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Welcome To The NFL Draft
April 20 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Hello, and welcome to the two thousand and two National Football League Draft. Two days chocked full of football goodness. Speculation, trades, the future over the next forty-eight hours more football action will occur than on the day of the Super Bowl. This is the ultimate. And without further adieu (ok fine, at the time of posting this article we are still several hours away), the NFL Draft.

With the first overall pick the expansion Houston Texans (I still want them to change their name - I mean come on, the Texans?), select quarterback David Carr. Weeks ago already, the Texans announced that Carr would be the first overall pick in the draft. He's already signed a multi-million dollar contract and has been labeled the franchise quarterback. Carr is one of two top picks in this years draft - the other Joey Harrington has seen his draft stock plummet in recent days, despite 49ers quarterback guru, and football Genius, Bill Walsh labeling him as the better quarterback. "The Texans must really had done their homework, whatever it was. And came to that conclusion. But I'm sure they spent all kinds of time. And I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision between (Carr) and Harrington. It wasn't, 'So, OK, there's only one quarterback.' There were two," said Walsh.

Other top draft prospects include the likes of defensive end Julius Peppers, regarded as the best end in this years draft. Peppers could be gone with the second pick. Quentin Jammer and Philip Buchanon are two of outstanding cornerback in this years draft. In the trenches, offensive tackles Bryant McKinnie, and Mike Williams and offensive guards Levi Jones and Toniu, Fonoti along with defensive tackle Ryan Sims and Albert Haynesworth will make the first round a very 'heavy' group of draft picks. Of course there are skill players too, like receivers Donte' Stallworth, Ashley Lelie, Josh Reed, and running back TJ Dunkett. Safety Roy Williams may slip a little, because of a lack of emphasis on safeties as being worthy of a first round pick, but Williams is one of the best defenders in the draft.

The first round especially is loaded with talent, and with the 49ers schedule to pick at number 27 (unless there is a trade), they will have a long wait before they get their opportunity to draft. This year 49ers draft will be different than years past. Terry Donahue will be the man in charge, taking over for Bill Walsh. The team will be looking to draft for the future, and for depth as it has its starters already penciled in. Whoever is drafted by the 49ers in the seven rounds today, will have to beat out several players before making the roster. No longer can they just show up and look OK. The 49ers squad of 2002 will be difficult to make.

It will be much harder to evaluate the 49ers 2002 draft. In the past, if many players make the roster, or are starters, a draft is often considered a success. But the 49ers first round pick this year may not even be a starter because of the team that is already assembled. It is for this reason that the 49ers will have to be more careful in this years draft. They need to hunt out the guys who can persevere and make the squad. They need to find character guys who add to the team. The 49ers need to find players that will allow them to take down the Rams. And ultimately it will be that, which decides the success of the 49ers 2002 draft.

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