San Francisco 49ers: Regrading Each Niners’ NFL Draft Class from the Last 10 Years
By Peter Panacy
2007 NFL Draft
Round 1 – Patrick Willis, LB
Round 1 – Joe Staley, T
Round 3 – Jason Hill, WR
Round 3 – Ray McDonald, DE
Round 4 – Jay Moore, DE
Round 4 – Dashon Goldson, DB
Round 4 – Joe Cohen, DT
Round 5 – Tarell Brown, DB
Round 6 – Thomas Clayton, RB
Head coach Mike Nolan was still acting as general manager but was also receiving input from then-vice president of player personnel Scot McCloughan.
Regardless of who was actually making the picks, the 49ers nailed this draft class with stellar results. San Francisco landed linebacker Patrick Willis and tackle Joe Staley in Round 1 — perennial Pro Bowlers and staples of the 49ers for years to come.
Defensive end Ray McDonald, before his legal issues, also became a mainstay of the 49ers defensive line.
And the back end of San Francisco’s draft class landed defensive backs Dashon Goldson and Tarell Brown. Each would also go onto become key components within the 49ers secondary in coming years.
Five of these picks would wind up being starters for the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII.
Needless to say, the 49ers enjoyed one of their best draft classes in recent history, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
Best Pick: Patrick Willis
Again, this is a no-brainer. Willis made an immediate impact his rookie season — in which he was named a First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowler — and would go onto become the face of the franchise during its dark seasons as well as memorable ones.
Willis would continue to receive Pro Bowl accolades with the exception of an injury-plagued 2014 campaign. He retired the subsequent year.
Worst Pick: Jason Hill
The 49ers didn’t have much luck with wide receiver selections during the mid 2000s, and wide receiver Jason Hill adds to that issue.
The former third-round pick of the Niners never accumulated more than 317 receiving yards for San Francisco and was sent packing in the middle of 2010.
Next: 2008 NFL Draft