Anthony Davis vs. Earl Thomas: Did 49ers Make the Wrong Decision in 2010 Draft?

Colan LamontAnalyst IIJuly 17, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19:  Anthony Davis #76 of the San Francisco 49ers smiles during their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I'm very happy with the draft class of 2010 simply because the team obtained two long-term starters on the offensive line.

Following some conversations I've had with some fellow San Francisco 49ers fans, it's obvious that some fans are still a little perplexed by the selection of Anthony Davis.

Davis has all the ability in the world, but I'm sure a a good number of people thought the 49ers front office had another player in mind when they traded for the 11th overall pick.

So my question is: Would you have preferred the team to select Earl Thomas instead of Anthony Davis?

If that happened, the whole 49ers roster could look very different; Taylor Mays wouldn't have been a wasted selection and Dashon Goldson may not have evolved into the exciting talent that he is today.

Besides, guys like Jared Veldheer offered intriguing upside if they wanted to go the tackle route in the second round.

I remember thinking that the trade up would be for Thomas; I felt Davis may have been available with the second first round pick anyway.

Rewind back to 2010, and the inconsistent Goldson and Reggie Smith were likely to be the two starters; not exactly appealing.

With Eric Berry clearly going to be off the board, I felt Thomas was the next best thing and would be a really exciting addition to the team.


As far as I was concerned, Thomas had only one major flaw and that was that he was only 5'10". Obviously he has made that notion look ridiculous now.

He was the ball-hawking safety that I craved, completely unaware that Goldson would develop into exactly that.

He had amazing speed, great playmaking ability, good open-field tackling skills and fluid hips that even convinced some that he could have a future as a cornerback in the NFL. Take note Taylor Mays.

Then there was the great promise that Anthony Davis showed.

One of the youngest players in the draft at 20-years-old, and the most athletic tackle of the bunch, many thought he could develop into something special.

The main concerns were that he was often out of shape, but he was still regarded as an elite prospect.

So the 49ers had a dilemma in which they had to choose between two elite prospects who both fit positions of need.

Looking back, I'm very happy that Iupati was selected only six picks later than Davis, but I can't help but wonder whether or not Thomas was a better option than Davis.

The reason I question the decision is because Alex Boone had shown a lot of promise and I thought that he could have developed into part of a great tackle tandem with Joe Staley.

Add the fact that Iupati was being ranked as a right tackle by some, and the selection of Davis over Thomas seemed even more dubious.

If I'm being completely honest, I'm very happy with Davis, but must concede that Thomas is a better safety than Davis is an offensive lineman.

But, much like Thomas, I see Davis developing into a pro-bowl type of talent.

I suppose the 49ers offensive line had troubles for a long time and the front office decided to make a big statement by selecting two offensive lineman in the first round.

But I remember thinking that I could put money down on the fact that the trade up was for Thomas; an elite athlete who was an NFL-ready game changer.

Instead, I was hit with a tackle that, although good, had nowhere near the talent level of Thomas.

Now I've grown to love Davis and the way he plays the game. He's a mean player and a great teammate who always backs his offensive players up if they get into a scuffle.

Unfortunately, Thomas has also grown into a special player and I really struggle to come to a conclusion about whether or not I would rather the 49ers selected Thomas if we could go back in time.

So, if you guys had the chance, would you want a 2010 first round NFL Draft do over?