Now that the 2013 draft is over, the media outlets, experts, bloggers, basement bloggers, and any sports fan with at least 4 fingers and an internet connection have set out to assign draft grades to the class. Assigning draft grades, much like mock drafts and draft stock (Think about it! Grading drafts is but a function of the mock drafts & draft stock, to grade the draft, you must use the arbitrary 'stock' with which the mocks were made, it's all the same thing, people.), are little more than a nice diversion for the news-starved period that is "the offseason". We're all guilty of playing the conjecture game, because it's a fun mental exercise, we can sharpen our debatin' stick, and makes for a nice passive aggressive way to let loose on the damn Seahawks. With this in mind, the more
jaded logical types say, "You've gotta wait until the 3rd year to grade the damn draft, stop wasting your time and my bandwidth".
Well, sports fans, you're in luck. 3 years has passed since the 2010 draft! Without further ado, your San Francisco 49ers draft class of 2010.
Before we jump to any of our own conclusions, let's see what the experts had to say about it...
Mel Kiper: B
By taking Anthony Davis, the left tackle with the highest upside in the draft -- emphasis on "upside" -- and then a lock to be a good NFL guard in Mike Iupati, the Niners are a better running team right now.
Taylor Mays at No. 49 is a good value selection, and the kid will be motivated, but I think we're past pretending he was a steal because of his size-speed combination. His tape fell really flat.
Navorro Bowman has size questions, but he's better than No. 91 overall.
Trading up to No. 11 to get Anthony Davis might have been an unnecessary move.
Having athletic tackles will help in Mike Iupati's adjustment to the NFL's speedier pass rushers. Few, if any, prospects in this draft presented Iupati's power as a drive blocker.
...Taylor Mays in the mid second. The intimidating presence over the middle fills a big area of need.
Third-round pick Navarro Bowman, on the other hand, was an odd choice, given that he lacks the size most teams are looking for in a traditional edge rusher.
Sixth-round pick Anthony Dixon could surprise as a goal-line back to spell Frank Gore. Sticking to their philosophy of controlling the line of scrimmage, the 49ers may have emerged as the NFC West favorite with this draft.
Best pick: Guard Mike Iupati was a nice pick with the 17th choice in the first round. He is a tough guy who will help the run game.
Questionable move: Taking safety Taylor Mays in the second round. I think he lacks cover skills that will show up in the NFL.
Third-day gem: I like running back Anthony Dixon, who was taken in the sixth round. He was a productive runner at Mississippi State.
Analysis: They landed two good offensive linemen with their first two picks, with Anthony Davis going first. I like that, but they took Mays too high, which drops the grade down.
Davis will likely take over as the Niners' starting left tackle by 2011, with Joe Staley moving to the right side.
Fellow first-round pick Mike Iupati will make Frank Gore's life a lot easier going forward.
Taylor Mays at 49th overall and sixth-round tailback Anthony Dixon were perhaps GM Trent Baalke's best picks. Mays will make Michael Lewis expendable while Dixon vies with Glen Coffee to be Gore's backup. Dixon is a thumping inside runner with underrated receiving skills.
Third-round pick Navorro Bowman isn't a great scheme fit
Sixth-round return man Kyle Williams and seventh-round defensive back Phillip Adams probably won't make the team.
Davis, Iupati, and Mays will be first-year starters. Though some of the team's later-round picks were uninspiring, the Niners are among the most improved teams in the league.
Fascinating stuff, really. The experts loved our first round lineman double dip. Most of them were overjoyed with the Taylor Mays picks, but then they also questioned the Bowman pick. Most of them included Anthony Dixon as a positive for this draft class. However, now that it has been three full years, I feel like we can now grade the class.
11th Pick Overall (1st Round) - Anthony Davis | Offensive Tackle | Rutgers
Although projected as a first round Left Tackle, Anthony Davis was seen to be a reach by some at pick #11. The third OT taken in the draft, he was picked (after a 2 spot trade-up) behind Trent Williams (WAS) and Russell Okung (SEA), both of whom have had trips to the Pro-Bowl. Davis, unfortunately, has not - but with that being said, he has certainly lived up to his high first round pick, as evidenced by the extension he signed this offseason. In the past three years, he has started all 16 games of each season. Despite a slow and tumultuous start to his young career, he has flourished into a cornerstone of this team.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: B-
2013 Try Grade: B
17th Pick Overall (1st Round) - Mike Iupati | Offensive Guard | Idaho
Projected as a sure first rounder selection, and the best Guard in the draft, Mike Iupati, like Anthony Davis, has also started all 16 games in each of the three years of his career. In those three years, he has quickly made a name for himself as one of the very best Guards in the game right now. Following the 2012 season, he was voted as a Probowl and All-Pro Guard. While his pass protection is well above average, he is known as an absolute mauler in the run game, and one of the best young players on this team.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: A
2013 Try Grade: A
49th Pick Overall (2nd Round) - Taylor Mays | Strong Safety | USC
Taylor Mays was supposed to be the next Ronnie Lott. Big, strong, fast, and from a highly respected USC football program. He was traded for peanuts (A 2013th 7th rounder) weeks before the beginning of the 2011 season. That draft pick (along with other peanuts draft picks from both sides) ended up as Colt McCoy. There's your silver lining.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: A+
2013 Try Grade: F
91st Pick Overall (3rd Round) - NaVorro Bowman | Linebacker | Penn State
Projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round OLB, the undersized Bowman came into a crowded LB corps in San Francisco. He provided depth in his first year, filling in for Patrick Willis in one start, while playing all 16 games in a back-up capacity. However, the loss of Takeo Spikes elevated NaVorro into a starting position opposite Patrick Willis, in which he has flourished. The past two years have seen Bo voted once as a Probowl, and twice as an All-Pro, MLB.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: A
2013 Try Grade: A+
173rd Pick Overall (6th Round) - Anthony Dixon | Running Back | Mississippi State
Projected as likely third day prospect (late second day at the very best), Anthony Dixon was quite a value pick for the 49ers in the 6th round. He was the rushing champion for the 2010 pre-season, and was thought by many to have a legitimate shot at play time when Glen Coffee left to serve a higher calling. Since then, he has been relatively quiet on the offensive front, but has worked towards becoming a special teams leader, and providing the team with extra versatility by learning the FB position as well. He's been on the team for 3 seasons as a 6th round back, and he's an absolute fan favorite.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: C+
2013 Try Grade: B
182nd Pick Overall (6th Round) - Nate Byham | Tight End | Pittsburgh
Off the team after one year, handed in a total of 45 yards and 1 touchdown. Workin' for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers these days. Although unimpressive and short-lived as a 49er, many 6th round fliers won't make the team at all.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: D
2013 Try Grade: D+
206th Pick Overall (6th Round) - Kyle Williams | Wide Reciever | ASU
Has managed to stay with the team for the last 3 years as a slot guy. Despite a controversy-filled and injury-ridden young career, he's still a 49er, and a fan favorite for the non-bandwagoners. I said it. Sue me. His production hasn't been the greatest, but his value as a role player is undeniable.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: B
2013 Try Grade: C+
224th Pick Overall (7th Round) - Phillip Adams | Cornerback | South Carolina State
Has bounced around the league, having been employed by 4 teams over the past 3 years. Played an entire year for the 49ers before being released at the beginning of the 2011 season. Had a pair of picks for Oakland last year, good on him. He made the team as a 7th round pick, and is still employed, although not with us.
2010 Niners Nation Grade: B
2013 Try Grade: D+
OVERALL 2010 Niners Nation Draft Grade: B+
OVERALL 2010 Try Draft Grade: B+
We found a pair of above-average starters in the top half of the first round. Although busts happen, the highest grades shouldn't be given out because "you didn't screw the pooch". The team did what was necessary on the first day and found a pair of starters, one who happens to be an All-Pro. The horrible Taylor Mays selection is almost overlooked by finding a multiple All-Pro in the 3rd, and a pair of role players in the 6th.
Last... Just to
embarrass some of ya'll give you guys something to look at after skipping the entire article and going directly to the poll, here's some great reactions, too.
that’s a fucking "L" you idiot.by mikev on Apr 22, 2010 | 9:25 PM
I’d love if he said about the teams that passed on him: SUCK IT BITCHES!by David Fucillo on Apr 22, 2010 | 10:16 PM
There’s no way Taylor Mays is out of the league in 5 years. He’ll immediately be one of the best special teamers in kick/punt coverage in the NFL.by youALREADYknow on Apr 23, 2010 | 7:31 PM
I am happy with this. I have to be. He will add a lot of speed to the defense and be a seamless transition from Michael Lewis.by James Brady on Apr 23, 2010 | 7:24 PM
I've saved the best for last...
Book it please.by youALREADYknow on Apr 23, 2010 | 7:22 PM