Just like in poker, we tend not to remember the good calls, but rather the bad beats that diminished our chip stack. With the San Francisco 49ers, the NFL Draft provides a similar analogy. Looking back from 2000-2012, I have identified the draft blunders that set the franchise back through the years. So without further ado, here are the worst picks the 49ers have made over the past 13 years.
QB Giovanni Carmazzi (2000 NFL Draft) 3rd Round- 65th
The Hofstra product was supposed to be the franchise quarterback of the future, but was never able to embrace that role. QB Jeff Garcia became a solid starter and Carmazzi struggled learning the NFL offense. Due to this fact, Carmazzi never took an NFL snap and was later released a year later. The most frustrating part is that the 49ers opted for Carmazzi despite QB Tom Brady still on the board!
CB Mike Rumph (2002 NFL Draft) 1st Round- 27th
Rumph was supposed to be the big, physical, and tough cornerback the 49ers were desperately in need of. Instead, he became a liability in pass coverage and gave up big play after big play, eventually leading him to play free-safety due to his lack of coverage skills. Rumph would later be traded to the Washington Redskins in 2006 before retiring from the game in 2008.
OT Kwame Harris (2003 NFL Draft) 1st Round- 26th
Harris was highly sought after coming out of Stanford. He was young, smart, and very big. He was supposed to be the cornerstone of the offensive line for the next 10 years just like OT Joe Staley. However, he was consistently beat by speedy pass-rushers, and was called for numerous holding penalties as a result. He never came into his own, and was later replaced by Staley.
WR Rashaun Woods (2004 NFL Draft) 1st Round- 31st
This pick had to be the worst pick of the bunch! I hated this pick right from the start. Although Woods set numerous Big 12 records, he did not fit the West Coast offense and it showed. He only played two seasons for the 49ers before being traded to the San Diego Chargers for CB Sammy Davis. Who you may be asking? Exactly my point, Woods was an absolute bust and his career never took off. I just hope WR A.J. Jenkins does not fall into this category.
DT Kentwan Balmer (2008 NFL Draft) 1st Round- 29th
Another head scratcher for me. I did not believe Balmer would amount to anything, and he didn’t. His work ethic was often questioned in college and evidently became his downfall. He only played two seasons in San Francisco before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round draft pick. A first-round selection being traded for a sixth-round pick? Sounds like a bust to me.
OG Chilo Rachal (2008 NFL Draft) 2nd Round- 39th
Rachal was supposed to be the glue down in the trenches. A USC product with huge upside, Rachal never lived up to those expectations. He was a mauler in the run game but a liability in pass protection. However, he lasted four seasons in San Francisco before signing with the Chicago Bears.
RB Glen Coffey (2009 NFL Draft) 3rd Round- 74th
Coffey abruptly left the team after only one season with the 49ers to pursue his vision as a motivational speaker or pastor.
FS Taylor Mays (2010 NFL Draft) 2nd round- 49th
I thought Mays would develop into a Pro Bowl caliber safety in the NFL. He hit with authority and brought a no nonsense attitude about him. In addition, he had the build of a linebacker with the speed of a cornerback. A true beast of nature. However, all those intangibles just goes to show that they don’t mean much if they can translate on the field. Mays played two years for the 49ers before being traded to the Cincinnati Bengals for a seventh-round draft choice.
WR A.J. Jenkins (2012 NFL Draft) 1st Round- 30th
I have given up on Jenkins. He can not catch the ball nor separate himself from defensive backs. His ability to run after the catch has been spotty and his play inconsistent. He never really played during the regular season, and with the 49ers signing WR Anquan Boldin suggests that Jenkins is indeed going to be a bust.