SF 49ers: Grading all 4 of John Lynch’s NFL Draft classes

San Fransisco 49ers general manager John Lynch Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
San Fransisco 49ers general manager John Lynch Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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John Lynch, SF 49ers
General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

With some members of the SF 49ers’ 2017 NFL Draft class about to become free agents, it’s a good time to evaluate John Lynch’s efforts so far.

The SF 49ers‘ 2017 NFL Draft class is, by and large, hitting the free-agent market, as is the case with many of the players selected across the league that year. The 2021 draft is coming up very soon, too, making this junction a good time to examine the work of general manager John Lynch and the rest of the Niners’ work in the draft.

All the drafts will be analyzed in much greater detail, and later articles will take a look at Lynch’s draft trades, other trades as well as his overall acquisitions. That said, let’s explain the overall grading process because this, in and of itself, is already a subjective work.

Obviously, each pick will get a letter grade based upon the talent and production of the player relative to where he was drafted. These grades will be used to compile an overall grade for the draft class as a whole. Undrafted free agents will be taken into consideration. Trades, however, will not be. While they provide good context for a selection, they shouldn’t drastically alter the talent or production of a player.

The overall grade is heavily dependent where the player was taken. Yes, while it’s important to get good depth pieces, and an NFL Draft steal is most definitely a good thing for the SF 49ers, that’s not a useful way of evaluating a class when trying to understand a front office.

If the Niners knew exactly what they were getting, they’d draft that player with the first pick they had.

Missing at the top is a big deal, and though the roster overall doesn’t change if the miss is at the top or on the bottom, it does matter for the front office.

With all that said, let’s get started.