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Which 49ers draft pick over the last decade did you think would have a better career than they did?

We all have those players that we thought would be superstars, but they didn’t quite pan out.

Ok, so let’s talk about some disappointing players over the history of the San Francisco 49ers. There’s been a few picks lately that I’ve thought would pan out and have incredible careers. Reuben Foster is an obvious one, I also though Javon Kinlaw was a decent pick despite the 49ers getting too cute with the salary cap in that DeForest Buckner debacle. I thought he’d also at least be serviceable. Right now he still has a chance to prove me right, but it hasn’t been inspiring.

Then I got to wondering who over the last 10-ish years did I think was going to have a better career than they wound up having? Where was I really wrong. How about you? Any draft picks you looked at and said “That guy, he’s going to be special” only to see them now fighting for playing time in the league?

The big winner for me was Tank Carradine. The funny thing is, that 2013 draft had all sorts of gems I thought could pan out (Marcus Lattimore comes to mind), but Carradine was a guy I thought was going to be special. The 49ers took him with their second-round pick (40th overall) despite him rehabbing an ACL tear (and some thoughts he’d be ready by the regular much for that) Taking the ACL tear out, it may have been an ill advised pick just by the system as Carradine played. He was in a 4-3 in college and the 49ers ran a 3-4 at the time. Later on in his career, Carradine even said the weight gain they forced on him to play 3-4 tackle was very disorienting and unnatural for him—not something you’d want to hear.

It took Carradine a year to see the field and it wasn’t until November of 2014 when he finally got a shot. From there it wasn’t anything special. He finally seemed to get somewhere when Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh arrived and moved to the 4-3 defense, but even then it was too little too late and Carradine last played in 2019; a lone game for the New England Patriots.

Man, I thought just giving him time to heal and transition to the 3-4 was going to make him a hall of famer. He was pretty patient himself too, there never was any character issues coming from him and he seemed to put in the work—it just didn’t work out.

How about you? Which 49er draft pick had less of a career than you anticipated?