The football blogosphere returned to normal on Thursday after a long, dark winter of discontent. For 49er fans, this return to action was marked by a resounding “WTF!” For Roger Goodell, this return was marked by some severe ass booing at Radio City Music Hall.
The first action of the Trent Baalke/Jim Harbaugh reign was a bold and nervy first round draft selection that no mock draft or fan based wish list had ever mentioned even once as a possibility at pick #7 of the 2011 Draft. This kind of bravado can be attributed to clueless leadership, and many 49er fans mounted that horse last night. Or it can be an indication that leadership knows what it’s doing and doesn’t give snail’s slime what less knowledgeable fans may think or not think.
Aldon Smith is a pass rushing OLB. That was a team need on a par with a need for a cornerback and a quarterback. The problem with Smith is that he wasn’t touted by anybody. Guys selected in the top ten of a draft are usually well known commodities that draftnik fans have developed man-crushes on during the pre-draft hype honking days. A guy that will cause fans to whoop and holler when selected. Or boo and hiss. The selection of Smith caused dead silence throughout 49er land.
Not a PR winning choice.
Baalke and Harbaugh seem very pleased with this guy, however. So they either know what they are doing, or they don’t. We’ll see. Von Miller thinks Aldon with be Rookie Defensive Player of the Year, for what it’s worth. Not much, probably. But an interesting opinion.
The mock drafts had Robert Quinn and Prince Amukamara touted as probable Niner selections at pick #7, but these fellows slipped well down the board. Quinn went to the Rams, so we will see first hand in the coming years which pass rushing gent was the better choice. Amukamara fell all the way to the Giants at pick 19.
Four QBs were selected in the first twelve picks, erasing four possible destinations for Alex Smith to pursue during free agency. It’s no surprise that he is trotting into the Centennial offices this morning. The chances he will re-sign with the Niners for this year grow stronger by the day.
Day Two of the draft should be interesting. Most of us expect the team to choose a QB and a CB. We won’t know till early next week what players the Niners will acquire via FA and trades that may affect their selections today.
Some things about Thursday’s unusual first round were normal. Tim Kawakami’s reliable insider sources that assured us the Niners would select Blaine Gabbert were as reliable as last year’s sources that assured us the team would select Jimmy Clausen. Couldn’t the Mercury News get a monkey to handle Kawakami’s job? It would certainly be cheaper and probably more entertaining.
As for this site, it will be nice to return to being wrong about football instead of being wrong about labor law. To our credit, however, we do not site any sources for our ignorance. It’s entirely home grown.