The 49ers traded up with the Detroit Loins for their 117th pick and selected Wake Forest guard Joe Looney. This was one of the big needs the 49ers needed to fill, although I thought drafting a guard would have happened earlier in the draft.
In exchange for the 117th pick, the 49ers gave up picks 125 (4th round) & 196 (6th round).
Here is how Joe Looney measures up:
Prepped in Florida before playing all 13 games as a true freshman in 2008 — started the final seven games at left guard after the team’s starting center was lost to injury. Sprained his left MCL in early September ’09 but started 11-of-12 games (did not start against North Carolina State) at the OLG spot, grading out at 83 percent with 64 knockdowns. Started all 10 games in which he played at left guard in ’10. Did not play against North Carolina State and Clemson because he was nursing a high left ankle sprain. Started all 13 contests at left guard in ’11. Broke his left foot at the Senior Bowl and was medically excluded from testing at the Combine.
Good size and girth. Nice initial quickness for his size. Solid base. Leans on defenders and walls off. Can slide and mirror in pass protection. Good upper-body and hand strength — can punch and recoil. Alert to pass off stunts. Athletic ability shows in space. Functional short puller — surprisingly quick and controlled to the second level and is effective eliminating linebackers. Plays hard and flashes some nasty. Extremely tough and competitive. Experienced, three-year starter. Well-liked, upstanding citizen. Outstanding personal and football character. Vocal leader.
Has a fleshy body and is slightly knock-kneed. Short arms. Can improve hand placement and sustain. Tight hips and ankles. Limited power and explosiveness. Heavy-footed in short area. Average blocking range — can be a step slow to in-line block points and struggles to reach. Inconsistent contact balance and body positioning. Bends at the waist and lunges. Can play with better leverage — lets his pads rise and gets up on his toes when engaged.
Big, short-armed, competitive, respected zone blocker who was an improved, more efficient player as a senior. At worst, can be a solid backup, but with refined technique has the makeup and physical tools to develop into a starter, and should attract interest from teams such as the Packers, Patriots, Texans, Broncos and Redskins. Draft status could slip following foot injury that could force him to start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Could prove to be a solid value pick.