49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 26, 2009
Day 2 Niners draft tracker

3:59 p.m. The 49ers just ended their draft with .... drum roll, please ... ****RICKY JEAN-FRANCOIS of LSU ***** Maybe my mom was right. Maybe I am special.

At 6-2 1/2, 295 pounds, Francois projects to defensive end for the 49ers. Here's what NFL Draft Scout says about him:

Positives: Tall, but can still use leverage to bull rush his man into the pocket. ... Violent with his hands, able to rip off blocks inside to make plays on the ball. ... Impressive in his ability to stand his man up and discard him to either side. ... Rarely gets moved when facing a one-on-one block. ... Moves fluidly down the line, able to eat up a wide running lane with his length. ... Recognizes the screen. ... Imposing figure when closing, will work toward the quarterback if he's in sight. ... Impacts passing lanes and can block kicks using his height and reach.


Negatives: A bit lean for some NFL defensive coordinators, but not considerably light. ... High pad level allows double-team blocks to sweep him aside. ... Inconsistent initial quickness off the snap and he guesses the snap count at times. ... Could hustle and chase the ball more often. ... Not quick enough to keep off a cut block, but recovers well. ... Does not consistently play to his timed speed, lumbering in space and lacking elite stop-start quickness.

Compares To: JON BRADLEY, Detroit -- Jean Francois has exceptional playing strength, but has failed to live up to his lofty press clippings. He has had academic issues, off-field problems and an overall inconsistent performance on the field. He can easily shed blocks and power through the line, but lacks focus. He runs his mouth more than Warren Sapp, but with 56 tackles in 25 games, it is obvious he can't back up his bold comments. Unless someone feels that they have patient veterans to mentor him, it is doubtful that he will live up to his own opinion of himself.

3:00 p.m. In the seventh round, the 49ers choose ***** FS Curtis Taylor out of LSU ******** Taylor is 6-2, 207 and -- here's why he fell to the 7th round -- ran his 40 in 4.64 seconds. There's a strong possibility that this LSU safety could bump another LSU safety, Mark Roman, off the roster.

curtis.jpg

Positives: Long, chiseled frame. ... Prototype size for the position -- rangy and athletic. ... Reads the field well and reacts quickly to the action. ... Good straight-line speed and range in coverage. ... Has natural hands for the interception and times his leaps well to pluck the ball at its highest point. ... Competitive. ... Has long arms and strength to wrap up tacklers. ... Flashes explosive hitting ability.


Negatives: Can be too aggressive and can be tricked by effective play-action. ... Takes poor angles in run support and when attacking receivers in the open field. ... Is not a physical intimidator. ... Will go for the hit instead of the secure tackle or interception. ... Tight in the hips and is best when coming straight into the action. ... Lacks the change-of-direction agility to handle running backs or receivers one-on-one in the open field.

2:07 p.m. Singletary just spoke about the teams Day 2 draft picks:

On Glen Coffee ... Singletary underscored that Frank Gore is "the guy" in the team's offense and that Coffee would be used in a complentary role. He described Gore as a slasher-type running back whereas Coffee is a more downhill runner. Is he concerned that, at 209 pounds, Coffee would have durability issues with a downhill style? "If he had to be an every-down guy -- yes, I would."

On Scott McKillop ... Singletary noted that McKillop also was a backup longsnapper and would be a great addition on special teams. He said that McKillop could play either Ted or Mike linebacker. I'm sure the 49ers are hoping it's the former.

On Nate Davis ....Singletary said he was pleased when Davis immediately revealed his learning disability. "I feel like this: If someone has a learning disability, the most important thing thing for the coach that's coaching him is that he finds out." Singletary revealed that at the beginning of the college season, there was a sentiment around 49ers headquarters that Davis could be the No. 1 pick in the draft. (That's before Davis nose-dived in his last two games). It did not sound as if Singletary expected Davis to see playing time anytime soon. I asked him if there was a chance the team could keep four quarterbacks on the roster. "Don't know -- can't answer it at this point," he said.

On Bear Pascoe ... Said Singletary: "I think he's a tough, hard-nosed guy and that he's going to give you everything he has." He called Pascoe a "definite upgrade" over Billy Bajema, who now plays for the Rams. Pascoe on his nickname: "That's what I tell everybody when they ask me about the name Bear -- I came out (of his mother's womb) growling and ready to fight." Pascoe is from Portersville and was calling from the barn on his family's 30-acre farm.

1:25 p.m. With their first pick in the sixth round, the 49ers selected ******TE Bear Pascoe of Fresno State ****** Pascoe was a big part of the Bulldogs' passing game, but he'll be a blocker, a la Billy Bajema, in the 49ers' system.

bear.jpg

Barrows had Pascoe, 6-5, 251, going in the seventh round in his Fearless Friday Forecast, which, by the way, needs to be freakin' framed. Singletary is going to talk about the picks the team has made thus far, so I'll be back in a few minutes. Here's what NFL Draft Scout has to say about Pascoe:

Positives: Good frame for the position. Good bulk and overall strength as a blocker. Uses his hands and leverage well as a blocker and provides as much effort as a blocker as he does as a receiver. Puts smaller defenders on their back and plays through the whistle. Able to reach linebackers at the second level. Former quarterback who understands where the holes are on the defense. Solid route-running in the short to intermediate zones. Uses his body to shield defenders. Natural hands catcher who can who fight for the ball and can track over his shoulder. Bullish runner who fights for extra yardage.


Negatives: Not an elite athlete in the Kellen Winslow mold. Lacks the straight-line speed to threaten the seam against NFL talent. Takes a few steps to get to top speed. Flashes the ability to make tough receptions with defenders draped over him, but needs to continue to work in this area. Leans forward when blocking, and needs to improve his balance facing stronger defenders. Defensive backs use their quickness to elude him while blocking in the open field.

Compares To: KRIS MANGUM, ex-Carolina -- It is fitting that he is compared to a retired player, as Pascoe is an old school type of tight end, one that does a good job of blocking in-line and is used as a safety valve receiver underneath. He is not the type to threaten the seam and you will find most other tight ends in the draft able to outrace him, but he has the intangibles - a blue collar work ethic, tough as nails and willing to sacrifice himself to make the play.

12:58 p.m. At one point, people were talking about Davis as if he was a second-round pick. Then, all of a sudden, Davis was the QB nobody wanted. Only one team, the nearby Indianapolis Colts, showed up at his pro day. Davis said he thought he fell because of a learning disability. He said he had a problem reading and writing but that it only manifested itself in the classroom, not in the football meeting room or on the field. In fact, the 49ers flew him to Santa Clara in the weeks leading up to the draft to figure out whether that learning disability was prohibitive. Quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson had Davis chart plays on the whitebord. The session had to have gone well -- the 49ers just made him a fifth-round pick.

natedavis.jpg

12:43 p.m. The media trailer is going nuts. The 49ers just used their second fifth-round pick on ****** Ball State quarterback Nate Davis ******* Davis became a favorite of the 49ers beatwriters because he always seemed to be playing on Thursday night when we were working in the media trailer. We also liked the fact that he doesn't need to line his fingers onto the laces to throw the ball -- he just wings it. In fact, Davis said he prefers to throw without the laces, something he picked up as a shotgun QB in high school. I have a feeling QB coach Mike Johnson might try to rid him of that habit.

Check out whom NFL Draft Scout compares Davis to:

Positives: Not tall, but has all other physical tools scouts want in a quarterback. Quick setup and delivery. Over-the-top throwing motion with an efficient release. Very good arm strength. Legitimate NFL accuracy to all levels of the field. Sets his feet and can drive the deep out from the opposite hash with ease. Good touch in the intermediate and deep. Throws a catchable ball with enough loft to allow his receivers to catch it in space and create yardage after the catch. Good mobility in the pocket to buy time and keep plays alive.


Negatives: Shorter than scouts would like. Big numbers were byproduct of spread system. Will have to adjust to taking traditional snaps under center. Struggled against non-MAC foes, including Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl. Plays with gloves on both hands and throws the ball without the laces. Has resisted coaches' attempts to change how he throws the ball. Documented learning disability and might struggle with a complicated NFL playbook.

Compares To: ALEX SMITH, San Francisco -- Davis is a combination of Alex Smith and -- because of his athletic skills -- Baltimore's Troy Smith, undersized passers who rely on their quickness, balance and feet to make big plays on the move. Davis is in the same situation as Alex Smith in that he would've greatly benefited from an additional year in college. If he is drafted into a rebuilding situation without a standout receiver or offensive line, Davis could quickly regress as Alex Smith did. How teams choose to handle Davis in his early NFL career will be critical. He could be devoured by unfriendly media and some are concerned that his last three performances, with Ball State aiming for an undefeated season and Davis looking to the NFL, showed he can't handle immense pressure.


12:24 p.m. For the next pick I predicted -- on Friday morning, mind you -- Wash State WR Brandon Gibson. Given the Michael Crabtree pick yesterday, my precog pick now is .... LSU DE Ricky-Jean Francois.

11:49 a.m. As was the case with Coffee, after takling to McKillop, you can see why the 49ers liked him. With Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes the established starters, a guy like McKillop will have to play a lot of special teams. "I know a lot of people say they love special teams, but I truly love special teams," said McKillop who was a special teamer for two seasons at Pitt while backing up H.B. Blades.

McKillop said he came from a small high school in Pennsylvania and only had one scholarship offer, from Pitt. And he admits that he plays with a chip on his shoulder. "People are always doubting me," he said. The question for Mike Singletary and GM Scot McCloughan later today will be whether McKillop is a Ted (probable) or a Mike (worst-case scenario) linebacker.

mcKillop.jpg

11:32 a.m. ***** 49ers take Pitt inside linebacker Scott McKillop ***** with their first pick in the fifth round. Yes, Barrows nailed it. This is a great pick. McKillop doesn't look pretty but he is uncanny in that he always ends up with the ball carrier in his arms.

McKillop measures up at 6-0, 244. He finished with 137 tackles as a senior and was a tackling machine at the Senior Bowl as well. Here's what NFL Draft Scout says about him:

Positives: Productive, instinctual player who sorts through the trash to get to the ballcarrier, seems to have an innate sense of how and when to slide through oncoming blockers. ... Very good backfield awareness, always seems to know where the ball is. ... Recognizes tight ends going out on delayed routes. ... Breaks down well in space and makes secure tackles in the open field. ... Can get to the outside to meet the back at the edge. ... Drops quickly and hustles to meet receivers in intermediate routes. ... Gets a good hit on slot receivers to knock them off their route. ... Knows where the sticks are and tries his best to keep underneath receivers from getting there. ...


Negatives: Only adequately developed in the upper and lower body. ... Does not have great speed to chase plays from behind, but generally makes up for it by taking good angles. ... Lacks physicality and runs around blocks instead of taking them on. ... Unable to get off blocks when engaged and is more of a catcher than a hard-hitter or fierce tackler. ... Is not explosive off the snap when blitzing.

Compares To: ZACH THOMAS, Kansas City -- McKillop is slightly bigger than Thomas, but both rely on their field vision, intelligence and quickness to gain advantage on the blocker in order to compensate for a lack of ideal size. The Pitt linebacker is a classic knee bender who plays in good football position, as he always seems to be on his feet working through trash. He a smart playmaker who reacts decisively and can step up, stay square and take on/shed the bigger blockers with good force. He has that quick reactionary ability to fill holes and make plays in-line and even at his size, blockers struggle in attempts to contain him at the point of attack.

11:01 a.m. These are the guys I'm thinking about to the 49ers in the fifth round: How 'bout LSU ILB Darry Beckwith or Pitt ILB Scott McKillop? Or maybe this is the round where the 49ers draft a QB. Nate Davis and Rhett Bomar are still on the board.

10:45 a.m. You can start to see patterns emerging in how Scot McCloughan drafts. He seems to like interior linemen (Baas, Rachal) in the second and running backs (Frank & Beans) in the third. Does that mean he'll go for a pass-rushing OLB (Haralson, ?) in the fifth?

9:35 a.m. EUREKA!!! I've got the nickname .... Frank and Beans!!! Click here for the perfect jumbotron video after a F&B touchdown.

9:26 a.m. A backfield of Gore and Coffee -- there has to be a good nickname somewhere. Maiocco has come up with "ground coffee" but I think we can do better.

8:45 a.m. This has to be music to Mike Singletary's ears. In a conference call, Coffee said of himself: "I love contact ...If I see you in the hole, I won't think twice about lowering my head." Coffee played at Alabama at around 210 pounds. But he said he thought he could put on more weight in the NFL. "I think I'd like to put on more pounds, and I can carry more pounds. I'd like to get up to 220, 218 (pounds)."

7:45 a.m. ****** 49ers select Alabama running back Glen Coffee****** Coffee fits the 49ers mold of "good player from good school" but he isn't exactly the big back they were foreshadowing. Coffee is 6-0, 209 pounds, which is pretty much Frank Gore's dimensions. (Coffee is a little taller).

coffee.jpg<

NFL Draft Scout describes Coffee, who ran for 1,383 yards and 10 TDs last year, as someone who can both run between the tackles and break a long run.

Positives: Well-built athlete. A bit of a slasher. Sees the hole and shows surprising burst to it, considering his height. Can make defenders miss in the open field, but seems to prefer physically taking them on at times. Lowers his shoulder into the defender and looks to intimidate. Runs with a chip on his shoulder. Good acceleration through the second level of the defense and into the open field. At least adequate straight-line speed. Good vision at the second level for the cutback. Experienced receiver out of the backfield. Good upper-body strength and effort as a pass blocker. Has been a weight room monster since high school. Has matured during his college career, and is now a faith-driven leader and sought-after speaker in the community.


Negatives: Has a bit of an odd build for a running back. Thin hips, and though well built he lacks the bulk in his core and lower body that scouts prefer for a power runner. Runs a bit upright, which just adds to the concern regarding his build and power-running. Likes to run over defenders, but too often goes down on contact. Suspended for four games in 2007 as part of an Alabama textbook scandal. Redshirted 2006 with a knee injury.

7:40 a.m. DE's Matt Shaughnessy and Michael Johnson have just been taken. Do the 49ers take Lawrence Sidbury?

7:19 a.m. Chicago takes San Jose State DE Jarron Gilbert. That guy can jump out of the pool.

7:08 a.m. The Jets make running back Shonn Greene the No. 1 pick of Day 2. I thought this guy would have been a perfect pick for the 49ers. I believe Rashad Jennings and Andre Brown are still available.

7 a.m. So this is what 7 a.m. looks like ... So, the 49ers go into today with six picks -- one 3rd, two 5ths, one sixth and two sevenths. I can almost guarantee one of them will be used on a blocking tight end now that Billy Bajema is gone. I'd expect a pass-rushing linebacker and an offensive linemen, too.



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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