Big bounty in first round
"It couldn't have worked out more perfectly," Niners coach Dennis Erickson said. "We were able to fulfill both our goals. Our goal was to get as many picks as possible and still get the guy we wanted. We wanted (Woods) really badly. We got the guy we want, and more picks, too." Actually, the Niners were poised to select LSU receiver Michael Clayton with the No. 16 pick, but quickly made an about-face in their first-round strategy when Tampa Bay snatched Clayton with the No. 15 pick. The Niners traded with Philadelphia back to the 28th pick to add a second-rounder, then traded with Carolina back to the 31st pick to add a fourth-rounder. And there Woods was, a top-flight receiver just waiting to be had at the end of Round 1. "He's very polished," Erickson said. "He's probably the most polished guy in the draft. He's big, runs precise routes and he's made big plays in big games throughout his career. We feel like he can do that for the 49ers." Woods certainly had the numbers in college that could project to big-time success at the next level. A two-time All-American, Woods finished his career as the leading receiver in Big 12 Conference history and set an NCAA record with seven touchdown receptions in a victory over Southern Methodist last season. He had 42 touchdown receptions at Oklahoma State, including 15 last year and 17 as a junior in 2002. The Niners like his size, sure hands, relatively good speed – they timed him twice at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine – and ability to get physical and block downfield. "He has a passion for the game and has played against great competition all through his career," Niners receivers coach Eric Yarber said. "This guy is going to be a productive player in the NFL, just like he was a productive player at Oklahoma State." Yarber said he thinks Woods has the talent to move into a No. 1 receiving role with the 49ers, but it's going to take a lot of work and won't be handed to him. That's just fine with Woods. "I'm going to come in, play 100 percent and give all I can and just sell out for the team and organization," Woods said. "I'm going to work hard and do whatever it takes to get to that (top) level. I know what I'm doing out there. In understand the game better than most people. I'm able to play the game just about with anybody." After picking Alabama guard Justin Smiley with their second-round pick at No. 46, the Niners were able to grab Pittsburgh cornerback Shawntae Spencer with the No. 58 selection the team picked up in the trade down with Philadelphia.
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