Happy Super Bowl week. I haven't posted in a while (with a new baby you have to pick your spots!) and am excited as to what this Super Sunday holds for our beloved San Francisco 49ers and for all of us Faithful. That said I was reading one of Matt Maiocco's great pieces this morning. His recapping Frank Gore's overcoming of injuries and personal adversities is a great read and you can check it out here. As I was reading I started thinking about something Matt wrote regarding the drafting of Gore in 2005:
"In fact, then-49ers personnel chief Scot McCloughan was criticized for selecting Gore with the first pick of the third round. One Sports Illustrated reporter called Gore the most overrated running back in the draft."
This prompted me to take a look at that draft, in specific the running-backs taken in that draft and even more specifically the backs taken before and including Frank Gore. It's pretty interesting. Not only was he clearly the best RB taken in the draft he was easily in the talk as being in the best players period. I think we can agree that at pick 24 Aaron Rodgers was the Crown Jewel of the 2005 NFL Draft. That is the one player you can say that trumps Gore in overall value and only a handful of others are in the talk I believe as the best from that class. Players like DeMarcus Ware (11, Dallas) and Roddy White (27, Atlanta) had the lofty expectations as First Round picks and have lived up to the hype. Gore, however, has matched them in star power and numbers as a Third Round pick albeit the first pick of that round.
I want to compare the other Running Backs of this draft though through pick 65 in which the 49ers selected the determined Frank Gore out of Miami despite many saying he couldn't hold up in the NFL after two major knee injuries in college. Here are the major numbers from the backs selected, only two of which besides Frank the Tank were on an NFL roster in 2012.
All I can say is Frank is the Maaaaan (a la Vernon Davis on Kaepernick). Scott McCloughan took the player with the biggest upside left in the draft and hit a home run. Was it a risky pick? Maybe. What pick isn't though? In the end I think that Frank Gore definitely by the numbers, and hopefully after making a mark in Super Bowl XLVII will be thought of as the biggest steal and best value of that draft.