Last season, every player the 49ers drafted made the 53 man roster. Either that is a sign of a lack of depth in regards to the roster, or it is a sign of a really good draft. I believe in this case it was a sign of a pretty darn good draft.
Just look at Phillip Adams, who the 49ers drafted in the 7th round. Usually players drafted at that position are utilized more as roster fillers or practice squad members. This isn't the case with Adams, as he projects to be a lot more than that.
Today, I am going to look at the selection of Phillip Adams and the players drafted immediately after him. I am going to compare their success and how they project as players moving forward.
7th Round, 224th Pick: CB- Phillip Adams South Carolina State
2010 Stats: 15 Games, 4 Tackles, 1 Passes Defended
Analysis: Adams' injury issue has really clouded what seems to be the possibility that our San Francisco 49ers got a really talented player with their last pick of the 2010 draft. From what I have seen of him in college, what I saw in the pre-season and hear from others; Adams has the ability to play regularly in a rotation in the NFL.
He is recovering quicker than expected from said injury and is expected to be ready for training cap; that in of itself is an amazing accomplishment. It is possible the reason why San Francisco did not draft a corner in the 1st or 2nd round is because they expect big things from Adams moving forward. Now, if that is reality is a completely different case.
I am not sure that Adams is anywhere near ready to become a nickel corner in the NFL, his relative lack of experience and the fact that he injured himself limits this possibility. Additionally, playing at South Carolina State questions his readiness because of the competition at that level.
However, I do believe that Adams has the potential to be a #3 corner in the NFL. He does have solid coverage ability, issues in the bump and run, but exceeds expectations in zone. We can expect a dramatic upgrade in skill from Adams in 2011.
7th Round, 225th Pick: CB- Syd'Quan Thompson California
2010 Stats: 13 Games, 7 Tackles, 2 INT, 4 Passes Defended.
Analysis: Oh man, was I upset the 49ers took Adams over Thompson; and to be brutally honest I still want Thompson in a 49ers uniform to this day, even at the expanse of Adams. I don't care how short you are, if you can play the game; you can play the game. Thompson can play the game.
Just like Phillip Adams, look for Thompson to become a good nickel corner; but unlike Adams, the ability to be a nice #2.
7th Round, 226th Pick: DE- George Selvie South Florida
2010 Stats: 16 Games, 13 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks
Analysis: Too slow off the ball? Not enough muscle? Kind in the way he plays the game? These are three different questions that were asked about Selvie prior to the 2010 draft. Well, I couldn't have disagreed more. Value in the 7th round is a funny thing, because you just cannot predict it. That said, I did predict it to some extent with Selvie in 2010.
1.5 sacks and 13 tackles; not much to right home about right? Wrong! Selvie proves that he has the capability to be a real nice player in the NFL; something that a lot of scouts believed to be true prior to the 2009 season. I think he could be good for 5-9 sacks per season moving forward.
7th Round, 236th Pick: LB- Dexter Davis Arizona State
2010 Stats: 15 Games, 7 Tackles, 1 Sack
Analysis: I wanted Mr. Davis, I really did. Not the most athletic player in the game of college football, he knew how to play the game. See, I watch most PAC 10 games; and he stood out to me.
However, Davis was under utilized with Seattle as a rookie; especially considering the struggles their OLB faced in 2010.
Synopsis: Phiilip Adams may never contribute as anything more than a special teams player or injury filler, however, I do see a lot of upside in his game. It really is possible to see him as a nickel corner in the near future if the is able to recover from that devastating injury.
That said, the 49ers had plenty of nice options with that pick, and Adams seemed like a little bit of a reach. George Selvie would have been a perfect fit in the 49ers system as a hybrid 3-4 DE/OLB. Thompson could have come in immediately and provided more to the defense than did Adams, even before his injury.
I am afraid, that although the 49ers got a productive player in Adams, they had an opportunity to get a starter with that pick in Adams or Selvie. I guess we have to wait a couple years to figure that out. As it is, there is nothing wrong with getting a solid contributor in the 7th round; it doesn't happen all too often.