WR Michael Crabtree: he certainly won't hurt a receiving corps whose best player is near-retiree Issac Bruce. Let's hope he's a YAC-man and can get his yards with his feet as well as his hands, because S. Hill isn't going to tossing many downfield bombs any time soon. He can make the passing game respectable, but it won't be great until the team has a great franchise QB.
RB Glen Coffee: I'm hoping the coaches know more about how he will play in the pros than we fans do because they passed on some major talent like Andre Brown, Rashad Jennings, and Shonn Greene when they selected him. Coaches always think they can make great players out of ordinary ones - call me skeptical-but-hopeful on this pick.
ILB Scott McKillop: I actually like this pick a lot, even more than Antonio Appleby, who was ranked just below McKillop by NFLDraftScout. He's obviously T. Spikes' replacement at the TED spot and looks like just what's needed - a tough run stopper who can take on and shed OL to get to the runner or penetrate the backfield when called for. He doesn't have the lateral mobility of a Willis, though, so he's not going to be an asset in pass coverage.
QB Nate Davis: Sorry, but this is a loser pick and demonstrates once and for all who Alex Smith's original and continuing patron is - Scott McCloughan. Davis is just a cheaper version of Alex Smith with the same strengths and weakneses - great arm, poor decision making, etc. McCloughan doesn't understand QB intangibles and should be kept away from all QBs in the draft. But at least it's a cheap mistake this time and not a $25mil disaster. But the team still doesn't have a QBOF, and needs one. Hopefully they can sign a guy like Mike Reilly as an UDFA.
TE Bear Pascoe: What's not to like? My guess is he'll be a fan favorite for quite a few years, but he brings some game, too. A former QB, he has good hands and body control, but is not quick or explosive as a receiver. He's the blocking TE who can either man the other side in 2-TE formations or replace VD as a blocker when he's split out, which I hope will be much more often under Raye's offense.
S/FS Curtis Taylor: Looks like a backup SS to me, but he brings a physicality and aggressiveness that I like to see. He's fine for a 7th rounder, but only time and training camp will see if he's a keeper.
NT Ricky Jean-Francois: At last, a decent NT prospect! Even if he is a project, it appears as if he's got the tools for the job - good short-area quickness, long arms and big hands, and a naturally overpowering strength. With some weight room work and coaching up, he could be a good, but not great, NT. The big questions with Ricky are his motor, desire, and maturity, so it'll be interesting to see how he reacts to NFL coaching. For a 7th round compensatory pick, he's a value. I would have much preferred Vaughn Martin with an earlier pick, though - the Pats got him in the 4th, iirc.
RB Kory Sheets: An UDFA, Sheets was ranked close to Coffee by NFLDraftScout and was predicted to go in the 4-5th round. He's much quicker and more elusive than Coffee, who is a between-the-tackles runner, with the ability to turn a corner and run outside when asked to. He has proven receiving ability, but has a tendency to give up the rock because of some poor mechanics. I give him an even shot to make the team over Coffee. We'll see in the preseason games.
DE Pannel Egboh: Another UDFA, he was a slow-footed DE pass rusher in college but will add 15lbs and become a backup/replacement for Ray McDonald on the weakside. McDonald is coming off foot surgery and his recovery is uncertain, iirc. If he's got the strength to 2-gap, this could turn out to be a classic steal.
RT Alex Boone: A surprise UDFA, he was a 2nd round prospect as a junior in last year's draft but elected to return to school, where he had a down year. He's huge, but is a little clumsy and has slow feet. Looks to me like the guy you put in at RT in short yardage or near the goal as a roadgrader. Don't expect him to pass protect well, though.
CB Jahi Word-Daniels: another UDFA who looks to be camp fodder at the CB position, although I don't know much about him.
THE BIG TRADE: Carolina's 1st next year for our 2nd & 4th this year. McClo traded picks worth 542 points for a pick that will be worth 590 points if the Panthers win the SuperBowl next year. So, at a minimum, there is a net gain of 58 points, which is worth a 4th round #118 pick. But if the Panthers fail to make the playoffs next year, that pick becomes a mid-round pick worth a whopping 850 points minimum, or a 308 point gain worth a 2nd round #59 pick. And if the Panthers completely flop next year and come in with the bottom 3rd of the league, that pick coul;d become worth 1200 points or more, which would be a gain of 650 points, or the equivalent of a 1st round #29 pick. Was the opportunity cost worth it? Only if the Panthers flop, imho. A gain of a 4th round pick, or even a 3rd rounder, does not make up for the opportunity cost at all, especially for a team attempting to get good before it becomes great. A profit of a late 2nd round pick is starting to get there, but not enough. So, imho, this was not a good deal unless the Panthers fall into the bottom third this season. I suspect McCloughan is attempting to make up for trading the 7th pick in the draft last year to NE in order to pick up Joe Staley. Let's hope McCloughan has the same luck Belichick did.
Other Draft Notes: Bill Belichick ate our draft. Again. Last year he took ILB Jerod Mayo using our #7 pick and this year he traded up to get the players McSing wanted in the 2nd round, making McCloughan decide to take a trade offer instead of picking a player. Belichick remains the consummate master of the draft, demonstrating that current Chiefs GM Scott Pioli was basically a functionary in NE and that Scott McCloughan is not in his league, or anywhere near it.