As many fans know, the draft is a crapshoot. Many projected stars never make it while gems are sometimes found in the far reaches of the draft.
Dwight Clark, a 10th-round draft pick, comes immediately to mind. Without his miraculous Catch against Dallas, we may be looking back on a different history.
This season is no different, and the 49ers showed their willingness to take a shot at two young men with tremendous upsides, as well as some behavioral problems.
The first is Alex Boone, a 6'8" 328 giant offensive tackle from Ohio State.
He admits to having an alcohol problem since the age of eight and was arrested for DUI in 2006 (blood alcohol double the legal limit). His recent arrest in Southern California, where he had to be tasered twice by police to subdue him, resulted in his being overlooked completely in this year's draft.
At Ohio State, Boone exhibited steady play, durability, and a willingness to work. He was a four-year starter who was named All-Big Ten the past two seasons.
Boone is ideally suited to play right tackle in the pros.
Ricky Jean-Francois (Frenchy) "The Freak"
Ricky Jean-Francois (Frenchy), a 6'5" 295 lb. defensive end, seems to have a knack for saying the wrong things at the wrong time.
Ricky was an outstanding shot putter for the track team at LSU with a best throw of 59' 1 3/4", as well as a top-rated defensive lineman.
He played in 25 games for LSU, starting nine times. He capped his career with 56 tackles, 10 tackles for losses and 5.5 sacks. Ricky was named defensive MVP of 2007 BCS National Championship Game.
Both of these players possess the athletic ability and potential to become established NFL stars and present the kind of challenge that Mike Singletary looks forward to as he develops his team.
Frenchy is a high-energy defensive lineman who will very likely contest Ray McDonald for the last available spot on the defensive line. He comes up big in big games, and his size, strength and speed bode well for his future as part of the 49er defense.
These two will bear close watching as training camp nears.
The SF 49er Observer
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