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49ers draft rewind: 2013

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Enter the ACL All-Stars

Every year around draft time we like to look at the ghosts of drafts past with the San Francisco 49ers and reflect on the players allocated from the draft. We luckily have video of each draft thanks to YouTube poster and 49ers fan Marvin49. We’ll be looking at every year up to 2017. Today it’s 2013.

After the lemon that was the 2012 draft, there was no where for the 49ers to go but up. It took all of one year for fans to call the draft class a bust despite some wanting to be patient with the acquisitions (the latter would have been the incorrect reaction). While the 49ers roster was considered the best in the league, it couldn’t last and then-49ers general manager Trent Baalke had to get the future set. Especially when they were primed for another Super Bowl run. Did this draft fix the holes the 49ers needed to fill?

Well, for starters, many picks saw the field this time around, some even starting at some points. So this draft was already exponentially better than 2012. But that’s not exactly saying a lot in the scheme of things.

2013 can be summed up by one group that began its dominance in several 49ers drafts to come. Yep, we’re talking about none other than the ACL All-Stars. At the time, the approach made sense. The 49ers had what was considered one of the—if not the best—rosters in the NFL. That meant that they didn’t have ‘needs’ like other teams. Instead, they picked players that could have been first round, top-10 picks if not for nasty injuries sidelining them to miss portions of, if not all of the season, and redshirt them immediately. This looking to the future, two-year ahead mentality looked good on paper, in execution, this practice would prove disastrous.

After the first pick of Eric Reid, an obvious pick made from a trade-up to replace the departed Dashon Goldson, the process was applied. The first of these players was Florida State’s Tank Carradine in the second round. A pick some salivated over and others wondered how he could work in a 3-4 defensive scheme. Carradine had an ACL tear that many analysts speculated could be healed by training camp (it wasn’t and Carradine never played a snap in 2013). South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore was next to join the ACL All-Stars. A potential number one pick (which is definitely saying something for a running back) if he was healthy, Lattimore’s selection was seen as a smart flier and San Francisco was considered one of the best destinations for the prospect. His knee injury wasn’t as optimistic as Carradine’s, as he was quoted as tearing every ligament in a game against Tennessee. Lattimore would end up retiring from football altogether the following season.

The rest? Many of these players were some decent depth, but most just couldn’t establish themselves as starters. All of them had a ‘give them time’ moniker which never seemed to pan out. Vance McDonald needed time to develop his pass-catching abilities, and while improved, still managed some infuriating drops at the worst times. Corey Lemonier sacked Carson Palmer for a safety in his first start as a pro, but after the league realized he used only one pass rushing move, he became a quiet backup. Quinton Patton was seen as a steal in the 4th round, but despite having some flashes (including a wild catch in the final regular season game for the 49ers that year to set up the game-winning field goal) he never could put things together for consistency.

2013 wasn’t awful, as it brought Eric Reid, Vance McDonald, Quinton Dial and eventually Tank Carradine as starters. All four of those players, however are no longer with the team. And with the exception of Vance McDonald who was traded in 2017, the 49ers were not actively in any bidding wars to retain them.

As per usual, the DMCA biscuits have this thing on lockdown in some regions, so if you’d like to view the video, make sure to click the link to go to YouTube directly to see it. Or you can go here via this link to see the analysis of the draft.

Pick Breakdown

Round 1 - Pick 18 - Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Round 2 - Pick 40 - Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
Round 2 - Pick 55 - Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
Round 3 - Pick 88 - Corey Lemonier, LB, Auburn
Round 4 - Pick 128 - Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Round 4 - Pick 131 - Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Round 5 - Pick 157 - Quinton Dial, DT, Alabama
Round 6 - Pick 180 - Nick Moody, LB, Florida State
Round 7 - Pick 237 - B.J. Daniels, QB, South Florida
Round 7 - Pick 246 - Carter Bykowski, OT, Iowa State
Round 7 - Pick 252 - Marcus Cooper, CB, Rutgers