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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


First Take on the First Round

Apr 28, 2016 at 9:51 PM


After months of speculation and anticipation, the first round of the NFL 2016 draft is in the books. The 49ers had the ammunition to move up from the 7th overall pick, however General Manager Trent Baalke elected to stay put and allow the draft to unfold as it would. As many predicted, the top two quarterbacks went 1st and 2nd respectively, so with multiple needs to fill on the roster, the team went into best player available mode.

I like the pick of DeForest Buckner. He is a mammoth player who knows and understands what Coach Chip Kelly expects from his defense, and he provides immediate help to the defensive front. This team was at its best when it had a strong defensive front that could allow its outside linebackers to get stout pressure on the quarterback and the secondary to provide outstanding coverage. Selecting Buckner can also allow the defense to return to its previous strength against the run. Ultimately he has the potential to develop into the heir apparent to Justin Smith in terms of his ability to force double teams and toughness against the run. Of course, time will tell.

RELATED Round 1, Pick 7: 49ers select Oregon DE DeForest Buckner

I had a feeling that the 49ers were attempting to trade back into the first round, and sure enough, the team traded back up to the 27th pick with the Chiefs. I'll be honest, I was almost certain the pick would be Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook. However, the team elected to shore up the Offensive Line by selecting Joshua Garnett from Stanford.

This one has me scratching my head a little. I don't disagree with the idea of reinforcing one of the league's most porous offensive lines, this seems to be a reach pick. I had Garnett rated at best a low 2nd round pick, and had the 49ers taking him in the 3rd. To trade away the teams second round pick – where Garnett probably would have been available regardless – seems a high price to pay. Presumably the team had some belief that another team was prepared to draft Garnett ahead of them.

RELATED Round 1, Pick 28: 49ers select Stanford OG Joshua Garnett

Regardless of the draft position, Garnett is an aggressive, well rounded lineman, who is a more polished run blocker than pass protector at this point, however, given Coach Chip Kelly's penchant for running the ball, he seems like he would be a good fit in this scheme. This also looks like a pick that has some upside, that with some solid coaching could develop into something special. I am just not sold on the deal that brings him to the team.

Ultimately, I really like the team's notion of rebuilding the trenches. Call me old fashioned, I truly believe that is where the game is won and lost, and areas where the 49ers really needed to address. This kind of reminds me of 2010 when the team elected to take two offensive linemen in Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis. Buckner could really be something special, and hopefully Garnett will justify the deal made to get him. Looking forward to day two, I wouldn't be surprised to see the team trade back into the 2nd round, and that at some point the quarterback position gets a little love – perhaps in the form of Baalke's alleged draft crush Cook, or perhaps Dak Prescott. In a little under 24 hours, all will be revealed.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


13 Comments

  • Joe DelVecchio
    All I have been reading all off season has been negative statements about the GM and coach. I like these two picks and listening to Trent Baalke , I find him to be very cool and down to earth. He knows what he wants and how to get it. He answered every question tactfully and didn't sugar coat anything. I don't know him so maybe I'm being fooled but I liked what I heard from him. The Coach is trying hard but you can tell he doesn't like talking to the press. We had another coach like that, remember? We will all see what kind of coach this one is in the next two years.
    Apr 29, 2016 at 10:19 AM
    0
    Response: I think the 2012 draft is a big reason why Baalke is under such scrutiny right now. I'm not a huge fan but there are far worse GMs out there. I'm more than willing to give them a chance this season.
  • Louie
    This reminds me of when we traded our high 2nd to Indy for their late first and got Joe Staley. That has worked out great. Hope lightning strikes twice.
    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:58 AM
    0
    Response: Funny, this morning I thought about that as well. Good point.
  • Chip
    Nice to get the 5th year option for Garnett by drafting him the the 1st rd. I think there was a good chance of the Hawks taking him at 31.
    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:16 AM
    0
    Response: Got it. The Seahawks were interested. No problem.
  • Wes
    How do you know they reached on Garnett? You are not a scout or nor do you work for an NFL team. You were not in the draft room while this pick was going on. What if another team (Seahawks) were going to select Garnett and the 49ers got wind of it and traded up to grab a player they like. Stick to the evaluation of the player, not the draft value.
    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:10 AM
    0
    Response: You are right, I am simply a humble fan with an opinion... And I'm pretty sure that I mentioned the possibility of some other team wanting Garnett that drove the 49ers to trade up, which is fair enough.
  • Skip
    Seattle was taking Garnett, that is why we had to trade up and get him. The Niners had him rated as the highest run blocker in the draft, so it's well worth it IMO. I'm glad we didn't pick Cook
    Apr 29, 2016 at 8:12 AM
    0
    Response: I'm also glad that Cook wasn't the pick.
  • 49erBigmac
    I was also surprised with Garnett, but as a 1st Rounder we also get a 5th year option
    Apr 29, 2016 at 7:01 AM
    0
    Response: Yep... I do like that 5th year option.
  • Smith
    I hope not sak Prescott , I'm all for qb but not a gimmick college qb he will not be in nfl long if he gets drafted I like cook a lot , but that will take some crafty movement to get up to get him . And if your trying to get back in round two you have to target Myles jack! As far as a qb they could get Kevin hogan for a song I know he isn't typical Kelly guy but jelly is smart enough to Taylor up tempo offense to a players strengths ( that's what good coaches do)
    Apr 29, 2016 at 6:59 AM
    2
    Response: Myles Jack in the 2nd would be nice. I like Kevin Hogan as well, but am concerned about his fit in the Kelly offense. It would be interesting to see if he would work though.
  • joey
    We took him from Seattle. They would have drafted Garnett over of Ifedi in a heartbeat. So I do not believe he would have been there in the 2nd.
    Apr 29, 2016 at 6:58 AM
    1
    Response: I suspected that they got wind of someone lurking for him. Like I said, if that's the case, cool. Get your guy. It just surprised me more than anything else.
  • 50yearformerfaithful
    COMICAL The Dysfunction continues. The lowest scoring offense in the NFL makes no attempt to reverse that issue. A DE who runs a 5.0 and a guard who has trouble pass blocking. Maybe They should try picking an injured player and hoping he gets better some day down the road. Been there Dumb that
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:28 PM
    1
  • Matt
    Teams follow their boards, not the boards of the pundits. Clearly SF had Garnett rated as a late 1st round pick on their board. They wanted him and went and got him. I have no problem with that.
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:19 PM
    0
    Response: That they do. I like Garnett's potential, so it's all good.
  • Frank M
    Once Denver traded up to get Lynch, I knew Baalke wasn't drafting Cook. He may still get a QB, but obviously he and Kelly really liked Garnett. He also has plenty of picks to get back into the 2nd rd. So, he wanted to make sure they got JG. I have no real problem with it...he'll help solidify an OL that needs some big nasty. Beefing up both lines is smart drafting, IMHO. That's what I've told those who wanted a pass rusher first, and a QB or RB before OL. Just doesn't pass the common sense test. Get stronger in the trenches, then add other pieces afterward.
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:11 PM
    0
    Response: If he was their guy, cool. I was just a little surprised. For the record, I wasn't hoping for Cook, just who I've suspected is a target...
  • Enlightened
    Seriously? Your whole opinion is based on the fact that they traded up to get him? He won the Outland Trophy. He plays guard. Guard is arguably our weakest position. Because you and others had a "late second round" grade on him, the NFL was going to wait for you? You can guarantee Seattle wasn't going to pick him at 31 instead of that lineman they picked? Where did you have him picked to go? If he turns into a good NFL offensive tackle, the deal is insignificant. It's well worth it. We have plenty of picks yet
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:07 PM
    2
    Response: I actually had the 49ers drafting him in the 3rd. As I said, it seemed a little high, but if the team had gotten word that someone was going to draft him before their second round pick, and he was their target, then so be it.
  • joey
    We didnt trade a 2nd. We swapped our 2nd qith their 1st, gave them a 4th, and swapped our 6th with their 7th. We only gave up a 4th for the best guard in the draft who is a mauler. Good trade.
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:03 PM
    3
    Response: Fair points. I still feel like he would have been there in the second for the 49ers to grab.

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