New uniforms, a new playmaker to wear them and a new 2010 first-round draft pick courtesy of the Carolina Panthers. All things considered, day one of the 2009 NFL Draft was quite successful for the San Francisco 49ers.
Beginning the day presenting new uniforms to the 49ers Faithful seemed like it would be hard to top. But soon after, the day got even better with the announcement of Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree as the 49ers choice with the tenth overall pick.
"We had no idea that he would be there at 10," head coach Mike Singletary said of his newest offensive weapon. "It was one of the last scenarios that we thought we'd end up with. He's been one of the best guys the past couple of years in college football, as a receiver. We're very excited to have a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball."
The two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the NCAA's top wide receiver was the perfect fit for the 49ers. The redshirt sophomore was considered to be an elite talent in this year's Draft class, breaking school records with 3,127 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns.
But somehow he lasted until the tenth pick. Perhaps it was because of a fracture in his foot that left him unable to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"I knew it would be interesting, how it shook out," general manager Scot McCloughan said. "I felt pretty good (when he got) to nine. I knew that he would have been the highest rated guy on Green Bay's board, but with their depth at receiver and the need at other positions, I thought he would get by there. Once he got past eight, I got pretty excited."
While some teams might have been apprehensive about selecting Crabtree in the top ten with him coming off a surgical procedure, the 49ers didn't even wait the mandatory ten minutes allowed to announce their pick.
"He's the closest thing I've seen to Anquan Boldin in college," McCloughan said. "He's got excellent hands and he's got the physical attributes to play on the NFL level and make plays. He's a highly competitive guy who's not afraid, whatsoever."
Crabtree plans on bringing his quality character to the Bay Area to go along with his playmaking ability on the field. After watching nine other players get picked ahead of him, Crabtree kept his cool, knowing he would make the best of his opportunity to play in the NFL once his name was finally called.
"My whole thing was patience. I was just trying to be patient," he said over the phone from New York. "Whoever was going to pick me I was going to look forward to moving on and getting better and better every day."
Crabtree told the Bay Area media just how much he looked up to the 49ers as a kid.
"I like the 49ers," he said. "It's a good place to be."
Starting tomorrow, that's where Crabtree and his professional football career will be to start his promising pro football career.
The 49ers added another first-round pick on Saturday, but the selection will have to wait a year to make an impact.
Instead of making a selection with the No. 43 overall pick, McCloughan sent the pick along with the No. 111 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the Panthers' first-round pick in 2010.
"We had two players pinpointed in the five picks ahead of us, and they both were taken," McCloughan said. "We did not see a player of the value at that pick for us. Carolina called and sweetened the pot pretty good with next year's one."
With six picks left on the second day of the Draft, McCloughan felt no need to force a pick if the value wasn't there.
"I just don't want to sit there and say, 'Well, geez, it's our pick, we're going to take a player if we don't think the value of the player is there.' As everybody is well aware, ones are huge, especially, if we want to do anything with that pick anytime here out to next year, which of course, going into next draft with two No. 1 picks. A lot of things we've done, we've done in the past. It's proved out to be good."