2010 NFL Draft: Evaluating The San Francisco 49ers Selections

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIApril 24, 2010

The 2010 NFL Draft is finally over. St. Louis made Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford the number one pick, and the Detroit Lions made Webber State WR Tim Toone this year’s Mr. Irrelevant. Overall, this draft was very intriguing as it was filled with numerous trades and surprises.

A team who had arguably one of the best drafts was my favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers.

Heading into the draft, the team’s primary needs were on the offensive line and in the secondary. Right out of the gate, the team spent their first three picks fortifying those positions.

With their two first round selections, the team bolstered their offensive line. First, the team aggressively traded up to snatch Rutgers OT Anthony Davis. He will fill their void at right tackle and will provide Alex Smith with the protection he desperately needs.

Following that selection, the team went right back to the offensive line and took Idaho G Mike Iupati, a powerful guard who will plow holes for their smash-mouth rushing attack.

I felt that bolstering their offensive line with these two picks was a brilliant approach. It clearly turns one of their most glaring weaknesses into a strength.

In my opinion, the team got really lucky on Day Two.

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With the 49th overall selection, the team drafted USC SS Taylor Mays, a freakish athlete. He has tremendous potential, and was considered a mid first round pick by some, which makes him a steal here.

Many pointed to his cover skills and lack of proper technique as red flags. However, he has incredible work ethic and plays with an intense passion for the game. I am confident that with the right coaching, he can become a true game-changer in the middle of their defense.

My favorite selection was taking Penn State OLB Navarro Bowman in the third round. He may have some off-the-field issues, but if you turn on the game film you can see that he possesses remarkable instincts and immense talent. I envision him making an immediate impact on their defense.

Today, the final day of the draft, the team continued to make firm statements about it's philosophies.

The team didn’t have a selection until the sixth round, in which they had three. With the first two, the 49ers added a couple guys to their squad who will bring toughness and physicality.

Mississippi State RB Anthony Dixon is 233 pounds of pure power, which will make him a great bruising type of back, complementary to Frank Gore.

Next, San Francisco took Pittsburgh TE Nate Byham. The team already has a dynamic pass-catching duo at tight end with Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. Now, they add an in-line blocker who will pave the way for their running game.

With their last pick in the round, the 49ers found a versatile playmaker who can be a solid slot receiver as well as a return specialist in Arizona State WR Kyle Williams. He may end up being a late-round gem.

Their final selection was South Florida State CB Phillip Adams. He’s a good athlete with solid ball skills which could make him a decent nickel or dime corner.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the 49ers’ wise draft decisions, and I think it will help make them the front-runners to claim the reigns atop the NFC West for the upcoming season and beyond.

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