So I thought I'd begin a feature where we look back at 49ers draft of the past. Hindsight is 20/20 and it's always fun to see how good or bad things turn out. After doing a little digging at the NFL's Draft History section, I think it's safe to say that the 1995 and 1997 drafts were two of the worst in 49ers history for a variety of reasons. I don't have a lot of the details from those drafts beyond statistics and what I remember, so if anybody can provide any other details, feel free to let me know.
Rd. 1, #10 J.J. Stokes, WR, UCLA
Rd. 4, #127 Tim Hanshaw, G, Brigham Young
Rd. 6, #201 Antonio Armstrong, LB, Texas A&M
Rd. 7, #238 Herb Coleman, N/A, Trinity (Tex.)
I'll get to the latter 3 picks, but first let's briefly discuss Jerel Jamal Stokes. While there have been worse receivers in NFL history and worse trades, this particular pick leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth considering the 49ers could have had Warren Sapp, Ty Law or Derrick Brooks among others. Additionally, one of the picks dealt for what became Stokes was used on Ray Lewis. Good times indeed. I don't think much more needs to be said on that.
I did a little research and found little to nothing on the other three. Tim Hanshaw spent three seasons with the 49ers, starting a total of 3 games in that time. Antonio Armstrong actually ended up in Miami although I lack the motivation to find out how he got there. As for Herb Coleman? Well all I found was something indicating the 49ers signed him to a contract in January 1997 and released him in August of 1997. I'm sensing he spent a good deal of time on the practice squad.
Rd. 1, #26 Jim Druckenmiller, QB, Virginia Tech
Rd. 2, #55 Marc Edwards, RB, Notre Dame
Rd. 3, #77 Greg Clark, TE, Stanford
Two words: Drunken Miller. Factor in only 3 total picks and the other two were not exactly world beaters and this one is a stinker. While not wildly productive, Marc Edwards actually had a nice little 9 year career, mostly with other teams. Greg Clark spent 4 years in the NFL with the 49ers and never really amounted to much.
Aside from the train wrecks that were JJ Stokes and Jim Druckenmiller, these drafts were more boring than anything. Every other 49ers draft has seen at least one decent talent arrive. 1996 would be one of the worst drafts ever if not for the selection of Terrell Owens in the 3rd round (and that still could be viewed as a bad thing).
So, let's be honest, it's always fun to look back at a team's great drafts. The question now becomes, what is the worst draft in 49ers history? Would '95 or '97 do the trick, or do they pale in comparison to your own personal horror draft?