I'm a Niners fan, and I know a lot about how our team was built and very little about how your team was built. I'm curious to see if there are any similarities.
There is a similar narrative in the national media for both teams which goes like this: They were bad for a long time, got lots of early draft picks and then finally found good coaches that brought sweeping changes but also could mold some of that talent - so now things are looking up!
I think both Schwartz and Harbaugh deserve a ton of credit for the turnarounds, but looking at the Niners roster I think there are 2 places where this narrative leaves out some important things about the Niners.
1) It's surprising how many players are left over from before Harbaugh. Not just top draft picks, the majority of our starters.
2) While drafting played a big role, we've roughly 1/3 of our major contributors through free agency, most of those before Harbaugh.
A summary of where we got our key players:
- Pre Harbaugh: 15 starters and 1 key reserve
- Post Harbaugh: 7 starters and 4 key reserves
- Total Acquired Through Draft: 15 starters and 3 key reserves (Nickel Back, 2nd TE, 2nd RB)
- Total Acquired Through FA: 7 starters and 2 key reserves (Dime back, 3rd WR)
After the jump I'll post a detailed breakdown of where and when we acquired the players you'll see on Sunday. If you don't care for the details, just skip it. But I'm curious to hear how your team was built.
Beyond top draft picks like Stafford, Suh and CJ there must be a lot of contributors we don't know about. Were they around in the lean pre-Schwartz years or were they acquired by the new regime? Does Schwartz get too much credit? Not enough? Is there an unsung hero in building this team?
PS - I know there is another ask NN thread, but I feel like those usually have a lot of smack talk and not so much information. Hopefully this discussion will be informative for everyone. Fingers crossed.
----Pre Harbaugh--- Era
2004: 1 starter: Sopoaga
2005: 2 starters: Alex Smith, F Gore
2006: 1 +1 key reserve: V Davis, Delanie Walker
2007: 5 starters: P Willis, Joe Staley, R McDonald, Goldson, T Brown
2008: 2 starters: J Smith, A Brooks
2009: 2 starters: Crabtree, A Boone
2010: 3 starters: A Davis, M Iupati, N Bowman
2012: 1 starter +2 key reserves: Moss, Manningham, Cox