The San Francisco 49ers had themselves a pretty good 2017 NFL Draft by most metrics. Even if you don’t like the picks themselves, rookie general manager John Lynch was very active and he’s established that he’s not the type of guy to wait around and let things happen around him. I like that a lot.
On Day 1, the grades handed out for San Francisco’s moves were nearly universally positive. On Day 2, the individual grades were mixed, with many liking the selection of Akhello Witherspoon and many panning the early selection of C.J. Beathard.
For full grades, Fooch put together a post on those outlets which ranked the overall draft class for the 49ers and other teams. But below, we’re going to take at the individual grades for Day 3 of the draft.
If you need a refresher, these are the players the 49ers selected on Day 3 of the NFL Draft:
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
We’ll start with the grades handed out by Spencer Hall of CBS Sports, and they aren’t pretty. Many loved the selection of Williams in the fourth round, but they gave the grade an ‘F’, saying that Williams was taken way too early due to the concerns about his commitment to football.
Moving onto Round 5, CBS Sports gives the 49ers a ‘B’ for the selection of Kittle and a ‘C+” for the selection of Taylor. They say that Kittle will “be a better pro than production suggests.” There wasn't much reasoning given for the grade on Taylor.
Things get more positive when we get to a “weight room warrior” in Jones, as they give out an ‘A’ grade for his selection at No. 198 overall. They were not as big on the other sixth-round pick, grading a “C-” for Taumoepenu. And finally, for the seventh round, CBS Sports gives the 49ers at ‘D’ grade for the Colbert selection.
We’ll switch to Walter Football next and once again, folks aren’t feeling good about Williams. They give the 49ers a ‘D’ for the selection, citing the big risk the team is taking by drafting him. But like CBS Sports, Walter Football feels better about the tight end, Kittle. He’s got an ‘A’ grade, though they claimed the 49ers didn’t need a tight end, which is hilariously untrue. They gave the 49ers a ‘C+’ for Taylor and said they thought he would go undrafted.
Into the sixth round, the Jones pick got a ‘B-’ grade, though Walter Footbal thinks Jones is a better fit in a 3-4 defense. Like Taylor, they claim that Taymoepenu was undrafted in their mock, and gave his selection a ‘C-’. And there was a ‘C’ given for Colbert. They seemed to put a whole lot of emphasis on whether or not they had guys in their personal mock drafts, which seems an odd thing to base grades on.
Not a whole lot of folks doing pick-by-pick grades, so we’ll go to Bleacher Report. They give Williams a ‘C’ grade, citing his off the field issues. He’s compared him to Knile Davis as well. For Kittle, they called his selection “Excellent,” lauding his blocking prowess and athleticism. For Taylor, they harped on his slow 40-yard dash time, which was enough to give him a “poor” grade.
They did like Jones, however, calling his selection “Excellent,” while noting the 49ers’ issues in stopping the run a season ago. The Taumoepenu selection was given a “Good” grade. And finally, they liked Colbert, and gave the 49ers a “Good” grade for his selection.