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49ers draft rewind: 2017

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The year before this year’s draft. Jury is still out, but so far, it’s a good one.

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 2017.

And so, the draft reflections end with 2017. After Trent Baalke was shown the door, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were given six-year contracts and went to work rebuilding the entire 49ers roster.

“Be patient,” was what Lynch would say several times going into the draft and the season. Given what the fans had seen, that wouldn’t be too difficult.

The 49ers picked second, but engineered a fleecing of a deal with the Chicago Bears, letting them move up a single spot to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The 49ers grabbed the guy they were always interested in anyways, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Due to some outdated rules, Thomas got to practice late and didn’t have the season some may have hoped for, but showed plenty of potential for his second season to be a special one.

The 49ers then traded back into the first round via a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, drafting Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Foster was unanimously considered a special player, but an incident at the NFL Combine that got him sent home, as well as other character and injury questions allowed him to slip.

From there, the 49ers drafted Ahkello Witherspoon. A cornerback prospect some may have scratched their head over, but Witherspoon came into his own late in the season and has made a roster spot for himself in 2018. Rather than hope, it’s just a fact he’s only going to get better. Also in the third round came Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. Some questioned the pick, but Beathard showed he was more than capable as a backup, displaying some great poise as a rookie and decent pocket awareness. With Jimmy Garoppolo coming in later to helm the offense, Beathard is seen as a solid backup.

And the rest? Utah running back Joe Williams is a question mark, but given his selection in the fourth round he can definitely contribute to a possible three-headed beast in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Fifth round pick, George Kittle has made a strong case to be the team’s No. 1 tight end. Another fifth round pick, Trent Taylor has been a go-to third down wide receiver for Jimmy Garoppolo and a decent punt returner. Take two sixth round picks (D.J. Jones and Pita Taumoepenu) that may find a stride this season and Adrian Colbert, a seventh round cornerback who became the 49ers answer for safety and you have what is one of the most productive draft classes the 49ers have had since 2011. This wasn’t a group of players plugged in because the team had no one else. These were players taking away veteran’s jobs (Jeremy Kerley was released in favor of Taylor early on).

No one on this team has been released almost a year later. And not one of these players came with a torn knee ligament.

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 2 - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Round 1 - Pick 31 - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Round 3 - Pick 66 - Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
Round 3 - Pick 104 - C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa
Round 4 - Pick 121 - Joe Williams, RB, Utah
Round 5 - Pick 146 - George Kittle, TE, Iowa
Round 5 - Pick 177 - Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech
Round 6 - Pick 198 - D.J. Jones, DT, Ole Miss
Round 6 - Pick 202- Pita Taumoepenu, DE, Utah
Round 7 - Pick 229 - Adrian Colbert, CB, Miami