I thought this was an interesting topic to expand upon.
For those who aren't aware, McCloughan was promoted from Vice President of Personel to GM on 1.02.2008
Which means that 2005 through 2007 there was a sharing of powers between Nolan and McCloughan for the GM position. I've looked around various credible sites and they say Nolan had the final decision when it came to drafting players.
Through Nolan's tenure as semi-GM he drafted players that are now the foundation of the 2009 49ers. Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, Parys Haralson, Joe Staley, Dashon Goldson, even Manny Lawson is coming along since he's been benched. Nolan saw a few of these players at the Senior Bowl, Nolan was HC if anyone remembers.
Mike Nolan is also the one who brought Aubrayo Franklin over here from the Ravens.
Brandon Jones was suppose to be at least a #2 receiver here in SF. We let go of Bryant Johnson, who went to the Detroit Lions for a cheaper contract. Jones has exactly 1 reception on the year as of now.
Marvel Smith after 2 back surgeries was still thought to have some left in the tank. He's now retired.
It took only 2 months after McCloughan was promoted to GM to tamper with Briggs and forfeit one of our draft picks.
I question McCloughan's player evaluating skills, as he believes that Glen Coffee, who stands 6'0 - weights 209 lbs is an NFL power back. In recent news Jerry Rice has come out and said he mentored Desean Jackson before the 2008 draft and praised his receiving ability, yet the McCloughan passed up on Desean not only once but twice.
If you were to start a franchise, who would you rather have as your GM? (assuming Nolan has negotiating skills)