As we approach the 2011 NFL Draft, it's always fun (and often depressing) to look back at the 49ers draft history. SB Nation and Bud Light are teaming up to promote a draft prediction contest (more info on that after the jump) and as part of it I'll be running down the Top 10 Draft Busts and Top 10 Draft Successes since 1990. We'll be running these posts Monday through Friday between now and day two of the NFL Draft. We'll start with the busts and then go through the successes.
Today we're starting at number ten with former 49ers free safety Dana Hall. The 49ers selected Hall out of the University of Washington in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft, 18th overall. Our man smileyman put together a nice little "Where Are They Now?" rundown on Hall that looked at his brief 49ers career. Hall was drafted to be the free safety of the future after Ronnie Lott, but instead he is more known for getting injured and opening the door for Merton Hanks to fill that role. It's safe to say you might see more about Merton Hanks in the coming weeks in this series.
Although Hall was a first round pick, he only signed a three year contract with the 49ers and it was a quickly deteriorating time for him. He started 15 games his rookie season, 7 his second season, and 4 his third season, as he was quickly relegated primarily to special teams by the end. In his limited time with the team he recorded four interceptions and one sack.
As we move forward with this list in the coming days, I focused entirely on first round picks. Second and third round picks can bust out a bit, but first rounders are the ones that can most fairly be qualified as "busts." I'll be honest up front and tell you that Alex Smith is not on this list. The reason I haven't included him is because I still don't know what to qualify him as when it comes to bust status. He was the number one overall pick and has flamed out. However, I chose to NOT include him on our list because the book is not completely written on him with the 49ers. It's such a hard chapter to figure out that I just don't want to write it quite yet. Throw in the fact that expectations were all over the place when he was drafted and he's not quite the pure bust of others.
You can view it as my own ridiculous personal preference. I honestly just wasn't sure how best to consider him in the grand scheme of things so I'm just leaving him off entirely for now.Are You Smarter Than The Experts?
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Here We Go
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