Friday, March 18, 2011

Spitblood Psychic: The Future of Rooster.

He loves the 49er

As the most beloved and ballyhooed prospect to come out of TCU since LaDainian Tomlinson, we all have a heightened sense of interest where Red will end up playing football professionally. So rather than make you all dig through the muck and mire that are sports related internet rumors, we will compile them all here, team by team, as they come along. For the sake of brevity, we will only feature team's that have scheduled an interview with Andy, look at their current QB situation and draft picks and make one of our patented hasty assessments from there. We will also give more credence to team's with picks in the 2-4 rounds because we're optimistic and can't see Dalton lasting beyond there.

Today we'll take a look at the only organization to send their head man to TCU's pro day, the San Francisco 49ers.

QB's Currently on Roster: David Carr, Alex Smith, Troy Smith.

Draft Picks: Round 1 (7); Round 2 (13); Round 3 (12); Round 4 (11,18).

Why Rooster Fits: A cursory glance at the current QB roster should spell it out pretty nicely. The fact that Jim Harbaugh himself deemed Dalton worth the trip to Fort Worth when most team's simply send a scout or assistant should make it pretty clear: San Francisco needs a QB as bad as any other team in the league and 14 is in their sights. Former first overall pick Alex Smith has been just shy of a complete bust, although Jim Harbaugh fancies himself a bit of a QB guru and will likely focus his efforts on helping Smith regain his Utah form before completely casting him off. David Carr, another first overall pick, clearly has too much mental damage left from the beatings he took while a Texan and must be in complete shock grasping the downward trajectory his career took. And Troy Smith, bless him, will never be a successful QB in the NFL.

In most of the mock drafts I have seen, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are off the board by the time the 49ers pick at 7, but if one of those guys is to fall, you have to think they'll be at or near the top of their draft board. Depending on how they rate out, Dalton to SF could be completely obsolete early on Thursday night of Draft Weekend. However, assuming Newton and Gabbert are gone, I could very easily see SF giving Dalton a shot with their mid round pick in the 2nd. Dalton has really elevated his league wide perception since before the Rose Bowl and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that he could go this high. He's still behind Gabbert, Newton, Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker - BAFFLING!!! - but I think he's certainly on par with Christian Ponder, with Ponder rating slightly higher.

Looking at the stats, the way their passing game functioned this past season would certainly fit Dalton well as a young guy learning in the league. The leading receiver was actually TE Vernon Davis, and while clearly TCU's passing game was very TE averse, you can't discount their importance in the NFL. Davis is a major weapon in this offense and to be able to hit in on a quick route and let him do the rest is a stat boost an QB will take. This would be a great way for Dalton, who is not necessarily a great deep passer, to exploit his skills set. Also on this note, the third highest yardage receiver was RB Frank Gore, which directly plays to what AD saw at TCU. Also of note is receiver Michael Trabtree - remember him? - who hasn't exactly made the impact you might have expected based on his hold out and college reputation, but who seems to be coming into his own as a go to guy.

As much as I'd hate to see Rooster in the Bay Area playing for the team that terrified by childhood dreams, I don't think there's any question that he's one of their targets, and is probably higher on their chart than he is on most others around the league. I'm not sure how this situation will look when we bring it all together the week of the draft, but I have to imagine they'll be in the Top 3.

Why Rooster Doesn't Fit: There's really only one reason here and that is the fact that SF doesn't need a QB project - they need a starter. With Carson Palmer whining his way out of Cincinnati, I think the 49ers will make a MAJOR play for him assuming this whole CBA gets ironed out sometime in the near future. In that case, they'd have a starter and would probably keep 2/3 current guys on the roster as backups depending on their contracts which would bump AD out of the pecking order.

However, should Harbaugh decide that none of those guys are worthy of even clipboard holding duties, I suppose there are worse situations for Dalton than to sit for a few years and learn. However, do you really want AD to learn from a whiny bitch failure like Carson Palmer who is threatening to retire from his current team if they don't trade him? Palmer has been a colossal disappointment in Cincinnati given his pedigree and expectations. But, if SF did make a play for him, they'd expect him to start for at least the next 5 seasons which wouldn't give Dalton much space to shine. However, that's completely hypothetical so I can't really use this as my argument.

Truthfully, if the status quo remains, this would still not be a good situation for Andy as he would have no QB of note to learn from and would likely be forced into a starting role much sooner than preferred. This pick is going to come down to how much Harbaugh believes in a QB currently on his staff. If he thinks Alex Smith is the man, I could see him taking Dalton as insurance, which would allow him to develop and compete a couple of years down the line for a starting role. If he doesn't, then he's definitely going to go for something along the lines of the above paragraph because resting the success of your first NFL Head Coaching job on a project rookie QB isn't good for anyone's job status.


TCU-UNLV series preview

Even though a handful of disappointing losses has added a bit of a sour taste to the young season, the 10-6 Horned Frogs need to avoid dwelling on those defeats as they enter the conference season tonight with a 0-0 record. Is there a better place to change your luck than in Vegas? Based on my experiences, yes, but I also figure that our baseball team is better at baseball than I am at guessing my way through the rules at a craps table after 10 beers.

Kyle Winkler, who has been simply dominant so far this year, will again take the mound in the Friday night slot and will be taking on an equally dominant pitcher for the UNLV. Tanner Peters, a sophomore, has the same 4-0 record and perfect 0.00 ERA as Winkler. In 29 innings pitched, Peters has given up just 17 hits, has struck out 32 and walked just 9.

Matt Purke, looking to rebound after his first collegiate loss last weekend, will start Saturday against the Rebels' Joe Robinson (3-0, 4.72) and Steven Maxwell mans his usual Sunday slot against Travis Iodence (3-0, 1.67).

The player to keep an eye on in UNLV's batting order is senior outfielder Rance Roundy. After missing almost all of last year with an injury, Roundy is making up for lost time as he's hitting .461 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI so far this season. Top to bottom, they are raking right now, batting .312 as a team with a total of 26 home runs. By comparison, the Frog order is hitting .289 with 10 homers.

At 16-4 overall, the Rebels would appear to be the main threat to TCU's conference crown as New Mexico (3-13) has take a step back this year. The Frogs have certainly had UNLV's number since Schlossnagle left The Strip for Fort Worth, having won 20 of 22 and 11 straight. I'm hesitant to point that out, though, as UTA ended a long losing streak against TCU on Tuesday after I made note of it. But since no one reads this blog, I think we'll be alright.

Game times for this weekend are 8:00pm tonight and tomorrow night and 1:00pm Sunday. This series will not be televised, but all three games will be on KTCU. If you're like me and don't have an iphone to access KTCU's app (they have one, right?), you can listen to KTCU by dialing 682-233-6382 and can get updates via twitter by following @TCU_Baseball or @FollowtheFrogs.

Tournament Talk in Section V

We've received quite a bit of feedback lately from Spit Blood readers saying they wished that the Section V forum was more active. What better time to get more people involved than the NCAA Tournament? The forums are free to use and as loosely-censored as Spit Blood itself, if not even looser.

So click on over there and let us know how fucked your brackets are, or how smart you were to pick Morehead State over Louisiville (even if it was only because your mind was in the gutter) or whatever else you've got to say about the first few days of the Tournament. Oh, and look for some more interactive features of Spit Blood involving Section V in the coming weeks...

Morning Dump

Football:
Dalton scores 29 on Wunderlick
Star-Telegram

WWE beats college football any day
Star-Telegram

Welcome to the other NCAA tournament
ESPN

Baseball:
Frogs open league play at UNLV
GoFrogs.com

Basketball:
TCU basketball recruit LeAntwan Luckett
Sport DFW

Rebounding problems down stretch doom TCU
Star-Telegram

Haters guide part 2
Deadspin

Tournament picture of the day