The 2017 NFL draft is a wrap, and draft grades are starting to trickle out. The San Francisco 49ers were plenty active, making six trades and drafting ten players. It’s obviously too early to know how any of this will shake out, but draft grades are always an amusing way to assess perceptions.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar gave the 49ers a B-. He thought the 49ers did a lot of good things, but needed a high-caliber quarterback and more dynamic receiver. The 49ers do need help at both positions, but I can see where the 49ers were coming from with this. Here’s what Dan had to say about the grade:
First-year general manager John Lynch had a notable first draft for the 49ers. He fleeced the Bears to move down a pick and still get the player he wanted in defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. The move was crafty, and the 49ers got a player who can use power and quickness to get into the backfield. Lynch then packaged his second-round pick and a fourth-round pick to move back into the first round to get free-falling linebacker Reuben Foster. The Alabama stud should develop into the leader on San Francisco’s defense.
Third-round pick Ahkello Witherspoon has some good physical skills in his game and has good growth potential. He’s a little spotty right now, but his size and skill combination is too intriguing. Fellow third-round pick C.J. Beathard was a shock pick at No. 104. He’s a player head coach Kyle Shanahan wanted, but it came much higher than most expected for the Iowa quarterback. Fifth-round pick George Kittle could push for playing time early at tight end. This team needed a higher-caliber quarterback at some point and a more dynamic receiver.
SI.com writer Chris Burke liked what he saw from the 49ers. Have gave the 49ers an A- for their performance. His grade seems to give more weight to a strong first day than anything else. That seems reasonable given what a team needs to get in the first round. Here’s what Burke had to say:
Aside from not finding a quarterback, rookie GM John Lynch took home the Day 1 title. He took Chicago GM Ryan Pace’s lunch money early, trading pick 2 for picks 3, 67, 111 and a 2018 first-rounder. The 49ers then grabbed Solomon Thomas at 3, before trading back into Round 1 (34 and that 111th pick to Seattle, for 31) and grabbed Reuben Foster, a linebacker with absurd talent if he’s healthy. The last two days were more humdrum. CB Ahkello Witherspoon (pick No. 66) has desired traits, but he’s not physical at all. The trade up into Round 3 for QB C.J. Beathard was a mind-boggling decision—Beathard was going to be there on Day 3, and there were better options at the position. Saturday picks RB Joe Williams (No. 121) and WR Trent Taylor (No. 177) could be explosive in that Kyle Shanahan offense, while TE George Kittle (No. 146) ought to have a role in tight end-heavy sets. Everything was gravy after the first round.
How much do you weight what the team did in round one, with what they did in rounds three through seven? Of course, we also need to add in the addition of a 2018 second round pick. If you think they stand a better chance of landing a quality quarterback next year, adding that second round pick could be huge for potentially moving up.
A final grade comes courtesy of FOXSports.com. They gave the 49ers an A-, loving everything except the C.J. Beathard pick.
Nine absolutely perfect picks. Grade A picks. I particularly love the Reuben Foster and George Kittle selections. Then... QB C.J. Beathard in the third round. I don't know many people who had him as a draftable prospect — we all hope he works out as an NFL player, but that's an F pick, bringing down the 49ers' winning grade.
Here are the 49ers picks.
1 (3). Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
1 (31). Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
3 (2). Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
3 (40). C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa
4 (15). Joe Williams, RB, Utah
5 (2). George Kittle, TE, Iowa
5 (34). Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech
6 (14). D.J. Jones, DT, Ole Miss
6 (18). Pita Taumoepenu, LB, Utah
7 (11). Adrian Colbert, CB, Miami
The 49ers also picked up picks in the second and third round in the 2018 NFL draft. With that in mind, it’s your turn to grade the draft. Factor in draft picks and trades, not undrafted free agent additions. How do you grade it?
How do you grade the 49ers 2017 NFL draft?
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