All along I have been saying one way for the San Francisco 49ers to waste away their top two picks would be to take two first-round offensive linemen.
In the first ever prime time NFL Draft and the first draft run by de facto GM Trent Baalke, the 49ers managed to even give up a fourth-round pick in completely wasting away their No. 13 and No. 17 selections.
They traded No. 13 and their fourth-round pick to the Denver Broncos to move up to No. 11 and take Anthony Davis from Rutgers.
This meant they found a way to give up two draft choices (No. 13 and fourth round) to get a guy who first off would certainly have been there had they stood pat at No. 13 and secondly was, by all accounts, not as good as another option still on the board: Bryan Bulaga from Iowa.
Going into the draft, Russel Okung, Trent Williams, and Bryan Bulaga were consistently ranked as the top three offensive tackles and offensive linemen in the draft. I had said that only one of those three warranted a first round investment, and I still very strongly feel that way.
Instead, the 49ers managed to wind up using No. 13, No. 17, and their fourth round pick (having already given up their fifth round pick for Ted Ginn Jr.) to get two offensive linemen with plenty of questions surrounding them.
The 49ers could have ended up with Bryan Bulaga and Earl Thomas out of Texas, and would still have their fourth round choice.
Instead they got Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, and needlessly lost a mid-rounder, leaving them desperately short of mid-round picks in a draft which stands to be as deep as the Mariana Trench. Not only was this draft a complete flop in the first round, but it will hurt the 49ers for the rest of weekend as well.
The decision to ignore defense in the first round basically prevents any realistic chance of the 49ers being able to pursue Toby Gerhart out of Stanford with their second-round pick. If they take a DB in the second round, they may have the wiggle room to pick up a Jordan Shipley in the third round, but having no selections between the third and sixth rounds makes that quite a gamble as well.
Maybe Trent Baalke knows something I do not and there will be a cascade of trades tomorrow to pick up a stable of mid-round picks. So far, however, this has been one of the worst drafts I have ever seen!
Could the 49ers have done worse? Sure, but barely.
Picking Jimmy Clausen out of Notre Dame, trading for Ben Roethlisberger (who likely would have cost the 49ers the No. 13 and No. 17 picks and possibly more), picking C.J. Spiller from Clemson, or picking Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State would all have been dumber moves than what Baalke went with tonight.
Then again, three of those four options would not necessarily have cost the 49ers both first round picks and a later pick without addressing defense.
Trent Baalke has a lot of work to do over the weekend to redeem himself in my mind. Hopefully he can.
Since some have apparently missed this:
Keep the Faith!