In the 1995 NFL Draft, the defending Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers traded a boatload of draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up to the No. 10 overall pick and select the wide receiver they coveted above all others (including Joey Galloway): J.J. Stokes.
We make fun of the Raiders’ obsession with 40 times, but the 49ers were definitely a little behind the times in ’95 when they gave up four picks (including a first-rounder in 1996 that ended up being Ray Lewis) for a receiver who ran a 4.66 before the draft. Stokes never went for 800 yards receiving in a season with the 49ers, and was the same sort of painful reminder of past drafts ruined to Niner fans as Mike Duneavy, Jr. was to Warrior supporters during his time in Oakland.
I don’t believe Michael Crabtree is going to be the second coming of the guy who took a loogie in the face from Bill Romanowski on Monday Night Football, partly because Crabtree’s 40 time looked to be somewhere in the 4.4-4.5 range. However, everyone was excited about Stokes when he was drafted, as shown in this dip into the San Jose Mercury News archives. Let’s hope Scot McCloughan is a better judge of receivers than Carmen Policy and George Seifert were.
–According to Michael Silver, McCloughan may be the only honest GM in the NFL after telling Silver this before the draft: “I know who I want, and it’s Michael Crabtree.“ McCloughan had answered instantly. “To me he’s a home run, an impact player who gives us something we don’t have. Now, I realize he’s not supposed to be there when we pick [10th overall], and I’m not going to trade up to get him. But this draft is so weird, and there are so many different scenarios floating out there, that I could see it happening.” (Yahoo)
–According to ESPN.com, you know what’s “now?” My Little Pony and unicorns, that’s what. (Fear The Beard)
–The Emmanuel Burriss situation has become something like when you eat crab and throw the shells into the trash under the sink after dinner. For a while you don’t notice anything, but over time your kitchen starts to stink so bad you have to send the trash to Fresno. Wait, I don’t mean to say Burriss is trash, he’s just an awful hitter who the Giants shouldn’t have promoted to the Majors this year or last. Grant agrees. Maybe not with the crab metaphor, but that the Giants have botched this whole Burriss thing. (McCovey Chronicles)
–Latest evidence that blogs have changed sportswriting forever: Henry Schulman just wrote that tonight’s game against the Dodgers, the 20th game of the season, is a “must-win game.” (The Splash)
–Four A’s were injured last night in Texas, including Nomar Garciaparra. Sounds like a pretty standard Tuesday. (Athletics Nation)
–Raider fans are trying to convince themselves that everyone’s wrong about their draft, and that Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Mitchell were both inspired picks by a team that prizes “speed, heart and a great motor.” Of course, everyone thought Stokes was a great fit for the 49ers back in 1995, so maybe the Raiders and their fans are right. At least we know DHB could run circles around Stokes. (Silver and Black Pride)
–While I agree with most of these grades Adam Lauridsen gives the Warrior bigs, an “A-” for Andris Biedrins is way too high for a starting center whose team played better when he was resting sprained ankles, and an “A+” is way too high for a backup center who doesn’t rebound. I agree with an “A” for Tony Randolph, of course. (Fast Break)