clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Flashback Friday: The 2011 NFL draft

We have the San Francisco 49ers great 2011 draft here to relive, a draft where three players currently remain

With Colin Kaepernick's bags being packed as we speak (unless if the San Francisco 49ers decide to hold onto him), it brought a realization that if he leaves, only two players from the once awesome 2011 draft remain. Keep in mind, this draft put Trent Baalke on the map and gave him the title of 'draft ninja'. Nowadays, that title seems laughably inappropriate to hand him given some of the big misses he's had following 2011.

Regardless, this draft was the first for him as the official general manager (he had a hand in 2010 and getting Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Navarro Bowman, etc. More on that in a different week) and the first for former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, and what a team they put together.

First came Aldon Smith, who lit up the league his rookie season as a pass rusher and he only got better from there. His second season saw him start as a full time outside linebacker (complete with him intercepting Tom Brady). After Smith, you had Kaepernick, Chris Culliver, Kendall Hunter, the list goes on. While all of the players selected weren't full time Pro Bowl starters, they were serviceable backups that you weren't worried about entering the game.

So who's left from this draft class? Well there's Bruce Miller, a defensive end in college who was converted to a Swiss army knife type of fullback (who still can be relied upon), and Daniel Kilgore, a guard who has been in and out of the starting lineup.

A lot has changed since this draft, but it's nice to see all those faces once again. We sure had something special going on. Sure, in hindsight we'd make changes to this, like take J.J. Watt over Aldon Smith (Watt may still be on the team if that happened), but as a whole, Baalke drafted good and it contributed to a lot of success in the 49ers' Harbaugh era.

I still like all the talks about Colin Kaepernick and how bad Jim Harbaugh wanted him. Seeing him drafted seems like yesterday.

Minutes before this went live, I found that to watch the video you'll have to go directly to YouTube. The NFL doesn't want these videos being seen or shared elsewhere. Go figure.