There are several topics to discuss regarding the draft, the coaching changes, and specifically the quarterback position for the 49ers in the upcoming year.
There was 950 comments or so in the last thread in only two days. I guess I am going to have to step my game up and get a new thread out a little more often. But on a serious note, it's always nice to see that many comments by fans that love their team. The concerns are there, but with the changes it seems as though some of the negative vibes that were put off by the 49ers organization were put in a casket and laid to rest with the new hirings and fresh start that seems to have been provided by the 49ers front office.
I do have to admit that I have not been thrilled with some of the decisions that Jed York has made in the past. I now realize that he is dedicated. He may not have the best experience but he is gaining it quickly. He has been making some very solid decisions as of late. And so has Jim Harbaugh.
With that said, there are still plenty of areas of concern on the Niners roster. There are some holes to fill both on defense and offense. General consensus has suggested that the two biggest areas of concern for the 49ers are at the quarterback position and in the secondary. There are a few stragglers that feel that the defensive line needs to be an immediate upgrade and high priority as well as the pass rush ... in other words, outside linebackers.
I want to open this thread up a bit differently. As Niners fans, I would love to hear what you think is the highest area of concern. And in order. Below, I will provide areas of concern and the priority that I feel that they should be in. After those priorities, I will list five players (in order again) that I feel the Niners could, or should draft. Understand that this is my opinion. My opinion is just an opinion. If you feel the need to disagree, I would appreciate a level of respect backed with legitimate and cold hard facts.
Side Note: Sometimes the discussion can get heated because of the passion of opinion. Everyone likes to feel like they're right. And nobody likes to be proven wrong. But understand that IF you are proven wrong, it should not be taken personally; sometimes there is knowledge to gain. There are a bunch of folks that have good background knowledge on these boards ... so please, should you disagree, disagree with class and make sure you understand the difference of FACT and OPINION. Let's keep it fun and civil.
Here are the priorities matched with a few players.
Priority #1 - Quarterback: The quarterback position has not been adequate for what seems like forever. There has not been a legit candidate and leader of the team since Jeff Garcia. Garcia lived in the shadow of two Hall of Famers in Joe Montana and Steve Young. When you follow guys like that, and don't possess the same surroundings, its really tough to carve out your own legacy. The question is now, will Jim Harbaugh be able to cultivate the next Steve Young ... or will it be the next Jeff Garcia? It could even potentially be the next Alex Smith if the 49ers are not careful. There is not a sure-thing-pick in this years draft at that position, so whoever is selected (and there will definitely be someone selected at that position) will be a gamble. The question is, who do we gamble on? Who is the safest pick? Well here are some ideas...
1 - Jake Locker -- Washington: Only if he is available in the 2nd Round
2 - Pat Devlin -- Delaware: 2nd/3rd Round
3 - Colin Kaepernick -- Nevada: 3rd/4th Round
4 - Andy Dalton -- TCU: 4th/5th Round
5 - Ben Chappell -- 6th/7th Round
Priority #2 - Cornerback: Some may argue that the secondary needs to be addressed before the quarterback position. In this draft, I tend to agree. Sometimes priority doesn't always equal the best pick. The cornerback position is a bit deeper this year in competition with last. There are plenty of people who are in the opinion that Patrick Peterson is the real deal and should not be overlooked if he falls to the #7 pick overall in next years draft. On the other side of that, there are a few folks that think that Prince Amukamara will be the better option. Whatever the case may be, it seems as though it would not be a bad idea to draft more than one of those guys for some insurance. Clements is not getting any younger and neither is Spencer. The 49ers had one of the worst secondary's in the league last year.
1 - Patrick Peterson -- LSU: 1st Round
2 - Brandon Harris -- Miami: Trade back to the end of the 1st only
3 - Jimmy Smith -- Colorado: Trade back to the end of the 1st/2nd Round
4 - Brandon Burton -- Utah: 2nd/3rd Round
5 - Aaron Williams -- Texas: 3rd/4th Round
Priority #3 - Wide Receiver: While some people may disagree here, it doesn't appear that even with the draft pick of Michael Crabtree that there is a solidified #1 at the position. That is fine sometimes ... when you are the New England Patriots or Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers need "that guy" who is going to make an immediate impact and force defenses to adjust accordingly. It doesn't help that there is not a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady throwing them the ball, but it takes two to tango... or something like that. Should the 49ers draft a premier receiver, it would with no question open things up a ton for guys like Frank Gore and Vernon Davis.
1 - A.J. Green -- Georgia: 1st Round
2 - Julio Jones -- Alabama: 1st Round
3 - Leonard Hankerson -- Miami: 2nd/3rd Round
4 - Titus Young -- Boise State: 2nd/3rd Round
5 - Vincent Brown -- San Diego State: 4th/5th Round
Wild Cards - Outside Linebacker, Defensive End, Running Back: While some may think that the first two of these wild cards may be more important that wide receiver, I would have to beg to differ. Consider the coaching staff and consider the players. You also have to consider the schemes and what the players are taught to do. But feel free to add your wild cards priorities below. If you feel like one of these positions are more important, then please (with respect) provide your thoughts with some backing on why. Also provide some players that justify the 3rd priority and why.
P.S. Thanks for all the rec's in the last few posts... don't forget to rec this one.