A.J. Jenkins

Grading the 49ers’ draft

I am a qualified grader. No, really, I have a credential, which unabashedly confirms my exulted position as “grader.” This entitles me to grade the 49ers’ draft, obviously. Disclaimer: I am a difficult grader, as confirmed by RateMyProfessor.com.

Certainly the 49ers did a lot of things well in this draft, the least of which is getting their picks in on time. They addressed a few positions of need, including slot receiver, running back, the 2013 draft, and special teams gunner. And, most importantly, they didn’t fail to entertain. For these, kudos are in order for Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh.

Because of this, I give the 49ers an “Incomplete”.

Call me crazy (especially if you want to hurt my feelings), but the grading process is arbitrary — almost as arbitrary as mock drafting. This is no profound statement, I know.

Still, there are those who are given to knee-jerk reactions. You know, those who fancy themselves as Henry the fifths, but who prove to be the Lears. Those who are blinded by delusions of “knowing.”

In 2011, Tim Kawakami was no fan of Baalke’s nor of Aldon Smith’s pass rush ability. “And they do have to tell us why they took Aldon Smith,” Kawakami demanded. “[Smith] just doesn’t seem like an edge rusher.”

In 2010, Drew Kerr, formerly of NinersNation, did not hold back his enthusiasm, crowning the 49ers with a “B+” for their acquisitions in the draft and in undrafted free agency. The highest of plaudits of given to the 49ers for their pick of Taylor Mays, whom Kerr thought had the potential to be “great,” and to their signing of Jarrett Brown, whom Kerr believed to possess “gargantuan upside.”

In 2009, Lowell Cohn asked us to consider Jerry Rice when contemplating Michael Crabtree’s lack of speed. “Be clear about this,” Cohn asserted. The 49ers “drafted someone who can be a flat-out star in, say, three years and after that he might be a superstar.”

All of them were, inevitably, wrong. This of course is not meant to slight the grader. But it is to point out the ridiculousness of the endeavor.

Nothing comes from nothing, as Lear tells us. As such, with out experience, with out proof, we won’t know how to grade this year’s draft until we are ready to grade next year’s.

12 Comments

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12 Comments on "Grading the 49ers’ draft"

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Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

Your article proves exactly why you can’t put nearly any stock in columnists/the Mel Kypers of the world draft assessments.

If they were so damn good, they’d be scouts or GM’s.

NFL personnell people have an incredibly large amount of information/data at their disposal and the luxury of time to thoroughly analyze and evaluate that information on a player by player basis.

Not to mention the fact the thousands of hours they’ve spent evaluating personnell through which they’ve gained expertise and wisdom.

That’s why when some columnist pans a pick or a team’s draft I pay little attention.

John Sports
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Impossible to grade, but just for the Hell of it lets say an A…for the simple reason Baalke and Harbaugh seem to have the Midas touch.

Topraman
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Topraman
If we look back at last years draft class, the niners did not miss on many picks. Most are progressing and some made immediate impact. Being the niners were not in a bad place this year, these guys selected have time to learn and prove themselves. I have noticed in the RB area they have continued to go after smaller, faster, and better handed group. This could lead to more screens and rb coming out of the back field and getting down the field quickly. Huge impact here is keeping defenses honest and not killing your QB. Also on the… Read more »
RJ
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RJ

Don’t worry about your low ratings on RMP, man. The most important rating on that website is whether or not you have the chili pepper!

JayT
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JayT

Jury is still out on Crabtree. He had a decent season last year. Let’s not forget that Vernon Davis was labeled a bust at this point in his career.

John Sports
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Lets see if Crabtree can make his first Training camp, to me he just looks bored at times. Lets hope with the additional competition he will live up to his potential.

Licky
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Licky

Lear?! What an utter waste of time!

I won’t call you crazy, but one thing you can learn from Kawakami, Kerr and Cohn is that readers respect a journalist who follows up on their title – “Grading the 49ers’ draft”! For that I give you an F.

This is a sports blog, not a place for charlatans to spew their Shakespeare garbage.

Licky
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Licky

BASG – if I can make a complaint about your new blog format… Love the new look and feel, but what’s up with not being able to space between paragraphs in the comments section?

stan
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stan

..And not enough Stan..hee.

Scott
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Scott

I prefer to think of myself as more of a pedant than a charlatan. Next time I’ll put a disclaimer in the title to alert unsuspecting readers of the impending satire.

stan
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stan

ha-ha,Kawakami was 100% wrong. He’s a lot more accurate when he has hindsight..like telling the lotto numbers two days later!..lol…
Sorry,..it was too easy…

Butcherboy415
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Butcherboy415
Hey guys to play devils advocate Crabtree caught over 70 balls on a team that was ultra run first and was telling Alex to not turn it over or force the issue. In playoffs yeah dropped multiple easy ones but In his defense he was double and triple covered as injuries decimated our wr core and we relied on Kyle Williams and Brett swain to garner attention in the secondary. I will be the first to admit I expect more and he can play better, but our wr core at the end of the year was fully depleted. Meanwhile the… Read more »
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