Soon after the San Francisco 49ers make their first pick in next week’s NFL Draft, league experts will start giving their analysis.
Not all of it will prove to be true.
Looking back on the 49ers first-round selections of offensive linemen
Let’s look back at what was said in the minutes and hours after they became 49ers.
ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr.: “By taking Anthony Davis, the left tackle with the highest upside in the draft — emphasis on “upside” — and then a lock to be a good NFL guard in Mike Iupati, the Niners are a better running team right now.”
SI.com’s Ross Tucker: “The book on Davis is he plays to the level of competition and the 49ers are betting he will play well every week in the NFL, where all the defensive ends are good… Iupati is a powerhouse road grader who should start at left guard right away and plow open holes for
CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco: “(Davis) is a reach. He is a good player, but this is high. He has some character issues, but they proved with
USA Today’s Jarrett Bell: “The club sent a clear message by using their two first-round picks to beef up the O-line... This should boost Frank Gore's effectiveness and help fix short-yardage woes.”
The Sporting News’ Clifton Brown: “Davis is raw but extremely talented. Iupati should be a superb guard and might be athletic enough to play tackle.”
FoxSports.com’s John Czarnecki: “Anthony Davis will be given every chance to start at right tackle this season while Idaho guard Mike Iupati is a tremendous run blocker with a nasty streak. These two players will allow the 49ers to pound the ball while also providing Smith with better pocket protection.”
Fanhouse.com’s Nancy Gay: “Kudos to San Francisco for moving up to take this (Davis), who almost certainly will replace
NFLDraftScout.com’s Rob Rang: “I thought it was unlikely Anthony Davis required moving up. But he certainly fills a need. I thought he was the most gifted player, in terms of size and athletic ability, of the entire group of offensive tackles in the draft. And he certainly fills a key area of need for the club. The biggest knock, of course, was the passion… My one reservation is that (Mike Iupati) is a guy who could get by on sheer strength and size at the college level. At the Senior Bowl you saw a tendency to latch on to someone and not slide laterally. But I'm a big fan of Mike Solari - he'll coach that kid up. And with really athletic offensive tackles, which the 49ers have on both sides now, you can protect him a little. What I absolutely love, he's the best pure drive blocker in the draft.”
The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami: “Davis' reputation is that he can get lazy, but that fits Singletary's belief that he and his staff can get the most out of anybody. Iupati is a pure guard, not one of the NFL's most prized positions, but Singletary doesn't care as long as Iupati pile-drives anybody standing in front of him.”
Pro Football Weekly’s Dan Arkush: “Davis is considered a terrific pass blocker with excellent feet. There are some observers probably wondering whether the team might have made a mistake by not taking Iowa's Bryan Bulaga instead of Davis, whose work ethic and weight problems were red flags in the eyes of many. As for Iupati, the best guess is that he will make a serious push to become the team's starting left guard, his natural position. But look for incumbent David Baas, who came on after a slow start last year, to have very different ideas, with a healthy battle likely to materialize. At the Combine, Iupati appeared to be extremely mellow, and you have to wonder just a bit if he will be ferocious enough on the field. But he's a big-time mauler who should quickly make his presence felt.”
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