On Friday i took a look at the first part of the 49ers 2010 draft. I concluded that San Francisco got a solid A with their first four picks. Today, i will take a look at the remainder of the 49ers 2010 draft. Obviously this isn't an exact science, but i will do my best to give you as much detailed information as possible.
As with Friday's post i will draw comparisons between the 49ers picks, and those playerstaken afterwards. However, considering that we are going to be talking about later round picks, it may be more difficult to gauge success or failure. This, simply because some of the players didn't get the opportunity to see the field on a regular basis, and special teams contributions are much more difficult to analyze. But, i will do my best
6th Round, 173rd Pick: RB- Anthony Dixon
Dixon finished 2010 with a pedestrian 3.4 yards per rush average. As noted by Fooch in this article
There were times he looked incredibly impressive, and there were other times he would dance incessantly in the backfield and end up losing yards or getting very few.
Listen, Dixon has the ability to carry the load, he just needs to mature a bit. As Fooch stated, Anthony Dixon did look a little indecisive at times. It appeared that he thought he was a Chris Johnson type of back, when in fact he is more of a between the tackles runner. If Dixon can get it into his head that he would be much better running straight forward than side to side, i can see him progressing a great deal in the future. In no way am i prepararedto write him off. Conversely, i am not ready to anoint him as the heir apparent to Frank Gore. As with most 6th round picks, he needs to get more time in order to actually gauge the possibility of him contributing long term.
Players taken after Dixon
I was a huge fan of Greg Hardy going into the 2010 draft, and he showed some promise for Carolina this season. Hardy finished with 3 sacks, 30 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles. Not bad for a 6th round pick, i look for him to continue his progression and become a solid starting defensive end in the NFL. You may ask why i have included Rusty Smith in this conversation. Especially considering i didn't include a QB in previous comparisons. Well, simply because with three 6 round picks, some would have concluded that San Francisco would take a look at a QB project. Rusty Smith, in limited action during his rookie season threw 4 picks, and not one single TD. I remember watching the Tennessee Titans-Houston Texans Game, it resulted in a Titan shutout. Smith looked completely lost in that game. Arthur Moats ended up switching to LB, and well it served him pretty well. Moats finished the 2010 season with 33 tackles, and 2.5 sacks in four starts. He looks to be a solid addition for Buffalo, and a nice little steal in the 6th.
6th Round, 182nd Pick: TE- Nate Byham
Byham was brought in to be a blocking TE for the 49ers, and he did a pretty darn good job of that. But, surprisingly Byhamshowed some pretty soft hands. Despite catching just 5 passes, mostly due to a lack of opportunity behind Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker, Byham showed that he will be a part of the 49ers plans in the future. One question does remain; will it be as a Tight End or a Fullback? There has been some talk of moving him to some type of a H-B role. I am not sure if that would work, but i wouldn't mind seeing some form of a full house backfield on goal line situations. Either way, this was a real nice pick for San Francisco
Players selected after Byham
DE- Adrian Tracy (184th Pick, New York Giants), TE- Anthony McCoy (185th Pick, Seattle Seahawks), DE- Clifton Geathers (186th Pick, Cleveland Browns), RB- Jonathan Dwyer (188th Pick, Pittsburgh Steelers), WR- Dezmon Briscoe (191st Pick, Cincinnati Bengals)
Adrian Tracy was placed in injured reserve before the start of the regular season. I actually had the 49ers selecting Tracy in one of my final mock draft. If he can return to full health, i think he has a chance to succeed in the NFL. Anthony McCoy was placed on injured reserve in November, but before that he did absolutely nothing for Seattle, however it must be noted he wasn't really given the chance. McCoy was a low risk, high reward type of pick. Pete Carrol, who coached him at USC, saw something in the former college standout. It was a sad drop from grace for McCoy, who was a projected 2nd round pick just a couple months before the 2010 draft. Clifton Geathers, who was originally drafted by Clevelandonly to be released, was picked up by Miami and Dallas, but didn't really show anything of significane for either team. Pretty much a wasted pick, something that happens a lot in the later rounds. A lot of people were surprised that Jonathan Dwyer fell to the 6th round, in fact many proclaimed the 49ers should have picked him up instead of Anthony Dixon. That said, Dwyer didn't really contribute in 2010, rushing the ball only 9 times. I thought that Dezmon Briscoe would have been a nice late round addition for the 49ers, he showed a nice amount of promise in college. As it was Briscoe ended up with Cincinnati. Briscoe only played in two games on the active roster, but he did contribute with six receptions and a TD.
6th Round, 206th Pick: WR- Kyle Williams
One catch and 8 yards, wow what an impact Williams had on the 49ers in 2010. But, to be serious for a second, he has a lot of upside. A lot more upside than you usually see from a late 6th round pick. Additionally, Williams did contribute a nice amount to coverage on special teams. Also, he looks to be a nice fallback option as a return man. Listen, it is really hard to gauge Williams, or any late 6th round pick for that matter, only time will tell
Players selected after Williams
Myron Rolle, a Rhodes Scholar, would have been drafted much higher than the last pick of the 6th round if he had made a 100 percent commitment to the NFL. However, because of the scholarly success that he has had, Rolle couldn't make that commitment. Tennessee made a great pick in selecting Rolle, who they added to the practice squad before the season started. If Rolle decides he has a future in the NFL look for him to succeed like he has done with everything else in life. Willie Young saw limited action in 2010, but did remain on the Lions active roster. I was also high on Young coming out of North Carolina State, and he should be in the mix for a rotation spot for Detroit in 2011. Kyle Calloway was considered one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the 2010 draft, but for some reason he dropped to Buffalo all the way to the 7th round. Consequently, he was released before training camp began. I added Calloway to this list to show you that picking a player that can make a contribution this late in the draft is easier said than done. Dekoda Watson was one of many Tampa Bay rookies to see action and start in 2010. Despite only starting one game, Watson finished 2010 with 30 tackles. He has a nice amount of upside, and will only continue to progress in the coming years.
7th Round, 224th Pick: CB- Phillip Adams
Before the disgusting injury that may cost Adams well into the future, his outlook was incredibly bright. Despite seeing limited action on defense in 2010 Adams did contribute with 13 tackles. However, his contribution was felt much more on specialteams, where he can turn out to be a diamond in the rough. If Adams can get back to full health i look for the 49ers to work with him, and see what can happen in terms of him being in the mix as a nickel back.
Player taken after Adams
Leave it for the 7th roundfor me to have a MAJOR issue with a 49ers draft pick. With Thompson, a local boy, on the roster, i have no idea why the Niners went with a small school player in Adams. Thompson finished 2010 with 18 tackles, 2 picks, and 4 passes defended. To this day, i think that Thompson has the ability to be a starting CB in the NFL. Another late round player that i was high on in 2010 was George Selvie, who ended up going to the Rams two picks after Adams went to the Niners. Selvie finished 2010 with 2.5 sacks, and i believe him to be a better pro prospect than his former South Florida teammate, and current New York Giant, Jason-Pierre Paul. Despite seeing limited action in 2010, C.J. Wilson stepped in when asked and had 18 tackles and single sack for Green Bay. He looks to be a promising young player moving forward
The late rounds of the NFL Draft are really like throwing darts at a board and hoping they stick. Sometimes, you are going to get diamonds in the rough like Tom Brady and Terrell Davis. But, more often than not, these players are going to be roster fillers and special teams players. The fact that every single 49er rookie in 2010 was on the opening day roster, and didn't spend one day on the practice squad shows one of two things. First, that the back endof the roster was extremely weak. Or second, that the 49ers player personnel department did a great job in scouting. Actually, i think it is a combination of both, with the former being more likely. The Phillip Adams pick still kinda irks me to this day, simply because Thompson was a standout at CAL, and George Selvie has a lot of upside. However, in the 7th round it is extremely hard to gauge talent.
You may notice that i gave the 49ers an A with their first four picks. I can't be so kind with the later round selections. Basing the grade on the premise that i would rather have Syd'Quan Thompson and George Selvie over Phillip Adams. Or, Myron Rolle and Dekoda Watson over Kyle Williams, i am going to have to give them a C+ for the later rounds. Additionally, Greg Hardy would have been a nice alternative to Anthony Dixon in the 6th.