5:04 AM EST, Sun February 14, 2016
David Fucillo / Niners Nation 9 hours ago

Randy Cross thinks 49ers will need at least 5-6 years to replace what they've lost

Plenty of former members of the San Francisco 49ers weigh in about the state of the team from time-to-time. Steve Young and Trent Dilfer are on ESPN, with Young also having an in-season show on KNBR. Jerry Rice and Joe Montana make appearances. And former offensive lineman Randy Cross shows up on various radio appearances from time-to-time. That's just a small portion of the many ex-players that have an opinion. Cross recently appeared on Siriux/XM NFL radio and discussed the state of the 49ers under Jed York. I've embedded the audio down below, but for those who can't hear it, I've also...

Steve Keim: 'It's hard to say' whether Tyrann Mathieu contract extension can happen

But it is one of the team's priorities. In this young offseason, Arizona Cardinals fans know the team has set a few things as priorities. We know the team wants to improve its pass rush, but there is one player they want to make sure they lock up long term -- All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu. He enters the final year of his rookie contract and is now able to sign a contract extension. The team wants to get him locked up before next offseason, when he would become a free agent. However, general manager Steve Keim is not saying it is a sure thing. "I don't think there's any doubt that that's...
David Fucillo / Niners Nation 12 hours ago

Learning a little more about free agent guard Geoff Schwartz

The New York Giants released right guard Geoff Schwartz earlier this week, and the veteran is now free to sign anywhere he wants at any time. Had he played out his contract this past year, he would have had to wait until the new league year starts on March 9 to sign a deal. Schwartz grew up a 49ers fan, and worked with 49ers OL coach Pat Flaherty when the latter was coaching the Giants offensive line. It is as much a connection as you'll find to link Schwartz to the team. He has not been linked to any teams yet, but that should happen sooner rather than later. Even though he is a veteran...
Blogging The Boys 12 hours ago

PFF Grades 2010 NFL Draft: Cowboys Rank In Bottom Half Of League

It seems to be a weekend for reviewing the past. There is more than one lesson to be learned from this. Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. We've all heard that, or some version of it. With two decades having elapsed since the last trip to the Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys certainly need to be well aware of the idea. Earlier, we took a look at some possible lessons to be learned from last year's free agent group. Now, let's look back at a past draft class to see what we may glean. To properly evaluate a draft class, you have to go back further...
Cat Scratch Reader 13 hours ago

2016 NFL Draft: Potential Panthers? The Enigmatic SEC Receivers

With little fanfare, Auburn's Duke Williams, Tennessee's Marquez North, and Florida's DeMarcus Robinson prepare for the NFL Combine. There has been little draft buzz from these once promising receivers, but is that about to change? Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida: Rumor has it Florida coaches were pushing him out the door, and may in fact have leaked Robinson was declaring for the draft prior to him actually deciding to do so. Robinson arrived on campus as the seventh-ranked receiver in the nation, and the tools Robinson brings are obvious. He has great athleticism to go along with good size...
Niners Nation 13 hours ago

49ers coach Chip Kelly and his fourth down decision-making

How aggressive has 49ers coach Chip Kelly been when he had to decide what to do on 4th down? We examine his decisions to answer the question and to find out about his tendencies with regard to his calls on 4th down. Sooner or later, during a game, coaches have to make a decision on fourth down. There are many variables to consider before a coach elects whether he wants his team to go for it, kick a field goal or punt the ball away. Team's chances of successful conversion are mainly dependent on yards needed for a new set of downs. Field position is another very important thing coaches have...
Sander Philipse / Bucs Nation 13 hours ago

Charles Sims, breakout player

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot of promising players. One who goes under the radar quite a bit is second-year running back Charles Sims. He had a sneakily good year with 107 carries for 529 rushing yards, and 51 catches for 561 receiving yards. So good, that Pro Football Focus named him one of their 25 breakout players of 2015. The Bucs' backfield was the best in football in 2015, thanks in part to Doug Martin's return to form, but also because of the one-two punch he provided with Sims. The backup was the perfect complement to Martin, performing the third-down role he's ill-suited to....
Blogging The Boys 15 hours ago

ESPN Names Morris Claiborne As Cowboy Who Would Benefit Most From Change Of Scenery

The lofty expectations Claiborne came to Dallas with may prove too much to overcome, for the Cowboys and for Claiborne. ESPN put together a list of players who might benefit from a change of scenery, and the Cowboys' choice doesn't come as too much of a surprise. Dallas Cowboys: Technically, cornerback Morris Claiborne will be given the chance for a change of scenery because he will be a free agent in March, but last season he said numerous times he wants to stay in Dallas. The Cowboys made a bold move up in the 2012 draft to take Claiborne with the sixth overall pick. They said he was...
David Fucillo / Niners Nation 15 hours ago

PFF ranks 49ers 2010 draft class among the best six years later

Not sure I agree with their pick for the 49ers worst pick, but other than that, it was a strong draft class. The 2016 NFL Draft is a little over two months away, which means we will start assessing what it all means basically one day later. In reality, we have to wait several years to get a firm grasp on a given draft class. We've seen some classes start strong and finish with a bit of a whimper, and others start slow and turn out great later. Pro Football Focus recently put together a look back at the 2010 NFL Draft. They used their grading system to rank out the highest graded classes....

Steve Keim: Signing, drafting big time pass rusher 'easier said than done'

The GM appears to try to temper expectations. After the Arizona Cardinals saw their season come to end in the NFC Championship Game and saw the Denver Broncos win a Super Bowl, mostly because of their defense, it led to a lot of talk about the team having to improve their pass rush. General manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have talked about how it is more or less number one on the offseason list. But Keim appeared on the final Big Red Rage radio show/podcast on Thursday and seemed to temper that expectation a bit. With pass rushers dominating the offseason talk for the team,...
Niners Nation 17 hours ago

Which free agent guards should 49ers target?

Alex Boone is likely going elsewhere and the other position is far from settled. The San Francisco 49ers had an absolutely terrible offensive line last season. There was nothing good about the offensive play, even among the good players, like Joe Staley and Alex Boone. Everybody played poorly and everybody made everybody else around them worse because of it. Nothing was quite on the level of terrible of Jordan Devey. That was its own special brand of terrible that I cannot imagine actually getting worse. The only thing that was as bad as Devey was Jim Tomsula's reluctance to move on to the...
Big Blue View 17 hours ago

Around the NFC East, 2/13: Doug Pederson wants Sam Bradford back in Philadelphia

News, notes and nuggets from around SB Nation's other NFC East websites. If the weather outside near you is as cold as it is where I am (it's below zero degrees Fahrenheit in Syracuse, N.Y.,), then you're probably inside this Saturday. With that said, let's take a look at the NFC East to see what Big Blue's rivals are up to through our SB Nation NFL affiliates. Eagles Headlines New Eagles head coach Doug Pederson wants Sam Bradford back Pederson also added that he believes Bradford, a free agent this offseason, can lead the Eagles to a deep playoff run. He said that Bradford indicated he...
Blogging The Boys 17 hours ago

NFL Draft 2016: Six Under-The-Radar Draft Prospects That Will Climb Up Draft Boards

A look at a few names that haven't gotten a lot of attention so far. Every year, the draft-enthusiasts put forth so much effort to talk about hundreds of draft prospects and determine where they are going to fall. Every year, we scour through thousands of scouting reports and tape on tons of players and every year, we are wrong. You simply cannot match the amount of work the various scouting departments go through all year round. How do you explain Ryan Russell in the fifth round? The Cowboys spent many seasons looking at him and watching his growth. They decided that he was goof enough to...

PFF revisits the 2010 NFL Draft, gives best and worst picks for Arizona Cardinals

Arizona had a couple of really good players in that draft. NFL teams count on drafting well to build quality teams. When they don't draft well, it is hard to create or maintain success as a franchise. Pro Football Focus looked back at the 2010 NFL Draft and graded each team, according to their scoring, giving the best and worst picks. The Arizona Cardinals had impact players and an overall bad grade. Cumulative grade (seven picks): -7.0 Best pick: DT Dan Williams (round 1, pick 26, +33.7 overall grade) Williams was, at times, an immovable object in the middle of Arizona's defense,...
David Fucillo / Niners Nation 18 hours ago

Mike Mayock pre-draft position rankings: Where does tight end fit in for the 49ers?

Who will replace Vernon Davis this coming season and beyond? Earlier this week, Mike Mayock posted his first positional rankings of the 2016 NFL Draft season. On Thursday, we took a look at quarterbacks, and on Friday we took a look at inside linebackers, and then interior offensive linemen. We're going to continue moving through these position-by-position, and for this post we move over to the tight end position. Here's how Mayock ranked out the top five tight ends in the 2016 NFL Draft: 1. Hunter Henry, Arkansas 2. Austin Hooper, Stanford 3. Jerrell Adams, South Carolina 4. Nick...
Ed Valentine / Big Blue View 19 hours ago

NFL mock drafts: DeForest Buckner, Ezekiel Elliott most often mocked to New York Giants

Let's take stock of our mock draft database. There are now 26 2016 NFL mock drafts in our ever-growing and constantly-updated mock draft database. Is there any sort of consensus of opinion forming concerning what the Giants might do with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft? Well, sort of. Twenty of the 26 mock drafts (76.9 percent) have the Giants selecting a defensive player at No. 10 which, obviously, makes sense. All six mock drafters who gave the Giants an offensive player with the 10th pick selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. That is certainly a defensible pick...
Blogging The Boys 19 hours ago

Cowboys Free Agency: Lessons To Be Learned From 2015's Crop?

The fans are all hoping for Dallas to make significant improvements to the roster by signing free agents. However, a look back at last year may give pause. Free agency is looming. The big illegal tampering event, otherwise known as the NFL Combine, is now less than two weeks away, and the legal tampering starts on March 7, with the teams able to actually sign free agents from outside their own roster beginning with the start of the new NFL year on March 9. Teams can also sign their own free agents at any time. As always, every big name hitting free agency is going to be linked to the Dallas...
David Fucillo / Niners Nation 20 hours ago

2016 NFL Combine: Full schedule, player invite list

Yep, it's almost time for the NFL Combine! The 2016 NFL offseason has arrived, and the first major event is the NFL Combine. The 2016 NFL Combine kicks off in Indianapolis on February 23, when running backs, offensive linemen, and special teams players arrive. You can review the full schedule here, but I figured I'd pull that out, along with a full list of players. The second group of players to arrive includes quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. The third group is defensive linemen and linebackers. The fourth group is defensive backs. Each group arrives on successive days,...
Ed Valentine / Big Blue View 20 hours ago

2016 NFL free agency: Should Giants pursue Buffalo DE Mario Williams?

Williams isn't free yet, but all signs indicate that he will be. Mario Williams is not a free agent yet, but let's call this a pre-emptive strike. If and when the seemingly disgruntled star defensive end is cut loose by the Buffalo Bills should the New York Giants jump to the front of what could be a long line of suitors for the four-time Pro Bowler? Williams, 31, is not happy with the way Rex Ryan employed the defensive front in 2015. The Bills led the league in sacks with 54 in 2014 while Doug Marrone was the head coach. When Ryan took over last season, that total dropped all the way to...

2016 NFL mock draft: Lots of defense for Arizona Cardinals in full simulation

One of many full draft simulations we will do on the site. With it being NFL Draft season, mock drafts make for fun conversations. It is interesting to talk about different prospects and get to know who is out there and what they might have to offer to the team we follow. I ran a six round draft simulation through FanSpeaks On the Clock and used the FanSpeak big board to see who might be available for the Cards' picks. In their simulation, they project the Cardinals getting a fifth round compensatory pick, so they have seven picks in six rounds. There were no trades this time around. Here...

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