Posted on: April 28, 2010 3:57 pm

The Rest of the NFC West - 49ers Fan Perspective

I think 49ers fans, for the most part, are happy with the 49ers' draft. There are 3 potential day 1 starters in Davis, Iupati and Bowman. The others, Mays (Dime and Quarter packages), Dixon (goal line, short yardage, clean up), Byham (blocking TE), and Williams (PR, #4 or 5 WR) could contribute right away as role players. We gave up our 5th round pick for Ginn, who will be used primarily at KR.

There is also a lot of talk on how our NFC West counterparts did as well. I must say for the most part, the entire NFC West probably had the best draft as a division. Let's look at our opponents.

Arizona Cardinals

#26) Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
#47) Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
#88) Andre Roberts, WR, Citadel
#130) O'Brien Schofield, DE, Wisconsin
#155) John Skelton, QB, Fordham
#201) Jorrick Calvin, DB, Troy
#233) Jim Dray, Stanford

I'm a fan of Williams. I wouldn't have mind one bit if we used our #17 pick on him instead of Iupati. Williams will be a solid NT and it will be interesting to see how Iupati stacks up against him. Some considered Washington to be better than Sean Witherspoon. Washington will strt right away in place of Dansby. I've talked about Roberts on another post. He's my favorite "lesser" known WR's. He is a good PR and he probably has the best hands in the draft. Schofield is good wher ethey got him. He has good upside if he can overcome his injury. He tore is ACL before the Senior Bowl. Skelton has a good arm and a quick release. The Cards did well. I'm still penciling them in as a favorite to win the NFC West even without Warner. They filled their holes on defense (and possibly improved it). It's going to be more of a run-based team with the ability to stretch out with 3 good WR's on passing downs. The first 3 picks will be significant contributors this year.

Seattle Seahawks

#6) Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St
#14) Earl Thomas, SS, Texas
#60) Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
#111) Walter Thurmond, CB, Oregon
#127) E.J. Wilson, DE, North Carolina
#133) Kam Chancellor, FS, Virginia Tech
#185) Anthony McCoy, TE, USC
#236) Dexter Davis, DE, Arizona St
#245 Jameson Konz, WR, Kent St

I saw all the analysts raving about the Seahawks draft and can't understand what all the hype is all about. Let me add that the Seahawks had a very, very good draft. However, the Seahawks have a lot of holes to fill so it's much easier declare that the Seahawks filled their needs through the draft expecially when the talent level was low to begin with. My favorite pick is Okung. The Seahawks were lucky to get him at #6. Golden Tate was also a steal for him. I think he has the chance to be special even if he doesn't have the measurables. He has good ball awareness and he is a good returner. I'm on the fence about Earl Thomas. He's going to be a ball hawk. I don't why's he's listed at SS. I still think he is on the small-ish side and think he's more of a late first round guy, so it borderline where they took him. He'll be fine as a FS though where he doesn't have to take a pounding. Thurmond's upside is off the charts, but for a guy that relies on agility and cutting, he sure tore a lot of ligaments. I don't foresee him making any impact in the first couple of years. I though Henderson was a bit of a reach. However, Chancellor was a steal where they got him. He has upside at SS. The Seahawks nabbed 2 starters and Tate will be a solid contributor in year one. The Seahawks are still a work in progress. I don't see more than 6 or 7 wins out of them this year as they try to string their system and roster together.

St Louis Rams

1) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
33) Roger Saffold, OT, Indiana
65) Jerome Murphy, CB, S. Florida
99) Marty Gilyard, Cincinnati
132) Michael Hoomanawanui
149) Hall Davis, DE, La-Lafayette
170) Fendi Onobun, TE, Arizona
189) Eugene Sims, DE, West Texas A&M
211) Marquis Johnson, DB, Alabama
226) George Selvie, DE, S. Florida
254) Josh Hull, LB, Penn St

The Rams also had a very good draft. They kicked it off by taking a franchise QB. Bradford seems like the real deal, but he was surrounded by a lot of talent in College. It will be a couple of more years before the Rams will be able to properly stock Bradford with the tools to win. Saffold was my favorite pick. They now have options with Barron...move to Guard or let him go. Murphy and Gilyard were excellent where they were drafted. hall davis was another solid pick. I'm not sure where Selvie fits. The Rams are playing the #'s game. They had a lot of late picks and hope to hit on a couple. They are still another couple of years away from competing, but 4 or 5 wins is not out of the realm.

All the NFC teams turned out very good drafts. I still think the Cards are still 10 win capable and will be the 49ers greatest challenge. It will come down to the 49ers/Cards matchups this year to decide which on takes the NFC West. The Seahawks are at least another year away from competing and the Rams another year after that.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: March 6, 2009 2:06 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2009 9:27 pm

Addition By Subtraction - T.O. vs Kurt Warner

So most of us have heard this term before.

The term "addition by subtraction", as used in sports, is often referred to cutting a player to make the team better. The most recent example is Terrell Owens. The idea is that by cutting T.O., you are ridding yourself of distractions in and out of the locker room. It's no secret that T.O. gets a lot of press coverage. Everybady wants to hear what he's going to say next. While I don't agree with most of the things that come out of T.O.'s mouth, I can comfortably say that some of his conversations have been misconstrued by the press and blown way out of proportion. Still, right or wrong, he's a distraction. So by cutting him, the Cowboys feel that they move on without the circus act distractions that go along with him. Many analysts feel that this was the wrong decision...that the Cowboys will now suffer without their star receiver. I disagree.

The Cowboys have a solid foundation in place. We've seen T.O. cause disaster to the 49ers. So much so that the team went 2-14 the following year. But this was a team with an assortment of issues (ranging from ownership on down). So the dropoff in performance cannot be directed at the loss of T.O. In contrast, we saw the same disaster happen with the Eagles when T.O. tried to hold out and eventually was shown the the door. The Eagles bounced back from a 6-10 record during a T.O. "distraction" year to 10-6 the following season. It should also be noted that the Eagles had the #2 offense the year after T.O. was released. So life goes on without T.O. The Eagles had a solid foundation in place. They had a franchise QB (McNabb), a playmaking RB (Westbrook) and a "not so stellar but respectable" defense. The 49ers didn't have any of this after T.O. left. But if you take a look at the Cowboys. They have a franchise QB (Romo...still learning, but can make some impressive throws), a solid RB duo (led by Barber), a stud TE (Witten) and a solid defense. The Cowboys will play better as a team for 2009...and that's with or without Roy Williams (receiver).

The reason why I started this article was to talk about Kurt Warner. You're asking yourself "How does this apply to T.O.? Warner is still with the Cardinals and he's not a distraction". Good question. I merely wanted to show the two faces of "addition by subtraction".

This past week, we saw a spectacle of a show which started with Kurt Warner not signing the Cardinals original offer, and then sending his agent to San francisco which led to a visit by Warner himself and ultimately the power of god telling Warner to get up 45 minutes into Coach Singletary's speech and fly back to Arizona. Well everything is happy-land back in Arizona but the whole episode caused a scene here in San Francisco. Local radio shows and newspapers criticize the 49ers for creating speculation on Warner and sending mixed messages to the current QB's and fans. There were several questions asked - Why bring Warner in and let him walk away without a deal? Where does Warner fit?

I'm with the rest of the general populace in believing that this was a leveraging tactic by Warner's agent. From start to finish, I never suspected Warner would sign with the 49ers. I aslo firmly believe the 49ers felt the same way. So why bring him in?

In my opinion, this was a calculated risk. What if you knew that you could potentially cripple your division rival by taking away their greatest asset. Would you do it? I would. That would be 2 easier wins during the season. And we all know that professional sports is all about winning nowadays. Let's be realistic here. The Cardinals aren't the same team without Warner. Leinart has already shown that he can't make the same decisions and throws that Warner can. So by signing Warner away from the Cardinals, you harm the team in a way that can't be resolved through this year's free agency or the draft.

But what if Warner did sign with the 49ers?

Simple. Shaun Hill has not been guaranteed the starting job. There will be competition. Let's say Warner came in and had a stellar camp and preseason. So he starts. Two things can happen afterwards. 1) Warner performs horribly the first 2 or 3 games and Hill is inserted and capable of managing the offense through the rest of the season. 2) Warner performs stellar and keeps the starting gig the rest of the way. It's really a win-win. We already know Hill can win games in the current system so Warner failing doesn't hurt uthe team. The 49ers are cap-healthy. So even if Warner rides the pine for 2 years, it wouldn't have a considerable negative impact on the team. But the Cardinals would be without Warner for 2 years. It was a calculated risk, and it didn't work. The 49ers are not worse off now than before the Warner speculation started.

But if it did work, the Cardinals wouldn't be the same team for 2009.

...addition by subtraction...the other way.





The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com