The San Francisco 49ers' draft was exciting and very productive. It all began with the 49ers trading up 13 spots to snag safety Eric Reid with their first-round selection. Let's take a closer look at some of the NFL analysts' views of the 49ers' draft.
First, here's my take on how the 49ers and GM Trent Baalke did with this year's selections.
Reid is expected to fill the void created by the departure of Dashon Goldson, via free agency. Reid was generally recognized around the same level with fellow safeties Matt Elam and Jonathan Cyprien. The 49ers made the move up to lock in Reid, so he obviously was the safety they coveted.
In the second round, the 49ers snagged defensive end Tank Carradine and tight end Vance McDonald. Carradine is coming off an ACL injury, but it appears likely he will be able to compete for a rotational job on the defensive line. He could be the heir apparent to Justin Smith, who is in the final year of his contract.
McDonald has good pass-catching skills and has worked in the slot, as well as on the line. This mirrors the role that Delanie Walker had for the 49ers, prior to his departure in the free-agent market.
Interestingly, Gavin Escobar, another highly rated tight end was selected by Dallas with the No. 47 overall pick, eight spots ahead of McDonald. Many rated Escobar as a third-round pick and McDonald behind him.
Dallas' high selection of Escobar could have surprised Baalke, who was then compelled to take McDonald earlier than expected.
Corey Lemonier, a defensive end from Auburn, will play as an outside pass-rushing linebacker and provide relief for Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks.
It is in the fourth round where the 49ers really did a tremendous job adding two stellar players. Wide receiver Quinton Patton could step into the third receiver role, especially if Kyle Williams continues his history of injuries.
Patton caught 104 passes for 1,394 yards and 13 touchdowns. In his two seasons at Louisiana Tech, Patton had nearly 2,600 yards, to go along with 24 touchdowns. He could be a steal on Day 3.
The 49ers also selected South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore with their late fourth-round pick. Lattimore is a first-round talent who fell because of a devastating knee injury sustained in the ninth game of last season.
Prior to Lattimore's injury he had 143 carries for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has 2,677 yards in 555 carries and a Gamecock record of 38 touchdowns in his three-year career at South Carolina.
In the fifth round, the 49ers added depth to the defensive line with Quinton Dial, a defensive end from Alabama.
Nick Moody, the 49ers' sixth-rounder is an inside linebacker who can provide depth behind All-Pro's Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Moody should also contribute on special teams.
In the seventh round, Baalke selected quarterback B.J. Daniels, whose best shot at making the roster could be as a punt return man and special teams player.
It would be a surprise if offensive tackle Carter Bykowski and defensive back Marcus Cooper, both seventh-round selections, made the team.
All things considered, it was a very good draft for Baalke and the 49ers. It was a bit of a surprise that Baalke did not make even more deals. The 49ers ended up taking 11 players, some of whom will undoubtedly not make the team. Eight or nine picks would have been a better number.
By trading down from No. 34 to 40, Baalke acquired the Tennessee Titans' third pick in 2014, which is a great move.
The real question is could Baalke have bundled some of those later picks to move up in 2013, or for additional 2014 assets. If so, he should have done it. There's no way 11 new draftees make the roster this upcoming season.
Overall Grade = A-