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A theory on our draft and player evaluation strategy

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It's a big topic of discussion on how we seem to do poorly in the early rounds but absolutely nail the later rounds and UDFAs. I think this is a product of the Niners zigging while the league zags in player evaluations and how boom or bust the type of players the league likes to draft in early rounds nowadays. QBs and pass rushers are either stars or scrubs, just based on the nature of the skillsets of the prototypical high valued players. Trey and Solomon Thomas were big examples of busts here…and Bosa and Mahomes are boom examples.

At least with QBs the whole league wants the Mahomes or Allen prototypes, and traditional "pocket qbs" have lost value to the point where most of those guys never see the field as late round picks in offenses that are trying to cater to athletic qbs with huge arms. Drew Brees wouldnt have been a second rounder in the modern NFL draft. I believe had Purdy been 10 years older, he would've been selected sooner. Now I'm not going to give us too much credit as we still drafted him late and he was a third stringer start of last year. That said, we saw the value in taking him period and not allowing him to be a UDFA.

I think our FO evaluates players based on core football fundamentals that will always stay true, which is why we hit on guys in later rounds across all positions. Those are the rounds where scouts really make their money, because higher rounds are like winning an auction based on what the market feels you should do, not necessarily based on proper analysis. Guys like Solomon, Kinlaw, Foster, Pettis were drafted based on market value and the market is often wrong. Warner, Kittle, Greenlaw, Hufanga were selected based on a complete evaluation of their skillsets and how they will fit the team and culture.

A good front office is measured by how they draft late, not on selecting based on market value early.
[ Edited by Young2Owens on Sep 10, 2023 at 1:09 PM ]
Shanahan and lynch have their hand in the top 100 and aren't very good at it outside the obvious ones (ie bosa).

The scouts pick round 4-10 and actually know what they are doing and are good at it...
Originally posted by BoldRedandGold:
Shanahan and lynch have their hand in the top 100 and aren't very good at it outside the obvious ones (ie bosa).

The scouts pick round 4-10 and actually know what they are doing and are good at it...

Not exactly true, Aiyuk, Banks, etc. The reality is more likely that they get enamored with ways to use guys like Pettis and Lance and let that override the hesitations that come with it. But the key is that they adjust their opinions afterwards and usually hit a homer. Pettis doesnt love football or physicality... boom Deebo and BA. A small slot receiver cant stay healthy, they grab Jennings.

They have their fails for sure but its like the moment they miss they hit. Plus fans suck... how many people wanted banks gone after one season and now he's huge for this O-line.
Originally posted by TheRickestRick:
Originally posted by BoldRedandGold:
Shanahan and lynch have their hand in the top 100 and aren't very good at it outside the obvious ones (ie bosa).

The scouts pick round 4-10 and actually know what they are doing and are good at it...

Not exactly true, Aiyuk, Banks, etc. The reality is more likely that they get enamored with ways to use guys like Pettis and Lance and let that override the hesitations that come with it. But the key is that they adjust their opinions afterwards and usually hit a homer. Pettis doesnt love football or physicality... boom Deebo and BA. A small slot receiver cant stay healthy, they grab Jennings.

They have their fails for sure but its like the moment they miss they hit. Plus fans suck... how many people wanted banks gone after one season and now he's huge for this O-line.

I'd argue even with the huge busts, they are probably league average in the first 2 rounds. McGlinchey (yes him), Bosa, Deebo, Aiyuk, and Banks look like good picks. Drake Jackson looked good last year and had a MONSTER game today. Contrast that with Thomas, Foster, Pettis, Kinlaw, and Lance. Looking at the first two rounds, they are actually doing well. It's when you include the 3rd round that their hit rate probably drops them down to average- which isn't bad, just average. CJ Beathard, Akhello Witherspoon, Jalen Hurd, Tarvarius Moore, Jalen Hurd, Trey Sermon, Ambry Thomas, TDP, and Danny Gray. That list is ugly any way you slice it. The lone good pick is Fred Warner.

I'm not worried about the first round- it's more of, don't overthink it and go BPA. Draft guys that are polished, finished products. They absolutely can do better, but when you look at it, they aren't as bad as people make them out to be. It's that third round that's been the drizzling s**ts and has really burned us. I look at the 3rd as a place where you can find good starters, either in year 1 or by year 3, and that's a lot of starting caliber guys we've missed on.
1st round we haven't been great, and the 3rd round we seem to reach for players.

Been pretty good outside of that though.
3rd round picks have been influenced by being the last round of the Day 2 picks. There's been a few occasions of "let's not wait until tomorrow to grab someone we like".
[ Edited by captveg on Sep 10, 2023 at 3:20 PM ]
Originally posted by captveg:
3rd round picks have been influenced by being the last round of the Day 2 picks. There's been a few occasions of "let's not wait until tomorrow to grab someone we like".

I remember that distinctly with CJ Beathard and we did it again with Jake Moody.
  • 9moon
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Originally posted by JaggedJ:
1st round we haven't been great, and the 3rd round we seem to reach for players.

Been pretty good outside of that though.

that's WHY i keep saying to either MOVE UP or get the extra 4th... we suck on finding players in round 3 anyways..
Like a lot of teams they reach for PROSPECTS and POTENTIAL in the early rounds. That will burn you as much as it helps you.

Mid to late rounds they reach for PLAYERS. Not considering height, weight, speed, strength and so on. Just PLAYERS. It's not surprising that's where they find them.
  • 9moon
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,165
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Like a lot of teams they reach for PROSPECTS and POTENTIAL in the early rounds. That will burn you as much as it helps you.

Mid to late rounds they reach for PLAYERS. Not considering height, weight, speed, strength and so on. Just PLAYERS. It's not surprising that's where they find them.

it's NOT really that in our situation.. I just feel that SHANNY falls in-love w/a player and start fantasizing how he can use him.. he did this and overpaid McKinnon just to run the damn JET SWEEP... then he once signed a bum (PARKER) against Arizona just that he can call his RB PASS play.. ..

TODAY, we did well enough to win the game.. but we played a. young QB ... the exposure of not having that RT and/or that CB opposite Ward may hunt us when we face veteran teams that CAN game plan..

Originally posted by 9moon:
it's NOT really that in our situation.. I just feel that SHANNY falls in-love w/a player and start fantasizing how he can use him.. he did this and overpaid McKinnon just to run the damn JET SWEEP... then he once signed a bum (PARKER) against Arizona just that he can call his RB PASS play.. ..

TODAY, we did well enough to win the game.. but we played a. young QB ... the exposure of not having that RT and/or that CB opposite Ward may hunt us when we face veteran teams that CAN game plan..

When you win by 23 you did more than just play well enough to win the game.

Beating Nebraska 13-10 is well enough to win a game.
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