San Francisco 49ers Draft Grades

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The 49ers drafted Aldon Smith 7th overall which was considered a reach by many.  Do I agree? And how did the rest of the 49ers draft turn out.

1st Round pick: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

Aldon Smith played at Missouri and was very productive. Smith is one of a number of players who was expected to get looks at both 43 DE and 34 OLB. Smith is often compared to Jason Pierre Paul of the New York Giants.  Pierre Paul was a much more explosive athlete and bigger, while Smith is more productive. Still there are similarities between the two players.

Philosophy A-

Clearly the 49ers thought Smith was highly rated because the beat reporters reported that they liked Amukamara and Quinn, but the ended up with Smith. This is a position that is of the utmost importance and is one that holds a lot of positional value in the top 10. of the draft The philosophy is downgraded a bit because he’s a projection player moving to a new position.

Player Value: B-

I’m not as hung up on his value as most people. A lot of people thought he would end up with the Texans at 11, and I think he’s right in that 10-16 range as a player so 7 is not too much of a reach. Is he a better prospect that Robert Quinn?  Maybe the 49ers were turned off by Quinn’s interviews, which would drive them away from Quinn and into the out-stretched arms of Aldon Smith. This isn’t an A value because he’s not the best player available and might not even be the best player available at his position.


2nd Round pick: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Neavada

Kaepernick is an enticing physical specimen with a big time arm and good speed. Kaepernick was one of the best pass/rush combination quarterbacks in college football. Very, very productive. Kaepernick has tremendous upside. He had over 40 combined touchdowns and over 4,000 combined passing and rushing yards this past season.

Philosophy: A

If you think he’s a top player (and I believe the 49ers did) and he plays quarterback: you must take that player!

Player Value B

He’s not the best player available, even if he is the most talented player at an important position available. It’s good value, but you would prefer to grab Kaepernick in the third round. In order to draft Kaepernick, the 49ers had to pass on other talented players and players that were considered better values.

3rd Round pick: Chris Culliver, DB, South Carolina

Chris Carter is a physically gifted defensive back who has good size and speed (a sub 4.40 yard dash), but lacks production with only three career interceptions.

Philosophy: C-

Seems and feels like a reach pick trying to fill a void in their secondary.  He has good upside, which seems to be a theme of the 49ers draft, but there were much better players available, and even a few cornerbacks who were better.

Player Value: C

A better athlete than he is a player. Culliver needs a lot of work and has a history of nagging injuries. Not a player I’d take in the third round, even though it’s a player Sayre and I predicted would be drafted in the first three rounds. Physical ability was too enticing. The 49ers have gone back to back years taking very talented physical specimens at safeties. Hopeflly for their sake these guys can learn to play football well.

4th Round pick: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oregon State

Hunter can catch the ball and run it. He tallied 1548 yards receiving at a 5.7 yards per carry clip. He also added in 20 receptions, but only for a 100 yards.

Philosophy: A

When the running back class is this deep you can’t fault teams for waiting until day three and drafting wahtever good running back would fall in the draft.

Player Value: A

The best pure value pick the 49ers made all weekend. Hunter is going to fit in nicely with the 49ers.

5th Round pick: Daniel Kilgore, OL, Appalachian State

Player Value: C

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve done intimate study of Kilgore so the 49ers would know a lot more about him than I would

6th Round pick: Ronald Johnson, WR, USC

Player Value B

The only other two three pick I really liked fro the 49ers on the third day. Johnson has all the tools to succeed in the N.F>L. with the proper coaching. Johnson wasn’t as productive as you would like in an N.F.L. prospect, but he’s a fine value pick late in the 6th round.

6th Round pick: Colin Jones, CB, TCU

Player Value:  C

Jones had a very impressive Pro-Day is a player who lacks a lot of experience, but has unique upside for a 6th round prospect. He should be able to help out immediately on Special teams and is a fine value pick late in the draft.

7th Round pick: Bruce Miller, DL, Central Florida

Player Value: B+

Not too many players at this point in the draft have the production that Miller has: 21.5 sacks over the last two seasons while playing at UCF. Miller will probably play rush linebacker for the 49ers and this is a solid pick for them.

7th Round pick: Michael Pearson, OL, Montana State

Player value C-

Lee Ziemba was right there for the taking and a much better prospect than Pearson from what little I know about Pearson. They also could have taken a chance on Jeremey Beal or any other number of players that were much better value.

7th Round pick: Curtis Holcomb, DB,Florida A & M

Player Value C

Again, This seems like a player they could get immediately when the UDFA period starts when they could have drafted a cornerback like Kendric Bruney who was ridiculously undervalued, but that’s to be expected. Cornerbacks who are short and slow tend to hold very little value.

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