Only 2 players remain from 49ers 10-player draft class in 2017

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Kyle Madson
·3 min read
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John Lynch’s first draft as a general manager looked like a home run. He moved back from No. 2 to No. 3 to pick the player the 49ers were intent on taking at No. 2 anyway. They traded up into the first round to select linebacker Reuben Foster 31st overall, and by the end of 2017 it looked like there may be upwards of five quality starters out of the 10-player class. By the start of the 2021 league year, it appears the 2017 draft was closer to a strikeout.

One week after the legal negotiating window opened for free agents, only two members of the 2017 draft class are still with San Francisco, and they don’t appear to be on track to retain the players who remain unsigned.

Here’s a reminder of the 49ers’ 2017 draft class and what became of each player:

Round 1, Pick 3 | DE Solomon Thomas

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Thomas was drafted for his versatility, but he could never effectively rush the passer off the edge and it hindered his overall impact. Current team: Las Vegas Raiders

Round 1, Pick 31 | LB Reuben Foster

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Off-field issues forced the 49ers to cut Foster before the end of his second season. He was picked up by Washington, but got hurt before playing a game for them. Current team: Free agent

Round 3, Pick 66 | CB Ahkello Witherspoon

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It was an up-and-down four seasons in red and gold for Witherspoon, but a strong finish to the 2020 campaign wasn't enough to woo the 49ers into re-signing him after his rookie contract was up. Current team: Seattle Seahawks

Round 3, Pick 104 | QB CJ Beathard

(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

The 49ers moved up in the third round to select Beathard out of Iowa. His development never took off though, and now it appears unlikely he'll return to San Francisco after four unproductive years. Current team: Free agent

Round 4, Pick 121 | RB Joe Williams

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This remains the only pick the 49ers have used on a running back under Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. He never played a regular season game for San Francisco. Current team: Retired

Round 5, Pick 146 | TE George Kittle

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This is a good enough pick that it keeps the draft from being a total disaster, but Kittle is the first of the group who'll be on the 49ers' roster for the 2021 season. Current team: San Francisco 49ers

Round 5, Pick 177 | WR Trent Taylor

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Injuries derailed Taylor after a promising start to his career. The shifty slot receiver had a back injury between Year 1 and Year 2, then was sidelined by a foot injury in Year 3, and was not effective in Year 4. Current team: Free agent

Round 6, Pick 198 | DL DJ Jones

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Jones carved out a starting role during his third and fourth years, and San Francisco re-signed him to a one-year deal this offseason. He's the lone member of this rookie class to come back after the expiration of his first contract. Current team: San Francisco 49ers

Round 6, Pick 202 | DE Pita Taumoepenu

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Taumoepenu never found more than a special teams role with the 49ers and was let go after the 2019 season. He did play one game for the Falcons in 2020. Current team: Free agent

Round 7, Pick 229 | S Adrian Colbert

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The end of Colbert's rookie season had him looking like the steal of the draft. He struggled in 2018 though and didn't stay on the roster following training camp in 2019. Current team: Free agent

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