San Francisco 49ers: Grading 2015 Rookie Class after Season
By Peter Panacy
DE Arik Armstead
Numerous 49ers fans were not pleased when general manager Trent Baalke elected to take former Oregon defensive end Arik Armstead No. 17 overall in the 2015 NFL draft. Armstead, while full of potential, was widely viewed as a raw and needing-to-develop rookie who wouldn’t make a big splash at the pro level for his first few years at the pro level.
Indeed, San Francisco didn’t exactly get a starting-caliber defensive lineman right out of the gate. Armstead never saw a start for the 49ers during the season but did wind up getting an increased role after defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was lost to a knee injury in Week 11.
Armstead finished the season with a plus-15.1 overall grade, according to Pro Football Focus — second highest among all 49ers defenders. And while he only registered two sacks and 14 tackles on the season, his ability to disrupt the pocket is stunning.
Take a look at what the 6’7″, 296-pound phenom did in Week 17:
There is absolute potential there. And with so many questions surrounding the 49ers defense, and the entire roster, Armstead will likely be a player around which Baalke looks to build.
This pick doesn’t look so bad after all.
Next: Ranking 49ers' Top 5 Priorities by Position in 2015 NFL draft
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN.com unless otherwise indicated.