The combine has started and we'll soon see which freaks of nature will climb up half a round and which sluggish Shrek-like oaf of a receiver will fall down the ladder. In case you can't tell, there's a hint of sarcasm involved. I'm not the biggest fan of the combine. But I, admittedly, am not the most avid follower of College Football. I understand why some get excited, but I'll pass.
My biggest reason for not being excited about the combine is also my biggest reason for being excited about the draft. We've got a ton of picks. What that means is we're going to be flipping them left and right. I doubt we'll have room for all 14 of our picks. We currently have 11 and are expecting three compensatory picks. Remember how the Patriots would swap picks around. They were so good at it in the heyday of their 'dynasty'. Can we begin stockpiling picks for next year? Sure. One thing is certain, we're not going to have the same draft slots when we are picking as we do now. Basically, we have no clue who will be around at 31 or if we'll have 31 when it's time comes.
Speaking of the Patriots and pick flipping, does anyone remember this trade? 2007. The Patriots have the 28th pick, which the 49ers want. We offer next year's first rounder and a fourth round pick for it. At the time I cringed to no end. Did we think we'd make the playoffs, let alone the final eight the following season? Was the 2008 draft expected to be that weak that a mid-first rounder would be worse than the 28th pick in 2007?
If you're not following me, we picked Joe Staley, who's turned into one of the best left tackles in the league. Kansas City will presumably spend the first overall pick this year on Luke Joeckel to shore up that position and if he plays as well as Staley, they'll be content. We can't be disappointed with how the 28th pick turned out for us. But do you remember how the trade turned out for the Pats? Our pick ended up being the 7th (that hurt so much at the time). They traded it for more picks, ended up with the 10th and picked Jerod Mayo, a Pro Bowler. The fourth round pick? Traded to the Raiders for Randy Moss. Moss? Well, you know... Funny. Not "HaHa" Nelson the Bully funny. More like, 'park on a driveway and drive on a parkway' funny.
Draft Predicting: The Ultimate in Crystal Ballogy
Dylan gives us a 5-round mock of the 49ers' draft. Any draft that has us taking a flyer with a later pick on Tyrann Mathieu and picking a kicker at any point is alright by me. | Ideal 5-round mock for 49ers (DeSimone)
Fooch takes a look at what the various mock drafts around the web have us doing with our first pick. In the playoffs, the two most obvious flaws were defensive line and secondary. And, as I've said before, when a team is picking that late and your doing a mock, you just plug in the best player available at the most glaring position. | Mock draft 2013: Defensive line, secondary looking like the positions of choice for now (Fooch)
Trevor and Nick, our two draft experts, each give their version of a mock first round. One of them has a quarterback going No.1. A shock, I know. Without some logic to back it up, I'd say they were crazy. But then, teams are crazy when it comes to quarterbacks. Carson Palmer? Kevin Kolb? Mark Sanchez!!! | Niners Nation mock draft 1.0 (Woods)
Nick breaks down the most important part of the combine, the part that goes on behind closed doors. The interview process is one of the most secretive in the league. It's likened to speed dating, which is a terrifying thought for any sane person. | Why you'll never see the most important part of the combine (Chiamardas)
Free Agents: Decisions, Decisions
You look at all the teams that might have an interest in Alex Smith and one that makes as much sense as any is Arizona. One problem, their in our division. Conventional wisdom says don't make that trade. Our FO doesn't believe in conventional wisdom. | How would you feel about Alex Smith going to the Arizona Cardinals? (Brady)
Who is this week's belle of the ball whom every team's fan base is debating whether, and how, they'll get their hands on him? Charles Woodson, recently cut by Green Bay in a cap move, has his name floating around 30 cities (New York twice), including ours. | Could 49ers get blitz help in the form of Charles Woodson? (Brady)
If a face could launch a thousand ships and a picture paints a thousand words, how many words does an innocuous comment by a Chiefs GM breed? 1 million is the answer. Many people take John Dorsey's comment, that there's no top-notch quarterbacks in the draft as an admission to his coveting of Alex Smith. I think it's his way of priming his fan base for the idea that their drafting a tackle (boring), instead of a franchise QB (fun + jersey sales). | Alex Smith rumors: Chiefs' GM says no 'clear cut' QBs in draft (Woods)
The Philadelphia Eagles serve as a cautionary tale to people who want to build a team through free agency. Urnext explains the flawed logic of big name FA signings as well as I've ever seen it done. Pay Mario Williams $100 million and he plays great and you get equal value for your money. If he plays like Albert Haynsworth, you're screwed for life. | NFL free agents 2013: Buyer beware (urnext)
2012 Reviews: You're Living in the Past, Man
James has a look at our wide receivers. One name stands out. It is Michael Crabtree. What could/should happen with the rest of the corps has caused quite a bit of ink to be spilt around the site. No name is safe on the list. Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams are both coming off of bad knee injuries. Randy Moss is old and a free agent. Ted Ginn's dad wants him to leave and A.J. Jenkins (the only other WR guaranteed to return) had zero catches last season. | 49ers positional review: Wide receiver (Brady)
One position we probably won't see much movement at is running back. Assuming that Kendall Hunter makes a full recovery from his achilles injury, we should be set. Frank Gore is the workhorse and LaMichael James proved his worth while filling in for Hunter and should be expected to see more playing time in 2013. | 49ers position review: Running back (Brady)
Not a ton of FanPost action going on. Is the Nation taking a vacation? Wake up! Top FanPost of the week, with a qualifier, comes from Little Bobby Tables for their Alex Smith prediction game. What will the 49ers get for our former signal caller? Hard to say. | Alex Smith predictions: It's put up or shut up time (Little Bobby Tables)
How hard is it to draft a good wide receiver? Michael Crabtree is, after four years, looking like he might live up to his No.10 overall draft status. A.J. Jenkins? We're still waiting to see his first catch. The list of names that we've spent high picks on at WR brings me night terrors. Do we do it again? | The deficient art of drafting a WR for this franchise (Kidd2Petrovic)
And finally, the qualifier. I disqualified ttubravesrock from the top spot because Fooch put them on the front page. That's the greatest recognition a FanPost can receive. Far greater than me saying well done. This is an epic, speculative look at what could be in store for the Niners this offseason. | 2013 mock offseason v1.1 (ttubravesrock)
Being a Sheep
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