Every year when free agency starts, I usually dig up videos of the San Francisco 49ers’ previous drafts for us to see some of those picks. The greatness that is modern technology lets us look back and laugh at analysts’ praise of future duds or their ridicule of future gems.
Youtube user Marvin49 collects the drafts every year and posts the videos up for everyone to see. Today, we’ll look at 2015.
With the ‘mutual parting ways’ of Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers were thought to have the perfect replacement in mind for the winning, but headache-inducing former head coach: Adam Gase, offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. At the absolute last minute however, things changed and all of the sudden, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was announced as the new head coach.
The press conference was a disaster (we’ll need to re-examine that in the future), but nothing was more disastrous than Jim Tomsula. To quote Jim Pesci from the epic movie Casino: “This guy could [site decorum] up a cup of coffee.”
But we wouldn’t know that until later. With Tomsula’s very small sampling of head coaching in America, and Jim Harbaugh’s departure, most were wondering what the draft would entail now. Things weren’t helping when numerous retires and free agency departures gutted the once untouchable roster. General manager Trent Baalke’s depth was now being called upon for starting roles, and he had to find immediate starters in this draft.
It began with the pick of Oregon defensive end Arik Armstead— a predictable pick that wound up getting a lot of people focusing on the negatives when his name was called (it almost sounded like he was a terrible pick if you listened to the ESPN honks). While a bit underwhelming, Armstead did show he had promise in his first season, however a shoulder injury in his second season has brought back a multitude of questions.
Following Armstead came Jaquiski Tartt. A small school player, Tartt was highly touted as a kid that would light up anyone. In his first season, Tartt showed some promise filling in for an injured Antoine Bethea, but also showed his weaknesses, most notably in coverage.
Other highlights include Trenton Brown, a very big kid out of Florida who many thought may have a difficult time playing tackle in the NFL. He started all 16 games for the 49ers in 2016, for better or worse. He also would later be quoted by Denver Broncos lineman Von Miller as a guy who was difficult to get around. Eli Harold was considered a steal of a pick in the 3rd round, but he seems to have had some issues getting himself into the starting lineup consistently.
The rest? We’re still waiting. We’re at that point in the draft rewind where we are still waiting to see the talent emerge on some of these guys. DeAndre Smelter joined as a member of the ACL All-Stars, and had his first catch last season, but not much else. Blake Bell has some promise as a decent tight end, but hasn’t exactly shown anything to stand him apart from anyone else and Mike Davis? Let’s just say cheetos should cease production due to his love of the snack food and its detriment to his development.
As always, the DMCA biscuits from the NFL have this thing flagged, so many of you will have to go to YouTube to watch the video. Sorry, they just don’t like us showing free film that isn’t available. By any other means.
Round 1 - Pick 17 - Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Round 2 - Pick 46 - Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
Round 3 - Pick 79 - Eli Harold, LB, Virginia
Round 4 - Pick 117 - Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma
Round 4 - Pick 126 - Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
Round 4 - Pick 132 - DeAndre Smelter, WR, Georgia Tech
Round 5 - Pick 165 - Bradley Pinion, P, Clemson
Round 6 - Pick 190 - Ian Silberman, OT, Boston College
Round 7 - Pick 244 - Trenton Brown, OT, Florida
Round 7 - Pick 254 - Busta Anderson, TE, South Carolina