Obviously teams don't count on sixth rounders to be saviors, but every so often they find a diamond in the rough. The best sixth round example, of course, is New England quarterback Tom Brady, who lasted until the 199th pick of the 2000 draft and has gone on to lead the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles.
Brady himself was a compensatory pick.
Last year's sixth round pick for San Francisco was tight end Bear Pascoe out of Fresno State. Unfortunately for the 49ers, the rookie dropped way too many passes during training camp and his blocking was downright poor, so he never even made the team, getting cut before catching on with the New York Giants.
The sixth rounder from the year before, receiver Josh Morgan out of Virginia Tech, has worked out a lot better. He impressed coaches immediately with his toughness and athleticism, and earned enough playing time to finish his rookie season with 20 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns. As a full-time starter in 2009, Morgan grabbed 52 passes for 527 yards and three more scores and seems well on his way to a promising career.
Perhaps the best sixth round pick the 49ers have made in their recent history is punter Andy Lee, who was taken with the 188th pick out of Pittsburgh in the 2004 draft. Lee's gone on to become a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 2007.
Will a sixth round selection turn into another Lee or Morgan (or dare we dream, another Brady) for the 49ers? We won't know that for a while, but having another pick in what's being billed as the deepest draft since 1983 can't hurt.
The 49ers now have nine draft picks in all:
Two 1st rounders (13th and 17th overall),
a 2nd rounder(49th),
a 3rd rounder (79th),
a 4th rounder (113th),
a 5th rounder (145th),
two 6th rounders (182nd and 206th),
and a 7th rounder (224th).