Friday, April 29, 2011

NFL Draft: Day 2- 49ers Take Kaepernick!

Pre-Draft: If I'm the Niners, I think I go with Ryan Mallet. Da'Quan Bowers was supposed to be a top-3 pick, and even if he misses 1/2 or 3/4 of 2011, it'd be like having a #1 DE coming into 2012. I also still like WR Randall Cobb and see him as a perfect fit to Crabtree, the Marvin Harrison to Reggie White... The 49ers pick again at 12 (76 overall) in the 3rd round where QB's Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton wouldn't be bad choices if they don't get Mallet at 45. Other options could be speedster back out of Cal Shane Vereen to help out Frank Gore, big Miami tackle Orlando Franklin or UCLA Safety Rahim Moore...

The so called "experts" say the Niners take Kaepernick at pick #45 possibly hoping for another Matt Ryan, un-flashy winning type who learns quick and I could live with that. He's big 6'6"/235, strong-armed, smart and can move like Steve Young. Just didn't play at a prestigous school.... Oh yeah Raiders are at pick 48 and we'll have something to say for them too!

Round 2 Pick Analysis

*Chris Dalton is off the board headed to Cinci, as many suspected. I still like Kaepernick and Mallet better anyway, though I'm in the minority!

**Niners move up to 4th in round 2, could spell Kaepernick!**

It's official.. 49ers Draft Colin Kaepernick with Pick 35 to be QB of Future. I pretty much knew this was coming the moment Dalton went and the Niners feared they could lose out on Kaepernick, the guy I think they had their eye on all along. There are many that feel Kaepernick is more prepared for the NFL than #8 pick Jake Locker, just to show you his reputation. Kaepernick was a 4-year starter at Nevada, which shows he's a natural leader. In those 4 years, he put up an average of 21 TD/6 INT, 2,657 passing yards per, and and a rock solid 142.2 QB rating. That's just consistency. He led Nevada to one of the biggest upsets of 2010 NCAA season over No. 3 Boise State with 260 yards passing, 45 yars rushing and 2 TD's. He also rushed for over 100 yards 5 times in 2010 including 20 rushing TD's ( for a total of 41 TD's on the year in '10). He's 6'6" and can move and has a big arm. Almost reminds me of Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan, and the Niners are hoping that's indeed the case, and not Jason Campbell (he has way quicker release/mobility than Campbell) or Trent Edwards, who lets face it, was never cut out to be a starter from day 1! Regardless, he won't be the starting QB to the start of 2011 (whenever that may be) and will start off behind a veteran (Alex Smith, Matt Hasselebeck?) which now appears to indeed be Jim Harbough and Trent Balk's plan. In that plan, I think Hasselbeck would be the choice guy because of his experience, similarities to Kaepernick and the fact he still can contribute (rough year behind bad Sea. line and no pass targets, but showed up in the playoffs!) Could very well end up being top QB in this 2011 draft 3-5 years down the road. Selection Grade: A-


Raiders Selections: Well, once again, the Silver and Black have left me scratching my head with another draft choice that's about as questionable as they come. The chose versatile Guard Stefen Wisniewski out of Penn State. A nice player who can play each guard position and center seamlessly. That said, Pro Football Weekly had him ranked as the 137 best prospect in the draft and not many others had him much higher. The Raiders are appearing to take the same route here as they did in '09 with Heyward-Bey, taking a leap on athleticism and pure upside rather than taking a more polished football player. There were just a lot better players on the board, period and for them to wait that long for a mid-level O-lineman has to be a disappointment to Raider fans! (And they wonder why they can't sell tickets!) QB Ryan Mallet made perfect since for them. They wouldn't have to invest 1st round money, and could ease him in behind Jason Campbell to start with rather than throwing him to the wolves when not ready like JaMarcus Russel. I thought it was a perfect situation to go value if they didn't like anyone for themselves. DE Da'Quon Bowers (top-5 projection until knee injury), CB Brandon Harris (first-round projection) or my personal first choice based on need and quality when their number was called, Georgia's OLB Justin Houston, who would have been a beautiful fit next to McClain and Kam Wimbley. Now Wisniewski isn't a bad lineman, but I bet the Raiders could have gotten him in the 4th or 5th. Selection Grade: D+

3rd Round: Ahh man, just when I was really starting to get into this 49er draft, they go out and grab and projected 6-7th rounder in cornerback Chris Culliver and I just don't get it. I don't care what kind of "potential" he has, there were 100 players above him that had more talent and as much as I like the Kaepernick pick, this one really takes the high away. A put "Combine" pick and it's sucks cause there were better players available (namely Amukamara). I'm aware of the incident Prince had with his girlfriend, which is a cowardly thing to do, push a woman, but there are guys in this with much worse resumes, I'll tell you that. He could have been the Prince Amukamamra or Pat Peterson they didn't get, and though he's not near they're skill level, he's a 2nd-3rd round NFL corner and many of those have gone on to be great players.... Culliver was projected by most football publications as a "late rounder" or "potential un-drfated FA). The 49ers could have easily have gotten him in Day 3. Though I do admit, I've never seen him play a snap (I've seen Patrick make a few plays big plays).

And wouldn't you know it, the Raiders would draft an near identical player. Projected late-round CB out of Miami, DeMarcus Van Dyke.

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