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 2016.
With 11 picks on their hands and the disaster that was Jim Tomsula washed off, the 49ers had a chance at rebuilding. No longer in a “re-load” mode as Trent Baalke so elegantly put it a year prior, the 49ers needed to make some splashes and get back to having a competitive team.
Spoiler: They didn’t.
The first pick was predicted and also quite worked out quite well: DeForest Buckner out of Oregon. Buckner quickly made a name for himself in 2016 and was on an island in 2017. He could make a case to be defensive player of the year in 2018.
The Buckner pick was too obvious and gift-wrapped to screw up, even for the 49ers front office. It’s after Buckner where Trent Baalke realized he was Trent Baalke. Going back into the first round with a trade, the 49ers took Joshua Garnett. a decent, but huge reach for a guard. The 49ers quickly became head-scratchers. Word is still not out on Garnett and 2018 is make or break for him. He’s got a new look, and could be the guard the 49ers need.
Things didn’t improve, pick three went to Will Redmond, a very good cornerback prospect except for an obvious problem: He had a knee injury, BUT Baalke said he would be ready by training camp. Redmond was placed on IR in early September that year. The latest member of the ACL All-Stars, Redmond was released a season later.
The next pick was one of the most incriminating for the 49ers front office, cornerback Rashard Robinson. A decent prospect with just one problem: was kicked off the LSU Tigers for breaking and entering. Robinson had his shot as a starting cornerback the following year, but wound up getting traded to the New York Jets. The pick itself wouldn’t have been so frustrating if it wasn’t for the fact quarterback Dak Prescott was available for the taking and would go to the Dallas Cowboys two picks later. The 49ers coaching staff liked Prescott, Trent Baalke didn’t seem to care.
The rest? Defensive end Ronald Blair was a decent pick and has provided some solid depth. The jury is out on wide receiver Aaron Burbridge who hasn’t been awful, but his career was stunted due to being placed on IR at the start of his second season in 2017. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was thought of as a nice prospect, but was waived and snapped up by the Cincinatti Bengals before he could hit the practice squad. Who was Driskel waived in favor of for the third-string quarterback? Christian Ponder.
Buckner has been the only sure-starter the 49ers have uncovered so far in this league.
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.
Round 1 - Pick 7 - DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
Round 1 - Pick 28 - Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
Round 3 - Pick 68 - Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State
Round 4 - Pick 133 - Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
Round 5 - Pick 142 - Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian State
Round 5 - Pick 145 - John Theus, OT, Georgia
Round 5 - Pick 174 - Fahn Cooper, OT, Mississippi
Round 6 - Pick 207 - Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech
Round 6 - Pick 211 - Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
Round 6 - Pick 213 - Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
Round 7 - Pick 249 - Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky