After months of chatter, the time has finally come for the 49ers to hopefully take another step forward in their eventual return to some kind of glory. Over the past few months, the 49ers have been projected to take everybody from James Hardy and Early Doucet to Jerod Mayo, Gosder Cherilus, Quentin Groves and even Mario Manningham. So who will the 49ers end up snagging? Your guess is as good as mine. A perfect example of how crazy this whole prediction process can be is the fact that Matt Maiocco ran two columns, one on 7 players the 49ers would not draft and another list of guys who could end up as 49ers. The amusing part? Quentin Groves was on both lists. So really, the safest bet is to say they'll take everybody and nobody.
I think rather than say who I think the 49ers will draft, I'll put together a wish list of some options. With those first two picks, I've made it relatively clear I want some combination of OL, DL and/or OLB. I do not want a wide receiver. Drafting wide receivers in the first round is just a formula for disaster, so consider me skittish. Specific names you say? Well Gosder Cherilus is on my radar, although either MM or Barrows made an interesting point. A team wants an all-around good player and if a guy like Cherilus struggled at the college level when switched to left tackle, will that be an issue? While he'd be the 49ers right tackle, his natural position, it still makes you wonder.
Beyond Cherilus, I certainly would have no problem with Quentin Groves, and I must admit that Calais Campbell has climbed up my radar. A big ole defensive lineman would be nice, even with the addition of Justin Smith. Campbell would be able to learn from a true workhorse and provide us with some great depth. Jerod Mayo is a guy I could certainly envision alongside Patrick Willis, but we'll see where he ends up going. I was involved in a mock draft with NBC Sports and when Cherilus and Groves went early, I figured what the heck, and drafted Jerod Mayo.
Alright, so as to draft day, I unfortunately will be in and out throughout the day and will not be pulling the insane live-blogging option, thus this open thread. However, a few pointers now that we've got the new platform. I think FanShots are perfect for draft day responses. If we draft someone and you find a youtube video of him or a link to an interesting story about a guy, you can either post it as a comment here, or create a FanShot. For those still wondering how to do them, click "New FanShot." At the next screen, you need to click on video or link, depending on what you'll be doing. If it's a video, you just need to copy and paste the embed information into HTML embed. If you want to post a link, click on link and just follow it accordingly.
So we're rolling through 2 rounds tomorrow and 5 on Sunday. I'll have tons of analysis and thoughts on the 49ers picks, although it may come later in the afternoon/evening. Either way, I hope everybody enjoys the draft and has fun with the new site. The automatic refresh of comments should lead to more discussion and hopefully things will be busy enough that I need to open a new thread or two. Let's hope for some great things today!