Given the uncertainty that the lack of collective bargaining agreement brings to free agency, I am not sure we can count on signing any major free agents from other teams. We should sign:
Ahmad Brooks Aubrayo Franklin Mat Wilhelm
David Baas Dre’ Bly
I approach this draft with caution. There is a long way to go before the draft. And I will acknowledge that my reading of the team and our draft needs was not that good last year.
Last year, when the team did not draft a pass rushing outside linebacker, I was, along with most people on the board, more than a little dumbfounded and perhaps it would be more correct to say more than a little angry.
In 2008, we ranked 16th in the league with 30 sacks; this year 3rd with 44. Even though the team did not draft that pass rushing OLB that we assumed was obligatory, our pass rush improved quite substantially. The players on the team stepped up. Manny Lawson, whom many considered, or were ready to consider, a bust, had his best year. Ahmad Brooks, under the patient mentorship of Singletary, began to emerge as a disruptive force at OLB.
A year ago in this forum Aubrayo Franklin was generally considered a waste of roster space. Most felt that we needed to draft a “true” nose tackle. Apparently, the team did not agree. No nose tackle was drafted. Today, we have a nose tackle. Franklin, even though he might not be a “true” nose tackle is considered among the best nose tackles in the game. Now, we want Franklin signed to a long deal contract or franchised.
In looking at this draft, I no longer assume that there is a lack of talent on the team. Even though I might see them, solutions for the current weaknesses of today might already be on the team. Cautiously aware that the talent level on the team may be higher than I assume, in this draft I look less for immediate solutions and more for the best player available.
Singletary’s work with Vernon Davis and Ahmad Brooks has convinced me that the team as a whole has developed enough to draft a player with character issues.
1A 13TH Rolando McClain * ILB 6' 4" 255 Alabama
Best Player available. Intelligent, hard working, and a physical talent. Could play inside or out in a 3-4.
Does not fill an immediate need, but he willwhen Takeo Spikes hangs up his cleats.
1B 17TH Mike Iupati OG 6’ 5” 330 Idaho
The best prospect at guard since Larry Allen. He fills a need—at guard or maybe right tackle.
2 49th Mardy Gilyard WR 6-0 190 Cincinnati
We should send the Florida defense a thank you note. They shut him down, and now he falls to us. A good receiver. One of the best return men in the draft, and we do need a return man.
3 80th Parrish Cox CB 6' 0" 198 Oklahoma State
Like Gilyard he is one the best return men in the draft and he is good in coverage. He should have been picked already, but his inability to understand the word curfew drops him a full-round in the draft.
4 ?? Torrell Troup DT 6' 3" 314 UCF
Very strong and dedicated to getting better. Insurance for Franklin.
5 ?? Myron Rolle SS 6' 2" 223 Florida State
Rhodes scholar. Incredible character. If he had dedicated himself to football in college, he would be a high pick in this draft.
6 ??h Deji Karim RB 5’ 9” 195 Southern Illinois
We need some speed in our backfield and not only does this guy kid have speed, he knows what to do with it.
7 ??h Danny Batten OLB 6' 3" 250 South Dakota St
If Batten is still on the board, we should take him. I have him as a 4th to 5th round talent, but I far as I have been able to determine, he has not been invited to any of the post season all-star games or the combine. This indicates that he will fall.