San Francisco 49ers Draft Grade
Solomon Thomas - DL, San Francisco 49ers
NFL NFL Draft San Francisco 49ers

NFL Draft Grades: San Francisco 49ers – John Lynch Building a Defense


The San Francisco 49ers is a team that needs everything. From the starting QB all the way down to the safety on the back end. The 2017 NFL Draft could offer them some help. It was very deep in many of the areas in which the 49ers were in need. How did the 49ers do in the 2017 NFL Draft? We grade them below.

Round One – From Chicago Bears

Solomon Thomas – DE, Stanford

The John Lynch era started with a bang. He obtains four picks to trade down one spot and still gets the player he wanted all along. Absolute veteran move.

As for the pick of Solomon Thomas. This kid is a very versatile defensive lineman. He can play defensive end and be kicked down inside. Thomas can use a variety of moves when trying to get himself off blocks. Additionally, he can make himself small in order to shoot the gaps. Finally, Thomas has all the tools to become one of, if not the best d-lineman in this draft class.

Round One – From Seattle Seahawks through Atlanta Falcons

Rueben Foster – LB, Alabama

Another trade by GM John Lynch to back into the first round and fill a need. Foster is the type of player that will make an immediate impact for the San Francisco 49ers. Considering he is probably the best linebacker in this draft. The only reason he fell this far down was due to off-field issues. In addition to the off-field stuff, there are also concerns of diluted urine samples at the NFL Combine.

Foster brings swagger to the LB group. His elite speed from sideline to sideline will also make him stand out. Furthermore, he loves to play downhill and get into gaps. Not to mention he has tremendous cover abilities too. He can stick with RBs on the swing and wheel routes. Overall, Foster should bring immediate success to the 49ers defense.

Round Three

Ahkello Witherspoon – CB, Colorado

The 6’3” 200lb corner ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Combine. In fact, his tremendous speed allows him to catch up if receivers beat him off the LOS. To add to his speed, he has insane ball skills. Opposing QBs only completed 26% against him last season. He also defended 20 passes. If the San Francisco 49ers staff can teach him to hit, Witherspoon could look like a steal from the third round of this draft.

Round Three – Compensatory Pick From Minnesota Vikings through Kansas City Chiefs

C.J. Beathard – QB, Iowa

I had Beathard listed as a late round gem. The 49ers decided to take an earlier chance on him. Beathard fits the mold of a Kyle Shanahan type QB. He has strong pocket skills. Also, has surprisingly good work outside the pocket. Moreover, he has the arm strength to make all the throws. Furthermore, he trusts his line to keep in upright. This allows him to keep his eyes down field. Finally, he is smart with the football. Always knowing which read is the right one.

Round Four – From Indianapolis Colts

Joe Williams – RB, Utah

Williams is a back who has great speed. He will work well with the Kyle Shanahan system. In addition to his speed, he is a hard runner to bring down. He is also not afraid to lower his shoulders and deliver the punishment.

However, Williams does have some off the field issues. He also has a severe tendency to put the ball on the ground. If the San Francisco 49ers are willing to look past the off field and fumbling issues, they could have themselves a solid individual.

Round Five

George Kittle – TE, Iowa

Kittle is a pro-ready TE who is highly rated as a blocker. He brings additional depth to the position. Shanahan loves to run multi-TE sets. To draft a player like Kittle in the fifth round brings value to the position. He not only has great blocking skills but also has a very solid set of hands. He had only one drop. Finally, his surprising athleticism should find him a roster spot.

Round Five – Compensatory Pick From Denver Broncos

Trent Taylor – WR, Louisiana Tech

Taylor has a toughness and willingness that allows him to work the middle. However, his short arm length limits the window for the QB. Consequently, Taylor could make the squad as a return specialist. However, he is going to have to increase his awareness and explosiveness for that to happen.

Round Six – From Baltimore Ravens

D.J. Jones – DT, Mississippi

The 320lb d-lineman is a versatile run stopper. He has tremendous athleticism for a player his size. Because of his size and athleticism, he likes to play on the other side of the LOS. What is more impressive is his ability to stuff the screen.

Round Six – From Denver Broncos

Pita Taumoepenu – OLB, Utah

Taumoepenu brings depth to a position of need. Hs strengths are getting downhill and rushing the passer. He also brings a relentless pursuit from anywhere on the field. In fact, his motor is always going. Nevertheless, his size could limit him early. However, with his motor, he could be a special team stud.

Round Seven – From New Orleans Saints

Adrian Colbert – DB, Miami

Colbert will have to earn his paycheck on special teams. Especially, early on in his career. He has the size, strength, and speed to turn the coaches’ heads. Although, his lack of tackling and inexperience as a starter will plague him.

John Lynch knows what it takes to be successful in the NFL. He has to be in the running for GM of the year. At least after the draft results. However, they still need a QB to build around. Next year’s class is better for that. In any case, the San Francisco 49ers still had a very solid draft.

Final Draft Grade – A

How do you feel about the 49ers draft? What grade would you give them? Please leave your comments below.

You can follow Sean on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @NFLINSC!

 

 

 


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Sean Naylor
Senior NFL Editor/Writer for INSC. I have been writing about the NFL for 5 years now. My love for the game is why I do what I do. My work has been featured on Bleacher Report. Besides writing for INSC you can also hear me every Wednesday night on the Rat Pack Sports Show at 10 pm EST. Please follow me on Twitter: @NFLINSC. IG: @NFLINSC, Snapchat: NFLINSC, and Facebook.
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