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2011 NFL Draft 49ers Community Big Board: An Introduction

Last year during the April run up to the NFL Draft, we put together a 49ers community big board based on our vision of the 49ers needs and the talent available. You can view the voting on each of the spots by going to our 2010 Story Archive and doing a control-F search for "community big board." We're going to start up our voting for the 2011 big board tomorrow morning. We'll have a new round of voting every day, including weekends, so make sure and check back in our Community Big Board section. The top five in our 2010 Board were:

1. Eric Berry, S
2. Russell Okung, OT
3. Ndamukong Suh, DT
4. C.J. Spiller, RB
5. Bryan Bulaga, OT

For comparison's sake, Mel Kiper's 2010 big board was a little bit different. After all, he was looking at the players in a broader, overall sense. On the other hand, our big board factored was specific to the 49ers needs as it applied to the best overall players. I would argue our big board was more valuable than Mel's big board because we were focusing in on the 49ers. Here was Mel's Top Five the week of the 2010 NFL Draft:

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT
2. Gerald McCoy, DT
3. Eric Berry, S
4. Jimmy Clausen, QB
5. Sam Bradford, QB

You gotta laugh a bit at the Jimmy Clausen decision!

In looking back over our own Big Board, you could argue the 49ers early picks were value picks through the first three rounds. The 49ers grabbed Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati with the 11th and 17th picks. We had Iupati at No. 8 and Davis at No. 10 on our Board. The 49ers selected Taylor Mays with the 49th overall pick and we had Mays as No. 15. Finally, the 49ers selected NaVorro Bowman 91st overall and we had Bowman No. 69 on our Big Board.

That's not to say our Big Board was completely accurate. After all, this is a community vote and few people have extremely similar ideas about where players rank in the overall picture. However, with enough votes for each spot, one would hope we could overcome individual biases.

I'll remind you with each vote, but as an introduction please remember that this board is meant to apply to the 49ers and not to the NFL Draft as a whole. The 49ers have certain needs that many other NFL teams do not have. A player may be an excellent overall player, but if there very clearly no need for such a player they would then be better suited further down the Draft board. That's not to say they should just not be included at all on the board. Rather, this board is reflecting both overall ability and needs. It's a mix of a BPA and needs type of draft.

For those that weren't here last year, the voting mechanism will list 25 players and you'll pick who you think are the top five from that pool. Players get points for first, second, third, fourth and fifth place votes. I take the top five vote-getters. After the first five are figured out, those names will be removed and I'll add five new names to the remaining 20. You can view an abbreviated version from our vote for 91-100 last year.