2016 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Live Thread for Round One
Welcome to Niner Noise’s NFL Draft Live Blog!
The first round of the NFL Draft is tonight! Follow along in this live thread for quick and rapid responses to all the goings on in the first-round of the draft–all the picks, all the trades, and all the action. The San Francisco start out the night with the seventh overall pick. Will they move up? Will they stay put? Will they trade down? Will they come back into the end of the first round later? We’ll have it all for you as it happens.
If you have anything specific you want to ask, leave it in the comments, or tweet to @SFNinerNoise or @BryKno and you might see your post answered here.
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End of Round 1
That’s the end of round 1! The 49ers plugged gaps in the trenches today, picking one of the best defenders in the draft in DeForest Buckner and trading back up to grab Stanford guard Josh Garnett as well.
It’s a meat-and-potatoes draft; no fancy wideouts or flash cornerbacks here, but building solidly through the trenches. It’s a clear strategy, and while I question moving up to grab Garnett, it fills a need in a player who can do well in Chip Kelly’s system.
It does leave the 49ers with question marks, however. With no second-round pick now, it looks like the 49ers are committed to Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick as their quarterbacks in 2016. It feels like that wasn’t so much a conscious choice as something that was thrust upon them by Denver trading up to go get Paxton Lynch, but that’s where the 49ers stand.
As it stands, the team now has only one pick tomorrow–#68 in the third round. They still have eight picks on Saturday, so don’t be surprised to see some more wheeling and dealing. The earliest you might see them back on the clock is towards the end of the second round; I wouldn’t expect them to move up more than ten picks or so.
I’d rank the top 10 players remaining on the board, from a San Francisco point of view, as such:
- Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
- Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
- Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
- Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
- Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
- Chris Jones, DT, Missisippi State
- Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
- Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
- Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
- Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
And, when we’re talking about players more down towards the top of the third round, where the 49ers will be drafting, you’re looking more at this list:
- Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
- Sterling Shephard, WR, Oklahoma
- Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
- Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
- Alex Lewis, OT, Nebraska
- Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State
- Josh Perry, ILB, Ohio State
- Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
- Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
- Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
Join us tomorrow as we see what else Trent Baalke, Chip Kelly and staff have in store for us!
Reactions to the Garnett Trade
Cautiously optimistic seems to sum things up.
Round 1, Pick 31: Seattle Sehawks select Germain Ifedi, OL, Texas A&M
I really think I prefer Ifedi to Garnett, actually.
The 49ers gave up their second-round pick (#37), fourth-round pick (#105) and sixth-round pick (presumably #178) to move up to #28 and draft Garnett. That’s a win on the old Jimmy Johnson classic Draft Value Chart (gaining the value of a fifth-round pick), but a loss on more advanced draft charts (losing about the value of a fourth-round pick).
For all of Trent Baalke’s criticisms, he doesn’t normally lose draft day trades. This appears to be somewhat of an exception, though not a massively egregious one. It’s still an odd player to go up and get, though.
Round 1, Pick 30: Carolina Panthers select Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Trade details incoming…
Round 1, Pick 29: Arizona Cardinals select Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi
Not a bad pick, but I’m still boggling from Garnett. It’ll take me a minute.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS!
With the 28th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
Garnett was a mid-second round pick on my board, and most boards. We here at Niner Noise had speculated about the possibility of him falling to the third round. Moving up to draft him is a very, very odd choice.
It’s not that guard isn’t a need, but look at who was still on the board. If you wanted an offensive lineman, Germain Ifedi plays a more important position. You had the falling Myles Jack who people wanted at pick seven. You had Reggie Ragland to replace Patrick Willis. You had Connor Cook if you still doubled down on moving on from Colin Kaepernick. There were talented receivers, stout defensive linemen…
If they had picked Garnett at 37, I would have had questions, but might have been talked into it. Trading up–even for only a fourth- and sixth-round pick, doesn’t make any sense to me.
The 49ers are on the clock! They trade up with Kansas City! Connor Cook? Myles Jack? Reggie Ragland?
Updating Players Available for San Francisco
We’re beginning to winnow down to the actual targets for San Francisco. Players still on the board include:
- QB Connor Cook
- WR Michael Thomas and Tyler Boyd
- TE Hunter Henry
- OT Germain Ifedi
- DT Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler and Chris Jones
- LB Myles Jack and Reggie Ragland
- S Vonn Bell
Round 1, Pick 27: Green Bay Packers select Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Kenny Clark’s not a terrible player by any means, but I’m not sure he’s the best tackle available, with Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler and Chris Jones all still on the board. There might be issues of scheme and fit that I’m not familiar with in Green Bay, but on a pure talent level, I’m not sure I like the move. Need was there, though, with B.J. Raji taking a hiatus in 2016.
Colin Kaepernick staying in town?
While it’s entirely defensible to give Kaepernick one more go in Chip Kelly’s offense, it is neither a long-term strategy nor what the 49ers were hoping to do this year. It’s never good for major franchise decisions to feel like they were forced on the team by others.
Round 1, Pick 26: Denver Broncos trade up with Seattle, select Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I see how it is, Seattle. Trade down, get extra picks, and kill any notion of the Kaepernick-to-Denver trade. Well played, sir.
As for Denver, they, uh, needed a quarterback to run their offense. Mark Sanchez was not the answer, unless the question was “who would lead the defending Super Bowl champions to an 8-8 season”.
Round 1, Pick 25: Pittsburgh Steelers select Artie Burns, CB, Miami (FL)
Seriously, nice little player there. But I bet they wanted Jackson. Inter-division shenanigans.
Round 1, Pick 24: Cincinnati Bengals select William Jackson III, CB, Houston
I think Jackson has been an underrated cornerback in the run up to the draft; I actually liked him better than Eli Apple, who went hours ago to the Giants up at number 10. The Bengals have to be swearing they just missed the wide receiver run, but this isn’t a terrible consolation prize.
Round 1, Pick 23: Minnesota Vikings select Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
Expletive deleted again. There goes the last of the players I, at one point or another, was considering at seven for the 49ers. It’s been several months since I’ve had Treadwell that high, but he’s a great, big-bodied possession receiver. I still think he’ll be the best receiver in the class.
Reggie Ragland, still on the board…
Updating Players Available for San Francisco
Players still on the board include:
- QB Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook
- WR Laquon Treadwell, Michael Thomas and Tyler Boyd
- TE Hunter Henry
- OT Germain Ifedi
- DL Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler and Chris Jones
- LB Myles Jack and Reggie Ragland
- DB William Jackson, Artie Burns and Vonn Bell
If the 49ers were on the clock right this second, I’d be taking Laquon Treadwell, though we’re getting into range where trading up for a quarterback isn’t the end of the world. Won’t happen until either Lynch or Cook go, though–but it could happen with the very NEXT pick.
Round 1, Pick 22: Washington selects Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Expletive deleted, and I’m not talking about Washington’s team name. I had my fingers crossed that Doctson would continue to fall; he’s gonna be a very solid second receiver in the league. I liked the idea of him in red and gold.
I DO note that Laquon Treadwell is still sitting there, though…
Round 1, Pick 21: Houston Texans trades up with Washington, select Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Moving up just one slot in the first round? A bit of a strange move, unless they thought Will Fuller was so much better than every other receiver in the draft. A sixth-round pick next year isn’t the end of the world, but it seems a bit odd to jump just one slot. Maybe a lot of trading issues behind the scenes? Fuller fills their need for a speedy receiver, certainly.
Round 1, Pick 20: New York Jets select Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
The draft hasn’t been the same since it left New York.
More seriously, more pass rushers! Pass rushers like the world has never seen.
Round 1, Pick 19: Buffalo Bills select Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
LOTS of edge players available in this draft, which is pretty much the only negative thing you can say about the 49ers drafting Buckner. Lawson’s a good value here, and should re-spark Rex Ryan’s defense.
Round 1, Pick 18: Indianapolis Colts select Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Yeah, this makes a lot of sense, as the Colts never really replaced Jeff Saturday. I like Kelly; he’s big and strong and can take any interior lineman spot you want. I had him as the best interior lineman in the draft, and I liked the idea of the 49ers finding a way to grab him. Ah well.
Round 1, Pick 17: Atlanta Falcons select Keanu Neal, S, Florida
Yes, please, give us a run on defensive backs and running backs and the like. Keep the 49ers’ needs out of the next dozen picks or so, thank you!
Time to Wake Up, San Francisco
The 49ers next schedule pick is at No. 37, but we’re getting into the range where the team could trade back up if they wanted. There’s plenty of names available–here’s a brief listing of some of the top players left:
- QBs Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg
- WRs Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, Will Fuller, Michael Thomas and Tyler Boyd
- TE Hunter Henry
- OT Germain Ifedi
- OC Ryan Kelly
- DE Shaq Lawson
- DT Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler and Chris Jones
- OLB Myles Jack and Darron Lee
- ILB Reggie Ragland
- CB William Jackson and Artie Burns
- S Vonn Bell
Round 1, Pick 16: Detroit Lions select Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Another no-brainer–best player left at their biggest position of need. I know some of their fans wanted a receiver with Calvin Johnson retiring, but you’ve gotta keep your quarterback upright, first.
Other Ducks Headed to San Francisco?
The connection between Chip Kelly and his old Oregon players can be overblown, but it does seem like an above average number of players have flocked to join their old coach in the NFL. Now that DeForest Buckner’s in San Francisco, what other Ducks are available in the draft?
Well, not a ton. We probably wouldn’t see anyone the rest of tonight or tomorrow, but there are some day three picks that could come off the board.
- WR Byron Marshall could come off the board in the back half of the sixth round
- WR Bralon Addison would be right behind him–and the 49ers have three picks at the end of the sixth round.
- OT Tyler Johnstone might be a seventh-round pick, though the 49ers don’t have any of those.
Other than that, you have QB Vernon Adams, but I’m not sure he’s actually draftable. I have him as a high-priority UDFA, so maybe he comes to town after the draft.
Round 1, Pick 15: Cleveland Browns select Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Not my favorite receiver in the draft–I had both Laquon Treadwell and Josh Doctson ahead of him, but in the time it takes you to read this sentence, Coleman’s finished the 40-yard dash. A replacement for Josh Gordon, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
Round 1, Pick 14: Oakland Raiders select Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
The 49ers’ neighbors in the Bay Area may not stick here for long–owner Mark Davis was in Las Vegas today talking about a new stadium–but for now, at least, they’re bringing Karl Joseph to the 49ers’ backyard. One of the few players I didn’t consider for the 49ers–positional need just isn’t there–Joseph is the hardest-hitting tackler in the draft. Kind of a throwback to the ’70s Raiders teams–someone to knock you out, not just bring you down.
Round 1, Pick 13: Miami Dolphins select Laremy Tunsil, OT, Missisippi
And there he goes. It HAD to happen eventually, but there was a time when Tunsil was going to be the top pick in the entire draft, before Tennessee traded the pick away. The fact that Miami was able to get him at 13 is astounding.
Tunsil has a lot of small issues that have piled up–the bong hit video is only the icing on the cake after a knee injury and a domestic violence arrest (against his stepfather, defending his mother). The on-field talent alone makes him a steal, and here’s hoping he can straighten things out and turn that talent into on-field production.
Pro Football Focus on Buckner
PFF had DeForest Buckner listed as their second-best player in the entire draft, after Joey Bosa. It’s safe to say they approve of what the 49ers did.
"7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner | Grade: A+A perfect fit for the 49ers’ 3-4 scheme, DeForest Buckner reunites in San Francisco with former Oregon teammate Arik Armstead. Buckner was our top-graded interior defensive lineman in 2015, leading the nation with a +43.8 pass rush grade and ranking eighth against the run at +29.8. Perhaps just as impressive, he led the nation with 951 snaps and still kept up his incredible production. Buckner’s a disruptive presence, capable of pushing the pocket, winning with his hands and adding excellent range in the run game to make plays. Buckner is the No. 2 player on the PFF Draft Board and the 49ers got a steal at No. 7 overall."
Round 1, Pick 12: New Orleans Saints select Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville
Best player at the position of biggest need for the Saints. They really could use every single one of their picks on defense, and no one would blink.
Round 1, Pick 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Trade back and get the cornerback you wanted to begin with? Good move from a value standpoint for the Buccaneers–very similar to the 49ers slipping back two picks to get Arik Armstead last year. Same basic idea, and always worth it.
I might like William Jackson III better at the position, but nice move by Jason Licht and the Bucs.
Round 1, Pick 10: New York Giants select Eli Apple, DB, Ohio State
I’m not sure I’m on board with taking Apple with William Jackson and Vernon Hargreaves still on the board at the position. I’m also not sure that the Giants really needed a cornerback. Even if you’re scared off by Tunsil, this would have been a good place to gamble on Myles Jack, or to grab Shaq Lawson or Sheldon Rankins…I’m not sure I’d be happy if I was in the Big Apple tonight.
…Big Apple. Now I get it.
Reactions to Buckner
General consensus likes the pick. I’m with them! Dude’s a beast. I just wonder if the 49ers would have taken him if he wasn’t from Oregon…
Round 1, Pick 9: Chicago Bears trade up with Tampa Bay, select Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
I’m not fully on board with this. The Bears wanted a pass rusher, but Floyd sort of plateaued in college. I wouldn’t have traded up for him, at any rate.
San Francisco 49ers can rest.
Don’t be surprised if the 49ers trade back up into the first round later tonight–they’ve still got 11 picks and plenty of needs.
Don’t expect it to be before Atlanta’s on the clock at 17 at the earliest, though–get up, stretch your legs, watch Oregon video. The draft will be here when you get back.
Round 1, Pick 8: Tennessee Titans trade up with Cleveland, select Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
And the Titans instantly trade up–and Tunsil’s slide continues. That’s astounding–that video has cost him millions of dollars. This is reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers in ’05; someone’s going to get a great value late.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS!
With the 7th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon.
My hopes of getting the top offensive tackle in the draft has gone up in smoke.
Buckner, however, is a more than acceptable substitute. Tunsil may have been my top offensive player remaining, but Buckner was my top defensive player remaining. Buckner and last year’s first-round pick, Arik Armstead, form a massive pair of bookends. Add in Ian Williams between them, and, all of a sudden, the defensive line is a strength, not a weakness.
Was Buckner the right pick? It all depends on what you think the team’s biggest needs were. I think the 49ers could have found a defensive end in the middle rounds of the draft, and thus could have gone with someone else here. But! Buckner is, by far, the best defensive player the 49ers could have drafted. I’m too afraid of Myles Jack’s knee and scheme fit, and neither Joey Bosa nor Jalen Ramsey would have fit in the 49ers’ system quite so nicely.
It’s not who I would have picked, but I can’t argue too strenuously against it. We’ve got Ducks coming off the edges now.
San Francisco 49ers on the clock!
Who will it be? Buckner? Tunsil? A trade down? The excitement is tangible.
Round 1, Pick 6: Baltimore Ravens select Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Ravens must have been swearing up a storm when Ramsey went off the board–it was a clear pick at the position of greatest need for the team.
So they take Ronnie Stanley over Laremy Tunsil. There was some noise of this happening as the draft headed down to the end, and that bong photo might have scared the Ravens away. I still think Tunsil is the best offensive player in this draft, though. Do the 49ers pull the trigger, or are they scared off by the video, as well?
Round 1, Pick 5: Jacksonville Jaguars select Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
I though he would have been gone at this point, but here Ramsey goes at number five. His ability to play multiple positions helps here; the Jaguars don’t really need a cornerback, but a safety, that they need. Assuming they’re sure he’ll fit in at safety, the pick was a no-brainer. A nice pick for Jacksonville, even if I don’t think he’s quite the best player in the draft like he’s been hyped to be by some.
STILL none of San Francisco’s big five taken, plus Tunsil…
Round 1, Pick 4: Dallas Cowboys select Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State
There’s no doubting Elliot’s talent–he’s been a very good running back and that projects well to the NFL. There’s no doubting that it’s a position Dallas needed to address; Darren McFadden is an injury risk waiting to happen. But a running back at number four? Running backs are fungible; you can find them elsewhere if you need them. I would have gone with Jalen Ramsey here.
But, hey, if other teams want to draft players at positions the 49ers don’t really need, I’m all for it.
Round 1, Pick 3: San Diego Chargers select Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Top player in the draft goes to San Diego. I might have gone with Laremy Tunsil, awkwardly-timed tweet of him hitting a bong in a gas mask aside, but it’s hard to argue with upgrading from Kendall Reyes to Joey Bosa.
Plus, Bosa doesn’t fit as well as a 49er as some of the other prospects, so I like this pick from a selfish perspective.
San Francisco 49ers Update
All five of the 49ers’ projected first-round targets are still on the board:
- OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
- DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
- OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
- OLB Myles Jack, UCLA
- QB Memphis Lynch, Memphis
In addition, there are some other interesting names on the board for the 49ers:
- OT Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi
- WR Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi
- WR Josh Doctson, TCU
The real draft starts now, especially for the 49ers.
Round 1, Pick 2: Philadelphia Eagles select Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
This is the other pick we’ve known about for a long time at this point, so now the real draft actually begins.
Again, I wouldn’t have traded up this high, and I’m not so sure that the Eagles couldn’t have sat with Bradford and addressed needs elsewhere on the team–they’re not like the Rams, who needed significant at the position. Bradford may not be the best quarterback in the league, but he’s more serviceable than Nick Foles. I might have gone with Jalen Ramsey here–but I wouldn’t have traded up here to begin with.
Round 1, Pick 1: Los Angeles Rams select Jared Goff, QB, California
As expected. The Rams really don’t have a starting quarterback on the roster, per se. That Nick Foles-for-Sam Bradford trade really paid dividends, yeah? We’ll see him twice a year for the next few years, at least–I really don’t see Foles holding off Goff for the starting job. So all you Cal fans will get to keep seeing your quarterback.
It’s the right choice for the team, but I don’t think I would have given up so much to trade so high up for Goff. Neither of the top two quarterbacks are sure-fire prospects (whatever that means in the context of the NFL Draft), but now that they’re here, it’s a no-brainer pick.
And here we go. Division rivals the Los Angeles Rams get the first overall pick.
It feels right to type that again. All due respect to fans in St. Louis, but the Rams belong in LA. #BeatLA.
As for quarterbacks, while Paxton Lynch has been mocked to the 49ers at seven, it’s notable that he never was invited to visit the 49ers’ facility during the lead-up to the draft. One of Chip Kelly’s top assistants was at his Pro Day, but the 49ers have been much more involved scouting Connor Cook. I’d guess they’re targeting Cook, and we might see a trade back into the end of the first round tonight to take him. Stay tuned.
The general consensus among 49ers fans seems to be that DeForest Buckner is the player they want the most, but I’m not 100% sold. Not that Buckner isn’t worth the seventh overall pick, or that he won’t be successful—I think both of these statements are true. I just think edge rusher is a particularly deep position this draft, and that offensive tackle is a larger need, especially with Anthony Davis’ recent tweets. I like both Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley over Buckner, and I could see an argument for Jack Conklin, too. I’d take Buckner over Conklin, but there’s some good talent on the line early.
Pro Football Focus more or less sums up the state of the 49ers with this tweet.
It’s probably faster to name the positions the 49ers don’t need help at. Carlos Hyde is fine as a starting running back, there are a number of interesting options at tight end, Ian Williams (if healthy) nails down nose tackle, and I still like the safety duo of Reid and Bethea. After that, though, you can make an argument for almost any player at any spot. With twelve picks in the draft, the 49ers have a lot of options.
Of course, the biggest remaining question the 49ers have has nothing to do with the players that will be drafted tonight, but will happen to the highest paid player currently on the roster.
It is possible today is Colin Kaepernick’s last day as a San Francisco 49er, but don’t count on it. The trade with the Denver Broncos is currently stalled–the trade still exists in theory, but the Broncos don’t want him without a paycut, Kaepernick doesn’t want to take a paycut, and the 49ers don’t want to convert any of it to a signing bonus in order to help save the Broncos some cash. Crazier things have happened in the draft, but I’d expect Kaepernick to stay in San Francisco today.
3:45 PM PST
Welcome to the San Francisco 49ers’ Draft Liveblog! It’s t-minus about 75 minutes until the draft proper kicks off, and we here at Niner Noise couldn’t be more excited.
The trades to the top of the round by the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles make it essentially impossible the 49ers will get one of the top two quarterbacks, but there is plenty of talent left at the seventh pick they could grab. The mocks are torn between a number of players–tackles Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame and Jack Conklin of Michigan State, defensive end DeForest Buckner of Oregon, linebacker Myles Jack of UCLA and quarterback Paxton Lynch of Memphis. With Anthony Davis’ recent tweets, maybe Stanley moves ahead of Buckner on the 49ers’ wish list, but who knows–the 49ers have needs up and down the board, and they could take nearly any position and have an argument for it.
Should be an exciting night!
Next: 49ers Picks, Grades and Analysis
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Enjoy the draft, everybody!