From the first 2 picks it was clear what Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh identified as the 49ers biggest weakness, which is (or now was) explosiveness. The 49ers selected AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James in the 1st and 2nd rounds respectively. Both players who clocked in or around the 4.3's in their 40 times, both players are known for their big play capabilities, homerun threats, whatever you'd like to call it.
The 49ers seriously lacked speed at WR which meant Ted Ginn often got a lot of action purely based on his speed, for the record, I love Ginn as a returner, but he should only be seeing minimal time at WR. The 49ers add a hopefully revitalized Randy Moss to mentor AJ Jenkins, add in Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham and you got the makeup of a pretty damn good WR corp. I see AJ Jenkins as the #4 WR in his rookie year, he will require some seasoning before being thrust in to full time action. With the complexity of the 49ers playbook I expect we won't see too much of AJ until post-bye week.
|FROM L-R: HC JIM HARBAUGH, WR AJ JENKINS AND GM TRENT BAALKE|
I really like the LaMichael James pick, the draft is too often looked at for short term success, I think with this pick Baalke was looking long term for the 49ers. I love Frank Gore as much as anyone but with his injury history, workload to date and age, I can imagine he only has 1-2 more productive years ahead. Unfortunately that is the reality in the NFL for RB's. The future at RB is mostly gonna be Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James, throw in the bruiser back either Brandon Jacobs or Anthony Dixon and there you have the future. LaMichael can hit and get through small gaps with ease, has a great ability to change direction, is more elusive than you'd think and can flat out run. Future looks bright at RB for the 49ers.
|RB LAMICHAEL JAMES, 49ERS 2ND ROUND PICK|
The rest of the picks are essentially for depth, I like the focus on the OL (Looney and Slowey) and also on the Safety position. One of my favorite picks of the draft was Cam Johnson, multiple projections had him going in the 2nd-3rd round. Safe to say the 49ers got him WAY later than that! Can add depth at OLB and will provide immediate competition for Parys Haralson on the roster. Former Stanford WR Chris Owusu was the notable non-drafted free agent signing.
That about sums up the 49ers draft, I really liked what we did, I'm not the kind of person to give any draft grades because we won't know how these guys turn out for 2-3 years. Can't wait to see these guys in practice and pre-season and hopefully contribute in the regular season.