smarts to get on the field. Slightly thinner than what you want at 182, and coming off an ACL, and with only 7 college starts to his credit, there are a lot of question marks about him, especially since he was unable to work out. To me, there were simply better corners out there, and better players with less question marks on the board.
MadDog pick- CB KeiVarae Russell

4. Rashard Robinson- D grade- Back-to-back secondary players for Baalke, Robinson fits the length that the Niners have drafted recently. Tall with long arms, Robinson is razor thin at 171 pounds. This showed when he was only able to bench 5 times at his Pro Day, so strength is an issue he will have to address. Has been out of playing for nearly a year and a half, and showed little athleticism in his testing, ranking in the 3rd percentile. I just don't see much commitment to football, and that spells trouble in the hyper competitive NFL.
MadDog pick- RB Kenneth Dixon

5. Ronald Blair- A- grade- Blair was a superb small school DL for Appalachian St. My second to last player to complete an evaluation before the draft, Blair is a high motor, hard working, quick defensive lineman that can play across the line. Super low pad level, so he is a challenge to block. Very strong spin move. At 6'2", 284, with 34 " arms, and strong, he seems destined to be a rotational 34 DE, rushing the passer inside on passing downs. I believe he was ill at the combine and did not post good numbers, but rebounded very well at his Pro Day. His SPARQ numbers were outstanding, in the 89th percentile. He will make an impact on this league, and just needs to fit a creative coordinator to put him in the right spot.
MadDog pick- TE Jerell Adams

5. John Theus- C+ grade- I like that Theus is experienced, and has played multiple positions across the OL. He was an award winning SEC lineman. And, yet, at the Senior Bowl week, he was thrashed pretty badly, exposing some severe athletic limitations. His SPARQ score ranked him in the 23rd percentile. So, he is limited to the right tackle position and maybe have to kick inside to guard. Some players have maxed out their abilities in college. I think that matches Theus. I just don't see much upside.
MadDog pick- G/C Christian Westerman

5. Fahn Cooper- B- grade- In my opinion, this was the better of the two picks of the 5th round OL. Cooper played well in relief of Laremy Tunsil at LT in the beginning of 2015, and then slide over effectively as a RT after. Very solid East-West week where he really stood out. Smooth player with pretty good footwork. A swing tackle who is best at RT. I think will be a solid backup in the NFL, but he tested very poorly, ranking 8th percentile in SPARQ, which concerns me at the next level. His All-Star week work against better competition is encouraging.
MadDog pick- ILB/OLB Jatavis Brown

6. Jeff Driskel- A grade- Count me in on Driskell as an excellent value pick here. I believe I graded him as the 5th or 6th best QB in this draft, and see plenty of upside. Very athletic, with a solid arm, and rebounded well at Louisiana Tech after playing at Florida. One of few QBs in this draft I believe have a shot to be an NFL starter. I thought he had a really solid Senior Bowl week, and has regained some momentum. Very good selection in the 6th round.
MadDog pick- WR Keyarris Garrett

6. Kelvin Taylor- D grade- Count me out on Taylor. Great bloodlines, played in the SEC, and scores a lot of TDs (13 in 2015). However, somebody has to explain why he entered the draft. Maybe it is the mileage of three years of running the ball, maybe he is sick of Florida, or maybe he is flunking out. I don't know the reason, but is 4.0 yards per carry should be a big concern for fans. Tested poorly for a 207 pound back- SPARQ 4th percentile, short arms, and small hands. If his name was not Taylor, I doubt he would be drafted. Special teamer
MadDog pick- CB Jonathan Jones

6. Aaron Burbridge- C grade- I have mixed feeling on Burbridge. He played pretty well this year against Big Ten corners, especially making big catches against Eli Apple of OSU and drawing flags. Good football intelligence. Hard-working. No problems motivating to block. Like many of the other draftees of the Niners, scored very low in SPARQ, with a 9th percentile. Add in tiny hands, and a few dropsies along the way, I see a try-hard kid who has wringed out about every ounce of ceiling in his game, but simply can't compete at the next level. Special teamer for sure.
MadDog pick- S Jalen Mills

7. Prince Charles Iworah- B- grade- Straight-line burner who will be a slot corner at the next level. Strong, fiesty, and will compete. Fast riser toward the end of the evaluation process as he had a terrific Pro-Day. Will be a gunner on special teams, and a player to stash on the practice squad. Very good SPARQ score of 70th percentile. Just needs to some time to develop.
MadDog pick- C Jack Allen

In the end, the Niners picked up 6 offensive players: 1 QB, 2 OT's, 1 G, 1 RB, 1 WR; and 5 defensive players: 2 DEs, 3 CBs. While I love the Buckner, Blair and Driskell selection, and am happy to pick up Garnett, I feel that the team lost some real opportunities to pick up some better pieces to improve their roster. This team needs talent, and I just don't think they hit enough to satisfy fans down the road.

Count me in for a B-/C+ grade.

Thanks to all who participated this year in the draft conversation. It was fun to link up to talk about our love of football and the 49ers.

Cheers- MD
[ Edited by MadDog49er on May 1, 2016 at 8:09 PM ]
Thanks for all the stuff this year, MD.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out as minicamps start.
Awesome. Thanks for the write-up, MD. Great work this year

In regards to Garnett, it will be interesting to see if he remains at LG or moves to RG. I think the assumption is he'll play RG since Beadles was signed to play LG, but wouldn't rule out a Garnett/Tiller combo either. Tiller came on last year, and along with Garnett, they are probably the two most adept interior run blockers on the team.
  • thl408
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 16,952
I was hoping you'd say something nice about the Robinson pick. Headscratcher of a pick.

You da man. Nice write up.
Any major surprises to you this year, with the whole draft?
  • Tman
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,056
I wish you were our gm.
Thanks MD, I think we missed out on some picks. ..I for one love moving up to get Garnett, if we loved him we got him no matter what...

I hate the Robinson pick...hate it. How he can turn on his teammates and rob them....wtf
Awesome write-up. I think the overall grade you gave us makes sense. I think it's more of a B/B- because I'd weight the early picks, especially the first round pick more heavily. We should come away with at least 2 starters and I love Buckner, so I'm pretty happy with the draft.

Do you think the 49ers expect Redmond to develop into an outside corner or is he more of a slot corner? 5'11 and slight with short arms (30 3/8") concerns me a little on the perimeter, but I'm glad you think he plays taller than he is.
I disagree with you on the Robinson pick. 4.43 speed, best man coverage DB in the draft, and in 2013 he held Mike Evans to 50 yards and 4 receptions. His skill has never been an issue. His only problem will be staying on the field but i doubt it'll become an issue - rumor is he just hated school and i believe it. I dont think his weight will be an issue either once hes in an NFL strength program.

Thank you for all that you do MD.
Originally posted by badguy_1:
I disagree with you on the Robinson pick. 4.43 speed, best man coverage DB in the draft, and in 2013 he held Mike Evans to 50 yards and 4 receptions. His skill has never been an issue. His only problem will be staying on the field but i doubt it'll become an issue - rumor is he just hated school and i believe it. I dont think his weight will be an issue either once hes in an NFL strength program.

Good thing is the post-draft grades don't condemn the kid to be a bad player. It only reflects the risk at the time in drafting the player at that spot. He definitely has character concerns that need to be ironed out. Hopefully he's matured. He definitely has talent.

You never know with these kind of picks. Aaron Lynch was considered a curious pick back in 2014 because of his issues, despite his obvious talent. Left Notre Dame abruptly, had a reputation for being immature and lazy at South Florida. He turned out to be an excellent pick for us. Very productive player and dependable teammate. Hopefully the same thing happens with Robinson.
[ Edited by SofaKing on May 1, 2016 at 11:02 PM ]
Originally posted by MadDog49er:


4. Rashard Robinson- D grade- Back-to-back secondary players for Baalke, Robinson fits the length that the Niners have drafted recently. Tall with long arms, Robinson is razor thin at 171 pounds. This showed when he was only able to bench 5 times at his Pro Day, so strength is an issue he will have to address. Has been out of playing for nearly a year and a half, and showed little athleticism in his testing, ranking in the 3rd percentile. I just don't see much commitment to football, and that spells trouble in the hyper competitive NFL.

Cheers- MD

I think you're off base with Robinson. He might be only 171 pounds, but he plays aggressive, and has great length and speed. He's a tough kid from South Florida and he's only 20 years old.

If he wasn't dedicated to football, wouldn't he be out of shape for the combine and his pro day? Not sure why you think he isn't unathletic, he ran 4.49 at combine, and supposedly sub 4.4 at his Pro day. He might not be good at bench, but I don't need 30 reps from a CB. He was good enough to start at CB for LSU, and that says a lot. They've put out some decent DBs haven't they? Huge ceiling with Robinson, just gonna have to give him time.
I think Aaron Lynch (and Trent Brown to a lesser extent) should serve as a great example of a prospect counted out by most pundits (and many teams), where Baalke and Co had enough insight to make the chance worth while. In a redraft, Lynch would go in the first half of the first round even though most thought he was a bad pick, so I tend to side with Baalke when it comes to rolling the dice on guys with checkered pasts even though I have no knowledge of any of these players. Of course most reaches will miss, but the diamonds in the rough that emerge are worth it. I think Baalke swung for the fences with a couple picks and will likely connect on one or two of them. That's not to say I wasn't screaming at my TV during the 3rd and 4th rounds like, "Who the f**k is this player!"
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Another year came and went quickly, and to wrap up this 2016 NFL draft, I am scribing my yearly review of the team's draft.

Let's go pick by pick, and I will list who I would have selected:
1. DeForest Buckner- A+ grade- The board knows my affinity for Buckner, who I ranked as the 3rd best player in the draft. Equally adept at getting after the passer and playing run support, he is an all-around stud 34 DE. Lining up as a RDE at Oregon, he went through a Murderer's Row of tough competition, with the likes of Stanford's Garnett, Michigan St LT Jack Conklin, ASU's Christian Westerman, Colorado's Nembot, Oregon State's Seumalo, and many other superb college OL. He held up well, posted unreal numbers for a 34 DE, and scored extremely well with Pro Football Focus. An absolute steal at 7.
MadDog pick- DE Buckner

1. Joshua Garnett- B- grade- The Garnett pick nets a decent grade because the kid is a very good football player. A very strong run blocker and adequate pass protector, he played a huge role in Christian McCaffrey having a monster season in 2015. Garnett was my number one pure offensive guard (non-transition) in the draft. The only downgrade is the moving up of 9 slots to gain the pick, and the transition he will supposedly be making to RG because of Z. Beadles. The Niners did not do much in free agency, but one action they did take was securing a RG. How that impacts Garnett's development by playing in a new position for him (he was a RT and LG in college) waits to be seen.
MadDog pick- WR Sterling Shepard

3. Will Redmond- C+ grade- The first of the defensive backs the Niners picked up, Redmond was a good college football player. Plays taller than he is, has good read and react skills, seems to have enough football smarts to get on the field. Slightly thinner than what you want at 182, and coming off an ACL, and with only 7 college starts to his credit, there are a lot of question marks about him, especially since he was unable to work out. To me, there were simply better corners out there, and better players with less question marks on the board.
MadDog pick- CB KeiVarae Russell

4. Rashard Robinson- D grade- Back-to-back secondary players for Baalke, Robinson fits the length that the Niners have drafted recently. Tall with long arms, Robinson is razor thin at 171 pounds. This showed when he was only able to bench 5 times at his Pro Day, so strength is an issue he will have to address. Has been out of playing for nearly a year and a half, and showed little athleticism in his testing, ranking in the 3rd percentile. I just don't see much commitment to football, and that spells trouble in the hyper competitive NFL.
MadDog pick- RB Kenneth Dixon

5. Ronald Blair- A- grade- Blair was a superb small school DL for Appalachian St. My second to last player to complete an evaluation before the draft, Blair is a high motor, hard working, quick defensive lineman that can play across the line. Super low pad level, so he is a challenge to block. Very strong spin move. At 6'2", 284, with 34 " arms, and strong, he seems destined to be a rotational 34 DE, rushing the passer inside on passing downs. I believe he was ill at the combine and did not post good numbers, but rebounded very well at his Pro Day. His SPARQ numbers were outstanding, in the 89th percentile. He will make an impact on this league, and just needs to fit a creative coordinator to put him in the right spot.
MadDog pick- TE Jerell Adams

5. John Theus- C+ grade- I like that Theus is experienced, and has played multiple positions across the OL. He was an award winning SEC lineman. And, yet, at the Senior Bowl week, he was thrashed pretty badly, exposing some severe athletic limitations. His SPARQ score ranked him in the 23rd percentile. So, he is limited to the right tackle position and maybe have to kick inside to guard. Some players have maxed out their abilities in college. I think that matches Theus. I just don't see much upside.
MadDog pick- G/C Christian Westerman

5. Fahn Cooper- B- grade- In my opinion, this was the better of the two picks of the 5th round OL. Cooper played well in relief of Laremy Tunsil at LT in the beginning of 2015, and then slide over effectively as a RT after. Very solid East-West week where he really stood out. Smooth player with pretty good footwork. A swing tackle who is best at RT. I think will be a solid backup in the NFL, but he tested very poorly, ranking 8th percentile in SPARQ, which concerns me at the next level. His All-Star week work against better competition is encouraging.
MadDog pick- ILB/OLB Jatavis Brown

6. Jeff Driskel- A grade- Count me in on Driskell as an excellent value pick here. I believe I graded him as the 5th or 6th best QB in this draft, and see plenty of upside. Very athletic, with a solid arm, and rebounded well at Louisiana Tech after playing at Florida. One of few QBs in this draft I believe have a shot to be an NFL starter. I thought he had a really solid Senior Bowl week, and has regained some momentum. Very good selection in the 6th round.
MadDog pick- WR Keyarris Garrett

6. Kelvin Taylor- D grade- Count me out on Taylor. Great bloodlines, played in the SEC, and scores a lot of TDs (13 in 2015). However, somebody has to explain why he entered the draft. Maybe it is the mileage of three years of running the ball, maybe he is sick of Florida, or maybe he is flunking out. I don't know the reason, but is 4.0 yards per carry should be a big concern for fans. Tested poorly for a 207 pound back- SPARQ 4th percentile, short arms, and small hands. If his name was not Taylor, I doubt he would be drafted. Special teamer
MadDog pick- CB Jonathan Jones

6. Aaron Burbridge- C grade- I have mixed feeling on Burbridge. He played pretty well this year against Big Ten corners, especially making big catches against Eli Apple of OSU and drawing flags. Good football intelligence. Hard-working. No problems motivating to block. Like many of the other draftees of the Niners, scored very low in SPARQ, with a 9th percentile. Add in tiny hands, and a few dropsies along the way, I see a try-hard kid who has wringed out about every ounce of ceiling in his game, but simply can't compete at the next level. Special teamer for sure.
MadDog pick- S Jalen Mills

7. Prince Charles Iworah- B- grade- Straight-line burner who will be a slot corner at the next level. Strong, fiesty, and will compete. Fast riser toward the end of the evaluation process as he had a terrific Pro-Day. Will be a gunner on special teams, and a player to stash on the practice squad. Very good SPARQ score of 70th percentile. Just needs to some time to develop.
MadDog pick- C Jack Allen

In the end, the Niners picked up 6 offensive players: 1 QB, 2 OT's, 1 G, 1 RB, 1 WR; and 5 defensive players: 2 DEs, 3 CBs. While I love the Buckner, Blair and Driskell selection, and am happy to pick up Garnett, I feel that the team lost some real opportunities to pick up some better pieces to improve their roster. This team needs talent, and I just don't think they hit enough to satisfy fans down the road.

Count me in for a B-/C+ grade.

Thanks to all who participated this year in the draft conversation. It was fun to link up to talk about our love of football and the 49ers.

Cheers- MD


Kool analysis and comparison.. I had some of the same pics. But overall agree. Was looking for Correa at OLB, and Scooby or Matekevich at ILB. But IDK maybe FA ??
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