I am a life-long Niner fan and I am stunned. It's hard to argue that any team in the NFL has a bigger need at WR than SF. I thought bringing in Mike Martz was a sign that the passing game would improve.
Because of their WR need, the Niners should have evaluated the WR thoroughly and tabbed several prospects.
In the 1st round, the Niners could have taken any WR on the board. They passed for a DT, Kentwan Balmer. I'm fine with this pick. A good nose tackle is essential in a 3-4. The Niners need in this area, especially in stopping the run was exposed last year. I personally never saw the guy play, but Scout Inc. gives him a good review.
When the 2nd round pick came up, 3 WRs were off the board. However, only Devin Thomas was projected to be drafted at this point. I doubt Donnie Avery or Jordy Nelson were high on the Niners draft bound. At that time, WRs with big potential that were listed as 1st round picks on many mock drafts were available. For example, large targets like Malcolm Kelly, James Hardy, and Limas Sweed were all available. Plus, big play threat and special teams contributor DeSean Jackson was on the board. But, the Niners passed for a guard, Chilo Rachal, that is too limited to play tackle.
More infuriating than the Niners passing on WR was the fact that 10 WRs were taken in the Second Round. Basically, almost 1/3 of the NFL (all with less of a WR need than SF) felt a WR had 2nd round talent. Washington got Thomas and Kelly. The Redskins made a killing in Round 2 in my opinion. The fact that no WRs went in the 1st round helps the Niners justify passing as well. The 2nd round picks make the Niners decision to pass on a WR again questionable. I don't see how the Niners can justify passing on one of the WRs initially tabbed to go in the 1st round right here.
Now the 3rd round pick: Mario Manningham and Early Doucet are both available. Mock drafts initially tabbed these two as first round picks. Then, their stocks fell to 2nd round projections. Either way, good value for a team who needs a WR more than anyone in the NFL and a team who just hired the most pass happy offensive coordinator of all time. What do the Niners do: take a DB! That position has no where the desperate need that WR has. I doubt this DB (James) will start. I think one of the WRs had a much better chance of starting and contributing.
I'm amazed that the Niners have not addressed the WR position yet. SF did just bring in Mike Martz right? Aren't they trying to get some weapons to help Alex Smith - the QB who has a 9 figure contract?
I hope the Niners don't think that Bryant Johnson and Isaac Bruce solved their problems. Johnson is not a #1 WR. At best, he is an unproven #2 that had some decent games for the Cardinals with the benefit of playing alongside a legitimate #1 option to draw the defense away. Bruce obviously knows Martz's system, but he is an aging possession WR - definitely not the long term answer the Niners need.
I hope the Niners know what their doing and I hope the picks work out. Right now, it looks like better picks could have been made.