When a mock draft "expert” assigns a grade of C or D to a team's draft, as listed here, my eyes start to water from pain. I have to seriously question whether these experts—and I’m talking everyone from Mel Kiper on down (with the exception of Mike Mayock)—know of which he or she talks.
Do they know that a team may want to improve its pass protection or its trap game? Do these so-called experts see the same tape and realize that against faster, smaller linemen the players they favor do not have the lateral quickness to block an NFL-caliber defender?
That’s why I roll my watery eyes when the pundits gave the Niners 2012 draft a less-than-stellar overall grade, especially since no one will know the effectiveness of the class for two or three years. Though the 2011 rookie crop made an immediate contribution to the Niners success last season, it will be at least another year or two before its long-term impact can be gauged (Colin Kaepernick’s success being paramount in any judgment).
What we can say is that each draftee of 2012 is one part of a plan meant to make the 49ers a better team for years to come. Here’s a rundown of these plans.