San Francisco 49ers: Regrading Each Niners’ NFL Draft Class from the Last 10 Years
By Peter Panacy
2008 NFL Draft
Round 1 – Kentwan Balmer, DT
Round 2 – Chilo Rachal, G
Round 3 – Reggie Smith, DB
Round 4 – Cody Wallace, C
Round 6 – Josh Morgan, WR
Round 7 – Larry Grant, LB
If 2007 was a great draft class for the 49ers, 2008 was the polar opposite.
San Francisco forfeited a fifth-round pick that year due to a tampering issue, but it wasn’t as if any of that mattered given the nature of the selections made.
General manager Scot McCloughan would probably like to forget almost every one of these picks. Defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer was horrible. Out of shape and with a questionable work ethic, Balmer failed to show up for training camp in 2010 and demanded a trade. His stint with the Seattle Seahawks that year didn’t last long either.
And to think the 49ers could have gotten their hands of defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who was still on the boards when San Francisco was picking.
Offensive guard Chilo Rachal also didn’t pan out well, and poor efforts in pass-blocking would lead to him losing playing time — and a starting job — in 2011.
Safety Reggie Smith also never worked out to be anything more than a backup option.
Best Pick: Larry Grant
Yes, the Niners’ best pick from this draft came in Round 7. Linebacker Larry Grant ended up being a decent backup for San Francisco in 2011 and 2012. But that came after he failed to make the 49ers’ 2008 roster and was picked up by the St. Louis Rams that season.
At least San Francisco knew something about him when he returned for his second go-around.
Worst Pick: Kentwan Balmer
Balmer’s addition to the 49ers literally did nothing. He vastly underachieved and defines the “bust” moniker assigned to him.
Next: 2009 NFL Draft