Doing it Over: Looking Back At The 49ers 2003 draft

Onwards and upwards. Hopefully the 2003 draft isn't as awful as the 2002 draft was. Oh wait, the team drafted Kwame Harris this year. Guess it's every bit as bad as 2002 . . .

Round 1: Kwame Harris, OT Stanford
Round 2: Anthony Adams, DT Penn State
Round 3: Andrew Williams, DE Miami Fl
Round 4: Brandon Lloyd, WR Illinois
Round 5: Aaron Walker, TE Florida
Round 6: Arnaz Battle, WR Notre Dame
Round 7: Ken Dorsey, QB Miami FL

Join me below the jump for a breakdown of the players.

Kwame Harris, Pick #26
There really isn't much to say about this pick. Kwame Harris was one of the worst offensive linemen in the NFL, with more false starts than games started. He signed a 3 year deal with the Raiders in 2008, but was cut after one season and is now apparently contemplating a career as a chef.

Grade: D
At least he made the roster and played. That may say more about the state of the franchise than about the player, but it's the only thing saving this pick from an F.

Other Players Available:
Larry Johnson, Nick Barnett, and Nmandi Asomugha, were all drafted in the first round after Kwame. Charles Tilman was drafted early in the 2nd as was Jonathan Stinchomb.

Anthony Adams, Pick #57
Adams started 43 games over 4 seasons with the 49ers, notching 8 sacks and 97 tackles with the team before signing with the Bears where he spent 5 years before being released this past season. A solid, if uninspiring player, but you'd want more from a second round pick.

Grade: B
Not exactly an inspiring player, but he's had a fairly long career in the league, starting 74 games over that time frame and playing in another 124.

Other Players Available:
Osi Umenyiora was available one pick before Adams. Anquan Boldin was three picks ahead. Lance Briggs and Jason Witten were available early in the next round.

Andrew Williams, Pick #89

Williams lasted all of two seasons in the NFL. He played in only 9 games, managing a whopping 10 tackles in that time frame. He was injured midway through the 2004 season and never made it back to the team.

Grade: F
Yeah he was injured, but it was an ankle injury, not a blown out knee, and besides he'd only played in a handful of games before being injured. A third round pick should be competing for a starting spot, not competing to see the field.

Other Players Available:
Vishante Shiancoe was picked after Andrew Williams

Brandon Lloyd, Pick #124
Lloyd started off his career with a bang, blocking a punt in a game against the Bears. However, his first season was lackluster as he only had 14 receptions for 212 yards and 2 tds that first season. His third season with the team he ended up with 733 yards and 48 receptions, but he essentially forced a trade with a bad attitude and a dislike for the team and area. The 49ers traded him to the Redskins for a 3rd and a 4th round draft pick.

Grade B
It's hard to judge attitude in the draft. The talent was there (at least for a fourth round pick), and Lloyd probably played above his draft status. The team also managed to parlay his playing into a 3rd and a 4th, so even without his production they came out ahead.

Other Players Available:
Quite honestly Lloyd was probably the best pick available at this spot in the draft.

Aaron Walker, Pick #161
Walker was one of the premiere tight ends in the 2003 draft, but he made essentially no impact on the organization. He only played for the 49ers for two years, then played with the Rams for two more and is no longer in the league. While with the 49ers he only had 18 receptions (only 25 for his entire career). He did play in every game that he was with the team, but made no impact.

Grade C
At least he made the roster, but you'd like to see a bit more impact out of a 5th round pick. Not necessarily a starter, or even a backup, but at least a player who makes regular contributions to the team.

Other Players Available:
Tony Pashos was available and he turned into a decent guard.

Arnaz Battle, Pick #197
Sadly my most enduring memories of Arnaz Battle are of me watching him catch punts and kickoffs and praying that he wouldn't fumble them. Battle actually played with the 49ers for 7 seasons, and then another two with the Steelers. While with the 49ers he had a total of just over 2000 yards receiving, averaging 12.1 yards per reception. His most productive seasons were in 2006 when he finished with 686 yards, and 2007 when he had 600.

Grade A
Finding a player who can stay in the league for 9 seasons is pretty impressive in any round. Finding that player in the 6th round is even more impressive. When that player ends up having a fairly productive career that's even better.

Other Players Available:
David Tyree and Yeremiah Bell were both available after Battle in this round. Battle was probably the best pick in this round.

Ken Dorsey, Pick #241
Dorsey was a great college QB who set all sorts of school records. To be honest I'm surprised that he slid all the way to the 7th round before being picked, but his NFL career probably showcases why he was a 7th round pick. He spent five seasons in the NFL, two of them with the 49ers and three with the Browns. He then spent a year in the CFL, and is now working as an advance scout for the Panthers. He actually started 10 games for the 49ers. His biggest weakness was a propensity to throw interceptions--for his career he has twice as many interceptions as tds.

Grade: A
He wasn't a great player by any stretch of the imagination, but when you're drafting a player in the 7th round you're just hoping that he makes the team. The fact that he actually was able to start for several games. Again, this is only an A because of where he was drafted, which definitely changes things a bit.

Other Players Available:
Tully Bunta-Cain was picked two slots ahead of Dorsey and probably would've been a better option in this round since it would take hardly anything for the 49ers to move up and get him.

Overall this draft was significantly better than the 2002 draft, though still not a great one.

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