2011 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Must Avoid Repeating the 2005 Draft Debacle

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2011 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Must Avoid Repeating the 2005 Draft Debacle
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

It is far from a news flash that the San Francisco 49ers have deep problems at quarterback. Only David Carr is currently under contract, and his performance in the second half of a Week 7 loss to the Carolina Panthers was enough to silence the chorus of Alex Smith haters who had been screaming for him the previous two weeks.

But the problem goes back much further than that.

The 49ers have never truly found a replacement for Steve Young, whose career ended suddenly in 1999 when Lawrence Phillips missed a blitz pickup and Aeneas Williams saddled Young with the last of a series of debilitating concussions. He was replaced by Jeff Garcia—a Gilroy native and the last quarterback hand-picked by the legendary Bill Walsh. Garcia provided admirable service after a rocky start, becoming the last 49ers QB to earn a Pro Bowl trip.

Somehow, the 49ers decided Tim Rattay was a better option than Garcia and since then, the 49ers have rarely witnessed even serviceable performances at QB, let alone Pro Bowl-caliber output.

Rattay, Steve Stenstrom, Rick Mirer, Ken Dorsey, Cody Pickett, Chris Weinke, Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer, J.T. O'Sullivan, Shaun Hill, David Carr and Troy Smith all saw time under center—all with results fans wish they could forget. Now the 49ers have a new coach and the chance for a fresh start with a roster laden with significant talent—if only they can find a new QB.

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