Trial Balloon Float

Only 4,823 more mock drafts until the real Draft takes place! Curiously, every year at this time, players rise up and fall down the mock draft boards even though none of them are playing any games right now. How can a player’s value increase or decrease when nothing has changed? It’s an annual mystery.

Perhaps we should call this the Trial Balloon Float. All across the country various wannabe GMs throw up a mock draft, then compare their horseshit to all the other horseshitters, and adjust their first efforts accordingly. By the time the Draft rolls around, the horseshit brigade has settled into a consensus that will turn out to be horseshit about three picks into the Draft.

Not to spoil the fun, but with the second pick in the Draft, the 49ers will take either a QB or a pass rusher. If they take anyone else, then this year is a bad time to have the second pick. They’ll get a good player, but the two most important positions on the team will still be devoid of talent.

The media is working overtime trying to find poor Colin Kaepernick a job. Of course, the harder they work shilling for him, the more they make the case that the media will indeed make Kap a distraction for any team he is on. Jay Cutler doesn’t have a job yet, either, but the media isn’t whining about that at all.

More than that, why would an owner want to hire a guy who’s liable to put up a pulpit on company time? The NFL is, after all, a business. It’s one thing to fire a guy for these actions, but quite another to voluntarily hire him.

The amount of wheeling and dealing John Lynch did in Free Agency makes one think he and Kyle Shanahan plan on going all out this year to field a contender. Or, maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors to pacify an angry fan base while they tank the coming season and shoot for respectability in 2018, with yet another high draft slot next April and either a better QB class to pick from or signing Kirk Cousins in the 2018 FA period.

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59 comments on “Trial Balloon Float
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Carolina might want the Niners pick at 2.

    A similar trade between the EGOs and the Brown happened last year. Cleveland gave Philly the second pick and their 4th round pick. In return they received the Egos pick at #8 as well as their third and fourth round picks in that draft as well as the first and second round picks in the following year’s draft. That is quite a haul and they still might be able to draft Foster or Hooker at 8 or think receiver.

    I’d do that trade in a minute because of the return. Hope this or something similar comes to pass.

  2. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I would do that trade also. I kinda hope that Tenn would trade with us but I haven’t heard a thing about that. But, it’s like Skeebs said in his post. “It’s an annual mystery.” And, even though we have a new regime in place it’s still up-in-the-air whether they can spot talent or not.

  3. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    We have lots of cap going forward. Surprised as he’ll we did not do more to improve the OL.

    Very deep draft and weak at QB. Chances of big bounty trades seem nil. Maybe we can do small trade downs from #2 and get some extra day 2 and early day 3 picks. Like to see WR1 taken with a top 10 pick, Corey Davis especially.

    Arik Armstead and maybe Joshua Garnett if not deemed ZBS capable, could move up day 2 picks.

    Kirk Cousins and Hoyer are something I can accept. Jed money, no draft picks expended.

    CLE is big winner this offseason. We seriously upgraded our O coaching. That is our offseason story. We need to outperform in this draft on all picks 1st to 5th round.

    If Garcon and Hoyer lose much time with injuries, we stay in the shitter.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “49ers are $71,551,752 under salary cap, according to NFLPA figures. They have the most cap space in NFL by $25 million.”

  5. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe Cousins is gonna happen.

  6. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I think Cousins will happen – in 2018.

    This year, fix the O-line and the defense.

  7. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    It looks that way. Relative to others, we are still hoarding cap. Outside of overpaying Garcon (for good reason) the other FA’s are low budget. Stayed away from a bidding war for the ZBS capable OG Zeitler and the Ravens RT showed to me that we will accept a slow build from the draft in 2017 AND 2018.

    And our two new QB’s better be quick thinker’s and absorb all that KS provides in reading D and become like Brady and Peyton Manning in getting the ball out fast.

  8. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, probably makes more sense that way. I did figure we would have done a little more in FA about the oline. Maybe there is still more to come. We will see what the priority will be come draft time. We did pick up quite a few offensive pieces in FA and that probably does mean we go defense at least with the 1st pick. i still hope we take one of the DB’s before we go after the DE.

  9. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll be happy with any difference-maker on defense. And even happier if we can trade back 5-ish spots or so and pick up more bodies.

    But still, short of someone serving all the Yorks Putin Polonium Cocktails, I can’t be optimistic long term. This family has a rare gift for snatching defeat and humiliation from the jaws of victory. As long as Jed lives, I fear we are just building sand castles and waiting for the next high tide.

  10. winderNo Gravatar says:

    The way I look at Jed is the way I feel about all people. And that is one can’t change who they are, all they can do is change what they do. My hope is we get a 20+ year run of Jed in the background and not in the spotlight. Because you know eventually he will be there.

  11. AlanNo Gravatar says:

    I also think that Lynch/Shanahan should trade the 2nd overall pick to gain additional picks this year and/or next year. The damage that York/Baalke has done will take years to fix. There seems to be some really good LB’s and WR’s in this year’s draft so we should go after Reuben Foster or Haason Riddick then add the best available WR in the early rounds. The keep adding to the LB core as that was our weak link last year after NoVarro went out…
    With respect to Jed, I wrote a letter to him last fall on the State of the Niners. If you want to read it, please visit my site:

  12. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “The 49ers have agreed to terms with former Saints RB Tim Hightower.”

  13. winderNo Gravatar says:

    That’s rummaging through the scrapheap.

  14. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    He knows Shanahan’s system. Had a decent year last year in N.O.

  15. winderNo Gravatar says:

    He also had a good year in AZ in his rookie year. But, he’s had an injury prone career for the most part. I am not one who thinks our running game is anywhere near good so he’s liable to win a spot especially if he knows the system. I don’t like Hyde. He got most of his yards when the games were out of hand and opposing D’s went into prevent. I would really like to see us grab one of the top 3 RB’s.

  16. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Hyde needs to prove his durability during this upcoming season and shake his proclivity for injuries.
    Wishful thinking that McCaffery is there when the Niners pick in second round.

    Someone like D’onte Foreman of Texas will be there in 4th round.
    6’1″ 235 lbs and ran a 4.41 at his pro day. He had over 2,000 yards as a junior. He’s not very polished and is probably another year away from being a decent NFL back as the knock on him is pass protection.

  17. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Baalke turns out had a hard time drafting for offense.
    His record of drafting RBs is almost as abysmal as his scorecard for QBs and WRs.
    Of the 5 RBs he drafted only Hyde remains in the NFL.
    Lamichael James, Marcus Lattimore, mike Davis and Kelvin Taylor are all out of football.

    I’ll give him a pass on Lattimore as he was a high risk pick and I was rooting for him.

    Baalke brought in Jarryd Hayne and he showed flashes but was never really given a chance and went back to rugby.

    Bottom line is letting Gore go was a huge mistake as Frank has had 2 productive years with the Colts and remains a starter for Indy. Gore wanted to stay but Baalke in his widom thought Gore was done and didn’t want to pay him.

    Letting productive players like Gore and Crabtree walk get’s you a $90 mil plus cap to spend and a shit roster especially on offense.

  18. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    If Ryan Switzer WR is there when they pick in 5th round, the Niners should scoop him up.
    Prototype slot receiver and punt return guy. Poor man’s McCaffery.

  19. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I had Switzer on my early work list too Bullit.
    Replaced him with RB Donnel Pumphrey from SDSU.
    Kid is about the same size and, he showed good versatility IMO.
    Beside his 6000+ yds as a RB, he managed to add 100 Recs for over a 1000yds.
    Have both Pumphrey and TJ Logan as potential PR/KR options.
    See what comes….

  20. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah bullit, I doubt we go the RB route early in the draft. Though it is clearly a position of need. We have plenty of holes elsewhere. This is the year we lay a foundation so I guess we have to get good players where ever we can. I still get so angry when I think about Baalky that I just don’t do it anymore. Totally looking forward to this off-season and really interested to see how we rebuild this mess.

  21. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Very good article. Bookmarked and will give more insight on how we draft.

  22. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    New coaching staff needs to know the players and work with them for position fits. Patience. Pay off could be a top 5 pick next year.

    Who are we competing with. JAX was a fluke. CLE is a lot better after this draft and FA. CHI, NYJ, LA Chargers, LA Rams are the ones we hang with this season.

  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s a guy I want for the OL-
    OT in College – Ran very well at the Combine too.

    Aviante Collins OT TCU 6’4″/295 (OG/Center?)

    Saw a report that they worked out OG Nico Siragusa from SDSU.
    He moves like he’s carrying a piano.
    Give me Aviante. Hands down.

  24. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    These are a few others I’d like to convert –

    Jonnu Smith TE FL International 6’3″/245 (FB?)
    Jimmie Gilbert OLB Colorado 6’5″/230 (DE?)
    Keith Kelsey OLB Louisville 6’0″/233 (ILB?)(311 TKLs/10PBUs)

  25. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Forgot the stats on Jonnu – (4.62/40) (178Recs/2001YDs)(22Reps/38Vert)
    Gilbert had 20 Sacks in College. I’d assume he’s comfortable rushing the QB.
    Gotta put some meat on his bones though.
    Won’t get it done at 230LBs.
    Tall enough to add it IMO.

  26. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “49ers CB Tramaine Brock has been arrested following a domestic incident.”

  27. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “The 49ers have released CB Tramaine Brock.”

  28. WinderNo Gravatar says:

    Well, at least the players will understand the consequences. Glad to see the team do that so quickly. The team has been dogged down by A-hole players for too long.

  29. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    We have dummies like Ray Mac and Aldon who thought they could break the law and be coddled by the team.

    Some of these guys are giant lame brains because they do stupid things and piss away their careers.

  30. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Love it. The potential of draft capital is number one for me.

    Best thing for this team is to draft D with all early picks. Hoyer and/or Garcon gets IR’D early in the season. Even with this coaching staff we get a top 5 pick.

    We need to Suck bad for another year. CLE has better roster talent than us and the draft still 3 weeks away.

  31. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    This guy makes my Risk/Reward List this year –

    Garett Bolles OT Utah 6’5″/297 (OG?) (4.95/40)
    (1.71 Split/7.29 3-Cone) (34″ Arms)

    Seems he’s seen as a good fit for the ZBS. Pretty nimble by the numbers. Tough road and he’s older due to missed time related to a troubled past.

  32. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    CB is now another hole to fill. I do not think FO wants to spend big on an FA here. An outside starter CB must be addressed. If Ward stays then Malik Hooked just moved to the top of our draft board.

    To me this is great news, meaning no day 1 or day 2 picks going to QB.

  33. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s my answer Bakkentom – Might steal him in RD2?
    Has played all 3 DB positions – CB/FS/SS –
    Good size/speed and measurables.
    Use Pick 1 on WR Corey Davis perhaps?

    Josh Jones FS/SS NC State 6’1″/220 (4.41/40)(228TKLs/17PBUs/8INTs/37.5Vert/20 Reps)

  34. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I was originally thinking Jon Allen/Hooker/Adams as well.
    Should be an interested 10mins on the clock at Pick 2 unless, of course, Cleveland passes on Myles Garrett.
    I’d run the card to the Commish in a heartbeat for Garrett 😀

  35. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting 10mins – Duh.

  36. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Upon his 49er arrival, Tim Hightower was given Frank Gore’s number 21. The all-time leading rusher in the history of the 49er organization….
    Hightower rightly went to his twitter account to say “It’s going back….” meaning Gore’s number should be retired and he wasn’t accepting it. But this kind of mistake is indicative of how poorly, under Jed York, the 49ers are run. You can change the characters and hopefully you half-wits are placated by Lynch and Shanahan. The end result, however, will be the same.

  37. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah NJ. Jonathan Allen getting badmouthed on Cohn’s blog. How much difference between Malik Hooker and Josh Jones.

    The Bears had the most injured days off last season. Without, are they really that bad. CLE may worry about Trubiskey being lost and they will give us a great trade down package for #2. Do the Bears want to settle on a Glennon as a franchise QB.

  38. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    This is a comment from MosesZD on Cohn’s blog.

    You know Kizer has demonstrated virtually every problem Kaepernick has, right?

    WEAKNESSES Gets stuck on primary read missing out on early openers around field. May not have eyes or compact release to spot and hit flashing targets. Can be too reliant upon arm strength over mechanics. Wants open throwing window rather than operating with early anticipation. Can improve in leading receivers and throwing stationary targets open. Too hesitant. Gets caught in pump fake vortex at times. Quick to drop his eyes and halt progressions when pocket warms up. Inconsistent decision-maker. Showed dreadful lapses in judgement that lead to interceptions. Too willing to make off-balanced heaves. Benched against Stanford. Had at least one interception in 15 of his 23 starts. Will take a sack despite having ample time to read and throw.

    Honestly, there are only two QBs in the draft that I like — Trubisky and Mahomes — and the rest can pound sand for all I care. And with Mahomes, you can expect two years on the bench learning how to drop back from center before he starts

  39. robNo Gravatar says:

    ok so which draft prospects haven’t we taken a look at so far. lol
    hey BERGER any thoughts ?

  40. robNo Gravatar says:

    Kirk cousins as a free agent wouldn’t be a bad idea. we have the bucks and could still trade with Cleveland and lnd our top needs of CB and passruher

  41. robNo Gravatar says:

    land a WR and pass rusher

  42. robNo Gravatar says:

    ummm ward to FS and Reid to SS is a good idea but after losing Brock we might be well advised to hold off .

  43. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    From this NN post is good stuff from bleacherreport.

    Here you go

    Notice the big difference in linebacker responsibilities. In the cover-1 the Mike is pretty much responsible for anything happening under the FS in the middle of the field whereas, in the cover-3, the linebackers, SS, and nickel drop back into a zone. I have a feeling Selah is talking about that zone responsibility when he talks about his version of a single deep safety. Maybe he is going to have someone take middle of field coverage underneath the FS and use more man to man coverage with the other LBs and SS. Basically they would be funneling the receivers to the center of the field and maintain outside containment just like the CBs. It seems like an efficient way to go.

    Bad teams fill rosters. Good organizations build teams.
    Alex Torgersen is our future.

    by Joe the Wizard on Apr 11, 2017 | 9:48

  44. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    With Brock gone, the top 3 picks may very well be D.

    I have read that Ward is too small at 193 lbs to be a FS. So a Malik Hooker or Josh Jones is more of what we need, keeping Ward with Rashard Robinson as the outside corners. Both CB’s have run support to do as well, no doubt a drain on their health. Especially the scrawny RR.

    The closing paragraphs of the cover 1 article:

    That’s why the Seahawks can consistently limit offenses playing single-high safety defenses (Cover 1, Cover 3) with Earl Thomas in the deep middle of the field, and it’s the same reason the Saints paid Jairus Byrd $28 million guaranteed this offseason.

    Having talent at the free safety position allows the corners and underneath defenders to play aggressively in their techniques with protection over the top.

    And when you combine the ability of the deep middle of the field defender with solid technique/fundamentals underneath, there is nothing better than challenging receivers and locking down an offense in Cover 1.

  45. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Richard Sherman was a 5th RD pick. Considering the injury history of Ward and the 6’1″ 173 lb frame of RR we will be looking for a bigger press corner for sure.

    CB and FS can be huge against the salary cap. Good strategy to draft for secondary and have most on their 1st contract. Also CB’s more prone to injury as RB, TE, and WR’s get bigger.

    FS, CB, and LB are the picks of the first two days?

  46. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    A lot of blog and media chatter before the draft.

    Bottom line the usual top ten picks included LT’s and Qb’s are awol this year. Myles Garrett gone at #1. Abundance of D, RB, and non-Rd 1 WR suggests little reason to move up/down.

    Hoarding Rd 1 – 5 picks is the obvious play. CLE wins big this draft. Keep them all and build a new D around Danny Shelton.

  47. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    CLE gets the last laugh. Keep Shelton, Collins, Nassib, Ogbah, and the rest top rookies on their first contract. Showcase Osweiler in 2017 and trade or release.

  48. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Who has it better than us? CLE.

    Harbaugh gets to laugh at us for another year.

  49. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    What’s needed to make a comparison to the Seattle Secondary is a rangy FS like Thomas.
    He’s not a big guy either – 5’10″/200-ish
    Ward could likely handle it if necessary but, I’d prefer a guy like Josh Jones who has the versatility to move around.
    Tartt over Reid at SS for me as well.
    I’d look to replace Reid. This year’s S Group has plenty of viable options at both FS/SS.

    Only guy I’m banging the table for is Corey Davis, who will likely command a top 15 Pick.
    Slide down from 2 if Garrett goes as expected to Cleveland at 1.
    TN holds the exact value for our 2nd Pick by giving up 5&18.
    Davis at 5, next BPA at 18 would be a slam dunk for me.

  50. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    I believe Earl Thomas is 207 lbs. Whether 5’9″ or 5’10” he can handle physicality mismatches better than Ward, who has had foot issues.

    IMO no incentive for any team to decrease picks in Rd 1-5. No deal with TENN. We are probably stuck at #2. Hope I am wrong.

  51. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    The trick to the Seattle Secondary is guys that cover a lot of ground.
    We’ll be going to a single high S as well.
    More emphasis on the front 4 now I think, as we’re coming off years of 3-4 personnel.
    Ward has the ability to cover the slot and, he tackles very well.
    Endurance/injuries are a concern when the ‘wheels’ are involved.
    Plenty of changes needed, extra Picks wouldn’t hurt, especially if we can entice someone in the Top 10-15 to come up.
    As stated, TN holds the magic numbers to do the deal right now, if they’re willing to make the move.

  52. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I could live with Jon Allen/Solomon Thomas at 2 if we stick and, perhaps, seek a guy like Josh Jones in RD2.
    This kid was very impressive at the Combine and could be had (maybe?) in RD3-4.

    Tanoh Kpassagnon DE Villanova 6’7″/289 (4.83/40)
    (1.69 Split/23 Reps/35-5/8″ Arms) (22 Sacks)

  53. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Given some of the options at RB this year, making Carlos Hyde available to sweeten a deal might also be an option?
    I’m assuming we keep him as the feature back but, adding a guy like Dalvin Cook, maybe D’Onta Foreman wouldn’t a terrible option either.
    hard to predict what Shanny has in mind at this point.
    Should be an interesting process to watch nonetheless.

  54. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’m very impressed with this guy too –

    Donnel Pumphrey RB SDSU 5’8″/176 (4.48/40)(PR/KR-Slot?)
    (1,059 ATT/6,405 YDS/62 TDS) (100 REC/1,041 YDS)

    Little guy but, he played 54 games and produced 6400+ YDs.
    Find a way to get him and make him a weapon somehow.
    I’d like him as our version of Tavon Austin.

  55. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Excuse me for being down on this team.

    There is a reason both Lynch and Shanahan were given 6 year deals. The roster sucks. Will take 2 years with no missing on picks that count, Rd 1 to 4.

    Big reason on shift to 4-3 base. Both Buckner and Armstead cannot handle 2 gapping, ever. Too tall and light. Interior OL can out muscle them.

    Anyone hear about what the smug, arrogant Baalke is doing. He drove this roster into the ground. What NFL team would hire him. Suits are a dime a dozen.

  56. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    From a NN fanpost:

    Pete didn’t steal the 4-3 Under philosophy.
    In fact he brought it to San Francisco.

    Seifert was a brilliant Defensive Coordinator. He was doing innovative things with his fronts and schemes back in 80’s. His defense was primarily a 3-4 scheme but by the early 90’s he had moved to more of a 4-3 type of scheme.

    The 4-3 Under is widely credited to Monte Kiffin (while he wasn’t the originator of the scheme, he was the one that brought it to the NFL). Kiffin worked with a young graduate assistant named Pete Carroll in 1977 at the University of Arkansas. In the late 80’s both Kiffin and Carrol were positions coaches (linebackers and defensive backs) for the Vikings under defensive coordinator Floyd Peters. There they worked on making the Under scheme work in the NFL with players like Chris Doleman. Keith Millard, Henry Thomas and later Roy Barker (some of these players that would play for the Niners later in the 90’s).

    (when Carroll) is asked often about the roots of his philosophy. And nearly every time, his response mentions Kiffin and the one year in Fayetteville, Arkansas. “I owe him everything,” said Carroll, now the oldest head coach in the NFL at 65. “He taught me everything I know about defense.” Pete Carroll’s defensive principles stem from 1977 Arkansas experience
    “Monte Kiffin back in the day at Arkansas was the first time I was introduced to how we play defense,” Carroll said last summer. “We’re an offshoot of what we did then, if you can imagine that, we’ve been with the same principles that underlie everything that we’re doing.” Pete Carroll’s Coaching Tree Continues To Grow In NFL
    Seifert’s contribution to the scheme was the inclusion of 2 gapping defensive linemen as well as the flexed pass rushing End. But Caroll got the Under scheme from Kiffin.

    “I was with it once! And then they changed what it was! And now what I’m with isn’t it and what’s it seems weird and scary to me! And it’ll happen to you!”

    by allforfunnplay on Apr 13, 2017 | 8:35 AM

  57. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Best news of the offseason: “During first week of 49ers offseason program, all three numbers worn by QBs last season (2, 7, 15) were reassigned.”

  58. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17