Ten New, One Old

The first draft of the Trent Baalke/Jim Harbaugh era is now in the books. National opinion of their collaborative effort was a resounding meh. The folks at 4949 Centennial Blvd., however, seemed positively giddy at what they had wrought.

The 49ers addressed all of their needs in the draft, with the exception of nose tackle. What the team plans to do about that hole in the D-line remains to be seen. The selection of QB Colin Kaepernick in round two was probably the most fan approved choice. As you might notice, Kaepernick is not named Alex Smith. This will stand him in good stead for at least a year, probably even two.

The joy of the anybody-but-Smith fans was quickly dashed at the post-draft press conference when Harbaugh revealed that Smith had been given a play book and was expected back this year as the starting quarterback. While this news guarantees another festive year in the blogorama, it was not an inducement to many fans toward trusting our new head coach’s judgment. The first block of Dump Harbaugh enthusiasts has officially formed. And the clamor for acquiring a big name QB via trade has quietly left the room.

The fate of this draft, like most drafts, hinges on the player selected in round one — pass rush specialist Aldon Here’s-That-Name-Again. According to Harbaugh, quite a few teams, the Patriots among them, were lusting after Aldon until the 49ers swooped in and claimed him. How Harbaugh would know the secret desires of other teams is a subject fraught with peril should it be explored, so we won’t. Today. Tomorrow we might need to fall back on making shit up again, so perhaps we’ll revisit this swami peepola then.

Aldon is expected to be a project at the conversion from college DE to pro OLB. A rather standard expectation in pro football these days. Whilst learning that craft, however, he is also expected to produce double digit sacks in his first season as a third down get after them guy. The last edge rusher to do so in Ninerland was Andre Carter back in 2002 or so. Long time ago.

Running back Kendall Hunter, the team’s first fourth round pick in three years, drew thumbs up from the draftnik experts crowd. While speculating how many touches he could wrest from Frank Gore’s mitts this year, mention of last year’s surprise hit RB, Anthony Dixon, was curiously missing. If this was just a draft day oversight, it means the team has a viable three headed backfield that will probably be actually utilized under Harbaugh. It certainly wasn’t under Mike Singletary, who preferred Brian Westbrook standing near the bench instead of in the huddle.

The selection of two interior O-line guys, Daniel Kilgore and Michael Person, probably spells the end of the line for long time back up Tony Wragge and Barry Sims. Three speed guys (Chris Culliver, Colin Jones, Curtis Holcomb) were added to the secondary, no doubt terminating the non-career of Will James.

All in all, it was nice seeing the football sun shining through the off season clouds. Will the sun come back this week? We shall see.



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25 comments on “Ten New, One Old
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It was nice to see we did not dandle UBL. Insted we put a bullet in his head and dumped into the sea. Now where is Al-Zawahiri? No more chit chat.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    This draft does not get me excited, but it doesn’t make me unhappy. This is one of those drafts where I say let us see how these guys work out in time because it doesn’t seem like we are going to get a big impact in year one from this year’s draft. But if Aldon becomes a dominant pass rusher in 2 two three years it was a great draft. I just hope it is not painful, like rooting for Balmer for 3 years and then nothing.

  3. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Basically the whole group was drafted for potential and upside. So some will probably be busts. A few might end up being pretty good. The interesting thing is the confidence implied by Harbaugh – he obviously thinks if the potential is there, he can bring it into focus. That’s a huge change from the prior regime, where the development of talent was pretty much a lost art.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a draft that will definitely stamp Baalke as a good or bad GM. There’s a real philosophy at work in these picks. It seems the players have ST value first, and long term value if they develop. I suppose it could mean we have a good team with starters in place for the next few years, and it’s down the road that the team is looking at. If we’re good, though, it’s time we won something.

  5. robNo Gravatar says:

    our draft seems to me to be one of those where your GM is sure that he’s picking the best players out there but unfortunately none of the other teams’ GMs seem to rate the coveted players quite as highly ! terry donahue used to have a lot of drafts like that ! the good news is that there appear to be some reports that the almost bullet proof Pats scouting dept was as high on aldon smith as we were ! these guys have a knack for picking players who are slightly under the radar but who turn out to be pretty damm good in the end ! who knows , we may have ended up with the best pass rushing 3-4 OLB in the draft !
    as for copernicus , he was definitely on my QB radar ! i had him just behind gabbert and ponder as good QB choices this year ! who knows , maybe ponder’s injury woes will make this the better pick and put colin copernicus up there with the best couple of QB’s to come out of this draft ! he looks real good to me !
    the rest of our picks , as well as maybe being picked a little ahead of where they had to be , seem like hit or miss types to me ! i have the feeling we picked players based more on their measurables than on their on-field performances , always a big risk ! my big hope is for the DB , a player some people had listed as a safety in this draft ! we really need this pick to pan out for us !
    oh , and don’t forget , we still need to add a big d-lineman to the mix ! i wonder if there are any good free agents out there !

  6. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey guys…i think Grumpys got it right… i believe Harbaugh’s got the coaches in place to teach the young guys…coming from the college ranks …they are more like teachers than we’ve seen previously… and as for being Harbaugh/Baalke’s draft …im sure they would have taken Peterson if he was there…but they obviously got the guys they were targeting…they wanted Aldon Smith…same with Kaep…i hate it when coaches say “thats the guy we wanted all along” when you know their talking out of their asses cause another team got the guy they wanted. and having Alex back is absolutly the right move …Walsh had a guy who was nothing and made him look pretty good while Montana sat…remember Steve DeBerg? its about the coaching guys….

  7. robNo Gravatar says:

    HEHEHE
    ” Whether it was Harbaugh’s supreme confidence in his recruiting ability or something more substantial such as a gentleman’s agreement on his return, Harbaugh spoke as if Alex Smith would be his quarterback in 2011. When asked about a potential training camp battle Colin Kaepernick and Smith, Harbaugh said, “Alex Smith has won games in the NFL. … If I was a betting man, I’m betting on Alex Smith.”

    Then Harbaugh caused a little bit of a stir by admitting he allowed Smith to take home a playbook, even though he’s an un-signed free agent. Conceivably, Smith could copy the playbook and take it with him if he signed with a new team. But Smith isn’t that type of person, and again, Harbaugh has great faith he’ll be a 49er When asked if there was a gentleman’s agreement, Harbaugh didn’t want to get himself in trouble, so he would also say, that he had a strong “intuition” Smith would return.

    this should get the blog hopping !

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    When is a reporter going to ask HarBaalke what we are going to do about the NT position?

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Is it Harbaughlke or HarBaalke? Same difference.

  10. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Probubly gonna resign Franklin..and then get Asomugha!!

  11. robNo Gravatar says:

    one last word on the draft !
    scott mcloughan used to drive me nuts by seeming to ignore our team needs when making his picks ! well imo we are at the point after years of mcnolan where our team needs while few , are so obvious that hardly anybody could miss them ! at least baalke’s picks whether they pan out in the end or not were targeted directly at our remaining team needs ! fast CB , QB and change of pace back were all targeted early ! we added 0-line depth later on ! good for baalke imo !
    now all we need is that NT !

  12. robNo Gravatar says:

    how about baalkebaugh !

  13. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Asamugha’s got ties here in the bay area…lets see how good a recruiter Harb’s is….

  14. robNo Gravatar says:

    how about this for recruiting !
    Barry Cofield, DT, Giants. Age: 27.
    Barry Cofield is a great interior lineman who excels against the run and provides a decent enough pass rush. He’s due for a big contract this offseason.

    Brandon Mebane, DT, Seahawks. Age: 26.
    Brandon Mebane has always been great against the run; this year, he added some pass-rushing skills to his repertoire, allowing him to serve as an every-down player in Seattle’s defense.

  15. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    If we ever get a chance to sign undrafted free agents this year, one guy we might look at is Ian Williams, the NT from Notre Dame. By no means starter material, he could vie for a backup / rotation spot or land on the DS.

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Ian Williams is an interesting prospect. He is only about 300lbs but he is quick as ever. He could be a good 3 technique pass rushing DT or a one gapping NT. Not a starter but he has some usefullness.

  17. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Seeing as how we are pretty thin there at the moment, I could see him getting some reps.

    The 49ers almost HAVE to bring back Aubrayo though – or sign another vet. I’m not sold on Soap starting at the nose. And RJF is also better at end.

  18. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, the funny thing is, NoFear and Spitblood have a lot in common, extreme viewpoint-wise. Just different ends of the spectrum.
     
    And your take on Alex is ludicrous. You think people will care about what they said earlier regarding Smith if he plays well? Really? They have to justtify their positions by hoping the team crashes and burns yet again?
     
    Yay! My team sucks! I’m right!
     
    That’s V logic there.
     
    Deferring to the coaches on this is really all there is. IF Harbaugh can straighten Smith out and stop the game-killing errors, hey, maybe the team plays well enough to reach the playoffs. Maybe not. Great.
     
    Truth be told, if he wins, people would cheer. I was at the Seattle game last year, and it was a prime example of fans being fans. Alex’s 1st pass was off target and incomplete. He was booed mercilessly. His 2nd pass was a screen attempt. However, the play was blocked horribly, and would have resulted in a 5 yard loss had he completed it. He threw it at Westbrook’s feet. He was booed even harder, even though it was the right play (whether he missed it on PURPOSE will never be known, but it looked to me like he didn’t want to complete it for the loss). Next play? Smith hit VD on a 15 yard pass over the middle, and he went 65 yards for a TD. The crowd went nuts. Nary a boo for Alex the rest of the day.
     
    No one was saying, “Boy I hate Alex. I hope he fucks this game up and loses so I can feel better about myself.” They all cheered as he played well that day. The problem? Well, the next game. He cratered vs SD the next week, and was demoted for the Ram game. Good, bad or indifferent, Alex has not put 2 good games together his entore career. Of course, by week 15, Singletary was in full QB roulette mode, so that didn’t help.
     
    Still and all, the fact remains Harbaugh is taking a pretty big risk re-signing Smith. He ain’t the coach killer many make him out to be, but this is yet another coaching staff that has been hired around him. He IS the common denominator of the recent suckitude. The immediate visceral reaction from the fans will be extremely negative.

  19. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Fans are fickle. This is nothing new. Ask John Brodie. Alex Smith’s experience pales before Brodie’s. AFAIK, no one has yet pissed on Alex as he ran off the field.

    If Alex starts throwing TDs, like Brodie did in ’65 after struggling for years, he’ll be everyone’s Golden Boy again. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles: people love a winner, and love to kick those who are down.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unca- Alex has not been the “Coach Killer”, the coaches themselves have been the coach killers. Both know more about football than me but neither could measure up to the strategic abilities of the coaches they went up against.
    .
    Alex completed something like the 1st 11 passes vs the Cards in the final game. Then he threw one away intentionally because the O-lineman was not open on the gadget play. The crowd booed even though he had a perfect QB rating well into the 2nd Q. Face it, in typical fashion, the masses are stupid. Anybody who thinks Nolan and Singletary did not get themselves fired is not being realistic. But then, we aren’t called “Even Keels”, no, we’re called “Fanatics”.
    .
    BTW, Alex did throw that screen pass away on purpose, he said so after the game. He said he knew it was going to go for a loss and intentionally did not complete it. So yes, we do know.
    .
    I stand by my opinion of the Alex haters. NoFear called it a “tornado of bullshit”. That was a good line even though I see it as mislabelled. I don’t want to take your opinion away, I just disagree.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unca- About NoFear and Spitty. NoFear is not a psychopath, Spitty is. He once wrote on the Gate that he could kill an animal and watch him suffer while he dies. That is a psychopath. I disagree with NoFear much of the time, I even call him out sometimes and he just takes it in stride, albeit while usually swiping back, but that is fair. I’ll blog with that guy all day. And you know we have gone at it hard at times. But at the end of the day he is rational. Big time biased, but rational. It is impossible to say that about Spitty. He threatens people and is incredibly crude. They are not the same on the opposite end of the spectrum. Opposite end of the spectrum, yes, the same, no.

  22. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy good call on Ian Williams, I had him in my Mock as well.
     
    Rob I’m in for Cofield or Mebane as well, I’m also hoping for UFA activity at NT to include Anthony Gray.

  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s a little tidbit I didn’t find in all of my Pre Draft studies either –
     
    Jets third-round pick NT Kenrick Ellis is awaiting trial on a felony assault charge.

    Ellis will stand trial on July 12 after he “allegedly broke the jaw and nose of a man last April in an altercation on the Hampton (Va.) University campus.” If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. Ellis was also dismissed by the University of South Carolina after his freshman season due to “multiple” failed drug tests, necessitating his transfer. Defending the pick, GM Mike Tannenbaum said he performed a “rigorous” background check on Ellis, and that “based on all the information we have, we’re comfortable.” The Jets must be pretty confident he’s got a good case.
     
    All in all, this is why we get influenced by media info and Teams pay Scouting Depts to get the proper information on potential Draftees.

  24. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    So who will we get to purlieu in the middle of the D-line for our 49ers.
    .
    NJ- I read that about Ellis on draft day. Sounds like the right guy for the middle of the D-line.

  25. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2017 Schedule
Sept. 10: vs Carolina: L 3-23
Sept. 17: at Seattle: 9-12
Sept. 21: vs. L.A. Rams: L 39-41
Oct. 1: at Arizona: L 15-18
Oct. 8: at Indianapolis: L 23-26
Oct. 15: at Washington: L 24-26
Oct. 22: vs. Dallas, 1:05 p.m.
Oct. 29: at Philadelphia, 10 a.m.
Nov. 5: vs. Arizona, 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 12: vs. N.Y. Giants, 1:25 p.m.
Week 11 — Bye
Nov. 26: vs. Seattle, 1:05 p.m.
Dec. 3: at Chicago, 10 a.m.
Dec. 10: at Houston, 10 a.m.
Dec. 17: vs. Tennessee, 1:25 p.m.
Dec. 24: vs. Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m.
Dec. 31: at L.A. Rams, 1:25 p.m.
 
2017 Draft Class
1. DE Solomon Thomas
1. ILB Reuben Foster
3. CB Ahkello Witherspoon
3. QB C.J. Beathard
4. RB Joe Williams
5. TE George Kittle
5. WR Trent Taylor
6. DT D.J. Jones
6. LB Pita Taumoepenu
7. CB Adrian Colbert
 
2017 Prognostications
Bullit: 5-11
Chuck: 9-7
Grumpy: 4-12
Mr Fletch: 5-11
NJ49er: 6-10
Rob: 9-7
RTFirefly: 5-11
Skeebers: 6-10
Winder: 4-12

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