The San Francisco 49ers are a team that has undergone a severe change of history and culture.
In the Super Bowl era, the 49ers controlled the 1980s due to the genius of their head coach and general manager Bill Walsh.
Walsh was an innovator who created the West Coast Offense that was a passing based offense used towards multiple receivers and if the receivers were covered, a running back or fullback could run out of the backfield to catch a short pass.
He drafted the great players of the 49ers like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, Roger Craig, and Ronnie Lott.
He also traded for Steve Young from the Buccaneers and that trade led to a Hall of Fame career for Young and the 49ers were a dynasty into the '90s as well.
However, now that Mike Singletary is in charge, the 49ers are becoming more of a strong run team featuring Frank Gore as the main running back and Vernon Davis as the primary receiving target for a tight end.
Mike Singletary also has created a dominant defensive team featuring All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis. The 49ers are going to be a physical team just like Singletary was when he was a Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears
The 49ers are in the NFC West, which is easily the weakest conference in the NFL. The conference used to be dominated by the Seahawks. The Seahawks have struggled themselves though and that led to the Cardinals taking over the past two years. The Cardinals quarterback, Kurt Warner, strapped the team to his back to a Super Bowl appearance last year, and a playoff win this year.
However, Kurt Warner has retired, and the 49ers have a great chance to win the division now. They actually beat the Cardinals twice last year, but had an 8-8 record which kept them out of playoffs.
The 49ers have the 13th and 17th overall draft picks, so they have double the chance to hit a home run in this very loaded and talented draft.
They also have a lot of needs as well. The most glaring is offensive line in general. Their tackles are decent, but not spectacular, so I definitely expect them to address that.
Wide receiver, outside linebacker, and cornerback are also strong possibilities. The two inside linebackers, Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis, are a strong pairing, but they need a help on the outside rush.
However, Sergio Kindle, Derrick Morgan, and Jason Pierre-Paul are all gone in my mock draft, so the 49ers would look elsewhere.
No wide receiver except Dez Bryant is worthy of such a high pick, but he’s not shown any draft officials what he can do by refusing to participate in workouts.
The obvious pick then becomes offensive linemen and with Bryan Bulaga and Russell Okung gone, the next best guy is Trent Williams, offensive tackle, from Oklahoma.
Trent Williams has been a fixture for Bob Stoops’ offensive line at Oklahoma. He’s definitely the best tackle available right now.
I get mixed feelings when I watch film of him. There are times where the only thing moving is him because he’s got such a good block that the lineman in front of him hasn’t got a chance, but there are a lot of times where he has struggled.
He was the guy, who blew the block on Colby Clausen of BYU, and Clausen just blasted the Oklahoma quarterback, Sam Bradford, and the hit gave Bradford a shoulder sprain and the Sooners lost 14-13 in the season opener.
Not the way you want to start off a new season when you are a team that has a good chance of winning the national championship.
This young man has great potential, shows promise, like how he held Sergio Kindle, Texas’ best linebacker, to zero sacks, but he allowed a lot of pressure.
He blocks for the run well though and the 49ers don’t throw it all the time, so he’d be a very good fit. I’d put him in a right tackle and see if he evolves from there.
His combine results support his status as a top 20 draft pick. Ran a 4.88 forty, 4.63 20-yard shuttle, 9’05" broad jump, 34.0 vertical jump, and had 23 reps on the bench press drill.
He’s 6’5", weighs about 318 lbs, and is not a great player, but a good player. He’ll need some coaching, but that’s the point of the draft really. You are supposed to draft players for the future, and help them get to their full potential.
The 49ers could really make this guy a player for them and he’d be able to help any running back they have if he works out for them.