clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ESPN Draft Review: 2005 49ers

New, comments

ESPN had an interesting piece yesterday looking back at the 2005 NFL Draft.  They did a rundown of the results including an analysis of the 49ers draft picks and a complete re-draft of the first round.  The review is an Insider article so I'll throw together some of that and the re-draft left us with some interesting results.  The timing of the article's is based on the presumption that the best bet is generally to wait three years before grading the results.  Considering the 2005 drafted netted Alex Smith, that may not even be enough time!

The info below includes round #, pick # and then 2005, 2006 and 2007 grades on a scale of 10-100.  An explanation of the ratings can be seen here.

2005 Picks
1(1) Alex Smith, QB, Utah  65  69  65
2(33) David Baas, OG, Michigan  64  65  64
3(65) Frank Gore, RB, Miami  68  80  84
3(67) Adam Snyder, OT, Oregon  60  60  69
5(137) Ronald Fields, DT, Mississippi St  54  55  53
5(174) Rasheed Marshall, WR, West Virginia  59  40  40
6(205) Derrick Johnson, CB, Washington  56  56  50
7(215) Daven Holly, CB, Cincinnati  40  57  60
7(248) Patrick Estes, TE, Virginia  40  40  40
7(249) Billy Bajema, TE, Oklahoma St  55  55  58

After the draft, the average grade from 5 major media sites including ESPN gave the 49ers a B+.  Upon further review in 2008, Scouts Inc. gives the 49ers a C+:

Like a few teams in this 2005 draft class, much of this grade is dependent upon quarterback development. Some people have called Alex Smith a bust, but we are not ready to go there. If he can't develop and produce for new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who knows how to coach quarterbacks and run an offense, then we will give him the bust label. David Baas is going to slide into a full-time starting gig at right guard. Adam Snyder is the starter at left guard. Frank Gore is coming off a tough year but will bounce back in Martz's system, especially catching the ball. Ronald Fields is a versatile backup, TE Billy Bajema is a good No. 2 for a seventh-rounder. However, they did give up too early on CB Daven Holly, who made some plays for the Browns last season. Their grade moves to a B if Smith shows he can play the position.

2008 Re-Draft
I'm not sure if ESPN has done this before, but they put together a redraft of the first round based on what we know now.  The most interesting results?  Well, at #1, they have the 49ers selecting Shawne Merriman, LB, Maryland #1 overall:

It's still too early to tell if Smith is a bust. But if he can't produce for new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who knows how to develop quarterbacks, the bust label fits. Even if Smith improves, he will never be as good as Merriman, who would be a great fit in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme and has future Hall of Famer written all over him.

He's certainly a beast but thankfully I've been able to root against the roider.  However, this got me thinking.  The re-draft projects Frank Gore to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 5th overall selection.  So riddle me this: Say Alex Smith turns into a decent quarterback.  Not spectacular and certainly not a Hall of Famer, but maybe makes a but is a good game manager who can make plays and not shoot the team in the foot.  Maybe he is an injury replacement on the Pro Bowl squad once or twice.  This is merely a hypothetical, so this is not open season for the Smith-haters.  Rather, if we assume Smith becomes a decent quarterback, and you factor in Frank Gore being good enough to be 5th overall, that makes the what-if scenarios interesting to compare.

I guess it comes down to would you rather have Shawne Merriman, or would you rather have Frank Gore and a decent Alex Smith?  Or if you want to, pick anybody else you might like more than Merriman or Smith and make the comparison.