Posted on: March 18, 2010 6:21 pm
In this McDonaldized world of media in which readers demand the who, what, when, where and why a moment after news breaks, speculation has become rampant as to what impact might be felt on the 49ers plans for the 2010 draft after the news general manager Scot McCloughan is taking a personal leave of absence.
The timing, of course, is odd. The draft is little more than a month away and the 49ers own the 13th and 17th overall picks. For a team with young stars in Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, and Michael Crabtree, they appear capable of taking the next step and winning the NFL West Division. After all, the Cardinals are clearly weaker considering the loss of Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle. The 49ers are coming off of their most competitive season in years, winning five of their six divisional games (including going 2-0 against Arizona) and finished just outside of the playoffs at 8-8.
McCloughan has a very good eye for talent. His ability to read the board and project which players will rise or slide is acknowledged by other teams throughout the league. He'll be missed in the San Francisco draft room, should it come down to that.
However, he's also surrounded himself with a quality staff. Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke and director of Player Pro Personnel Tom Gamble are widely respected. Baalke was reportedly an early candidate for the Seattle general manager position.
Scot McCloughan's brother, Dave, is the 49ers' Director of College Scouting. He didn't earn this position with his last name. He was a standout safety drafted out of Colorado who spent time with the Seahawks, Packers and Colts before joining his father, Kent McCloughan, as a scout with the Raiders.
While the perception is that draft boards are fluctuating every day with the improved workouts players are putting forth in Pro Days across the country, in reality, much of the hard work in preparing for the 2010 draft has already been done.
Whether he's the one actually making the pick or not, the 49ers 2010 draft will have Scot McCloughan's fingerprints on it.
Considering that the 49ers appear poised to take control of the NFC West -- largely based on players McCloughan drafted -- that's a good thing.
Posted on: March 31, 2009 11:48 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2009 11:55 pm
On the day the young quarterback I've often compared to Jay Cutler did his best to earn the first selection of the 2009 draft, Jay Cutler, himself, threw his own hat into the fray.
Denver Bronco team owner Pat Bowlen released a statement to the media today indicating that conversations with Cutler's agent, James "Bus" Cook has left the Broncos' brass with the understanding "that Jay no longer has any desire to play for the Denver Broncos."
Rather than continue to try and appease the angry quarterback, however, Bowlen went on to state, "We will begin discussions with other teams in an effort to accommodate his request to be traded."
Each of the teams rumored to be interested in drafting a quarterback in the first round -- namely the Lions, Rams, Seahawks, Browns, Jaguars, 49ers, Redskins, Jets, Bears, and Bucs -- are thought to be potentially interested. Of this group, St. Louis, Seattle, Jacksonville, Washington and Chicago have all made the playoffs under their current starting quarterback, and thus, while potentially interested in a young passer to groom, won't necessarily be as interested in adding a veteran -- even one as talented as Cutler -- therefore, leaving the Lions, Browns, 49ers, Jets, and Bucs as the most obvious candidates for the Pro Bowl quarterback.
The going rate for a quarterback of Cutler's age and skills would be at least a first round pick; likely with extra compensation to be had based on Cutler or his new team's performance in 2009.
The Bucs, with only one first day pick -- the 19th overall -- would appear to be in the worst position to bargain of these four teams, as each of the others have their 1st and 2nd round picks in which to barter...
Posted on: March 30, 2009 2:35 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2009 2:36 pm
Each year there are relative unknown players whose eye-popping workouts in February and March force scouts back into the film room. Many times scouts are quick to acknowledge the impressive athleticism of prospects to local media covering the event, but once they review the players on film, realize that the speed, agility and strength shown on the track or weight room doesn't translate onto the field.
And then, sometimes, there are players whose workouts go well and scouts return to the film room to discover that perhaps they had simply overlooked or undervalued the prospects. Two such players moving up the charts this year are Furman offensive tackle Joel Bell and Utah cornerback Brian McCain.
Bell, a three-time all-conference selection at left tackle, was invited to the Combine and put forth one of the more impressive all-around workouts, earning top-ten marks in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical, broad, 3-cone, and 20-yard shuttle at a shade under 6-7, 315 pounds. His workout was good enough that he didn't need to workout at Furman's Pro Day, though an eye-popping 25 teams still showed up to see him go through positional drills.
Indianapolis Colts' scout Bob Guarini put Bell through a 20 minute workout while the other team scouts' watched. Besides the Colts, the teams represented were the Eagles, Titans, Saints, Jaguars, Browns, Steelers, Seahawks, Dolphins, Texans, Patriots, Lions, Chiefs, Falcons, Cowboys, Bears, 49ers, Rams, Raiders, Vikings, Bills, Giants, Panthers, Chargers, and the Packers.
Like Bell, Utah's McCain is hardly just a workout wonder, though the workout he put forth at the Ute's Pro Day could technically classify him as one. McCain was clocked in the low 4.3s and the buzz around scouting circles is that he's been timed even faster before. McCain's 20-yard shuttle (3.99) and 3-cone (6.74) drill times would have ranked among the best among the cornerbacks tested in Indianapolis. McCain, however, was not invited to the Combine, despite earning All-Mountain West accolades each of the past three seasons. While fellow defensive Sean Smith has the size scouts covet, McCain is the more athletic of the duo and has the rare speed and agility for man to man coverage. Among the estimated two dozen teams represented at McCain's workout were the Panthers, Lions, Dolphins and Seahawks. Considering the lack of speed shown by this year's cornerback class, some believe McCain could continue to rise as the draft approaches -- perhaps all the way to the 5th round.
Posted on: March 28, 2009 9:12 pm
Washington State wide receiver Brandon Gibson, unable to work out at the Combine due to a right hamstring pull, worked out for scouts from at least 10 NFL teams in Seattle Saturday.
Gibson, who measured in at 6-0, 206 pounds (down four pounds from the Combine), was timed by scouts Saturday in the 4.55-4.63 seconds. He also posted a 34" vertical jump and a 9'5" broad jump. Gibson impressed me at the Senior Bowl with his precise footwork in route-running, but struggled with drops as the week went on. On Saturday, however, Gibson caught every pass thrown, despite windy conditions.
Gibson lacks the elite speed to warrant a first day selection, but his route-running, soft hands and experience make him an intriguing second day prospect -- especially for teams operating out of the West Coast Offense.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recorded portions of Gibson's workout. It can be seen by copying and pasting the URL below.