Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kaepernick and all QBs 49ers have drafted since Montana

Surprise, surprise, the quarterback that Harbaugh and the 49ers wanted most wasn't Gabbert, or Locker, or even the coveted underdog, Dalton.  It was a strong-armed, pistol-offense-runnin athlete from the Univ of Nevada.  Apparently, 49ers GM Baalke even thought about trading into the late 1st round to get him.  I don't mind the trade up in the 2nd round for him if Harbaugh believes in him, but I know I've got my expectations and excitement tempered for the next couple years at least.  That's how far we've been beaten down as 49er fans.

Clearly Smith will be the starter again since he's already been armed with Harbaugh's playbook and is participating in secret team lockout workouts, even though he's not on contract.  He's way ahead of guys like Gabbert and Locker anyway, so I'm okay with a fresh start, at least until Kaepernick can show us what he's got.  I'm still holding out for Andrew Luck in 2012 - I say we trade the whole draft for him - Ditka & Ricky Williams style!  seriously.

Listed here are all the quarterbacks the 49ers have drafted since Joe Montana (1979, 3rd round) and how many seasons and games each played (and TDs threw) for San Francisco.  Notable names in bold.

1980 9th round Dan Hartwig - no games
1981 12th round Joe Adams - no games
1982 9th round Bryan Clark - 1 season, 1 game
1985 6th round Scott Barry - no games
1987 10th round John Paye - no games
1992 9th round Darian Hagan - no games 
1993 8th round Elvis Grbac - 4 seasons, 43 games, 18 TDs
1997 1st round Jim Druckenmiller - 2 seasons, 6 games, 1 TD
2000 2nd round Giovanni Carmazzi - 2 seasons, no games
2000 7th round Tim Rattay - 6 seasons, 32 games, 24 TDs
2002 5th round Brandon Doman - 2 seasons, no games
2003 7th round Ken Dorsey - 3 seasons, 12 games, 8 TDs
2004 7th round Cody Pickett - 2 seasons, 7 games
2005 1st round Alex Smith - 6 seasons, 54 games, 51 TDs
2009 5th round Nate Davis - no games

2011 2nd round Colin Kaepernick - TBD

Random Observations: 

- That's 15 QBs since Joe Montana was drafted until Kaepernick.  Only 7 have seen regular season playing time. 

- Of those 7 QBs, they've only logged a total of 154 games for the 49ers.  Montana himself played 167 regular season games as a 49er. 

- Those 7 QBs threw 102 TDs, Montana threw 244.  Okay, yes we are comparing a bunch of throwaway backups to the greatest of all time. 

- The other 49ers legend was acquired from Tampa Bay in 1987 - Steve Young: 150 starts for SF, really only about 8 years as a starter, 221 TDs for SF. 

- Jeff Garcia, signed in 1999, was the only other 49er QB of note in this time period.  He had 74 starts in 5 seasons, with 113 TDs as 49er. 

- As much as 49er fans hate Alex Smith, he is easily the most productive QB that we've drafted since Montana.  Now that could simply be because we drafted him 1st round and had to play him, but at least he's no complete and utter bust like Druckenmiller.  Drafting Jake Plummer there may have turned the fortunes of the entire franchise from 1999 on. 

- Of the 15 drafted QBs, only 3 were drafted in the top 4 rounds - Druckenmiller '97, Carmazzi '00 and Smith '05.  Kaepernick is the 4th. 

Because of Montana and Young dynasty, we didn't realistically need a QB until when Young went down in 1999.  Druckenmiller was supposed to be Young's heir apparent.  Instead of Carmazzi, we could have had Tom Brady in 2000.  And, of course Aaron Rodgers was there for the taking instead of Alex.  And, had we just stuck with Jeff Garcia after 2002, who had a 4 Pro Bowl caliber career, this last decade would have been much better. 

So basically, the 49ers have not drafted a true star at QB since 1979.  Okay, you say we didn't really try until 1997.  Well, here's hoping Kaepernick, 15 years later, is the answer.  (If not him, then Luck in '12!)

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