So now that we're almost 2 weeks removed from the draft and I've had time to learn more about each player and judge them off of snap emotional reactions, I wanted to go back and grade each pick.
1. Mike McGlinchey, OT: B+
I know there has been a lot of debate on value vs. reach, LT vs. RT, etc. I gave this pick a B+ because he has all of the tools, both physically and mentally, to succeed as a dominant RT for the next 10 years. I'm hesitant to believe that he can be an elite LT, but I think in today's NFL with teams putting EDGE guys on both sides of the defense, the disparity between LT and RT is not a lot. I think we got a guy who has a very high floor, which helps with our win now situation, but also has a moderately high ceiling in terms of refining his traits rather than learning new ones.
2. Dante Pettis, WR: C+
So when I originally saw this pick, I was unhappy because I thought we were trading up for Isiah Oliver. 2 weeks later, I'm a little more excited about Pettis. I like the player but still don't love the pick. I'm excited to see his dynamic ability on display in an offense that he should thrive in. I think his skills of separating with his burst and route running in the intermediate area pair well with Jimmy G's elite ability to carve up defenses in the short to intermediate area will give Pettis the opportunity to be a pretty big contributor for the next several years. I think he will force his way onto the field on the offense pretty early on and will be the main punt returner day one.
3. Fred Warner, WILL: A
When I saw this selection, I thought it was a dream. Warner is the new-age prototypical WILL LB and could be a star. I see him as Dion Jones but 3 inches taller. Warner covers like a safety but also hits like a LB. I love his intelligence, athletic ability, and leadership qualities. He's great in coverage and will be a huge upgrade over Malcolm Smith. My only concern with Warner right now is his run stopping ability. At BYU, it sounds like he was good but not great and can get out of position knowing that his athleticism allows him to still make plays. I know he will primarily be used in coverage so I'm not too concerned about his run stopping abilities right now.
3. Tarvarious Moore, Outside CB: B
The more I learn about Moore, the more I like him. His athleticism and size are upper-tier elite, but lack of experience at corner is preventing this pick from being an A. Despite his physical abilities, it's still a gamble that he performs well at corner, so it causes a bit of apprehension. But, the 49ers have the infrastructure in place to help him succeed. If Moore pans out, this pick could be a huge steal in the draft and give us a pair of solid, young corners for the next several years.
4. Kentavius Street, DE: C-
This pick was a bit of a head-scratcher given that the Niners have depth along the D-line and lack of depth at other areas on the team and this, coupled with the ACL injury, makes this a low grade. What's preventing this grade from being a D is the physical ability and potential Street has. I like his seek-and-destroy-style of play, run stopping ability, and ability to disrupt the pocket. I feel like these skills fit well at the Big End position where he can be Solomon Thomas' primary back up there for the foreseeable future (once Thomas moves there after Armstead leaves). I think Street is a nice project pick and it sounds like the value is right (reports show that the Niners, along with several other teams really liked him). I don't hate the player, I just saw this as a luxury pick and I don't think we're at that position yet.
5. D.J. Reed, Slot CB: A
Like Moore, the more I learn about this guy, the more I love the pick. From the time he stepped foot on K-Stat's field until his last snap, he was an eraser of the opposing teams best corner. He played in a conference where they throw it all over the field and he was the best in the conference for multiple years as preventing big plays. Reed is a flat out baller with the swagger to back it up. Like enough swagger to win a jawing match with Chad Johnson. I love his story and the chip on his shoulder he plays with. His coverage ability and his athleticism should give him the opportunity to take K'Waun Williams role as the slot corner away from him very quickly. While I think this pick has a bit of redundancy to it with Williams signing an extension and Ward getting playing time at slot this year, but what's great about this pick is it gives Reed a full year with low expectations to really hone his skills and be flat out dominant in a year or two. Also, he is a fantastic kick returner with big-play ability. Him, paired with Pettis will give us serious play-making ability in the return game that we haven't seen in a long time.
6. Marcel Harris, SS: C
So at first, I hated the pick. I didn't understand why we were taking a safety and one that was recovering from a serious injury. But as I was thinking about it, I was beginning to see that this was a nice pick. Our depth at safety isn't great. After Colbert and Tartt, we have Chancellor James and Don Jones, not fantastic. Marcel Harris will come in a push both of them for playing time and will also provide solid depth for special teams. Harris was a multi-year starter at SS for Florida and was by all accounts pretty good. I've read reports that, before his injury, he was rated as a 4th or 5th round pick, so we got great value with the pick. As long as he can bounce back from his injury, I think he has a great chance at being the third safety on the depth chart and a solid contributor from a depth standpoint.
7. Jullian Taylor, DT: B
Like the Street pick, this was more of a luxury pick given the depth on the line, but in the 7th, I think this is the right time to make picks like this. Taylor's size (6'5 280) and movement skills are very intriguing. I like his run stopping ability and the way he can disrupt the pocket. I think he will need to clean up some of his lack of technique due to his reliance on his athleticism, but overall I like his chances of being a useful player along the interior of the line. I think he profiles best at Buckner's position and has a similar playing style to Buckner and Armstead. I think Taylor is a great addition to the D-line and will be a solid depth piece.
7. Richie James, WR: B+
His athleticism is off the charts, but his size is a big concern. I love his play-making ability and his makeup, but his size and durability issues are a ding to his grade. He seems like a guy who will give Trent Taylor a run for his money for the next several years and could end up being the primary slot receiver. His hands, speed, and separation are really good, but from all the reports I've read about him, he needs to stop relying on his physical talent and get better at route running and overall technique. I think this will keep him off the field for most of his first year, but when he starts improving his route running, look out. This dude could be a big-time play-maker.
Overall Grade: B+
I think this class as whole shows the Niners commitment to getting more athletes on the team, which I love. I thought the late round picks were great and the 3rd round is where we found some of the best talent in the draft. I'm a little concerned that we didn't take an OG in the draft as we don't have much young talent there and I still feel like we could've taken another outside CB, I don't love what we have behind Sherman, Witherspoon, and Moore. With that said, I think we found some immediate contributors and soon-to-be starters that will make this team much better. I'm excited about this class and I think coupled with last year's excellent draft, Lynch is building himself a talented, fast, and young team.