Draft general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Mike Singletary had a great draft filling many holes with talented draft picks that have huge upside. The draft had Singletary written all over it because of the toughness and physical aspects the drafted players displayed in college. It was in the end Baalke’s decision as to whom the 49ers would draft and so far I think he drafted his way into being the official GM of the Niners. That would be the smart thing to do but then again the 49ers front office have stricken the word smart from basically all decisions recently made (raising ticket prices, firing of Scot McCloughan and the silence that followed, Santa Clara ballot measure, etc.) But that is the business side of the NFL whether or not we the 49er Faithful agree with does not matter to the front office. What does matter is your 2010 San Francisco 49ers are even better on both sides of the football. Not selecting a quarterback and picking offensive linemen with their first two picks the 49ers sent a huge message that Alex Smith is the quarterback going forward. This year is a make or break year for Smith. Singletary is trying to surround Smith with talented players at every position on offense. In upgrading the offensive line the 49ers also sent a huge message that Frank Gore is the main running back and they have not been scared off by his injuries and durability questions as he has missed significant time the last two seasons. An upgraded offensive line means less pressure on Smith to make plays and will limit the amount of hits Gore will take. Let’s take a look at the newest 49ers who hope to be on the roster on kickoff weekend:
Offensive tackle Anthony Davis-Rutgers
Round one, pick number 11
Anthony Davis skipped his pro-day workout and increased concerns about his weight when he did not stand on a scale for the teams that came to watch him workout. As big as Davis is, 323 pounds, he is also athletic and has quick feet which you need to defend against defensive tackles. With Davis’ weight problem he has been given the tag of being lazy however with Singletary as your coach he will not let you use the word lazy at practice. Davis was not the best offensive tackle in the draft but he was in the top five available and the 49ers did a great job of shoring up the right tackle position opposite Joe Staley.
Offensive guard Mike Iupati-University of Idaho
Round one, pick number 17
The 49ers surprised me with picking another offensive lineman with their 17th pick in the draft. I was certain the 49ers would go after some secondary help with the second pick in the first round. Instead they made a good surprise move in drafting the best offensive guard in the draft. I had not heard of Iupati before he was selected by the Niners but have read how physical he plays and watching his highlight reels from college Iupati could start right away. The biggest knock on Iupati is his ability to learn the 49ers offense. I think Iupati will be fine learning the playbook as offensive line coach Mike Solari has done a great job of getting young linemen ready for the NFL.
Saftey Taylor Mays-USC
Round 2, pick number 49
The 49ers steal of the draft was selecting USC safety Taylor Mays. He was considered one of the top safety’s in the draft and was under the impression that new Seahawks coach, and former USC coach, Pete Carroll would select him with their second pick in the first round. The best safety in the draft however, Earl Thomas, was available at pick number 14 and Mays was passed up. Needless to say Mays will be playing with a chip on his shoulder twice a year when the 49ers face-off against the Seahawks. But the fact that a player as talented as Mays was still available in the second round was good news for the 49ers. While at USC Mays was compared to and tried to play like former USC and 49er legend Ronnie Lott. At 230 pounds Mays is a hard hitter like Lott and could play either free or strong safety on defense. A big concern is his open-field tackling, he is not known to take proper angles when going in for the tackle, but he makes up for it with his speed.
Inside linebacker Navorro Bowman-Penn State
Round 3, pick 91
Navorro Bowman was selected twice to the first-team All-Big Ten and a second-team All-American while at Penn State. There is some concern with his character as he was on probation in 2007 for an on-campus fight which was extended after he said he used marijuana. Bowman fits the rest of the 2010 Niner draft picks with his physical play and great open-field tackling abilities much like new teammate Patrick Willis. With Willis and Singletary as your linebacker coach he should develop into a great inside linebacker.
Rest of the 49er draft picks:
Running back Anthony Dixon- Mississippi State (Round 6, pick 173): Dixon lacks speed but makes up for that with his power running. He ran for a school-record 1,391 yards last season. I am not sure how he will fill in on the offense this season but if backup Glenn Coffee does not have a good training camp Dixon could move up on the depth chart.
Tight end Nate Byham- Pittsburgh (Round 6, pick 182): Byham was selected for his blocking abilities rather than his receiving abilities. He should be a good addition to Vernon Davis on running downs this season.
Wide receiver Kyle Williams-Arizona State (Round 6, pick 206): Although drafted as a wide receiver Williams made a name for himself in college as a return specialist averaging 10.4 yards on punts and 22.9 yards on kickoffs. He has tremendous speed much like new Niner Ted Ginn Jr.
Cornerback Phillip Adams-South Carolina State (Round 7, pick 224): Adams can play both the corner and safety positions but lacks speed.
Topics: 2010 NFL Draft 2010, 2010 NFL Draft: With The 13th And 17th Picks The 49ers Select…, 49ers 2010 Off-season, 49ers 49ers 2009 Season 49ers 2009 Training Camp 49ers Injuries 49ers New Stadium 49ers Offensive Coordinator 49ers Preseason 49ers QB 49ers Quarterback 49ers Training Camp 2009 Free Agency Adam Snyde, 49ers Draft Recap, 49ers Select Safety Taylor Mays With 49th Pick Of 2nd Round, Anthony Davis, Anthony Dixon, Breaking News: 49ers Select Lineman Mike Iupati With 17th Pick, Kyle Williams, Mike Iupati, Mike Singletary, Mike Solari, Nate Byham, Navorro Bowman, NFL Draft 2010, Phillip Adams, Ronnie Lott, San Francisco 49ers, Taylor Mays, Trent Baalke