Notes on 2008 Draft Picks

Here are some notes on the first few picks by the 49ers in the 2008 NFL Draft.

DT KENTWAN BALMER
• The 49ers made defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer (1st Round – 29th overall) its eighth player taken from the University of North Carolina and third player selected in the first round (fullback Ken Willard in 1965 and tackle Harris Barton in 1987) from that college.
• Balmer is the Tar Heels' first defensive lineman ever taken by San Francisco.
• The last Tarheel to be taken as high in the draft as Balmer was DE Julius Peppers (2nd overall pick, Carolina Panthers in 2002).
• DT Reggie McGrew (24th overall pick in 1999) was the last defensive tackle to be taken as high in the draft by the 49ers. Prior to that, DT Bryant Young (7th overall pick in 1994) and DT Ted Washington (25th overall pick in 1991) were the next highest defensive tackles taken in most recent drafts by San Francisco.
• Balmer joins fellow Tarheel G Jeb Terry (146th overall pick in 2004, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) on the 49ers roster.

G CHILO RACHAL
• The 49ers' selection of USC guard Chilo Rachal (2nd Round – 39th overall) makes him the 24th player selected from the institution by San Francisco since 1950. That is the most players from any one school in the 49ers' NFL draft history. The University of Notre Dame is a close second in providing 20 players to the San Francisco pro football club.
• The last two Trojans selected by San Francisco were also taken in the second round (linebacker Israel Ifeanyi in 1996 and guard Jeff Bregel in 1987).
• Rachal is the second guard selected by the 49ers from USC in the second round (Bregel) in team history.
• Hall-of-Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott remains the only Trojan taken in the first round (1981) by San Francisco.
• With a total of seven USC players selected on the first day of the 2008 NFL Draft, Rachal was the fifth player selected from the school and second offensive lineman chosen from USC this year behind tackle Sam Baker (21st overall pick, Atlanta Falcons).
• In the past three NFL drafts, the 49ers have selected four offensive linemen in the first three rounds: Rachal, T Joe Staley (1st Round – 28th overall, 2007), C/G David Baas (2nd Round – 33rd overall, 2005), G/T Adam Snyder (3rd Round – 94th overall, 2005).

DB REGGIE SMITH
• The 49ers' selection of Oklahoma defensive back Reggie Smith (3rd Round – 75th overall) makes him the ninth "Sooner" in 49ers' NFL Draft History.
• Smith follows in the footsteps of another former Sooner defensive back, 1959 first round choice Dave Baker. The former three-time All-Pro player, Baker established the 49ers' team records for most interceptions in a season (10) and in a single game (4). Both marks were set during the 1960 season when Baker was the NFL's co-leader with St. Louis Cardinals' Jerry Norton.
• Prior to Smith, the last Oklahoma player selected by the 49ers was nose tackle Corey Mayfield in 1992, taken in the tenth round.
• Smith was the third player taken from Oklahoma in the 2008 NFL Draft. LB Curtis Lofton (37th overall pick, Atlanta Falcons) and WR Malcolm Kelly (51st overall pick, Washington Redskins) were the Sooners chosen before him.
• CB Shawntae Spencer (58th overall pick in 2004) was the last cornerback to be taken as high in the draft by the 49ers.

C CODY WALLACE
• Texas A&M offensive lineman Cody Wallace (4th Round – 107th overall) becomes the eighth Aggie drafted by the San Francisco 49ers.
• Wallace is the second offensive lineman selected from Texas A&M by the 49ers following 1998 third-round choice Chris Ruhman.
• Second round pick DB Jason Webster (2000) was the last Aggie player selected by the 49ers. • Former 49ers defensive tackle Charlie Krueger attended Texas A&M and was selected in the 1959 NFL Draft.
• Wallace was the second player taken from Texas A&M in the 2008 NFL Draft. TE Martellus Bennett (61st overall pick, Dallas Cowboys) was the Aggie chosen before him.

WR JOSH MORGAN
• The 49ers selected wide receiver Josh Morgan of Virginia Tech in the sixth round, making him the sixth Hokies player to be drafted by the 49ers in team history. Morgan is the first wide receiver and second offensive player taken by the 49ers from the school.
• Previously, five of the six players selected by the 49ers from the school were on the defensive side of the ball - safety Damien Russell (D6-'92), cornerbacks Tyronne Drakeford (D2b-'94) and Pierson Prioleau (D4b-'99), and defensive end John Engelberger (D2a-2000).
• In the 1997 Collegiate Draft, the 49ers selected Virginia Tech quarterback Jim Druckenmiller in the first round. He was the only quarterback taken during the first round of the 1997 draft.
• Morgan was one of eight Hokies to be selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. He was one of three wide receivers from the school to be chosen this year, and was the second chosen behind WR Eddie Royal (42nd overall pick, Denver Broncos). Hokies WR Justin Harper was chosen in the seventh round (215th overall pick) by the Baltimore Ravens.

LB LARRY GRANT
• The 49ers final selection was Ohio State linebacker Larry Grant, who was taken in the seventh round. He becomes the eighth Buckeyes player drafted by San Francisco. Three of those eight players were first round draft choices - center Dan James (1957), safety Tim Anderson (1971) and cornerback Ahmed Plummer (2001).
• Grant is the second Buckeyes linebacker selected by the 49ers. In 1963, the team tabbed linebacker Gary Moeller in the fifth round.
• 2008 marks the third consecutive year that the 49ers have selected a linebacker in the draft - North Carolina State's Manny Lawson (2006), Mississippi's Patrick Willis and Nebraska's Jay Moore (2007), and Ohio State's Larry Grant (2008).
• Grant was one of three Buckeyes to be selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. DE Vernon Gholston was selected sixth overall by the New York Jets, while tackle Kirk Barton was chosen after Grant as the 247th overall pick by the Chicago Bears.

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