A few #49ers draft facts: SF has selected at least one wide receiver every year since 2003
— Mindi Bach (@MBachCSN) May 8, 2014
If you can’t beat them, join them. The 49ers build up their secondary by taking an unexpected prospect by tapping safety Jimmy Ward of Northern Illinois. Ward’s calling card in the lead up to the draft was that of the best coverage safety in the draft. For a position that was pegged for not being deep, Ward is the fourth safety to go in the first round, signaling an increase in the value of safeties in this age of power forward tight ends changing offenses. Ward has the potential to be an instant contributor in the secondary even with the off-season signing of Antione Bethea. Ward will be an excellent complement to platoon a safety position with Bethea. Ward is more of the coverage safety, while Bethea’s best skills are as an in the box safety to support the run. Additionally, Ward could potentially be used in a Tyrann Mathieu role this season as a nickel defensive back to utilize Ward’s instincts and turnover prowess. We’ll leave with this thought, there is still a plethora of talent available after tonight. The 49ers will have five selections on Day 2.
The 49ers start the night by trading back with the Broncos. Denver selects Cody Latimer with the 56th pick originally belonging to the Chiefs. The Niners gained that pick from the Alex Smith trade. In total, the 49ers sent selections 56 and 242 in return for selections 63, 171, and a 2015 4th rounder. However, the 49ers weren’t done dealing. They turned right around and dealt picks 63 and 171 to Miami to move up to pick 57. To sum it up, Baalke went down one pick and a seventh rounder to pick up a 2015 4th rounder. Baalke the draft ninja strikes again!
You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised by the 49ers during the draft, but I didn’t see the 49ers taking a running back so early. With the 57th pick, the 49ers traded up to nab Carlos Hyde out of Ohio State. This pick stands in stark contrast to the LaMichael James pick in the 2nd round a couple years back. The 49ers are making a big statement recommitting to the power run game. However, this pick does raise major questions about how Marcus Latimore is progressing in his recovery from his gruesome knee injury. This pick reminds me immensely of Seattle’s selection of Christine Michael despite already having Beast Mode and Robert Turbin.
Wow! 49ers got Carlos Hyde. This is interesting. Get stronger at what you do best. — Ryan Riddle (@Ryan_Riddle) May 10, 2014
The 49ers trade down again! The 49ers trade pick number 61 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for pick number 70 and 150.
Marcus Martin has 34-inch arms, which obviously caught Trent Baalke’s eye. Baalke is to long arms as Sir Mix-a-Lot is to large posteriors. — Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) May 10, 2014
At pick No. 70, the 49ers snag the top rated center on most draft boards. Marcus Martin out of USC also has some positional versatility as he played guard in college as well. Next year, he provides tough competition with Kilgore for the starting spot. Beyond that, he could step in as a starting guard in the event that Iupati prices himself out of San Francisco. However, count NFL draft scout extraordinaire Daniel Jeremiah as one that sees Martin’s home as a center.
Marcus Martin made a dramatic improvement from last year to this year…much better at C than OG. — Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 10, 2014
With the 77th pick, the 49ers take out a quality insurance policy in Chris Borland. Although Borland does not profile similarly to Willis or Bowman, the ILB from Wisconsin has outstanding instincts. Borland will allow Bowman to take his time with his rehabilitation, and the 49ers do not want him to cut corners committing a large contract to him through 2018. The rich get richer.
The last pick of the third round came to the 49ers in return for the net loss of free agents last off-season, headlined by the departure of Dashon Goldson. As expected, the 49ers help their decision makers during training camp by selecting a talented, but injured player to red-shirt for a year. Brandon Thomas of Clemson played left tackle in college, but he will be pegged to compete at the guard positions with Mike Iupati and Alex Boone scheduled for unrestricted free agency in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Between the selections of Marcus Martin and Brandon Thomas, the 49ers are adding insurance and competition going forward. The 49ers are making a statement in this draft that they will continue to be a dominant, physical, smash-mouth football team, just the way Harbaugh likes it.
The 49ers select WR Bruce Ellington with pick No. 106. I had Ellington mocked to the 49ers in their first 3rd round selection, so he is good value here. While he doesn’t have elite size or speed, Ellington is a mentally and physically strong player and is an ideal slot receiver. He’ll go over the middle, and he is a willing blocker in the run game, which will definitely appeal to the 49ers brass. The Ellington selection is also getting a ton of love on draft twitter.
49ers just scored with that Bruce Ellington pick. Kind of a Steve Smith Lite. — SI_DougFarrar (@SI_DougFarrar) May 10, 2014
At pick No. 129, the 49ers go with another CB/S tweener. Dontae Johnson of North Carolina State combines length to compete at the catch point with good speed for his size. He’s 6’2″ and 200 pound; however, he needs to be coached up. Johnson can be undisciplined with his play recognition and needs to work on using his length to better jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Dontae Johnson ran a 4.45, 40-yard dash and had a 38.5-inch vertical at the combine.
— Taylor Price (@TaylorPrice49) May 10, 2014
The rich get richer. With pick No. 150 in the 5th round, the 49ers take Edge Player Aaron Lynch, who has all the physical tools to be a difference maker. He certainly looks the part. Aaron Lynch was on track to being a first round selection as a highly touted recruit to Notre Dame. However, that track was derailed as he transferred to South Florida due to being homesick. While he is still a bit raw as a pass rusher, he has the physical tools that Jim Tomsula can mold and shape. His selection is due to the immense upside he brings. Additionally, Harbaugh firmly believes the mantra ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’, so his addition provides great competition for the group that will battle for play time due to Aldon Smith’s likely suspension.
A year ago, the 49ers took three injured players in Tank Carradine, Marcus Lattimore, and Quinton Dial. Carradine and Lattimore ended up essentially red-shirting. Fast forward one year, and the 49ers are up to their same tricks. Their roster is so deep that their specialty has become drafting injured players to rehab for a year. The ideal part of this scenario is that the rehabbing players on the Physically Unable to Perform list do not count against the 53 man limit. With pick No. 180, the 49ers selected another rehabbing player in CB Keith Reaser out of Florida Atlantic University. Trent Baalke has a proven track record in identifying DB prospects, and Reaser is the next in that line. A solid 4.4 forty guy, Reaser is smaller and quicker than previous selection Dontae Johnson. He’ll have the opportunity to rehab while acclimating to the environment in Santa Clara. The following year, he’ll have every opportunity to compete for playing time in their secondary.
Dr. James Andrews needs to just move to San Francisco the way they draft injury-history players. — Michael Schottey (@Schottey) May 10, 2014
The 49ers grab their fourth defensive back in the draft in Kenneth Acker from SMU. He has good size at 6’0″ and 190 pounds. He started three seasons for the Mustangs, and finished his last season as a Second Team All-American Athletic Conference. He’s a willing run defender and should be an excellent special teams player.
— Christian Gin (@Christian_Gin) May 10, 2014
With pick No,. 243, the 49ers grab Boston College DE Kaleb Ramsey, who has good bulk for a five technique. Listed at 6’3″ and 293 pounds, Ramsey has athletic gifts to contribute. At the combine, Ramsey displayed he’s no stranger to the weight room by benching 225 pounds 36 times, tops among all defensive lineman. Ramsey also flashes good first step explosiveness; however, he has shown that durability is his Achilles heel. Ramsey has missed a multitude of collegiate games due to injuries to his foot, hamstring, head, hip, calf, and shoulder.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) May 10, 2014
The final 49ers selection occurred at pick No. 245 where they grabbed Oklahoma FB Trey Millard, who is another candidate for the PUP list this season as he recovers from an ACL tear back in October. Millard is known as a thumper, and outside of this ACL tear he is recovering from, he has proven to be durable throughout his collegiate career. Millard brings some value to the table as a short yardage back and receiver out of the backfield, although previously acquired RB Carlos Hyde should be able to fill that role in tandem with Frank Gore. Additionally, Millard’s best value may come as a core special teams player. He should make a very nice addition to the Tony Montana squad after this red shirt year.
Trey Millard is a #49er – LOVE this pick. He’ll have a Delanie Walker-type role, except he has hands…
— Josh Liskiewitz (@JoshLiskiewitz) May 10, 2014
Due to the twelve draft selections the 49ers took, they only room on their 90 man roster for a few undrafted free agents. Bleacher Report’s Peter Panacy keeps us updated on the latest UDFA signings for the 49ers.Read More