How NFL draft experts rated the 49ers’ nine-pick haul

How NFL draft experts rated the 49ers' nine-pick haul

The 2023 NFL Draft is over and the 49ers have emerged from the fray with nine new players.

With no first- or second-round picks, San Francisco selected a group of players who will add depth to positions, some who could compete for starting positions next season, and a third-round kicker replacing veteran Robbie Gould.

The 49ers’ first pick came in the third round, where they picked the No. 87 overall Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown after passing the No. 102, 164 (fifth round) and No. 222 (seventh round) to the Minnesota Vikings had submitted to switch up in the draft.

Here’s a full list of San Francisco’s nine draft picks:

It’s only been a few days since the draft ended on Saturday, but it’s never too early to see how the 49ers’ catch ranked. Here are the grades San Francisco received from NFL draft experts from around the world:

Grade (overall): B-

“What an odd class to try and get a grade. The 49ers went into Day 1 with 11 total picks – but zero by Round 1 or 2. Trades for Trey Lance and Christian McCaffrey have drained their capital. Immediate rookies can come from any round, of course, but it’s going to take a lot to guarantee that one of these guys will play early and often (and who knows, maybe they’ve found the next Brock Purdy around here somewhere).

And yet I like a few of those picks, except for kicker Jake Moody (99) in Round 3. I understand it’s a need, but this is incredibly early, and I didn’t even have him as the top kicker in class. I had a safety score from Ji’Ayir Brown (87) in the second round, so I’m a fan of his potential. Tight end Cameron Latu (101) has advantages, and he’ll learn how to do it from George Kittle. Linebacker Dee Winters (216) made about 60 picks after I thought he would. Brayden Willis (247) will make an impression as a rookie special teamer.

The biggest problem with this class is: where’s the offensive tackle? With Mike McGlinchey gone, will Colton McKivitz really be the right starting player? This is an error based on my list of pre-design requirements.”

Grade (overall): B-

Grade day 1: C+
Day 2 grade: B-
Day 3 rating: B+

“The Niners didn’t have any first or second round picks after making trades on Trey Lance (still to see if that pays off) and Christian McCaffrey (so far so good). In the third round, they advanced for the instinctive security they needed in Brown, defied conventional wisdom by grabbing the kicker they crave in Moody and achieved a play for Latu, a solid tight end.

Luter is a fierce cornerback who will fill in for the Niners as a rookie, while Beal will likely support veterans on the fringes. I love Winters and Graham as linebackers, while Bell plays receiver with linebacker tenacity.”

Grade (overall): C-

“Day 2: Brown was a jack of all trades for the Nittany Lions. He transitioned seamlessly from deep safety to box to slot to outside linebacker to raiding the A-gap, and he fulfilled every role at a high level. Brown’s ball skills are particularly striking, as he has 10 interceptions over the past two seasons.

Moody has posted PFF field goal grades of 90.2 and 91.7 for the last two seasons, respectively, so the idea of ​​him being the first kicker drafted makes sense. But the third round is rich for any kicker in this class.

Latu comes off a season in which he posted a 60.6 receiving PFF score, a 50.0 run blocking score and a low 1.03 yards per distance run. He has the size teams are looking for at the position, but the production just wasn’t there in 2022.

Day 3: Luter has external characteristics with above average length and decent straight line speed and explosiveness. He took a small step backwards from a production perspective in 2022 after only allowing a 27% completion percentage and a 3.9 passer rating in 2021.

Beal’s numbers from his final collegiate season won’t blow anyone’s mind. He posted a 67.8 PFF score, won 14.1% of his pass rushing attempts, and made a tackle that resulted in a defensive stop on just 6.7% of his run defense snaps. Special teams will probably be his best way to see the field.

Winters has played 670 or more snaps in each of the past three seasons, but has not achieved a PFF rating of 55.0 or higher since the 2020 season. He missed 16.0% of the tackles he attempted last season.

Willis played an H-Back role in Oklahoma that allowed him to excel as a blocker, scoring over 80s in both run blocking and pass protection.

Bell averaged 2.57 yards each way in his final collegiate season. Struggling in contested catch situations, he managed a reception on just 16.7% of his contested goals, but still managed a reception score of 77.4 PFF.

Grade (overall): C+

“The 49ers had no picks in the first and second rounds this year and made nine picks overall. Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown was set to fight for time in the secondary and tight end, Cameron Latu adding another pass catcher to San Francisco’s over-skilled attack With Robbie Gould costing too much to get free again, Michigan’s selection worried -Kicker Jake Moody caused a stir. San Francisco picking a kicker in the third round is the highest kicker taken in the draft since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft.”

Grade (overall): C-

Best choice: Sixth-round pick Dee Winters is a perfect linebacker for the 49ers. He can run and bat and knows how to find the football. This converted safety will be a good special teams player if he studies behind the 49ers’ special linebacker group.

Worst choice: Taking kicker Jake Moody in the third round is way too high. I hate that foosballers come and go so why not just bring two to camp and have them compete? Haven’t teams learned from drafting kickers yet?

The Thin: They had no first or second round picks, as Trey Lance was drafted two years ago and Christian McCaffrey was acquired last year. One in two isn’t bad I guess. They had three third-round picks and used them in different places. Third round safety Ji’Ayir Brown is a big hitter. I didn’t love that design.”

Grade (overall): C+

“They didn’t make up their minds before the third round because QB Trey Lance (poor) and RB Christian McCaffrey (good) were traded, although obviously neither move has brought the long-awaited sixth Lombardi trophy yet. All-rounders Ji’Ayir Brown (safety) and Jake Moody (kicker) should be important cogs for a strong team, and it’s not so crazy to issue a premium pick to replace free agent K Robbie Gould.

Grade (overall): B-

“The 49’s draft capital didn’t start until the third round, so this grade reflects that. Brown and Moody give them immediate influence as a contender as Brown can start alongside Talanoa Hufanga via Tashaun Gipson Sr. and Moody is a bigger leg and needed a young upgrade over Robbie Gould.

RELATED: The 49ers would love to add a fourth QB but are in no rush

Overall grade: F

“The 49ers didn’t make it as far as 87 because of trades, but were busy from there because of a league-high seven equalizer picks. Moody was the first kicker to be hit in the first three rounds since 2016.”

Grade (overall): C+

“San Francisco got it right in the fifth round two years ago with Talanoa Hufanga. Brown shares characteristics similar to Hufanga as a physical playmaker with solid ball skills. With a stacked roster, the 49ers had the flexibility to reach for Moody, the best kicker Moody could become a dependable kicker in the NFL, but it’s risky expecting a rookie to play for a team with Super Bowl ranks ambitions makes game-winning kicks. The 49ers have expanded their talented defense with Luter and Beal.

Grade (overall): C-

“The 49ers were without first- and second-round players this year (and missing a third and fourth) thanks to previous trades for Trey Lance and Christian McCaffrey, so they had little premium capital to work with. But San Francisco ended up picking nine players. My favorite was Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown’s third-round pick. The former Nittany Lions star is a slender, hard-hitting playmaker with excellent instincts – and he brings excellent depth to the 49ers behind Talanoa Hufanga and Tashaun Gipson. However, the rest of GM John Lynch’s draft class lacked star power — and there was a third-round kicker — so it’s difficult to give the Niners a big note this year.

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