So the draft has come to an end and we finally have a clear view of the roster for next year. The big thing I take away from this years 49ers draft haul was speed and playmaking. It was obvious we lacked those two elements last year and with our first two picks the team decided to remedy that. They've brought in AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James in the first two rounds. I believe I am on record as saying I wasn't convinced the Niners would draft a running back. I also didn't think they would try to overhaul the dynamic of the offense as much as they did. But giving Greg Roman more toys on offense is only going to make things better and these are obviously moves for 2012 and beyond, into the Colin Kaepernick era, whenever that may begin.
Now we get to see the flurry of action that is the UDFA signing period. There's a few prominent names that appear to be signing with us but we'll cover that in the links. And as for anyone who woke up yesterday and thought, 'Dude where's my Nuggets?', we apologize. There was a bit of mayhem with the all the draft coverage and extra duties going on and yes, Saturdays Nuggets were overlooked. What we have then is a double dose of Nuggets for your lazy Sunday afternoon reading.
Bay Area Sports Guy has some good info on first rounder AJ Jenkins. His drafting could spell the end for Kyle Williams, as he can also cover PR duty. There are also number for all Illinois receivers last year. He accounted for more than half of the teams yards and touchdowns through the air. You have to imagine he'd fought through all sorts of double teams and coverage to get those numbers. | Bay Area Sports Guy on AJ Jenkins. (Bay Area Sports Guy)
AJ Jenkins answers some questions and here are the transcripts from it. He notes that the adversity he faced at Illinois will help him transition in the pros and deal with whatever comes his way. He also has to buy his mother a new bathroom door. | AJ Jenkins interview transcripts. (Barrows)
AJ Jenkins was apparently on some other teams radars. There is a rumor that the Rams would have picked him at the start of the 2nd round had he not been off the board. Also of note are his GIANT hands. They called him ET in high school. | Jenkins was on other teams' radars. (SFGate)
Grant Cohn, who on Friday criticized the selection of AJ Jenkins has some ideas on how he might be able to help the 49ers right away. He should be able to beat the blitzes on 3rd down, which was a big problem last year in losses to the Ravens and Cardinals. | Cohn thinks Jenkins can help. (Cohn)
AJ Jenkins' college coach Ron Zook gives an interview with KNBR regarding our new #1 draft pick. He's got nothing but respect for his leading receiver. | Interview with Ron Zook, Jenkins' college coach. (SFGate)
Here's Samuel Lam on the 49ers selection of LaMichael James in the 2nd round. It's got a large scouting report on him and notes how he admired Coach Harbaugh for his intensity from his days at Stanford. He's also got experience as a returner. | Lam on 2nd round pick LaMichael James. (Lam)
Matt Barrows has a story on LaMichael James. Not only did he carry his team as a freshman, once LaGarette Blount was suspended, he was the best rusher in the country as a sophomore. He instantly creates competition on the roster at both RB and KR, perhaps easing moving Ted Ginn further away from the teams future plans. Baalke notes that he allows the team to carry an extra RB because of his versatility. A hint? | LaMichael James' versatility key. (Barrows)
Here's a piece questioning wether LaMichael James fits well with the 49ers. I think it's definitely a different type of player than we've had featured in our offense but I'm confident the coaching staff is going to maximize his abilities. |James' pick questioned. (Yahoo!)
Trent Baalke, being interviewed after the completion of day 2. He talks about adding speed and explosiveness to the offense. Also talks about the trade out of the 3rd round and the thought process behind such decisions. Good interview. | Baalke transcript from interview after day 2. (Mercury News)
Coach Harbaugh gets interviewed and hammers home the point of creating competition. Most of the interview deals with the LaMichael James selection, and the glut of players at skill positions. | Harbaugh interview transcript. (Mercury News)
Here's some thoughts on the first pick of the 3rd day, Joe Looney. The piece also details all of the trading that the Niners did in the middle of the draft and explains what the net gain in picks was. A bit confusing there, wasn't it. And finally it's got some more thoughts on LaMichael James' selection and what it means for the RB position. Anthony Dixon is as good as gone. Will we keep 4 running backs? | 49ers draft Joe Looney, more thoughts. (BASG)
Other sites have plenty of info on the glamor picks, the top picks. I'll let 49ers.com give you the run down on the day 3 picks. They've got good bios and small interviews with each player.
G Joe Looney. (49ers.com)
LB Darius Fleming. (49ers.com)
S Trenton Robinson. (49ers.com)
OL Jason Slowey. (49ers.com)
LB Cam Johnson. (49ers.com)
Matt Barrows has a list of the undrafted free agents the 49ers are purportedly signing. Chris Owusu is the big name here. Some considered him to have first round talent but 3 concussions in the last 13 months have completely derailed his progress. He played for Harbaugh at Stanford and has great speed and leaping ability. More competition at WR! Other Stanford players DT Matt Masifilo and S Michael Thomas are also reportedly going to sign with the team. In a display of how much media has changed, this list has been compiled from player twitter feeds. | List of UDFAs headlined by Owusu. (Barrows)
Matt Barrows gives a round up of the day 3 picks. Each comes with their vital info, a comment from Barrows and a comment from either Harbaugh or Baalke. | Day 3 round up. (Barrows)
Cam Inman gives a recap of the draft for the 49ers. On the first two days we added the playmakers we sorely needed and on the last day we filled the holes on the O-line and added depth to the defense. And on top of all this, they showed skill at the draft game, flipping picks and setting themselves up for the future by having a whopping 11 picks for the 2013 draft. That's a great weekend by my account. | Inman recaps the draft. (Mercury News)
Don Banks' 'Snap Judgements' on day 2, because it has some 49er relevance. I do like his 'snap judgements' in general, but in this one he questions the fit of LaMichael James with the 49ers, or more correctly, the Candlestick turf. How will his game translate from the fast track in Eugene to the muddled muck. A good question. | Banks' questions LaMichael James' fit with Niners. (SI.com)
Monte Poole likes what we've done at the start of the draft. He cites the record number of FGs we kicked last year as the key reason to upgrade the offense. If our defense plays to form, and our offense can turn a FG into a TD every game while hitting the occasional 'home run', then we'd have to be a favorite, right? | Poole on the addition of offensive weapons. (Mercury News)
CSN Bay Area gives a great recap of the draft with a couple paragraphs on each pick and a note at the bottom about the stockpiling of picks for the 2013 draft, which many think will be deeper than this years. It shows ownership of the draft process that we haven't seen from the FO in years. | Draft recap by CSN Bay Area. (CSN Bay Area)
A series of video links from CSN Bay Area, all in relation to the draft. The first has Coach Harbaugh breaking down each player drafted. (CSN Bay Area)
Baalke says you can never have enough explosive playmakers. (CSN Bay Area)
Baalke breaks down the Saturday selections. (CSN Bay Area)
Finally, Coach Harbaugh discusses the amount of playmakers on the offense. We could carry 6 WRs and 5 RBs. (CSN Bay Area)
Mike Sando gives his analysis of the NFC West draft and has a small bit on each team. I'm sure more in-depth reporting will follow. He notes all the bigger name receivers we passed on to select AJ Jenkins. If Jenkins doesn't pan out, we'll have a lot of 'could have picked...' pieces on this draft. | Sando on NFC West draft. (Sando)
Video of Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter break down the drafts winners. Why do I include it in these 49ers links, you ask? Well, about midway through they mention us for a fair bit. "Good luck beating the 49ers," says Mortensen. | Winners from this years draft. (ESPN)
In case anyone hasn't seen this, some sad news for the team and one of our favorite players. Vernon Davis' younger brother is being held on assault charges for striking a woman in the head with a hammer and is suspected of murder for another incident, also with a hammer. | Vernon Davis' brother arrested, suspected of murder. (SFGate)
Two 'twin' stories from the official website have been put up. The first article deals with the team adding offensive depth. We added playmakers and some O-line, two positions of need. | 49ers add depth on offense. (49ers.com)
Next is an article on the team bolstering the defense. We've added 2 OLBs and a Safety. Last year we only carried 3 OLBs all year, a risk according to Harbaugh. | Niners bolster defense on day 3. (49ers.com)
An interview with Coach Harbaugh regarding the end of the draft and the undrafted free agent signing period. Just the transcripts here, and Harbaugh thanks all the parties that made the draft a success. | Harbaugh interview after day 3. (49ers.com)
Lowell Cohn says that the burden is all on Alex Smith. The best defense for any deficiencies Smith had last year was that he had a complete lack of playmakers on offense. Now that that's been taken care of it's up to him to lead us to glory. | Everything in place for Alex Smith. (Cohn)
Scout.com notes that we've built depth and added future flexibility with the stockpiling of picks for next year. They're very happy with what we've done. | Depth and future flexibility key to the draft. (Scout.com)
NFL.com has a video up grading the NFC West for their drafts. They like what we did, like most people, noting that our one weakness was offensive explosiveness. We've addressed that. | NFL.com grades the NFC West on video. (NFL.com)
Fox Sports grades all the teams after the draft and give the 49ers a C+. He notes that Looney was an absolute steal in the 4th round. | Fox Sports give us a C+. (Fox Sports)
That's all I can get to you for now. I'm sure I've missed some stuff so feel free to post any links in the comments. There's a lot of overlap of coverage here so I tried to pick and choose and let each of the sites we link to get a few words in. Each site has heaps more that I didn't link due to my brain limitations and time and space reasons. Go ahead and check it all out. Again, sorry about yesterday's missing Nuggets. I'll be back tomorrow.
Being a Sheep
Be sure to follow @NinersNation on Twitter as well as on Facebook. You can follow SB Nation Bay Area on Twitter @sbnbayarea and also on Facebook.
If you're new here, you can register for a free account to participate in the discussion and create your own fanposts here at Niners Nation and across our entire network of 300+ sports blogs.