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Boom, Bust, Draft 2002
April 20 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
So what will it be. A Jim Drukenmiller? How about a Jerry Rice? The NFL Draft brings a level of football excitement to the fans unmatched by anything in the off-season, and in some cases, un-matched by even the Super Bowl. Two teams participate in the game's Championship match, but 32 will compete this weekend. Much will be made of the entire event, but particular attention is always paid to the first round. This years 49ers team will be looking to land some impact player, guys who can be the future of this team -but could they end up as a bust?

The sad reality of the NFL Draft, is as much as teams prepare, as much money as they put into the endeavor, they can't be guaranteed their top picks will succeed. That is of course, how we get players like Jim Drukenmiller. The 49ers will set out today and tomorrow to avoid making the big mistake. It's a process easier said than done.

Terry Donahue has one of the most sophisticated drafting systems in the NFL, and still there is always a chance the team could miss with their top picks in the draft. The 49ers, by now, have fingered every position as an area of need and have stated they could trade up or down. Truth of the matter is the team needs more than anything, help at corner back, linebacker, along the offensive and defensive lines, and at receiver. Sure the team needs more depth a tight end, or would like another running back, a kicker or punter maybe even a safety, but ultimately, to take the team to the next level, they need improvement in the aforementioned areas.

The 49ers will try more than anything to avoid making the big mistake. They will take the best player (not athlete - but player) available when they pick (be it at 27 or after a trade in either direction) and at a position of relative need. In picking the best player the team will look to minimize the chances of it being a bust. The player doesn't have to be a Pro Bowler (though one would be nice) but most importantly they have to be able to upgrade the 49ers at a position, even if its on the depth charts.

It's for those reasons that we all look forward to Draft Day - or rather Draft Weekend, as much as we do. We crave football, want football and know that at the very least our team will be active in the acquisition of approximately seven players. Happy it's here? So am I.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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