I enjoy all the analysis from MD, OTC, AB and the others. I had a very busy schedule this year so I didn't have as much time to follow it all as I would have liked.
I am not as down on the first two picks as MD. The way I saw this draft was Harbaugh saying loudly and clearly, "WE ARE NOT JUST GOING TO BE A POWER RUNNING TEAM AGAIN! WE ARE NOT
. Someone else said that JH ran what he ran last season because that is all he had. I agree fully with that. That is why they signed Manningham and Moss to replace (?) Edwards and Morgan, a move I believe will result in a marginal improvement. However, that clearly was not enough to satisfy Harbaugh. He was embarrassed with the lack of production and weapons on the offense for a franchise that wrote the book on offense. The AJ Jenkins pick was about weapons to restore the historical orientation of this franchise. Nothing less.
Same overall analysis works for the LMJ pick. Gore, even when healthy and younger was never a breakaway back. Bill Walsh used to say that "the first sign of a player beginning to show his age was not the lack of productivity but the fact they could not stay away from injuries. Once that begins to occur the production drop off is right behind it." Last year we saw that begin to happen with Gore. He was productive early in the season and then the injuries started piling up and his production dropped. He has been a great warrior for this franchise but if we apply the Walshian analysis, his career is much closer to the end than we want to admit. Hence, his replacement needed to be on the roster NOW.
As to Gore's replacement, Hunter is the immediate future. Short, strong, quick and decisive. He is ready to be the every down back...until he is injured, something that happens to every down backs. When/if that happens, the next man up is Jacobs and he is NOT going to scare anyone. IMO, Jacobs was signed because Baalke/Harbaugh do not expect Dixon to make the roster again. Hence, the James pick not only provides a young quality back, but also one that provides more of that explosiveness that Harbaugh has demanded. By mid-season, I expect to see Hunter starting with Jacobs in spot duty and James playing the Sproles role much sooner than some expect. Afterall, as a former college coach used to developing players in a short period of time, Harbaugh will get James into the lineup much quicker than the typical pro coach.
The key point I take away from the 1st pick is that Harbaugh is convinced that Kilgore is going to provide at least Snyder quality RG play right away. If not, and if they thought DeCastro was as good as some think, they would have made the move up. Since they did not, I have to assume Looney is a project guard and Jenkins solved the most immediate need...and that says a lot because a lot of you have read how dissatisfied I was with the interior OL pass protection this past season.
Overall I give them a B for both the #1 and #2. Baalke is a former scout and a pretty good one and Harbaugh has seen some pretty good players develop on his watch. I believe they have a solid plan in place based on a lot of scouting and observation of last year's roster in practice time that was not open to the press.
We all want to be experts at this time of the year, so there is my "expert" opinion. Now take that and $2.25 and go get yourselves a Starbucks.