Posted on: April 27, 2008 1:11 pm

No WRs? What are the 49'ers doing in this draft?

I am a life-long Niner fan and I am stunned. It's hard to argue that any team in the NFL has a bigger need at WR than SF.  I thought bringing in Mike Martz was a sign that the passing game would improve.

Because of their WR need, the Niners should have evaluated the WR thoroughly and tabbed several prospects.

In the 1st round, the Niners could have taken any WR on the board.  They passed for a DT, Kentwan Balmer.  I'm fine with this pick.  A good nose tackle is essential in a 3-4.  The Niners need in this area, especially in stopping the run was exposed last year.  I personally never saw the guy play, but Scout Inc. gives him a good review.

When the 2nd round pick came up, 3 WRs were off the board.  However, only Devin Thomas was projected to be drafted at this point.  I doubt Donnie Avery or Jordy Nelson were high on the Niners draft bound.  At that time, WRs with big potential that were listed as 1st round picks on many mock drafts were available.  For example, large targets like Malcolm Kelly, James Hardy, and Limas Sweed were all available.  Plus, big play threat and special teams contributor DeSean Jackson was on the board.  But, the Niners passed for a guard, Chilo Rachal, that is too limited to play tackle.

More infuriating than the Niners passing on WR was the fact that 10 WRs were taken in the Second Round. Basically, almost 1/3 of the NFL (all with less of a WR need than SF) felt a WR had 2nd round talent. Washington got Thomas and Kelly. The Redskins made a killing in Round 2 in my opinion.  The fact that no WRs went in the 1st round helps the Niners justify passing as well.  The 2nd round picks make the Niners decision to pass on a WR again questionable.  I don't see how the Niners can justify passing on one of the WRs initially tabbed to go in the 1st round right here.

Now the 3rd round pick:  Mario Manningham and Early Doucet are both available.  Mock drafts initially tabbed these two as first round picks.  Then, their stocks fell to 2nd round projections.  Either way, good value for a team who needs a WR more than anyone in the NFL and a team who just hired the most pass happy offensive coordinator of all time.  What do the Niners do:  take a DB!   That position has no where the desperate need that WR has.  I doubt this DB (James) will start. I think one of the WRs had a much better chance of starting and contributing.

I'm amazed that the Niners have not addressed the WR position yet. SF did just bring in Mike Martz right? Aren't they trying to get some weapons to help Alex Smith - the QB who has a 9 figure contract?

I hope the Niners don't think that Bryant Johnson and Isaac Bruce solved their problems.  Johnson is not a #1 WR.  At best, he is an unproven #2 that had some decent games for the Cardinals with the benefit of playing alongside a legitimate #1 option to draw the defense away.  Bruce obviously knows Martz's system, but he is an aging possession WR - definitely not the long term answer the Niners need.

I hope the Niners know what their doing and I hope the picks work out. Right now, it looks like better picks could have been made.

Posted on: February 20, 2008 12:13 pm

Should the Gasol trade be vetoed?

Let me start by saying that the Lakers got a great deal. But, I think the media is overemphasizing how bad the deal was for Memphis. I don't think this deal rises to the point where a committee should be appointed to veto trades like this. Several coaches/GM's around the league are advocating such a committee.

Memphis wanted to free up cap space to rebuild. There are few, if any, expiring contracts for horrible players as large as Kwame Brown's. That frees up a ton of space and allows Memphis to pursue free agents (whether they land any is another ?).

Memphis also got Crittenton who was a 1st round pick with some potential.

They also get 2 1st round picks in 2008 and 2010 to help the rebuilding process.

Plus, Memphis really believes Pau's brother, Marc Gasol will be good. The guy was MVP of the Spanish League.  I doubt he will be as good as Pau, but he might be a serviceable NBA player.

Combine the cap space, draft picks, young PG, and overseas project with potential and I think Memphis got some value in return.  Again, they got the worst end of the deal. But, I don't think its so bad that committee's should be established to veto trades like this.

What are your thoughts?

Posted on: January 17, 2008 3:58 pm

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

First, I must say that I posted this on the NFL threads before I realized it sounded more like a blog entry. This is my first time using the sportsline blogs. My apologies to anyone who has already read this on the NFL boards...

So much is made of "distractions" during an NFL season and its effect on a team. For instance, we hear debates on whether a player like Chad Johnson and his publicized TD dances are a distraction to his team or not.

Last week, the media focused on Tony Romo and his trip to Mexico. In the AFC, Tony Dungy and whether he would remain the choices was dubbed a "distraction."

Do you think these "distractions" effect the players while they are on the field in the heat of battle or are they just something the media brings up if the "distracted" team losses?

I suppose "distractions" may enter a teamates mind after a mistake during the game. For example, if Romo made a bad read, a teammate may think to himself that perhaps lack of focus prior to the game is effecting his performance now. Even then, is that because the media made so much of the distraction?

This week, the Randy Moss alleged assualt/battery issue has raised a media debate on whether Randy Moss and his "distractions" will be a detriment to the Patriots.

I want to hear member's opinions on whether these "distractions" really come into play on the field or if they are a media sensation off the field. If you think they are a factor on the field, do you think they affected last week's game (Cowboys v. Giants or Colts v. Chargers)? Do you think "distractions" will play a part in this week's games?

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