The close of the NFL Draft means everyone and their brother is providing their take on the various draft classes. Due to the overwhelming nature of draft grades, people try and get at least a little creative. In recent years, CBS Sports has gone the path of a grade combined with a look at the best pick, a questionable pick, a third-day gem and final analysis.
Best pick: I love the pick of Corey Lemonier in the third round. He will covert to an outside rusher in their 3-4 and make a nice transition.
Questionable move: Using two picks on two players coming off major ACL injuries. Then again, they can afford to do it.
Third-day gem: Fourth-round pick Quinton Patton, a receiver from Louisiana Tech, has second-round talent. He put up some big numbers against some good teams.
Analysis: They did a nice job trading up to get safety Eric Reid in the first round to fill a major hole on the defense. They then added a lot of quality college players the rest of the way.
There are a variety of ways to look at a "best pick". Is it the guy who looks to be the best player, or is it somebody you get after the first round who would be a great value? Once the draft is over, does the round actually matter? Someone on either NFL Network or ESPN mentioned that, and I can agree to a certain extent. I suppose round would bring up players passed on, so there's always that. In that case though, it's strictly looking at the position, not players at other positions.
If I had to pick a "best pick", I would look toward who could prove to be the best player in this class, three, four, whatever years down the road. Marcus Lattimore is the easy call, but moving past that, I could see Quinton Patton possibly filling that spot. The exciting thing about this year's 49ers draft is that you could point to several guys as a potential "best pick". Eric Reid is a guy the 49ers believe in, and he'll get a chance to start right away. Tank Carradine is rehabbing a torn ACL, but if he gets back to 100%, he's another guy who could be a big impact player.
It's hard to point to any questionable moves at this early juncture. Obviously some people like certain players at a given position over others, but other than that, the ACL injuries are the only significant concern. You can point to the later round picks, but it's hard for late day three picks to be "questionable" now, or really ever. You want to hit on them, but it's a roll of the dice a lot of the time.
Patton looks like the best day three gem, and of course Lattimore would fall into that category to a certain extent. To go a little less obvious, I'll go with Carter Bykowski. The 49ers are probably looking to find a swing tackle, so Alex Boone does not have to be the primary backup behind Joe Staley and Anthony Davis. Of course, Bykowski could very well be battling a UDFA for that possibility. The 49ers are expected to sign Luke Marquardt as an undrafted free agent. Those are two big boys who will do battle for a roster spot.
Who do you have down as best pick, questionable pick, and best late pick?