By Frank Luna
The San Francisco 49ers made it to the NFC Championship last season on the strength of their defense and in spite of a sometimes lethargic and underperforming offense.
This off-season they have managed to keep their defense intact, which allowed them to address their many offensive needs in the draft.
Picking up Illinois receiver A.J. Jenkins was a start but the impact player for their draft may well be the second pick, Oregon’s LaMichael James. I love this pick because it reminds me of the Philadelphia Eagles a few years back when they picked Cal’s speedster DeSean Jackson in the second round.
NFL scouts thought he was undersized and fragile despite his lightning speed and ability to find the end zone. He proved every one wrong and you can easily chalk up several victories because of his game changing acumen. James is that same kind of player only more durable. If you ever saw him at Oregon, it was hard to deny that he had the ability to score from anywhere on the field any time he touched the ball.
And as with DeShawn Jackson, it doesn’t matter how big you are if they can’t catch you, and very few can match James’ speed in the open field. Even when he doesn’t have the ball, James is the type of player that has to be accounted for, which should help loosen up opposing defenses.
Now if Coach Harbaugh can get Alex Smith to hit his receivers on or about the numbers, the Niners’ offense could be dangerous this season.