San Francisco 49ers 2017 Draft Review

1st/3 Solomon Thomas, DE

Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 273 School: Stanford

With so many needs on their roster the 49ers couldn’t afford to be picky and needed to take the best available prospect. By picking Solomon Thomas he gives San Francisco an interior pass rusher with explosive quickness and a knack for sacking the quarterback. Thomas may start out as a pass rushing specialist but will only be a matter of time before he’s entrenched into the starting lineup.

 

1st/31 Reuben Foster, LB

Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 229 School: Alabama

A poor Pre-Draft Process really hurt Foster and dropped him from a potential top 5 pick all the way to the end of the first round. However, if Foster is able to prove that his off the field issues are nothing to worry about they got a new leader in the middle of their defense and a prospect that could have been in consideration for their 2nd overall pick. Tremendous value here.

 

3rd/66 Ahkello Witherspoon, CB

Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 198 School: Colorado

With Jimmie Ward moving to safety and Tramaine Brock being released the cornerback position is in dire need of help. Witherspoon is a long athletic press corner who is not afraid to get physical and uses his long arms to disrupt the catch point. While he only has three career interceptions he has broken up 22 total passes during the 2016 season alone. As the 49ers move to a Seattle style Cover 3, Witherspoon is a perfect fit.

 

3rd/104 CJ Beathard, QB

Ht.: 6’2 Wt.: 219 School: Iowa

Without targeting a quarterback early, the 49ers are primed to make a go after a big name next offseason. So similar to what the Browns did last year drafting Cody Kessler, the 49ers target CJ Beathard as a high level backup that they can count of for years to come. The hope is that Beathard will provide a solid backup with the dream that he can develop into the next Kirk Cousins.

 

4th/121 Joe Williams, RB

Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 210 School: Utah

A backup on the team Williams retired but then returned when injuries ravished the team’s depth chart. Upon his return Williams exploded in the second half of the season showing a renewed effort and using his elite speed that can take any run to the house. In Shanahan’s zone scheme Williams could have the same impact Tevin Coleman had in Atlanta.

 

5th/146 George Kittle, TE

Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 247 School: Iowa

Mainly used as a blocker Kittle was used good strength and leverage to hold the point of attack and help open running lanes. But a surprising performance at the Combine open everyone’s eyes to Kittle to his potential. Kittle will likely be used as an H-back moving around the formation while pushing the seam in the pass game.

 

5th/177 Trent Taylor, WR

Ht.: 5’8 Wt.: 181 School: Louisiana Tech

Taylor is your typical slot receiver who uses quickness in and out of breaks to get open. Taylor also brings experience as a punt returner which should only enhance his value. With a poor receiving unit in San Francisco Taylor has a good shot of making the team.

 

6th/198 DJ Jones, DT

Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 319 School: Mississippi

As a shorter defensive tackle Jones plays with good leverage with his ability to get underneath bigger offensive lineman to hold the point of attack. Needing a run stuffing nose tackle in their four-man front Jones will have a shot and could develop into a serviceable starter down the line.

 

6th/202 Pita Taumoepenu, DE

Ht.: 6’1 Wt.: 243 School: Utah

Football is still new to Taumoepenu as he played only one year in high school and started just seven games at Utah. A straight line athlete Taumeopenu is viewed as a developmental prospect at the weakside linebacker position along the 49ers defensive line. Without many options it should allow Taumoepenu  a chance to make an early impact.

 

7th/229 Adrian Colbert, S

Ht.: 6’1 Wt.: 200 School: Miami

A former safety at Texas Cobert was a graduate transfer at Miami where they moved turned him into a press man corner. A 4.38 40-yard dash along with his size is what got him drafted. San Francisco is thin at corner and moving to a new scheme which fits right into Colbert’s skill set.

 

Best Pick

Foster (first round)

 

Upside Pick

Colbert (seventh round)

 

Overall Thoughts

If you take away the third round pick used on CJ Beathard then the 49ers had a very productive draft. It started with the trade with Chicago and selecting two top five rated prospects, but continued by getting a good corner in Witherspoon and a potential starting running back in Joe Williams.

Grade: A-

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