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49ers draft rewind: 2013

So many ACL many.

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 2018. Today it’s 2013.

It took all of one year for fans to call the 2012 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. Long story short: He didn’t, but this was at least a better effort.

How was it a better effort? 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 saying much when you think about how bad 2012 was.

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 be one of many practices to cost Baalke his job.

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).

Next up on injured players is South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore. A player that despite the position was predicted as a top-5 pick before a knee injury more gruesome than most. 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. This pick, despite the injury risk, was still a smart risk, though it never paid off. That’s how good Lattimore was.

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. it grew so bad the 49ers shipped him off to Pittsburgh where the fresh start made him an intriguing option at tight end. 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 he’s playing in the AAF of all places so it’s safe to say his career didn’t go as planned.

2013 wasn’t awful, as it brought Eric Reid, Vance McDonald, and Quinton Dial. That may be an underwhelming group, but they did find themselves on the roster and in Reid’s case, had flashes of being a long-term solution at their respective positions. Those three players, however, are no longer with the team. And with the exception of Vance McDonald who was traded in 2017, the 49ers were not active 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