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Golden Nuggets: 5th Nuggets in a row to include the word “draft”

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A daily compilation of 49ers links from around the internet, Monday, April 17th 2017 edition.

Folks, other than articles written covering material from Friday, nothing new was written on Sunday. The bulk of it was beat writers’ takes on a CBS mock draft in which the Browns trade up for the second pick. Take that notion, as written by a Niners Nation author, “with a fistful of salt”.

Since there’s really nothing to analyze or summarize (“Nothing important happened yesterday”, except without the pomp and circumstance), I’d like to leave you with some thoughts I had recently:

1974-1976: 218 RBs drafted

1987: 55 RBs drafted, last huge RB class

2005: 3 RBs in top 5 overall (2, 4, 5)

2013-2014: Top RB drafted at 37, 54 respectively

Over the years, the quantity of RBs drafted has plummeted. Likely due to a mixture of things – player specialization and premium on roster spaces, shorter draft, passing league, etc.

However, the importance placed on RB has been slipping recently as well. Just a decade ago, the majority of the top 5 overall was RBs, including two from the same school! Some years later, we see the first NFL draft without a first round RB. Not to be outdone, the very next draft is the first without an RB in the top 50.

Well.

This year it’s a virtual certainty that RB will go higher than QB, more in the first round, and definitely more in the top 50. I’ve been waiting for the downslope of the sinusoidal wave, when RBs skyrocket in value (to punch a hole in finesse defenses made to play the pass first).

Maybe we’re seeing it happen. Or maybe it’s just a garbage QB year, and simultaneously a rad RB year. Maybe sports historians look back on this year as one that changes the NFL landscape!

Certainly, it’s lazy to recycle a comment from a different article, but it’s something that I’ve been pondering for years. When Jim Harbaugh came to town, he employed a brutal rushing attack, which I’ve always assumed was so successful because it preyed on the soft defenses made to defend the popular passing attacks. I acknowledge that I could be entirely wrong, but that was just my perception. This draft year lead-up has left me with an unusual feeling: RBs will generally outdo QBs for the first time I can ever remember. Combined with the importance on defensive players, and made infinitely more confusing by the nearly-unanimous agreement of a weak OL class, I feel like this might be a draft class as a whole that leaves an unusual legacy.

This feels like a Jim Harbaugh Special draft class. I’m not sure exactly what that means, other than weak QBs, strong RBs, athletic TEs, high-end safeties, and effective pass rushers.

I’m done rambling, onto the Nuggets (of which, again, there are very few):

Considering the possibility of another person’s mock draft | Biderman, Ninerswire

Also considering the possibility of another person’s mock draft | Panacy, Ninernoise

Garcon: Players loved McCloughan | Shook, NFL.com