Don’t Draft a Quarterback!

Feb 7, 2005 at 12:00 AM


Now that we've washed our hands of Donahue's cutting people for the sake of cutting people and Erickson's "Apathy Now" propaganda, it's time to direct our attention to the most intriguing aspect of every off-season, the draft.

Although I can't necessarily complain about our previous drafts, my intuition tells me that the Mike Nolan-Scot McCloughan duo will have slightly more success. But that's not to say we're in the clear. If the team squanders the first pick on Aaron Rodgers so he can hold a clipboard behind Tim Rattay for two years before proving himself to be no better than the rest of the Tedford-wives, jump ship now.

Drafting a quarterback with the first pick in the first round is too risky. When can't miss prospects such as Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, David Carr, Michael Vick, and Tim Couch all struggle to break 80.0 on the passing scale, what should we expect from players who paled at the collegiate level? I say fly the top quarterbacks in, have them run a couple wind-sprints, give them their complimentary psychiatric evaluations, and fly them away as quickly as possible.

While Rattay may not be "the answer," he certainly isn't the problem. He's smart, accurate, has good arm-strength, and a good sense of what to do with the ball. It's not his fault that he got sacked on five step drops. It's not his fault that Kevan Barlow averaged 3.4 yards per carry. It's not his fault that Cedrick Wilson can't go deep and Brandon Lloyd won't go over the middle. And it's not his fault that the defense gave up the most points in the league. Surround him with good people, and the 49ers make the playoffs.

The second challenge the team faces is trading down a couple spots and acquiring an extra second round pick. Doing so would give the team four of the top sixty-five players in the draft, and enable them to address their four most critical needs: offensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback/safety, and wide receiver.

Like a clothing line that strives to be the lowest priced item in a high end store, teams acquire the most talent by drafting from their short suits of need first, followed by their long suits of need. And while this year's class may not have the top-end talent of last year's, this class is long in two of the team's areas of interest, containing as many as seven impact defensive ends, nine good quality cornerbacks and three quality safeties, two impact offensive tackles, and two impact wide receivers.

From this perspective, it would make sense to use the first pick on either a receiver or an offensive tackle. With no Orlando Pace in this year's class, the team should select either Mike Williams or Braylon Edwards. Mike Williams, who stands at 6'4," is a rock-solid 229 pounds, has been clocked as fast as 4.43, is impossible to bump, has special eye-hand coordination, a unique ability to pluck the ball out of the air and run, and is probably the best player in this year's class.

With two picks in the early second round, the team will still have an opportunity to draft one of the impact defensive ends, as well as one of the three or four best tackles in the draft. If a team's three biggest priorities on draft day are quarterback, offensive tackle, and defensive end, the 49ers will have spent two relatively high picks on two of those critical areas.

With a deep secondary crop consisting of nine good cornerbacks and three good safeties, the 49ers should have their choice of using the first pick in the third round on an impact safety to replace Ronnie Heard, or drafting the best cornerback available and shifting Rumph to safety, where he will have both better ball-hawking and hitting ability than the average free safety.

Anything less than addressing these four areas will leave the team with a significant weakness that opponents will continue to exploit. Drafting a quarterback in the first round would prevent the team from making any progress whatsoever in the next two seasons, and quite possibly make the blackouts we all fear a reality.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Albert Breer on 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo: 'I don't believe the plan right now is to keep him'

By David Bonilla
9 hrs

Jimmy Garoppolo won't be in attendance as the San Francisco 49ers kick off organized team activities this week. He is still recovering from the shoulder surgery he underwent on March 8 and won't be medically cleared to throw again until late next month or early July. There has been speculation that the 49ers might be willing to hold onto Garoppolo this season. The team's inability to trade their injured quarterback and unwillingness to release the player outright sparked that speculation. However, Albert Breer of The MMQB believes San Francisco still intends to offload Garoppolo before the start of the season. "San Francisco, for what it's worth, has had an open line of communication with Garoppolo's camp the last few months, and both sides are



49ers Notebook: Brock Purdy's draft surprise, Tariq Castro-Fields on his NFL readiness, and more

By Kirk Larrabee
May 12

Rookie minicamp gets underway Friday for 49ers drafted players and undrafted free agents, but before those players take the field, they were hit with a number of questions from reporters during pre-camp media sessions on Thursday. Among the players to speak with reporters on Thursday were wide receiver and third-round pick Danny Gray (SMU), offensive lineman and fourth-round pick Spencer Burford (UT-San Antonio), cornerback and sixth-round pick Tariq Castro-Fields (Penn State), quarterback and seventh-round pick Brock Purdy (Iowa State), and undrafted offensive linemen Jason Poe (Mercer) and Dohnovan West (Arizona State). 49ers WebZone already discussed what Gray said



A post-draft glance at the 2022 49ers offense

By Sasha D. Robinson
May 14

Since the start of free agency and the NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have added more talent to their roster to hopefully get the team over the hump in its quest for a sixth championship. With training camp set to open at the end of July, let's take a quick look at how the 49ers will look on offense. Next week's article will focus on the defense and special teams. Quarterback At the start of training camp, the Trey Lance era will officially begin. Since the offseason began, Lance has worked with the other skill position players to hone his timing and offensive rhythm with his pass-catchers. Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the roster, but he is unlikely to get on the practice field as the team works to trade the veteran quarterback. The move will



49ers announce jersey numbers of entire draft class, including No. 74

By David Bonilla
May 16

Last week, we found out what numbers many of the San Francisco 49ers rookies would be wearing during the team's three-day rookie minicamp. Those numbers will be sticking around through at least the rest of the offseason program. Obviously, they are subject to change after roster cuts ahead of Week 1. Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweeted out several rookie jersey numbers, including select undrafted free agents. Missing from his tweet, however, was the number of the 49ers' fifth-round draft pick, cornerback Samuel Womack. The team announced that he will wear No. 26, last worn by cornerback Josh Norman. Rookie roll


Featured

More by Brett Pahler

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone