The San Francisco 49ers saw defensive end Tank Carradine sign with the Oakland Raiders late last week. The 49ers had bounced Tank around a variety of positions, and by all accounts, he’ll get a chance to play something similar to his college role with the Raiders. He rebounded his NFL career a bit late with the 49ers, and this will give him a chance to try and earn one nice pay day before it comes to an end.
His departure is notable for a couple reasons. The first is because it marks the end of Trent Baalke’s ACL gambles. The second is because he was the second to last person still around in Baalke’s 2013 draft class.
Baalke drafted seven different players between 2013 and 2016 who had suffered an ACL injury in college. They all resulted in some amount of missed time with the 49ers, described by us and others as “medical redshirts.” The college medical redshirt does not translate to the NFL in most ways, but it was a useful term. Of course, none of them panned out. The full list included Tank, Marcus Lattimore, Brandon Thomas, Keith Reaser, Trey Millard, DeAndre Smelter, and Will Redmond. Carradine and Reaser were the two most successful of those picks, which is saying something.
We’ve heard plenty about the busted 2012 draft class, but we can now add the 2011 and just about the 2013 draft classes to that group. They were not busts in nearly the same manner, but the 49ers have cleared out most of the rest of those classes. The Daniel Kilgore trade closed out the 2011 class. Tank Carradine technically was the second to last player still around from 2013. Eric Reid is the other, and while he could still be re-signed, for the time being his status is up in the air. But for the most part, the 2013 draft class is a wrap.
It is worth noting that the 2014 class currently has one player left in Jimmie Ward. Carlos Hyde departed for the Cleveland Browns and Aaron Lynch signed with the Chicago Bears. Dontae Johnson has not signed anywhere, but it is unlikely he returns in 2018.