Advanced statistics site Pro Football Focus recently examined how all 31 first-round draft picks have done so far in their limited preseason play. "While many – if not most – of these rookies will improve as the season progresses, it's certainly worthwhile to take a look at their performance to date," says Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus.
How did the San Francisco 49ers' two first-round draft picks fare in the evaluation?
Running with: First team
"(Buckner) has yet to record a pressure on 10 pass-rushing snaps," notes Monson. "DeForest Buckner played 19 snaps in his first preseason action, lining up at left end with the 49ers' starters, but suffered a soft tissue injury – not believed to be serious – that has kept him out of action since."
Buckner didn't play in the 49ers' preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Saturday because of the minor injury. The injury to his arm occurred during an August 7 practice. It is an injury that would be unlikely to keep the rookie out of action if any of these games were regular season ones.
The 49ers hope to eventually have Buckner as one of the bookends along a defensive line that also features former Oregon teammate Arik Armstead.
Running with: Second team
"(Garnett) has yet to be penalized," notes Monson. "Currently behind Zane Beadles on the depth chart at left guard, Garnett has played 67 snaps across the two preseason games so far, but has done little to suggest he needs to be starting instead. He has only surrendered one pressure, but has been beaten another couple of times by pass rushers without those plays becoming a pressure because of circumstances outside of Garnett's control."
As far as circumstances outside of OG Joshua Garnett's control, Monson gives the examples of the ball getting out too soon by the quarterback or another offensive lineman tidying up his block.
Garnett was originally slated to compete for the right guard position along the offensive line. That changed when OT Trent Brown excelled at right tackle, prompting OT Anthony Davis to move to the right guard spot. That ultimately impacted Garnett, forcing him to get practice reps at left guard.