The 49ers have had quite the offseason. Despite losing running back Carlos Hyde to free agency, they have added both Jerick McKinnon and Richard Sherman. While these are just two additions they seem to be on a roll in the offseason. They also made the move to go all-in on new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signing him to a five-year deal worth $137.5 million. Many analysts feel the San Francisco 49ers are one of the few teams in the league that can go from bottom-dweller to competitor in 2018. The NFL Draft was a great opportunity for them to continue their success in the offseason. Here are the 49ers draft grades.
San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Draft Grade
Round 1, Pick 9 – Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame:
If Michelangelo sculpted the perfect offensive tackle, it would be in the mold of Mike McGlinchey. Standing 6’8” and weighing 308 lbs., he is an imposing figure who looks like the prototype offensive tackle in the NFL. While he did play left tackle in college the fact that the 49ers traded their starting right tackle, Trent Brown, speaks volumes about their plans for McGlinchey. The right tackle spot is his to lose and the 49ers offensive line just got a major upgrade. Grade: A
Round 2, Pick 44- Dante Pettis, WR, Washington:
He was phenomenal as a punt returner in college and set the NCAA record for most touchdowns on punt returns in a season with nine. He has blazing speed and can be a real asset for the 49ers in the passing game. The big question mark is what they are planning on doing with Trent Taylor who excelled at the slot receiver position last season. No matter where they put Pettis at least they have their kick returner for the next four years. Grade: B+
Round 3, Pick 70- Fred Warner, LB, BYU:
For the moment, it looks like the 49ers will not be losing Reuben Foster due to legal issues. Despite that, the 49ers needed to draft a linebacker to fill out the position and they got a good one. Warner was a tackling machine in college with 265 career tackles and he also added six-and-a-half sacks to his resume. While he did play outside linebacker at BYU he will probably see more time at inside linebacker due to his incredible ability to make tackles. He should make a nice addition to the 49ers defense. Grade: C+
Round 3, Pick 95- Tarvarius Moore, S, Southern Mississippi:
Going into the draft, the 49ers desperately needed an upgrade at safety after losing Eric Reid to free agency and they might have gotten a playmaker in Tarvarius Moore. He only played at Southern Mississippi for two years but he had five interceptions. With a little bit of seasoning and at least a year of development, he can become a top-notch safety for the 49ers. Grade: C+
Round 4, Pick 198- Kentavius Street, DT, North Carolina State:
Street has freakish athletic ability for a defensive tackle. He had a 4.82 second 40 yard-dash time with 28 reps on the bench during the combine. He only had three-and-a-half sacks in 2017 but due to his athleticism, the 49ers could develop him into a great weapon on the defensive front. Grade: B
Round 5, Pick 142- D.J. Reed, DB, Kansas State:
His measurables are unimpressive. He had a 4.51 second 40 yard-dash time with only 11 reps on the bench during the combine. He did have impressive stats in college with an exceptional 582 yards on punt returns on the season. It is possible the 49ers picked him to compete with Dante Pettis for punt return duties. Grade: C-
Round 6, Pick 184- Marcell Harris, S, Florida:
At 6’1” 216 lbs., Harris has good size for a safety. Howevr, he only had nine starts in college and is coming off a torn Achilles. He had 73 tackles and two interceptions during those starts. He has an uphill battle but can make the team if he impresses on special teams. Grade: C-
Round 7, Pick 223- Jullian Taylor, DT, Temple:
Taylor has excellent athleticism with a 4.83 second 40 yard-dash time and 31 reps on the bench. Considering his 280 lbs. frame, that speed is exceptional while his strength is sound for a defensive lineman. While he only played in 15 games during his college career, his strengths may help him succeed in the NFL. Grade: C+
Round 7, Pick 240- Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State:
While he lacks exceptional speed and strength, James does have good hands. He was ranked third nationally his freshman year with 108 receptions. He had 1,625 yards and 12 touchdowns his sophomore year but his junior year in 2017 was cut short due to a broken collarbone. If he can come back to form after this potentially devastating injury then he could be the best value for the 49ers in the draft. Grade: B
Best Pick: Mike McGlinchey
McGlinchey was the best player at his position in the draft for a reason. With exceptional footwork, solid hands and brute strength it is hard to overlook such a fantastic prospect. While the 49ers did not need to draft this position as much as other positions, such as on defense, they saw what could be a Hall of Fame player and seized the opportunity. Their rushing attack on the right side is going to be absolutely devastating.
Best Value/Sleeper: Richie James
While he only played two full seasons in college, James broke most of his school’s receiving records and in the process set his conference on fire. What he lacks in speed and strength he makes up for in hands. He always finds a way to catch the ball and in the end that is all that matters for this position. If he can come back from a broken collarbone he suffered in 2017 then he can light the NFL up with great numbers and fantastic highlights.
Biggest Reach: Marcell Harris
Harris only had nine total starts in college and eight of those starts were at the position the 49ers need the most help: safety. He is also coming off a torn Achilles and that is a big risk. There are too many factors against him to not rank him as a reach. Only time will tell if he can prove himself on special teams and then maybe he can get a shot at being a starting safety in the NFL.
Biggest Need Filled: Offensive Tackle
Once the 49ers drafted Mike McGlinchey, they quickly traded Trent Brown to the Patriots. It is due to this reason alone that this is the biggest need which was filled on draft day. McGlinchey looks like the real deal and hopefully, the 49ers got a major upgrade at this position.
Projected Day One Starters: Mike McGlinchey
McGlinchey is the only player the team drafted who has a legitimate chance of starting from day one. All other players who will make an impact will do so at a later date and with time for development and seasoning.
The 49ers filled some needs but most of the players drafted will not be able to contribute right away. In a world where time is money, there is very little patience for player development. A number of these players can be really good if they are given time to develop. Do they have time? Only time will tell.