In Today’s nuggets, Gil Brandt makes the case for the 49ers to sign CB Patrick Peterson, Matt Maiocco writes about Sam Darnold, Joe Staley’s protege speaks, and Kyle Madson ranks John Lynch’s drafts by round.
The boom scenario: Peterson consistently provides the same type of sticky man-to-man coverage that enabled him to hold Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf to one catch for 6 yards on four targets, per Next Gen Stats, in Arizona’s Week 7 overtime win over Seattle. (Metcalf finished the game with two total catches for 23 yards.)
Who should take the risk? San Francisco 49ers. With four cornerbacks (Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, Ahkello Witherspoon) headed for free agency, San Francisco will need fresh blood in the secondary. As the Niners did with Sherman when he left Seattle, they can still get good football and veteran leadership out of Peterson, who will surely enjoy having two chances per year to stick it to the Cardinals, should Arizona decide not to shell out dough to keep him.
He is not worth the No. 12 overall pick. And the 49ers’ second-round pick at No. 43 overall seems like a steep price, too.
Darnold carries an affordable price tag of $4.77 million in salary and bonuses for the 2021 season. That is more than reasonable for a backup.
But where things get tricky is beyond this season. A decision has to be made on a fifth-year option for Darnold in early May.
Is the cost of an insurance policy worth it when the 49ers would be expected to draft an immediate starter who would be under contract for four years at a controlled cost?
After all, the 49ers might have to give up a second-round pick for a player under contract for just one season and who — if things go according to plan — would never step on the field during that one year.
“Joe Staley the coach is awesome,” Radunz said after the field work at NDSU’s Pro Day. “Super fun-loving. We kind of call him the ‘fun uncle’ but also at the same time he loves the game of football. Picking his brain was how I learned from him the most. The mental side of it, obviously. I learned a lot of physical stuff from him but picking his brain was huge.”
“I’ve been working Joe Staley so that’s pretty much the playbook we’ve been repping when we practice the calls,” Radunz said. “Having Joe Staley as a coach, I mean that is what he knows he was there for 13 years, he was able to teach me a lot. He obviously didn’t give us the keys to the kingdom but he told us a lot of the calls.”
With more than 40 players due to hit free agency when the new league year opens March 17, this year’s draft will be key in helping the club renew their championship-caliber roster. Lynch will have 10 picks to work with, including at least one in each round, but how well have they drafted in each of the seven rounds?
We sifted through Lynch’s four drafts to rank each round based on all of his selections. Here they are from worst to best:
The picks: RB Joe Williams (2017), DL Kentavius Street (2018), P Mitch Wishnowsky (2019) Wishnowsky, the punter, is by a wide margin the most successful of these picks. Williams never played a snap and Street dealt with injuries for most of his three seasons.