Originally posted on Eureka 49ers  |  Last updated 5/6/10

The 2010 NFL Draft has come and gone and I’ve given the dust its time to settle, I’ve taken some time to digest each selection and watch a couple hours of video on the selections and I think it’s about time I get to illustrating my complete thoughts. I’ll begin, however, with the seventh round selection, cornerback Phillip Adams. I find that as a comprehensive article is fleshed out, as I get near the end I’ll be writing less and less about my points—I figure if I start from the bottom I can talk more about the players you potentially know less about and therefore be more informative. Maybe it will catch on?


With the 224th pick the the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Phillip Adams, CB, South Carolina StateSo here’s where I pretend I knew who he was before the draft, right? Wrong. I had no idea Adams existed until his name was called, and even after some research, Adams is still a large question mark for me. I wonder why they took Adams instead of some other players that were available at the time, but at the same time, they scouted him and they scouted the guys I was advocating, I’m assuming. So what does Adams bring?


Adams potentially fills a need at the cornerback position, though some (myself included) felt that the team should have addressed the need earlier on. Adams does hold special teams value, however. Watching what I could on the guy he seems to have decent speed and a nose for the ball carrier. He’s a question mark, but he does technically fill a need and therefore gets the benefit of the doubt… kind of. C+


With the 206th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Kyle Williams, WR, ASUCoach Singletary expressed the desire to bring more than one person onto the roster who could return kicks and punts on special teams. Last season the 49ers averaged 4.4 yards on punt returns, an abysmal average. Williams was a good returner when he got the ball in his hands, but my feeling is that he was brought on for much more than that. Williams was explosive and more than a little intriguing during his time in college. I get the feeling that the team brought him in to be a slot receiver, a position they don’t currently have an answer for.  They have an abundance of receivers battling for position, but nobody they can slip into the slot and get some plays… how you say… made. B+


With the 182nd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Nate Byham, TE, PittsburghUnlike most, I think Nate has a future with the 49ers organization. He will be a blocker more than anything, and can even be a backup fullback if the team needs it. Byham is tough, and fits the Singletary mold perfectly. The team currently has Tony Curtis and J.J. Finley for a blocking role, and drafted Bear Pascoe last season in the sixth round before cutting him at the final 53 roster cuts.


The opinion in the coaches’ minds is probably that, while these players have progressed and may be “sufficient” they just don’t fit the mentality that they want in the role. If they’re going to spend a roster spot for a third tight end who comes in solely for blocking, they want to make sure this guy is exactly what they want at the position and Byham could be that guy. A coaching staff being overly picky doesn’t justify a reach when there is still other talent available, however. B-

With the 173rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi StateI don’t know how to feel about this pick. I, along with many others, figured that the Niners would be taking a running back in this draft but nobody figured it would be someone who didn’t fit the speedback role. Still, watching video of Dixon shows a lot of promise, he could either supplant Glen Coffee as the backup or settle in nicely into the 3rd running back role. Either way, he should be exciting to watch in the preseason as he battles for that spot and position. He’s powerful, though he shows signs of finesse which is promising. The thing I like about Dixon is how smart he is. He’s a “Bellichick-esque” player, someone who can be coached up very well, as evidenced by the way he’s interviewed. B-


With the 91st overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn StateThe fact that Bowman wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near this selection (on the good side) already gives this a higher grade. Bowman was a great player in college,  playing several linebacker positions and having a good speed and pursuit to the ball. Last year the team picked up Scot McKillop and seems to be slotting him in as a special teams ace, while Bowman could possibly be the teams TED linebacker of the future. Questions have come up about his size for the position, but the kid figures to have one to two seasons to put on some muscle and fill the role once Spikes retires. Mike Singletary seemed to not think he had any size issues. Should see some playing time this season. The team also traded back and picked up an extra fourth round pick in the 2011 draft, pushing this grade even higher. A


With the 49th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Taylor Mays, S, USCWhat a pick. Mays was a player who slid from possibly being a top ten pick all the way down to the 49ers in the second round at pick 49. There’s not much to say about the kid that hasn’t been said, he’s athletic, he hits hard, he should be great in the box and will fill the role that Michael Lewis filled excellently for a few seasons here.


So we now have questions about Mays and his ability to cover, or lack therof. My opinion is that Mays was never asked to cover. They never coached it into him, it’s not something he learned, but look how good he is at the things he WAS coached up on. Mays obviously has the capacity to learn, and now that he has a real coach backing him, it will be interesting to see if he’s just Michael Lewis, or something new, stronger, better…  We shall see. A


With the 17th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Mike Iupati, G, Idaho Iupati is a mauler. There’s not a whole lot to say about the guy that hasn’t been said. He’s mean, he’s tough, he throws people around and is an instant upgrade at the left guard position and should start from day one. If you have any doubts about Iupati in the NFL go look him up on YouTube and watch him toss people around with reckless abandon. He will “compete” with David Baas at LG and he will win. A+


With the 11th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Anthony Davis, OT, RutgersDavis was a player the 49ers wanted from the beginning. They traded and moved up two spots to acquire the tackle and in doing so lost a 4th round selection in this years draft. Was it worth it? I’m inclined to think so, if there’s a player that a coach knows that he wants for the job, a 4th round pick is worth coughing up. Davis is strong, he’s quick, he should be a starter at RT for years to come and could even play LT. A very solid pickup, though he has some character issues. Questions have come up about his work ethic and things of that nature, but most analysts (myself included) are of the opinion that this isn’t as big an issue with the 49ers what with Mike Singletary and the new offensive line coaching staff.  B+


The 49ers addressed some needs in a big way and drafted players that fit their philosophy. They brought in tough, physical players who won’t shy away from contact. Many people have the 49ers as having one of the best drafts this year, at least based on projections, and I agree with them. They brought in 650 pounds of offensive lineman, a first round talent safety in the second round, a first round talent linebacker in the third round, and covered a range of situational players with their late round picks who all have a solid chance of some form of contribution. They’re probably the frontrunners to “Win the West” this upcoming season but let’s see how training camp and OTAs play out. The 49ers will have their first rookie minicamp beginning on April 30th. Overall Grade: A-

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