I was reading an article on scout.com about Glen Coffee and the 49ers running game and found it incredibly insightful. The author explains why the 49ers will not go after a RB early in the 2010 draft, and a long with that i have put a few different aspects of the teams running philosophy together in order to see if the 49ers will indeed pass up on Clemson standout CJ Spiller.
The article does mention the fact that the 49ers went to the single back offense much more last season, this going against the trend in the NFL and making it completely unnecessary to have 3 running backs on the roster, all of whom are going to expect to touch the ball. It also raises another question; can you call Glen Coffee a bust after just 1 season? No matter how horrible that season must have been!. I will take a quote directly from the scout.com article "Coffee looked as awkward as a New York businessman on a surfboard, last season". However epic that quote may have been, i think it looks past a couple things. First off, Coffee was a rookie and not all rookie RB's succeed in the NFL. Secondly, Glen Coffee was good enough in the 2008 season to start of Mark Ingram at Alabama. In terms of rookie RB struggles let me look at that for a second.
Brandon Jacobs averaged 2.6 yards on 38 rushes his rookie season. Ray Rice averaged a full yard and a half less his rookie season that he did in his Sophomore season with the Ravens. What about Cedric Benson? Who averaged less than 4.0 yards per attempt in during his first 3 seasons with the Bears. Deangelo Williams averaged under four yards per rush his rookie season with the Panthers. The point i am attempting to make is the fact that although a lot of RB's have success their 1st season in the NFL, it doesn't turn out that way for some; many of whom end up having real good NFL careers.
We also must look at this aspect; does it make sense for the 49ers to spend another high draft pick on a RB after drafting Coffee in the 3rd round last season? As a team trying to build through the draft the 49ers cannot afford to concentrate on one position with two early picks, especially when they already have an all-pro starting at that position. It has been said that the 49ers FO is looking at more of a big RB to complement Frank Gore, if that is the case it doesn't make much sense to go after Spiller, who stands at 5'11 and 190 LB's is not that type of back
On the 0ther hand the 49ers have been linked to players like Leon Washington who is smaller than Spiller, so i am not entirely sure what is going on with that, or the 49ers front office in regards to this.
Add to all this the fact that many mock drafts have changed their opinion in regards to what the 49ers will do in the 1st round of the NFL draft
NFL Draft Site: OT- Brian Bulaga and DB- Earl Thomas
Draft Countdown: CB- Joe Haden and OL- Mike Iupati
NFL Draft Dog: DT- Dan Williams and OT- Trent Williams
I am not going to get into various mock drafts, that is for another thread. But i did list these three mocks because they are ones that i follow and have had the 49ers taking CJ Spiller in the not so distant past. If the 49ers are indeed looking for bigger backs to complement Frank Gore, they can be found later in the draft
Jonathon Dwyer: 6'1" 235 late 1st projection
Toby Gerhart: 6'1" 235 3rd round projection
Anthony Dixon: 6'1" 240 4th round projection
LeGarrette Blount: 6'2" 235 5th round projection
Charles Scott: 5'11" 230 5th round projection
Note: i have provided scouting report links to the prospect listed above
I guess it all depends on your philosophy and whether or not you believe CJ Spiller would be the best fit for the 49ers, i happen to believe that he would fit perfectly for the 49ers. One thing is absolutely clear; it is not a given that the 49ers will select CJ Spiller in the 2010 draft. In fact, it appears that the Spiller to San Francisco talk has did down a great deal recently and the chances of him becoming a 49ers has continued to decline. I think it is important for us as fans of this teams to take a look at the language coming from the 49ers front office in the next month leading up to the draft, that should be a telling sign of whether of not the San Francisco will draft Spiller.