Sunday, April 25, 2010

Draft dodging? Not me!

yodaddy, probably remembering my epic tirade from last year, asks:
WELL!!!!!! I await with bated breath for your comments on the 49ers draft.  I fear that they really have made strides to displace the Cardinals....oh well.
Your evaluation is correct, father. The 49ers DID make strides to displace the Cardinals. That, and the retirement of Kurt Warner, make the 49ers the favorite in the weak-ass NFC West.

So how do I evaluate this draft.  I.  Am.  CISED!!!!!!!   This was a very productive draft in terms of addressing "need" that the team has had in years.  Compared with last year's draft, when "need" went completely unaddressed, it makes the case that Scott McGoobrain was part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Here are the picks.

Round 1 - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Round 1 - Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Round 2 - Taylor Mays, S, USC
Round 3 - Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Round 6 - Anthony Dixon, RB, Miss State
Round 6 - Nate Bynam, TE, Pitt
Round 6 - Kyle Williams, WR, Arizona State
Round 7 - Phillip Adams, CB, SC State

To paraphrase Jerry McGuire, you had me at two offensive linemen in the first round.  No BS prima dona wide receiver this year.  Nope, we got the meat-and-potatoes down-in-the-trenches big nasties that this team has been lacking for over a decade.  That means no more Chilo Rachal getting absolutely no push on running plays in 2010.  This means Frank Gore in the running for the rushing title like in 2007.  This means Alex Smith isn't buying time with his feet, but is able to settle in the pocket to find secondary receivers.

These guys are monsters, particularly Iupati, who may be the best offensive guard to come out of college since Steve Hutchenson.  Our entire offense just improved anywhere from 50 to 100% on those two players alone.

As for the rest of the draft, the choice of Taylor Mays is kind of a head-scratcher.  He was the fastest player at the combine - hey, how 'bout that - but he's not a ball-hawking center-fielder type of safety.  He's more of a linebacker-in-safety-clothing man-in-the-box safety.  But Coach Singletary likes him, so I'm at least partially sold.

Navorro Bowman was an exceptional college player.  He's fast and can play inside or outside.  But he had some "character" issues.  A coach like Singletary is ideal for him.  He's projected to be the future replacement for aging Takeo Spikes.

Anthony Dixon was a good pick up as a change of pace for Frank Gore.  He's huge (233 lbs).  He was one of the most prolific rushers in the SEC last year.  Good catch.

Nate Bynam provides depth at Tight End.  Kyle Williams is a long-shot at WR.  Philip Adams?  Who needs a slow Cornerback?

Overall, this draft rates an A.  And after last year's bizzaro draft, that's a very good thing.