Former NFL talent evaluator Scot McCloughan is now on Twitter and willing to bring you into his world of unique scouting insight. He’s also been willing to spill on personal endeavors in the league, including draft picks and the direction he sees his former teams trending. Given his background as one of the more successful execs in recent memory, this makes him one of the most intriguing follows for football fans.
It particularly plays to the hearts of 49ers fans, who watched McCloughan climb the ranks within the organization over five years, and lay the foundation for what Trent Baalke picked up and what Jim Harbaugh turned into a perennial contender. During that period, he was responsible for drafting a number of the league’s top players, including Patrick Willis, Joe Staley and Vernon Davis.
But the best draft pick he ever had in his career?
“Frank Gore,” McCloughan answered.
He even went on to admit his favorite moment, period, during his time in San Francisco was the drafting of Gore.
Gore, now 34 years old and three years removed from the 49ers, was a third-round pick out of the University of Miami in 2005. It was McCloughan’s first year with the Niners, when he held the rank of VP of Player Personnel. Most may remember that draft for the infamous Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers selection, but the real win was Gore, who, if he retired today, would have his very own bust in Canton.
Heading into the 2017 NFL season, Gore is the No. 8 all-time rusher (13,065). If he gets a modest 620 yards on the ground this season, he’ll leap Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis and recently inducted LaDainian Tomlinson, landing him in the top-5 all-time. If Gore has another 1,000-yard season, which would be the 10th in his career—say maybe 1,037 yards rushing—the only backs in history with more yards will be Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.
From a value standpoint, Gore is one of the best picks ever. It is no wonder McCloughan is proud of this one, especially considering so many doubted Gore coming off a torn ACL. The odds of him panning out, with no real outstanding physical traits other than his density and vision, were not very high.
It’s also noteworthy that McCloughan is putting Gore ahead of esteemed players like Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson, whom he helped bring into Seattle as a Senior Personnel Executive.
Media courtesy Sports Illustrated, Getty