Grading the 49ers Draft

This post was written by Jared Quan

Everything seemed to be on track to generally fit some of the expert’s draft boards.  That is until we got to the fifth pick then everything went right out the window, which as a fan and a writer was fun.  Players with high marks were still on the board well after their estimated pick.  The 49ers took some strong picks to reinforce key areas of need.

Aldon Smith will provide the desperate upgrade at the subpar pass rush offered in previous years.  However, the pass rush against a quarterback who gets rid of the ball fast can be self defeating. The later round pick in Chris Culliver and Curtis Holcomb at cornerback is a lackluster upgrade to the position.  There is potential in both of them to develop into decent coverage guys, but this will take years.

Colin Keapernick and Kendall Hunter are great development players that could fill the future roles in quarterback and running back. However the only stipulation is that Colin sits the bench for the first year or two, and Kendall only get a handful of runs in the first year.

We drafted to help the offensive line, wide receiver, and defensive line; with Daniel Kilgore, Michael Person, Ronald Johnson, and Bruce Miller.  They have some coachable drawbacks, and could turn into solid contributors.

The 49ers went into this draft with clear needs.  From the talent we picked up, I feel like we filled one solid need this year, a couple have serious potential, and the others can develop over time. As a fan I want to rate the 49ers draft at a B+ however as an objective observer I rate this at C-. I have absolute trust in Jim Harbaugh and I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store for his draft picks to fit into his system.

How Would You Grade the 49ers Draft?

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Tags: 49ers Draft Grade NFL Draft 2011 San Francisco 49ers

  • jimmy Griffin

    You know when you and your friends go out to a resturaunt that you never tasted the food and don’t know what you’d like. And your friends order food for you and tell you this is great. And they start ordering stuff that’s not even on the menu. And you are wondering WTF am I getting into. Our draft was just like that. Chris Culliver was our 3rd round pick? Really? I’m not knocking the choice but we could have picked him in the 6th or 7th round.
    Maybe years from now, we will all look back and this will be as good as the 86 draft. Hang on to your seats, this could be a bumpy season

    • Jared Quan

      I firmly believe that this season will be bumpy with or without quality draft picks. The lockout is forcing Jim to pretty much use the same system and terminology as Singltary. This year will not be the emergence of the great 49ers. However, as I have stated before, I think Jim will use the more aggressive passing and blitzing parts of the play book. There were several moments during the draft that I found myself yelling at the computer for the 49ers to draft different players. I sure hope your right and years from now we will look back and this will be that good.

  • Matt Hamm

    I agree this will not be the year of the return to greatness but we are close…real close. This year with Harbaugh the offense will do enough to win us some of those close games we lost last season. At least a few games were lost due to complete coaching failures under Singletary, consider that issue resolved.

    As long as this team gets a NT and C we will make the playoffs in this division even w/Alex Smith at QB. With a shutdown CB we could surprise some people.

    • Jared Quan

      I too believe that the 49ers can win even with Alex Smith. Those missing pieces to complete the defense (Shut down CB, and elite pass rusher), the 49ers would have won several close games. Too many were lost by less than a touchdown.

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