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Alex Smith was the first overall pick in the 2005 draft
The tenure of Terry Donahue as the 49ers GM thankfully came to an end prior to the 2005 draft. Scot McLoughan took over running the draft. His selection of quarterback Alex Smith with the first overall pick, looked like another terrible miss and for the first six years of Smith's career, it was.
In Smith's first six seasons, he played for defensive-minded head coaches and six different offensive coordinators. He struggled and looked like a major bust.
However, this all changed in 2011. Smith, under the guidance of Jim Harbaugh, improved dramatically and finally looked like he can be a solid NFL quarterback. He and Harbaugh built a close bond and Smith learned a tremendous amount from his new head coach and Greg Roman, the offensive coordinator.
Smith led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a playoff win against the Saints. If not for two miscues by punt return man Kyle Williams, Smith would have guided the 49ers to the Super Bowl this past year.
Smith had a career year working with Harbaugh and Roman. He completed 61.3 percent of his pass attempts, for 3,144 yards, both career highs. His 17 touchdown passes compared to only five interceptions was also very impressive.
The 49ers are currently negotiating with Smith, who can become a free agent, on a contract extension. Both sides have indicated a strong desire to see Smith back in a 49er uniform.
With their second round pick, the 49ers took David Baas. He played for the Niners for six years from 2005-2010. Baas was used at multiple spots in his first four seasons, before settling in at center, as Eric Heitmann's replacement.
David Baas started all 16 games for the 49ers in both 2009 and 2010. He signed a free-agent deal with the New York Giants and was a member of their Super Bowl championship team this past season.
Baas was a decent player, but you should expect more from the 33rd overall pick.
Frank Gore was the 49ers Round 3 pick. He was coming off a knee injury and his draft stock fell, enabling the 49ers to draft Gore with the 65th overall selection. Gore has been the heart and soul of the 49ers offense over these past seven years.
Gore is the 49ers all-time leading rusher. He has 7,625 career yards rushing, which includes five 1,000-yard seasons. Gore is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and has had a tremendous career. I expect Gore's No. 21 will be retired at some point, after he's done playing.
Offensive lineman Adam Snyder was selected in the fourth round. This was another very good pick, as Snyder is an extremely valuable player, able to play any of the positions along the line. Snyder is an impending free agent and the 49ers would like to have him back.
Snyder took over the starting right guard spot this past year, replacing the ineffective Chilo Rachal. Once Snyder became a starter, the line immediately began to improve.
After the fourth round, the 49ers drafted no other players who made much of an impact. These picks included Ronald Fields, Rasheed Marshall, Derrick Johnson, Daven Holly, Marcus Maxwell, Patrick Estes and Billy Bajema.
2005 Grade: A-