I have been a Bay Area sports fan since I was a very young kid. My favorite professional teams are the 49ers, SF Giants, Warriors and SJ Sharks. I am also a Cal alum and a big fan of Cal athletics. I coach basketball at the high school level, which I find very rewarding. Writing for Bleacher Report gives me a great outlet to voice my thoughts and opinions on the teams and sports I enjoy.
I decided to post here because the article I am referring to is a little dated (3/26/13) regarding the pros picks for us in the upcoming draft. I am not sure how long you look at these articles for comments or responses?
You were down on DE Hunt and preferred UCLA's Jones for our pick. The Combine measurables show Hunt, as head and shoulders better, but I get your point about the "Taylor Mays" curse. So let's look at actual production and trends over the last two years of their college careers. I draw my stats from cfbstats.com. Without getting too deep in the weeds with every stat, lets focus on the impact plays of sacks and sack yards, TFL, FF, and blocked kicks.
Jones (14 games each season)
2011 3 sacks for 7 yards, 6.5 TFL, 0 FF, 0 blocked kicks
2012 6.5 sacks for 39 yds, 19 TFL, 2 FF, 2 blocked kicks
Hunt (13 games each season, per game production even better by comparison)
2011 3 sacks for 27 yards, 7.5 TFL, 0 FF, 4 blocked kicks
2012 8 sacks for 56 yards, 11.5 TFL, 2 FF, 3 blocked kicks
Although both players showed improvement YOY, look at the sack yards for Jones in 2011. With so few yards per sack, it is reasonable to assume the QB was coming to him and he tackled him just behind the line. Similarly in 2011, most of his sacks were for short yards, almost like a TFL. This may not necessarily create a change of possession on downs. Contrast that with Hunt's 9 and 7 yard average and one can conclude he is using his speed to get deep in the backfield, and more likely causing a change of possession. Hunt also has more blocked passes and QB hurries, whereas Jones has more tackles.
Qualitatively, Hunt seems to raise his play for bigger games. In fact, all three sacks his junior year came in a playoff game against Pitt (Compass Bowl), which SMU's defense dominated. Similarly, In the last game he played (Hawai'i Bowl) Hunt had 2 sacks, one resulting in a fumble and turnover, and the other in a safety, to go along with 3 QB hurries, and another forced fumble. The net result was another dominating Bowl win, as well as being named the Conference USA MVP (not just defensive MVP, but for the entire game). Contrast that with Jones' two bowl appearances totaling 1/2 sack for 2 yards, and 1.5 TFL. with no FF, QB hurries, or accolades.
I think it's fair to say, as of now without further coaching, Jones is the better line of scrimmage tackler, and Hunt is more disruptive and impactful.
The niners need more pressure on the QB from their DEs, and NTs for that matter. Given Hunt had not put on a football uniform until his freshman year at SMU in 2009, I gotta believe our coaching staff can work on his shortcomings of high pad level and tackling, and turn him into something special (look what they did to Bruce Miller, Dobbs, etc.). Coaching is a 49er strength. Being a Junior Olympics gold medalist, you know Hunt is a motivated worker, and competitor. In addition, you get a difference maker on special teams right away, while he's learning to be a DE pro.
I say select Hunt at 34 and coach him up (maybe even TE?).
Dan, I have been impressed with your 49ers articles, so I decided to become a fan. Keep up the good work, Sir.
Hi Dan, think we have a chance this Sunday evening? Now I know how other teams felt like when they faced the 84' 49er's. Of all the 5 Superbowl teams the 84' 49er's sort of mirrored this years team, well not really they crushed most every one and I thought maybe..before the season started that history would repeat itself. Can't wait for the game.
Hey hey Dan!
I'm ALWAYS down to catch a ballgame! Let me know when you want to go!!
Hey hey, it was great meeting you last night too!!
Just read your Giants-A's San Jo piece. Loved it.
Hey Dan - I thought you might find this chart interesting for your article research
No problem, Dan, hopefully the 49ers can keep it up!
Wow! I'm a little bit surprised at that. I'm certain my D- is harsh, but a B seems very generous. I think at best it was a C, but hey that's why we do what we do!
Great stuff on the Niners. Sorry myself and "A.N." are blowing up your comment feed on that Week 10 report. I guess we are just both very persistent, passionate...STUBBORN 49er fans. Maybe we need an NFL analyst to come in and make a decision for us...Haha.
Dan, welcome to the (very small) Barry B/R community. I read your stuff regularly, and look fwd to lots of conversations in the future.