Earlier today, Dan Pompei of National Football Post took a look at the value of the third round of the NFL Draft. We hear plenty about talent at the top of the draft, and sleepers at the bottom of the draft, but Pompei looked at the third as a place where great talent often slips because of some kind of red flag.
Many times, players are available in the third round who have first-round ability. But they have some hickey -- perhaps it's character, medical or inconsistency -- that has influenced teams to exercise caution.
In pointing out various examples, Pompei mentioned two slightly notable 49ers: NaVorro Bowman and Frank Gore. It's safe to say both these guys worked out OK for the 49ers.
Bowman: "At one point he was considered a potential first-round pick but then he missed some time as a senior at Penn State and ran a disappointing 4.70 at the combine. He turned out to be an excellent value for the 49ers, who didn't pick him until the 27th selection of the round, 91st overall."
Gore: "Teams were concerned about his ability to stay healthy and play with speed and power after he had two ACL injuries. The 49ers' pick of Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round this year is a little reminiscent of Gore's selection with the first pick of the 2005 third round."
The 49ers selected Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Prior to that, the 49ers have had hits and misses in the third round. Here are some third-round picks over the years:
- Chris Culliver, CB ('11)
- NaVorro Bowman, LB ('10)
- Glen Coffee, RB ('09)
- Reggie Smith, S ('08)
- Jason Hill WR, Ray McDonald DE ('07)
- Brandon Williams, WR ('06)
- Frank Gore RB, Adam Snyder OG ('05)
- Derrick Hamilton, WR ('04)
- Andrew Williams, DE ('03)
- Saleem Rasheed, LB ('02)
- Kevan Barlow, RB ('01)
- Giovanni Carmazzi QB, Jeff Ulbrich LB ('00)
- Chike Okeafor, LB ('99)
- Chris Ruhman, OT ('98)
- Greg Clark, TE ('97)
- Terrell Owens, WR ('96)
That's quite a mix of hits and misses. Some of the hits have been huge and some of the misses have been rather amusing. It's always a real pleasure going through those drafts from the early 2000s. It's a little more so with the 49ers actually playing well now.
Do we see Lemonier provide Bowman, Gore, TO, heck even Greg Clark production? Or do we see the second coming of Saleem Rasheed or Giovanni Carmazzi?