49ers address several different team needs in NFL Draft
The San Francisco 49ers went through a lot in the offseason, but did a pretty good job of addressing several key areas with their picks in the NFL Draft. They lost several players to retirement from the defensive side of the ball and they made sure to reload the defense with their first three picks in the draft. Overall, they took players that they needed and ones that have a chance to start during the upcoming season.
Here is a list of the players selected by the 49ers:
Round 1 – DT Arik Armstead (Oregon)
Round 2 – S Jaquiski Tartt (Samford)
Round 3 – OLB Eli Harold (Virginia)
Round 4 – TE Blake Bell (Oklahoma), RB Mike Davis (South Carolina), and WR Deandre Smelter (Ga. Tech)
Round 5 – P Bradley Pinion (Clemson)
Round 6 – OL Ian Silberman (Boston College)
Round 7 – T Trenton Brown (Florida) and TE Rory “Busta” Anderson (South Carolina)
The only glaring question is this: Why select two TEs when you already have two that are pretty good? With Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald as the No. 1 and No. 2 TEs, the 49ers still selected two more in the draft. This doesn’t make much sense, unless they plan on utilizing Blake Bell in other spots, and maybe even lining Davis up in the slot.
The 49ers did address their offensive line with the addition of Silberman and Brown, but I’m not sure if they will be ready to start by week one. If anything, both of those picks were made to add depth to the o-line and provide some training camp competition. Taking running back Mike Davis in the fourth round was a solid move as well. He can come in and give RB Carlos Hyde some rest, and he is a bruiser of a back, but scouts have said he struggles with energy towards the end of the season. Punter Bradley Pinion has a great distance/hang time ratio (42.6-yard average/4.1-second hang time), and will probably be used as the kickoff specialist due to his power leg. He is also an above average build for a punter (6’5″ and 229 lbs.), but scouts have questioned the accuracy of his punts.
The additions that the 49ers made for the defensive side of the ball were needed, and addressed accordingly. Jaquiski Tartt is a versatile safety that can play both free safety and strong safety, and he is an aggressive presence on the field. Eli Harold is an athletic specimen, but I’m not sure where the 49ers will line him up on the field. He provides a power rush, and has the ability to rush from a stand-up or hand-down stance on the line. Arik Armstead is a big question mark for the 49ers though. Yes, he can play, but he tends to rush standing tall. That being said, he is also a powerful and athletic player that could provide some staunch run support against other NFC West teams.
Overall draft grade: B-
What are your thoughts on the 49ers draft selection? Did they draft players based on need, or did they take the best available player? Leave your comments in the section below.
Dustin Brown covers the NFL for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.