The NFL Draft! Every year throws us a new wrench in the tire. Last year, the 49ers took AJ Jenkins in a total head scratcher. This year could be the most unpredictable draft in recent memory. What we do know is that with the first pick, the KC Chiefs will most likely take an O- Lineman. I’ve seen a few sources say that the FO likes Joeckel (Texas A&M) but the coaches like Eric Fisher (CMU). Both are top five guys and can help the Chiefs. They need it. I tend to place my focus on positions that aren’t usually talked about during the course of the Combine time. This year it seems like the LB’s and TE’s were the odd men out. As always, the nary oft- used FB position is left out as it seems to take a back seat to the pass- happy teams. I still enjoy the run game and always will. Three yards and a pile o’dust just oozes football power and pure aggression. I’ve also had an eye on the DL position. I’m not going to run through who is best at the 5 Technique or 3 Technique, or who is best on the edge, or who is the 34/43 tweener… there is just too much info to convey. So… here we go.
I like Arthur Brown (K-State) to to off the list first. I could see a team like Chicago take him, or even St. Louis to take him to fill a much needed void. Brown is fast and can play sideline to sideline. Would work well in a 34 in the middle.
Jarvis Jones (Georgia) should be up next. Being an OLB, he would be standing up in a 34. At 6’2, 245lbs, I think he could be undersized, but the kid is fast and has good hands. This alone will be the lock for a 34 OLB, either side of the formation.
Now the next one is tough for me, but if a team like Chicago or Baltimore take him, he could turn out to be a good find. Manti Te’o (Notre Dame) is mostly a “go forward” guy. In the National Championship game, he had a tough time against the NFL calibre O- line, but in other games last year, he played very fast. Despite running a 4.8- something, something in the 40, his football speed is very good. This might shock some people, but if the 49ers take him at 31, he’d fit in well behind the studs in the inside (Bowman/ Willis)
I think there are just two studs at this position this year. The first off the board could be Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame). He’s got the height, size, speed and hands of a top- notch NFL TE. The only issue I’ve seen may be his blocking ability and his ability to secure the ball and take off. Sometimes he had bad drops when he ran before securing. This can be fixed, I believe. Green Bay or even the Jets could snag him.
Zach Ertz (Stanford) is up next. If he is still around at 34, the 49ers take him (unless they package the pick with others and trade up for a D- Lineman/ Safety). Harbaugh coached this kid and is solid. He’s got decent acceleration and is good in a crowd. What I REALLY like is his ability to lower the pads and deliver a hit. What I don’t like is his blocking ability, which is a must as a 49er TE.
Well this could be very biased but I gotta do it. If there is a FB that is taken, Bradie Ewing (Wisconsin) is it. He didn’t carry the ball much, but he is a blocking beast. He is mean, aggressive and can block inside, outside and at the linebacker level. He can be a solid ST guy. He is a former walk- on and, to me, that means he has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. Not the biggest guy (5’11”, 240-ish) but his toughness makes up for it. I’m gonna throw it out there… the team who takes Monte Ball takes Ewing in the 6th or 7th round. I wanna see this kid HIT SOMEONE!
I’m not going to say who is best, but I want to touch on a few players who I really am high on.
Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) is a beast. He is a full- blown athlete. I thought he had pretty quick feet and moved very well. He isn’t as strong as some would like, but teams will know this and work with him. His pad level could be lower and maybe that’s why he missed tackle when the ball carrier was in space. I would LOVE for the 49ers to take him if he dropped into the 2nd round. That might be tough.
Anyone who knows me and did some research on the next player would know I would like this guy. Jesse Williams (Alabama) is a full blown nose tackle as far as I’m concerned. Might not be the best athlete in the DL class, but he has a motor on him. As a former rugby player (there’s the clue) he can tackle very well and is a fantastic 2- gap guy. A bona fide space eater at 323 (ish) lbs, he would be a steal for any 34 team. I absolutely love this guys strength and mean streak. I wouldn’t even expect him to rush the passer all that much. I love the way rugby players tackle as it so precise and low. They are taught properly and always stick to their guns. A great replacement for Issac Sopoaga or any 34 defense, really!
These are just my thoughts on a few players. I hope it is accurate as I did a bunch of research with draftbreakdown.com videos and a few guys on Twitter (always take these guys into consideration. Such fantastic analysis). Take it for what it’s worth and if you agree/ disagree or just want to ramble, leave a comment!
Enjoy the Draft, folks! I hope people took Friday off! 🙂