New 49ers General Manager John Lynch made six trades in last Thursday’s NFL Draft.…He acquired second and third round picks in next year's draft and he was able to add 10 new players to this year's team, which will go a long way helping improve a roster that went an awful 7-25 over the last two seasons.
It was a solid draft for the 49ers, considering what their roster looked like on Thursday afternoon. San Francisco went defense with their first third round pick and they turned their focus to offense with their second third round pick and with their fourth round selection.
Bovada sportsbook will offer odds for them, review them before you place some action. Below are the grades for these picks and a preview and how these players can help the 49ers in the regular season.
Round 3 (66th pick) - Ahkello Witherspoon, CB (Colorado)
The San Francisco 49ers needed to draft a cornerback because they lost two of their starters last season. Jimmie Ward because he is moving to free safety this season and Tamaine Brock, who was released after a domestic violence arrest.
Witherspoon fits San Francisco's idea to have a more physical and aggressive defense. The promising cornerback broke up 23 passes last season and he finished with three interceptions in three years with Colorado.
Opposing quarterbacks only had a 50.9 quarterback rating when throwing into Witherspoon's coverage last year. He has quick feet and excellent balance. Add that to his length and one day he can be a formidable press corner in the NFL. Strength or physicality are not elements he has used in order to dominate opponents, but that doesn't mean that he won't be able to add them to his game over the years. If he does that he can become an elite press corner because he has great range and length. Grade: B+
Round 3 (104th pick) - C.J. Beathard, QB (Iowa)
Many expected C.J. Beathard to be taken in the later rounds of this draft because he had a tough time last season, but new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan liked what he saw from Beathard in 2015, when he led Iowa to a 12-2 record and a rare Rose Bowl appearance. Shanahan has a long and impressive track record developing quarterbacks so he should get the benefit of the doubt with this selection.
Beathard has potential to be a solid backup quarterback in the NFL, as long as he works hard and follows Shanahan's advice but the team should have used this pick to take a safety or a pass rusher and they still might have been able to get Beathard later. It will be interesting to see how his career turns out but based on 2016 alone the 49ers overvalued him. Only time will tell how far he goes as a pro. Grade:
Round 4 (121st pick) - Joe Williams, RB (Utah)
Joe Williams has great speed and good size. He finished with 1,407 rushing yards on 210 carries (6.7 average yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns last season and his longest run was for 82 yards. There's no doubt about his talent and what he can bring to the 49ers but there are some concerns because he was involved on a theft case early in his college career at Connecticut, which led to his dismissal and transfer.
A clean stint at college would have made Williams a second or third round pick based on his productive stats and physical attributes, so this is a promising selection for the 49ers because coach Shanahan's track record with mid-round running backs is impressive.