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At The Bottom Again
March 17th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers have had incredible luck over the past two and maybe even three seasons in finding solid draft picks that could come in and contribute to the team. It's been quite the process headed up by Bill Walsh and his immaculate ability to evaluate talent. But is it really Walsh's ability that has made the difference, or is it the position from which the 49ers have drafted in.

Not too surprisingly with two years of poor records, the 49ers were left in good position in the draft. Either using a high pick or using it as trade bait to acquire more draft picks the 49ers were able to bring in a higher level of talent. So players like Ahmed Plummer, Julian Peterson and Andre Carter were not simply a matter of good evaluation, but also a matter of having less margin of error.

Now I would never venture to take anything away from the Genius - but we'd all have to be blind not to notice that he's had some help along the way. Surely if his picks were in the lower part of the rounds they couldn't be as strong when evaluated as a whole when compared to the higher round picks. It's a simple concept where if there's more talent available, even if you don't pick the most talented individual chances are they will still be more talented than the rest of the pack. Evidence of this can be found from Walsh's first draft in his return to the team - it was strong, but not nearly as strong as the past two seasons.

So now that the 49ers are back in the bottom of third of the draft list, actually even lower that that drafting at number 27 of 32 picks; there has to a larger margin of error. Couple that with a diminished role from Walsh, and the 49ers will have to change their strategy in order to bring in the 'goods' this year. It wont be easy without a third round pick. It should however be a gut check for Terry Donahue who will finally get his chance to prove his worth as a the 49ers General Manager.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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