So, for people who don't know, Mocking the Draft is the SB Nation draft blog. It started and stopped a couple times but its current incarnation includes a variety of SB Nation writers contributing. The NFC/AFC West writer is styg50, a co-author over at Mile High Report.
He recently got in touch with me to ask some questions about the 49ers Draft History and Draft Future. I thought it would be fun to open this up to everybody here. He passed along six questions covering various aspects of the 49ers Draft. Here the questions with my answers and I'd hope that other folks will throw out their own answers for the questions. Answer all six, answer one, whatever works for; although I encourage you to answer all 6 if possible.
1. #1 Draft move/pick in the past three years?
It has to be 2007 first round pick Patrick Willis. If Josh Morgan had been healthy this year, he might have been an option. Parys Haralson might be rounding into one of the best picks of the last three years (we'll see if he's consistent in 2009). Joe Staley is certainly a solid choice as well. However, none of these guys can hold a candle to ILB Patrick Willis. As a first round pick, success is expected. And yet as much as fans expected, Willis has exceeded expectations. Although he might not be the best yet (don't tell him I said that), he's certainly entering into the discussion.
2. Top player in team draft history?
It's not creative, but sometimes the truth can be dull: Jerry Rice. How can you go against the greatest wide receiver of all time? One guy who is very much in the ballpark would be Joe Montana, a third round pick who turned into one of the most clutch QBs of all time. I think he's a close but clear second. Frank Gore should get some love because of the fact that he came out of college having had several major surgeries, and now, if he stays healthy and gets a decent line in front of him, could challenge Roger Craig as one of the best running backs in 49ers history. But for now I'll stick with G.O.A.T.
3. Most surprising move the team has ever pulled off in the draft?
It's hard to assess the most surprising move. In retrospect, one option would have to be the acquisition of Steve Young from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987 for a 2nd and 4th round pick? The trade happened on April 24, 1987, which I'd imagine was right before the draft. Anybody have anything better?
4. What is you most anticipated move/pick for the 2009 draft?
Everyone wants to know what happens with the 10th overall pick, but I find myself more curious about when/if they draft a QB. There are some interesting talents that will be available in the middle rounds and I'm anxious to see what route they'll take. Some mocks have suggested they'll go QB in the first round, which I really don't want to happen. Really I just want to get through the first round without a QB.
5. Who is the best player/fit regardless of liklihood in the 2009 draft?
This is a tough one, but it's a toss-up between a guy like nose tackle B.J. Raji and either offensive tackles Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe. There are probably better players out there (see Curry, Aaron), but just given the needs of the 49ers, I think Raji, Smith or Monroe would be the right fit.
The team needs to solidify the right tackle position in a bit way and they could use a long term answer at nose tackle if they're going to stick with the 3-4. I wonder if the team is willing to spend first round money on the "lesser tackle" position, but if that's not a concern (and they'd be there), I'd love to see Monroe or Smith on the line. Raji has had some questions about his motor, but he just seems like such a behemoth that would be perfect in the nose tackle role of the 49ers 3-4.
6. What is the biggest draft-day shocker that you can picture for your team in the 2009 draft (that has at least a remote chance of happening)?
I'd have to go with drafting a QB with the #10 pick. People have projected it in mocks, although that's been decreasing lately. I like to tell myself there's absolutely no way that would happen, but it's a slim possibility. And for me, it's a bit of a frightening possibility.
So there you have it...my brief thoughts on the 49ers draft past and the upcoming draft. My plan is to go through all the submitted answers and try and come up with a general community consensus to send to styg50 for his discussion of the 49ers.