Many people, especially the pundits, seem reluctant to consider the notion that Scot McCloughan thought each guy he drafted was the best football player available, regardless of position, at the time he was selected.
I think that’s exactly what he thought and here’s why.
First of all, his track record says so. Scot has consistently picked guys that did not fill an immediate need. For example, he inherited a solid TE in San Francisco, picked two more in his first draft there, then used the 6th overall pick the following year on a 6’ 3” 250 pound TE named Vernon Davis. I’m not sure how may TEs have been picked so early in the history of the draft but I am sure the number is small and may even be one. I also have a hunch that 49er fans were not thrilled with their GM going TE at #6 – at the time that is.
It is interesting to note how athletic Vernon Davis is. He ran a 10.7 100 meter dash in high school and high jumped 6’ 6” making him DC champ in that event. He also lettered in basketball. He was likely the best athlete and football player available when he was chosen at #6. I’m sure Scot thought so.
Secondly, Scot says this is what he does. In his last presser before the draft he said these very words: “We take the best football player available.” When pressed right after that statement concerning how need might enter the picture he said: “It does not affect our draft process whatsoever.”
Thirdly, look at his first pick this year – Brandon Scherff. It’s so easy to say “See, he picked for need. How could this guy be a better football player than Leonard Williams?” Here’ how.
Leonard Williams is a beast. He was dominant in college. He’s a little tall for the inside though and can struggle with leverage. He’s likely to be a very good pro but might find he’s a bit more blockable when he plays other all-Americans every week. He runs a 4.97 40 and passed on the 225 pound bench press. He participated in track and field in high school but I could find no details.
Brandon Scherff is also a beast. He too dominated in college. He is the same height as Williams and outweighs him by 30 pounds. He too is likely to be a good pro. It’s possible he’s more of a sure thing than Williams. Scot seems to think so. He runs a 5.05 40 (loses to Williams by a step) and bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times. His vertical jump beats Williams by 3 inches. His broad jump beats Williams by 1 inch. He beats Williams in the 3-cone by 4 tenths and is loses in the shuttle by 4 hundredths – all with 30 extra pounds of muscle. Scherff not only lettered in several high school sports – he was awesome. He played at quarterback as a sophomore. He was all state as a senior offensive lineman. He had 200 yards receiving with 5 TDs as a junior. He lettered in baseball for 4 years. He was 2nd team all-conference in basketball. He lettered in tennis as a freshman. He was all state in track and holds the state record in the shot put.
HE IS A FREAKING ANIMAL!!
I am convinced Scot thinks Brandon Scherff is a better athlete and football player than Leonard Williams. He went BPA – plain and simple.
BTW – Our new DE/OLB named Preston Smith actually significantly outperformed Leonard Williams in ALL combine measureables (out benched Scherff) and shows a better anchor against the run than Williams on film. He was usually asked to play run first in college but shows great explosion and ability to turn the corner when let loose. He was all-SEC at his position. Our new RB named Matt Jones was most certainly not picked to fill a need. He is simply a monster. Can you say Beast Mode?
Posted For Matt Mohler