Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 10 draft picks.
Round 1, pick No. 3: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford. The third interior pass rusher the 49ers have drafted in the first round the past three years. Strange. A defense can’t play more than two interior rushers at a time. At least the 49ers traded down for Thomas and picked up an extra third-round pick for 2018. Grade: C.
Round 1, pick No. 31: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama. Would have been an “A” pick if Foster hadn’t had rotator-cuff surgery in February, failed a drug test at the Combine and invited a tobacco- and marijuana-vaporizer producer to host his draft party Thursday night. Seems like the type of person who may not last long in the NFL, a la Aldon Smith. Grade: C-minus.
Round 3, pick No. 66: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado. The 49ers had an obvious need for a starting cornerback after they released Tramaine Brock. But they didn’t get a starting corner. They got Witherspoon, who probably won’t play as a rookie because he’s a horrendous tackler. The 49ers should have traded up for a better corner, such as Chidobe Awuzie, who played with Witherspoon at Colorado. Grade: B-minus.
Round 3, pick No. 104: C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa. Who trades up in the third round for a backup quarterback? The 49ers, apparently. Beathard has zero “wow” traits, meaning the ball doesn’t explode out of his hand and he doesn’t throw with good trajectory. That’s why he completed less than 30 percent of passes that traveled more than 20 yards the past two seasons. He is what you call a JAG — just a guy. Grade: F.
Round 4, pick No. 121: Joe Williams, RB, Utah. The most explosive running back in the draft. Williams fell to the fourth round because teams were concerned he may not love football after retiring briefly last season. But the 49ers must not feel concerned. I expect Williams will take Carlos Hyde’s starting job at some point next season. Grade: A-plus.
Round 5, pick No. 146: George Kittle, TE, Iowa. A better blocker and a faster runner with better hands than Vance McDonald, whom the 49ers reportedly want to trade. Kittle is a big upgrade. Grade: A.
Round 5, pick No. 177: Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech. A highly-productive slot receiver in college, although I doubt that’s why the Niners drafted him. They needed a punt returner, and Taylor is a decent one. But the Niners could have drafted an excellent one (Isaiah McKenzie) had they traded up just six spots. I bet they regret missing out on McKenzie. Grade: C.
Round 6, pick No. 198: D.J. Jones, NT, Ole Miss. An athletic run defender who doesn’t fill a major need, but probably is an upgrade over Mike Purcell as the 49ers backup nose tackle. Grade: B.
Round 6, pick No. 202: Pita Taumoepenu, DE, Utah. A small pass-rusher who has long odds to make the final roster. The 49ers should have included this pick in a package to trade up for Chidobe Awuzie in Round 2. Grade: D.
Round 7, pick No. 229: Adrian Colbert, CB/S, Miami. The 49ers needed another defensive back but Colbert may not be talented or durable enough to make the team. The Niners should have included this pick in package to trade up for Isaiah McKenzie in Round 5. Grade: D.
LWR: Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson
SWR: Jeremy Kerley, Trent Taylor
RWR: Pierre Garcon, DeAndre Smelter
LT: Joe Staley, John Theus
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Daniel Kilgore, Jeremy Zuttah
RG: Joshua Garnett
RT: Trent Brown, Garry Gilliam
TE: Logan Paulsen, George Kittle, Vance McDonald
QB: Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
RB: Carlos Hyde, Joe Williams, Kapri Bibbs, Tim Hightower
SAM/LEO: Ahmad Brooks, Aaron Lynch
RDE: Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair
NT: Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones
LDT: DeForest Buckner, Quinton Dial
LDE: Solomon Thomas, Tank Carradine
WILL: Reuben Foster, Malcolm Smith
MIKE: NaVorro Bowman, Ray Ray Armstrong, Brock Coyle
SS: Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt
FS: Jimmie Ward, Don Jones
LCB: Dontae Johnson, Ahkello Witherspoon
NCB: K’Waun Williams, Will Redmond
RCB: Rashard Robinson, Adrian Colbert
PR: Trent Taylor
KR: Joe Williams
P: Bradley Pinion
K: Robbie Gould
LS: Kyle Nelson