We won’t know just how good it is for a while, but on the surface this was a very solid haul for Trent Baalke and the San Francisco 49ers. They addressed areas of immediate need, drafted for the future and took advantage of some late-round value. Let’s take a quick look at what the work the 49ers did over the last three days.
Round 1: 18th overall — Eric Reid, Free Safety, LSU
Kenny Vacarro was highly regarded as the top safety in the draft, but Jim Harbaugh has been spying Reid since he was boasting a 4.6 GPA in high school. They traded away a third-round pick to get the man who’ll probably step in immediately as Dashon Goldson’s replacement.
Round 2: 40th overall — Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Defensive End, FSU
Not only did the 49ers trade back and swoop the Titans’ 2014 third-round pick, they still ended up with Matt Barrows’ draft crush. Carradine was regarded as first-round talent before suffering an ACL injury during the 2012 season.
Round 2: 55th overall — Vance McDonald, Tight End, Rice
Jim Harbaugh proved he’s not playing favorites with his old Stanford players when he let Zach Ertz slip to the Eagles and waited until the end of the second to draft this small school tight end with freakish physical attributes.
Round 3: 88th overall — Corey Lemonier, Outside Linebacker, Auburn
San Francisco continued to turn an eye towards pass rush in drafting Lemonier, a physical outside linebacker cut from the same mold as Ahmad Brooks.
Round 4: 128th overall — Quinton Patton, Wide Receiver, Lousiana Tech
Patton was absolutely prolific as a wide receiver in Sonny Dykes’ air raid offense. Now, he’ll be learning from the likes of Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree while catching passes from Colin Kaepernick. A lot of analysts had Patton as a second-round pick at worst, so there’s definitely value with this pick.
Round 4: 131st overall — Marcus Lattimore, Running Back, South Carolina
Trent Baalke delivered a late birthday present for me by drafting Lattimore late in the fourth round. Harbaugh has ensured the 49ers will take good care of the injured tailback, not putting him on the playing field until he’s absolutely ready. He should be worth the wait.
Round 5: 157th overall — Quinton Dial, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
This gigantic (6-5, 318 lb) defensive lineman made a living manhandling SEC talent, and now he’ll have a shot to try and crack the 49ers’ suddenly deep defensive front.
Round 6: 180th overall — Nick Moody, Linebacker, Florida State
No, not Hank Moody of Californication fame. Moody says he wants to carve a niche for himself on the 49ers’ special teams unit. With the addition of Tavon Austin in St. Louis and the Honey Badger in Arizona, San Francisco could use the help.
Round 7: 237th overall — B.J. Daniels, Quarterback, University of South Florida
While everyone was speculating about Matt Scott and Zac Dysert, Baalke had his eyes on a smaller, faster and more mobile quarterback from the Big East. Daniels was one of the most prolific rushers in USF history, and now he could be camp fodder, a transition project or even a practice squad version of Russell Wilson.
Round 7: 246th overall — Carter Bykowski, Offensive Tackle, Iowa State
This 6-6, 306 lb Cyclone won’t pass Anthony Davis or Joe Staley on the depth chart anytime soon, but the 49ers finally made a pick for those concerned about tackle depth
Round 7: 252nd overall — Marcus Cooper, Cornerback, Rutgers
Picks this late in the draft don’t always make a lot of noise, but the 49ers definitely added some size and power to their defensive backfield with Cooper. It’ll be interesting to see if the 6-2, 192-lb corner can make waves with the likes of Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Chris Culliver and Nnamdi Asomugha.
UDFA: Lawrence Okoye, who knows what position he’ll play, Great Britain
There has been a lot of chatter about where this British Olympic discus thrower would go, but according to his Twitter account he is signing with the 49ers. He’s a mad man physically — 6-5, 308 lbs with a 4.78 40 time. Okoye has played rugby, but he’s never played American football. This is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward signing.