Usually when Pete Carrol and Jim Harbaugh find themselves in the same sentence it isn’t because one, or especially, both, of them have done something that leaves all of us scratching our heads and wondering if they blew it.
Carrol and Harbaugh have been linked together since Harbaugh pounded the rock into the end zone late in the 4th Quarter while his Cardinal were well on their way to a 55-21 victory over the Trojans in 2009: (You can witness the “What’s Your Deal” exchange below)
Now, they are linked by the fact that they coach the two teams who have represented the NFC West in each of the last two Playoffs.
Today, they are linked by the fact that they BOTH have me scratching my head.
Let’s start with the 49ers. Owners of the 30th pick in the draft and with some solid cornerbacks, offensive and defensive linemen on the board, they drafted from a perceived need. They went out and reached for A.J. Jenkins, a solid, but, unspectacular receiver from Illinois.
Don’t get me wrong, A.J. had a great year last year and he MAY be a nice player to team up with Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree, but, there are already nine receivers on the roster.
It seems to me like drafting a great value pick on the O-Line, Cordy Glenn, Peter Konz or Jonathan Martin or spending that pick on the defense, where there is still a ton of value; Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, Janoris Jenkins, Casey Heyward or Courtney Upshaw wuld have made more sense.
Then there is always Coby Fleener who may be the best player still on the board and would be, in my opinion, a better receiving option than Jenkins who is the same receiver type as Ginn Jr. and Manningham.
If there is any consolation, maybe Fleener and Martin aren’t that good. They both played under Harbaugh at Stanford.
Now, it’s time for the “Head and Shoulders” head scratching pick of the day:
Most boards had West Virginia Linebacker, Bruce Irvin, ranked in their Top 50. It was probably ONLY the Seattle Seahawks that had him ranked in the Top 15.
Now, before I get too crazy about a player whose past may have even kept him off of some boards, I need to point out that Irvin is lightning quick for a Linebacker and can be an outstanding zone blitzer.
With that being said, and I mean this in the best possible way, “Pete, what were you smoking?”
It is apparent that the fact that Carol recruited Irvin hard out of High School played into this decision and in Pete’s mind he got HIS guy, but, as many of us used to say to Al Davis when he was reaching for Mike Mitchell or Darius Heyward-Bey, “He would have been there in the second round!”
There are no guarantees that he would have been there in the second round, but, when you pass up the boatload of talent that was still available in the middle of the first round, Mercilus, Coples, Kirkpatrick, DeCastro, McClellin, Chandler Jones, Kendall Wright and the list goes on, you’d better be right.
So, for all of you Carrol or Harbaugh haters out there, get your chuckles in now, because they definitely overreached on players that may not even start on their teams next year and passed on some blue chip prospects.