While the list of players selected at previous drafts with the 13th selection isn’t full of household names, there have been some solid picks.
Here is a list of players selected at No. 13 over the last decade.
2010: DE Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
The 49ers originally had this pick but traded up with the Denver Broncos to No. 11 to get offensive lineman Anthony Davis.
Philadelphia traded a first and two thirds to Denver to get this pick and select Graham.
The defensive end tore his ACL 13 games into his rookie and only suited up three times in his second season, but he has been a mainstay since. Graham has spent his entire 10-year career with the Eagles, earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2016. He has averaged just over five sacks per season, with his biggest highlight coming in Super Bowl LII. Graham recorded a strip-sack on then Patriots QB Tom Brady with just over two minutes to go, helping the Eagles clinch the win.
If the 49ers can get ten years at the level Graham has played at in Philly; I think fans would be mostly satisfied.
2011: DT Nick Fairley, Detroit Lions
Fairley was relatively unknown going into the 2010 college football season, but broke out with 11.5 sacks and 24 tackles, helping Auburn to a National Championship. Fairley recorded five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in the final, further elevating his draft stock.
Although some were wondering if he was a one-hit-wonder, the Lions took the defensive tackle. Fairley’s rookie season was quiet, but he showed promise in his sophomore season with 29 solo tackles and 5.5 sacks, despite missing the final three games with an injury. He looked good in 2013, but injuries caught up with him. Detroit declined its fifth-year option on Fairley.
2012: WR Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
Floyd and Justin Blackmon were considered the best two receivers of the 2012 NFL Draft. Floyd had a promising start to his career in the desert, suiting up in all 16 games and finishing with 45 receptions. His second season was the best of his career. He had 65 catches for 1,041 yards and five scores. Floyd played three more years with the Cardinals, but never matched his reception and yardage total from his sophomore season. Floyd was arrested in Dec. 2016 which led to his release. He was a part of the 2016 Patriots team that won the Super Bowl, but Floyd was inactive for the Big Game.
If the 49ers do take a receiver, which they have been heavily rumored to be looking into, hopefully, it turns out better than this.
2013: DT Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets
Richardson went a little higher than most mock drafts had him going, although he was regarded as a top-20 pick. His career started off with a bang, finishing with 78 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and even scored a pair of touchdowns as a fullback for the Jets. Richardson won Rookie of the Year and came back even stronger in 2014, recording eight sacks while being named to the Pro Bowl. He had two more good seasons with the Jets before being traded to the Seahawks. Richardson spent last season with the Cleveland Browns, recording 62 tackles and three sacks.
Overall, Richardson has been a quality starter throughout his career.
2014: DT Aaron Donald, Rams
The 2014 NFL Draft was stacked, with 13 out of the first 17 players selected eventually being named to the Pro Bowl. Donald is at the top of that list, ahead of the likes of Khalil Mack and Jadeveon Clowney.
Donald tested off the charts at the combine and was projected to be a day-one starter. He went on to win Defensive Rookie of the Year after finishing with 48 tackles and nine sacks. Donald is a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time First-Team All-Pro. Oh yeah, he was also named to the NFL All-Decade Team.
Donald will be named a Hall of Famer when his playing days are over. He and Tony Gonzalez are the crown jewels of No. 13 picks.
2015: G Andrus Peat, New Orleans Saints
Although not quite as highly regarded as Quenton Nelson, Peat was predicted to be a top-10 pick. He ultimately fell to the Saints.
Peat had a nice rookie year and had continued to improve since. The interior lineman has made the Pro Bowl in consecutive seasons and looks to be a mainstay on the Saints’ offensive line. Peat has played every position on the offensive line except for center, and New Orleans rewarded the big man with a new five-year deal this offseason.
2016: OT Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins
Tunsil was a machine at Ole Miss and put up great numbers at the NFL Combine, further cementing himself as a top-5 pick. After the Rams and Eagles traded up to the top two slots and the infamous video of Tunsil smoking pot using a bong mask surfaced on his Twitter account, the lineman slid right out of the top-10.
Tunsil was good for the Dolphins for three seasons, before being traded to the Houston Texans before the 2019 season. The 25-year-old was very good in Houston; PFF gave him a 75.8 grade on the year where he only gave up three sacks was named to the Pro Bowl.
2017 LB Hasson Reddick, Arizona Cardinals
Leave it to the Cardinals to have two of the worst picks on this list. Reddick was all over mock drafts for where he would be picked in the first round. Although he played out of position for his first three years, Reddick has been below average during his time with Arizona. His second season was his best, finishing with 80 tackles and four sacks. Reddick was moved to his natural position of outside linebacker, but it is doubtful the Cardinals will pick up his fifth-year option unless he can show improvement. PFF gave him a grade of 40.1 in 2019.
2018: DT DaRon Payne - Washington Redskins
Mock drafts had Payne going anywhere in the first two rounds, but the run-stopping defensive tackle had a strong start to his career. Payne finished with 35 tackles and five sacks in 2018 and named to the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie team. The former Alabama stalwart looks to be on his way to a long NFL career. If Washington does pick Chase Young at No. 2 in next week’s draft, Payne will benefit as a result and could see his numbers go up. PFF gave Payne an overall grade of 67.4 last season.
2019: DT Christian Wilkins, Miami Dolphins
Wilkins started off slow in his rookie year but came on as the season progressed. The former Clemson Tiger led all rookie defensive tackles with 53 tackles, adding two sacks. PFF gave Wilkins an overall grade of 64.4 in 2019. The 24-year-old should keep improving as the Dolphins start adding some more talent around him going into his second year.
Looking at this from a 49ers’ perspective, the odds are pretty high they will get an impact player at No. 13 if they keep the pick.
From the list above, 50% of the players have played in at least one Pro Bowl. Considering Payne and Wilkins are still very early into their careers, the No. 13 picks of the 2010s have been pretty successful overall unless the Cardinals picked them.
It was funny to see the positions of the players picked at No. 13 as well. The Niners have been linked to defensive tackles, receivers, and offensive tackles in the lead to the 2020 NFL Draft. Based on the success of DTs picked at No. 13, Javon Kinlaw is the way to go.
In all seriousness, the Niners should be able to get an impactful player at the No. 13 slot. Excluding Floyd, Reddick, and Fairley (whose career was derailed by medical issues), the guys on this are having, or are on their way to having good-to-great careers.