What a difference a draft makes……..

The Niners have had some real bumps with their drafts in the last two years, after the spectacular Willis-Staley draft of 2007. Only one starter, Chilo Rachal, has emerged from the last two classes. As for number one picks, we all know about M. Crabtree, who will never be a Niner IMO, and last year’s number one, Kentwan Balmer, who I prognosticated would be a bust, generating some very direct comments like “how could I make such a comment for a guy who is just in his first year?” Well, how’s that pick looking now? Balmer is barely in the Niner defensive rotation, and when ever I watch him play, he seems to get handled easily. He plays straight up and just doesn’t appear to be able to get any leverage on the offensive player he’s across from.

This coming week’s opponent, the Falcons from Atlanta, had really hit rock bottom as a franchise after the Mike Vick thing.  Then in 2008, they had a draft that has made them an entirely different team, along with signing free agent RB Michael Turner. Four Falcon starters were drafted in 2008, Quarterback Matt Ryan from Boston College, Left Tackle Sam Baker from USC, Middle Linebacker Curtis Lofton from Oklahoma, and Free Safety Thomas DeCoud from Cal. The Falcons also picked Corner Chevis Jackson from LSU and Defensive End Kroy Biermann from Montana in their 2008 draft, both of whom are in the team’s defensive rotation. What was incredible to me about the Falcons’ 2008 draft was the “positions” that they filled. A QB, a Left Tackle, a Middle Linebacker and a Free Safety. Pretty nice to possibly be set for 10 years at those positions eh?

The Niners have really come together as a team in 2009 with very little help from their last two drafts with the aforementioned exception of  Chilo Rachal  in 2008, and Glenn Coffee in 2009. With two first rounders next year and hopefully an excellent return for Crabtree’s rights if he indeed passes on this season, the Niners are positioned to really help their ball club in 2010.

MN

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