By Ryan of The Sportmeisters
The 49ers just couldn’t get it all together in 2008. A six game losing streak in the middle of the season took anyway any potential playoff chance in the weak NFC West. They did start to catch on at the end of the season.
New coach Mike Singletary was able to produce wins in four of the last five games to finish on a promising note. With a solid amount of draft picks, many experts have the 49ers taking a quarterback to prepare themselves for the future.
However, it’s not the quarterback that is the focus, as Shaun Hill was more than reliable down the stretch. The NFC West will be weak again in 2009, and with a new regime, highlighted by Singletary and new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, San Francisco is hoping they can make the leap to playoff contenders in 2009.
San Francisco 49ers Draft Picks
Round 1, Pick 10 (10)
Round 2, Pick 11 (43)
Round 3, Pick 10 (74)
Round 4, Pick 11 (111)
Round 5, Pick 10 (146)
Round 5, Pick 35 (171)
Round 6, Pick 11 (184)
Round 7, Pick 10 (219)
Round 7, Pick 35 (244)
Team Need 1: OT
In 2008, the 49ers gave up 55 sacks, easily the most in the NFL. They are ok on the inside, but need some major help at the tackle slot. With an abundance of tackles available in the draft, they should get away from the rumored quarterback talk (unless its all a trade ruse), and look for a way to keep their current quarterbacks standing upright.
Andre Smith could fall, and Singletary is a great motivator and could turn his 2009 slump around. If not, I look for them to reach slightly at 6’4’’ Michael Oher. This is a need San Francisco cannot afford to ignore, so if they go somewhere else in the first round, they should look to grab 6’6’’ William Beatty early in the second round.
Team Need 2: WR
Isaac Bruce had 61 catches, but at 37, he’s fading fast. San Francisco needs to consider a franchise receiver here that can take the reigns, as none of the other options seem to be suitable. This would be the only other position I could see the 49ers filling in the first round, especially if Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin fall to them.
With Crabtree’s stress fracture, that could be a likely scenario. Outside of the first round talent, there aren’t too many receivers worth looking at for a franchise position (though Pat White could be an intriguing possibility in the third round).
Team Need 3: S
Win the turnover battle, and a team is more likely to win the game. Last year, San Francisco had a measly 12 interceptions, and at the head of that is a weak secondary. They need help both at Cornerback and Safety, but Safety is the more pressing need, as they have some options, albeit not great ones, at corner.
Based on earlier picks, this is an option to look at in the middle rounds. There are a few possibilities for San Francisco to grab. Darcel McBath of Texas Tech, C.J. Spillman of Marshall, and Chris Clemons of Clemson should all be available in the middle of the draft.
It has been a long time since the 49ers heydays, and Mike Singletary knows that. As a prominent player for the 49ers, he too, is hoping for success out of the red and gold. He has the motivational techniques, but needs to bring in the right young guys to develop them into winners. If the 49ers fill the right holes, they could be a surprising team to watch in 2009.