Did 49ers strike gold in draft again?

Rest assured, 49ers fans. The Niners hit winners on "a lot" of the 10 players they selected on NFL Draft weekend. Terry Donahue says so. And in his first 11 months as San Francisco's general manager, Donahue hasn't been wrong yet. "They're going to be on our football team when the 53-man roster comes out," Donahue proclaimed late Sunday afternoon after the draft marathon finally finished. "You can bet on it."

 It's difficult these days to bet against Donahue, who hasn't made one false move since he took over as the team's operational chief from Bill Walsh last May.

 Donahue guided the rebuilding franchise last fall as the Niners doubled their win total from the previous year while producing a surprising 12-4 season. In recent months, he somehow kept together a team still mired in salary-cap hell by signing his own top unrestricted free agents while also bringing in some top free agents from the outside.

 Now he wants to tell everybody that the Niners have scored again in the draft. For those counting, that would make three terrific San Francisco drafts in a row.

 "We had a really good two days," Donahue said. "We added a lot of good football players to our team."

 There is little doubt that first-round pick Mike Rumph and third-rounder Saleem Rasheed fit that description. Those guys look like sure-fire studs along the lines of the many fine defensive players the Niners have drafted the previous two years.

 But among his eight picks on Sunday, Donahue selected a kicker in the fourth round, a defensive tackle coming off major knee surgery, an offensive guard with a back problem, a quarterback whose arm strength has been questioned and a few other prospects that seem at long odds to make a dent on the roster.

 But Donahue is on a roll. Who's to question the quality of this draft, particularly when the GM with the Midas touch is convinced it's another bonanza? Based on the events of the past 11 months, we're inclined to believe it is so until proven otherwise.

 Only time will tell. But these days, time sure appears to be on the 49ers' side. And that's quite a change from just a short time ago.

 "When the final analysis is in, I think the final analysis will be we had a lot of success these two days," Donahue said, before making sure to add, "I don't think the team is done being shaped. We'll see what other opportunities we have to continue to upgrade the team. We're not going to stop."


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