San Francisco 49ers NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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San Francisco 49ers Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Offensive Tackle
With the 9th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the San Francisco 49ers drafted offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey. McGlinchey has the Notre Dame offensive line pedigree and brings his “sound with everything that comes along with playing the position” skill-set, although he is better in pass pro than run blocking at this juncture. He flourished against quicker, smaller defensive linemen which should serve him well against twitchy edge rushers. However, he would lose leverage via his feet or when he would miss his punch causing him to lean and grab on occasion. The next pick is a bit of a head scratcher, in wide receiver Dante Pettis. The first thought that came to mind is that this is a “West Coast” pick. The San Francisco 49ers brass didn’t have to travel too too far to see Pettis play. A dynamic player, who has the smarts to play every position from a receiver stand point and with the added bonus of contributing in the return game. I ask myself, “What role will he play in the Kyle Shanahan’s offense?” Is it the Julio, Sanu, or Gabriel role from that 2016 Atlanta offense? In the third round the Niners grabbed what looks to be insurance for Rueben Foster in BYU linebacker Fred Warner. Warner is the prototype new age LB teams now look for when you talk size and speed. He should be a mainstay in sub packages and on special teams but due to his size he’s the type of player you must keep clean to be at his best. With their 2nd third rounder the San Francisco 49ers selected Southern Miss DB Tarvarius Moore who is exactly what I describe as the new position for S, versatility! Now what I don’t expect to see is Moore in a position where he is coming downhill laying wood but rather in space eyeing the football and making plays if not early this year, in the very near future. In what appears to be another insurance pick in the event the Niners decide against picking up Arik Armstead’s 5th year option, San Francisco selected N.C. State defensive end Kentavius Street in the fourth round. Getting hurt (knee) in a pre-draft workout Street won’t be a contributor this year but has size, speed, and strength to play the edge. Another player San Francsico 49ers fans will have to wait on is fifth rounder cornerback D.J. Reed. Turning on the tape the first thing I noticed is he is extremely feisty, handsy, who plays up to his speed, which is fast, but pretty raw. I felt watching him he looks out of control whether against the pass or run. Coaching should fix most of his flaws outside of his height, which can be mitigated by playing the slot/nickel. Back-to-back in the secondary in the sixth Marcell Harris safety from Florida. He is what we know the old school strong safety to be, a downhill in the box, banger. Coming from the University of Florida you know Harris has talent but the injury bug has visited too frequently. The blueprint is out on how to make it to the dance and it’s about them trenches and with their first seventh rounder the San Francisco 49ers selected Temple defensive tackle Jullian Taylor, another player with great size and exceptional strength. I know Temple does a lot, a little too much with their front seven, before the snap, moving guys all around trying to gain an advantage in some way but maybe putting guys in a worse-off position at the snap. Taylor may benefit from just playing straight up and having less to think about. Another intellectual player was selected with the last pick for the Niners in Middle Tennessee WR Richie James who like Dante Pettis can play all receiver positions and was super productive. Shanahan is trying to make it so his offense is as unpredicatble as possible with guys who can do it all with no tells in sight for the opposing defenses.
As a Gator fan you’d think I go Marcell Harris but I like another DB that the San Francisco 49ers chose in Tarvarius Moore. He’s got speed to burn, damn good size, and can play CB and S. There’s only one problem. He isn’t a finished project, leaving plenty of meat on the bone. What I do know for sure is he will be a hell of a special teamer, running down as the gunner on punts. It wouldn’t surprise me if he pushed the presumed starter opposite Richard Sherman or free safety as early as 2018.
Fantasy Football Implications
One of if not the greatest offensive mind in the game at the moment I just go back to the Super Bowl year for the Falcons when Shanahan was the offensive cordinator and Matt Ryan had a career year along with one of the top, explosive offenses. Shanahan has equipped himself with the players he has identified to fit his scheme and Jimmy Garoppolo has had an entire off-season to digest a complicated and demanding offense. The Top 10 investment made in Mike McGlinchey tells the story. This offense will go as this improving offensive line goes given the additions the San Francisco 49ers have made at the skill positions.