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2011 49ers Roster: Packing In The Former Top Draft Picks

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Thanks to ezoo for pointing this out in a Fanshot. It turns out that all these free agent additions by the 49ers have packed the team with former first round picks. Over the course of the last week, the San Francisco 49ers have added numerous free agents, and a host of them are former number one picks. Aside from re-signing Alex Smith, the 49ers have now added Braylon Edwards (#3, 2005), Carlos Rogers (#9, 2005), and Donte Whitner (#8, 2006) to the fold.

The 49ers biggest financial investment this offseason was the addition of Jim Harbaugh as head coach. Prior to the 49ers recent modest spending spree, one of the arguments for their lack of free agent pickups was the fact that Jim Harbaugh was the real free agency pickup. The hope was that his coaching would be a difference-maker for the talent on hand.

Now the team has added on a lot of talent that entered the league with high expectations but arguably did not meet the expectations of where they were picked. Edwards, Rogers and Whitner have all had some amount of success during their careers, but probably not that of top ten picks.

Is it possible part of the reason these particular players were chosen is the belief that Coach Harbaugh and his staff can "coach 'em up" ? I'm not saying any of them will suddenly prove they were worthy of a top ten pick at some point in their career. Rather, can they find some solid level of success with this particular coaching staff? Does the Baalke/Harbaugh strategy have this kind of two-pronged effect?