Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com knows his football. And when he comes up with his final grades for the 2011 NFL Draft, people listen. He recently released them on Yahoosports.com, giving both the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders marginal marks. Let's break down a bit of what he had to say about each team.
Rang gave the 49ers a C, mainly because he wasn't too fond of Aldon Smith as a first round pick:
I have my reservations about his potential in San Francisco's scheme. At 6-4, 263 pounds, [Aldon] Smith is already bigger than many 3-4 edge rushers and at only 20 years-old, he hasn't stopped growing. He's a bit stiff in the hips and I question how well he'll be able to turn the corner and close on the quarterback.
I thought being bigger was a good thing in the NFL? I haven't scouted Smith like Rang has, so maybe he has a point here. But we'll have to wait and see. As for quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Kendall Hunter, he is very fond of both of them, claiming Kaepernick is "a rare combination of size, arm strength and mobility for the position and is intelligent and hard-working."
As for Hunter, he's is Rang's favorite pick the Niners made, but admits he will likely not see much playing time barring injuries to Frank Gore or Anthony Dixon. Maybe he'll earn his way onto the field for some playing time, you never know.
When it came to Al Davis and the Raiders, Rang gave them a C+, claiming they were the "least surprising draft of the year:
Al Davis loves speed and his club drafted precisely that in cornerbacks Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa,each of whom timed in the 4.3s at the combine. I love [Taiwan] Jones' open-field running ability, but with carries split already between Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, where is Jones going to get his touches?
The Raiders stick to their guns when it comes to the draft, and seemingly roll the dice to see what happens. I think they made some good picks, like Stefen Wisniewski, but I don't think Rang is as fond of him.
this is the NFL, not a college fraternity, and legacies don't necessarily warrant a top 50 selection
Ouch. Important last name or not, I think Wisniewski is top 50 worthy, and the Raiders draft will turn out better than many think. It might take a year or two to develop, but there draft is higher quality that a C+ rating in my opinion.