If you're a San Francisco 49ers fan, you might be thinking: "OK, so we have four picks in the fourth round of next week's draft. Big whoop. Why don't we trade some of them for an extra pick in the second round, or even a higher slot in Round 1?"Not so fast.If you were asked to field an NFL team out of 4 Brett Favre White jersey
fourth-round picks from the last 10 years, it would look something like this:Quarterbacks: David Garrard, Luke McCown, Seneca Wallace (OK, not much to get excited about here).Running backs: Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Marion Barber III, Onterrio Smith, Correll Buckhalter, Quentin Griffin, Michael Pittman (better).Fullback: Ovie Mughelli, Najeh Davenport (Davenport could play that position in a pinch).Wide receivers: Derrick Mason, Az-Zahir Hakim, Tim Dwight, Shaun McDonald, Brandon Lloyd.Tight end: Randy McMichael, Roland Williams.Offensive line: Edwin Mulitalo, Montrae Holland, Willie Colon, Dan Beunning, Jahri Evans (I probably missed a few here).Kicker: They are rarely picked this high.Defensive line: Jared Allen, Ryan Tucker, Dan Klecko, Elvis Dumervil, Alex Brown, Robert Geathers.Linebackers: Larry Foote, Demorrio Williams, Brady Poppinga, Shawn Barber, Brandon Short, Na'il Diggs, Leon Williams.Defensive backs: Asante Samuel, Deshea Townsend, Tyrone Carter, Antonio Perkins, Nathan Vasher, Ko Simpson.Return man: Darren Sproles.Punter: Josh Bidwell.True, this isn't a team likely to win the Super Bowl, but it's not bad.When thinking about the later rounds of the draft, it's important to consider a few things.There are 119 Division I-A football teams, which means a lot of talented seniors (and juniors) entering the market every year. All of these players can't go in the first three rounds.Scouts, like movie critics, are paid to find fault, although sometimes you have to wonder who prospective rookies are being compared to.JaMarcus Russell is a classic example -- he throws a football 80 yards, is reasonably mobile, has great size, has exhibited the ability to throw "touch" passes and has never been in trouble. So what could possibly be wrong with him? The scouts aren't sure he loves football enough.I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but could it be that these are things teams can use in contract negotiations? After all, how would you dicker with an agent whose client is deemed perfect?There are, of course, many college players who do have at least one glaring fault. That's why NFL position coaches are making NFL money, because of their ability to fine-tune the athletes Jets 6 Sanchez AFL50th jersey
under them. You could also compile a pretty formidable pro team out of players who supposedly weren't going to make it because of a gap in their game that was later filled.Granted, a guy who runs a 4.9 40 is never going to succeed as a pro receiver. But isn't way too much made of the difference between 4.4 and 4.5? That's less than the blink of an eye. And maybe the wide receiver in question has moves that make the minuscule speed differential between him and an elite cornerback irrelevant.Every draft year, there is a clump of 15-20 gifted players who are generally conceded to be All-Pros in waiting. Everyone else falls into the "Good player, but ..." category.The 49ers are not an elite team. Not yet. But they made great strides last year, and the addition of players like Nate Clements, Aubrayo Franklin and Tully Banta-Cain in free agency filled most of the team's most obvious holes. They have the luxury, then, of taking the "best available" option in the first round -- maybe DE Jamaal Anderson or LB Patrick Willis, both of4 Brett Favre Purple jersey
whom are ideal for a 3-4 defense. But they also need capable backups for QB Alex Smith and RB Frank Gore, as well as depth at nearly every other position.So trade those fourth-round picks (and, for that matter, the two picks in round three). But don't trade them lightly.RealFootball365.com: Where there's never an offseason for football!Tell your friends about us.