How NFL experts graded 49ers' 2024 draft selections

How NFL experts graded 49ers' 2024 draft selections originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The 49ers entered the 2024 NFL Draft with 10 picks, ultimately making seven selections before the seventh round concluded on Saturday afternoon.

San Francisco kicked off its draft by taking Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall No. 31 overall -- the first time the 49ers have made a selection in the first round since taking quarterback Trey Lance No. 3 overall in 2021.

The 49ers traded picks No. 94 and No. 132 to move up eight spots and select Kansas offensive lineman Dominick Puni No. 86 overall in the third round.

San Francisco then parted with a pair of fifth-round picks (Nos. 173 and 176) in exchange for the No. 129 overall selection, which the 49ers used on Louisville running back Isaac Guerendo.

Here is San Francisco's entire 2024 draft class:

Round 1 (No. 31 overal) - Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida
Round 2 (No. 64 overall) - Renardo Green, CB, Florida State
Round 3 (No. 86 overall) - Dominick Puni, OL, Kansas
Round 4 (No. 124 overall) - Malik Mustapha, DB, Wake Forest
Round 4 (No. 129 overall) - Isaac Guerendo, RB, Louisville
Round 4 (No. 135 overall) - Jacob Cowing, WR, Arizona
Round 6 (No. 215 overall) - Jarrett Kingston, OL, USC
Round 7 (No. 251 overall) - Tatum Bethune, LB, Florida State

This is how NFL experts graded the 49ers' 2024 draft class:

Danny Kelly, The Ringer

Grade: A-

"I like the haul the defending NFC champs brought away from this draft, a group that includes two playmaking receivers in Ricky Pearsall and Jacob Cowing," Kelly wrote. "Pearsall boasts high-end route-running skills, great hands, and tons of toughness both at the catch point and as a blocker. Cowing, meanwhile, is electric, both deep down the field and when running away from defenders after the catch.

"San Francisco added talent to their secondary with the selections of cornerback Renardo Green and safety Malik Mustapha as well, the latter of whom I believe should’ve gone off the board a full round earlier. Mustapha is a rangy, hard-hitting safety who could be a big-time tone-setter for an already-excellent defense. Third-round offensive lineman Dominick Puni also brings the potential to start at guard early in his career."

Chad Reuter,

Grade: B

"Pearsall's quickness and hands warranted first-round consideration, and the team needed a receiver with the potential trading away of Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk down the road," Reuter explained. "The 49ers could have also picked a cornerback or tackle at that spot. Green and Puni will contribute in areas of need, but trading up for Puni was a bit of a stretch. They did not re-sign Chase Young after sending a third to Washington at the deadline.

"Mustapha, picked with the selection gained from Dallas for quarterback Trey Lance, should see time on defense and special teams as a rookie. The 49ers hope to get more from Guerendo than recent running back picks Trey Sermon and Tyrion Davis-Price. Cowing is small but crafty, and Kingston's guard/tackle versatility makes him a valuable backup."

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Grade: B+

"Very 49ers draft here," Trapasso wrote. "Pearsall feels like a future boundary weapon who'll get open with great regularity in Kyle Shanahan's system. Puni can play anywhere along the offensive line, and Mustapha is a chippy, split-field safety. Green is one of the steadiest cornerbacks in the class -- I mean that -- and Cowing has the juice to uncover at all three levels."

Charles McDonald, Yahoo! Sports

Grade: C-

"Weird draft class for the 49ers, but it might not matter," Mcdonald wrote. "They’ve turned a former "Mr. Irrelevant" into one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL. Ricky Pearsall was a surprise and head coach Kyle Shanahan made his patented mid-round running back pick. Yet it’s hard to look at a draft class that has Pearsall as a first-round selection and feel super great about it. Dominick Puni is a name to watch for them as a long-term developmental offensive guard. He’s has the movement skills Shanahan likes in his linemen."

Dieter Kurtenbach, San Jose Mercury News

Grade: B+

"The Niners had three ‘A’ picks in this draft, including an A-plus pick in first-round selection Ricky Pearsall, and above all else they brought in players that fit their scheme and on-field values to a T," Kurtenbach wrote.

"There’s nothing you can bash the Niners about with the players they took. Even their reaches made sense.

"Criticism can be levied as it pertains to the players the 49ers did not take in this draft — namely a future left tackle in the best tackle classes in a decade. Add in the lack of a tight end and depth quarterback and there will be a few that 'got away' and they’ll have to see frequently in the years to come.

"Ultimately the answers will come on the field."

Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post

Grade: C+

"Brandon Aiyuk remains a 49er — and remains in a contract standoff," Dunleavy wrote. "He and Pearsall are former college teammates. Green’s 2023 move from safety to cornerback really boosted his stock. Puni could be a five-position backup — not enough attention paid to the line."

Nate Davis, USA Today

Grade: B

"First-round Florida WR Ricky Pearsall and second-round Florida State CB Renardo Green have the ability to contribute heavily to another Super Bowl push while also being foundational pieces beyond 2024 – especially if Pearsall has to eventually replace former Arizona State teammate Brandon Aiyuk's production," David wrote. "Third-round OL Dominick Puni (Kansas) might also crack the rotation this season but many of the players might struggle to make this roster – one reason the Niners spun two of their 10 picks into future drafts."

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