49ers Draft Grades: Evaluating How San Francisco Did on Day One of the NFL Draft

Carlos Rogers is out, Terell Brown is out, Donte Whitner is out and Antonie Bethea is in to take Whitners place. Looking at that, the Niners needed to get a cornerback in the first round but would likely had to have moved up to do so. With six picks in the first one hundred in this year's draft, San Francisco had plenty of ammo to make that move up. So as the first round went on, it seemed to only be a matter of time before the Niners made a move up.

Picks ten through fifteen went by and no move was made by the Niners. Then picks fifteen to twenty went off the board and the Niners were still sitting at their No. 30 pick. It started feeling like they would actually not make a trade-up. Once picks twenty-one through twenty-six were in and all the top corners were gone (with the exception of Roby), it became obvious that the Niners were staying put.

So what's next on the needs list for San Francisco? It has to be wide receiver. With Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, and Kelvin Benjamin gone along with the top two receivers, the obvious pick was Marqise Lee; right? Wrong. The Niners did something that shocked everyone.

The Pick: Round 1 Pick 30- Jimmie Ward, S, NIU

What? A safety! That position was definitely a need when Whitner moved on. However, the Niners found his replacement during the first day of free-agency when they signed Bethea. That meant they wouldn't need to draft a safety high in the draft since they already have Bethea and Eric Reid back there. But, that is exactly what they did when they took Jimmie Ward, a very gifted safety who plays all over the field. The only thing that can make this pick make sense is if they try to convert either Ward or Reid to the cornerback position.

Ward is a very good player and will offer something to this team without a doubt but I still feel they missed the mark on this one.

Grade: C

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