Best and Worst NFL Draft Picks for Each Team in the Past Decade

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October 5, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) during player introductions before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi

San Francisco 49ers

Best Pick – Patrick Willis, LB, 11th Overall in 2007

The 49ers needed a franchise player on their defense during the mid 2000s, and they found their man with Patrick Willis in the 2007 NFL Draft. Willis has consistently been one of the elite middle linebackers in the league since his rookie season. Willis has been the heart and soul of the 49ers defenses for the past eight seasons. The 49ers have held some truly dominant defensive units with Willis in the middle of them.

Other selections considered:

Frank Gore, RB, 65th Overall in 2005

Vernon Davis, TE, 6th Overall in 2006

Joe Staley, OT, 28th Overall in 2007

Anthony Davis, OT, 11th Overall in 2010

Mike Iupati, OG, 17th Overall in 2010

NaVorro Bowman, LB, 91st Overall in 2010

Aldon Smith, OLB, 7th Overall in 2011

Worst Pick – Alex Smith, QB, 1st Overall in 2005

This pick may be a bit controversial because Alex Smith has turned his career around as of late (with a lot of help from Jim Harbaugh). However when you’re the number one pick, especially at quarterback, you’re supposed to become a very good to elite player for the team that drafts you.

Alex Smith was never that as he struggled immensely until Jim Harbaugh came and saved his career. Luckily Smith wound up in the hands of another offensive guru, Andy Reid, who has helped him maintain the success he started under Harbaugh.

Other selections considered:

Rashaun Woods, WR, 31st Overall in 2004

Kentwan Balmer, DT, 29th Overall in 2008

A.J. Jenkins, WR, 30th Overall in 2012