The close of the draft each year brings all sorts of discussion and analysis about players who often have yet to even put on the jersey of their new team. The San Francisco 49ers had their rookie minicamp this weekend, but even before it kicked off, there has already been plenty of analysis and speculation about the future of each draft pick.
Last week, the folks at NFL.com put together a look at the best and worst draft picks for each team from the 2015 NFL Draft. They have a staff of college football-specific writers, and they took a look at each team's picks, and combined it with their look at the value of the pick, and the fit on the given team's roster. There is value in having college football writers break down the value of a given player. However, given that these are more college football focused writers, considering NFL team roster fit is a bit harder to swallow. They are certainly not idiots, but I'm guessing they are not able to spend nearly as much time as is necessary to fully understand a roster.
Here are Niners Nation, we can focus exclusively on the 49ers roster. We will look at other rosters and draw some conclusions, but we all know it is more for informational purposes than drawing hard conclusions. And it opens the door for some fun discussion.
Here is what NFL.com college football writer Chase Goodbread had to say for the best and worst of the 49ers draft:
Best: LB Eli Harold, Round 3 (No. 79 overall)
Harold has an explosive first step and could have been drafted much earlier. San Francisco has its share of pass rushers, so a big rookie impact can't be assumed, but Harold at worst provides depth and future promise in a crucial area.
Worst: DB Jaquiski Tartt, Round 2 (No. 46 overall)
Tartt represented a second-round talent and 49ers GM Trent Baalke indicated it was a value pick (best player available), but where is the fit here? Cornerback was the greater need in the secondary, and the inside linebacker position could have been addressed with Denzel Perryman. Once Perryman was picked two spots later, the options to replace retirees Patrick Willis or Chris Borland went downhill quickly.
The 49ers decision to not select a cornerback reflects one of two things. The team is comfortable with their current cornerbacks or they were not happy with this year's class of cornerbacks. In reality it is likely a combination of both. This draft indicates they could not grab a clear home run in the first (either there was not one available, or they were not comfortable with the picks required to move up for one), and/or there was no under-the-radar option they loved. Whatever the case, the impressions of the national media (and even some of us) do not match up with how the 49ers viewed the cornerback position heading into the draft.
It is too early to say who will be a bust and who will be a success, but given your own thoughts about the team's needs, do you have a favorite and least favorite draft pick? As an Andy Lee fan, the Bradley Pinion is not my favorite pick. The 49ers obviously targeted him highly, so I can't say it was a "bad" pick, but I can certainly say I could see other options. Hopefully he proves me wrong.
The Eli Harold pick is definitely a favorite, and I like the Mike Davis and DeAndre Smelter picks. If I had to go deep down, it would be Busta Anderson. He has plenty of work to do to develop into an NFL tight end, but there is a lot of talent there. I am really intrigued.
Who are your favorite and least favorite picks, or best and worst if you are so inclined?