The first two drafts I included players that I wanted or were fond of like Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotulelei, Eddie Lacy, and Matt Elam. However, I went back and listened to Trent Baalke talk about what he believes a 49er should be and it made me realize that these players had to be much more than talented.
Some of the quotes Trent Baalke is famous for saying is (in no specific order)
1. Does he use his size/speed or ability to his advantage of film?
2. No reaches
3. If he's small in stature he better be awfully special
4. Is he a blue collar guy?
5. Always remember the eye in the sky does not lie (what you see on film is what you get)
6. Is he technically sound or have the body type or will to become technically sound
7. Is he wired right?
8. BF&F (bigger faster and more physical) i.e. vernon davis, patrick willis, aldon smith, justin smith, entire O-line
I go back to number 7 all the time and it kept me from putting Jordan Reed in this draft. At his pro day he wasn't planning on working out until a few scouts told him its either now or never.
Round 1. Tavon Austin Mr. Every Man 5'8 172
Hes a kick returner, punt returner, slot receiver and running back. He does everything and everything at a very high level. He doesn't have the red flags of the honey badger and they're damn near the same size. He is the best overall offensive prospect in the draft and we might be able to get him by moving up 8 or 9 spots (trading one 4th round pick and one 5th round pick). He is exciting, explosive and you can't wait until he has the ball in his hands. Did I mention that he was coached by the same guy as Wes Welker? Please do not over react and think that we are getting rid of AJ Jenkins. AJ is a deep threat and Tavon Austin works the slot. These are two completely different positions on the football field. I said it earlier in someone elses post that Jenkins is our Mike Wallace. Austin would be our Wes Welker. Make sense now? Great! I have seen all of his senior year tape and I cannot find a whole in his game. That's the first time I've said that all year long. He catches well, he runs well, hes patient for blockers, he jukes (not cut) and he has a nose for the end zone. Nuff Said!
Round 2. John Cyprien FS FIU 6'0 217
this guy is the epitome of wired right. Hes a chiseled 217 and he tackles very well. When you grow up playing football coaches will constantly remind you to "see what you hit, run through it, and watch it explode". You rarely see that type of tackle out of a non front 7 player and he does it very very well. Hes always exploding through his tackles and wrapping up. He plays at full speed in practice and in the game. That is very encouraging for a young player. It shows that he never takes a play off. He has the ability to play either Strong or Free but I see him at free because of his leadership skills and high football IQ.
Round 2. Gavin Escobar TE SDSU 6'6 254
This guy catches the football better than any tight end. Hes not a good blocker but I go back to the fact that he has the body type to learn to block well. I put him ahead of Ertz and McDonald. Ertz will be a good football player but he does not even compare to Escobar when it comes to route running or after the catch or the red zone.
Round 3. Brandon Jenkins OLB FSU 6'2 251
A classic tweener. He has 1st round talent but he got injured last year. I know everyone wants Justin Smiths replacement but I don't see a player in this draft that even has that kind of talented bull rush. ::hint hint Jadaveon Clowney:: but we rush the passer with our linebackers and that was our problem in the playoffs. We had nobody as a situational pass rusher and the Ravens had Krueger.
Round 3. D.J. Hayden CB Houston 5'11 191
I really believe hes the best corner in the draft. Hes very fast (4.38 & 4.40 40 time), he tackles well, route recognition (you always see him jumping the short to intermediate routes), hes a hustler (he chased a man down field 40 yards for a touchdown saving tackle) and on top of all he had a shut down game against a big time receiver. He kept Quinton Patton to 4 receptions and 36 yards.
Round 4. Brandon Williams NT Missouri Southern 6'1 335
I love Jesse Williams but hes just not as strong as I thought he would be after the rumor that he was bench pressing 600 pounds. The leaders at the combine in the strength department were Margus Hunt and Brandon Williams at 38 reps of 225lbs. Jesse Williams only had 30 reps of 225lbs. Plus Nose Tackles typically play 40-50% of the snaps. In a passing league why would you ever take a nose tackle in the first round without pass rushing skills. He's a small school guy but if you watch his youtube video "hes not afraid of doing the dirty jobs".
Round 5. Kiko Alonso ILB 6'4 238 Never mind. I guess we traded this pick for Colt McCoy This is my risky profile player. The one and only reason I kept watching his tape is because he had a field day against Russell Wilson. Hes a bit lanky which means he can grow more muscle but hes great in pass coverage. Pat Willis isn't the greatest LB in pass coverage and thats typically when he comes out for a nickel corner. Kiko has the talent of a 3rd rounder but his DUI and other drunk in public charges will knock him down to the 5th round or farther.
Round 6. Duke Williams SS 6'0 190
Duke is a special teams developmental player. He can run downhill in a hurry and lay a lick on you. I know we have Trenton Robinson but one of the reasons Donte Whitner gave up the most TDs out of all safeties is his height. Robinson is actually shorter than Whitner at 5'9.
Round 7. Tanner Hawkinson OT Kansas 6'5 298
He is another developmental player. We actually have no backup offensive tackles on this team. My guess is that if Joe Staley or Anthony Davis got injured that Alex Boone would move back to tackle and Joe Looney would step in his place. It would be a really good idea to draft one or get a veteran in the market. Hawkinson used to be a Tight End in college and has pretty good foot quickness.
The overall draft class is not good but with some in depth research you can find some good football players. Especially when you have 14 picks and 5 picks in the first 3 rounds. I hope to see a lot of these players selected from less than a month from now. Good luck to everyone and their mock drafts. I'm done and satisfied....or am I?? Do I believe any of these guys will be pro bowlers...maybe 2 or 3. I'll be happy with those results.