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ESPN's Mike Sando Takes a Look Back at the 2008 Draft

Quote:
Best value

Josh Morgan, WR, 49ers. Cardinals fifth-rounder Tim Hightower had better production as a rookie, scoring 10 touchdowns, but Morgan's career might be on a higher trajectory after Arizona benched Hightower and used a 2009 first-round choice on running back Beanie Wells. Morgan looks like a potential long-term starter for the 49ers. On that basis, I'll tentatively give him the edge over Hightower. The Cardinals and 49ers both hope to better establish their ground games. That could ultimately favor Hightower, although it's tough to envision him starting for long with Wells on the roster.

Most to prove

Kentwan Balmer, DE, 49ers. Using a first-round choice on a 3-4 defensive end was hardly a flashy move. The position doesn't lend itself to obvious production. Balmer didn't seriously threaten for a starting job as a rookie. He has expressed determination to make the jump this season. The Seahawks' Lawrence Jackson was the other top candidate for this designation. While Jackson also has much to prove, he did start 14 games as a rookie.

Quote:
San Francisco 49ers
2008 picks:
6

Total 2008 starts: 7

Projected 2009 starters (2): second-rounder Chilo Rachal, RG, USC; sixth-rounder Josh Morgan, WR, Virginia Tech

Potential starters (1): first-rounder Kentwan Balmer, DE, North Carolina

On the hot seat: Balmer.

No longer with team (1): seventh-rounder Larry Grant, LB, Ohio State (Rams)

Keep an eye out for: Morgan. He caught only 20 passes as a rookie, but a staph infection limited him more than anything. Morgan showed an immediate ability to grasp offensive concepts and the physical ability to get downfield. He averaged 16.0 yards per catch with three touchdowns.


ESPN: NFC West Blogger- Mike Sando
We shall see. Hope Morgan does his thing this year. and folks got way too hype on Hightower, but I support him too b/c he's from my hometown. what a minute so is josh Morgan good to see 2 DC dudes in this discussion.
Nice to see captain morgan getting some love.
Hope all these guys have a great year
Nice assessment. I agree.
Nice to see Morgan get some publicity. Hopefully he continues to develop.
Nice read. It's about time something good comes from an ESPN writer. LOL.

I think Morgan will have a solid year.
While most of us agree on Morgan's analysis I think Chris Long has the most to prove considering how high he was drafted. Balmer will never get a lot attention or recognition because of his position even he play a lot better this year.
Grant is challenging for a starting OLB job with the Rams.
  • Nabisko
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I am horrified and excited about Balmers potential. We need him to have an explosive year and so does SM. So far his picks have more than panned out and this year should be no different. Our Defensive line needs a serious jolt and he has to be the one to tip the scale if we want to see that pass rush we want sooooo badly become effective.
I am more than confident in Morgan and have been a fan of his from the get go. With his surrounding core around him and his confidence, along with his skills, it should be enough to raise him to that higher echelon.
In my humble opinion there are three positions that will be most crucial this season. Number one our quarterback, whomever it may be. (Cough Alex Smith) Number two how Marvel Smith will hold up at RT, if that is indeed where he will play or hold up period wherever he does. And last but not least how productive Goldson will hold up at FS.
Niner Fan For Life,
Nabisko
Originally posted by 49wyztoscore:
Nice read. It's about time something good comes from an ESPN writer. LOL.

I think Morgan will have a solid year.

Sando is the NFC West blogger for ESPN. He's done a great job of covering us and has been more than fair so far, IMO.
Originally posted by ChaunceyGardner:
Grant is challenging for a starting OLB job with the Rams.

i kinda wish we had kept him. dude had some talent but because he was a 4-3 olb and couldnt play the ted spot and was too light for the 3-4 olb spots we dumped him. i think hell be a good player.
Good assessment. The off season talk about Balmer has mostly been good, so we'll see soon.
Originally posted by PopeyeJonesing:
Originally posted by 49wyztoscore:
Nice read. It's about time something good comes from an ESPN writer. LOL.

I think Morgan will have a solid year.

Sando is the NFC West blogger for ESPN. He's done a great job of covering us and has been more than fair so far, IMO.

he seems to be in love with the seagulls though

Kentwan Balmer