72 hours ago we were praying the 49ers would get Patrick Willis, rumors were flying about Darrell Jackson and we were a team on the rise that had some key holes to fill. Today, life is good in the Bay Area. The 49ers are suddenly quite deep at wide receiver and linebacker and we're closing in on a Kwame-free world.
Most underrated pick: Ray McDonald
Obviously we're pretty much all ecstatic that we got Patrick Willis and most of us are happy with Joe Staley. Tarell Brown can not be considered under rated because everyone's talking about how he could be a steal. McDonald is a guy who is very much like Frank Gore was coming out of college. He had multiple knee surgeries and has a big red flag for durability. If he ended up washing out due to injuries it wouldn't completely surprise me. However, after seeing Gore step up and stay healthy this past season, I'd like to hope the same can happen to McDonald. He fits the mold of a 3-4 defensive end and under the tutelage of Bryant Young he could become a real force for us on the line. NFL.com said he lacks some of the technique needed to generate a pass rush, which is something BY could help him with, along with just generally becoming a better pro. I'm very intrigued to see how he pans out at the next level.
Most intriguing pick: Jason Hill
This pick is all the more intriguing with the addition of Darrell Jackson. Right now, I'd say our depth chart at WR is: 1)Jackson, 2)Lelie, 3)Battle, 4)Hill. The bad news is that if you throw in Vernon Davis, and the fact that Frank Gore was our leading receiver last year, it kind of makes you wonder what will be left for Hill. However, while I don't think Hill will have a huge year in terms of total receptions and total yards, I think he'll be a big play threat with a very healthy yards per catch and yards after the catch average. At Washington State, Hill set the single season receiver TD record his sophomore year and then broke it his junior year. Injuries and family issues slowed him his senior year but I think he can bounce back as a local kid (runner up for San Francisco Player of the year as a HS senior).
Worst pick: Joe Cohen
I just don't see Cohen doing a whole lot for this team. He's a defensive tackle but it sounds like he'll fit better a defensive end in the 3-4. Cohen has had surgeries on both hips and even had an ankle issue going into the combine. The difference between Cohen and McDonald? Cohen hasn't been all that productive when healthy and seems to just have too many drawbacks. I'm not really sure why we took him, but I definitely plan on doing more research into that one. I also have Swamp Ball (Florida Gator SB Nation blog) putting together scouting reports on both McDonald and Cohen. I eagerly await them.
Best criminal: Thomas Clayton
Sure Tarell Brown was found asleep with a gun in his lap and had some marijuana issues. But Clayton did any car owner proud when he fled a campus "parking services employee." Apparently the parking employee was waiting for a boot to be brought over to place on Clayton's car which was missing a license plate. Having seen boots placed on cars in San Francisco, I can only imagine the annoyance they cause. Personally, I wouldn't hit the employee with the car, but that's just me. This sounds a little less bad than Lawrence Phillips trying to run down kids over Halloween, so he's got that going for him.
Most likely to succeed: Patrick Willis
There is no question in my mind that Patrick Willis is going to have a good career. The only question is how good. If Mike Singletary is correct in his comparisons, we've got a Hall of Fame inside linebacker on our ends. At worst I think we have a rock for our 3-4 for years to come.
Obviously there will be plenty to discuss in the days and weeks to come, but I think this gives you an idea of my thoughts on things after a 24 hour detox period. I think that because we had such a successful first day, Nolan and Co. felt they could push the envelope on Day 2. There were several reaches, there were some potential thefts (either on the field or for SFPD) but in the end we came out alright. While you'd like to hit homeruns on Day 2, you HAVE to hit homeruns on Day 1 to build a great team. I'm not one to swear here that often, but we had a "fucking-A" first day. We got a little too aggressive on Day 2, but if 2 or 3 of those 5 picks hit, I consider it a rousing success. Throw in the Darrell Jackson trade and you can't help but be pleased. The team still has some needs, but for now it's a time to be optimistic. I'll say it right now....We're a playoff team!