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After trading up to the 28th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Stanford OG Joshua Garnett. The pick was previously owned by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The cost to move back up into the first round was their 2nd rounder, a 4th rounder, and a 6th rounder. However, the team received a 7th round selection (249 overall) along with the 28th overall pick. NFL.com projected that Garnett would be selected in round 2. The selection addresses one of the team's biggest weaknesses from the 2015 season – their offensive line.
Joshua Garnett earned a +33.1 run block grade in 2015, the best grade among OGs in the NFL draft— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 29, 2016
Garnett was the 2015 John Outland Trophy Winner, an award given to the most outstanding interior lineman of the year.
The 49ers started last season with Jordan Devey at right guard and he was eventually replaced by Andrew Tiller to finish out the year. Following Alex Boone's departure during free agency, the team signed former Jacksonville Jaguars OG Zane Beadles.
Lance Zierlein of NFL Media, who compares Garnett to Gabe Jackson, had the following to say in his scouting report:
Thick, powerful guard who can gain an early advantage in the rep and finish with authority. Garnett looks to establish a new line of scrimmage on every running play and is a great fit for a team looking to impose their will between the tackles. While he's a plus run blocker, his pass protection issues should not be taken lightly and will have to be vetted with offensive line coaches to make sure they are correctable issues. Garnett should be an early round pick who can come in and start right away.
DraftInsider.net had the following to say about Garnett in their scouting report:
Garnett is a solid blocker who's shown consistent improvement in his game and offers the size and skill to develop into a starter for a variety of offensive schemes.
Optimum Scouting had the following to say about Buckner in their scouting report:
After serving time as a rotational and jumbo package linemen for two seasons, Garnett was ushered in as the full-time starter his junior year. The brute power Garnett displays in his lower body is near impossible for defenders to overcome, both in pass protection and in the run game. Garnett's punch is bruising, more so as a run blocker than a pass blocker, and he drives through blocks until the whistle blows. He is the type of linemen who takes over a play entirely if he gets his hands on his defender. However, Garnett is not the best mover. He takes time to get going when moving to the second level and struggles to change direction in the open field, leaving him to be beat with quickness. Garnett is certainly more of a mauler than a mover, but he moves well enough to let his power and tenacity make him a very good NFL interior lineman.
Pro Football Focus had the following to say about Buckner in their scouting report:
Garnett fits perfectly into a man-blocking scheme, very much like the scheme in which he played at Stanford. He can move defenders in the running game while hitting a moving target, though he's less adept at making the necessary blocks of a more zone-heavy scheme. He's solid in pass protection, though it's unlikely that he'll be one of the league's best in this area.
Weight: 312 lbs.
Arm length: 33 7/8 inches
Hand length: 10 1/8 inches
NFL Scouting Combine
40-time: 5.32 seconds
Broad jump: 99 inches
3-cone drill: 7.62 seconds
Bench press: 30 reps
20-yard shuttle: 4.64 seconds