By: Brian Sanchez
2010 NFL Draft (49ers picks of consequence)
Round 1, pick 11- Anthony Davis, T Rutgers
This is more of a Singletary pick than it is a Baalke pick, but he did sign off on him. Let's be fair: Davis was terrible year one but improved to being decent in year two. He is very young (22 years old now and 20 when we drafted him) and very big. He has the quick feet and long arms you love to see in the tackle. Even if he goes through a modest improvement this year he will be good, especially since he is a RT.
Round 1, pick 17- Mike Iupati, G Idaho
Iupati is a beast. He is one of the better LG in the league. When he pulls on he power-o runs that Harbaugh loves so dearly he is a run away locomotive. Sure the 49ers doubled up on linemen in this draft, but it worked. Those two are guaranteed to be starters barring injury so this first round is definitely a success in my book.
Round 2, pick 49- Taylor Mays, S USC
You caught me here, Mays was not a good pick. But how will i defend myself. It was stated by everyone in the franchise that this was purely and solely a Mike Singletary pick. I will also remind you that once Singletary was gone, Baalke promptly traded Mays away because he did not see anything in him. So, it may have been a bad pick but the trade proves Baalke has great talent evaluation.
Round 3, pick 91- Navorro Bowman, MLB Penn St.
Hello! Winner winner chicken dinner! My theory is correct! Bowman is awesome. Last year Bowman lead the team in tackles, and yes, that means he had more tackles than Patrick Willis (who for what it's worth I consider the best LB and best defensive player in all of football). We didn't even need a LB but we took him anyways and then, boom! All-pro LB. Seriously though, how can he be a first team All-Pro LB but not make the ProBowl team? Doesn't matter, he's a stud and a great pick.
Round 6, pick 163- Anthony Dixon, RB Mississippi St.
Ok, so he hasn't panned out as a RB like the 49ers hoped. At one point people thought he would be the heir apparent to Frank Gore. That is not going to happen. But he has played a very important role on the SF special teams. 49er special teams are truly special and a big reason why they win. The 49ers had to win the field position battle, and they often did thanks to guys like Anthony Dixon.
2011 NFL Draft (49ers picks of consequence)
Round 1, pick 7- Aldon Smith, OLB Missouri
We didn't need defense, we needed offense. If we did take someone on defense it had to be Prince Amukamara because we did not need linebackers we needed defensive backs. Take Gabbert or Locker because Alex Smith is played out and we need a new young QB. We may not have "needed" Aldon Smith, but we got him, and he is a gem. There was not a lot of positive feedback when this pick was made but now everybody loves it. Smith will be the starting OLB and pass rush specialist coming off of a 14 sack rookie year. He is my prime example of just trust whatever Harbaugh and Baalke do.
Round 2, pick 36- Colin Kaepernick, QB Nevada
We have no reason to say whether or not this is a good pick, but we have reasons to believe it is. First, Harbaugh is clearly magic with QB's. He made the 49ers trade up to get him so he obviously sees something in Colin. Colin is big and athletic with a rocket for an arm. He could be something special, especially with a couple years on the bench and learning from Harbaugh. Another good pick.
Round 3, pick 80- Chris Culliver, CB South Carolina
Cully in the house! Chris Culliver was good in his time on the field in the 2011-2012 season. He is a very fast and athletic CB. He mostly played in the nickel and dime packages, but was forced to start a few games because of injuries. He will start this season as the No.3 CB and if he continues to improve he could be starting sooner rather than later.
Round 4, pick 115- Kendall Hunter, RB Oklahoma St.
Hunter is a good solid change of pace RB. He is not dominant or even one of the best small running backs in the league (although he certainly could develop). But this pick signified that Harbaugh and Baalke saw a need for a faster RB in the rotation so they went out and got one. Hunter will more than likely be on the team as a scat back making him a decent 4th round pick.
Round 5, pick 163- Daniel Kilgore, G Appalachian St.
This could be a 5th round gem. Kilgore is a very physical linemen who is more nasty than he is fundamentally sound. That is why Jim Harbaugh loves him. If he plays across from Mike iupati we are talking about a potential for two run away locomotives on the O-line at the same time. Kilgore as of right now is the starting RG. The 49ers are expected to draft another one or sign a veteran to start a competition with Kilgore for the starting spot.
Round 7, pick 211- Bruce Miller, FB Central Florida
This guy was a pass rush specialist at UCF and was one of the best defensive players in all of Conference-USA. Looks like we might have found a good defensive player in the final round. Or Harbaugh can turn him in to a FB and make him an absolute stud. Miller was, is, and will be the 49ers FB and a member of the very special, special teams.
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