I am more inclined to believe that in the fourth they got EXACTLY who they targeted. And they believed that if they did not choose these players then , neither would be there in the fith. I could be completely off base. But here is my logic.
It has come out that Reed has taken a special interest in Thompson. Apparently he has been working with the kid this off season. Also there are rumors that the Ravens had Gradkowski as the highest rated center on their board. Along with a few other teams. If I am correct, didn't a run on centers start shortly after their pick? Anyway...... With the way that players were flying off their boards I think that taking these guys in the fourth was probably the smart thing to do.
With my logic, I hardly see either pick as a reach. More like a well timed calculated move to get two specific targets.
Now with having to take these two guys in the fourth. I think they may have missed out on higher ranked players on their boards at the returner and WR positions. Clearly they were hoping for a different receiver, however, I think they got great value with Streeter in the sixth. And personally I think that Asa may be a blessing in disguise in the fith.
Another specific target was in the third. They traded up to make sure they got Pierce. And from what I understand that was not even close to a reach. Actually many proclaim that pick as a value pick.
All in all I would say that they got three specific targets. Pierce, Thompson, Gradkowski
First pick they got Upshaw that maybe wasnt higest on their board of possible targets. But I find it hard to believe he wasnt in their top 4 or 5. I would call it a score.
I think they maybe settled a bit with KO. But not much.
That would leave Asa, Streeter, and Tyson.. And most would consider Asa and Streeter as being very good value.
Anyway... that is my take and i see narry a reach in this draft class.
When Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and the Colts all rate him as the best center in the draft it's not a reach to get him in the 4th round. At the end of the day, I'm trusting the Ravens board over media websites who think they are "draft experts". It's like the Bruce Irvin pick, what people fail to realise, is that the Jets even rang the Seahawks after that pick to curse them out. We may watch clips on youtube, or watch them on Sturday nights during the season, but at the end of the day teams have coaches tape of these players and know way more than any of us or any draft expert know about them.
I'll say this about George Iloka though. He's not a free safety at all. Not even close. He's big, no doubt, but he doesn't have the coverage skills and quickness to really be an effective free safety. Christian Thompson may be a small school guy, but keep in mind he was a transfer from Auburn and played in the SEC. He's going to contribute on ST's right away and the upside is there for him to replace Ed Reed as the starting FS in a year or two. That's not something Iloka could have done. The only way I see Iloka sticking in this league is if he puts on about 10-15lbs and drops down to OLB in a cover-2 scheme. He might be able to stick as an "in the box" strong safety. He's already 6'3" 225lbs...bump him up to 235lbs and put him at OLB because he doesn't have the fluidness and range to play deep safety. We see this every year with big safeties. As fans we're enamored with them because they just look like men amongst boys out there. It happened with Taylor Mays (6'3" 230lbs), Robert Sands (6'4" 215lbs), and Aaron Rouse (6'3" 225lbs).
I think alienbird nailed it. We didnt have ammo to move around in the 4th and 5th so we had to take him at 98, rightfully so, as a run on Cs came right after. Some teams, us apparently, had him as one of, if not the best C prospect. In 3 years when we know the true outcome and they regrade this draft, maybe hes valued a first or second rounder... then its not a reach but a steal.
General manager Trent Baalke got visibly upset in the 49ers' war room when the Ravens drafted Delaware guard Gino Gradkowski with the 98th overall pick. It could be that Baalke and Jim Harbaugh were targeting him with the 97th pick, and thought he would still be around for the 103rd pick, which they traded down to with the Dolphins. http://www.csnbayarea.com/football-s...75&feedID=2800
ESPN postdraft blog:
BEST VALUE: C-G Gino Gradkowski, Delaware. He received a third-round grade by some teams and slipped into the early part of the fourth round. http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth
They interviewed DeCosta on the Fan this morning and he basically confirmed the notion that their board was getting blown up. He said that the players they liked were all getting picked and everyone ahead of them seemed to share the same needs as they did.
He later coupled that idea to his answer to another question about taking players from smaller schools. He said that they had asked their scouts to dig deeper on small school guys (ie, Delaware, S. Carolina State, Cal Poly) because the league as a whole is getting better at scouting, making it harder to target "gems", and therefore forcing them to go to new extremes to find players. He used the metaphor of the main talent pool drying up this year, so they were forced to go to the shallower waters to find players.
He also noted that the players they have had success with from small schools often were recruited by bigger schools and transferred for one reason or another to a smaller school -- notably Flacco (Pitt) and Webb (So. Miss). This is the case with a couple of the small school guys they selected this year: Gradkowski (UWV) and Thompson (Auburn).
DeCosta admitted that they didn't know where to grade Gradkowski -- they thought somewhere in the fourth or fifth round. But they felt nervous about losing him, and when other players they liked came off the board, they went ahead and used the pick on a player they liked. So from that sense, maybe you can call it a reach.
Look, once a player has been in the league for a couple years no one ever brings up the concept of whether he should have gone ten or fifteen picks lower in the draft. If Gradkowski becomes a fourth rounder who goes on to start for the team for a number of years, like Jarrett Johnson, no one will ever look back and say, "yeah, but they could have waited until the fifth round back in 2012 to take him."
And if he becomes a small-school, fourth-round offensive lineman who never amounts to anything, like David Hale, then no one will ever come back and say he was a reach--"they should have drafted him in the fifth or sixth round." No, he'll just be another fourth round player they missed on.
That's why Florio is right that the idea of "reach" is a little overused.
That said, if the team could have traded back and nabbed him fifteen picks later, and gotten an extra sixth rounder for their troubles (or if they could have stayed at the end of the third round to get Pierce, and kept that fifth round selection) then from that perspective they "overspent" on the picks. I think that is a more applicable term than "reach."
Seems like the 49ers didn't think Gradkowski in the 4th was too bad.Quote:
According to CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, 49ers GM Trent Baalke had a "noticeable reaction" in the draft room when the Ravens grabbed G/C Gino Gradkowski early in the fourth round after San Francisco had traded back.
Clearly targeting Gradkowski himself, Baalke traded back again to select Joe Looney after the Ravens snagged Bruce's brother. Labeling Gradkowski "athletic and nasty," former Ravens and Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah predicts the fourth-rounder will be the eventual starting center in Baltimore.
OOPS: didn't see above post saying the same thing.