Ranking the 49ers' last 10 first-round draft picks from worst to best

A ranking of the last 10 San Francisco 49ers' first-round draft selections from worst to best.
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Arik Armstead
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

No. 2: DT Arik Armstead (2015)

While things ended a bit bitterly with the 49ers releasing defensive lineman Arik Armstead after he refused to take a pay cut, he was still an outstanding 49er. He was a steady presence on defense for the team even though he battled injuries throughout his career.

The Niners selected Armstead with the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Oregon. While there was a time when it seemed like Armstead could be a bust due to frequent injury, by 2018, he began to stay on the field and be a solid contributor.

Ultimately, the Niners decided to give him the big pay day over DeForest Buckner following the 2019 season. The first two years of that deal, Armstead played in every game, but the last two seasons, the injuries began to pile up again as he only played in 21 regular-season games out of 34 over the last two years.

He played through multiple injuries throughout the 2023 season, which speaks to his toughness as an athlete and his competitive drive. He was also phenomenal off the field as he did a lot of community work in the Bay Area and was a consistent Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee.

He may no longer be a 49er, but the 49ers did a pretty good job selecting him all those years ago.

The final player on this list is also a defensive lineman who was a pretty good investment.