The O-Line Gains 654 lbs.

After allowing the league-worst 150 sacks over the past three seasons, the San Francisco 49ers finally addressed their biggest need. Before yesterday, the highest the 49ers have ever drafted a guard post-merger, was David Baas as the 33rd pick in the second round. In their entire history as a franchise, they’ve only drafted an offensive lineman in the first round four times. When considering Kwame Harris was the last of that group, it’s easy to understand why they’d be so hesitant to go that direction.

By now, you’ve read all about new acquisitions Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. I’m sure the majority of fans love the selections, as it speaks volumes about what the front office thinks about the current team. It’s not every year a team with two first rounders chose to focus solely on one aspect of the offense. The time time I can remember a team dedicating the draft to shoring up the offensive line is the Jets in 2006, when they took Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Center Nick Mangold. How’d that turn out for them? Well they finished fourth in the NFL in rushing last season, after finishing ninth the year before. I’d say they’re pretty happy with the results.

The selections of Davis and Iupati was a message. Not just the support Alex Smith receives for the first time in his career, but the real direction the team wants to go. With two 6’5”, 320+ pounders, the o-line is looking to be the over-powering force a running game needs to be. Frank Gore should be the happiest about the new guys because he’ll no longer have guys in his face right after he takes the hand-off. Ideally, we won’t see many plays like this:

1st and 10: Frank Gore rushes up the middle for no gain.

2nd and 10: Frank Gore rushes to the right for a 2 yard loss.

3rd and 12: Alex Smith is sacked for a 5 yard loss.

4th and 17: Andy Lee punts.

The defense is already the best in the division. Now with the power running game Mike Singletary covets, and a pass attack headlined by Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, the 49ers are evolving into the team that can conquer a weak division that got weaker when Kurt Warner retired.

For those wondering why the 49ers traded up two spots to get a tackle who probably would have been on the board at thirteen, sources have reported that they were paranoid that other teams, most notably, the Dallas Cowboys, would sneak in and snake the guy they wanted. For us fans who dream about being general managers, and run our fantasy teams like they matter, you know when you really want a guy, you have to do what is necessary to get him. Even if it’s questioned, the end result is you got the player you wanted.

The draft continues tonight, and for those that wanted Jimmy Clausen, well there’s still hope for you.  But I think a pass rusher and a corner back are higher on the list of needs.  There’s already three quarterbacks on the roster, and those that want to draft a quarterback are probably the same ones that wanted Nate Davis to get a shot last season.  I think Davis is a fine third stringer, and he is the reason a quarterback doesn’t need to be drafted.  Quite honestly, I think the team just needs depth at some spots like all teams, and they’re ready to win the west with the squad they have now.  Shawntae Spencer covered his guys like a true cover corner.  If Nate Clements can rebound from a horrid year, the top two corners should be fine.  Also, if Walt Harris can make a comeback, they’ll be good at the nickel as well.  Harris is older, but he’s been getting by on smarts and technique over athleticism for the past few seasons now.

Isn’t this three day draft extravaganza great?  After one day, there’s still six more rounds to watch.  What’s even more exciting is there is still, what people thought to be first round talent still available.  If Trent Baalke and the front office continue to make smart decisions, we’ll be looking at the first winning season in eight years.

Follow me on Twitter:  @jarrod49ersnews

I have been a 49ers fan my entire life and will continue to be one long after I'm dead. My plan for the afterlife is to haunt the Dallas Cowboys and ensure they will never win another Super Bowl. My favorite 49er of all time is Steve Young, and my favorite current 49er would probably be Alex Smith. (I take a lot of sh** for that, even from Niner fans.).
  • Don't forget protecting a certain star player in Frank Gore, over the past 3 or 4 years as Gore goes we go, when he had a monster game and his touches we were in the games if you got no prottection to keep your quaterback on their feet let alone open holes for your running back we wouldnt get anywhere.

  • This author sounds like, more of a fan then an objective reporter. What is up with all this optimism? The niners drafted two line men, and all of a sudden we have a playoff team. We wasted two first round picks to protect a player who has yet to show he is worth protecting, Smith. I don’t know whats in it, but everyone is drinking the Alex Smith kool-aid. Why are we accepting a qb? We should demand more. We should be looking for a game changer, a winner, Tebow. All he has ever done is win games, something the niners have failed to do for the last eight years.

  • I think we got to the point that we need to step up.what i mean by that..AS a 49er fan,its been 8 years we’ve been suffered tryin to get the goal we need..we’ve been punished by those other teams that under estimated us.sayin that.”THE 49ERS TIME HAS EXPIRED.” n that makes me mad.but as of today.GOD show the 49ers the best players that can fit our needs.i thank coach SINGLETARY n the coachin staff for fightin for the players we need n defently thats what we needed.we don’t need another QB.because the more rookie QB we get thats the more pain in the a** we get…not only their fresh milk.they don’t even have the NFL speed.the we run better if we stick to wat we have.n i’m sure guarantee that the 49ers is goin to the super bowl.n thats why i always have that sayin.ONCE A NINER , ALWAYS A GOD bless every fans of the 49ers the owner of the 49ers the coaches n especially the 49ERS…………………………………………………………………………………….

  • I have been a 49ers fan all of my life also and the main reason is because of the smart decision making our organization makes. Even though we had are bad times, we made good draft picks in the last 8 years and they’re all coming together. I have always liked the way that Alex Smith throws the ball, Nate Davis will be on someone else’s team if he plays because he is good also. But we have the best team that I have ever seen the 49ers with ever! I believe two Super Bowls in the next three years. Our Line and a safety with a chip on his shoulder along with a better specials team coach and returner. Who is going to be able to stop Crabtree, Morgan, Davis, Gore, Battle @ slot!!!! Every time we have the ball we should score! Our Defense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will be the BEST!!! in the NFC for sure!!! And we have a Christian Head Coach, Me and Jesus will be watching some football this season after church everyday!!!