Did John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan strike gold in their third draft together with the San Francisco 49ers? Although it's difficult to evaluate the true production of a player for several years down the road, San Francisco saw great production out of their 2019 rookie class - many of which became starters during the 49ers Super Bowl run.
NFL.com even graded the 49ers with having the top rookie class of all 32 teams. The 49ers selected a total of eight players in the 2019 NFL Draft with all but one remaining on the team throughout the season. Here's a review of San Francisco's 2019 draft class and their impact this season.
DE Nick Bosa - Round 1; No. 2 Overall
16 games (14 starts)
790 total snaps (777 defensive snaps)
Bosa was an immediate impact player in San Francisco that instantaneously helped answer the 49ers woes at pass rush. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year led the 49ers with 25 quarterback hits in 2019, to go along with 9.0 sacks, 47 total tackles, two passes defended, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception.
The rookie went on to post the most total pressures ever recorded by a first-year pass-rusher in Pro Football Focus history with 80. He added to that total in the playoffs, with 22 extra pressures over the 49ers three postseason contests.
WR Deebo Samuel - Round 2; No. 36 Overall
15 games (11 starts)
710 total snaps (709 offensive snaps)
Samuel has emerged as one of the most exciting young playmakers in Kyle Shanahan's offense. The rookie evolved into one of Jimmy Garoppolo's go-to receivers by the second half of the season, posing as a threat in the receiving and rushing game.
Samuel appeared in 15 games and registered 57 receptions for 802 yards (14.1 yards per reception) and three touchdowns to go along with 159 rushing yards on 14 carries (11.4 yards per carry) and three more rushing scores in 2019. He even managed record-breaking numbers in the Super Bowl (passing former Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin for most rushing yards by a receiver with 45 in a Super Bowl).
According to Pro Football Focus, over his last eight games, the rookie hauled in 35 catches for 575 yards and broke 12 tackles in the process. On only 57 catches on the year, Samuel finished tied for the NFL lead with 18 broken tackles.
WR Jalen Hurd - Round 3; No. 67 Overall
Hurd dealt with a back injury at the start of training camp, forcing him to miss the entire 2019 season. The wideout appears to be on track for a full return in 2020.
P Mitch Wishnowsky - Round 4; No. 110 Overall
16 games (0 starts)
245 snaps (243 special teams snaps)
San Francisco's fourth-round pick averaged 44.9 yards per punt on 52 punts in 2019. The 49ers punt coverage units registered 2 fumble recoveries on the season, tied for the second-most in the NFL (New England Patriots - 3; Arizona Cardinals - 2; Baltimore Ravens - 2; Jacksonville Jaguars - 2; New York Jets - 2; Seattle Seahawks - 2.)
Wishnowsky earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals. He also registered two special teams tackles on the season.
LB Dre Greenlaw - Round 5; No. 148 Overall
16 games (11 starts)
904 snaps (725 defensive snaps)
Greenlaw stepped up when linebacker Kwon Alexander went down in Week 9 with a pectoral tear. In his first start in place of Alexander, Greenlaw came up with his first-career interception off of Russell Wilson in overtime. His biggest moment of the season came in Week 17 on a goal line stop against Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister that won the 49ers the division and clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
Greenlaw went on to appear in 16 games and finished second on the team with 92 total tackles, three for loss in addition to two passes defended, two quarterback hits, an interception and a sack. In the playoffs, Greenlaw registered 14 tackles, a forced fumble and a tackle for a loss through three games.
His first-year performance earned him a spot on Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie team.
TE Kaden Smith - Round 6; No. 176 Overall
Smith was waived by the 49ers in Week 2 of the regular season and was claimed off of waivers by the New York Giants shortly after. He went on to appear in nine games and posted 268 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 31 receptions in 2019.
OL Justin Skule - Round 6; No. 183 Overall
15 games (8 starts)
619 total snaps (546 offensive snaps)
Skule proved himself as a valuable swing tackle in the 49ers offense. The rookie stepped in place of Joe Staley, as the veteran left tackle tackle missed nine games while dealing with various ailments this season.
Skule was part of an offensive line that helped the 49ers rush for 275 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries (6.9 average) against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5, the most rushing yards by the team in a single game since Dec. 2014 (355 vs. San Diego Chargers).
CB Tim Harris Jr. - Round 6; No. 198 Overall
Harris was placed on Injured Reserve at the start of the 2019 regular season.