Where Are They Now? Each San Francisco 49ers Draft Pick Since 2011
By Peter Panacy
2011 NFL Draft
Trent Baalke’s first year as general manager of the 49ers is still widely viewed as a tremendous success. 2011 proved to be one of his best draft classes, and those efforts helped lead the Niners to three consecutive NFC Championship game appearances under then-head coach Jim Harbaugh.
- Linebacker Aldon Smith, Missouri
- Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
- Cornerback Chris Culliver, South Carolina
- Running Back Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
- Offensive Lineman Daniel Kilgore, Appalachian State
- Wide Receiver Ronald Johnson, USC
- Defensive Back Colin Jones, TCU
- Defensive End Bruce Miller, Central Florida
- Offensive Guard Michael Person, Montana State
- Defensive Back Curtis Holcomb, Florida A&M
Linebacker Aldon Smith emerged as one of the most prolific pass-rushers in the NFL his rookie season after being selected by the 49ers at No. 7 overall. Smith nearly broke Michael Strahan‘s single-season sack record the subsequent year, but numerous off-the-field incidents eventually forced his release from the Niners just ahead of the 2015 season.
Smith signed with the Oakland Raiders shortly thereafter and remains with San Francisco’s cross-bay rivals despite currently serving a suspension.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick broke into the league the following year after former 49ers QB Alex Smith was lost to a concussion. Kap helped lead the Niners to three NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2012 season. But Kaepernick’s 2014 and 2015 struggles have left his starting status with the 49ers in doubt.
Cornerback Chris Culliver enjoyed his best year with the Niners in 2014 but signed a free-agent deal with the Washington Redskins the following year. Washington cut him after one season, and Culliver remains a free agent.
Running back Kendall Hunter was a solid backup to former 49ers tailback Frank Gore. An injury forced him to miss the 2014 season and he was cut by San Francisco the following year and signed with the New Orleans Saints. He’s currently a free agent.
Offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore took over starting duties at center in 2014 and will likely hold the same stead with the Niners in 2016.
Wide receiver Ronald Johnson never made the 53-man roster after being drafted and ended up signing with the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons. He’s currently playing indoor football.
Defensive back Colin Jones managed to get into 13 games for the 49ers his rookie season but has been a member of the Carolina Panthers since 2012.
Then-defensive end Bruce Miller was eventually switched to fullback his rookie season. Miller has emerged as one of the best fullbacks in the NFL, although the Niners look to be using him as a tight end under head coach Chip Kelly this season, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
Offensive guard Michael Person eventually signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 before finding his way to the St. Louis Rams in 2014. He started 14 games at center with the Atlanta Falcons last year.
Defensive back Curtis Holcomb never saw the field with the 49ers after being drafted and was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. He’s currently out of the NFL.
Next: 2012 NFL Draft