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Bradley Pinion to 49ers: Full Draft-Pick Breakdown

Peter Panacy@@PeterPanacyFeatured Columnist IVMay 2, 2015

The 49ers selected the first punter of the draft in Round 5: Clemson's Bradley Pinion.
The 49ers selected the first punter of the draft in Round 5: Clemson's Bradley Pinion.Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The 49ers traded down in Round 5 of the 2015 NFL draft and selected punter Bradley Pinion out of Clemson.

He is quite a reach for San Francisco in the fifth round and was the first specialist taken in the draft, per Christian Gin of Examiner.com. CBS Sports didn't even list him as a prospect worth a pick, which makes his selection a questionable one at best.

Clemson Football (h/t CBS Sports) highlighted some of his collegiate accolades over three seasons at Clemson:

Pinion averaged 42.6 yards per punt, fifth-best in the ACC, in 2014. He had 28 punts inside the 20 to lead the ACC and break his own school record for a season. He also had 17 punts of 50+ yards, tied for third-most in the ACC, and just two touchbacks. Pinion finished the 2014 season with a net punting average of 40.3, sixth-best in Tiger history and the second-best mark by a Tiger since 1984.

Pinion also led all Power Five punters with 33 fair catches in 2014, per Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus.

Jeff Deeney @PFF_Jeff

Bradley Pinion led all Power 5 punters in this draft class with 33 fair catches last season for Clemson. #49ers

San Francisco already has a bona fide punter on its roster. Andy Lee has been with the franchise since 2004 and is the longest-tenured 49ers player under contract.

Bradley Pinion's Collegiate Statistics
YearGamesPuntsYardsAverage
20128935539.4
201313562,20539.4
201413753,19442.6
Total341405,75441.1
sports-reference.com

Lee's current deal ends after the 2018 season. But with an average yearly salary of $3.4 million, it's feasible that general manager Trent Baalke is trying to get a cheaper option at this position.

Does Pinion's drafting signify the end of punter Andy Lee's tenure in San Francisco?
Does Pinion's drafting signify the end of punter Andy Lee's tenure in San Francisco?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Still, it will be hard for Pinion to replicate Lee's production over his career with San Francisco. Lee has averaged 46.2 yards per punt over his 11-year career. During that span, he was named to the Pro Bowl four times and was an All-Pro in three seasons (2007, 2011 and 2012).

Can Pinion match those accolades?

"I felt I was the best in this class," Pinion said on the team's official Twitter account. "That's the confidence I have in myself. I have high expectations for myself."

San Francisco 49ers @49ers

#49ers P @pinion92: "I felt I was the best in this class. That's the confidence I have in myself. I have high expectations for myself."

Perhaps Pinion reaches his own expectations and is able to successfully replace Lee at some point in the near future.

But a fifth-round selection for a player who likely could have been taken much later is quite the reach for Baalke and the 49ers' front office.

All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Supplemental draft information courtesy of CBS Sports.

Peter Panacy is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the San Francisco 49ers. Be sure to check out his entire archive on 49ers news, insight and analysis.

Follow him @PeterPanacy on Twitter.