Our 2010 Draft Needs
1.* OT This is our main need that we must address. We need to give Alex Smith time to throw and an opportunity to be successful so that defenses wont be able to stack the box to stop Gore. Not to mention the benefits a solid tackle would incur to the running in addition to the passing game.
2A. OG David Bass has yet to sign an offer sheet, and although Rachal has shown glimpses of promise and potential, Rachal struggled early in the season and Bass struggled more mid season but both players played much better towards the end of the year. Until they prove they can be solid starters and help the team win on a consistent basis, we need to look to improve this position. Don't forget Gore's 1,695 yard season was mostly behind that left side with Larry Allen and Jonas Jennings. I would like to rely on Gore first before Smith this year. To do that, we have to open running lanes for our runners to set up the passing game. Instead of focusing on trying to accommodate Smith, lets go back to the mindset we had a year ago about being a smash mouth team and focus on helping our best weapon.
2B. CB Clements is over the hill, and unfortunately age isn't relative, and he isn't picking up speed. (hope someone gets that, lol) We need to upgrade the overall speed at the position, as the past has shown us to be susceptible to the deep ball and speed receivers tore us up last year. Roddy White specifically. Larry Fitzgerald, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and possibly Brandon Marshal are still in our division and don't leave out the outside possibility that Donnie Avery can develop into a solid speed receiver and we need to be able to limit the oppositions YAC yardage. As of this moment, our cornerbacks are Clements, Spencer, Brown, and Paymah with Reggie Smith able to step in if need be but we need to add depth and upside to this group if we want to contend.
3. SS This position could just as easily be FS, but I'm not sure the coaching staff would want Goldson at SS due to their history of favoring bigger players that are more effective in the box and hes barely over 200 pounds at 6'2. We should definitely start looking for a heir apparent to Michael Lewis at SS to pair with Goldson while we still have the luxury of having Lewis around to allow us to groom a young player. The benefit of not having to thrust them into the starting lineup week 1 and allow the player time to absorb the system and settle into a nickleback role until the coaches are comfortable that he has developed into a starter.
HB A complimentary back would be great for quite a few reasons that can most likely all be found in your local Spiller Bandwagon threads. We could actually use a Speed Back and a Thumper in my opinion, with a speed back being a main priority. Gore is a great all around back, and will excel behind a better offensive line. Gore hasn't been able to be healthy for a full 16 game season, let alone the 18+ game seasons we will be enjoying soon. By adding another back we not only take carries away from Gore,(I know he wont be happy but im thinking 7-12 carries a game) we're extending his life expectancy, we keep his legs fresh for the playoffs, and in the event he gets injured our offense won't stall like it did last year when he was down if we add another quality back which is the trend in the NFL. We need to take some pressure off Frank, add another dimension to our offense that will give opposing coordinators headaches.
FB Moran Norris wasn't the same as he was in the 06 season. Ever since he went to the Lions he hasn't been the same. We need a quality run blocking full back that can catch the ball out of the back field and grind out those tough inches and wear opposing defenses down. Someone in the mold of a Mike Alstott. It would be nice if we could find a H-Back type player like Jason Witten that can line up as a full back and motion to the tight end spot for passing allowing us the flexibility of being able to run and pass effectively out of our base formation. Players like this are rare, but I'm curious how Toby Gerhart would project to a full back role and if anyone has any insights to this id love to hear them.
NT Aubrayo Franklin is currently signed to a 1 year franchise tag and there is no guarantee hell be back next year. It would e wise to start grooming a replacement before it is too late and given the fact that NT is such a valuable commodity in the NFL, if we have an opportunity to land a premier NT we should capitalize on it. Would also allow us the flexibility to trade Franklin should the offer arise as suggested here http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/thread.php?num=138238
KR/PR Our return game was horrible and our starting field position was horrible. This is a game of field position, and it's an aspect of the game we need to improve upon if we are to win a Super Bowl.
*I for one don't think we NEED to draft a Tackle in the first round but we do have to address the offensive line. Were not looking for someone to protect the blind side unless Staley goes down. We need someone to anchor the right side, and flip over to the left in the event of a Staley injury, but I don't believe we should necessarily use one of our first round picks. Especially if Okung, Bulaga, T. Williams, and Davis are gone although I'm not completely sold on Davis or Cambell.
* Guard Mike Iupati, and I would prefer to trade back into the low to mid 20's to select him if I could. I just feel that 17 is a little to high for a guard, especially if there is a player that slides and someone wants to trade up for them. Hes the best guard in the draft and if he could become a Steve Hutchinson calibur player he's worth taking a chance on at 17 and maybe even 13, although that is high for a guard and I believe that there should be better prospects available at 13.
I think there will be some value at RT available with our 49th pick. The RT's id be happy drafting in the 2nd - 4th round would be.....(No particular order)
*Potential RT Solutions*Height Weight 40 Dash
Rodger Saffold Indiana 6-4⅝ 316 5.20
Vladimir Ducasse Massachusetts 6-4⅜ 332 5.27
Charles Brown Southern Cal 6-5⅜ 303 5.20
Sam Young Notre Dame 6-7½ 314 5.33
Selvish Capers West Virginia 6-4⅝ 308 5.14
Ciron Black LSU 6-4 327 5.42
Lee Ziemba Auburn 6-7¼ 306
Trinton Sturdivant Georgia 6-5⅜ 308
Young and Black are my favorites from the group mentioned above because they've anchored the blind side and started for their respective teams the last 3 years and have been healthy and consistent. Not only that they are capable of being moved inside to Guard and that added flexibility adds value and depth to our team.
Combine that with a slimmed down Boone (whom I hope will wow us this year btw but trying not to get hopes up) and it looks like we've got some young and healthy competition on our line. All Im saying is we don't HAVE to draft OT in the first round, but if the BPA is an OT and we cant trade back pull the trigger! We have options.
*Potential Guards that could contribute in 2010*
Besides Guard Mike Iupati, here are a couple solutions to our guard that could be had outside of the first round. We can definately land one of these guys in rounds 2-4 and if we need a guard dont forget to consider Ciron Black and some of the other OT's that can be converted to Guards.
*John Jerry, Ole Miss Height: 6-5. Weight: 335.
*Mitch Petrus, Arkansas Height: 6-3. Weight: 307
*Jon Asamoah, Illinois Height: 6-4. Weight: 305
[/b]*Cornerbacks to consider day 1*
Joe Haden, Florida - Height: 5-11. Weight: 189. Pro Day 40 Time: 4.43.
Kyle Wilson, Boise State - Height: 5-10. Weight: 185 Pro Day 40 Time: 4.43.
Devin McCourty, Rutgers - Height: 5-11. Weight: 193. Combine 40 Time: 4.34.
Kareem Jackson, Alabama - Height: 5-10. Weight: 196. Combine 40 Time: 4.41.
Chris Cook, CB/FS, Virginia - Height: 6-2. Weight: 212. Combine 40 Time: 4.43
atrick Robinson, Florida State - Height: 5-11. Weight: 190. 40 Time: 4.38.
Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest - Height: 6-0. Weight: 191. Combine 40 Time: 4.37.
kwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana of Penn. Height: 6-1. Weight: 207. 40 Time: 4.31.
We need to add depth and start grooming someone to take over for Clements. I hope we consider moving Clements to strong safety. Itd be nice having a safety that would be strong enough to match up with a tight end, and fast enough for a back or receiver and add an extra presence to our defensive back field. Keep an eye on kwasi Owusu-Ansah, hes my sleeper for the year.
[b]*Safeties to keep an eye on*
Eric Berry, S, Tennessee - Height: 6-0. Weight: 211. Combine 40 Time: 4.40.
Earl Thomas, FS, Texas - Height: 5-10. Weight: 208. Pro Day 40 Time: 4.35
Taylor Mays, SS, USC - Height: 6-3. Weight: 230. Combine 40 Time: 4.30.
Nate Allen, FS, South Florida - Height: 6-0. Weight: 207. Combine 40 Time: 4.51
Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech - Height: 6-1. Weight: 209. 40 Time: 4.42.
Chad Jones, S, LSU - Height: 6-2. Weight: 225. Pro Day 40 Time: 4.57.
Major Wright, FS, Florida - Height: 6-0. Weight: 204. Combine 40 Time: 4.49.
It would be amazing if Berry slipped to 13 but Id be happy with Haden at 13 or Thomas at 17 but I'm not too fond of having to rookies in the secondary. Were not the 87 Niners. Mays might not be such a bad choice for the run support role that Michael Lewis assumes. Hed have to be an improvement over Lewis, but not worth it in the first. Nate Allen and Chad Jones are attractive to me in 2-3.
C.J. Spiller, Clemson - Height: 5-11. Weight: 196. Combine 40 Time: 4.37
Jahvid Best, California - Height: 5-10. Weight: 199. Combine 40 Time: 4.35.
Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss - Height: 5-9. Weight: 172. Pro Day 40 Time: 4.44.
Ben Tate, Auburn - Height: 5-11. Weight: 219. Combine 40 Time: 4.45.
Toby Gerhart, Stanford - Height: 6-0. Weight: 231. Combine 40 Time: 4.53.
Deji Karim, Southern Illinois - Height: 5-9. Weight: 210. Pro Day 40 Time: 4.37.
I personally Like Best or McCluster in the 2nd or 3d round. Spiller is awesome, but unless hes the only player that can help us I would address one of our more critical needs like our offensive line. I feel that that's where our value is and it would fill the void at receiver.
Basically, it feels like there are a ton of question marks in this years draft class with someone many players coming out early. It seems theres a thin line seperating the top tiers of players from the lower tears and most of it is based on opinion. I hope this was enjoyable to read and sorry if it was too long for your taste. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read my article.