Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rounding Out the 49ers Draft

The Rest of the Gold Helmets
By: Brian Sanchez

Day 3 of the NFL draft was all about adding depth for the San Francisco 49ers and I think they did an exceptional job of doing so.  They made some great value picks that should all make the team and make the 49ers now one of the deeper teams in the league.  All of the picks from today have their weaknesses, of course, or else they wouldn't be on the board.  But the 49ers did an exceptional job of picking a certain type of player and they all have strengths that outweigh the weaknesses.  The type of player the 49ers drafted was team leaders who were either incredibly fast or incredibly strong.  They were also nearly all team leaders or captains.  Let's take a look at the new gold helmets:

Round 4 (pick 117)-Joe Looney, OL Wake Forest
     The 6'3" 309 lb. linemen is a big time value pick for the 49ers.  This is a very physical, very strong interior linemen.  Every time someone is a good value pick it means they should have gone higher, and there are always reasons why.  Looney tore a ligament in his foot during the Senior Bowl and he may not even be ready to go by training camp of this year.  The 49ers are comfortable with all the options they have at RG this year (Kilgore and Boone) so they took Looney and project him to make an impact over time.  Other teams who needed linemen wanted them to play right away leaving Looney, who the 49ers traded up for, to be a back up as soon as he is healthy and possibly push for a starting role the year after.
     Looney is a very physical very strong who is known more for his ability to throw defenders around than anything else.  He does slide his feet well so he does project out to be a good pass blocker.  But that is not the most important role for an interior linemen, there job is to block the run.  Looney's good feet mean he will be a good pulling guard and when he did so in college he was very good at getting to the second level and hitting moving targets.  His one weakness is the fact that his upper body is disproportionally stronger than his lower body.  This laves him sitting to high in his crouch sometimes making him easy to bull rush.  This is not too much of a problem to have, nothing time in the weight room with a professional trainer can't fix.  He is expected to make a full recovery from the torn ligament in his foot and then he will hit the ground running.  Todd McShay said that if he would have had a healthy foot he would have goon in the late 2nd/early 3rd because of his run blocking ability.  

Round 5 (pick 165)-Darius Fleming, OLB Notre Dame
     This 6'1" 245 lb. OLB will have a chance to immediately become a back up behind Aldon Smith.  The 49ers only have one back up OLB right now and that is Parys Harralson, a player whom I don't think s anything special.  Larry Grant could play some OLB but he should be primarily used to give Patrick Willis and Novarro Bowman plenty of time off.  So, Fleming has a chance to make an impact.  He is a physical specimen at his height and is a natural pass rusher.  even though he is short at 6'1" he hot the bench press an eye opening 27 times.  He also ran a 4.77 40 yard dash which establishes just how athletic this guy is.  He was a 4-3 DE in college but will easily make the jump to a pass rushing 3-4 OLB for the 49ers.  He uses his strength to bull rush O-linemen effectively and uses his speed to be a great player in pursuit and his lateral quickness makes him a threat from sideline to sideline.  Also, with his size and speed he can make a definite impact on the special teams. This is an impressive player who made a lot of plays in college and he is actually an underrated cover OLB showing he can at least cover well enough to not be a liability.  And with his experience at DE there is no reason he could not be inserted in pass rush situations to do just that.  With his size and speed he can definitely be a playmaker for the 49ers and if he shows off enough in training camp he could see a good number of snaps in the regular season on defense and be a starter on special teams.  Keep track of Fleming, he had a 3rd round grade and only fell because 4-3 teams did not like him as a DE (and rightfully so as that is not his position) meaning he was another good value pick for the 49ers.

Round 6 (pick 180)-Trenton Robinson, FS Michigan St.
     I love this pick as much as I do the Fleming pick.  This could end up being one of the best picks in the draft.  I have seen Robinson ranked anywhere from the 4th best safety in the class to the 9th best, but either way, most had him going before the 6th round.  The on down side to Robinson is his size (5'10" 195 lb) which is not prototypical and considered undersized for a safety in the NFL.  Bill Polian likened him to a younger Bob Sanders which always evokes confidence.  The basic term to describe Robinson is: where goes the football, there goes Robinson.  He clocked in a 4.52 40 yard dash, which is second among all safeties.  While he is smaller his tackling only suffers a little as he is a decent tackler.  But he was not picked for his tackling (although he likes to play in the box to stop the run) he was picked for his playmaking and ability to intercept the ball.  Mel Kiper Jr. even said he was the best zone coverage safety in this draft.  Robinson excels at reading QB eyes and zipping over to the ball and cutting in front of WR's for an interception.  He seems to have no holes other than his size, which he is still effective with.  He has a sixth sense about where the ball is going and can cover slot receivers but probably not at the level of a CB.  He has plus coverage skills for a safety but just adequate for a CB.  The only reason anyone could see him in the 6th round is because of the size, and the 49ers already established they will take an undersized guy with Lemicahel James as long as he is super tough, and Robinson certainly is.  The 49ers needed depth at safety having only CJ Spillman and Colin Jones who are fantastic special teams players but not so much at safety.  Robinson can certainly see team on punt returns but leep an eye on him as he could become one of the top replacements at the safety position.

Round 6 (pick 199)-Jason Slowey, C Western Oregon
     Slowey represents more of a long term investment for the 49ers but why not take a shot at the end of the 6th round?  Slowey is coming out of Western Oregon which is a NCAA D-II program.  He is one of the best linemen in D-II, but he played LT.  at 6'3" 303 lbs he does not have the size to play at tackle.  The 49ers drafted him and already have changed his position (so clearly they did their homework) to center.  He has been noted by many as being one of the nastiest linemen in the draft.  That right there is music to the 49ers ears.  While he did not look like he could become a tackle at the NFL level many think he could soon be ready to play guard.  The only reason it will take him a while to be ready for SF is because they are moving him to center.  That takes more time than moving him to guard, but if he could do that easily he may well be the replacement for when Jonathan Goodwin is gone.  With Slowey now, the 49ers have good depth on the O-line.  Either Kilgore or Boone will start at RG.  Either way Boone is the top tackle replacement, and if he is the starting RG and needs to move tackle then Kilgore will take over at RG.  Looney is a back up at the guard position and they also have Mike Person out of Montana St. from last years draft who can pay either guard or tackle.  then you add in Slowey and there is no real need on the O-line anymore.

Round 7 (pick 237)-Cam Johnson, OLB/DE Virginia
     Cam Johnson is the reason why I think this is such a solid draft for the 49ers, he has a chance to be on the active roster.  For a team as good as the 49ers it was not expected that this many picks would actually make the team but I think at least 6 will.  Johnson is big (6'4" 270 lbs.) and athletic (4.8 40 yard dash).  He has spent time as both a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB and I think he could play both in the NFL.  He does project more as a pass rushing OLB but he could sneak in for some snaps at DE in 3rd and long situations.  He has the speed to rush the edges but actually prefers to stunt and blitz right up the middle where he can feature a ferocious bull rush.  He has a good set of moves when he rushes and because he has such powerful legs he has a great burst off the line.  This is another guy that most would have seen going in the earlier rounds.  He is more of a workout warrior than anything else and Harbaugh usually loves that.  the film on Johnson is not consistent and that's what worried a lot of teams.  Johnson is a freakish physical athlete and Harbaugh likes to take those kind of guys and coach team up.  If he can coach Johnson up, this 7th rounder can be a very viable back up.  At the very least, Johnson too should be able to be a force on special teams.  

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Speed is the Key

Lamichael James the New 49er
By: Brian Sanchez

     Many were surprised by the 49ers second round pick and many question it.  Don't.  RB was a need despite the number of people they have at the position.  Just because you have a lot of players at one spot does not mean you are good to go.  I for one have been saying we need a RB for a while now.  Brandon Jacobs is only here for one year and he is not exactly the most dynamic playmaker anyone has ever seen.  They have Anthony Dixon who is not really a RB as much as he is just a special teams gunner now.  Kendall Hunter is the same build as James but he is not similar.  Hunter is not a very fast guy and certainly does not share the incredible vision that James has.  Then finally there is Gore and he is the unquestioned stud of the group, but the problem is, how much longer will he be able to stay healthy (something he has already struggled with).  James is a different kind of player...

     Everyone says James is quicker than he is fast but he clocked in with a 4.45 40 yard dash, which seems pretty fast to me.  I think one of the most interesting combine stats was his bench press.  At 5'9" 185 lbs James hit the bench press (225 lbs.) 15 times.  That is some serious strength.  He has exceptional vision on the field.  He hides behind O-linemen and patiently waits for a hole to open and then slips right through.  James can't run through anybody but he has a variety of hesitation moves and can quickly cut which means the bigger defenders can't go straight at him for the big hit or they will miss.  He is incredibly tough.  He has fought through injuries and put up big games with a lot of ailments.  Can he be an every down back?  Probably not, but the 49ers don't need him to be.  James is a very good pass catcher and will be dynamic in that area as well.  HC Jim Harbaugh has certainly seen enough of Lamichael James: while at Oregon in 2010 James went for 257 yards and 3 touchdowns against Harbaugh's Stanford Cardinal.  James was also quoted as in college saying he would love to play for a coach like Harbaugh.  Well, Lamichael here's your chance.  Look for James to get 5-10 touches a game and look for him to run the power-O and hide behind LG Mike Iupati and break off big runs.  With AJ Jenkins and Lamichael James the 49ers are clearly getting quicker on offense and I think it will serve them well.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

AJ Jenkins

Welcome to the 49ers
By: Brian Sanchez

Well, the 49ers took a WR, but it wasn't the one everyone was excited about.  They also took a Jenkins, but it wasn't Janoris the troubled CB from North Alabama.  It was AJ Jenkins WR Illinois.  He is a lot better than you may think.  Just because you haven't heard about him like you have Stephen Hill (who most fans wanted) but that doesn't make him any worse.  This is a good pick and I will stand by that, let's take a look at why I think that.
     First let's take a look at why people wanted Stephen Hill.  Most people were enamored with the fact that he had blazing speed.  I don't want to break your heart about Hills speed, but Jenkins ran a 4.37 40 yard dash.  Last time I checked that is a pretty darn good 40 time.  So Jenkins has the speed of Hill.  Hill is 6'4" and Jenkins is barely 6 feet tall.  But he is a much smoother athlete.  Stephen Hill may have better size but Jenkins is the more fluid athlete.
     Let's stop worrying about Stephen Hill.  The 49ers passed on him (and so did everyone else by the way).  Let's focus in on Jenkins and what he brings to the 49ers.  He is a do it all WR, which is a position of need for the 9ers.  The Randy Moss experiment will either be a failure or just for one year, so SF will need a deep threat sooner or later, and that's what Jenkins brings.  He is a very smooth, effortless runner who can blow past almost any corner.  He can line-up outside or inside which makes him a player that can start playing for the 49ers from day one.  He has also shown ability to return kicks and be pretty dynamic in that aspect which means they don't need to keep Ginn Jr. anymore.  He has soft hands and is very good with making spectacular catches.  He is an athletic WR even though he is shorter than most would prefer.  But here is what sets Jenkins apart from Stephen Hill, Jenkins is a good route runner.  AJ Jenkins has excelled an all routes and has the ability to go long but also run intermediaries as well.  Some people did not want a speed WR because Alex Smith wouldn't be able to take advantage of him.  But, Jenkins has shown the ability to separate from DB's on 5-7 yard routes.  He is a speed player but isn't a straight line speed guy only.  Stephen Hill is not a good route runner and may never become more than a guy who can just go deep in a straight line.  The fact that Jenkins is such a smooth athlete makes him tough to cover over the middle.  I'd expect him to become the No. 3 WR mid season and push to be a starter the year after.  Crabtree, Mannigham, Moss, Jenkins at WR with Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker at TE along with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter at RB means there is no shortage of weapons and no excuse for this offense not to excel.

AJ Jenkins is a classic Jim Harbaugh/Trent Baalke pick.  He was an academic All-Big 10 selection in his senior year at Illinois.  He is smart on the field just like he is off of it.  In his post-draft confrence call with the media his personality exploded and everyone came away thinking he is a charismatic great guy.  He said he was so excited when he got the call that he doesn't even know who called him from the 49ers to tell him the news.  He can split out wide as a No. 2 or slide inside as a slot receiver either way he is versatile which seems to be a must on a Jim Harbaugh team.  He has had some questions about his strength, but that is not what he was drafted for.  Look for Jenkins to blossom mid season much like Aldon Smith did.  AJ Jenkins is a solid pick who is a better player than the people "projected" him to be.  Harbaugh may have found a gem again and it would again be someone that nobody thought it would be.  Funny note:  in the pre-draft process GM Trent Baalke said there was a particular player that they liked and thought would be available at 30.  Then, when the 49ers pick came, despite Courtney Upshaw, Cordy Glenn, Stephen Hill, and Coby Fleener being there, they turned in there card immediately and took AJ Jenkins.  Harbaugh said that last night Trent Baalke wrote a name on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope.  Today he opened it and on it was the name AJ Jenkins, meaning he was the guy all along.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft

Final NFL Mock Draft
By: Brian Sanchez

1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
A source told ESPN that the Colts have made Luck aware that they will select him first overall.  In my eyes he is the perfect man to draft to fill in for Peyton Manning and the Colts should consider themselves lucky (pun intended).  End of discussion.

2. Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
So far I think my draft is correct.  Woo Hoo!  You don't trade all of the picks the Redskins traded to take an O-linemen or CB.  They see a franchise QB in RGIII so they went and got him.  He will have some talent to work with in Washington as he and Luck will be forever linked because of going No. 1 and 2.

3. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT USC
The Vikings have said that they are not sold on Kalil.  Smokescreen?  I think so.  They need a lot of things but if a potential franchise LT is there and you need one, you have to pull the trigger.  Claiborne might be in play here, but Kalil looks phenomenal and his upside may be too much to pass up.

4. Cleveland Browns- Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
He is a flat out stud.  He can run between the tackles, bust a run outside with speed, catch the ball, block, he is the real deal.  I think he will quickly enter the Maurice Jones-Drew/Ray Rice class of do everything RB.  The Browns lost Hillis, and while they could use Blackmon (who I think is overrated) a running game could help McCoy as much as a WR can.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
The Bucs CB situation is not good.  Aqib Talib has had trouble with the law and they are currently trying to trade him.  Their other CB is the 39 year old Ronde Barber who the team is thinking about moving to Safety.  It's safe to say the Bucs need a CB.  Claiborne is a tall, athletic, fast cover corner who will be a day 1 starter for the Buccaneers.

6. St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma St.
The Rams traded down to six and that all but made their draft decision for them.  They will take whoever is open between Blackmon, Richardson, and Claiborne.  They need a lot, and while I do not think that Blackmon is the Franchise WR the Rams need, I do think he'll be their No. 1 and be productive.  Bradford will finally get some help.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
First I would like to say that Floyd has a very good chance of being better than Blackmon.  But this pick is a gut call for me.  I have read that Jags GM Gene Smith likes Notre Dame guys (Floyd) and playmakers (Floyd).  Also, the Jags had a pathetic WR crew and I think Floyd will immediately become the teams No. 1.

8. Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
This is a pretty much agreed upon pick by almost everyone trying to predict this draft.  That, of course, does not mean he will go there.  But, the Dolphins are desperate for a franchise QB.  Tannehill has a lot of upside but being a converted WR he does not have a lot of experience.  While I think he has the talent of a second rounder he is elevated due to his position.  The Dolphins have Moore and Garrard so Tannehill won't have to play right away which will be good for his development. 

9. Carolina Panthers- Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi St.
The Panthers could certainly make a run in to the Playoffs this year behind Super Cam.  But he will need help from his defense.  The biggest problem for Carolina was their front 7.  They especially need help on the defensive line.  Cox is a disruptive playmaker on the inside which is rare.  He can stop the run and get to the QB.  He can open a lot of doors for the Carolina defense.

10. Buffalo Bills- Stephen Gilmore, CB South Carolina
The Bills have had a phenomenal off season.  They netted big fish DE Mario Williams and will get DT Kyle Williams back healthy.  When you have to dethrone the Patriots to get in to the playoofs you need to always be improving your defense.  The Bills do so here with Gilmore.  A big athletic cover corner who will make an immediate impact on this team.  

11. Kansas City Chiefs- David DeCastro, G Stanford 
I previously had the Chiefs going with Dontari Poe here, but his production was so low it very well could scare the Chiefs when drafting this high.  While Kuechly might be in play here I think the Chiefs take DeCastro and solidify the line.  This is high for a guard but 5th overall was high for a safety and Eric Berry is a gem.  They don't care about value, they care about production.

12. Seattle Seahawks- Luke Kuechly, MLB Boston College
The Seahawks lost their starting MLB David hawthorne to the New Orleans Saints.  They have a hole there and there is a perfect guy to fill it left on the board.  Kuechly is a smart, instinctive, athletic MLB who can take the MLB role in Seattle and keep it for a long time solidifying the middle of the field.

13. Arizona Cardinals- Riley Rieff, T Iowa
The Cardinals need to better protect whoever will be taking the snaps between Kolb and Skelton.  Start by taking a solid T in Rieff.  He is not the most exciting pick but it is one that they need to make.  Someone needs to protect the QB if the Cardinals want a serious chance at beating the 49ers.

14. Dallas Cowboys- Mark Barron, S Alabama
The Cowboys could cap off a successful off season by making this pick.  They signed CB Brandon Carr to help their terrible secondary and that was solid.  Now, they get a top flight safety.  Barron can cover slot WR and TE as well as help stop the run.  Barron will make an immediate impact on this team.

15. Philadelphia Eagles- Michael Brockers, DT LSU
The Eagles need help getting more physical in the trenches.  They would especially like a DT who can stuff the run and disrupt plays.  They get a nice piece here in Brockers.  He started as high as No. 9 overall then fell to the Patriots at 27 after a horrible combine.  I think he will even out and fit in nicely in the middle of the draft.  

16. New York Jets- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB South Carolina
I admit it, this guy could easily go earlier, even in the top 10.  I have him here and Rex Ryan is going to love it.  Ingram can play at OLB or DE giving the Jets the versatility the need.  The have to send too many men on blitzes too often leaving people open down the field.  Ingram will be a great first step in returning this Jets defense to dominance.

17. Cincinnati Bengals- Cordy Glenn, OL Georgia
The Bengals are a scary team.  They are young and only getting better.  They could use some help along the O-line and Glenn represents an upgrade.  He is huge and athletic so he can play inside or outside.  When you have to play the Steelers and Ravens, you need to be able to block and be physical, ergo Glenn.

18. San Diego Chargers- Chandler Jones, DE/OLB Syracuse
The Chargers pass rush is pathetic.  They need it to improve and do so here with Jones.  Jones is a DE that is so athletic he can play the 3-4 OLB for the Chargers and add some pressure on opposing QB's.  Chandler Jones is built to be in the mold of Aldon Smith from last year.  Scary.

19. Chicago Bears- Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina
The biggest faller in my Mock finally finds a home.  Coples has the build of the prototypical DE but has had his motor questioned.  I think Chicago is the perfect home for Coples.  The Bears may want a WR but Coples offers too much value here.  He would be across from Peppers so they would not have a dire need for him to perform right away and Peppers isn't getting any younger so Coples may develop into the heir apparent.  When you play the Packers and Lions, having a feared pass rush can certainly help.

20.  Tennessee Titans- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
The Titans lost CB Cortland Finnegan in Free Agency and need to fill the hole.  They would love to see Stephen Gilmore fall to here but I don't see that happening.  Kirkpatrick is a big physical corner who will be a good start in filling the shoes left by Finnegan.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama
The Bengals went OL with the first pick and now they will switch to the other side of the ball.  Upshaw is a pass rush monster and will make an immediate impact on the team.  It is also rumored that HC Marvin Lewis loves Upshaw which doesn't hurt.

22. Cleveland Browns- Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford
Yes, the Browns could use a WR.  They already passed on Blackmon and I don't think Hill or Wright are good fits for Cleveland based on the arm strength of Colt McCoy.  The Browns need to both keep McCoy upright and open holes for new RB Trent Richardson.  The have All-Pro LT Joe Thomas and now they can add a solid tackle across from him in Martin.  This is especially important when 6 of your 16 games are against the Steeler, Ravens, and Bengals.

23. Detroit Lions- Janorice Jenkins, CB North Alabama 
The Lions really need help at CB.  Jenkins may not be the straightest arrow around but he is very talented.  He is fast and shifty and a good man to man coverage CB.  The need for a CB outweighs the potential problem that Janorice Jenkins could be.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Dont'a Hightower, MLB Alabama
It's rare that this late in the draft you can pick up the perfect player for your team.  This is the case here for the Steelers.  Pitt had to cut long time MLB James Farrior leaving a hole next to stud MLB Lawrence Timmons.  Hightower can step in and fill the hole from day 1.  

25. Denver Broncos- Dontari Poe, DT Memphis
The Broncos need help in the middle of their defense.  In previous drafts I had Poe going much earlier but since he is here now I think Denver needs to take him.  They need a D-line that can be more physical up front.  Poe has a lot of upside but little production in college which is why he is still here.

26. Houston Texans- Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech.
The Texans have a slight need at WR despite having Andre Johnson.  When Johnson went down last year it was apparent that there were no other options on the team.  Hill is raw and not neccesarily ready to be a star yet.  But what he has is great size and blazing speed.  As the No. 2 across from Andre Johnson, and with the running attack of Arian Foster and QB Matt Schaub coming back this Texans team can make a case for being one of the best offenses in the NFL.

27. New England Patriots- DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus
It is always hard to project these picks since the Pats have an affinity for trading their picks.  But here they get a guy in Mercilus who can just flat out get to the QB.  The Pats need help on the D-line and they need to be able to rush opposing QB's more often.  Mercilus could easily be gone by now, but since he isn't I think the Pats will scoop him up.

28. Green Bay Packers- Shea Mcclellin, OLB Boise St.
The Packers need help getting to the QB and the need it bad.  Mcclellin is the kind of high motor, blue collar player that the Packers love.  He is such a tireless worker that he just wares down opposing linemen.  Putting him across form Clay Matthews could restore the pass rush for the Packers.

29. Baltimore Ravens- Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
The Ravens need to be able to put up more points to help out that defense.  They have Boldin and Torrey Smith came in nicely last year.  They can take advantage of Flacco's arm strength and take another speedy WR.  Wright in the slot for this team can make them an offense that won't stall out and let the defense down.

30. San Francisco 49ers- Coby Fleener, TE Stanford
I am making this pick with my heart as much as I am with my gut and my head.  But this is not just me picking my guy for my team.  It makes a lot of sense.  First of all, Harbaugh likes Coby as much as I do.  Harbaugh was not happy about missing out on Owen Marecic last year.  I think he earned the right to tell the 49ers this is his guy and have them take him.  As far as how it would work on the field;  I think it would be dynamic.  He is a very fast, long, athletic TE who across from Vernon Davis could be very scary.  Like Davis Fleener can split out wide and play WR.  He also gives Alex Smith another target underneath which suits his game.  It is also another Red Zone weapon which can free up Crabtree and Davis.  What about Delanie Walker you say?  He is good, but he is also a FA in 2013.  He would likely make money as a starter somewhere else so the 49ers would lose him.  He would then be expendable because of the dynamic duo of Davis and Fleener.  I would also keep an eye out for RG Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin.  He is a big boy and can block with the best of them.  If SF thinks he can be a long time starter on the O-line, they might just grab him.  But I think the 49ers are comfortable with their in house options at RG and the need for one is over stated.  My sleeper pick is Doug Martin the RB from Boise St.  He can be a back up and take over when Gore is gone.

31. New England Patriots- Harrison Smith, S Notre Dame
The Patriots need to take a playmaker in pass defense and Smith seems to fit the mold.  They have holes all over the defense but especially in the secondary.  Smith is a smart, instinctive player who just, for all intensive purposes, looks like a Patriot. 

32. New York Giants- Doug Martin, RB Boise St.  
This is not that great of a value pick, but it is one I feel the Giants need to make.   They only have Ahmad Bradshaw left at RB and they are going to need someone else.  Martin is a strong between the tackles runner who can also block and catch the ball.  He is a perfect back up for the Giants and while he may be a early second round value, if they want him they need to take him now.  

2nd Round:
33. Rams- Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan St.
34. Colts- Rueben Randle, WR LSU
35. Vikings- Josh Robinson, CB Central Florida
36. Buccaneers- Devon Still, DT Penn St.
37. Browns- Brandon Weeden, QB Oklahoma St. 
38. Jaguars- Nick Perry, OLB USC
39. Rams- David Wilson, RB Virginia Tech
40. Panthers- Lavonte David, LB Nebraska
41. Bills- Alshon Jeffrey, WR South Carolina
42. Miami- Andre Branch, DE Clemson
43. Seahawks- Amini Silatolu, G Midwestern
44. Chiefs- Mike Adams, OT Ohio St.
45. Cowboys- Kevin Zeitler, G Wisconsin
46. Eagles- Kendall Reyes, DT/DE UConn
47. Jets- Brandon Taylor, S LSU
48. Patriots- Peter Konz, C Wisconsin
49. Chargers- Alonzo Denard, CB Nebraska
50. Bears- Mohamed Sanu, WR Rutgers
51. Eagles- Mychal Kendricks, MLB Cal
52. Titans- Derek Wolfe, DT Cincinnati
53. Bengals- Lamar Miller, RB Miller
54. Lions- Zach Brown, OLB North Carolina
55. Falcons- Bobby Massie, T Mississippi
56. Steelers- Kelechi Osemele, G Iowa St.
57. Broncos- Vinny Curry, DE Marshall
58. Texans- Trumaine Johnson, CB Montana
59. Packers- Jared Crick, DE Nebraska
60. Ravens- Ronnell Lewis, OLB Oklahoma
61. 49ers- Brandon Boykin, CB Georgia
62. Patriots- Jayron Hosley, CB Virginia Tech
63. Giants- Brian Quick, WR Appalachain St.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Attention 49er Fans:

Chill Out
By: Brian Sanchez

Please, please, please just enjoy this draft!  Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke have done nothing to make you think they are going to mess this up.  Enjoy the fact that we are the third to last team to pick, it's because we won.  And we won a lot.  Harbaugh has only been a part of the draft process for one year, but Baalke has been the GM for two drafts.  And if you don't remember, he took over as GM a short time before his first draft and he still succeeded.  Trust these guys.  Enjoy the draft.  Whoever they pick it's going to be a good player.  Not who you projected?  Not the guy you wish they got?  Believe me, Baalke and Harbaugh know more about football than you, if they make a pick, it's the right move.  Don't believe me?  Let's take a look at the past two drafts.

2010 NFL Draft (49ers picks of consequence)

Round 1, pick 11- Anthony Davis, T Rutgers
This is more of a Singletary pick than it is a Baalke pick, but he did sign off on him.  Let's be fair:  Davis was terrible year one but improved to being decent in year two.  He is very young (22 years old now and 20 when we drafted him) and very big.  He has the quick feet and long arms you love to see in the tackle. Even if he goes through a modest improvement this year he will be good, especially since he is a RT.

Round 1, pick 17- Mike Iupati, G Idaho
Iupati is a beast.  He is one of the better LG in the league.  When he pulls on he power-o runs that Harbaugh loves so dearly he is a run away locomotive.  Sure the 49ers doubled up on linemen in this draft, but it worked.  Those two are guaranteed to be starters barring injury so this first round is definitely a success in my book.

Round 2, pick 49- Taylor Mays, S USC
You caught me here, Mays was not a good pick.  But how will i defend myself.  It was stated by everyone in the franchise that this was purely and solely a Mike Singletary pick.  I will also remind you that once Singletary was gone, Baalke promptly traded Mays away because he did not see anything in him.  So, it may have been a bad pick but the trade proves Baalke has great talent evaluation.

Round 3, pick 91- Navorro Bowman, MLB Penn St.
Hello!  Winner winner chicken dinner!  My theory is correct!  Bowman is awesome.  Last year Bowman lead the team in tackles, and yes, that means he had more tackles than Patrick Willis (who for what it's worth I consider the best LB and best defensive player in all of football).  We didn't even need a LB but we took him anyways and then, boom! All-pro LB.  Seriously though, how can he be a first team All-Pro LB but not make the ProBowl team?  Doesn't matter, he's a stud and a great pick.

Round 6, pick 163- Anthony Dixon, RB Mississippi St.
Ok, so he hasn't panned out as a RB like the 49ers hoped.  At one point people thought he would be the heir apparent to Frank Gore.  That is not going to happen.  But he has played a very important role on the SF special teams.  49er special teams are truly special and a big reason why they win.  The 49ers had to win the field position battle, and they often did thanks to guys like Anthony Dixon.

2011 NFL Draft (49ers picks of consequence)

Round 1, pick 7- Aldon Smith, OLB Missouri
We didn't need defense, we needed offense.  If we did take someone on defense it had to be Prince Amukamara because we did not need linebackers we needed defensive backs.  Take Gabbert or Locker because Alex Smith is played out and we need a new young QB.  We may not have "needed" Aldon Smith, but we got him, and he is a gem.  There was not a lot of positive feedback when this pick was made but now everybody loves it.  Smith will be the starting OLB and pass rush specialist coming off of a 14 sack rookie year.  He is my prime example of just trust whatever Harbaugh and Baalke do.

Round 2, pick 36- Colin Kaepernick, QB Nevada
We have no reason to say whether or not this is a good pick, but we have reasons to believe it is.  First, Harbaugh is clearly magic with QB's.  He made the 49ers trade up to get him so he obviously sees something in Colin.  Colin is big and athletic with a rocket for an arm.  He could be something special, especially with a couple years on the bench and learning from Harbaugh.  Another good pick.

Round 3, pick 80- Chris Culliver, CB South Carolina
Cully in the house!  Chris Culliver was good in his time on the field in the 2011-2012 season.  He is a very fast and athletic CB.  He mostly played in the nickel and dime packages, but was forced to start a few games because of injuries.  He will start this season as the No.3 CB and if he continues to improve he could be starting sooner rather than later.

Round 4, pick 115- Kendall Hunter, RB Oklahoma St. 
Hunter is a good solid change of pace RB.  He is not dominant or even one of the best small running backs in the league (although he certainly could develop).  But this pick signified that Harbaugh and Baalke saw a need for a faster RB in the rotation so they went out and got one.  Hunter will more than likely be on the team as a scat back making him a decent 4th round pick.

Round 5, pick 163- Daniel Kilgore, G Appalachian St.
This could be a 5th round gem.  Kilgore is a very physical linemen who is more nasty than he is fundamentally sound.  That is why Jim Harbaugh loves him.  If he plays across from Mike iupati we are talking about a potential for two run away locomotives on the O-line at the same time.  Kilgore as of right now is the starting RG.  The 49ers are expected to draft another one or sign a veteran to start a competition with Kilgore for the starting spot.

Round 7, pick 211- Bruce Miller, FB Central Florida
This guy was a pass rush specialist at UCF and was one of the best defensive players in all of Conference-USA.  Looks like we might have found a good defensive player in the final round.  Or Harbaugh can turn him in to a FB and make him an absolute stud.  Miller was, is, and will be the 49ers FB and a member of the very special, special teams.

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