BREAKING: The 49ers 2012 NFL Draft class has not turned out well


The San Francisco 49ers 2012 draft class has not turned out too well. We take a look at it from a slightly analytical perspective. Not that it tells us anything too different from what we already knew.

I know this is probably shocking news to people, but yes, the San Francisco 49ers 2012 NFL Draft class has not really turned out all that well.

I bring this up now because we've had some discussion around the network about how awful the 2009 NFL Draft was. Mocking the Draft put together a rundown of some of the worst picks. Elsewhere, Acme Packing Company took a division-by-division look at the draft using Pro Football Reference's Career Approximate Value. It's not a perfect system, but it's one fun way to check things out.

We'll get back to the 2012 draft in a second, but the 2009 draft was not exactly a spectacular performance. The 49ers got Michael Crabtree, who has produced a better Career Approximate Value than the rest of the class, three times over! Ricky Jean-Francois was next with 4 CarAV while with the 49ers. Glenn Coffee and Scott McKillop were at 2, and Curtis Taylor was at 1. But at least the 49ers got a great wide receiver out of it in Crabtree.

Back to the 2012 draft. We don't really ned Pro Football Reference's help to surmise that the 49ers had an awful draft in 2012. For a quick reminder, that class included:

1 (30). A.J. Jenkins, WR
2 (61). LaMichael James, RB
4 (117). Joe Looney, OG
5 (165). Darius Fleming, LB
6 (180). Trenton Robinson, S
6 (199). Jason Slowey, OL
7 (237). Cam Johnson, OLB

But their draft database is helpful in putting some numbers on it. You can sort by team, which allowed me to figure out the total Career Approximate Value attained by each team's draft class. The table below features a rundown of each team's total picks, All Pro players, Pro Bowlers, total years started, career AV and career AV divided by total picks. Some teams had a lot more picks than other teams, providing them a chance to attain more total Career AV.

I realize this is far from scientific. We could potentially try and weight picks by when they were in the draft. And it does not factor in trades. But for something quick and dirty, I think it's good enough for our purposes. If anybody feels like taking a deeper dive in a FanPost, you're more than welcome.

Team # of picks All-Pros Pro Bowls Years Started Total CarAV CarAV/Pick Top Players
Seahawks 10 0 2 6 83 8.30 Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner
Buccaneers 7 1 1 6 50 7.14 Lavonte David, Doug Martin
Rams 10 0 0 8 71 7.10 Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins
Eagles 9 0 1 5 62 6.89 Nick Foles, Mychal Kendricks, Fletcher Cox
Panthers 7 1 1 4 47 6.71 Luke Kuechly, Amini Silatolu
Colts 10 0 2 9 66 6.60 Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton
Patriots 7 0 0 5 43 6.14 Chandler Jones, Don’t'a Hightower
Washington 9 0 2 4 52 5.78 Robert Griffin III, Aldred Morris
Dolphins 9 0 0 8 52 5.78 Ryan Tannehill, Olivier Vernon
Vikings 10 1 2 8 57 5.70 Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith
Browns 11 0 0 10 62 5.64 Mitchell Schwartz, Brandon Weeden
Titans 7 0 0 3 38 5.43 Zach Brown, Kendall Wright
Broncos 7 0 0 3 37 5.29 Derek Wolfe, Danny Trevathan
Ravens 8 0 0 4 41 5.13 Courtney Upshaw, Kelechi Osemele
Bengals 10 0 0 4 49 4.90 Kevin Zeitler, Marvin Jones
Chiefs 8 0 1 4 38 4.75 Dontari Poe, Jeff Allen
Falcons 6 0 0 5 28 4.67 Peter Konz, Lamar Holmes
Jaguars 6 0 0 1 27 4.50 Justin Blackmon, Mike Harris
Jets 8 0 0 4 34 4.25 Demario Davis, Quinton Coples
Bears 6 0 1 2 25 4.17 Alshon Jeffery, Shea McClellin
Bills 9 0 0 7 36 4.00 Cordy Glenn, Stephen Gilmore
Texans 8 0 0 4 30 3.75 Whitney Mercilus, Ben Jones
Chargers 7 0 0 3 25 3.57 Kendall Reyes
Lions 8 0 0 1 28 3.50 Riley Reiff
Saints 5 0 0 2 17 3.40 Akiem Hicks, Corey White
Steelers 9 0 0 5 27 3.00 Kelvin Beachum, Mike Adams, David DeCastro
Cardinals 7 0 1 2 21 3.00 Michael Floyd, Bobby Massie
Giants 7 0 0 1 18 2.57 Rueben Randle, David Wilson
Raiders 6 0 0 1 14 2.33 Miles Burris
Packers 8 0 0 2 18 2.25 Nick Perry, Mike Daniels
Cowboys 7 0 0 2 15 2.14 Morris Claiborne
49ers 7 0 0 0 2 0.29 LaMichael James

Yep, the draft was bad. The 49ers were dead last in Career AV and Career AV per pick, and it really wasn't even close. The two points come entirely from LaMichael James. Joe Looney could still boost this class if he develops into a bigger part of the rotation, but compared to the other classes, this isn't changing much.

Pro Bowls and All Pro nods are not the greatest category for this group since they've only been playing for two seasons. Even the years started stat doesn't tell us everything. I had to add in Blair Walsh's two years as a starter for the Vikings. PFR listed him as no years started. I realize he's just a kicker, but I think he qualifies as a starter in this regard. I do wonder how they qualify nickel backs in this kind of thing. If Jimmie Ward wins the 49ers nickel back job this season, he'll potentially play more than half the 49ers snaps. I realize that's not the same as potentially Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver (or Chris Cook, or whomever), but I think there can be consideration for him as a "starter" in that sense.

All that being said, yep, the 49ers 2012 draft class was not good. I realize drafts usually require anywhere from 3-5 years before we can really assess it, but for the most part, we know what this draft has generated for the 49ers. I can imagine there are plenty of other ways to describe this draft class, many of which would violate site decorum rules. Let's hope we don't see anything like this again in the near future.

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