After weeks of chatter, the San Francisco 49ers made their move on Thursday, trading up in the first round to acquire LSU safety Eric Reid. Many thought they would move up to add wide receiver Tavon Austin or defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Instead, they addressed their safety position with a guy many consider the smartest defensive back in the draft.
Now that the first round is a wrap, we are starting to see some early draft grades. Obviously it is rather difficult to assess a player's potential at such an early stage. In reality, draft grades are most effective, if at all, when you get four or five years out. Nonetheless, I find it amusing to see what people think about the 49ers picks.
This year, so far, the response is positive. I'll add more draft grades in here as I see them, but for now, here are a few early grades:
SB Nation.com: B-plus "As expected, the 49ers moved up in the draft to go after the player they wanted. But did they really need to move up from No. 31 to 18 to get Reid? The answer is yes if you thought a team like the Bengals would pick Reid at 21. Besides, the 49ers have more draft picks than truly available roster spots, so why not go after the guy you like. Reid will fit fine as Dashon Goldson's replacement."
SI.com: B-plus "I'm not positive the 49ers had to move up this far for Reid, but they have the pick flexibility for a couple of these."
Rob Rang: A-minus "The Bucs paid big money to ex-49ers' safety Dashon Goldson, but Reid's speed, explosiveness and ball skills may make him an upgrade for San Francisco."
Pete Prisco: B "I like Reid to step in and start right away. This move up is aggressive by a team that could afford it. Solid job."
AL.com: B-plus "With 13 picks at the start of the draft, the 49ers were in a position to wheel and deal - and they made their first trade with Dallas to move up 13 spots to nab the safety out of LSU. It is a good pick for the 49ers, who were in need of help at safety. Reid is strong against the run and big hitter. The only thing keeping San Francisco from getting an "A" is that the 49ers likely did not need to move up so high to get Reid."
CSN Houston: C-plus "A lot of trades going on - the Niners target their guy, and move up to get him. After Kenny Vaccaro, the rest of the safety pack was given a second round grade. They lose some points for reaching, but Eric Reid's experiences in the SEC should lend heavily to making a quick impact for San Francisco."
These are just a few of what will be many draft grades today. When I am up and awake I'll add in some more grades as I see them.
MORE DRAFT COVERAGE
- First Round Winners, Losers
- 49ers Pre-Draft Roster
- Prospect Scouting Reports
- Consensus Top-400 big board