49ers draft list: Biggest first-round busts

SFI will run a series of 49ers draft lists leading up to the 2006 NFL draft April 29-30 in New York City. Today: The 12 worst first-round draft choices ever to play for the team – and, yes, WR Rashaun Woods checks in near the top of the list.

1. QB Jim Druckenmiller, 1997: Selected to be the heir apparent to Steve Young, Druckenmiller was a complete bust and was gone after two seasons. The 49ers could have drafted Jake Plummer here, but instead took the strong-armed Druckenmiller, who developed no touch on his passes, ran into legal problems and clearly demonstrated he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed during his brief stay with the team, which ended with Druckenmiller owning a 40.4 completion percentage and 29.2 quarterback rating.

2. DT Reggie McGrew, 1998: McGrew was injured and overweight and made no impact in his three seasons with team. The fallout of McGrew's futility was lessened by the strong comeback of Bryant Young from a career-threatening leg injury. Part of the reason for selecting McGrew over others who went onto NFL success was as insurance if Young couldn't make it back. But McGrew still was a wasted first-round pick at a time when the 49ers seriously needed to start addressing the replenishment of their roster.

3. LB Tom Stolhandske, 1953: Played just one season with the 49ers – but it came two years after he was drafted.

4. CB Tim Anderson, 1971: Was a huge disappointment and played just one season with the team, making virtually no impact in a secondary he was supposed to strengthen.

5. WR Rashaun Woods, 2004: Woods slides into the top five after being abruptly traded Thursday to the San Diego Chargers. Woods may salvage his career elsewhere, but his numbers in San Francisco solidify his standing as a bona fide first-round bust: Just 14 games played in two seasons with team, no starts, seven receptions and just one touchdown. And it wasn't as though Woods was competing for playing time against top-flight competition.

6. HB Jim Pace, 1958: Averaged just 3.1 yards on 52 carries in his only season with the team.

7. CB Mike Holmes, 1973: Started six games as a rookie, then was out of the NFL by his second season. Like Anderson in 1971, Holmes was brought in to replenish an aging San Francisco secondary while the 49ers still were on top of the NFC West. Holmes failed, and the Niners began their slow slide in the standings.

8. DB Dana Hall, 1992: Hall was supposed to be the second coming of Ronnie Lott, but he never came even remotely close. Hall was handed the starting free safety position on a championship team as a rookie, but he'd lost that position to a converted cornerback (Merton Hanks) by his second season and lost the position again to Hanks in 1994 – this time for good – after Deion Sanders joined the team in October. Hall was gone after three years with the team.

9. WR Terry Beasley, 1972: Beasley was a bust with the 49ers after a big-time college career. Sort of sound a bit like Woods? Well, at least Beasley started six games in his final year in San Francisco and averaged 14.9 yards on 38 receptions during his four seasons with the team.

10. TE Ken MacAfee, 1978: He was supposed to be the Niners' next great tight end, but produced just 46 catches in his two seasons with team.

11. QB Steve Spurrier, 1967: Spurrier never lived up to his Heisman Trophy hype and didn't become the successful heir to John Brodie that the team was looking for. He showed some flashes at various times during his nine seasons with team, but finished as nothing more than a journeyman starter after leading the 49ers in passing just two of those nine seasons. He still ranks seventh on the team's all-time charts with 5,250 yards passing and 33 touchdown passes, but those numbers were a result of longevity and Spurrier's career ranks as a considerable disappointment.

12. WR J.J. Stokes, 1995: Stokes had a few decent seasons, but considering what the Niners gave up to get him, he was a big disappointment. The 49ers relinquished two first-round draft choices, a third-round pick and a fourth-rounder to acquire Stokes, who never became the big-bodied complement to Jerry Rice the team was looking for. By the time Rice was nearing his end with the 49ers, Terrell Owens had zoomed past Stokes as the team's leading pass target.

Niners Digest Top Stories