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Draft Positional Analysis Preview
January 30 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Each season I write a series of articles analyzing the best players at each position available through the college draft. In the past, I’ve been quite successful at finding the studs (though some are more obvious than others), and in so doing I’ve also been able to form educated guesses about who the 49ers will go after in the draft. This season I plan on continuing the articles and as usual, predicting who the 49ers plan on drafting. I hope you enjoy this series of articles, that will continue to add to The Draft Field at 49ers Paradise, and compliment the Positional Analysis reports about the 49ers.

This draft marks a new era for the 49ers, as Bill Walsh has officially relinquished his role to Terry Donahue - Walsh’s understudy of two years. While Walsh is expected to consult on the draft, along with John McVay it will officially be Donahue’s draft. The 49ers are also expected to take a slightly different strategy to this season’s draft - but not due to the change of General Managers. While the 49ers still have plenty of needs, they are more likely to go after a few impact players this season that they feel can really make a difference on the team, rather than trying to acquire as many picks and as much potential talent as possible. This could mean the 49ers will trade up - or if it so chooses, the team may try and add depth at several different positions and thus possibly move down in the draft.

At position number 27 (they moved up with the Stealers loss) the 49ers are in a position where if they trade out of the first round completely and into the high second round they likely wont see a big drop in the talent pool. Thus the avenue of trading down is not out of the realm of possibility.

Currently the 49ers are also without a third round pick in the draft. However the team is expecting to receive a compensation pick based on losing more free agents than it gained last season. The resulting pick could make a huge difference in the chance of success for the 2002 draft.

Let the fun begin as 49ers Paradise takes you inside the 2002 draft. Be sure to read up on all the positions and get your best impression of how the NFL draft will play out.

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