49ers receive solid grade in FanSided post-2020 NFL Draft analysis

General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers pulled off an impressive haul during the 2020 NFL Draft despite selecting just five prospects, and those efforts were recognized by FanSided’s draft review.

In all likelihood, the San Francisco 49ers‘ efforts in the 2020 NFL Draft didn’t exactly go as anyone would have thought.

After all, while there were rumors he could retire, veteran left tackle Joe Staley officially announcing his retirement during the draft itself wasn’t a moment anyone probably predicted. Replacing Staley with another perennial Pro Bowler, former Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams, for the cost of a 2020 fifth- and 2021 third-round pick probably wasn’t on any draft pundit’s radar, either.

General manager John Lynch wasn’t afraid to make trades throughout the draft, also moving running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to both clear cap space and gain some additional draft capital and flexibility.

Needless to say, FanSided was pretty impressed with San Francisco’s efforts, giving this particular class a B-plus grade:

"The 49ers did a great job in Round 1 coming away with both Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk. Then again, they needed to hit on both those picks since they didn’t have a selection on Day Two.Kinlaw needs to up his consistency but the 49ers coaching staff should be able to help him maximize his potential. Aiyuk has a chance to make big plays for Jimmy Garoppolo right away. He was really good value late in the first round.The 49ers also took an intriguing receiver in Round 7. Jauan Jennings may not have elite speed, but he showed great ball skills at Tennessee. He caps off a solidly above average class for the Niners."

Kinlaw might have been a small surprise, although finding a younger and cheaper replacement for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, whose trade to the Indianapolis Colts netted the No. 13 overall pick, was certainly on team fans’ collective radar.

So was Aiyuk, who might have been a step below some of the elite wide receivers in this year’s class — Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III — yet wasn’t going to showcase the drastic drop off players at defensive tackle would have shown behind Kinlaw.

Both players fill an immediate need for San Francisco and should start right away.

FanSided didn’t take into account the Williams trade. Or if they did, they didn’t speak of it. Either way, that could have been the winning move above the Niners’ two first-round acquisitions.

Backing up the 49ers’ day-three choices, offensive lineman Colton McKivitz from West Virginia won’t be a flashy pick, and the Niners likely see him as reserve depth along the interior. Going that route is never a bad idea, especially considering the attrition San Francisco’s O-line suffered a year ago. Meanwhile, tight end Charlie Woerner was one of the better collegiate blockers at his position in this year’s class, giving him an excellent shot to secure a niche role on the roster this season.

Same with Jennings who, despite sluggish straight-line speed, possesses a kind of physicality not overly common among San Francisco’s other pass catchers. Jennings might have a ways to go to secure a key role, but there looks to be a good chance to at least make the 55-man regular-season roster.

If anything, the 49ers continued last year’s practice of selecting day-three players who have the best chance to make the cut after training camp and the preseason. And considering the Niners lacked a ton of draft capital and had some substantial needs, it’s safe to say they accomplished their objectives and then some.

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At least FanSided thinks so.