The 49ers will be poised to make a deep playoff run with the additions of first round pick, WR A.J. Jenkins, Illinois and second round pick, RB LaMichael James, an Oregon product. Many draftniks thought the 49ers would draft a guard in the first or second round but they waited until the fourth round when they picked Joe Looney out of Wake Forest. Looney will be given every chance to win the starting right guard spot when training camp officially begins.
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Michael Floyd, the Cardinals first round pick, received a lot of criticism for his “partying” ways in college but he corrected himself before his senior year at Notre Dame. He moved back onto campus and into dormitories while tearing up opposing defenses. Floyd will take a lot of pressure off of All Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald with his size, speed, and athleticism. The Cardinals, needing help on the offensive line, drafted three tackles; Bobby Massie, Senio Kelemete, and Nate Potter.
Although the Seahawks brought in free agent Matt Flynn to start at quarterback they draft 5’11’’ QB Russell Wilson, out of Wisconsin, in the third round. It’s quite a reach for a team that already has their starter (Flynn) and backup (Tavaris Jackson). Despite that reach, the Seahawks upgraded in most of their need areas. First round pick DE Bruce Irvin will start opposite DE Chris Clemons to begin the season. Clemons, who tallied 11 sacks last year, will have some much needed help on the defensive line with the addition of Irvin. LB Bobby Wagner, Utah State, and RB Robert Turbin, also Utah State, will provide improvement for their respective positions.
The Rams, coming off of a 2-14 season, drafted many players that will need to develop in order to make a significant impact. At one point, they held the number two overall pick but moved down to number fourteen and had three second round picks. With the number fourteen pick they drafted DE Michael Brockers, out of LSU. Defensive line was a spot that the Rams needed help but Brockers will not provide the immediate relief and star power that they need on defense. WR Brian Quick, an Appalachian State product, is a big receiver standing at 6’4’’, 220 pounds with good speed. It will be interesting to see how he develops on the NFL level coming from an FCS team that plays slower, less talented players than most, if not all, D-1 football teams. The Rams drafted CB Janoris Jenkins with the 39th overall pick. Jenkins has had many, many off-the-field problems including getting kicked off of the Florida Gators football team. He has drawn many comparisons to Pacman Jones because of his ability on the field and penchant for trouble off the field.
Safety Trent Robinson, Michigan State, was drafted in the 6th round by the San Francisco 49ers. Robinson should have gone earlier but did not. This was a great pick up for the 49ers. Robinson supplements his above average speed with great ball skills and physicality. Alex Smith is back behind center for the 49ers and WR A.J. Jenkins will provide a much needed boost to the wide receiver corps. Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, a healthy Frank Gore, speedy LaMichael James and rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins will make it very difficult for opposing defenses to plan for this explosive team.
This is a make or break year for QB Kevin Kolb. He has the offensive weapons that many quarterbacks dream of in receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. The front office shored up the offensive line in the draft. Kolb will need to step it up this year to prove he is worthy of the contract he signed two seasons ago. Pete Carroll must also prove himself worthy of being an NFL coach this year and I believe he will do it; simply with the addition of Matt Flynn. Flynn is not a savior but he is what the Seahawks needed; a franchise quarterback. The Rams got the coach they wanted and can only improve after their dismal two win season.