Feeling Drafty #7: San Francisco 49ers

April 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

For going to his fourth Pro Bowl in as many seasons, Patrick Willis won the San Francisco Team MVP Award.

There are a few sketchy quarterback situations I still have at least one year’s worth of faith left in.  Jimmy Clausen in Carolina, John Skelton in Arizona.  But in San Francisco, not so much.

San Fran is the undisputed king of bringing in star college quarterbacks that can’t make it in the pros.  Two former #1 draft picks and a Heisman Trophy winner occupy the top three quarterback spots on the team’s depth chart.  And between the three of them, none of them are anywhere near starter material.

Alex Smith got drafted #1 overall by San Fran, and has been jumping from starter to backup and back repeatedly for the last six years.  His best year was in ’06, and even then, he failed to hit 3,000 yards passing, and he threw as many touchdowns as interceptions (16).

Troy Smith won the Heisman in 2006.  He was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore, but was sent to San Francisco at the start of the season.  He did really well in Week 10 against St. Louis, but he didn’t throw for over 200 yards in any other game, he threw an interception in each of the last four games he played in, and he went 1-3 in those last four games.

And then, there’s David Carr.  I always thought that he should’ve got a second chance to be a legitimate starter in the NFL.  He was the first ever draft pick by the Houston Texans back in 2002.  I think that he would’ve been a pretty good quarterback if he had a halfway competent offensive line.  An NFL record 76 times sacked in a single season tells me that the O-line needs to get back to fundamentals.  Since then, he’s bounced from Carolina, to the New York Giants, and now San Francisco, and almost all of the time, he’s been in a backup roll.  But sadly, the head office would prefer to start Mr. and Mrs. Smith over Carr.  Shame.

In case you haven’t noticed, I think that quarterback is the position of need on this team.  One of four things can happen for San Fran’s QB situation.  1:  They do nothing and commit to one of their current QBs (most likely Troy Smith), and they can enjoy some nice fail.  2: They can sign a veteran, which could happen, but I’m not going to drop dead of pure shock if they don’t do that.  3: Pick up a QB in the second round or later, like Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, or TCU’s Andy Dalton, while they use their first round pick to improve the defense, which I would actually like to see, but it still won’t happen.

More than likely, they’ll pick option #4, and draft a QB first round.  San Francisco will draft Blaine Gab… oh wait, he’s already off the board.  And so is Cam Newton.  Crap.  Well, maybe option 3 is the best situation for San Fran.  So, what else can the Niners do?  Well, Da’Quan Bowers is still available.  So is Julio Jones.  But, I have an eye on their cornerback situation.  Nate Clemens has been done pretty well for several years, but with his inconsistent play, high salary, and the team’s lack of depth at the position, San Francisco may need a little something extra.

San Francisco would be getting what may the best player in the entire draft by going #7 overall with Patrick Peterson

And that something is drafting LSU CB Patrick Peterson.  Pure and simple Peterson is the best shutdown corner in the NCAA.  4.30 in the 40 yard dash, four picks, outstanding kick returner, and the winner of both SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Special Teams Player of the Year.  This guy not only has the potential to be a big star on defense, but also be this year’s breakout returner, like last year’s Jacoby Ford.

At first, I honestly thought that Gabbert would be the 49ers’ guy at QB.  But with the lockout and lack of free agency, the odds of one of the two big quarterbacks falling all the way to #7 are pretty slim.


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