Wes' Note: David and I have elected to take the weekend off with the whole flag football draft. I for one am having an excellent time making the picks and am eagerly anticipating Monday for more picks. I think I have got a great one coming up...
The estimable Matt Barrows over at the Sacramento Bee has an interesting article up called "Storylines: A low impact rookie class ... for now." His central thesis is one that we are all familiar life - this really is a storyline we have all come to know. Barrows points out that the depth of the 49ers and the injury problems of a few picks all speak toward much lower playing time for rookies this season, especially in comparison to previous years.
This shouldn't be news to most fans. That's the way the draft sort of shook out this year; I found it somewhat disappointing initially, but have grown more and more comfortable as time went on for no logical reason.
Or so I thought. I thought that the passage of time was just doing its normal thing and that I was just growing more comfortable naturally. This is what I thought until I read the Barrows article, that is.
I think this last draft was picked with luxury in mind. I think Baalke and Harbaugh have the inkling that the team does not really need too much of an upgrade - except at QB, that is, as evidenced by the whole Manning-Smith deal. No, instead this draft is about cultivation: take guys who have talent or upside or whatnot in Baalke's mind, develop them slowly, give them opportunities to succeed and limiting failure. Why? Because we can, and it will make the team better.
So, I really don't have any expectations for our rookies. I mean, there are some basic ones. I would like the injured players to heal up and for A.J. Jenkins to put on some weight. But, in terms of play, I don't mind too much. Just keep getting better while our team does its thing.