Nolan used to say he would draft "character players." And I wasn't totally opposed, since it's better for the team than having players that are all a bunch of characters. I mean, in the Jeff Garcia days I actually started rooting for TO to fail just to shut him up! It was hard rooting for a fractured team.
Conversely, it's easy rooting for a team of good guys -- Montana, Rice, Clark, Craig, Steve Young, on and on. That was really fun, to root for the good guys against LT or Ditka or the Cowboys. It was war! Nothing can touch that kind of intensity.
Now to my point: I know we need a RT, but really, you can often get a decent RT tackle in round 2 or 3 or 4, or after the draft, when rosters are being cut. (We have before.) But to spend the 10th pick on Andre Smith is crazy. He's just another character with upside that may or may not happen.
We need someone at 10 who matches Mike Singletary's persona, and matches the image he wants for the team. If we get a pumped up high motor pass rusher who is a team leader and who gives Justin Smith and Patrick Willis a chance to shine alongside him, and gives our nose tackles a shot at not being double teamed, THAT is the top impact player we're looking for. Because this D will then be 10 times better on third down and every other down as soon as the opposing QB isn't standing back there combing his hair in the mirror while waiting for the WRs to finally get open. How long can we stand seeing the opposing team getting a first down on 3rd and 8????? What a waste.
We have to plug that gap first. And the gap needs to be filled by someone who matches Singletary's heart and grit and personality. Nolan molded the team into his laid back good guy image with first round picks like Alex Smith and Patrick and Staley. Fine. That matched his coaching style, and most of those picks were good ones. But now it's time for Singletary, with his first draft pick ever as head coach, to make his mark on the team and send a message that this is the way the team is going to be built. This is the way we're going to play and practice. Andre Smith sends the opposite message. And I just can't imagine Singeltary making that kind of mistake.