Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the San Francisco 49ers.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|177||WR||Trent Taylor||Louisiana Tech|
|198||DT||DJ Jones||Ole Miss|
|229||CB||Adrian Colbert||Miami FL|
Best Value: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
Foster is a player that the 49ers were reportedly prepared to select with the third overall selection had the Bears opted to land Solomon Thomas with the second overall pick. To slide up from the early second round and compliment the selection of Thomas with Foster is a coup for the 49ers.
Rookie GM John Lynch played the first day like a pro; trading back one spot for a lion’s share of picks and then allowing one of the top players on their draft board to slip due to a shaky draft process. Foster’s health is a question right now, he might miss the entire 2017 season. But in the long run this should prove to be a steal if Foster’s shoulder gets right.
Worst Value: QB C.J. Beathard, Iowa
The 49ers looked to get cold feet on Day 2; sliding up a few slots to land Beathard. The problem? Beathard offers very little in the way of excitable skills from my point of view. Beathard comes from a pro style offense that loved to run the ball but failed to consistently make good decisions or throw with accuracy when asked to step up and burden the load of the offense.
Giving up an additional pick to make this selection further compounds what I view to be a poor selection.
Could Surprise: TE George Kittle, Iowa
I think Kittle is the second best bet to be a rookie starter on this roster, behind Soloman Thomas. Foster has injury concerns and the 49ers have been open about shopping current starter at TE, Vance McDonald. Kittle brings impressive polish and was a much better athlete than many thought when watching his film.
A scrappy blocker with in-line ability, Kittle has the savvy to work the middle of the field. The Iowa offense frequently implemented the Tight Ends as vital pieces in the run game and supplementary pass catchers.
Expect Kittle to be a modest production player but someone who will endear fans with his blue collar style of play.