Friday, May 27, 2011

Giants Worst Nightmare Comes True

Wonder where that's sounds coming from? Check out our "Giants Hits" show, in which I talked a bit about Buster Posey and the injury and aftermath. It's currently playing right now, down on the right-side of the page.

For some reason, It's not allowing me to post the link for the video here, so just scroll on down or click here to watch this and many more videos!

Here is a blurb from our Giants Baseball Blog as well talking about the situation:

"There just isn't much to say but when Scott Cousins collided with Buster, it was a "WOW, the Giants' best player's leg just practically snapped!", reaction from me. Then the severity of the injury started to sink in as he lie there (you know it's bad when the opposing player sticks around). I mean, look at it, I didn't want to post the picture at first, but this is the last of Posey we'll in 2011, going out like a champ and putting his body on the line in effort to save the game for his team. It was a clean play by baseball standards though, and Cousins feels horrible about it, tearing up in an interview. It seemed too surreal to be happening, such a weird baseball injury and it happens to the last guy in the world it can, if your a Giants fan. He was the last guy on that roster they could afford to lose and they've lost him. Even a Tim Lincecum season-ender wouldn't bring the daily impact that losing Posey will, so if you think losing Lincecum for the season would be worse, your wrong (everyone knock on wood). The Giants clear strength is their pitching, so much so that they have a guy getting paid $18M on the DL because they're simply too deep with starters. They needed every single bat they could afford to get, and some. Pablo Sandoval's injury was a big set-back, but he's coming back in a few weeks....."

For the rest, click go to The Giants Baseball Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Look at the AL West

Well, It's been a while since I did a strictly baseball post, with the NFL draft taking up most he last month, but today I wanted to get back to the diamond and talk a little AL West. Reason being is that it's an odd division in that only 3.5 games separate the 1st and 4th place teams. I'll do a small, team-by-team capsule of where each team is at as we get ready to enter June, in one of the most fairly matched divisions in the game:

Texas Rangers, 25-23 W-L: The Rangers are getting by with that great offense and one starting pitcher in particular who's become a Cy Young candidate out of nowhere in Alexi Ogando (5-0, 1.81, 43 K's, 0.87 WHIP). Outside of him and C.J. Wilson (4-3, 3.42 era, 60 k's), the rotation has been ordinary, though they do have Brandon Webb extremely close in rehab (threw 7 innings Monday night in A-ball). Ogando though has been the man, he's actually filled Cliff Lee's large shoes while Derek Holland struggles. I can't think of what they'll do if they get a healthy Webb back in June though, with that offense. They've also won so far on the Adrian Beltre signing (.257/10/28, gold glove defense at 3rd), who was essentially signed to help the defense and take Vlad Guerreo's spot in the lineup. Now that the Rangers have Mr. All-Everything, Josh Hamilton, back I expect them to slowly separate from the pack. Worried about JHam's health? First 2 games back: 2 multi-hit games, a homer and 4 RBI!

Los Angeles Angels, 25-24: The Angels have been decimated by injury, otherwise they'd be one heckuva an opponent for Texas. Torri Hunter looks like he's 50 years old all the sudden, and their starting pitching is so night and day it's ridiculous (mainly Ervin Santana). Eric Aybar is having an amazing year at shortstop so far, hitting over .300 with 2 homers and 12 steals. He and Howie Kendrick, .322/7/18/ 30 runs scored, have been the only reason they aren't the southern version of the Mariners. They still could turn things around with Dan Haren, Jared Weaver and the re-invented Joel Piniero starting ballgames, but they need Bobby Abreu to come around, Santana to revert to last years success and some health and they'll be in Ok shape, but I don't see them taking on Texas with all that offense and pitching and "lights-out" closer, Neftali Feliz. Not unless they make a move to get another guy or two who can hit 25-30 homers. Right now, they don't have that guy, though Marc Trumbo is having a nice rookie year.

Seattle Mariners, 23-25: The only reason the Mariners aren't 10 or more games below .500 right now is because of two starting pitchers in particular.King Felix Hernandez (5 wins) and Rookie-of-the-Year shoe in Michael Pineda (6 wins) are the leaders of an otherwise dim situation in the Pacific Northwest. With Pineda's emergence, I'd consider dealing the "King" for 2 legit bats that can help out an offense going nowhere. That said, their starting staff as a whole is actually solid, and I really like lefty Jason Vargas as a #3 guy. Problem with them, is they'd be better having Tacoma's lineup come up and hit for them, outside of a few guys. Ichiro is Ichiro, but even he's starting to show signs of aging (0 HR, .292 avg. through May 24). The steady guy in the lineup for Seattle has been rookie Justin Smoak (.269/6/26) and why he hasn't yet been joined by fellow rookie and top prospect, Dustin Ackley, is beyond me, especially the way he's swinging down in AAA with 7 big flies and 23 RBI. They need that production in Seattle... Chone Figgins has been an absolute bust in Seattle after the money they gave him that 4 Yr/$36M deal last winter to steal him away from LAA.

Oakland Athletics, 23-26: Finally, we get to the fourth place A's, the team I had picked to win the division back in March. I knew they'd pitch, but I didn't foresee this poor of an offense, and certainly didn't expect Andrew Baily to be out the first 1/4 of the year. The team's new adds, outside of Josh Willingham who leads the team in homers and RBI, but is only hitting .230, have been a mess. David DeJesus, a lifetime .300 hitter, is hitting .232, Hideki Matsui is hitting just .236 with 3 homers and don't even get me started on the infield. They have, by far, the worst offensive infield in baseball. Their combined infield has 6 homers and is hitting under .200, and it's almost June folks. That's how bad things are in Oakland, and I think it's waring on the pitchers. You wouldn't know it though by looking at Trevor Cahil, Gio Gonzalez and Tyson Ross. Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy look a little rattled though, as they've been pitching through some horrible luck. I have no doubt Anderson will be just fine, but McCarthy now has the stress fracture and it could hamper the 1-4 pitcher all year long.... It doesn't matter though, only way the A's make a run at Texas and LA is if they call up 3-4 guys who succeed and maybe make a deal or 2 in order to sort of re-make their lineup. Jemile Weeks is ready at 2nd!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Buster Posey Reaction on "Giants Hits"

Once in a while, since we like to keep most of our Giants talk strictly to our Giants Blog,cleverly named, The Giants Baseball Blog.

Here is our new show which is featured on the Giants Blogs, (Placed at the bottom of the page, cause it's the only place the current player fits). So for new video's check there our Unify's page @

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Raiders Draft Review

I spent so much time talking about the 49ers draft, cause, let's face it, it's no secret I'm partial to the San Francisco teams, but when I started this site, I wanted to broaden my horizon's and since then, I've been paying close attention to the Oakland teams. However, we don't talk as much Raider talk here as we do A's talk purely because the Raiders have been a laughing stock the last few years, and unfortunately, they didn't do too much in the draft to help themselves out.

Instead of taking a player who cold maybe come in and help their wretched quarterback position, the guy I thought they would take when he fell as fare as he did, was Ryan Mallet. There was first round talent still on the board when the Raiders selected, and talent that met their needs. Outside of Mallet, who would have been perfect competition for Jason Campbell at QB, their were guys like Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, a top-5 pick minus the off-field issues that shouldn't be an issue. There was big linebacker out of Georgia, Justin Houston sitting there, a guy PFL had in it's the top-35 or even DT Marvin Austin, who could come in and start right away in the Raiders 4-3 defense. It's not the selection of Wisniewski that should irritate Raiders fans, it's the fact that the Raiders could have gotten him with one of their other 9 low-round picks that they stockpiled for some odd reason, as he was a 123 ranked prospect and probably wasn't on any one's minds as far as the first 3 rounds

After the Wisniewski (pictured) pick, the Raiders continued to reach for their typical speed and leap skill guys rather than targeting actual solid football players. With pick 81, they selected cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke who apparently the Raiders love because they saw his incredible speed and immediately had visions of him returning kicks and in defensive backfield in passing situations with that speed. Problem is, he's not a great cover guy, and the Riaders passed on 2, much better cover corners in Johnny Patrick out of Louisville and Brandon Harris out of Miami (though they would have had to take him in the 2nd round to get him). So I didn't really like that pick either. I even hated their 2nd pick in round 3 even more, Joseph Barksdale, a complete project lineman out of LSU where he got moved around so much because he didn't fit anywhere. At that point, I knew the Riaders were just going to go after guys they had on their minds. I mean, they had countless opportunities to nab Ryan Mallet in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and passed. I just don't get that. They passed on Randall Cobb, a guy who some think may come in and be the offensive rookie of the year in the NFL, a polished receiver, not a track-star like Heyward-Bay.

Here are the rest of the Riaders picks- in parenthesis, I have players who they passed on for those picks. These picks do take into consideration Day 2's choices:

4th Rnd.) Chimedi Chekwa, CB, Ohio St. (OLB Chris Carter, Fresno St. )
5th Rnd.) Tawain Jones, RB, East Washington ( QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa) *
5th Rnd.) Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee ( WR Dwayne Harris, ECU)
6th Rnd.) Richard Gordon, TE, Miami ( TE Virgil Green, Nevada)
7th Rnd.) David Ausberry, WR, USC ( S Joe Lefeged, Rutgers)
*Another RB! Really, Al!

So in my version of the Raider draft, they end up with Mallet in the 2nd, Patrick in the 3rd then just switch out Stanzi and WR Tandon Doss in order to provide Mallet with as many receiving weapons as possible. Tawain Jones is the one pick I actually liked, but I didn't get unless they have plans to deal Bush or McFadden... Anyway, those would have been my selections, judging on what was available at the time of pick, if I ran the Raider war-room. Instead, they focused on 6', 180 pound running/defensive backs that run and run some more, as well as versatile lineman? You gotta be thinking disappointing draft if your a member of the "Nation".

So, in essence, I wouldn't have made one choice the Raiders did on draft day, and for that, I have no choice but to give them- Overall Draft Grade: F

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A's New Phenom Starter: Tyson Ross

Well, I wanted to step away from the NFL draft, which has dominated our focus here at the BASJ since it went down 2 weeks ago. So we shift focus across the Bay to the Oakland Athletics where Billy Beane is doing something right, because the A's just cannot stop producing quality pitching.

The newest, big-armed youngster to add to the mix is 6'6", 24 year-old righty Tyson Ross, who was the A's 2nd round pick in '08. What's surprising about Ross' incline, is that he barely spent any time in the minor leagues, throwing just 180 innings, and he wasn't particularly impressive, with an era over 4 and just a mediocre WHIP, BB and K numbers. He won a spot in the A's bullpen last spring, but had an era of 5.49 in about 40 innings of relief before going back down to Sacramento. It wasn't until being thrust back into the starting rotation for the injured Dallas Braden did the 2nd year pitcher out of Cal start putting it together. Since then, he's absolutely thrived in the starting role, really where he's been his whole baseball life (again, the A's had him in the pen last year). After his first start vs. the Mariners, where he didn't make it out of the fifth inning, the right-hander has been as solid as any starter in the bigs. He's had 4 starts spanned out over 26 2/3 innings (roughly 7 innings per start), going 2-0 with a 1.69 era and 18 strikeouts with just 5 walks. I thought that with Braden's season ending injury, Rich Harden's recent setback, and Brandon McCarthy's recent bad luck streak (4 straight L's), that the A's strong rotation, which is the strength of their team, was in trouble. Ross has alleviated any and all concerns and actually provided new optimism.

I don't want to go looking up every single rotation in the big leagues, but I'm fairly certain that with Ross out there now, with Brandon McCarhty (27), Trevor Cahill (23), Brett Anderson (22), Gio Gonzalez (25) and now Ross (24), I'd go out on a limb and say the A's have the youngest rotation in all of baseball. I know Baltimore is pretty young, but they have Guthrie in there who's over 30. The great part about it, is that these guys already know how to pitch, they're not learning on the go like a lot of the younger staffs in the big leagues are. These guys are polished big league pitchers who have some years under their belts, outside of Ross who barely misses qualifying for the Rookie of the Year award because of last years 1/2 season spent rotting in the bullpen when he should have been in the the Sacramento rotation all year.

It's amazing the rate at which the A's are producing these pitchers, but I can't seem to figure out what happen to all the hitting the A's were developing a few years back. It seems like after ever since Carlos Gonzalez (who Beane ended up trading for Matt Holliday in possibly his worst move ever) and Kurt Suzuki, the A's haven't really brought up any big league worthy hitters. I know he's just 25 and I don't want to write the book on him yet, but Daric Barton has been a bust so far. Maybe Jemile Weeks (Rickie's little brother) or Michael Taylor come up and turn that around. Weeks is hitting .333 with 2 homers in Sac. and Taylor, the team's top OF prospect, is finally healthy. I thought Chris Carter would be the guy, but stikes out too much and hasn't hit for enough average to support that ridiculous power (hitting .173 in AAA right now after hitting .186 in 70 AB's for the A's in '10). Should be interesting to see what the A's decide to do and who they decide to move around in order to jump-start a broken offense which is keeping them from taking command of this division.

Friday, May 13, 2011

49ers Post Mock Draft

Today we're going to do sort of a double post in one. With the 49ers post-mock draft, I'll re-do the 49ers draft the way I would have done it if I were the Baalke/Harbough combo in the war room, also coming with a small description of the player next to the pick.

49ers Re-Draft Mock

Rnd. 1
: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri: At first I wanted Prince or even Gabbart (until the Kaepernick pick), but ultimately, I do think he'll make an immediate impact at the place the 49ers were the weakest at, and that was getting after the passer. I liked Prince, but Smith has 10+ sack potential which nobody else on the roster really has.

Rnd. 2
: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Neveda: Again, after Dalton went, it was apparent the 49ers were going to leap for Kaepernick and he's got huge potential. A lot of NFL people feel he's better suited for the NFL than #1 pick Cam Newton.

Rnd. 3: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville: Way more NFL ready than Culliver and more of a certainty. Could have come in and competed immediately for starting time while Culliver still needs a position and they probably could have gotten him 2 rounds later.

Rnd. 4: Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh: I liked the Hunter pick too, I just think Lewis is a tad more versatile and usable in the passing game, and could be used as more of and every-down back should something happen to Gore. A lot of people compare him to Brian Westbrook who's a perfect fit for the WC Offense.

Rnd. 5: Dwayne Harris, WR, ECU: He may not be the biggest or fastest at 6', 200 pounds, but look at the production he put up for the Pirates against some pretty good football teams. 184 catches and 2,000+ yards during the '09-'10 seasons. That's production, especially in an NCAA 12-13 game seasons! Linebacker Quan Sturdivant (projected 2nd-3rd rounder), who's value plummeted for off-field issues I'm assuming, would have also been intriguing with his potential, mixing in with Navarro Bowman and Takeo Spikes alongside Pat Willis inside in the Niners 3-4.

Rnd. 6: Ronald Johnson, WR, USC: He could have been a nice guy to bring in to compete with Harris for that slot position, as I thought he was a great value pick in the 6th.

Rnd. 7: (#1) Cliff Mathews, DE/OLB, SC: Who knows, he could have beefed up and learned behind Justin Smith, as he's got that same kind of motor from the DE spot, just a little slim. He's 6'4" though and at 265, so if he added 15-25 pounds, which is doable, He could definitely play end. Or he slims down and is another pass-rushing option at OLB.

Rnd. 7: (#2) Lee Ziemba, T, Auburn: I would have taken him just based on his size and potential. He's a physical specimen at 6'8" and 320 pounds as he would have been their O-Line project with upside for Coach Tomsula to work with. Was also rated by PFL as a 90th best prospect in draft.

Rnd 7: (#3) Joe Lefeged, SS, Rutgers: The un-drafted safety was probably more surprised than anyone they didn't get their name called during the draft. He was a projected middle round pick and would have come in and competed for time in a thin secondary for the 49ers.
Up Next: We'll take a step away from football before jumping back into the Raiders draft, which really was a non-event.

Monday, May 9, 2011

49ers Draft Review: Part 2 of 2

Alright, onto part two, which I had already had added onto part one and realized it was too long, so I decided to save it for another post. However, in a bone-headed move, I forgot to copy and paste the second part properly and I have to now come up with a re-write, but don't worry, I still have it fresh in my mind. Just scroll on down or Click Part 1 for the first part of the draft breakdown.

So we left off talking about the the Aldon Smith pick, though I would have rather taken Amakamura, but hey, the Niners obviously think Smith can be a All-Pro pass rusher at this level and be their James Harrison. I guess we'll see. The Kaepernick pick again, I loved. I would have accepted either him or Dalton, heck even Ryan Mallet with open arms, but Kaepernick has so much athletic talent that I could see Harbough making him a star. So that coupled with the fact I'm hoping for a 10-sack season out of Smith since the franchise is so high on him, I would say the 49ers were looking mighty good heading into the 3rd round. Things got a little questionable after the Kaepernick pick. They grabbed 218th ranked prospect in the draft by Pro Football Daily, Chirs Culliver who isn't even sure where he'll play. Not to base everything on PFL's grading system, they're certainly no guarantee, but to leap that fare, that low in the draft was a jaw-dropper. Especially when looking at the talent sitting there in the 3rd, which should be a player you expect to compete for a starting job immediately, not in 3 years. (some "passed on" talent listed in Part 1)

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse in the Culliver project though, I just hope I'm way off base and we'll leave it at that. The Kendall Hunter pick was a much better one, although I think I would have leaned toward Dion Lewis of Pittsburgh if I were drafting (who many had as the 3rd best back in a RB-thin draft). The 49ers chose Hunter who had two 1,500 yard seasons at Oklahoma State and has been repeatedly compared to former OK State Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders. The Niners need that speedy, change of pace back and Hunter is just that. He's allusive, quick and will be a great change of pace to the more straight-forward, down-hill running Frank Gore. The only thing with Hunter, is that a lot of people close to College Football and OK State feel Hunter will not be able to take the rigors of being an every-down back and his ceiling is that of a change of pace guy. That's why I would have gone with Dion Lewis. Lewis ran for 1799 and 17 TD's as a freshman, and carried the ball 325 times. He's also more active in the passing game than Hunter, which has drawn comparisons to Brian Westbrook, tallying 405 yards on 52 catches in 2 seasons with Pitt. Hunter totaled just 184 yards and 31 catches in that span. Now all that said, again, I don't dislike this pick, Hunter is a good player, just think they could have gotten a little bit better of one in Lewis just for that passing element in for the WCO.

After Hunter, they traded up to grab a Division-2 guy in Daniel Kilgore, who wasn't even expected to be drafted. Granted, he was an 2A All-American Left Tackle, the there were simply better options. Maybe they traded up hoping WR Tandon Doss (check his game-by-game vs. powerhouse D's) would fall and if he did and they still passed, I would have been all over Bay Area airwaves and talk shows with the massive hysteria about passing on him. I would have definitely gone wideout in the 5th, then saved the O-Lineman projects for later rounds like they did in '02 with Kosier and Heitman, their two best picks of that draft, sadly. There were some good wideouts there at 28 in the 5th like a guy who had only 100 catches, 1,120 yards and 10 TD for ECU last season after an 83/979/7; 3 return TD's in his Jr. year, and that man was Dwayne Harris. I guess they just thought Harris wasn't physical enough or fast enough to make it in the NFL. The guy I thought they would go after was Nebraska's Niles Paul (No question about his physical ability, just health), the big, speedy, physical receiver. Paul was thriving in an offense traditionally focused on running until breaking his foot (probably what kept him from going in day 2), could play flanker or slot and was big in the return game.

However, they somewhat saved the tail-end of the draft with the 6th round wideout, and my value pick of the draft, Ronald Johnson out of USC. Harris was available still, but Johnson's WR coach from USC is know in SF so he has first hand knowledge and told Harbough/Baalke to grab this guy over Harris. Johnson had a pretty nice year in 2010 leading the Trojans in receiving TD's with 8 and essentially tying for the team lead in catches and yards. He didn't put up huge numbers because he played on a USC team that has become stocked with so many talented players that want to go there that they have an infinite amount of talent. With so many different weapons, Matt Barkely did a great job of spreading the ball around to everyone in 2010, which is the only reason you didn't see Johnson with 80+ catches and 1,000 yards. The thing I wonder about with Johnson though, is why didn't his old coach Pete Carrol take him first after seeing him all those years in SC, instead going with the 6'5" Kris Durham from Georgia in round 4, rated way below Johnson on the big board. In fact, I think Seahawk fans are probably wondering the same thing on why they reached on a guy when there were many better available at the position. Regardless, I liked the Johnson pick and was hoping the 49ers would nab a WR higher in the draft. I think Josh Morgan should be challenged, and I think they need a slot receiver they actually will use consistantly, even in the West Coast offense. The way or lack of way, they used Teddy Ginn last year was amazingly stupid, and they still were even running more of a spread.

Now after Johnson, there really isn't anyone worth going into detail about. They grabbed TCU safety Colin Jones who's role will be special teams, if he makes the team, as he run and tackle. In the 7th, it was project fullback Bruce Miller (converted DE) of Central Florida, Guard Mike Person out of Montana State (ironically enough, rated right behind David Kilgore, who the Niners drafted 2 rounds earlier) then finished off with cornerback/safety Curtis Holcomb out of Florida A&M who probably never sees the field.

So after all this jabbering about a so-so draft, it's time for the grade. As you can tell, it was kind of a roller coaster draft in my eyes and so much of this draft will rely on what Kaepernick and Smith end up doing. If they would have went with more natural picks later in the draft, I would have graded them much higher, but I don't like all the projects. I really could keep going on and on and on some more about the draft, which is why it's so intriguing and one of the big reasons I started this site, but I'll keep it at that for the keep in mind, this isn't signifying the end of 49er draft talk, but it does signify our formel 49ers Draft Review.

BASJ'S 49ers Draft Grade: C
(Note: Raiders Draft Review, plus the "How I Would Have Drafted" if I were Baalke/Harbough post to Come!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grading the 49ers Draft: Pt. 1 of 2

Well, as I said at the end of our last post, at the end of the draft, I wanted to take a while to sit back and assess things, not to mention take a break from hour-after-hour updates. But anyway, after about a week's recollection, I still have the same consensus, the 49ers certainly could have done better in this draft.

First off, I don't at all dislike Aldon Smith as a player, and since they've drafted him, I think he was a good choice for that pass-rushing outside linebacker position. That was a position of need and the 49ers filled it. Smith is a guy who should be able to come in and start right away, and have an impact like Willis did, or he could go the Lawson route, we don't know. What we do know, is that the 49ers need a starting QB for next year and a starting CB and as good as Aldon Smith is, I think the Amakamura kid is a better cover-man and can be a Nahmdi Asomogha-type. Also, big-armed Blaine Gabbart was the best, most pure thrower in the draft, a Peyton Manning, Phil Rivers-potential guy but they passed on him too. He's a guy who's succeeded against NFL-type College defenses as a Sophomore and had a rating of 140 and 27 TD's... Back to Smith, who had an exceptional Frosh season with 11.5 sacks, but then played hurt last year and recorded just 5.5, and that's something that has to be a little concerning. So, I guess to some things up on the 1st rounder, I like Aldon Smith and I do think he'll provide that pass rush, but there were a couple of others I would have chosen over him.

Day two was kind of a roller coaster. They took Colin Kaepernick in the 2nd round, and I really liked this choice immediately, unlike the the Aldon Smith pick. I was thinking he'd go at the end of the first round in the QB frenzy, and I liked Andy Dalton just about as much, so I would have been fine with either. But they got Kaepernick who we know get to get behind and disect. The kid comes in with tremendous tools and resume as he set the NCAA record with 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rush yards. Just think of the type of athlete you have to be in order to do that! Because of that ability to move, as well as make the throw on the move, I liken him to Steve Young a little bit, and even though he has some learning to do (which rookie QB doesn't), I actually think he'll be ready to start by mid-season (if needed), rather than 2012, so that's why the 49ers may be so intent on bring back Alex Smith. He's keeping the seat warm while Kaepernick learns the rigors for a few months. Looking back at the draft as a whole, without Kaepernick, if they take some no-name O-Lineman, this draft would have been a complete and utter failure. As much potential as Aldon Smith has and value Kendal Hunter may bring, it was the Kaepernick pick that saved this draft. Here is a pretty cool link with a long scouting report and some video on the new 49er QB.

Now after those two picks, things got dicey in my opinion. The 49ers started to reach. The 49ers took a project defensive back, half safety/half cornerback, Chris Culliver out of South Carolina in the 3rd round when there was uber-amounts of talent still up on the board (Johnny Patrick, CB Curtis Marsh, WR Vincent Brown, CB Josh Thomas, T Marcus Cannon even WR Leonard Hankerson just to name a few of the ones I would have targeted). One of the 49ers most pressing needs coming in was a good cover corner, and they didn't get him in the first round and when Johnny Patrick was still there when they picked 16th in the 3rd round, I almost could have guaranteed you it was going to be him. I know about the ridiculous incident with the woman and the cell phone last summer, and the MCL flare (though Culliver's injury was much more serious which caused him to miss most of last year) that caused him to miss most combine workouts. That guy just got better and better each year and had a huge senior season. He's a guy who can probably start right away. But they went Culliver instead, a project who's the same size, but faster and can jump higher than Patrick, I guess. I even liked Curtis Brown, Josh Thomas and Brandon Hogan better than Culliver. I didn't even think he was a possibility (never even heard of him) as he was projected as a later round pick. After watching some video and reading about him, he does possess solid qualities (physical/athletic specimen with speed), so I see what the Niners saw in him, but why not draft him in the 5th round like they could have. They didn't get their corner in the 1st round, but still had a chance to get a top-5 corner in this draft and passed on him because of the "height/weight/speed/leap obsession" the 49ers showed in this draft. I hope I'm wrong but I think this pick is a strikeout and a flat F if it's getting a grade!

More to Come: The response was so long that we had to break it into two parts. Part 2 with the actual draft grade and more draft talk to be posted tomorrow, so do return!