A.J. Green (8) of the Georgia Bulldogs pulls in this reception against Craig Stevens #46 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13 2010 in Auburn Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Playing the role of San Francisco general manager in our draft is 'Pat 19.' Here is his rationale for the selection of Green:
San Francisco fans endured a year marked by great expectations and horrible results. Coach Mike Singletary, once thought to be an up-and-coming star, was fired mid-season after he really dropped his pants the ball. Jim Harbaugh now steps in to take charge of a franchise needing direction. So what does he do? He could trade down for multiple picks. But assuming no trade is made, he picks the best player available.
Oh, the 49ers have plenty of needs. Alex Smith simply isn't the answer at quarterback, so a young signal caller is needed soon. The linebacking corps needed an upgrade even before Manny Lawson, Travis LaBoy, and Takeo Spikes became free agents. Dashon Goldson is a free agent, and Nate Clements may be released; thus, the team could use a boost in the secondary. The team may lose nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, and end Isaac Sopoaga is more of a rotational player than a starter. Even the offensive line, which has been prioritized in recent drafts, could use some more talent with Barry Sims and David Baas two more free agents.
But who is available at this point in the draft who addresses any of these needs at a reasonable value? Only three names are worth mentioning: Prince Amukamara, Robert Quinn, and Da'Quan Bowers. I don't see Prince as a top 7 talent; Justin Blackmon would agree. Robert Quinn missed an entire season, and he didn't exactly shine at the combine. I don't think the reward outweighs the risk. Finally, Bowers seems to be a better fit for the 4-3, although he could certainly play in any defense. Indeed, Bowers was really the only "need" pick I strongly considered.
But Harbaugh will pick the best player left in the draft (and perhaps one of the two best players overall): A.J. Green. Green is a dynamic play-maker who consistently tortured defenses in the ultra-competitive SEC. Along with Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, and Vernon Davis, Green gives the 49ers perhaps as much skill on offense as any team in the league. Plus, the line is young and very talented, so these guys have plenty of time to wreak havoc on any opposing defense. Well, if they had a quarterback, of course. Harbaugh's hoping San Fran gets Luck-y next offseason!
My take: Admittedly, I have not studied Green. I am not sure about this pick, however, and that has nothing to do with whether or not Green is worthy of being selected here. This seems a little bit like the old Detroit Lions philosophy under Matt Millen of 'let's just draft all the wide receivers.' My thought here would be, you don't have a quarterback and there isn't one worthy of drafting here, so why grab a receiver you can't get the ball to? Grab whoever you consider to be the best defensive player on the board and start there.
-- 'RealLT' is now on the clock with Tennessee's pick at No. 8 in our draft.
|19||N.Y. Giants||Ed Valentine|
||The Blood Of Eli
|29||Chicago||You're my boy, Blue|
New York Jets
|48||Oakland||G Fan In England
|52||N.Y. Giants||Ed Valentine|
||The Blood Of Eli|
||You're my boy, Blue|