Almost seemingly out of the blue, an otherwise “stable” 49ers front office has been thrown into controversy yet again.
49ers GM Scot McCloughan has been put on an extended leave of absence due to “personal problems.” This, of course, has come at a bad time.
But what now for the 49ers?
The consensus seems to be that Coach Singletary will be the new head honcho when it comes to this year’s draft or at the very least, Singletary will be the man responsible for the two first round picks.
The “buzz” surrounding recent speculative articles about this situation has been the inability of Singletary to evaluate talent.
This statement is usually followed by the “Patrick Willis” incident, where McCloughan had to convince Singletary that Willis should be drafted.
Trying to put a positive spin on this situation is hard to do.
While McCloughan may not have been making any “Top 10 GM” lists any time soon, the mere emergence of this controversy shows the NFL that stability, still, is not one of the 49ers’ strong points.
I was not the biggest fan of McCloughan, but I do not like how the 49er front office has handled this situation.
While we laugh at Arizona losing Warner, Seattle giving up so much to get Whitehurst, the Raiders drafting Heyward-Bey and the Rams, well…’nuff said, it looks like the tables have been turned and we are now the target of ridicule.
Still, I would like to look at McCloughan’s influence since 2005 and see if losing him is as much of a disaster as people think.
But before we go over this list, I would to say that I think the importance of picking well DEEP into the draft is the sign of good talent evaluation.
I think, more often than not, it’s easy not to miss when you’re picking in the top 10.
But what about the later rounds? These are the rounds where you make your money.
For example, last year when we picked up Crabtree, well anyone (except the Raiders, of course) could have done that.
Think about it: a top-five receiver falls to you at No. 10. I think I could have even made that pick.
But picking up Frank Gore in the third round? That’s something that I could never have done and I think it’s the solid picks in the later rounds that, as a GM, is the best litmus test.
(Source of following draft lists: Profootballreference.com)
Well, what is there to say about this draft?
There are some of you who will not use "bust" when describing Smith, but I ask this: What NFL franchise wants to still be unsure about whether or not their first overall pick is still a starter five years after the fact?
This year, under the same offensive coordinator, Smith's light may turn on, but until he passes the "eye test," until Smith starts to win us games...well, you'll know where I stand on him.
But enough about him, how did we do in the rest of the draft?
Well, the only other pick we hit on was Frank Gore...that's it.
Sure, David Baas starts at guard, but his play is inconsistent. For a high second round pick (33rd overall), he has been mediocre at best.
Adam Snyder is even more inconsistent and he fills the right tackle spot, a spot where we desperately need someone else.
The rest of the draft was a waste and what an opportunity to waste. We had seven picks from the fifth round on and no one has shown anything thus far.
Overall draft grade: D
People will point to this draft and say, "Look at Vernon Davis!" But he was a sixth overall pick whose only productive season came last year.
Look at our other first round pick, deeper in the draft: the underachieving Manny Lawson, who has been a disappointment thus far.
While he is good at stopping the run and containing the outside, he poses no threat whatsoever when it comes to putting pressure on the QB.
I think Parys Haralson is a solid starter for a fifth rounder, though.
He is almost from the same cut as Lawson. He's a good contain man, but does not pose a huge threat for opposing QBs. Still, he is a starter.
The rest of the draft is a wash, save for Walker, who is a back-up.
In the end, Davis was a good pick, but it took a while for him to have first round—type production.
Lawson borderlines on the "bust" status, because he plays at a mediocre level. For a first rounder, he definitely has not lived up to his moniker.
Overall Grade: C
This was a good draft because we hit on BOTH our first round picks.
This may be premature, but I think Patrick Willis would fall into the "top five players in the NFL right now not including QBs" category. Yes, I just made that category up.
Staley is a solid starter and if the 49ers start winning games, I could definitely see him making the Pro Bowl in the near future.
Jason Hill, McDonald, and Brown are okay, with McDonald getting the edge between these two.
Additionally, I think Goldson is great. Okay, not "great" in the epic sense, but pretty darn good.
I think if our pass rush improves, his production will significantly increase. He's fast, has good "pop" at the point of attack and has the occasional "beast mode" moment.
Overall Draft Grade: A
Hmmm...what can I say about this draft?
Again, how did we pick late in the first? Kentwan Balmer? No thanks. It's not like he has had mediocre production...he's had NO production.
Yeah, he's been injured, but the bottom line is what counts. He is a bust, baring some miraculous turn around.
Chilo Rachal is not a solid starter. Bass is a better guard than him, but Bass has just not been that productive for a high second round pick.
Josh Morgan is a good number two receiver, but when that's the highlight of your entire draft...no bueno.
Overall Grade: F
A little harder to grade this draft, because only time will tell if the deeper drafted players can contribute.
Crabtree had instant production, but he was a "no brainer" pick which fell in our lap at No. 10.
Coffee, while dazzling in the preseason, did not do so hot when he had to take over for the injured Frank Gore.
But I think the jury is still out on him, as he just may need another year or two for him to reach his potential in my opinion.
Scott McKilop is a solid special-teamer and a back-up linebacker, but this is still decent production for a fifth rounder right off the bat, especially since he plays a position which is not a need for the 49ers.
Bear Pascoe did not last the season and the jury is still out on Davis and the two LSU rookies.
Overall Grade: C
Let’s be honest here. If Alex Smith were able to secure the QB spot a lot sooner and was not a question mark for us (still), McCloughan would have all the street cred in the world.
But he has missed (big) in the first round, whiffed on Alex Smith and has been mediocre in the deeper rounds in my opinion.
Again, the sudden dysfunction in the front office is not good, but on the bright side, at least it’s not the worst thing in the world.