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NFL Draft grades 2014: Mel Kiper, SB Nation and love the 49ers class

The San Francisco 49ers made four trades and selected 12 players in the 2014 NFL Draft. How does it grade out?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their 2014 NFL Draft class with 12 players filling a variety of depth needs. We can't accurately grade the 49ers draft for at least three or four years, but that's not going to stop us from taking a way too early look. Draft grades are trickling out, so it's time to break them down, including those from Mel Kiper, SB Nation and I've also attached a poll at the bottom so you can grade the draft class.


1(30). Jimmie Ward, defensive back, Northern Illinois
2(57). Carlos Hyde, running back, Ohio State
3(70). Marcus Martin, center, Southern California
3(77). Chris Borland, inside linebacker, Wisconsin
3(100). Brandon Thomas, offensive lineman, Clemson
4(106). Bruce Ellington, wide receiver, South Carolina
4(129). Dontae Johnson, cornerback, North Carolina State
5(150). Aaron Lynch, defensive end/outside linebacker, South Florida
5(170). Keith Reaser, cornerback, Florida Atlantic
6(180). Kenneth Acker, cornerback, Southern Methodist
7(243). Kaleb Ramsey, defensive end, Boston College
7(245). Trey Millard, fullback, Oklahoma


1. Traded No. 56 and No. 242 to Denver Broncos for No. 63, No. 171, 2015 4th round pick
2. Traded No. 63 No. 171 to Miami Dolphins for No. 57
3. Traded No 61 to Jacksonville Jaguars for No. 70, No. 150
4. Traded No. 94 to Cleveland Browns for No. 106, No. 180


SB NationA-

The 49ers are once again collected a lot of talented prospects later than some expected. They cleaned up on days one and two, drafting Jimmie Ward and Marcus Martin. They continued the strong drafting on day three with Bruce Ellington and Aaron Lynch. Ellington will add some speed to a group of receivers that lacks that. Lynch could end up being one of the steals of this draft. He was a day two talent who fell because of his lack of production and some character concerns. He's joining a strong locker room and should have a chance to develop.

Mel Kiper: A; Needs A-; Value A

The Niners just got so many good players. Jimmie Ward will cover, attack the line of scrimmage, and will play fast and fearless ... They got the No. 1 RB in the draft at No. 57. Frank Gore has a lot of miles on the odometer, LaMichael James may not be there long, and if Marcus Lattimore is your No. 1, you better have a 1-A ... Marcus Martin is a future starter at center, Chris Borland is immediate depth at linebacker and has the experience to play now. Brandon Thomas is another 49ers redshirt, but could be a star guard when he comes back (he hurt his knee this spring, but would have gone in Round 2 otherwise). Bruce Ellington isn't a far cry from Brandin Cooks, but he went 86 picks later. It goes on and on. Dontae Johnson is solid and Aaron Lynchhas developmental promise. I even like the pick at No. 245 -- Trey Millard is the top fullback in the draft and was another guy who dropped on some boards after a knee injury. "Passed with flying colors"

Trent Baalke was doing work the second and third day of the draft. After a terrific third and fourth rounds, he nailed a great value pick in Ellington and grabbed a big corner/defensive back in Johnson. Lynch has tremendous upside in San Francisco's defense. There are a few guys the team can stash away for the future too.

Pete Prisco - CBS Sports: B

I like Jimmie Ward in the first round, but they took some chance picks as well that could be boom-or-bust. I didn't like the pick of the back in the second round. This is a front office that knows what it's doing.