49ers fan chiming in on the #1 pick (very long)

49ersFan

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Just wanted to say hello, been a long time lurker, but this is my first post. One of the reasons I want say something is that as you know the reports are that it is basically down to 4 players for the 49ers top pick. That being Rodgers, Smith, Edwards, and Rolle, although with the latter it has been reported that's who San Fran would target if they were able to trade down.

To be honest, I have no idea what's going to happen (most likely a QB, just not sure which one), so coach Nolan is doing a good job of being non-committal.

Most people seem to believe they'd like to trade down (who wouldn't) but that may be difficult this year.

Most people also believe that Aaron Rodgers to SF is virtually a slam dunk (I've read that the interest in other players such as Smith is a smokescreen in hopes of trading down), but I gonna post a couple of articles that argue the opposite.
 

Krie30511

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welcome....and thanks for the info...PS wasn't that long now if your gonna write a novel thats long.... but welcome to the bored feel free to clue us in to what nolans brain is processing right now....
 

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This first one is from Jeff Reynolds of PFW (Pro Football Weekly) written during the Scouting Combine in February. The link is outdated so I have to cut and paste the article-


The 49ers began this draft process completely smitten with Smith. His potential, size and athleticism put him a few yards ahead of Rodgers on San Francisco’s draft board.

Vice president of player personnel Scot McLoughan, who learned his craft with a background in which finding and establishing stability at quarterback is Priority One, has seen Smith in person almost a half-dozen times as the then-college scouting director in Seattle. First with the Packers, where Brett Favre made the "Titletown" moniker mean something again in the 1990s, and then through McLoughan’s stay in Seattle, the QB position received top billing. But new head coach Mike Nolan was raised as a defense-first kind of coach. He was in Denver with John Elway, but the Giants and Ravens were all about keeping points off the board, not putting them up.

Smith and Rodgers each have Pro Day workouts this week. In years past, only a handful of teams  maybe 10 were at Carson Palmer’s final workout  would travel to see the top quarterbacks. Other than the teams at the top, the rest of the league operated under the assumption that the top quarterback in the draft would either be snatched up early or come at a steep price to trade into a spot where one might be available.

As we learned with Ben Roethlisberger, who was drafted 11th overall by the Steelers, the cream doesn’t always rise in the draft.

The 49ers are elated that their pick has built some value. With the Dolphins zeroed in on three players  two of them running backs  San Francisco has this decision to make: Stay put and draft Smith, deal down and draft Smith, or take the next highest player on its draft board. If the Niners deal out of the top five, they may not draft a quarterback, instead choosing to address the need with the first pick in the second round (33rd overall) with a player such as Auburn’s Jason Campbell, or even later with Purdue’s Kyle Orton  both very much on the Niners’ radar.

By dropping down, the Niners would set a reverse vacuum in motion for the quarterbacks. For now, let’s assume Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Tennessee all plan to pass on Smith and Rodgers, the rationale being that the Dolphins have committed to A.J. Feeley, Cleveland will address the position later in the draft and the Bears (Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson), Buccaneers (Brian Griese, Chris Simms) and Titans (Steve McNair, Billy Volek) don’t consider quarterback a need.

That could leave Arizona, which is picking eighth behind Minnesota, as the first potential destination for the top quarterback. It would be an upset if Washington (No. 9), Detroit (10), Dallas (11), San Diego (12), Houston or Carolina took a quarterback. And Kansas City (15) has more needs to address on defense, such as cornerback.

That would open the door for New Orleans (16) and Green Bay (24), both seeking upgrades under center with Aaron Brooks skirting progress with the Saints and Brett Favre inching closer to 35 years of age and retirement with the Packers.

History says the top 10 will provide homes to at least two quarterbacks  it also says those players may never be worth the investment. Starting with Pro Days this week, it’s the 49ers’ decision to make. Their future depends on McLoughan and Nolan getting it right.
 

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PFW Inner Circle
The Way We Hear It  NFL draft
Niners narrow field to four prospects
By Nolan Nawrocki
March 29, 2005

More than any year in at least the last decade, there is more uncertainty in this year’s draft regarding the top 10 picks, including a very serious debate over who will be selected No. 1. With the 49ers on the clock and allowed to begin negotiations with their choice as soon as a decision is made, team sources say a decision is expected very soon regarding the direction in which the club will go.

PFW has learned that the top four players on the 49ers’ target list, who will be brought in for private visits, are California QB Aaron Rodgers, Utah QB Alex Smith, Michigan WR Braylon Edwards and Miami (Fla.) CB Antrel Rolle. With a good number of teams not even having Rolle stacked as the top cornerback in the draft, rated slightly behind West Virginia's Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, it may come as a surprise to some that he is among the final four candidates. Nevertheless, Rolle is not an option at No. 1. Head coach Mike Nolan has had such success with Miami players, such as Ravens standouts Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and likes big, physical cornerbacks so much that he is interested in trading down and selecting Rolle, should the option become available.

Several NFL top executives have told PFW in recent weeks that if the 49ers cannot trade the pick  which is expected to be nearly impossible to do for anything of value this year, with the weak crop of talent in this draft not believed to be worth the high price teams will have to pay to trade up to No. 1  they have decided they must invest money in a quarterback.

Because Rodgers is more NFL-ready than Smith, having played in a pro-style offense and being three years Smith’s elder with great poise, an NFL assistant general manager estimated the chances of the Niners selecting Rodgers at 80 percent over the past weekend. He claims Nolan does not feel comfortable with any of the quarterbacks on his roster and needs a quarterback to start from Day One. Supporting the argument is the belief that the Niners’ assistant GM, Paraag Marathe, an up-and-coming decision-maker in the franchise who was heavily involved in the team’s head-coaching search, graduated from California and subscribes to a "MoneyBall" type of talent-evaluation strategy that gives a good deal of credit to the level of competition. With Rodgers having faced better opponents in the Pac-10 than Smith did in the Mountain West, team sources say Rodgers is Marathe’s preferred choice.

However, the opinion is widely held around the league that Smith has a higher upside than Rodgers and will be a better pro in several years. With a new coaching staff having time to develop either quarterback, PFW’s team sources in San Francisco say Smith still has an edge. Offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy, known for his ability to develop QB talent, having coached Joe Montana and Brett Favre, evaluated the two quarterbacks on tape in February and came away liking Smith much better. His preference is said not to have changed after attending the pro-day workouts of both players. Smith also carries a greater trade premium, with the Browns and Dolphins preferring Smith to Rodgers, the same way Eli Manning did over Philip Rivers a year ago, despite the Chargers’ preference for Rivers.

Smith has a long delivery that needs to be tightened and will need to get more comfortable taking snaps under center, but he appears more athletic than Rodgers on tape, showing the ability to scramble and elude the rush, and is incredibly intelligent, having graduated and begun working on his master’s degree in only two years at college. Scouts have compared his mental aptitude to that of Peyton Manning, the reigning two-time NFL regular-season MVP.

Rodgers is not without his strengths, having a stronger arm and always making his throws on balance with his feet underneath him. He is more technically proficient than many quarterbacks in the league. But scouts say sometimes a player’s greatest strength can be his greatest weakness, and while his mechanics have been drilled so thoroughly by Cal head coach and QB connoisseur Jeff Tedford, a number of Tedford’s former students  including Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller  have struggled translating their college success to the pros after leaving Tedford’s short-passing game. One scout who has evaluated all of Tedford’s former quarterbacks during recent years, including Trent Dilfer and David Carr, said none of them has proved to be more than an average starter in the NFL, and he was concerned by seeing Rodgers get sacked 16 times in the four games he watched. In defense of Tedford's former quarterbacks, it should be noted, however, that a number of them are still young, learning and could develop into great pros.

While a poll of top decision-makers around the league still reveals great uncertainty about how the draft will begin, in PFW’s mind, Smith is the very clear favorite based on the strong feelings we know are held by the Niners’ top brass, from McCarthy to vice president/player personnel Scot McCloughan. It should also be noted that Marathe's influence, while increasingly growing within the organization, is not strong on the personnel side, and Nolan, who is expected to place a lot of trust in his top assistants, has final decision-making authority written into his contract.

The X-factor that scouts have whispered could further unsettle a very uncertain draft is the possibility of USC QB Matt Leinart entering the supplemental draft. The possibility stems from the departure of USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow to take the same position with the Tennessee Titans and the fact that the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner needs elbow surgery, which is forcing him to sit out of spring practice and may possibly affect his performance next season.

Within the past few days, Leinart squashed the speculation publicly, insisting to the Los Angeles Times that he was returning to USC. Yet, in a draft where the unexpected is expected, at least one team drafting in the top 10 is continuing to monitor the situation very closly.

"The Way We Hear It  NFL draft" will be posted daily, Tuesday through Friday, through April 22, the day before the NFL draft is held.
 

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PFW
Mock draft
Projections for the first round
By Nolan Nawrocki
April 1, 2005

1. San Francisco 49ers  QB Alex Smith, Utah
There’s a good chance the Niners sign a veteran to start the season, with the team said to be considering a possible trade for the Steelers’ Tommy Maddox. That would allow their quarterback of the future to play backup for 6-10 games before being thrust into action. The 49ers are flying two of their receivers  Brandon Lloyd and Arnaz Battle  to catch passes from Smith and work him out again. Smith’s intelligence and athletic ability give him the edge. Aaron Rodgers may be more ready now, but the draft is a projection business, and Smith’s upside is what separates him in the mind of Niners decision-makers.
They have MIA taking Ronnie Brown in this mock.
 

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From The Sporting News:

By War Room scouts
Sporting News


In the wake of last week's much-hyped workouts, many reports had the 49ers leaning toward California quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the first overall pick. Now it appears the Niners are creating a smoke screen and that Utah quarterback Alex Smith is their guy.

The reports suggest the Niners are trying to re-create Bill Walsh's ways of doing business. Walsh would constantly remind his staff members it was their job to gather information and not to give anything away. No one was instructed to disseminate misinformation, but Niners personnel understood their orders.

The Niners are sending mixed messages about their intentions for the No. 1 pick, pessimistically holding out hope that a trade partner emerges.

However, their real motive is to create leverage for negotiations with their draft candidates. If a clear-cut candidate emerges, their leverage disappears.

Expect the Niners to praise more than one potential top pick leading up to April 23. NFL rules permit the team picking first to begin negotiations, and reach an agreement, with players before the draft. The anointed player will be required to sign before he is selected.

For 49ers officials, no news is good news -- and confusion is better. So we are whispering what we know: Smith is the guy based on potential. Don't tell anyone we told you."
 

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"In Good Hands" - Chris Mortensen of ESPN

It's difficult to comprehend how hard the mighty fall, but there's no more tangible evidence than the NFL draft to measure one's current status. When you have the first pick, it's official: You stink.

The San Francisco 49ers' stench is especially repulsive to their faithful and, perhaps more painful, to the great coaches and players who contributed to five Super Bowl championships, the fifth ring now 10 years old.

Almost all blame has been placed at the front porch of ownership, which now belongs to John and Denise (DeBartolo) York.

I think hiring Mike Nolan was a step toward reconciliation, rehabilitation, reconstitution (pick a card, any card) of this once-great organization.

Nolan has given (me, at least) a glimpse that he is well equipped for his first head-coaching job after 17 years as an NFL assistant. He has the "attention to detail" scent, as opposed to the stench of the 49ers he has inherited. There are many signs, none greater than the men he hired to be on his coaching staff and the level of accountability he has already instilled within the organization.

For instance, the fact Nolan hired Johnny Parker to be his strength and conditioning coach spoke volumes about his insight and direction. To me, it may have been the most significant offseason move by any team that did not involve a player. It tells me that the 49ers aren't going to repeat as the softest team in the softest division (NFC West) in the NFL. Parker, who has three Super Bowl rings and another Super Bowl appearance, has that kind of impact.

Nolan's presence also suggests that the 49ers won't blow this No. 1 pick.

Alex Smith knows how thorough the 49ers are at this point. Tuesday, Nolan and Scott McCloughan, the team's vice president of player personnel, offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy, quarterback coach Jim Hostler and the team's two starting receivers – Brandon Lloyd and Arnaz Battle – traveled to Salt Lake City to work out the Utah quarterback.

Smith already had a private workout but it was a staged event that didn't entirely suit Nolan and the 49ers. They needed to see more. Tuesday was that day. Even the fact that York was willing to pay the tab for the six-pack entourage suggests there is a change of commitment from ownership.

Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers apparently won't have to repeat his workout. Even though his also was staged, it was so thoroughly conducted by Cal coach Jeff Tedford that the 49ers were satisfied that, physically, Rodgers has the goods.

Rodgers also played under center in college, Smith played primarily out of the shotgun. There's a difference, even a big difference. However, that doesn't necessarily mean Smith's "handicap" places him behind Rodgers as the 49ers' preferred choice.


Go back two drafts. Nolan was on the Baltimore Ravens' staff when they were assessing whether to select Marshall's Byron Leftwich or Cal's Kyle Boller. Leftwich played exclusively in the shotgun and was struggling to recover from a lower leg injury. His workout was unimpressive. Meanwhile, Boller had been under center at Cal and had a legendary workout conducted by Tedford.


One personnel man later surmised, "The moral of the story is, hire Tedford."


Back on point, the Ravens had a healthy debate over Leftwich and Boller. They decided that it was Leftwich over Boller, enough so that the Ravens attempted to trade up from their No. 10 slot to No. 7 in that dramatic on-the-clock transaction that saw the Jaguars acquire the pick from Minnesota to land Leftwich.


What Nolan remembers about the organizational debate is that Leftwich's intangibles combined with his collegiate performance were so dynamic in their minds that it trumped anything Boller had shown them in pre-draft workouts. The Ravens went on to select Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs with the 10th pick and they traded back into the first round to choose a sliding Boller at 19.


"Leftwich was such a great leader, we did everything we could to get him," recalled Nolan.

Likewise, Nolan is putting heavy emphasis on leadership and intangibles. Smith might have the lead in that department, according to team sources.

However, there is also an NFL fact of life: If you can't perform physically, leadership is only worth the paper your scouting report is printed on.

I'm also convinced that Nolan will not force the pick on a quarterback simply to satisfy the expectations of the media, fans and, perhaps, even ownership.

After all, the greatness of the 49ers wasn't only about Joe Montana and Steve Young. Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and even Charles Haley played prominent roles, not to mention a cast of others.

So don't dismiss Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards, who looms large on the team's radar. The 49ers would be willing to listen to trade overtures – a specialty of Super Bowl architect Bill Walsh – especially if the quarterbacks don't present a convincing case in the end. Nobody appears willing to trade into the slot but that doesn't bother Nolan.

"Honestly, at this point, I like the first four or five players in this draft better than the first four or five guys selected a year ago,"said Nolan.

Last year's top five: Eli Manning, Robert Gallery, Larry Fitzgerald, Philip Rivers and Sean Taylor.

What does it tell you about Nolan? He does not fear the pick, or obviously any of the other 10 picks he has to start fixing this team. The only thing that probably really scares him is any suggestion that the 49ers will ever pick No. 1 again in his tenure.


I should note most of this info is premium content from the websites I 1st discovered the info
 

_dan24

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49ersFan said:
Just wanted to say hello, been a long time lurker, but this is my first post. One of the reasons I want say something is that as you know the reports are that it is basically down to 4 players for the 49ers top pick. That being Rodgers, Smith, Edwards, and Rolle, although with the latter it has been reported that's who San Fran would target if they were able to trade down.

To be honest, I have no idea what's going to happen (most likely a QB, just not sure which one), so coach Nolan is doing a good job of being non-committal.

Most people seem to believe they'd like to trade down (who wouldn't) but that may be difficult this year.

Most people also believe that Aaron Rodgers to SF is virtually a slam dunk (I've read that the interest in other players such as Smith is a smokescreen in hopes of trading down), but I gonna post a couple of articles that argue the opposite.
Welcome !

I cant wait for the draft... its going to rock!
 

fisnfan0018

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"The 49ers are elated that their pick has built some value. **With the Dolphins zeroed in on three players  two of them running backsâ€â€** San Francisco has this decision to make: Stay put and draft Smith, deal down and draft Smith, or take the next highest player on its draft board. If the Niners deal out of the top five, they may not draft a quarterback, instead choosing to address the need with the first pick in the second round (33rd overall) with a player such as Auburn’s Jason Campbell, or even later with Purdue’s Kyle Orton  both very much on the Niners’ radar.

By dropping down, the Niners would set a reverse vacuum in motion for the quarterbacks. For now, let’s assume Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Tennessee all plan to pass on Smith and Rodgers, the rationale being that the Dolphins have committed to A.J. Feeley"

who do you guys think that third player could be, a wr. And do u think were committed to aj, i knida do unless guss beats him out imo. how bout u guys
 

phinfan13/34

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It seems to me that they want smith, edwards, or brown. I havnt seen the phins mention cadillac in a while so I dont think they have 2 rbs on their radar
 

fishypete

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The problem is as fans were all guessing who Saban has in his sights...it could be one of ten players.
 

BLUESTIGIDY

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Thanks for all the info---Lots of other teams come up with crazy arguements and opinions but never back them up with facts or articles----You're an educated fan and that is welcomed,,,sorry I can't say the same about those darn Bills,Jets,PAts fans,,, oops upside your head I said oops upside your head, Is it Friday Yet sheesh!!!
 
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