Day 2 Review
April 22 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The second of the NFL Draft had the 49ers picking eight different players. No trades were made throughout the day by the 49ers, and that wasn't the only uncharacteristic event of the 49ers day two of the NFL draft either. It looks like the 49ers got what they needed from this draft, but lots of questions still need to be answer about how they will actually play.
Jeff Chandler was the 49ers first pick in the fourth round. Chandler, a place kicker -yes! A place kicker, how un-49ers like; was a peculiar move. Certainly the 49ers had big areas of need than to draft a kicker so high, but the 49ers felt that Chandler was the best kicker in the draft, and they didn't want to miss out on an area the team was certainly interested in upgrading.
"There was one kicker we felt we would draft and it is Jeff Chandler," said Steve Mariucci. "He's a big kicker, an athlete and has played in big games in a big-time college environment."
With the second pick of the fourth round the 49ers went with another defensive player. Kevin Curtis a safety, was a good pick at this point of the draft. He's a player I had rated quite highly on my draft board too. Curtis can play both safety positions, and man can he hit! He fits the latest trend of hard hitting 49ers safeties. With the health status of John Keith uncertain, Curtis will come in and compete with Al Blades, Ronnie Heard and of course John Keith.
"Hes been one of their most productive players over the last three years, "said Maxie of Curtis' Texas Tech career. "The fact that he has played free safety, strong safety and special teams gives him a real advantage."
"I love it. I've always heard great things about the San Francisco organization, how they are very professional," Curtis said when learning of his selection by the 49ers. "Even though Im from Texas, Ive always been a San Francisco 49er fan. This is a privilege. My dad and I were talking about how it would be cool to play for our team and I get to play for our team! This is a dream come true."
In round five the 49ers made another interesting move. The team selected what will be the fifth quarterback on their roster in Brandon Doman. Doman is the typical 49ers quarterback, with great athleticism, precision passes and the ability to make smart reads. Doman will step in and compete for a roster spot but will have a long way to go in order to make the roster. Coming from BYU, Doman is the third 49ers' QB of recent history (Steve Young, Ty Detmer) to come from that small school.
"He fits nicely in our type of system," said offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. "He's mobile, throws well on the run, makes good decisions and is very accurate with the ball."
"I was just on the phone with him (Steve Young) and he told me I cant let him down," said Doman of Young. "He started talking offense with me already. He congratulated me and he was all fired up and then he started telling me things I needed to get ready for, for this offense."
The 49ers second pick of the fifth round went to defensive tackle Josh Shaw. Although defensive tackle was a need area for the team, Shaw does have some risk to him. Shaw tore three ligaments in his knee last season. He was projected to go no later than the third round, but his injury forced him down the draft list. However, Shaw is supposed to be ready to go by September and if he does return to full health, he will be a steal at this point in the draft.
"Hes a little but like Dana in the way he plays," said defensive line coach Dwaine Board. "He is a l steady against the run and has some pass rush skill. You watch the film from his career and he was constantly double-teamed."
"We'll be patient with Josh," added Mariucci. "He won't do anything in mini-camps for us and we'll bring him along gradually. We want this guy to be ready for September not April."
Round six had the 49ers draft Mark Anelli. Anelli fills a need the 49ers had on depth chart at the tight end slot. Anelli has good size, but isn't that mobile. Still he finds the soft spots in defenses and has sure hands. Anelli will backup Eric Johnson along with Justin Swift this season.
"He's a great combination player who blocks well at the line of scrimmage and can get in the open field and make plays in the passing game," said tight end coach Tom Batta.
In round seven the 49ers drafted their first offensive lineman. Guard Eric Heitmann is a heavy 305 pounds. Heitmann was drafted to be groomed for next season or the year after when the 49ers will be looking to replace some of their veterans along the line. In the mean time, Heitmann will bring much needed depth to the offensive line.
The 49ers penultimate pick was another offensive lineman. Kyle Kosier will likely play tackle on the team and add depth in the same manner Heitmann will. Kosier however, will have to gain about ten pounds before pushing for any real time along the line. He will give the 49ers some much needed depth at the position though.
Mr Irrelevant of the 49ers 2002 draft was Teddy Gaines. Gaines is an extremely quick but short cornerback. Gaines will have to make a name for himself on special teams, and the 49ers may try him at kick returner. Gaines will have a hard time making the 49ers roster if he can't be a real contributor on special teams.
And that was day two. Eight picks, lots of talent and lots of potential. It was a long fun couple of days. Mini-camp is just around the corner.