I'm pretty spent on the draft right now folks, and I'm still battling a hand/wrist injury, so we won't be dong a live post on Day 3 and probably won't get to the Final Draft Review until Monday as I have the weekend off... Bitter sweet draft so far for San Fran with the Could-Go-Either-Way Aldon Smith, then the great value pick in Kaepernick, however the good vibes they had going were soiled by the selection of Culliver.
By the way, with the 3rd round pick, I didn't get to talk about, but the Niners took Clemson CB Cris Culliver and it was a crying shame I tell you. They passed on Johnny Patrick, Brandon Hogan and Josh Thomas. All available and all better cornerbacks than Culliver right now and probably will be in 5 years too. I hate all these "project pics". The best thing he had going for him is that he was a pre-season All-American, but he didn't work out. He wasn't even in the top-120 prospects and wasn't a full-time starter, a late round possibility, and he goes 80th. Culliver in the 5th, perfect, but not in the 3rd!
Culver Selection Grade: C-
4th Round 49ers Pick: 49ers Select RB Kendall Hunter out of Oklahoma State. I must say, I kind of saw this one as a surprise at first, but the more it's sinking in, the more I like it. The 5'8", 200-pounder will give the 49ers an MJD-like threat as he's short, stocky, quick and powerful. This pick kind of reminds me of the Frank Gore pick back in '05, though Hunter would need to add 10-15 pounds to take eventually take on 20-carries per week in the NFL. I liked Dion Lewis, as his talent could have had him go in the 2nd round and suppose I'd have taken him if I had my choice. I just see Brian Westbrook and DeAngelo Williams in that kid, a sure-fire offensive weapon, whether or not he ever becomes a every-down back or not. Could have seen them go with Buffalo's CB Josh Thomas or UNC's LB Quan Sturdivant (despite the "fraud issue", he's a top-50 talent). So as I said, bit surprised, but understand the pick. Now The 49ers don't select again until Round 6 where they have 3 selections.
Hunter Selection Grade: C
Niners move up to the 5th round to take........ G Daniel Kilgore of Appalachian State. Now, I can't rip him, cause I haven't even heard of him. A few players I have heard of and upset the Niners passed on are CB Chykie Brown, a Big Conference corner ready for the NFL, or Cliff Mathews, another Pass Rushing hog who could have been a big help on D, but no, they over-stock the O-line? Cliff Mathews and DeAndre McDondald are my two choices for pick 182 no with Sturigant and Jarrett off the board.
Kilgore Selection Grade: F
*ALERT!!! NINERS MOVE UP FOR RONALD JOHNSON!
Well, turns out I got my choice at Pick 16 in Round 6 in the USC Troajan #1 wideout Ronald Johnson, after all. Now, everyone is forgetting Johnson, a senior, was not Freshman Matt Barkley's first target, that belonged to Damian Williams. Johnson also had 8 TD catches in '08 as a sophomore before getting hurt his junior year. Call this a poor man's Michael Crabtree drafting cause even though he's a 5th rounder, my money says he's top-3 among receivers in yards for the 49ers in 2011. Great, great pick as I told you, I would have taken him in the 4th! Heck, you out him in Stanford in 2010 with Andrew Luck, and your looking at 1,200 yars, 12+ TD's.. I just hope I'm not overselling him. If football people thought he wasn't worry of a top two-round pick, then you do have to wonder if there's anything in his personal life we don't know about!
Johnson Selection Grade: A
Update: And they go with strong safety Colin Jones. Blah... Now, Jones has some positives to be pointed out like his ball-hawk ability, but again, the 49ers went off the chars on value for this pick? Not trying to rub anything in, but the guy doesn't even have a profile on Scout. And they passed on Jeff Lefeged, a John Lynch clone who was rated as high as a 2nd rounder..... With pick, they take another long-shot in linebacker from Central Florida. A 253 ranked plyer by PFL and not much different from the other draft coverage outlets. It's like they hit a home run, then strikeout.... With 2 picks to to, McDaniel still waits, as does Lefeged and Mathews. Value alone, the 49ers should target these players! Jones Selection Grade: C
Final Update: The 2011 NFL Draft has come to a close and the 49ers had a very odd finish to what was such a promising start. After Colin Jones, the Niners took relatively unknown linebacker Bruce Miller from Central Florida, so I won't say anything about him other than the fat that they passed up D-Ends Cliff Matthews and Greg Romeus in order to get Miller, another move I disagree with... With their compensatory picks, they went with yet another project guard in Mike Pearson of Montana St. and DB Chris Holcomb of Florida A&M. It is also worth noting a Safety I really liked as a 5th-7th rounder who went un-drafted were two solid SS's in Florida's Joe Lefeged and Clemson's DeAndre McDowell (both mid-level projections), they will have homes come training camp though, you can count on that. And w0w, I've never had so such an oddly unpredicted draft with some many "Derieus Heyward-Bey" projects going in early rounds. 7th Round Grade: D+
Raiders took a nice back themselves, nabbing the bigger more sturdy back, Taiwan Jones out of Eastern Michagan. Again though, I think the troubled linebacker (Sturdivant) would have been a better value pick. The fact he played for a smaller school is a big reason he dropped cause he's got the whole package, good size, speed and put up gaudy numbers in EM. Dwayne Harris may be the more touted of the two, but the Raiders had their choice and made it. Jones has never faced Level 1 competition either, the one time he did, vs Cal in '09 (4 carries, 2 yards), so the 1700 yard season is nice and all, but we'll see how well that translates on Sundays!
Jones Selection Grade: C
Now they've gone on to grab another wideout in Demarious More, but this one has had some success in Tennessee, not coming off a 300-yard recieving year like Heyward-Bay was! He's solid yet un-spectacular, but has blazing speed in the open field and is more polished than the the ladder. A true football player and good value pick. I think will develop into a nice #2-3 receiver in time.
DeMarious Moore Selection Grade: B-
Well, I got hte 49ers pick right, but once again, the Raiders take a reclamation project in TE Richard Gordon. They already have a franchise TE in Zach Miller so why they did this is again, an Al Davis head scratcher. There were so many better players available, just check above and check the remaining board!...
Gordon Selection Grade: F
To round things out, the Raiders take a somewhat intriguing pick in uber-athlete in David Ausburry. Now, in 4 years, he never did much in the crowded USC receiving corps, but had some big games and has the tools. I actually like this pick by Oakland, the first one all draft I believe. Now they better swoop up some of those good Un-Drafted FA's in a hurry!
Ausburry Selection Grade:
Note: We'll be back after a week-long vacation (or thereabouts) to do a final analysis of this draft, I certainly am not done talking about it, and it's re-shaped the way each Bay Area football team will approach the offseason (whenever that may be)! Just don't look for any new posts until at least Friday 5/6.