Continuing with our recap of the fate of the pre-draft blogosphere hotties, which seems to have cured the insomnia difficulties of this site’s readership, the Lions took local RB Jahvid Best at pick #30. Best was a small, but explosive runner, the speed back type that was a fashionable lust this past off season.
Unfortunately for him, this past year also included a lot of worrisome news about concussions in football, and Best had two of them in his final year at Cal, one severe enough to keep him out of action from November through the bowl game at the end of the season — nearly two months. He also had foot and elbow injuries. Detroit chose to overlook these concerns and traded up from the 2nd round to grab him. If he can stay healthy, Detroit has a big play guy. If not, it’s another whiff in the capital of whiffdom.
With all the 49er off season focus on RT and O-linemen, Rodger Saffold got quite a bit of mention from the mentioners when talking about second tier talent after the Okung type biggies pool evaporated. The Rams took him at the top of the 2nd round, giving our division rival two bookend tackles (LT Jason Smith was taken #2 overall in 2009).
With the addition of QB Sam Bradford and stud center, Jason Brown, acquired in the 2009 FA period, the Rams are certainly putting together the makings of a solid offense in a year or two, reflecting the Singletary-like tough guy approach of Steve Spagnuolo, their coach. For no particularly good reason, this typist thinks the Rams will soon become the 49ers main division rival, replacing Arizona and Seattle. A return to division normalcy, with the Rams always coming out 2nd best.
Dexter McCluster was another blog favorite speed back/WR, seen as a possible PR/KR specialist. I referred to Best above as being “small” at 199 pounds and 5′ 11″. What shall we call Dexter, who’s 5′ 8″ (bowling ball size) and a whopping 170 lbs. (Angel Hair pasta size). Lucky to stay alive in the NFL for very long, probably. The Chiefs picked him at #36.
Sergio Kindle was this year’s pass rushing OLB wonder boy, following in the mold of Quentin Groves in 2008 and Everette Brown in 2009. Groves washed out in Jacksonville after two years and was recently peddled off to Oakland for a 5th round draft pick. Brown, despite playing opposite Julius Peppers in Carolina, managed all of 2.5 sacks and 22 tackles last year. The Ravens selected Kindle at #43.
Jimmy Clausen got a lot of local ink before the draft, including an assurance via a “very reliable source” from Mercury News verbal arsonist, Tim Kawakami, that the 49ers would draft Clausen in the first round. This set off a goodly bit of blogosphere hysteria in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Some bloggers, freshly energized by electro-shock therapy, assured one and all that Jed York wanted Clausen to help sell his Santa Clara stadium plans and would force Singletary & Baalke to draft him.
But, As with most of Kawakami’s assurances, this one proved to be just a pile of horse manure. Clausen went all the way down to the Panthers at pick #48 in round two, casting some doubt on the confidence they have in last year’s sub-in hero Matt Moore. The 49ers play Carolina this year, so we’ll get at least a week’s worth of updates on how these two QBs are faring.
Immediately following the Panthers pick, the 49ers selected one of the hottest blog hits makers of the off season, Taylor Mays. Mays was not viewed with much favor as a first round pick, but when he was available in the second round it was generally seen as a good, high ceiling risk, especially with the concussion issues experienced last year by current SS Michael Lewis. Mays also brings undeniable speed to a secondary criticized last year for its inability to contain some of the speed WRs the team faced. It may be awhile before Mays works his way into the lineup, but his speed and power should be a welcome asset to special teams this year. One can wickedly contemplate the gruesome spectacle of a high-speed collision between Mays and McCluster when the 49ers kick off to the Chiefs this year.