clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

PFF grades 49ers 2019 draft class as “above average”

Greenlaw turned out to be one of the steals of last year’s draft

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

PFF revisited each team’s NFL draft from 2019 and graded each draft. The categories were “excellent,” “above average,” “average,” and “below average.” Only six teams made the excellent category, and the lone NFC West team was the Cardinals. Kyler Murray was a slam dunk, but he was also the first overall pick. Byron Murphy was fine, even though he can’t cover Kendrick Bourne if his life depended on it. After that? Second-round receiver Andy Isabella finished the season with 189 yards receiving. Third round selection Zach Allen appeared in four games, and Hakeem Butler didn’t see the field.

Here is what PFF said about the Niners draft:

The 49ers had the most impactful rookie class of any team easily in the NFL, and it’s easy to see why. Nick Bosa (Pick: 2 | PFF Board: 2) broke the record for pressures in a season by a rookie with 80. Second-round pick Deebo Samuel (Pick: 36 | PFF Board: 52) led all wide receivers, not just rookies, with 18 broken tackles on 57 catches.

While they not only knocked it out of the park with their top two picks, they also hit on one of the steals of the draft. Fifth-round linebacker Dre Greenlaw (Pick: 148 | PFF Board: N/R) played 879 snaps, including the postseason, and earned a 72.6 coverage grade on the year.

PFF is going based on their board, which explains why they were in love with Arizona’s draft. Deebo outperformed expectations for a typical rookie, but having him outside of the top-50 players is questionable. Like the Cardinals with Murray, I’m not going to give the 49ers too much credit for selecting Bosa, though I do wonder how the camp that was convinced Quinnen Williams would be better feels a year later.

I thought PFF would give San Francisco a hard time for drafting a punter, but the background of selecting Mitch Wishnowsky, who late west coast scout Reggie Cobb scouted, was always going to happen.

Looking back on Greenlaw and what a find he was. Greenlaw is a prime example of a team selecting a player that fits their scheme to a tee. I remember Dre making so many plays early in training camp that he left the 49ers no choice to make him a starter. Greenlaw was making plays against the backups, so you figured it would slow down on the first team. You figured wrong. Three practices in a row Greenlaw made a play on the first play from scrimmage. Dre is going to make it awfully difficult to keep him off the field in 2020 if he continues to progress as a player.