2011 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Draft Grades

Robert WayerskiCorrespondent IMay 4, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Draft Grades

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Aldon Smith, #7 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Now that the draft is over and I have given myself a few days to take it all in, I am ready to give my draft grades.

    In addition to the grades that I will give for each position, I will give the picks they should have made in those spots.

    Overall, I give this draft a C+

    These next slides will explain how I came to that grade.

Round 1, Pick 7: Aldon Smith OLB Missouri

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jordan Webb #2 of the Kansas Jayhawks is sacked by Aldon Smith #85 of the Missouri Tigers during the game on November 27, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Grade: A-

    Should have been: Aldon Smith OLB Missouri

    I was take aback by this pick but the more time I have to think about it, the more I like the pick.

    Aldon is still young and athletic and the numbers from his red-shirt freshman year (when he was healthy for the whole season) are very good.

    He should be able to step in right away, at least on third downs.

    The only reason this gets an A- instead of an A+ is that they could have likely moved down a few spots and still got Smith.

Round 2, Pick 36 Overall: Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada

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    LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Reno Wolf Pack looks to pass against the  UNLV Rebels in the third quarter of their game at Sam Boyd Stadium October 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada Reno won 44-26.  (Photo by Et
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Grade: B+

    Should have been: Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada

    This pick worries me a little because I can't bring myself to trust a gimmick offense QB after what I have seen out of Alex Smith.

    The only reason I give the pick this high of a grade is that I believe Harbaugh can get the best out of his QBs.

    What can be said is that he has all of the physical tools to be an NFL quarterback. The potential merits a high second round pick.

Round 3, Pick 80 Overall: Chris Culliver CB South Carolina

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Chris Culliver #17 of the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Grade D+

    Should have been: Curtis Brown CB Texas

    Does this seem like a Raider-like pick to anyone else? At least it wasn't Van Dyke who the Raiders selected directly after Culliver.

    Culliver was described as a height-weight-speed guy by Mike Mayock on the NFL Network broadcast so I guess he has the tools to be a good CB but I would have rather seen them go with someone who had the production like Curtis Brown, Johnny Patrick or Davon House.

    The pick was also a huge reach at this spot.

Round 4, Pick 115 Overall: Kendall Hunter RB Oklahoma State

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    LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 20:  Running back Kendall Hunter #24 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys carries the ball during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on November 20, 2010 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Grade A

    Should have been: Casey Matthews ILB Oregon

    I can't really argue too much with this pick. Hunter was a value at this spot and they do need a back-up to Frank Gore (and a guy who can maybe be his future replacement)

    I would have liked for them to give a guy with the blood-lines of Casey Matthews a look here but I can see the logic of the pick they made.

    If they had know that Owen Marecic was coming off of the board later in the round the pick may have been different.

Round 5, Pick 163 Overall: David Kilgore OC/OG Appalacian State

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    GREENVILLE, NC - SEPTEMBER 05:  A football helmet sits on the sideline during warm-ups before the start of the Appalachian State Mountaineers versus East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Greenville, North Carolina.  (Photo
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Grade C+

    Should have been: Brandon Fusco OC Slippery Rock

    If you are going to draft a small school project to develop into your starting center, why not draft one who actually played center?

    They traded up to get Kilgore which seems like a reach but I will cut them some slack on this pick.

    If you really like a developmental guy I don't have that much of a problem with them going up into the fifth round to get him.

Round 6, Pick 182 Overall: Ronald Johnson WR USC

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    LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Ronald Johnson #83 of the USC Trojans carries ball against safety Zeke Motta #17 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.   (Photo by S
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Grade A

    Should have been: Ronald Johnson WR USC

    I really liked this pick. It will allow Ted Ginn to be strictly a punt and kick returner where he belongs.

    Johnson, like Ginn, is a speedy receiver but unlike Ginn does not drop a lot of balls.

    The one question about Johnson is his durability but in the sixth round he is a very good pickup who can contribute immediately, especially because he is following his position coach from USC.

Round 6, Pick 190 Overall: Colin Jones SS TCU

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Safety Colin Jones #28 of the TCU Horned Frogs breaks up a pass to tight end Jacob Pedersen #48 of the Wisconsin Badgers in the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Grade F

    Should have been: Jerrell Powe NT Mississippi

    Wow, worst pick of the draft!

    This is not an indictment of Colin Jones. He is a hard-worker and may end up being a very good special teams player but he should not have been the pick here.

    The Niners are already a safety heavy team and most of those players are special teams guys as it is.

    To pass on a legitimate nose tackle for a special teams guy is lunacy.

Round 7, Pick 211 Overall: Bruce Miller FB Central Florida

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    ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 20: Defensive end Bruce Miller #49 of the University of Central Florida Golden Knights sets for play against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Bright House Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.  UCF won 44 - 23. (Photo by Al M
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Grade D+

    Should have been: Henry Hynoski FB Pitt

    I am trying not to judge this pick too harshly because apparently one of the Niners scouts loves this guy's potential as a fullback.

    I am finding it hard to understand passing on proven fullbacks like Henry Hynoski (who is an undrafted free agent) and Stanley Havili.

Round 7, Pick 239: Michael Person OC/OG Montana State

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    EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 05:  Mark Iddins #16 of the Montana State Bobcats calls gathers his team during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans in the second quarter on September 5, 2009 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. (Ph
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Grade D-

    Should have been: Ryan Bartholomew C Syracuse

    This seems like a repeat of the David Kilgore pick. I understand taking one developmental C/G from a small school, but two?

Round 7, Pick 250: Curtis Holcomb CB Florida AandM

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    COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 19:  A Florida A&M Rattlers cheerleader on the court during the first round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament against the Kentucky Wildcats at Nationwide Arena on March 19, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. The Wildcats wo
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Grade C

    Should have been: Anthony Gray NT Southern Miss or Ian Williams NT Notre Dame

    I do not know a lot about Holcomb but he was the shut down corner for his school, even though it was a Division I-AA school.

    He may be a good sleeper pick but I gave the pick a C because it is hard for me to watch all of these NTs left on the board. Hopefully, they will bring one in as a rookie free agent.


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    Overall Grade: C+

    The Niners did well on their first two picks, which is important. However, they miss on opportunities to get value later on in the draft.

    They can fix some of that with a good rookie free agent class (if there is ever a CBA). Here are a few guys they might bring in to supplement their draft.  

    Anthony Gray NT Southern Miss

    Ian Williams NT Notre Dame

    Deuanta Williams FS North Carolina

    Mark Herzlich  ILB Boston College

    Scott Tolzien QB Wisconsin


    Also, Janoris Jenkins CB Florida may be available in the supplemental draft but the tone of this draft makes me think the Niners have decided not to touch bad character guys.