With the NFL offseason just kicking off, Chat Sports is taking the time to reflect on the 2016 NFL Draft. While the true career arcs of these players won't be known for years to come, we do have an idea of which way the teams' draft classes are trending. For the San Francisco 49ers, the 2016 draft class was largely productive. Here's how we graded it:
DT DeForest Buckner, Rd. 1, Pick 7
OG Joshua Garnett, Rd. 1, Pick 28
Buckner started every single game he played in (15) last season and made an impact, finishing the year with 77 tackles and 6.5 sacks, providing excellent pass rushing ability from the middle of the defensive line. It took Garnett a bit longer to find his footing the NFL, but ended up starting 11 games and looks to have a promising future.
CB Will Redmond, Rd. 3 Pick 68
Redmond was a projected first-round pick before tearing his ACL during his senior year at Mississippi State. He missed the entire year recovering from the injury, so the jury is still out on this pick.
CB Rashad Robinson, Rd. 4, Pick 133
DE Ronald Blair, Rd. 5 Pick 142
OT John Theus, Rd. 5 Pick 145
OG Fahn Cooper, Rd. 4 Pick 174
QB Jeff Driskel, Rd. 6 Pick 207
RB Kelvin Taylor, Rd. 6 Pick 211
WR Aaron Burbridge, Rd. 6 Pick 213
CB Prince Charles Iworah, Rd. 7 Pick 249
San Francisco did find some gems in the final day of the draft. In rounds 4-7, teams just hope to land one or two players who can contribute and make a career, and the 49ers were able to capitalize. Rashad Robinson is already a big-time contributor in the secondary, Burbridge has proven his worth as a depth receiver and Theus got a start and looks like a good rotation player.
This class gives Kyle Shanahan a solid young foundation to build on. DeForest Buckner and Rashad Robinson are already productive defensive players, and both Joshua Garrett and Aaron Burbridge have secured their roles. The jury is still out on the rest of the class. For all the 49ers draft coverage, download the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app.