Mel Kiper's 49ers draft grade: Huge overreach, 'lightning' hit originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Mel Kiper is the godfather of NFL mock drafts and draft grades, so his expertise is always given a little extra credence.
His grade for the 49ers is a solid B-minus and probably matches most Niners fans’ perspective.
Here’s his breakdown.
Kiper was disappointed with second-round pick Drake Jackson’s production last season with just five sacks, but noted, “If he can put it all together, this could be a pick we talk about as a steal a few years down the road.”
NBC Sports Bay Area’s draft guru Josh Schrock loved the Jackson pick, giving it an A. “The Corona native has great bend and burst off the edge,” wrote Schrock. “He has the strength and speed NFL teams look for in three-down pass rushers, but will need to shore up his technique and put on some weight to live up to his potential.”
Now onto the controversial 49ers selection of LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in the third round. Remember, the 49ers traded up last year to select running back Trey Sermon in the the third round, only to watch him struggle getting on the field or staying on the active roster. The 49ers did hit on sixth-round running back Elijah Mitchell.
Kiper had graded him the dreaded “a couple of rounds” later and was his 13th-ranked running back. Again, it feels like a reach even if the hope is Davis-Price eases the burden on Deebo Samuel. Our grade was a D-plus.
On the flip side, Kiper was a big fan of the later-round picks.
“Wide receiver Danny Gray (No. 105) is lightning after the catch, while Kalia Davis (No. 220) is a physical interior defensive lineman against the run,” Kiper wrote. Schrock agrees on the Gray pick, believing Gray could be a third-round steal with his 4.33 speed.
Kiper closes his 49ers grade with this summation. “Jackson has a high ceiling, but San Francisco reached a little too much for my liking with their picks.” Hopefully Kiper is proven wrong.