Changing Players' positions

We saw in this draft that Baalke and Harbaugh are planning for the future rather than present - most of the players taken had lots of "upside" but is still raw. I was thinking since we are looking to build for the future anyway, why not take some of the players (particularly the younger ones) we have now that might be "raw" and switch their positions to something that might fit their skillset better. Personally, I'm writing off the first half of the season as training camp time anyway, whenever that is going to be. Might as well "put players in a position to win" rather than force square pegs into round holes. I thought about this topic after looking over our current roster and looking at a few players and thinking "what if?"

I'd be interested in hearing who you think would fit better in a different position than they currently have. The two I thought of are Taylor Mays at LB and Anthony Dixon to FB.

Current Measurables

Taylor Mays

6'3" - 230 - 23 years old - 4.4s (or 4.2 depending on who you believe)

Anthony Dixon

6'1" - 233 - 23 years old - 4.6s

Case for Mays to LB:


In my opinion and

Mays does not have great coverage / ball skills, route awareness, and takes bad angles to the ball. This could be due to 1. a mentality to hit people as hard as he can first worry about completions second, 2. not having enough experience/training playing the ball in coverage, or 3. is just something he doesn't have that won't improve much even with training. I'm not saying he can't develop ball skills but it would just seem unlikely that he could pick them up quickly or be as proficient at it as others who have had since HS to work on their ball/coverage skills. Coverage/ Ball skills is simply not one of his strengths right now and with the Niner's switch to what I presume will be a blitz-happy defense, we simply can not afford to play a safety that is a liability in coverage. On the other hand, his strengths are he's super fast, super athletic, and hits like a truck. He has pretty good size at 6'3" 230 and could probably put on another 15-20lbs with ease given his frame. Against run plays, he would be brought up to the box anyway. What do you call a linebacker sized safety who gets from one sideline to the other instantly that doesn't have ball skills but likes to tackle?.....A linebacker that's what. If he ever develops a concept of taking proper angles to the ball we might even be able to put him at OLB, have him pin his ears back and put all that speed and athleticism into wrapping up QBs.

Dixon to FB is a bit harder to sell though. Dixon's problem, I personally think, is he is just too hesitant to hit holes and is not very explosive even when he does. As a result of taking too long to get to the second level, the holes collapse, the O-line gets pushed back into him, which ultimately resulted in many plays that ended in 2 yards, a cloud of dust, and me wanting to claw my eyes out. Sometimes the dancing worked to eke out a couple more yards but more often than not it didn't. He might ultimately make it as a RB but I feel he would be more useful to us as a FB given his size, strength, and ability to catch the ball (something they did at Stanford). His college scouting report (DraftGeeks) also said he was a good at blitz pickup. Part of why I want to see this happen is because Norris was too one-dimensional and offered little more than being an average blocker. If we are to diversify our offense, the FB needs to be a threat. What better threat than to have a former RB at FB?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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