San Francisco 49ers 2012 NFL Draft Report Card: Grades for Every Pick

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San Francisco 49ers 2012 NFL Draft Report Card: Grades for Every Pick
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers surprised many in the two players they took in the first two days of the 2012 NFL draft. To wit: here’s Mel Kiper’s reaction to the Niners first-round selection.

That's the thing about mock drafts: Everyone’s an expert and they are all right because nothing has been proven on the field. Therefore they're all meaningless.

Trent Baalke, the general manager of the 49ers, Jerry Reese of the Giants and just about every other GM in the NFL have to have a knack of knowing not only talent, but how the talent can fit best into the team. It's not a size-and-speed thing. Now that it's over, every fan gets to assess their team's selections compared to the other teams.

I like last year’s NFL draft at Every team at this time in 2011 received a draft grade of Incomplete.

But there seems to be a lapse of memory of what the Niner general manager Trent Baalke did in 2011. He selected Aldon Smith with the seventh pick. Smith was not on anyone’s Top 10 list, was not considered a hot-shot prospect and needed lots of seasoning. For that, Baalke earned criticism from the mock draft experts.

Smith turned out to be runner-up as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and led the team in sacks. It worked out fine. Smith’s success in front of the 2011 draft (three starters and two key backups) only made Baalke NFL Executive of the Year.

Kiper and others are saying the Niners coulda, shoulda. I guess Baalke has to prove himself every year. In that aspect here’s a grade of the 49ers’ 2012 draft.

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