Perhaps I should have sent this to Tim so he could write something witty before throwing to the jump. Oh, well, jump to see if the 49ers can strike gold with the seventh overall pick.
I’ve come to view the San Francisco 49ers as I do the Houston Texans. Namely, there is talent on this team, they have progressed since their 2004 (or 2005 in Houston’s case) 1st overall pick drafts, and have been the hot, trendy team to pick for a playoff birth the past year or two (or three in Houston’s case).
Last year, the 49ers and Texans also shared the same big issues: lack of a consistent pass rush and poor secondary play. San Francisco fans are hoping that LSU CB Patrick Peterson falls, but that would take a stars-aligning amount of luck. Likewise, Texas A&M OLB Von Miller would be a nice fit, but he is also off the board.
Some will say get a quarterback like Blaine Gabbert, but I don’t see the 49ers drafting another rookie after Alex Smith’s less-than-successful tenure so far. The team’s ready to win now as opposed to waiting on a first-round rookie to develop. Like Arizona, this pick could be a key part of a Kevin Kolb or Donovan McNabb package if the 49ers opted to go that route.
While Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is tempting, there’s something to be said about this pass rush. Last year, eight 3-4 OLBs had 10+ sacks. San Francisco's team leader in sacks had 8.5. He was also a defensive end. The last time the 49ers had someone who had 10+ sacks, they made the playoffs in 2002. This also isn’t too deep of a 3-4 outside linebacker class, so I’ll take one now and, hopefully, grab a cornerback in round 2, 3, and/or free agency.
With the seventh overall selection, the San Francisco 49ers select Robert Quinn, outside linebacker from North Carolina.
While some speculate his health concerns may scare teams off, the 49ers need someone who can get after the quarterback on the outside. Former quarterback and new head coach Jim Harbaugh also knows how a premiere pass-rusher can change the complexion of a game.
Quinn’s athleticism - which he demonstrated, according to numerous reports, in an incredibly impressive pro day - translates better to outside linebacker than Aldon Smith and gives their defense some thing it has lacked for years. Guys like Justin Smith and Patrick Willis will benefit from having a pass-rusher on the outside, as will their cornerbacks. All in all, it's a pick that adds impactful talent who can fill a hole in this team.
Improving the pass rush is the way to go, right? Or would the talent-laden 49ers really wait on another rookie quarterback?
Here’s your recap of selections thus far:
1. Panthers--Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
2. Broncos--Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)
3. Bills--Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama)
4. Bengals--Von Miller (OLB/DE, Texas A&M)
5. Cardinals--A.J. Green (WR, Georgia)
6. Browns--DeQuan Bowers (DE, Clemson)
7. 49ers--Robert Quinn (OLB, North Carolina)
And now, txknight and his Tennessee Titans are on the clock.