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 2016.
And 2016 marks our final installment of the look back at 49ers draft. 2016 was the final nail in Trent Baalke’s coffin for drafts. While he found a couple of promising prospects this draft, there still wasn’t enough from years of ineptitude to keep him from losing his job.
After Jim Tomsula’s disaster of a season, the 49ers coach was promptly whacked after one season and the 49ers turned to Chip Kelly to turn things around. This would also turn out to be a mistake with Trent Baalke still running things. This draft isn’t so much on who Baalke picked, but who he didn’t take and the stories that came out afterwards on his refusals.
The first pick was DeForest Buckner. A well predicted and solid pick. Buckner showed a lot of promise and improvement as the season went on. His biggest criticism, his pad level due to his height was something that he still continues to address and seems to be improving upon.
From there, the questions started. First was a trade back into the 1st round to select Stanford offensive guard, Joshua Garnett. While not a bad pick, the trade to get him left heads being scratched. Garnett hasn’t been awful, but he has shown a lot of struggles his rookie season in the league. There were rumors other teams were looking to take him at the end of the 1st round, so maybe the 49ers weren’t the only ones after him.
Mississippi State corner back Will Redmond joined the ACL All-Stars. Baalke was quick to defend the pick saying he’d be able to play that season, however Redmond never did much of anything on a practice field besides rehab. Had he not torn the ACL, he may have been a 1st round talent, but again—injury.
The rest? They are still trying to get a name for themselves. One year is just not enough time to grade these prospects. Some of them, like Ronald Blair, have shown some promise. Others, like Jeff Driskel, were let go of before the season began.
But the biggest problem was who didn’t come to the roster. Prospects like Dak Prescott were rumored to be desired by the 49ers coaching staff, but Baalke wanted none of it, taking someone else, or in that case (the 3rd round,
when a round before Prescott was selected), the injured Will Redmond instead. It began the final boiling point of Baalke’s managing that contributed to his firing at the end of the 2016 season.
Who do you think still has a chance to make a name for themself from this draft?
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 7 - DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
Round 1 - Pick 28 - Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
Round 3 - Pick 68 - Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State
Round 4 - Pick 133 - Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
Round 5 - Pick 142 - Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian State
Round 5 - Pick 145 - John Theus, OT, Georgia
Round 5 - Pick 174 - Fahn Cooper, OT, Mississippi
Round 6 - Pick 207 - Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech
Round 6 - Pick 211 - Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
Round 6 - Pick 213 - Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
Round 7 - Pick 249 - Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky