We’re a week away from the draft, but that hasn’t stopped NFL executives from providing their analysis for each team. San Francisco used their early round picks on players who they felt could make an impact.
The 49ers first-round pick in this year’s draft was the final Day 1 pick included in the Trey Lance trade. Their second-rounder was sent to the Carolina Panthers as part of the Christian McCaffrey trade.
The Athletic surveyed NFL executives after the draft, and here are the quotes about the 49ers draft:
“I don’t know why the 49ers get beat up so bad for their draft,” an exec said. “When you start picking at 100 (actually 87), it’s not pretty.”
When you put what we do into perspective and realize we’re criticizing the top 1 percent at their jobs, it’s easy to understand there’s a massive disconnect between teams and the media/fans.
From the outside looking in, it’s impossible for a savvy analytics site or Mr. Know-it-all on social media to come to terms with a selection of a kicker in the third round, no matter how you slice it.
“When Tampa drafted the kicker (Roberto Aguayo) in the second round (in 2016), it created extra pressure,” an exec said. “They thought he was going to be a top-five kicker. But they missed the mental part.”
Then, you hear quotes like this and wonder what in the world a kicker in the second round from seven years ago has to do with the 49ers sitting back and drafting Jake Moody. Who is a well-versed kicker who has been through seemingly every pressure situation.
“Because of the third-round comp picks they’ve gotten for the guys that left, they have gotten a bunch more swings,” another exec said. “I don’t mind the kicker in the third round if that’s who you like. Maybe he goes in the fourth or the fifth, but picks 100-150 could all be jumbled up. People say, ‘Oh, you could have gotten so-and-so.’ Really? How do we know?”
We’ll never know who the 49ers would have drafted in the hypothetical situation where they didn’t select Moody, but that won’t stop us from discussing it.
What I’m most interested in is seeing how much of an impact Moody has relative to the 49ers success. By all accounts, they are one of, if not the team to beat in the NFC. A clutch playoff make, and the selection will turn into an “I told you so.”
But after that first miss ...