San Francisco 49ers: Grading The 2013 Draft Class
(R1) FS Eric Reid – A
Reid was a pleasant surprise in the 49ers secondary last season making 77 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 11 pass deflections. He was a staple for the 49ers secondary last season, and gave aid for where Carlos Rogers’ performance fell off. Last season was a signs of things to come for this kid, and he has a solid future ahead of him, which bodes well for the 49ers, which will likely make secondary upgrades this offseason. I expect his tackles to increase next season, he definitely has a nose for finding the ball.
(R2) DE Tank Carradine – C
Inactive. Carradine sat last season so the 49ers could be certain he would make his debut in 2014, but be at 100% health to start the season. He comes with a big injury risk label attached to him, but if he can remain healthy, he will become an impact player within the 49ers’ defense quickly next season. The 49ers made a wise decision to sit him last season, since Justin Smith can’t last much longer and the 49ers know the sand is falling.
(R2) TE Vance McDonald – D
I’m still baffled by the 49ers using such a low pick on another tight end when they already have a monster in Vernon Davis. McDonald will always see limited action so long as Davis is healthy. The 49ers could have used a 4-7 rounder to add a backup tight end. The grade reflects the selection and the fact they passed up stronger players to select McDonald when the team had other needs to fill on the roster.
(R3) LB Corey Lemonier – C
Lemonier saw some action with the starting squad while Aldon Smith was rehabbing from alcoholism. During that stretch, he showcased that he can step into the starting lineup and make an impact. The 49ers linebacking core has three studs already, but they could stand to insert Lemonier next to Bowman (who should be healed by week 1), Smith, and Willis to form one of the best, if not the best linebacking core in the league next season.
(R4) WR Quinton Patton – C
I was also a bit baffled by this selection at first, but once Crabtree went down I expected to see the kid step in and assist the passing game. However, I was disappointed by the fact the 49ers never inserted him, even on situational downs to see what he could provide at this level. He was originally tagged a 2nd-3rd rounder in most mock drafts, allowing the 49ers to make a steal pick in the fourth round. They should have utilized him in certain situations to see what he could offer up; it would have been in injury relief after all.
(R4) RB Marcus Lattimore – C
There was no secret abound that the kid wouldn’t see any action last season. The 49ers made the smart call to sit him for the entire season and allow his injury to heal and for Lattimore to regain flexibility and range for next season. Lattimore is still a beast on offense, and at full health, can be one of the deadliest backs on the field. I’m not suggesting Gore will have his job on the line, no, but Lattimore will demand his share of carries, so James will likely be more reserved to a special teams role, while Lattimore handles the ball on situational downs. Lattimore may have been selected in the 4th round, but he still has 1st round potential.
(R5) Quinton Dial – C
Dial was another draft pick who saw next to no action last season. He is a depth pick and will sit behind Doresy next season, if the 49ers decide to bring Doresey back. If the 49ers dismiss Dorsey, it would open the doors for Dial to potentially step into the starting rotation during training camp to prove his worth as the interior tackle within the 49ers defensive line. He worked on his weaknesses last season and appears to be ready to give the offense a workout to prove his worth before next season.
(R6) Nick Moody – C
Moody was a depth selection the 49ers made to sure up their ranks behind both Bowman and Willis over the middle third of the defense. Moody saw action on special teams at times during the season but his role on defense was very limited. I don’t expect to see much from him next season aside from more involvement in special teams. Should Bowman’s recovery is slowed for some reason, they will move Brooks or Lemonier over and re-adjust.
(R7) QB BJ Daniels – F
No love for this selection. Released on October 2nd and later claimed by the Seahawks.
(R7) OT Carter Bykowski – F
In a nutshell, Bykowski was a staple in the 49ers’ practice squad last season. His drive and efforts should allow him the chance to enter training camp to earn a spot on the main roster to start the season. However, it’s more likely he will be released to make room for next rookie crop.
(R7) CB Marcus Cooper – F
Waived before the season started.