2014 NFL Offseason: San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers (Last Year: 12-4)

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2014 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Josh Johnson, QB Blaine Gabbert, WR Brandon Lloyd, OT/G Jonathan Martin, CB Chris Cook, S Antone Bethea.
Early Draft Picks:
S/CB Jimmie Ward, RB Carlos Hyde, C Marcus Martin, ILB Chris Borland, OT/G Brandon Thomas, WR Bruce Ellington, CB/S Dontae Johnson, DE/OLB Aaron Lynch. 49ers Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Colt McCoy, RB Anthony Dixon, WR Mario Manningham, C Jonathan Goodwin, CB Carlos Rogers, CB Tarell Brown, S Donte Whitner.

2014 San Francisco 49ers Offense:
Colin Kaepernick took some heat in the first portion of this past season. He struggled for several weeks, and some began questioning San Francisco's decision to trade away Alex Smith. In reality though, Kaepernick was just struggling because he was missing his key weapons. Vernon Davis suffered an injury and wasn't close to 100 percent for a stretch. Michael Crabtree, meanwhile, didn't play until December, and was a bit rusty upon his return. Kaepernick, as a consequence, failed to complete 60 percent of his passes in six of his first 10 games of the season, which included an embarrassing 11-of-22, 91-yard, one-interception outing versus Carolina in early November.

Fortunately for the 49ers, Kaepernick was a completely different quarterback when all of his weapons were available. He torched most of his foes in December and then carried that into the playoffs, when he ran all over the opposition, even accumulating 130 rushing yards against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship. He was one tipped pass away from helping his team advance to the Super Bowl for the second-consecutive season.

The 49ers had to upgrade Kaepernick's supporting cast this spring, and they did just that, sending a 2015 draft pick to Buffalo for Stevie Johnson. The former Bill tends to get injured often, but he should be able to thrive as a tertiary receiver rather than a No. 1 target. San Francisco also signed Brandon Lloyd and spent a fourth-round choice on Bruce Ellington. Last year's fourth-rounder, Quinton Patton, figures to contribute more as well, while 2013 second-round tight end Vance McDonald will also be more of a factor. Thus, if Crabtree or Davis goes down again, Kaepernick should still be fine.

The front office also added some talent to the running back corps. With Marcus Lattimore not healing as quickly as expected, San Francisco used a second-round choice on Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde. Frank Gore will still shoulder most of the workload this upcoming season, but the aging back just turned 31 and will be a free agent next spring. Hyde and Lattimore figure to split the carries in 2015 and beyond.

Meanwhile, the 49ers didn't have to do much work with their offensive line, which is one of the league's best. Four of the starters will be returning, with the lone exception being center Jonathan Goodwin, who was the weak unit in the group. The team spent a third-round choice on center Marcus Martin, who might be able to win the starting job right away from Daniel Kilgore. Whoever starts there will be flanked by Mike Iupati, one of the league's best guards, and the solid Alex Boone, though Boone is holding out for a new contract because he's grossly underpaid.

The tackles, meanwhile, will be starting for San Francisco for quite a while. Joe Staley and Anthony Davis are signed through 2018 and 2020, respectively. Staley played on a Pro Bowl level this past season.

2014 San Francisco 49ers Defense:
The 49ers have one of the top defensive units in the NFL, but even they had issues they had to address this offseason - particularly in the secondary, where they lost two of their top three cornerbacks, as well as a starting safety, to free agency.

Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown both defected for Oakland, while Donte Whitner signed with the Browns. The 49ers were able to address the safety position by using their first-round pick on Jimmie Ward. The No. 30 overall choice was considered a bit high for Ward, but he's expected to back up second-year Eric Reid and the newly signed Antone Betha on early downs and then play the nickel role during obvious passing situations. Bethea, 30 in July, is a mediocre starter who is just seen as a short-term solution. Ward should be able to start come 2015 next to Reid, who was solid as a rookie last year.

The cornerback position remains unsolved, however. Tramaine Brock played well enough during the early stages of 2013 to warrant a 4-year, $16 million extension. However, he struggled down the stretch a bit and will now be asked to cover the top receivers with Rogers and Brown gone. The legally troubled Chris Culliver, who missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL, is expected to start across from Brock.

Speaking of legal issues, Aldon Smith has been charged with three felony weapons charges and a DUI this offseason. He's definitely facing a suspension, though it's unclear how long that'll be. It's a shame for the 49ers, given how tremendous of a pass-rusher Smith is. Since Smith is, by far, San Francisco's best edge player when it comes to getting to the quarterback, the team will need 2013 third-rounder Corey Lemonier to step up. Lemonier didn't play much as a rookie, but he showed some pass-rushing ability. While Smith is out, he'll start across from Ahmad Brooks, who notched 8.5 sacks and defended the run well this past season.

The 49ers also have their other Smith to get to the quarterback. Justin Smith registered 6.5 sacks in 2013, but he'll turn 35 in September. He could regress, in which case, the team will need 2013 second-rounder Tank Carradine to contribute. In the meantime, Smith will continue to start alongside Ray McDonald, a tremendous five-technique, and Glenn Dorsey, who transitioned into the nose tackle role extremely well.

Dorsey stuffed the run well and gave ample opportunities to San Francisco's two Pro Bowl linebackers, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Willis missed a few games early in 2013, but both he and Bowman performed on an All-Pro level during the latter stages of the season. There's no reason to believe Willis will have any sort of dropoff this upcoming campaign, but Bowman is coming off ACL and MCL surgery and probably won't be available until November.

2014 San Francisco 49ers Schedule and Intangibles:
In the San Francisco 2009 season preview, it was mentioned that the 49ers needed to develop a stronger homefield advantage because they were just 7-9 as hosts in 2007 and 2008. Lo and behold, they were 6-2 at home in 2009, 5-3 in 2010, 8-2 in 2011, 7-1-1 in 2012 and 6-2 last season. San Francisco is especially potent in home night games against East Coast teams, thanks to Circadian rhythms. That gave the 49ers a huge advantage over the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs last January.

The 49ers lost Ted Ginn the previous offseason, so there was bound to be a decline in the return game. They did OK overall, edging out their opponents by a bit.

Phil Dawson had a great season as San Francisco's new kicker. He hit 32-of-36 attempts, including 4-of-6 from 50-plus. He was awarded with a 2-year contract this spring.

One of the league's top punters, Andy Lee had the fourth-highest net average (41.7) and managed to place a decent amount of attempts inside the 20.

The 49ers have to battle three tough NFC West foes twice each, as well as the Broncos, Saints and Bears, but they'll be able to beat up on the NFC East teams at least.

2014 San Francisco 49ers Rookies:
Go here for the 49ers Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2014 San Francisco 49ers Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2014 San Francisco 49ers Analysis: Given some of the off-the-field issues the Seahawks have dealt with this offseason, the 49ers have to be considered the favorites to win the Super Bowl. They've had some turmoil of their own - Aldon Smith's legal issues and the bogus Jim Harbaugh story from February - but they'll be hungrier than their arch rival.

Projection: 13-3 (1st in NFC West)

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

More 2014 NFL Season Previews

Follow @walterfootball for updates.


NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2014 NFL Draft: The 49ers have so many picks that they almost have to move up. It'll be too costly to get Mike Evans, but they can get either Justin Gilbert or Odell Beckham without having to worry about surrendering too many selections because they have so many. Outside of obtaining a top-15 talent, San Francisco needs to address the receiver, cornerback and safety positions. Getting another pass-rusher as insurance for Aldon Smith would be smart as well.

2014 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The 49ers were discussing the possibility of moving up for Odell Beckham, but ultimately decided against it. They realized that they'd have to give up too many resources to do so. I'm fine with that sentiment as long as their trading partner was asking for a 2015 first-rounder. That would have been too much. San Francisco should have pulled the trigger for a pair of twos.

At any rate, the 49ers took a whopping 12 players, and of course, some of them will be redshirted in typical San Francisco fashion. Brandon Thomas, perceived to be a potential first-round tackle prior to a torn ACL, was a solid choice at the end of the third round. Receiver Bruce Ellington is raw, but he'll have time to learn behind the three wideouts ahead of him on the depth chart. Fullback Trey Millard, a fourth-round talent before his own torn ACL, could start in the future.

As for the picks who will help the 49ers win now, Jimmie Ward was a bit of a reach at No. 30; we know of a safety-needy team that wasn't even going to consider him in the second round. On a positive note, I loved many of San Francisco's selections, including Chris Borland, Thomas, Ellington and Dontae Johnson. I graded Carlos Hyde poorly, but after thinking about it, he did provide some decent value at the end of the second round.

Overall, the 49ers had a solid draft. I would have done some things differently, but I don't have too many complaints.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

30. Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois: C+ Grade
Jimmie Ward will apparently be used as a nickel corner, so this pick makes a bit more sense, given that the safety position is filled. Still though, that doesn't change the fact that Ward is a bit of a reach; everyone we've spoken to had him in the second round. I'm also wondering why the 49ers didn't move up. What are they going to do with all of their picks?

57. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: C Grade
Note to NFL teams: Stop taking running backs so early! They are a dime a dozen, and there is a much better class of backs coming in 2015 (go here for my 2015 NFL Mock Draft). I don't like this pick very much. The 49ers have Frank Gore now and Marcus Lattimore for the future, so where does Carlos Hyde fit in? Hyde is at least the consensus No. 1 back in this class, but this just seems like another wasted second-day choice used on a runner for San Francisco.

70. Marcus Martin, C, USC: A Grade
Finally, a San Francisco pick that I really like. Marcus Martin was discussed as a potential late first-round pick. I had him in the second, but the fact still remains that this provides good value. Center is a big need with Jonathan Goodwin gone, so Martin should be able to step in right away and start.

77. Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin: A Grade
It's odd to see the 49ers select a defender with short arms, but maybe they just saw great value with him at this spot. Chris Borland is a very good football player, but lacks the athleticism. That's why he was projected to go in the second round. Picking him there would have been fine, but San Francisco is getting a bit of a steal with him here.

100. Brandon Thomas, OT/G, Clemson: A Grade
The 49ers love to redshirt and stash players. They did so with Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore last year, and they're doing the same thing with Brandon Thomas in this draft. Thomas would have been a late-first, early-second-round prospect had he not torn his ACL a few months ago. He'll be ready to go in 2015, and he should serve as a solid starting lineman at some point over the next couple of seasons. With extra selections, why not?

106. Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina: A Grade
Bruce Ellington could have easily gone in the second round, and no one would have had an issue with it. The 49ers are stealing him in the fourth round. Ellington is still raw, but he doesn't have to play anytime soon with Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson all ahead of him. But Ellington can sit and learn for a year or two before becoming a big contributor.

129. Dontae Johnson, CB/S, N.C. State: B+ Grade
It's no surprise that the 49ers are picking another defensive back, given that the area is their biggest weakness. Dontae Johnson is a big, athletic defensive back who has tons of potential to turn into a solid starter if coached well. This is a pretty decent pick, as Johnson could have gone a bit earlier.

150. Aaron Lynch, DE/OLB, South Florida: C Grade
There are major character concerns with Aaron Lynch that I can't get into, and I know that one team wasn't even going to consider signing him as an undrafted free agent. I don't like this pick, but I wouldn't say it's terrible. Lynch is talented, but the 49ers could have probably obtained him later.

170. Keith Reaser, CB, Florida Atlantic: C- Grade
The 49ers have done a great job of picking value players thus far, but that does not apply to this pick. Keith Reaser had no buzz as a draftable prospect, so it's worth wondering if San Francisco could have chosen him in the seventh round or picked him up as a UDFA.

180. Kenneth Acker, CB, SMU: C Grade
What is up with the 49ers making these fifth- and sixth-round cornerback reaches? I'm not surprised they're drafting cornerbacks at this juncture, but these are players they could sign as UDFAs.

243. Kaleb Ramsey, DE/DT, Boston College: B Grade
Kaleb Ramsey will provide depth at five-technique for the 49ers if he makes the roster. He provides good range in Round 7, so this is a solid choice.

245. Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma: A Grade
I like this pick a lot. The 49ers still use a fullback, and Trey Millard could be a starter in the future. He would have been a fourth-round pick if he didn't tear his ACL. He'll be stashed in 2014 and used the following year.

Season Summary:
The 49ers appeared as though they were suffering through some Super Bowl hangover when they began the season with a 1-2 start, which included a blowout loss to the Colts at home. They rebounded, however, and finished strong once they got most of their players back from injury. They ultimately lost in the NFC Championship, but they'll be back in 2014.

Offseason Moves:
  • Saints sign C Jonathan Goodwin
  • 49ers sign QB Josh Johnson
  • 49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd
  • Redskins sign QB Colt McCoy
  • Raiders sign CB Carlos Rogers
  • Giants sign WR Mario Manningham
  • 49ers sign CB Chris Cook
  • Bills sign RB Anthony Dixon
  • Raiders sign CB Tarell Brown
  • 49ers acquire OT Jonathan Martin from Dolphins for conditional pick
  • 49ers sign S Antoine Bethea
  • 49ers acquire QB Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars for 6th-round pick
  • Browns sign S Donte Whitner
  • 49ers re-sign K Phil Dawson
  • 49ers cut CB Carlos Rogers
  • 49ers tender DE Demarcus Dobbs

    Team Needs:
    1. Cornerback: The 49ers must address the secondary. Carlos Rogers could be released as a cap casualty, as he's struggled in the 2013. Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock can start next year, but San Francisco needs to add more corners. A first-round pick could even be used on the position. Signed Chris Cook

    2. Safety: While Carlos Rogers might be cut, the 49ers will want to retain Donte Whitner, whose contract expires in March. If Whitner leaves, San Francisco will have to spend a Round 2-3 choice on someone new to start next to Eric Reid. Signed Antoine Bethea

    3. Wide Receiver: Anquan Boldin and Mario Manningham will both be hitting the market in March, so the 49ers must either re-sign Boldin or find a new No. 2 receiver. Even if one is retained, a slot receiver is needed. Re-signed Anquan Boldin

    4. Center: Jonathan Goodwin, who turned 35 in December, told the media that retirement has crossed his mind. He's definitely the weak link up front at this stage of his career.

    5. Outside Linebacker: Aldon Smith was tremendous in his return from rehab, but what if he gets into trouble again? The 49ers will need a backup plan just in case Smith gets suspended. A second-day choice could be used on this position.

    6. Defensive End: Depending on how healthy Tank Carradine's knee is, San Francisco may want to use a mid-round selection on help for the defensive line. Justin Smith, 35 in September, won't be around much longer.

    7. Kicker: Phil Dawson cured San Francisco's kicking woes, but he'll be a free agent in March. Re-signed Phil Dawson

    8. Backup Quarterback: Colt McCoy is a free agent, so San Francisco will need to do something about the No. 2 quarterback position. Signed Josh Johnson; traded for Blaine Gabbert

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Antoine Bethea, S, Colts. Age: 30.
      Signed with 49ers (4 years, $26 million)

      Antoine Bethea has been a pretty average starting safety over the past few seasons, but he'll be hitting 30 in July.

    2. Chris Cook, CB, Vikings. Age: 27.
      Signed with 49ers (1 year)

      Chris Cook is a skilled cornerback, but has never lived up to his talent level. He also has some off-the-field baggage.

    3. Josh Johnson, QB, Bengals. Age: 28.
      Signed with 49ers

      The Bengals are absolutely crazy to cut Josh Johnson in favor of the vastly inferior A.J. McCarron. Johnson is a smart, athletic quarterback who can serve as a top-notch backup and spot starter.

    San Francisco 49ers Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Donte Whitner, S, 49ers. Age: 29.
      Signed with Browns

      Donte Whitner gets into trouble for the occasional illegal hit, but he's still an excellent strong safety. He has missed only one game in the past four seasons.

    2. Tarell Brown, CB, 49ers. Age: 29.
      Re-signed with Raiders

      Tarell Brown has been an excellent cornerback for the 49ers over the past few years. However, he missed some time with a rib injury this past season and lost his job to the emerging Tramaine Brock.

    3. Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers. Age: 33.
      Re-signed with 49ers (2 years)

      Anquan Boldin will be 34 in October, but he just continues to make clutch plays in big games. He's still an outstanding No. 2 possession receiver.

    4. Phil Dawson, K, 49ers. Age: 39.
      Re-signed with 49ers (2 years)

      Despite his age, Phil Dawson remains one of the league's top kickers. He went 32-of-36 in 2013, including 4-of-6 from 50-plus. Over the past three years, he's 18-of-21 from beyond that distance.

    5. Carlos Rogers, CB, 49ers. Age: 33.
      Signed with Raiders

      Carlos Rogers had a stellar campaign in 2011, but has regressed in each of the past two seasons. He can still pass for an OK No. 2 corner, but given that he'll turn 33 in July, he won't be a starting-caliber player for much longer.

    6. Jonathan Goodwin, C, 49ers. Age: 35.
      Signed with Saints

      Jonathan Goodwin has told reporters that retirement has crossed his mind, but that didn't stop him from playing well in 2013. Goodwin will be 36 in December.

    7. Mario Manningham, WR, 49ers. Age: 28.
      Signed with Giants (1 year)

      Mario Manningham has essentially lost two seasons because he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Perhaps he'll remain on the field going forward, but he's a risky signing.

    8. Eric Wright, CB, 49ers. Age: 29.
    9. Anthony Dixon, RB, 49ers. Age: 26. -- Signed with Bills
    10. Colt McCoy, QB, 49ers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Redskins
    11. Demarcus Dobbs (RFA), DE, 49ers. Age: 26. -- Tendered by 49ers

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

    NFL Picks - Nov. 29

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 26

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 10

    2016 NBA Mock Draft - Aug. 25

    2017 NFL Mock Draft - July 29

    2016 NBA Mock Draft - May 7

    NFL Free Agents

  • Comments - Viewing Page 1

    Listen to all WalterFootball Comments

    nicholas pretzel (Anonymous Poster)
    2 month(s) 19 day(s) ago - hide

    jarryd hayne will mother@#$@ing kill it

    0    0 Reply
    Walt Is A Dolt (Anonymous Poster)
    4 month(s) 20 day(s) ago - hide

    @49ers fan 

    I'm a Saints fan but I agree with you. Walt is a moron masquerading as a know-it-all.

    I think he just likes to be negative and critical.

    Seems very bitter for some reason.

    3    0 Reply
    49ers fan (Anonymous Poster)
    4 month(s) 22 day(s) ago - hide

    This writeup proves you didn't look into the 49ers at all. The DL starters will be Dorsey, Williams & Dial, Dockett & Armstead will play sparingly in nickel situations with Tank Carradine.

    Also, you are way off base on the OL. Ian Silberman has literally no shot of starting at RT. Trenton Brown, Erik Pears & Alex Boone are the top candidates (unless they land Battle in the supplemental draft). Center will be Daniel Kilgore, who played very well before injury last season. Martin is more likely to play guard, where he can focus more on his assignment instead of making all the line checks.

    OLB is a major strength of this team, and the 49ers might have the best OLB depth of all 3-4 teams. Aldon Smith has never been a disappointment on the field, and can change any game in a single play. Ahmad Brooks is a former all-pro who is literally playing for his career with Lynch & Harold nipping at his heels. Then there's Lynch & Harold, who are both exceptionally talented and can take snaps in nickel rushing situations.

    0    0 Reply
    RobS (Anonymous Poster)
    5 month(s) 4 day(s) ago - hide
    Seems to be a lot of contradiction between the draft grades and the new rookie forecast. Were these written by the same person? I can't imagine they were. The draft grades are too low and the forecast is probably too optimistic. There seems to be a lot of bias and insult-slinging clouding the analysis once Walt gets down on a team. Armstead, for instance, should absolutely not be a D when you consider that Tomsula has been turning no-names into quality starters for years. Look at the contracts earned by Sopoaga, Jean-Francois, McDonald, Franklin, all players who were thought to be mediocre at best before Tomsula coached them up. This is the first legit talent they have had on the D-line aside from Justin Smith in forever. While Tomsula may or may not turn out to be a "real head coach", he's still one of the best d-line coaches alive. York and Baalke are certainly incompetent failures who sacrificed another dynasty to boost their egos and maintain control of a situation they obviously are not qualified to handle. None of this, however, is Tomsula's fault. He could end up succeeding in spite of the mismanagement of the roster and hopelessness of the fanbase. The unknown x-factor that will make all the difference is how good Geep Chryst and Steve Logan are at coaching up Kaepernick. Everyone seems to be assuming they will fail, but its not exactly a foregone conclusion.
    3    0 Reply
    WalterSucksCock (Anonymous Poster)
    5 month(s) 2 day(s) ago - hide
    @RobS Yeah the draft grades were written by dip@#$@ Walter and the forecast was written by Charlie.  Hence the inconsistency.  Charlie is somewhat down on the 49ers but not nearly as much as Walt.  I seriously hope 49ers come swinging in 2015 and make Walt look like a @#$@ing idot.
    2    0 Reply
    49ers fan (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 27 day(s) ago - hide

    Davis & Smelter are both better picks than you're giving credit for, so is Tartt.

    Tartt is probably going to play the big nickel, similar to what the Cards did last year with Buchanon, Johnson & Jefferson. In that "in the box" role, he was the 2nd best player in the draft behind Landon Collins.

    Davis is a 2nd round talent like you mentioned, 49ers got him in the 4th. He should be the guy splitting time with Hyde in 2016 and beyond, and could be a starting caliber RB in the NFL.

    Smelter is raw & underdeveloped, but he has out of this world talent. His hands are reliable, he can beat CBs for jump balls, he makes plays after the catch, and he blocks with effort. Expect him to sit out the year, then compete for a starting job next year

    0    0 Reply
    Kiwi_49er (Anonymous Poster)
    7 month(s) 0 day(s) ago - hide

    I agree with the assessments but think many of the grades are still too high, Pinion for instance is an F for me. Not only is the 5th too high for a punter, but he was miles from being the best punter in college football last season - not even top 10. It might be the worst pick in recent history.

    The notion that Baalke is good at drafting is utterly wrong, we've had about 35 picks in the last 3 years and our roster is undeniably much weaker than it was 3 years ago. We've spent 3 premium top 2 round picks on Safeties in the last 3 years and yet still paid good money to bring in Antoine Bethea - great pick up but him and Reid have put in pro bowl seasons so why do we keep using our most important picks on this position? We've spent at least a 4th round pick on a RB every year since Baalke came in (I think?). 2 amazing WR classes and we come away with Bruce Ellington and yet another guy who might never play again. 

    Yet some sort of myth persists that Baalke is good at this...

    3    1 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 425 Posts (132 )
    10 month(s) 17 day(s) ago - hide

    Even if Mike Iupati bolts via free agency, I don't think that guard is a greater need than edge rusher. Brandon Thomas should be ready to step in at LG after his redshirt rookie season, Joe Looney is a serviceable at RG, and Marcus Martin is capable of playing any of the interior positions. Ahmad Brooks is as good as gone, Corey Lemonier has yet to step up, and Aldon Smith is on razor thin ice in San Francisco. There's a very real possibility that one-trick pony Aaron Lynch could be the only viable edge rusher on the roster before long.

    0    0 Reply
    DR Rick Niner fan from 57 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 4 month(s) ago - hide
    Walter you FORGOT major veteran addition of Stevie Johnson.   A big miss, also possibility of Brandon Lloyd who is maybe.  But Johnson is a huge add you ignored
    0    2 Reply
    Alexito 2 Posts (1 )
    1 years 4 month(s) ago - hide

    My only disagreements are in the rankings. The linebacking corps doesn't get 5 stars? Sure Bowman is hurt but Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks (most underrated OLB in history), Lemonier, Skuta, Wilhoite, etc. would still get 5 stars without Bowman. 

    The Running Backs should get 5 as well. Even Gore being old he did not slow down at all last year, I mean, he's always been slow but physically he kept playing tough and now you add Hyde, Lattimore (who is healthier than Walt gives him credit for), Kendall Hunter (who right now is better than Hyde or Lattimore), and LaMichael James? Those are 5 stars man. 

    0    0 Reply
    Mark McGuire (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 5 month(s) ago - hide
    Soo, Walt the Dolt has Borland graded an A yet also as a bust.
    Are these articles even worth reading anymore?
    4    0 Reply
    Alexito 2 Posts (1 )
    1 years 4 month(s) ago - hide
    Obviously you Mark McGuire find them worth reading. 
    0    1 Reply
    Tom (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 5 month(s) ago - hide
    The Orange Bowl was on the other night, watched it just to see Hyde in action. Gotta say, the guy has some real promise as a receiver and as a downhill runner. Even saw a few plays with him as a lead blocker, and he did a great job considering. Made the right read, got on the right guy and sprung his runner each time. Not a lot of "knock-you-on-your-butt" power in his blocking, but with his size, he really just needs to get in the way. Really excited about this guy. Really excited about the whole class, but Hyde could be something special. We could even see some 2 back sets, with 2 HBs, never know who will get the ball with Hyde & Gore playing together
    2    0 Reply
    enjumuneer1 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 5 month(s) ago - hide
    "San Francisco is especially potent in home night games against East Coast teams, thanks to Circadian rhythms. That gave the 49ers a huge advantage over the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs last January." - considering that game was played on a bed of ice in Green Bay, i'm not sure how the niners home field advantage factors in here..
    6    0 Reply
    will (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 5 month(s) ago - hide
    not sure how San Fran's RB situation is a 3 star...You won't find to many better than it around the leauge.
    2    0 Reply
    #17 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 5 month(s) ago - hide
    The wheels could come flying off this defense pretty quick this season.  13-3?  Come on.  Way too many question marks on defense.  And safety?  Evaluating college talent at safety is the biggest crapshoot of any position in football.  I'm holding my breath on Ward.  By the way, I like the Niners, I'm just trying to be realistic.
    1    6 Reply
    Dfresh17 10 Posts (14 )
    1 years 5 month(s) ago - hide
    I think Aaron Lynch could be the steal of the draft, especially in this defense where he won't have to do too much and they can play to his strengths. I think the receiving crew should get 4 stars, and they hands down have the best offensive line in football so that should get 5 stars. The Rb position could end up being a real strength as well. Not a lot of weaknesses. I would say that giving Harbaugh 5 stars is a bit generous. There is only one 5 star coach in the NFL right now and that's Bellichick.
    0    0 Reply
    Tom (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide
    Gotta say the first 4 rounds were stellar, got a guy who should play about 60% of snaps as the nickel CB, day 1 starters in Borland (as long as Bowman is out) and Martin, the best RB in the class, and someone who has the bulk to be effective in pass pro, especially with Rathman coaching him up. Brandon Thomas is a great value, should slide into the LG spot if Iupati walks next year. A steal in Ellington, who should be the #5 if he can beat Lloyd, but has the athleticism to be a Steve Smith type of WR. And Dontae Johnson, who should compete for time outside at CB with Cook & Wright and may play a big role if Cully misses any time with suspension
    5    0 Reply
    Danny (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide

    So basically Jimmie Ward was given a C+ because he "should have gone" in the 40's, but not 30.  Pay no attention to the skill set, team need, or scheme.  Just look at the draft board like a dope, and downgrade because 30 doesn't equal 40.  That's idiotic.  Ward is a great fit for what they do.  Do some freakin' player evaluation of your own, instead of staring at numbers.

    Same goes for Carlos Hyde.  Gore is 31, and likely heading into his last year with the team.  Hunter is in the last year of his deal.  James hasn't worked out.  Lattimore is a great talent, but you can't put all your faith in him given his injury history.  49ers are a run heavy offense, RB was a need, and they filled it with arguably the best RB in the draft at the end of the 2nd.  Great pick.

    9    0 Reply
    Joe C (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide
    I remember when Walter bashed the 49ers for drafting up for Reid when they could have had...........Cyprien, who was basically the worst rookie safety in coverage while Reid had a very good season.   He never learns does he?  Ward by the same token will turn out to be a very good slot corner while Hyde becomes the RB of the future.  
    5    0 Reply
    Geoff (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide

    This is why the 49ers took Reaser and why he didnt get much buzz.

    Scouting report: “Reaser is a no-question draft pick if healthy, but after tearing his ACL last fall, he had a setback from surgery and was sent home from the NFL Combine -- some team will get a bargain” – NFLDraftScout.com.

    He is another red shirt. Not all the 49ers picks can make the team, so this is a way to defer them to next year. 3 of them total along with Thomas and Millard

    5    0 Reply
    Nick49er (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide
    Everybody said the 49ers reached on Eric Reid last year and he's a pro bowler beast. Great pick I have faith in him
    1    0 Reply
    keehner87 3 Posts (9 )
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide

    I don't agree with the grade on Ward. You say some people had him in the 2nd. Well, some people had him as the #3 Safety. Forget where you think he should have gone and look at the selection. He's a 49er type of player

    Versitile? Check. Can play safety or nickel. Also played all special teams at NIU.

    Tackles? Check. Led the team the last two years in tackles. 

    Aggressive? Check. Plays the ball well and isn't afraid to lay the big hit. 

    Ward may not be the sexy pick and whether he is a reach or not is debatable but I give the pick a solid B. His size and frame is what keeps it from going higher. 

    7    0 Reply


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