Yesterday we began our look at the 49ers biggest draft busts with a discussion of free safety and 18th overall pick defensive end Dana Hall. The ninth player on our list is another defensive player, defensive tackle Reggie McGrew. The 49ers drafted McGrew 24th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. We've got another look back at McGrew courtesy of smileyman if you have a minute to check it out.
Things were pretty awful from the start with McGrew. He showed up to camp out of shape and proceeded to hurt his knee and miss the first four games of the season after arthroscopic surgery. He immediately followed that up by tearing his tricep and spending the rest of the 1999 season on injured reserve. McGrew's 49ers career amounted to appearances in 22 games, finishing with 1.0 sacks, 9 tackles, and 2 pass deflections. He was cut after the 2001 season and spent one year with the Falcons, playing in two games.
In researching McGrew, I'm actually not sure what level of bust we can really consider McGrew. I was able to find some scouting reports and analysis over at CNNSI. This information is only from one source so take it all with a grain of salt. However, when you've got a player who isn't exactly getting rave reviews, does he still qualify as a big bust? Throw in the fact that it was the first draft after the departure of Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark, and it raises all sorts of questions about that particular draft pick. Or maybe it was just a fitting initial first round pick for the burgeoning York era?
Here's a scouting report on McGrew entering the draft:
He is a junior that surprisingly entered this draft and many feel that he could have used another year playing for the Gators. He is a powerful 2-gap type player that does an excellent job versus the run and can hold his own inside at the POA. He plays with good leverage and hand use and has an explosive first step. At this stage, he is not an accomplished pass rusher and he gets by on strength more than quickness. He will need to improve on his one-gap pass rush skills, but he has the quickness and athletic ability to develop. He is not a complete player at this stage, but he has a nice upside as an inside run stopper.
Following the 49ers selection of McGrew, Pat Kirwan had the following analysis of the 49ers pick:
They took McGrew because of the loss of Dana Stubblefield the year before and the very serious injury to Bryant Young. But this is a kid who some teams didn't have going in the first round and some D-line coaches I talked to aren't very high on him. Just like Dallas did with Ekuban, the 49ers traded up because they were afraid of some of the teams at the bottom -- Atlanta, Denver, Minnesota -- who are looking for defensive linemen.
These aren't exactly inspiring comments about McGrew. He looked like a guy with some upside who apparently had no real legitimate interest in being a professional football player. It makes me think he was a guy who excelled in high school and college because he was bigger than most folks. Then, when he reached the NFL level and had to actually put some effort into things he basically gave up. When you show up out of shape for your first rookie training camp, that's not what I'd call a "good sign."
For that Reggie McGrew, we salute you as our ninth biggest bust in recent 49ers draft history. Congratulations, wherever you are.
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