Now that the regular season is over and numerous awards will be released over the next four weeks. The most well known awards likely are coming out around the week of the Super Bowl, but in the meantime the 49ers are already starting to receive some honors.
Yesterday, the Frtiz Pollard Alliance named 49ers college scout Reggie Cobb as the NFC Scout of the Year. Cobb scouts the Western region for the 49ers and joined the team in 2009. Prior to that he spent six seasons scouting the southwest for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two seasons in the Washington Redskins scouting department. Cobb was a running back in the NFL for seven seasons before starting his work as a scout.
The annual creation of the 49ers big board for the April NFL Draft is a process in teamwork with scouts across the country scouring schools for talent and then other football operations staff helping to organize and narrow down the options. The scouts have done some solid work as the 49ers last recent drafts have produced some quality talent.
The 2011 draft gets plenty of love already with Aldon Smith, Kendall Hunter, Chris Culliver, Colin Jones and Bruce Miller all making an impact. Aside from Ronald Johnson, none of the picks can be called a bust or even on track to be a bust. That's not to say some of these guys won't work out, but for the time being, all is well.
The 2010 draft has had a mix of solid success and questionable picks. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are still learning, but they are mainstays on the offensive line. NaVorro Bowman is looking like a home run pick in the third round as he has emerged as a great inside linebacker.
Anthony Dixon has had his ups and downs as a running back, but does some solid work on special teams. Considering he was a sixth round pick, that's nothing to sneeze at for now. Kyle Williams has slowly started to emerge and could challenge for some serious playing time next year. Even seventh round pick Philip Adams was on his way to being a solid contributor before his ankle injury cost him the offseason and led to his departure from the team.
Taylor Mays is the only clear-cut bust from that draft in part because sixth round pick Nate Byham is on injured reserve this season. It will be interesting to see if and how Byham challenges for the third tight end spot.
The franchise still has plenty of work left in front of it, but things are rounding into shape quite nicely. Considering how ugly things have been in recent years, the 49ers foundation is strong and things are looking good.