Kicker selection was not well received.
Football Outsiders changed it from the usual NFL draft grades. Instead, they issued performance ratings based on each team’s performance, including whether the roster had improved, how the team used their resources, and whether needs were met.
Here’s what the 49ers are all about. As you might imagine, the kicker is not well chosen:
San Francisco 49ers
Improved list: d
Resource well used: B-
Meet the requirements: C-
Final Power Purchase Agreement: d +
I don’t understand most of what the 49ers did, nor do I really care.
Crafting a kicker was, well, a kicker. Yes, I know Ruby Gold is gone. If the 49ers had had first- or second-round picks, I might have overlooked the third-round penalty. But the 49ers needed to get all they could from the three dollars of venture capital for the second day.
Ji’Ayir Brown was a good choice. Cameron Lato makes sense as a fit for the system. Jake Moody was meant to be deep at receiver or inside offensive line, two units the 49ers never bothered to tackle, even with all their picks on the third day.
The 49ers continue to be successful despite odd drafts due to a high home run rate, Kyle Shanahan’s clever game planning, and a string of inspirational defensive coordinators. But it’s frustrating to watch them knowingly make things harder for themselves.
It’s hard to disagree with the reasoning in the last sentence. It’s also clear that the 49ers have and are still drafting for positional need. And that depends on how they look at the list, not us. After the draft, Kyle Shanahan said there weren’t many gaps to fill, which he explained picking one of the few needs, a kicker, too early.
Last year, the 49ers did not select a safety in the draft. But Talanoa Hovanga hit the ground running and ended up being the first pro. It’s unfair to say Colton McEvitz would go from a backup to getting that kind of recognition, but the 49ers don’t even condone the idea of crafting an offensive tackle that says a lot about how they feel about depth at tackle.
For wide receiver Danny Gray, last year’s third-round pick, needs to take it a step further. He’s a quick option and barely saw the field last season. Gray can give the Niners attack a vertical threat that still doesn’t technically exist until proven otherwise.
To the 49ers’ credit, it’s not easier to improve your roster when you don’t make a selection until No. 99. Linebacker and pass rush was a need. But the combination of Ji’Ayir Brown and Robert Beal Jr. And Dee Winters offers enough all around that if Drake Jackson develops, all of this production will come close to making up for the losses of Charles Omenihu and Samson Ebukam.
This is a team that returns all but three starters from the NFC Championship roster that were in possession of the Philadelphia Eagles before a stray turnover at the end of the second quarter.
The addition of the 49ers marquee occurred during free agency.