Upside Down Future

The 49ers have been gathering players from the top of the Draft for seven of the past eight years. Those plumb pickings will not be seen again for many, many years. I’d like to say they’ll never be seen again, but sometime in the future hard times will surely come again. If applied solely to my lifetime, though, “never” is a viable possibility. You fellows who grunt and sweat under a weary load after I’ve gone to play base harp in the clouds will have to deal with a longer never lifeline.

Beginning in 2012, the 49ers will be hunkered down there in the basement of the first round, picking through the leftovers along with the Packers, Saints, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens — the elite teams, somewhere around five hours after the first team goes on the clock and takes Andrew Luck. Every year some fluke team gets stuck in this best of what’s left section, like last year’s Seahawks and the 2009 Cardinals before them. But the Niners will belong in this section and they will be here for the next ten years or more.

The one year out of the eight above mentioned years that the Niners weren’t picking at the top of the draft, 2008, was the year they drafted Kentwan Balmer in the 29th slot. Not Scott McCloughan’s finest hour. Balmer did nothing for three teams in three years and is now doing nothing at his mom’s house. Guys at the bottom of the first round are really second round talents and second round talents are often first round talents with a major caveat next to their resumes. Upsides (i.e., not ready for prime time), head cases, injury concerns, drug rumors. Or they are just, you know, second round talent. Good, but not great, players.

Picking at the bottom of each round is going to be a challenge for GM Trent Baalke. Effectively, the great teams do not have first round picks. They don’t get to select Can’t Miss players. The only way back into the top of the draft is to trade your way up there. Like Bill Walsh did to get Jerry Rice.

For the Blogopolis, this means lusting over the premier players will no longer be a sinful enterprise. While this may be good for our eternal ledgers, it will be a tough rehab effort in the present. Drooling over the super talents will have to give way to lukewarm zeal for the second bananas.

And the penalty for success is applied in each and every round, always picking the worst of that round’s talent, or the best of the following round’s — depending on your point of view or Kool-aid preference.

Baalke’s brief track record with later round picks is very encouraging, given this new draft day scenario. Navorro Bowman and Chris Culliver in the third, Kendall Hunter in the fourth, Anthony Dixon, Nate Byham, and Kyle Williams in the sixth, and Bruce Miller in the seventh. All of these guys are keepers. The jury’s still out on fifth round guard/center Daniel Kilgore, but he looked promising in the preseason before going on the game day inactive list for the entire regular season.

Still, Less Exciting First Round Drafts = More Exciting Real Season Sundays. That’s an equation we can all embrace.

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32 comments on “Upside Down Future
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    We still have some boscage to get through to get our 1st round bye. The leaves are off but the trees remain.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You took the words right out of Winder’s mouth.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    What is going on here. The Cowboys lose and Del stops posting? I think he might be worried about Tony Romo’s psyche. Alex beat the Cardinals and Romo lost to them. Worse yet, Romo caused the loss with another late game blunder that he is famous for.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Last I heard, Winder was on fire!

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    He’s a man of few flames.

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Romo’s becoming a league joke. Maybe that’s why he appeals to Del.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Can’t wait for NFL Films to put together a lowlight reel of Romo’s greatest blunders.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It would need to be a new 30 in 30 by ESPN. It would take 30 episodes to show all of his blunders. I’ve never seen a QB with so much talent on the roster and not win much.

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Elite stats. Delete results.

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Heard Archie peddling his son yesterday? Would you take a chance on 5 years of Peyton Manning in the twilight of his career for the 2012 #1, Navarro Bowman and a 2013 #2? ( realistic speculation on my part what it would take in a trade). Know that his salary would be $15m plus per year.
    Something to kick around and chat about.

  11. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    In a word, No. Way too much for a guy who may not see the football field again.

  12. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Braylon Edwards returns to practice today. Should see him back in action Sunday.

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Never mind. Archie did a 180 today and said that Luck and Manning could co-exist. The whole point yesterday was Archie thought Luck was NFL ready and wouldn’t ride the bench until Peyton decided to retire after 5 years.
    Chuck, if we were offered this deal a year ago you would’ve jumped out of your seat to make it happen.

  14. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Pre neck injury? Sure.
    That being said, you have to wonder how Luck and Manning co-exist. I give Manning maybe 2 years before he’s done. 3 at the most. That would work well for Indy. However, it very well could work out like Montana/Young or Favre/Rodgers where the issue gets forced by one or the other (or both) if Manning pulls a Favre and doesn’t want to go. In that case, the younger guy always gets the nod to stay.

  15. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not convinced Manning will play again, at all. And if he does, I’m not sure he can play at anything like the previous level.

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I wouldn’t give anyone a 28 million dollar bonus to play next year. Especially somebody with the neck injury he has. Period, end of story.

  17. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    So, if you are Indy, what do you do? I mean, getting Luck is a given regardless of Manning’s status. Indy will either pay Manning a ton to stay, or bail and start over with Luck and a vet QB to be named later.

  18. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I just read an article from ESPN that speculates if Indy did trade the #1 pick that it might be with the Browns. The Browns would give up their #1 pick this year (top 7)
    as well as ATL’s #1 this year for Julio Jones and their #2 and #3.
    That’s what is speculated it would take to pry that pick from the Colts.

  19. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Glad we don’t have a QB problem. We’re locked in for the next 8-10 years!

  20. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Doubt it happens, Bullitt. Indy’d be nuts to pass on Luck.

  21. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs you’re correct regarding Baalke and his eye for the Mid to Late Rd guys.
    Part of building is all about evaluating your needs and finding the guys to fill them. I’ve long contended that the Steelers did the best job of getting those guys. Lunch Pail/Blue Collar guys in Rds 3-5 typically separate themselves from the 1st Rd Prima Donnas over the long haul.
    What Baalke is doing now is bringing in those 1st Rd guys for their 2nd Contracts as FAs.
    Pretty shrewd and actually good for our future. Braylon and Carlos for example, are auditioning for a payday next year and, Josh is likely gonna get paid as well.
    Keep DeSean away and pay the guys that want to play to win.
    I’d venture to say Kyle is Baalkes’ answer to DeSean too.

  22. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    What I’m trying to do now is determine if guys like TE Coby Fleener might be more valuable than another WR or Defensive selection.
    All I can say for now is, thank God we’re in the Playoffs again.
    Pretty amazing feat in a year with so much uncertainty and Staff turnover.

  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    In HarBaalke we Trust.

  24. robNo Gravatar says:

    our defense hasn’t allowed a rushing TD all year ! the record all time is 4 !

  25. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like David Baas will miss the rest of the season with migraine-like headaches. Giants should have read a few Bay Area blogs about Baas before they threw all that money at him.

  26. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Is there any part of Baas’ body that hasn’t failed him? Next year, he will become the first NFL player in history to go on IR with a detached scrotum.

  27. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    It hasn’t slowed you down, Skeebs . . .

  28. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    The Niners had better be bloody careful this weekend. If there is a team in the NFL with a similar style to the Niners, it is the Ravens.

    The Cards had the Ravens stone cold dead, only to cough it up at the end.

    The way the Niners are playing, it should not be an issue, but this game screams, “Trap!”

    Can’t let up on home field now.

  29. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    After all the fighting and fines (and the Goldson ejection) during the last game, I don’t think anyone is overlooking this game, RTF . . .
    AZ’s last loss was to us, and in their house it’s whole different thing. It’a another case of getting on their asses early and shutting them down. Fitzgerald has notoriosly not done very well vs the Niners and I foresee much of the same.

  30. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck, I honestly wrote that in a futile effort to take my mind off of the Frozen Tundra.

    27-13 Niners

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Is Candlestick turning into Boone’s Farm? Alex Boone just signed an extension through 2014. NJ will like that news!

  32. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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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