I'm never completely sure about the of vagaries of strength of schedule, but for now it appears as though the 49ers will be picking seventh overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Seattle and St. Louis are battling for the division title, but last I heard the Seahawks strength of schedule is too high to pass the 49ers in the draft if the Rams pulled out the game tonight. Given all that, here are your top ten picks of the draft. The Seahawks would be eighth with a loss, and 21st with a win. If the Rams lose tonight they would pick 15th or 16th depending on their tie-breakers with the Dolphins.
1. Carolina Panthers (2-14)
2. Denver Broncos (4-12)
3. Buffalo Bills (4-12)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
8. Seattle Seahawks (With loss to Rams) (6-10)
9. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
Whatever the case, the 49ers are in a position to add a serious impact player. Additionally, they could move down if what they want isn't there. Of course, without a general manager it's hard to tell what they'll want and where they'll want it. However, knowing where you're picking is half the battle. I've added a poll that is entirely subjective because we have no clue what the 49ers will do with that pick. However, I think it'd be fun to have these results to look back on come late April when the draft arrives.
In other news the 49ers played and won a game today. I actually got to go and had some pretty fantastic seats courtesy of HP. Congratulations by the way to Jordan (and friend ) and Janet (and friend) who each won the pair of HP tickets. Just a heads-up to other participants that if we have another similar ticket giveaway they won't be eligible since they won this time.
Although the 49ers did cost themselves draft position with the win, it was an enjoyable second half of football. Or maybe third quarter given how much of the game went. Either way, it can be enjoyable watching the 49ers beat down the Cardinals. The best part is that the Cardinals did not improve their draft position with the loss so we can at least enjoy that fact.
We'll have a million and one things to discuss in what is the most important 49ers offseason since 2005 (post-2004 season). Let's hope this one goes a little bit better than that one. In the meantime, the 49ers certainly ended 2010 on a positive note. Brian Westbrook had a very solid game averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The performance of the game had to come from defensive end Justin Smith who led the team in tackles and netted three sacks on the day. That performance actually allowed him to match his career high 8.5 sacks from his rookie season. There is no question he is deserving of his Pro Bowl nod. Congratulations are definitely in order for the cowboy.
As we move into the offseason we'll be discussing everything from the draft to free agency to the always important labor situation. If a new CBA isn't figured out by March 1 we'll see a delay to the start of free agency. Let's hope these guys can get something figured out ASAP. The offseason is already long enough. I don't need a delay to the start of the 2011 season!