As people discuss NFL Draft busts, they talk about waiting five years out from a draft in order to determine who has been successful and who has failed. This does not stop people from assessing drafts before then, but the five year mark seems to be a fairly regular timeframe. Of course, if a player is gone from the team before that five years is up, it's easy to make an assessment about his status as a 49ers draft pick.
Which brings us to everybody's favorite fairly useless defensive lineman, Kentwan Balmer. In 2008 the 49ers selected Balmer with the 29th overall pick. They were picking that far down in the first round because they had acquired the pick from the Colts the previous year. On draft day 2007, the 49ers acquired the Colts 2007 fourth round pick (#126-Dashon Goldson), 2008 first round pick (#29-Kentwan Balmer) in exchange for the 49ers 2007 second round pick, which became Tony Ugoh.
The Kentwan Balmer saga only lasted two seasons before he was dealt to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth round pick. It did not end well as he went AWOL from camp and then was eventually moved. This happened approximately the same time Glen Coffee abruptly retired from the 49ers to pursue a life in religion. When you combine that with developments in Mike Singletary's time with the 49ers there are some questions as to how Singletary factored into all of this.
Whatever the case with Singletary's impact on the Balmer, his time with the 49ers was pretty weak for the most part. There were questions as to whether he would fit as a nose tackle or a defensive end in the 3-4. You can check out one of our 2008 draft threads to see the discussion on Balmer immediately after he was selected. It wasn't considered an exciting pick, but some folks were pleased with it.
In two seasons of action he 19 total tackles and 1 pass deflection. Just to provide a comparison, as an up-man in the kick return formation, Balmer had seven kick returns in his two season with the 49ers. I recall it being a running joke his first season as he finished with seven tackles and five kick returns.
In looking over our bust list to date (after the jump), Balmer could conceivably end up along the lines of a Reggie McGrew. I don't know if lacks interest in a professional career like McGrew, but he was fairly useless in his time with the 49ers. It will be interested to see how we view Kentwan Balmer in 2018, ten years after his draft. If he finds some level of success between now and then, will it be due to just finding the right team at the right time, or was Singletary an issue in his lack of development and eventual estrangement from the team?
6. Todd Kelly, Outside Linebacker - 1993 NFL Draft
7. Kwame Harris, Offensive Tackle - 2003 NFL Draft
8. Dexter Carter, Running Back - 1990 NFL Draft
9. Reggie McGrew, Defensive Tackle - 1999 NFL Draft
10. Dana Hall, Free Safety - 1992 NFL Draft
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