In part three of my four part installment of past 49ers drafts and how they may affect the 2010 version i will look at the busted hopes and dreams of the faithful on draft day. The players that our loved San Francisco 49ers have selected and determined to be the future of our franchise, when in reality the specific players represented nothing of value, much like the Continental Dollar of centuries before. The draft is pretty much a crap shoot and sometimes teams are left with players that developed into nothing more than a scrub, or completely out of the NFL years later.
I will look at 49er drafts of the past 15 years and what went wrong in the 1st round. With two 1st round picks the 49ers have a greater chance to make a selection that will represent great value, but they also have a greater opportunity to select one of these proverbial busts.
1995: 1(10) WR- JJ Stokes
Greatly heralded coming out of UCLA, JJ Stokes ended up completely bombing out with the 49ers in his 8 seasons with the 49ers, he never acumalated more than 750 yards. For a player selected 10th overall, this represents a major bust. Stokes ended up being a solid #2 or #3 WR for the 49ers for years, but never took that next step. Warren Sapp, Ty Law and Derrick Brooks were among the starts selected after Stokes in the 1st round of the 1995 draft.
1997: 1(27) QB- Jim Druckenmiller
Shouldn't the name have said something? Though taken towards the end of the 1st round, Druckenmiller has to be added to the unheralded list of QB busts that includes Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf and Tim Couch. In 3 seasons in the NFL Druck, as i call him, threw a total of 1 TD pass. Could he have been any worse? Absolute tragedy is the fact that Tiki Barber and Jake Plummer were taken at the top of the 2nd round.
1999: 1(24) DT- Reggie McGrew
Hampered by injuries McGrew never lived up to his potential, and was a complete waste of a pick. His injuries at Florida should have been a sign, but in 3 seasons with the 49ers he combined for a total of 7 tackles and 1 sack.
2002: 1(27) CB- Mike Rumph
His speed should have been a sign of things to come, Rumph should have never been asked to play corner in the NFL and by the time it was time for him to switch positions, he broke down physically. It is a real sad to see Rumph bomb out they way he did, this man was never utilized the way he should have been. I just hope that Earl Thomas isn't a Rumph reincarnation.
2003: 1(26) T- Kwame Harris
Isn't this starting to take on a theme? A major bust two seasons in a row, could this have attributed to the lack of a winning until 2009. Harris was absolutely not a 1st round pick, in fact it is possible that in terms of talent he shouldn't have even been drafted at all. What a major mistake for the 49ers; Harris was out of the NFL in 2009 when players like Larry Johnson, Nick Barnett, Nnamdi Asomugha and EJ Henderson were selected behind him.
2004: 1(31) WR- Rashaun Woods
Three complete busts in a row, and this was probably the worse, by far. Woods caught 7 passes in the NFL total. I cannot stress how bad of a pick this was, you really cannot do any worse with a 1st round selection. Karlos Dansby and Chris Snee were the picks that immediately followed Woods. EPIC FAIL!!!!
2008: 1(28) DL- Kentwan Balmer
It is hard to call him a bust following only two seasons in the NFL, that said the dude has done absolutely nothing to warrant even a top 5 round pick. 19 TACKLES and 0 SACKS in two seasons. Is he going to rival McGrew and Woods?
Most of you may wonder why Alex Smith is not included on this list. It is pretty obvious that he continued to improve last season and will be the starter in 2010, it really wouldn't be right to even put him on this list, but i could see why some may suggest why i should have. It pretty much goes hand in hand the fact that our 49ers drafted three consecutive busts during the middle of the last decade, and the fact that 2010 was our first .500 season during that span. With the exception of Balmer, the 49ers have done pretty darn good in terms of drafting over the course of the last few seasons and i expect that to continue in 2010.