So what does everyone else think of the 49ers' draft class this year?
Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke gave the 49ers an "A" saying:
The 49ers traded up for S Eric Reid, who should replace Dashon Goldson. Then, they stole DE Tank Carradine at 40, TE Vance McDonald at 55 and WR Quinton Patton at 128. In between those picks, San Francisco also added quick DE/OLB Corey Lemonier and RB Marcus Lattimore, the latter of whom could be a star if his rehab from a catastrophic knee injury works out.
Sporting News' Vinnie Yer gave the 49ers an "A" saying:
They didn't waste their final tally of 11 picks. It was highlighted by replacing key veterans (LSU safety Eric Reid for Dashon Goldson, Rice tight end Vance McDonald for Delanie Walker) and stockpiling speedy pass rushers (Florida State's Tank Carradine, Auburn's Corey Lemonier). Because of the volume, they added another receiver to help Colin Kaepernick (Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton) and stash the ideal if-healthy successor to Frank Gore (South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore).
Rotoworld's Evan Silva gave the 49ers an "A" saying:
The rich got richer. The 49ers entered Thursday with an NFL-most 13 picks. GM Trent Baalke turned them into very arguably the most impressive haul in the league, along the way picking up a 2014 third-rounder in Friday's trade with the Titans. Only Reid and McDonald may be definite first-year contributors, but that's far more a testament to Baalke's roster building than his individual selections. Carradine is a to-the-whistle edge rusher who along with Lattimore could be "redshirted" as a rookie due to knee woes, before emerging as plus 2014 starters. Patton is a silky smooth route runner with ball skills and insurance on contract-year No. 1 wideout Michael Crabtree. Lemonier might have been a first-rounder had he not played on such a bad Auburn team. San Francisco is filthy rich with pass rush. Baalke is constructing a dynasty.
Fansided's Josh Hill gave the 49ers an "A" saying:
I’m under the impression that San Francisco pieced together the best draft out of anyone this year. They recognize that money doesn’t grow on trees and that they will lose guys like Justin Smith the way they lost Dashon Goldson. San Francisco dunked it’s bucket into the fountain of youth and came away with the team of the future. WHen the veterans leave, San Francisco will have more than enough capable guys to step up and that’s why this was such a brilliant draft.
Bleacher Report's Ty Schalter gave the 49ers an "A-" saying:
The San Francisco 49ers entered the draft with the shortest list of roster needs and the longest list of picks. After plenty of movement up and down, they ended up with a really, really nice class of picks.
Yahoo's Jason Cole also listed the 49ers as one of his draft winners saying:
The 49ers were particularly impressive this weekend as they filled in every major need they had with a safety (Eric Reid) to takeover for departed Dashon Goldson, a defensive lineman (Tank Carradine) to eventually replace Justin Smith, a tight end (Vance McDonald) to replace Delanie Walker and a potential star at running back (Marcus Lattimore) to eventually replace Frank Gore, assuming Lattimore returns to health. The only problem for the 49ers is that they drafted more players (11) than they can possibly keep.
Now as for the notorious ESPN's draft grades, John Clayton listed the 49ers as one of his draft winners in a rather lengthy explanation.
It's when we get to so-called draft gurus like Mel Kiper Jr. that I have a problem. I would post the basis for Kiper's lower draft grade this year, but he gave the 49ers a "C" for their 2011 draft class which produced studs like Aldon Smith, Kendall Hunter, Bruce Miller and franchise quarterback Colin Kaepernick. And if you still think he has any credibility at prognosticating, please remember that Kiper famously predicted that former #1 overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell could be an elite top 5 quarterback in the NFL (see 0:49 mark):
JaMarcus Russell NFL Draft (via hoopnhale45)
Anyways, it's interesting to see how the sports blogosphere has come around to admire Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke as draft gurus.