We've seen a lot of FanPosts (and even front page articles) here about the 49ers Quarterback situation. I believe the consensus around here - and correct me if I am wrong - is that the majority of us are hopeful, but not overly optimistic about Alex Smith and his potential to be the QB of the future for us (for the record - I am a fan and believe he is). As the numbers show in my FanPost earlier this year, I think he has a very good shot at stepping up to that role.... but I think we're all in a "show me" mode with him this year.
There have also been some discussions about our Cornerbacks and what is going to happen with them. Nate Clements has played well from time to time and suffered injuries that have hampered his ability to contribute. Dre Bly, Walt Harris, et al never really panned out for us either. So here we are with the Pass Defense ranked 21st in the league, but not really making moves to improve our primary coverage. As Maiocco states in his recent article about the 49ers CBs, that 21st ranking is misleading and when one examines the underlying stats, they will realize that we're actually pretty darn good.
I believe we went the right way in this year's draft for sure. Each team only gets so many picks and we were blessed to have 2 first-rounders this year, where the majority of rookies likely to be capable of starting right away are likely to be found. We clearly needed to set up the O-line to protect whomever Mike Singletary decided to put under center for years to come.
I think that we've got a big question on our hands for 2011: Barring a blowout year by Alex Smith and his clear establishment of himself as the "QB of the future" for our franchise, which way do we go in the 2011 draft?
From what I've seen and read, most of us believe we are solid on a number of fronts: We have an awesome featured RB. We have at least 1 awesome WR in Crabtree. We have arguably one of the top 3 TE's in the NFL, and a very solid overall defense (Including the #1 MLB in the NFL IMHO). Also from what I've seen, many (including me) believe that our next weakest position is CB.
Do we go with QBs for the 2011 draft if Smith only has a so-so or even "decent" year? Or do we hold on and go after CBs? Do we pick them up in free agency next year? Does anyone know what QBs and CBs might be available as UFA's next year?
Just another thing to keep our minds sharp during the "dead zone" we're in.