Niners rebuilding starts now

Mel Kiper says the San Francisco 49ers got the right man when they drafted Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick

Originally Published: April 22, 2005
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
Things kicked off as expected at the NFL draft with Utah quarterback Alex Smith going No. 1 overall to the 49ers and the picks are still rolling in. Be sure to check back all day for my instant analysis

1. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith (jr.), QB, Utah
The 49ers got a quarterback in Smith who is a proven winner and the smartest player in years to go from college to the NFL. He is extremely intelligent and understands schemes, and will be an extension of the offensive coordinator in the huddle. Smith is an accurate passer with good mobility -- he rushed for over 600 yards last season -- and once he fills out his frame to abou 225 pounds there won't really be a knock on him. He played in a complex scheme at Utah but was in the shotgun a lot, so adapting to being under center is probably his biggest concern right now. Still, the 49ers needed a quarterback to lead their rebuilding and become the face of the franchise and Smith fits the bill.


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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