The San Francisco 49ers walked away from the 2016 NFL Draft with 11 players, and we have opinions about all of them. It is hard to say what was the best pick considering they've been members of the team for less than a week, but obviously we can opine on the subject.
Earlier this week, Todd McShay took a look at each team's draft class, and assessed who was the "best pick" for the respective draft classes. He was not deciding on the best player, but rather, the best pick based on team needs, player value relative to draft position, and who else was on the board when the player was picked. Obviously this is entirely subjective to McShay's opinions on players and team needs,
For the 49ers, McShay went with Appalachian State defensive end Ronald Blair. The 49ers selected Blair with the third pick of the fifth round. Here is what McShay had to say about the pick:
I had Blair in the top 100 and gave him a third-round grade; the 49ers got him in the fifth. At 6-foot-2, 284 pounds, Blair is a disruptive pass-rusher who has the versatility to play 5-technique in a 3-4. He likely fell a little bit because of his poor combine performance, but something was clearly off in Indianapolis because he showed drastic improvement in his measurables at Appalachian State's pro day. The more we watched Blair's tape, the more we liked it, which is always a good sign. San Francisco also snagged two good players in the sixth round -- RB Kelvin Taylor and WR Aaron Burbridge. I wouldn't be surprised if one or both wound up being contributors for the 49ers.
The 49ers have some nice depth on the defensive line, and right now, Blair would seem to be competing with Tony Jerod-Eddie, Mike Purcell, Garrison Smith, Kaleb Ramsey for opportunities. Jerod-Eddie and Purcell are likely at the top of that group for the time being, but Blair could replace one of them. Ian Williams' injury will be something to track, but Blair has a decent shot at snagging a roster spot from one of those two.
Who would you say qualifies as your "best pick" from last week's draft? DeForest Buckner would be a safe pick, but I think an argument can be made that he was the best pick. He could very well end up being the best player on the defensive line, and that could happen very soon. Kelvin Taylor is an intriguing one late in the draft. Any quarterback stands a chance of being viewed as the best pick down the road. I'm not going to assume he turns into anything of note, but I'm curious what we'll be saying about Driskel four or five years from now.