99 Draft outcome - 04/18/99
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It's been a long time since Bill Walsh was in charge on draft day. Returning to the 49ers this season he had the opportunity to rebuild his beloved team. He made moves throughout the draft like he always had. For one he trade up in the first round to get DT Reggie McGrew. McGrew is a mamoth tackle who can absolutely shut down a running game. He usually requires a double team and is big enough to collapse the pocket. There is a good chance he will start this season, first next to Junior Bryant, and then when Bryant Young returns he would play next to him, moving Jr. Bryant outside. The addition of McGrew will give the 49ers a lot of versatility along the line once Bryant Young is healthy. The only question about McGrew is his durability. If he can stay healthy, he will compliment Bryant Young extremely well. The 49ers didn't pick in the second round, but weren't done with the defensive line either. In the third round they selected, Chike Okeafor a defensive end that they felt could have gone in the first round. Okeafor is a good defensive end, and with the loss of Doleman and Barker, and an aging Washington he was a good pick up. In the next few years he may back up Junior Bryant or Gabe Wilkins outside.

In the 4th round the 49ers traded down a few spots before they drafted cornerback Anthony Parker. Parker is a big corner that knows how to hit hard. This is exactly what the 49ers were looking for in their short defensive backfield. Currently he is third on the depth charts, and will at the very least play in nickle and dime situations this season. He will eventually compliment RW McQuarters really well. The next move for the 49ers was to trade FB Marc Edwards to Cleveland for a 4th round pick. Edwards was originally a second rounder, and fit nicely into the 49ers system last season. To replace him the 49ers signed former 49ers, and Detroit Lion "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell. Vardell will become the immediate starter, he signed a three year deal. Last season he had 8 touchdowns. With this new found pick, the 49ers again went defensive backfield, however this time they went for a safety by the name of Pierson Prioleau. Prioleau is a hard hitting safety with an eye for the quarterback. He has some ability to cover a wide out, and needs to work a little bit on his instincts. My guess here is that he will either back up Zack Bronson in the next few years, or they may try and convert him to a nickel back.

In the fifth round the 49ers first drafted Terry Jackson, a running back that can play half or full back. With the loss of Edwards, Jackson will rival Fred Beasely for the future full back spot. He has good hands, and runs hard, he is not afraid to block either. Then the 49ers went to the offensive line, where they drafted, guard/tackle Tyrone Hopson. Hopson will add depth and could eventually start, but the offensive line is quite young, and we may have to wait a while to see him in full action. The next pick (round 6) absolutely boggles the mind. The 49ers went for wide receiver Tai Streets. Streets is extremely strong, and has big play potential, but on a team with Jerry Rice, JJ Stokes, Terrell Owens (hopefully) and Mark Harris, this move is just down right odd. Streets will probably be a practice squad player, until the 49ers lose one of their wide outs. In the seventh round the 49ers drafted linebacker Kory Minor. Minor is a little small and raw, but adds much needed depth to a linebacking squad. He had big play potential, and with proper coaching could reach the potential.

This years draft was for the present not the future. Bill Walsh would have liked to have the luxury to draft for the future, especially in the quarterback area, but realized the necessity of getting some defensive linemen and cornerbacks. With no quarterback picked, there is a rumour that the 49ers are interested in Rick Mirer. Mirer originally a number 2 pick, never made it in the NFL, probably due to a poor surrounding cast, and lack of coaching. Mirer still has the potential, and could be a valuable addition to the 49ers. The 49ers draft was productive and they probably got some starters out of it. Hopefully they will help the 49ers ASAP.
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