For all the grief I give 49ers GM Scot McCloughan he gained some points with the draft last weekend. He has done a better job of running the team ever since former head coach Mike Nolan was booted from the team which should have taken place in last year’s off-season. For him to give the coaching reins to Mike Singletary and let him implement his way was the turning point. I wonder how much input Singletary gave with each selection especially the 10th pick. When McCloughan was Vice President of Player Personnel from February 2005 until January 2008 the de facto GM was Nolan. Let’s take a look at some of Nolan’s draft picks when he was in charge:
Nolan’s Draft Picks:
2007: Patrick Willis Linebacker, Jason Hill Wide Receiver,
2006: Vernon Davis Tight End, Brandon Williams Wide Receiver
2005: Alex Smith Quarterback (Number 1 pick), David Baas Center, Frank Gore Running back, Adam Snyder Offensive Guard
With the exception of Willis and Gore all of Nolan’s picks have been mostly ineffective on the team. Baas and Snyder have done a decent job but the 49ers were looking for and still need a right tackle which Snyder played at last year and Baas has durability issues. Veteran tackle Marvel Smith was signed which means McCloughan does not believe Snyder can be the starter, his position is at guard. Brandon Williams is no longer with the team, Alex Smith, well you know…and Vernon Davis is a mystery. I think the only reason the 49ers are still holding out hope for him is because how can someone have that much athletic ability and muscle mass and not be a reliable tight end! Nice pick Nolan.
McCloughan’s Draft Picks:
2009: Michael Crabtree, Wide receiver, Glen Coffee, Running back
2008: Kentwan Balmer, Defensive tackle, Chilo Rachal, Offensive guard
McCloughan’s draft picks in 2008 are still a work in progress but Singletary had Balmer and Rachal starting towards the end of the season and they did well helping the 49ers finish strong. We will see what both are made this year as they will be the presumed starters going into training camp. I love the picks of Crabtree and Coffee. I think both of these players will have bright futures in the NFL and will make an impact next season.
My whole point is this; McCloughan was right there with Nolan on who to draft from 2005-2007. Nolan had the final say but ever since McCloughan has been given the keys to the franchise he has made solid picks. (One exception is not picking WR DeSean Jackson last year when they had two opportunities to do so.) Keeping Nolan last year was more of the Jed Joke’s decision however under the guidance of McCloughan the team made the right choice in hiring Singletary as the coach. The 49ers might finally have their own star GM in McCloughan. A lot though will be riding on what the 49ers do this year and how his draft picks from 2008 and 2009 play.