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Draft reactions: What the ‘experts’ have to say about the 49ers’ first round

The Athletic gave San Franciso’s trades an A

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NFL Combine - Day 2

The San Francisco 49ers entered Round 1 with two first-round picks, but many believed the team would only make one selection on Thursday night. Instead, San Francisco traded down, then traded up, and eventually filled their two biggest needs by selecting Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk.

View from the Niners Nation community

We polled 49ers’ fans on Thursday night to grade the team’s first night of the draft. The poll currently has 49% of the votes giving the Niners a ‘B’ grade. Then 23% with a C, 21% an A, 5% a D, and 3% had their minds made up and gave the team an F. You can still participate in the poll.

“We paid a pretty steep price to move back up and grab Aiyuk. But the Kinlaw trade back was great and allowed that trade at the end of the round to happen.

I’m super excited to see both players out there this season. And they were both positions of need. So overall. I can’t complain much. Obviously, we were hoping to end up with some 2nd to 4th round picks, but it didn’t happen. If both these guys are good, though, not much else will matter.” -Germinator

“I give them a B. I understand the Kinlaw pick, he seems like a difference-maker, and I’m sure if Henderson was there, he was the choice. There will probably be some good players available around 117, and packaging with 156 might have been enough to get up to around 100 if needed. Not sure how we address other needs like CB, OL, and TE with picks 156, 210, and 217. Maybe they have Dee Ford, or Kwon lined up to be moved for a Day 2 pick. What a bust Pettis is.”- Rockets27

“This draft is an A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My Lord, these two guys are INSANE football players. Kinlaw pops like Bosa did on tape last year. He can be our Darnold and BETTER than Defo. Holy smokes is he special. And Aiyuk on tape is CRAZY! Watch his 2nd gear and instincts. These guys are just wow. I think the 49ers stole these guys. They both have the potential to be DROY and OROY I think they are that special. Last year and this year first two picks-HOME RUNS.” -whitewizzardbass.

“Both picks were an “A” for me, but the trade up for Aiyuk is suspect. And the track record of guys Shanahan labeled as “must-haves” enough to trade up is pretty bleak (CJB, Williams, Pettis).” -christopher.burns

Solid draft Big shot across the bow of Thomas and Pettis. Starting to have doubts, Pettis makes this roster. Team believes in the depth they have. Thinking we may see a vet get moved tomorrow for a pick as well. -Lord_of_the_rings

“We got two great players, there’s no denying it, but coming out of day 1 with no more picks until the 5th and a WR who is not an instant #1 along with Kinlaw is at best a C in my eye vs. expectations. maybe a B-.” -EverybodyRelax

I’m a little disappointed with these picks. C-. Montana-Young-Garoppolo1980

I hope they think Staley’s replacement is already in-house. Because it’s going to be hard to draft his replacement in the 5th round or below. Haven’t followed the prospects too much this year, but Kinlaw seems exciting as a Buck replacement; no strong feelings on the WR. -Gitaroo_dude.

National perspective

14. San Francisco 49ers: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

The 49ers made the right move, making a no-risk trade with the Buccaneers to drop down a pick and get a fourth-round selection (No. 117) in return. Then they took a defensive lineman over a wide receiver. The 49ers originally got the 13th pick from the Colts for DeForest Buckner. Kinlaw is the closest comparison to Buckner in this draft. So basically they got a cheaper player to do the same thing.

Grade: B

25. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

On a team light on draft picks, the 49ers gave up pick Nos. 31, 117, and 176 to move up six slots. That’s a big gamble for the 49ers. While they don’t have a ton of needs, the back of the first round is deep in wide receivers. Even though there’s something to say about getting the player you covet, the only picks the 49ers have left are Nos. 156, 210, and 217.

In regard to the pick itself, this is the type of wide receiver the 49ers needed to get. Aiyuk is an explosive playmaker who can make defenders miss after the catch.

Grade: C+ -Dan Kadar, SB Nation

The trade made sense on the 49ers’ end also. They went into the draft with two first-round picks but were not scheduled to pick again until the fifth round. By moving one spot down, they still got the player they wanted (South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw) and picked up an extra pick in the fourth round (they also gave up a seventh-rounder). From a process standpoint, the trade was a no-brainer. It is the rare case when the trade made sense for both sides.

49ers grade: A -Sheil Kapadia (The Athletic)

Winner (mostly): Javon Kinlaw

Kinlaw has big shoes to fill. His landing spot at No. 14 was made possible by the Niners’ willingness to ship DeForest Buckner — another first-round pass-rushing interior lineman, who has 19.5 sacks in just the past two years — to the Colts.

But Kinlaw is also capable of becoming an All-Pro for the 49ers. He was a wrecking ball in the middle of the field for South Carolina and should start immediately in the NFL. The presence of pass rushers like Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and Dee Ford should limit the number of double teams he sees as a rookie. -Christian D’Andrea, Adam Stites, Sarah Hardy (SB Nation)

San Francisco 49ers: B

The NFC champion worked the trade market in its favor.

The 49ers took advantage of Tampa Bay’s need for an offensive tackle and traded from No. 13 to No. 14, where it chose Javon Kinlaw as DeForest Buckner’s replacement.

Kyle Shanahan’s team then moved up from No. 31 to No. 25 to take Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. who adds more speed alongside Deebo Samuel.

The 49ers do not pick again until the fifth round, but they were smart by using the fourth-round selection they acquired from the Buccaneers to land Aiyuk in a deal with the Vikings. -Bleacher Report