July 24, 2017
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The San Francisco 49ers earned one of the best draft grades for their selections in the 2017 NFL Draft, which included Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. USA TODAY Sports/ Bill Streicher

2017 NFL Draft Grades: 49ers, Buccaneers, Saints Earn NFC’s Top Grades

The 2017 NFL Draft officially wrapped up a week ago in Philadelphia, but determining who won this year’s draft won’t be known until years down the road when we can better evaluate how each draft selection worked out.

Instead of stating the winners or losers of the 2017 NFL Draft, Fourth & Goal is grading each franchise’s draft by value acquired based on draft position, needs filled, and how each team’s 2017 draft selections improved their chances to succeed in 2017.

Below is a list of every division and team in the NFC. To see the AFC divisions’ draft grades, click here.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys Grade: B-

First-Round – Michigan DE Taco Chartlon (No. 28)

Second-Round – Colorado CB Chidobe Awuzie (No. 60)

Third-Round – Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis (No. 92)

Fourth-Round – North Carolina WR Ryan Switzer (No. 133)

Sixth-Round – Louisiana Tech S Xavier Woods (No. 191)

Sixth-Round – Florida State CB Marquez White (No. 216)

Seventh-Round – Florida DT Joey Ivie (No. 228)

Seventh-Round – Ohio State WR Noah Brown (No. 239)

Seventh-Round – Colorado DT Jordan Carrell (No. 246)

Analysis: The Dallas Cowboys added some much-needed players to their secondary and to their defensive front in the early rounds of the draft, and overall found strong value for where they selected. Charlton has that size, speed, strength, and talent to be an elite defensive end at the next level, but showed too much inconsistency while in Ann Arbor. Both Awuzie and Lewis are great value picks that have the potential to start as rookies, although Lewis is facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges. The Cowboys also got some value with the late additions of Woods and White in the sixth-round, and two receivers that have the ability to make an impact for their offense in Switzer and Brown.

New York Giants Grade: C

First-Round – Ole Miss TE Evan Engram (No. 23)

Second-Round – Alabama DT Dalvin Tomlinson (No. 55)

Third-Round – California QB Davis Webb (No. 87)

Fourth-Round – Clemson RB Wayne Gallman (No. 140)

Fifth-Round – Youngstown St. DE Avery Moss (No. 167)

Sixth-Round – Pittsburgh OT Adam Bisnowaty (No. 200)

Analysis: Giants general manager Jerry Reese tends to take the best player on the board, but the only problem with that is that his best player is rarely what any other scout or draft analyst projects as the best player based on position. Very similar to last year when Reese selected cornerback Eli Apple with the 10th overall pick, the Giants reached at No. 23 when taking Engram. The Rebels tight end will be an instant playmaker at the next level, but that doesn’t necessarily take the Giants from postseason contender to Super Bowl champion. The Giants biggest flaw entering the draft was their ground game, and ability to close out games with a late lead. The Giants often rely on head coach Ben McAdoo’s short passing offense as a ground game, but in late game scenarios, throwing the ball to milk the clock is a contradiction in itself. The Giants elected to pass on Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson, and Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp with the No. 23 overall selection, which are three players that could have helped in pass protection and in run blocking. The Giants also reached on Dalvin Tomlinson, a talented defensive tackle, that could have easily fallen to the third-round. The Giants had to fill their need at defensive tackle after the loss of Johnathan Hankins, but reaching in the draft can lead to missed opportunities. Although the Giants added two players that will have an instant impact in Tomlinson and Engram, both were clearly reaches that could have easily fallen had New York passed. The Giants helped their case on day three though, as they landed three solid value selections in Gallman, Moss, and Bisnowaty. The Pittsburgh offensive tackle may have been the biggest steal in the draft for Big Blue, as the 6-foot-6, 304-pound tackle should compete with Ereck Flowers, Bobby Hart, and D.J. Fluker for a starting tackle job in 2017.

Philadelphia Eagles Grade: B

First-Round – Tennessee DE Derek Barnett (No. 14)

Second-Round – Washington CB Sidney Jones (No. 43)

Third-Round – West Virginia CB Rasul Douglas (No. 99)

Fourth-Round – North Carolina WR Mack Hollins (No. 118)

Fourth-Round – San Diego St. RB Donnel Pumphrey (No. 132)

Fifth-Round – West Virginia WR Shelton Gibson (No. 166)

Fifth-Round – Nebraska S Nate Gerry (No. 184)

Sixth-Round – Washington DT Elijah Qualls (No. 214)

Analysis: The Eagles had an impressive overall draft, landing two impact players in the first two rounds. Philadelphia got a pass rusher with a high motor in Barnett that should immediately make an impact in 2017, and a cornerback that has the potential to end up being the best in this year’s draft class. Jones was expected to be a sure-fire first-round selection before suffering an Achilles injury at Washington’s pro day but is expected to be ready to play this season. Philadelphia’s front office also got plenty of value on day three, as they landed steals with North Carolina wide receiver Mack Hollins and sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls. The 6-foot-1, 313-pound defensive tackle was projected to be a third to fourth-round selection, and should compete with Timmy Jernigan for the starting defensive tackle role opposite Fletcher Cox. San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey was also a solid day three selection that should greatly learn behind veteran versatile running back Darren Sproles.

Washington Redskins Grade: B+

First-Round – Alabama DE Jonathan Allen (No. 17)

Second-Round – Alabama OLB Ryan Anderson (No. 49)

Third-Round – UCLA CB Fabian Moreau (No. 81)

Fourth-Round – Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine (No. 114)

Fifth-Round – Arkansas TE Jeremy Sprinkle (No. 154)

Sixth-Round – Wyoming OL Chase Roullier (No. 199)

Sixth-Round – Georgia State WR Robert Davis (No. 209)

Seventh-Round – Louisville S Josh Harvey-Clemons (No. 230)

Seventh-Round – Auburn DB Joshua Holsey (No. 235)

Analysis: The Washington Redskins accomplished their goal entering the 2017 NFL Draft, as they surely bolstered the defensive side of the ball while also finding a running back that should compete with Rob Kelley for carries in 2017. The Redskins started off the draft with a huge steal in Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, which fits arguably the team’s biggest need this offseason, a 3-4 defensive end. Washington’s front office followed day one with a strong value pick in Ryan Anderson in the second-round, and a steal in UCLA’s 6-foot, 206-pound cornerback in the third-round. Fabian Moreau was projected to be a borderline first to second-round selection before suffering a torn pectoral muscle at his pro day, but could still be on the field for Washington’s defense by September. Even if Moreau doesn’t hit the gridiron till October, he still could prove himself a valuable asset in Washington, starting opposite lockdown cornerback Josh Norman. While Washington landed two steals in Allen and Moreau, the Redskins also got value with their fourth-round selection of Sooners running back Samaje Perine. The three-time 1,000-yard plus rusher should immediately compete for the starting role in D.C., and could very well find himself their lead back midway through the 2017 season. The Redskins didn’t get too many late round steals, but got a valuable seventh-round safety in Josh Harvey-Clemons that could prove to be a solid player if he stays out of trouble off the field.

NFC North

Chicago Bears Grade: C-

First-Round – North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2)

Second-Round – Ashland TE Adam Shaheen (No. 45)

Fourth-Round – Alabama S Eddie Jackson (No. 112)

Fourth-Round – North Carolina A&T RB Tarik Cohen (No. 119)

Fifth-Round – Kutztown OL Jordan Morgan (No. 147)

Analysis: The Bears hope they landed their future franchise quarterback in North Carolina’s one-year stater Mitchell Trubisky, but head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace may not be around to see if the trade ever comes to fruition in the Windy City. Chicago’s front office gave up a 2018 third-round selection, a 2017 third-round pick, a 2017 fourth-round pick to move up one spot in the first-round, but at least added some value in the second and fourth-rounds and acquired Arizona’s 2018 fourth-round pick through trades with the Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. The Bears landed a raw talent in Division II tight end Adam Shaheen, and snagged a fourth-round steal with safety Eddie Jackson, who fell because of a 2016 season-ending injury. The Bears also got two players with upside potential in Tarki Cohen and Jordan Morgan, but found themselves climbing uphill to grab talent after selecting the Tar Heels quarterback. Chicago’s 2017 draft will always be tied to the success of Trubisky, but based off value, needs, and immediate impact, the Bears had one of the poorest drafts of the NFC.

Detroit Lions Grade: B

First-Round – Florida LB Jarrad Davis (No. 21)

Second-Round – Florida CB Jalen “Teez” Tabor (No. 53)

Third-Round – Northern Illinois WR Kenny Golladay (No. 96)

Fourth-Round – Tennessee LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (No. 124)

Fourth-Round – Toledo TE Michael Roberts (No. 127)

Fifth-Round – San Diego CB Jamal Agnew (No. 165)

Sixth-Round – Arkansas DE Jeremiah Ledbetter (No. 205)

Sixth-Round – Miami QB Brad Kaaya (No. 215)

Seventh-Round – Western Michigan DE Pat O’Connor

Analysis: The Lions failed to add an immediate impact pass rusher or running back in the 2017 NFL Draft, but they surely did get value for their selections. The Lions added a hard-hitting presence to their defense in the first-round in Jarrad Davis, and arguably landed a steal in Teez Tabor in the second-round, who likely fell due to slow 40-yard dash times at both the combine and Florida’s pro day. The Gators 6-foot, 199-pound corner was considered one of the top college prospects entering into his junior season in Gainesville, and will create turnovers for Detroit’s defense at the next level. The Lions selected a 6-foot-4, 218-pound receiver in the third-round that recorded back-to-back 1,100-yard receiving seasons in the Mid-American Conference in Kenny Golladay. Lions general manager Bob Quinn also got value with the additions of Vols linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Toledo tight end Michael Roberts, and surely got a steal in Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya. The Hurricanes quarterback was projected to be a third to fourth-round selection prior to the draft, and gives Detroit not only a legitimate long-term backup option but also a player with potential trade value down the road. The Lions have plenty to look forward to after the 2017 draft, but will likely need to add a goal line running back to their roster before the start of training camp.

Green Bay Packers Grade: B+

Second-Round – Washington CB Kevin King (No. 33)

Second-Round – N.C. State S Josh Jones (No. 61)

Third-Round – Auburn DT Montravius Adams (No. 93)

Fourth-Round – Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel (No. 108)

Fourth-Round – BYU RB Jamaal Williams (No. 134)

Fifth-Round – Purdue WR DeAngelo Yancey (No. 175)

Fifth-Round – Texas-El Paso RB Aaron Jones (No. 182)

Sixth-Round – USF OL Kofi Amichia (No. 212)

Seventh-Round – Utah St. RB Devante Mays (No. 238)

Seventh-Round – LSU WR Malachi Dupre (No. 247)

Analysis: The Packers traded their first-round selection to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for their second-round (No. 33) and fourth-round (No. 108) picks. The trade worked out for both sides, as the Packers got a first-round talent in cornerback Kevin King and a high-motor linebacker with plenty of upside potential in Vince Biegel. The Packers likely reached on Wolfpack safety Josh Jones in the second-round, but are in desperate need of upgrading their secondary this offseason. While Jones may have been a reach at No. 61 overall, Green Bay’s front office got a steal in Auburn’s 6-foot-4, 304-pound defensive tackle. Montravius Adams was projected to be a borderline second-round prospect prior to the draft, and could flourish under defensive coordinator Dom Capers and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. The Packers also added some much-need competition to their backfield with the selections of Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, and Devante Mays, and likely envision Williams splitting reps with Ty Montgomery in 2017. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has no lack of targets entering the 2017 season, but LSU wide receiver Malachi Durpe is worth keeping an eye on and could very well be viewed as a steal in a couple of years. Overall, the Packers had a strong draft that should help them win in 2017, but questions will still surround their secondary when they enter training camp this summer.

Minnesota Vikings Grade: B+

Second-Round – Florida State RB Dalvin Cook (No. 41)

Third-Round – Ohio State OL Pat Elflein (No. 70)

Fourth-Round – Iowa DT Jaleel Johnson (No. 109)

Fourth-Round – Michigan LB Ben Gedeon (No. 120)

Fifth-Round – USF WR Rodney Adams (No. 170)

Fifth-Round – Miami OL Danny Isidora (No. 180)

Sixth-Round – Virginia Tech TE Bucky Hodges (No. 201)

Seventh-Round – Miami WR Stacy Coley (No. 219)

Seventh-Round – Northwestern DL Ifeadi Odenigbo (No. 220)

Seventh-Round – Kansas State LB Elijah Lee (No. 232)

Seventh-Round – N.C. State CB Jack Tocho (No. 245)

Analysis: Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has made sure Minnesota’s backfield is stacked with talent entering the 2017 season, and giving up a fourth-round (No. 128) pick to land Florida State’s star running back Dalvin Cook was well worth the value. The Seminoles running back should immediately challenge Latavius Murray for the starting role in 2017, and has the potential to be a year-in and year-out Pro Bowler at the next level. The Vikings had already addressed their offensive line in free agency, but needed to add some interior offensive line help in the draft and did just that with the selections of Pat Elflein and Danny Isidora. The Buckeyes center has the ability to start right away at the next level, and one NFC scout compared his immediate impact to that of Cowboys three-time Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin. The Vikings also landed high value picks in Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson and Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges. Minnesota missed the postseason after winning the NFC North division title in 2015, and should be a playoff contender this upcoming season due to additions both in free agency and in the draft.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons Grade: B-

First-Round – UCLA DE Tarkkarist McKinley (No. 26)

Third-Round – LSU LB Duke Riley (No. 75)

Fourth-Round – Oregon St. OL Sean Harlow (No. 136)

Fifth-Round – San Diego St. CB Damontae Kazee (No. 149)

Fifth-Round – Wyoming RB Brian Hill (No. 156)

Sixth-Round – Drake TE Eric Saubert (No. 174)

Analysis: Some draft analysts may penalize Atlanta for trading up to select UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley, but that doesn’t mean the 6-foot-2, 250-pound defensive end won’t have an instant impact in 2017. McKinley’s best season in the Pac-12 came when he switched from a 3-4 outside linebacker to a 4-3 defensive end this past season, and expect Falcons defensive-minded head coach Dan Quinn to get the most out of him. The Falcons may have lost some value in giving up their third-round (No. 95) and seventh-round (No. 249) selections to move up five spots in the first-round, but surely got some value in return when they traded the Bills their second-round (No. 63) pick. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff selected LSU linebacker Duke Riley, San Diego St. cornerback Damontae Kazzee, and Wyoming running back Brian Hill with the picks acquired through the trade with Buffalo. All three players should play a role for the Falcons in 2017, but it’s unclear if Oregon State offensive tackle Sean Harlow will fill their need at guard after the retirement of Chris Chester. The 6-foot-4, 303-pound offensive lineman should surely compete for a starting role this upcoming season, but only time will tell if he is worth the fourth-round selection. Overall, the Falcons landed some value picks that should help their chances in 2017, but at the same time selected quite a few role players that may find themselves buried on their depth chart.

Carolina Panthers Grade: B-

First-Round – Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (No. 8)

Second-Round – Ohio State WR Curtis Samuel (No. 40)

Second-Round – Western Michigan OL Taylor Moton (No. 64)

Third-Round – Texas A&M DE Daeshon Hall (No. 77)

Fourth-Round – Miami CB Corn Elder (No. 152)

Sixth-Round – West Georgia FB Alex Armah (No. 192)

Seventh-Round – Georgia Tech K Harrison Butker (No. 233)

Analysis: The Panthers added two immediate playmakers that can be lightning rods with the ball in space in Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Ohio State wide receiver Curtis Samuel, but questions surely still surround their secondary after giving up the fourth most passing yards in 2016. The Panthers clearly believe their young defensive backs and the addition of cornerback Captain Munnerlyn in free agency will improve their pass defense, but selecting Miami cornerback Corn Elder with the 152nd pick is unlikely to make a significant impact for their defense next season. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman did get some value with the team’s second selection on day two, as Western Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Moton has the potential to be a long-term starter at guard at the next level. Carolina reached on Aggies defensive end Daeshon Hall with the No. 77 overall pick, but clearly needed to add some youth to their pass rush with defensive ends Julius Peppers, Charles Johnson, and Mario Addision all at least 30-years-old at the start of the 2017 regular season. The Panthers undoubtedly added talent that should result in offense in 2017, but also left multiple questions unanswered on the defensive side of the ball.

New Orleans Saints Grade: A-

First-Round – Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore (No. 11)

First-Round – Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk (No. 32)

Second-Round – Utah S Marcus Williams (No. 42)

Third-Round – Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara (No. 67)

Third-Round – Florida LB Alex Anzalone (No. 76)

Third-Round – Florida Atlantic DE Trey Hendrickson (No. 103)

Sixth-Round – Miami DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (No. 196)

Analysis: The Saints had two first-round selections after trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots this past March, and surely got value in return for their picks. New Orleans landed arguably the best cornerback in this year’s draft in Marshon Lattimore, and got a steal at the end of the first-round with the second best offensive tackle, Ryan Ramczyk. The Badgers 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive tackle likely fell due to his hip injury that required surgery following the 2016 season, but it would not come as a surprise if he ended up being the No. 1 tackle remembered from this class in a decade. The Saints then landed a ball hawk safety in Marcus Williams with the 42nd overall pick that should have an immediate impact in their secondary. New Orleans not only surrender the most passing yards of any NFL franchise in 2016 but also recorded just nine interceptions as a team. Williams should make an immediate difference in the turnover margin, as he amassed 11 interceptions and four forced fumbles in three seasons in the Pac-12. The Saints traded up in the third-round to land versatile running back Alvin Kamara, but gave San Francisco a valuable 2018 second-round pick for the Vols running back. Kamara is a great value at No. 67 overall, but giving up a future second-round selection for a third-down pass catching running back may have been too high of a price tag. The Saints also got two players with plenty of upside potential in Gators linebacker Alex Anzalone and Florida Atlantic pass rusher Trey Henrdrickson, but know they took a risk with the Florida linebacker, especially given his injury history. The Saints’ top priority entering the draft was their secondary, and the additions of both Lattimore and Williams were not only great value selections but picks that should immediately improve the back-end of their defense next season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Grade: A

First-Round – Alabama TE O.J. Howard (No. 19)

Second-Round – Texas A&M S Justin Evans (No. 50)

Third-Round – Penn St. WR Chris Godwin (No. 84)

Third-Round – LSU LB Kendell Beckwith (No. 107)

Fifth-Round – Boise St. RB Jeremy McNichols (No. 162)

Seventh-Round – USC NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu (No. 223)

Analysis: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of only two teams to get an A in Fourth & Goal’s NFC draft grades, as they landed valuable players relative to their selections that should have an immediate impact in 2017. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht landed an early first-round steal in Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, and a hard hitting safety that should set a tone for Tampa Bay’s defense in Aggies safety Justin Evans. The Buccaneers also got another deep threat to go alongside recently signed free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson in Chris Godwin. The combination of Jackson, Godwin, Howard, Mike Evans, and Cameron Brate should give franchise quarterback Jameis Winston more than enough weapons entering his third season, and allow offensive-minded head coach Dirk Koetter plenty of options when scheming up plays for the 2017 season. Tampa Bay’s front office got great value in LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwith with the 107th overall pick, and an all-purpose running back in Jeremy McNichols that should see the field in his rookie season. The Buccaneers traded up in the seventh-round to select Trojans defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, who has upside potential particularly as a run defender at the next level. Tampa Bay’s front office and coaching staff should be pleased with their draft selections, as they not only immediate improved their chances to succeed in 2017 but also got great value in every pick.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals Grade: B

First-Round – Temple LB Haason Reddick

Second-Round – Washington S Budda Baker (No. 36)

Third-Round – Grambling St. WR Chad Williams (No. 98)

Fourth-Round – Pittsburgh OL Dorian Johnson (No. 115)

Fifth-Round – Vanderbilt OT Will Holden (No. 157)

Fifth-Round – North Carolina RB T.J. Logan (No. 179)

Sixth-Round – Auburn S Rudy Ford (No. 208)

Analysis:: Arizona elected not to reach on a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft, and instead looked to add value that should only elevate their chances to succeed this upcoming season. The Cardinals got a high-motor versatile linebacker, Haason Reddick, in the first-round that should fit well in Arizona’s high-flying defense. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim then traded up in the second-round to select arguably the third to fourth best safety in a 2017 class loaded with defensive backs. Budda Baker is a great value selection at No. 36 overall, but Arizona’s front office had to give up three picks to acquire the Huskies 5-foot-10, 195-pound safety, including a 2018 fourth-round selection. The Cardinals traded back in the third-round to select a wide receiver with some off field concerns, but clearly felt he was the best receiver available despite Dede Westbrook, Chad Hansen, Josh Reynolds, Mack Hollins, and Amara Darboh all still on the board. While Arizona may have reached on Chad Williams, they landed a steal in the fourth-round in Pittsburgh guard Dorian Johnson. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman was projected to be a borderline second-round prospect, but a liver condition he has had since birth was reportedly the reason he fell all the way to pick No. 115 overall. Johnson has since stated that he is not worried about the condition at all, and doesn’t believe it will impact him at all at the next level. The Cardinals also landed a developmental offensive tackle in Will Holden, and two players that should make an impact on special teams in T.J. Logan and Rudy Ford.

Los Angeles Rams Grade: C-

Second-Round -South Alabama TE Gerald Everett (No. 44)

Third-Round – Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp (No. 69)

Third-Round – Boston College S John Johnson (No. 91)

Fourth-Round – Texas A&M WR Josh Reynolds (No. 117)

Fourth-Round – Eastern Washington OLB Samson Ebukam (No. 125)

Sixth-Round – Tulane DT Tanzel Smart (No. 189)

Sixth-Round – Virginia Tech FB Sam Rogers (No. 206)

Seventh-Round – Pittsburgh DE Ejuan Price (No. 234)

Analysis: The Rams wasted no time getting quarterback Jared Goff some weapons in the 2017 NFL Draft, selecting South Alabama tight end Gerald Everett, Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp, and Texas A&M wide receiver Josh Reynolds within the first four rounds. Kupp and Reynolds were steals based on their draft selections, but Everett has the ability to become a cornerstone player in first-year head coach Sean McVay’s offense. The Rams may have reached on Boston College safety John Johnson in the third-round, but leave it to newly appointed defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to get the most out of the talented defensive back. Los Angeles general manager Les Snead also reached on Eastern Washington outside linebacker Samson Ebukam in the fourth-round, but his upside potential as a pass rusher could prove to be valuable in a couple of seasons. While the Rams surely got Goff plenty of weapons and Philips some young developmental defensive players, they failed to address their offensive line. The Rams need to protect their young franchise quarterback and create running lanes for star tailback Todd Gurley, and the addition of Andrew Whitworth, 35, is only a Band-Aid at best.

San Francisco 49ers Grade: A

First-Round – Stanford DE Solomon Thomas (No. 3)

First-Round – Alabama LB Reuben Foster (No. 31)

Third-Round – Colorado CB Ahkello Witherspoon (No. 66)

Third-Round – Iowa QB C.J. Beathard (No. 104)

Fourth-Round – Utah RB Joe Williams (No. 121)

Fifth-Round – Iowa TE George Kittle (No. 146)

Fifth-Round – Louisiana Tech WR Trent Taylor (No. 177)

Sixth-Round – Ole Miss DT D.J. Jones (No. 198)

Sixth-Round – Utah OLB Pita Taumoepenu (No. 202)

Seventh-Round – Miami DB Adrian Colbert (No. 229)

Analysis: 49ers first-year general manager John Lynch crushed his first NFL Draft, adding instant impact players to the defensive side of the ball while also acquiring draft picks for the 2018 NFL Draft. San Francisco landed two top-10 talents in Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas and Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster in the first-round, and a 6-foot-3, 198-pound cornerback, Ahkello Witherspoon, in the third-round with plenty of upside potential. The 49ers also got great value in Iowa tight end George Kittle with the 146th pick and a strong rotational defensive tackle, D.J. Jones, in the sixth-round. While San Francisco had arguably the best draft, they did leave some fans scratching their heads with the selections of quarterback C.J. Beathard and Utah running back Joe Williams. Beathard is pro-style quarterback that can develop in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but was expected to be at best a fifth-round selection prior to the draft. Williams on the other hand is an incredible talent that can make an impact at the next level, but questions surround his love for the game after retiring for part of Utah’s 2016 season. Overall, the 49ers had a tremendous draft class that should immediately elevate their play this upcoming season, and at the same time San Francisco acquired New Orleans’ second-round selection and Chicago’s third-round pick for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Seattle Seahawks Grade: B

Second-Round – Michigan State DT Malik McDowell (No. 35)

Second-Round – LSU OL Ethan Pocic (No. 58)

Third-Round – Central Florida DB Shaquill Griffin (No. 90)

Third-Round – Michigan S Delano Hill (No. 102)

Third-Round – North Carolina DT Nazair Jones (No. 106)

Third-Round – Michigan WR Amara Darboh (No. 106)

Fourth-Round – Colorado S Tedric Thompson (No. 111)

Sixth-Round – Cincinnati S Michael Tyson (No. 187)

Sixth-Round – Mississippi St. OT Justin Senior (No. 210)

Seventh-Round – East Central (OK) WR David Moore (No. 226)

Seventh-Round – Oklahoma State RB Christopher Carson (No. 249)

Analysis: The Seahawks twice traded back from the first-round, and then traded back again in the second-round before selecting a first-round talent in Malik McDowell. The Spartans 6-foot-6, 295-pound defensive lineman was arguably the top defensive tackle prospect in this year’s class, depending on how one classifies Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. The Seahawks then landed LSU center Ethan Pocic with the 58th overall pick, adding a player that should immediately find a starting role on the interior offensive line. Pocic has experience at guard and center in the Southeastern Conference, and should give Seattle some much needed help up front. The Seahawks also got great value in cornerback Shaquill Grffin, Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh in the third-round, and a steal in Colorado safety Tedric Thompson with the 111th pick. The Seahawks bolstered their three most positions of need, offensive line, cornerback, and defensive tackle, in the 2017 NFL Draft but questions along the offensive line still remain.

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