So I was perusing the World Wide Leader today and noticed they're doing a look back at the 2004 draft. There are several articles available in Insider. The good news is that the general overview talking about some late talent is a free Insider preview, but the rest is not. However, since each team review is short here's the 49ers review (preceeded by our 10 draft choices). God bless the power of hindsight:
Rashaun Woods (Round 1, 31st overall)
Justin Smiley (Round 2, 46)
Shawntae Spencer (Round 2, 58)
Derrick Hamilton (Round 3, 77)
Isaac Sopoaga (Round 4, 104)
Richard Seigler (Round 4, 127)
Andy Lee (Round 6, 188)
Keith Lewis (Round 6, 198)
Cody Pickett (Round 7, 217)
Christian Ferrara (Round 7, 226)
The 49ers' draft of 2004 looked good at the time, but it's now one the team likely would sooner forget. The selection of WR Rashaun Woods in the first round was questioned because he lacked the breakaway speed and quickness needed to be a true No. 1 and there were questions about his toughness, durability and commitment. He is currently out of the NFL. Second-round OG Justin Smiley was a solid addition and has more than exceeded expectations. He brings toughness and aggressive play to help solidify the middle in pass protection and can also clear run lanes for All-Pro RB Frank Gore. CB Shawntae Spencer, the team's second second-round pick, has size and speed but has not developed into the starter he was expected to be. Fourth-round DE Isaac Sopoaga has provided depth and helped maintain a good nucleus of players on the defensive line rotation. Sixth-round S Keith Lewis found his way into the starting lineup last season.
Additionally, here is Mel Kiper's grade and review:
Moved down but still got some good players, starting with Rashaun Woods and Derek Hamilton at wide receiver. Woods is a polished, solid receiver who could start as a rookie and Justin Smiley could step in and start at guard in his first year as well. If Shawntae Spencer can remain a productive corner he will be a nice pick in the second round, and the defensive front was upgraded nicely in the later rounds.
So Mel Kiper not looking so good on Woods and Hamilton. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but the 49ers class of 2004 had a little bit of everything. Keith Lewis and Andy Lee have worked out phenomenally well, and considering when they were taken, you can't imagine much better value. Justin Smiley has turned into a solid guard for us and Shawntae Spencer has been a solid if not spectacular cornerback (when he's healthy). Rashaun Woods obviously turned out to be a bust and as McShay said, there were questions at the time when we took him. But what are you gonna do, right?
Anyways, with the mock draft occupying our thoughts all this week, it's always fun to mix it up and take a look back in time.