The San Francisco 49ers received the eighth-highest mark of any team in the recent post-2016 NFL Draft grades handed out by Fox Sports senior national writer Peter Schrager.
"San Francisco needed to get tough and big up front on both sides of the ball and address their defensive backfield," Schrager wrote. "They did that with DeForest Buckner, my top-rated defensive player; Joshua Garnett, arguably the best run-blocking guard in this class; and they got Ronald Blair III, a big bull out of Appalachian State - in the fifth round.
"They also hit that cornerback need with three guys loaded with potential in Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson and Prince Charles Iworah. I would have liked to have seen them take Connor Cook in the third round, but they waited and got Jeff Driskel in the sixth. A few years back, the young man was the highest-rated high school quarterback in the country. Maybe Chip Kelly can help him fulfill that potential."
Schrager gave the 49ers an "A-" for their 11-man draft class.
We picked up the phone and called the FS1 contributor and host of “The Peter Schrager Podcast” to get deeper insight into what he liked about the 49ers incoming rookies.
Listen to the interview on the "49ers Radio" podcast or read up on the best quotes below.
Round 1: Pick 7 - Oregon DL DeForest Buckner
Schrager: "Buckner is a dream for a 49ers fan. ... You didn't have the defensive-line pressure that you needed last year, and Buckner to me, was a better player for this fit than (Ohio state defensive end Joey) Bosa. Things shake out the way that they do, (Ole Miss tackle) Laremy Tunsil falls out of the top 10 and (Ohio State running back) Ezekiel Elliott goes (in the top 10) and things get wacky.
Schrager:"If you think he's the best run-blocking guard in the draft and you don't think he's not going to be sitting there with your second-round pick … then go and get the guy. That's what it is in the draft.
"If you have a guy that you want to get … then go get him. That's what the 49ers did with Josh Garnett.
"Garnett is viewed very highly around the league as an offensive guard. It was what they needed and they got it."
Round 3: Pick 5 (68th overall) - Mississippi State CB Will Redmond
Schrager:"Redmond, people were on high on (him), but the ACL (injury) knocked him down to the third round. … He'll be good. Everyone likes him."
Round 4: Pick 35 (133rd overall) – compensatory - LSU CB Rashard Robinson
Schrager:"Robinson, that's a complete wild card, a complete home-run swing. ... Supposedly he's a great athlete and has a very physically impressive body."
Schrager:"I thought he was a top-100 pick. I thought he was going to be a Day-2 guy. He slid all the way down to (142 overall) – that's good value there. (He's) a pass-rusher. … On multiple teams' boards, this guy was highly rated as a defensive end, pass-rusher. That is a good pickup there."
Schrager:"Any time you can load up on the offensive line … you get Theus, that's great. You get Cooper, that's great. Keep on loading (the depth). Some of the players are going to hit; some of them aren't. But I'm all for it.
"At some point you do need to build up this offensive line and they did that."
Round 6: Pick 32 (207th overall) – from Denver - Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel
Schrager:"He was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school, so hopefully Chip Kelly can come in there and hopefully tap into that and get the most out of him.
"He started his career getting thrown into the fire at Florida, transferred to Louisiana Tech and then put up big numbers. ... Why not give him a shot and see what you can get, certainly he's a great athlete."
Round 6](http://www.49ers.com/news/article-2/San-Francisco-49ers-Draft-Florida-RB-Kelvin-Taylor/70f6da90-1ee8-419a-9a68-14f9a55803b5):Pick 36 (211th overall) – compensatory - Florida RBKelvin Taylor!(/team/roster/kelvin-taylor/9a25126a-e2cc-46b9-9827-c336235fa0a6/ "Kelvin Taylor")**
Schrager:"I love Burbridge. I don't get why Burbridge fell. He was the Big Ten Receiver of the Year. He won All-Big Ten honors. He's just a talented, talented kid, who got the job done, so I love that pick."
**Round 7:** Pick 28 (249th overall) - from Kansas City - Western Kentucky CB Prince Charles IworahSchrager:"Prince Charles Iworah is a guy that I was tipped off to. He wasn't a combine invite, but I was tipped off to him around Senior Bowl time. … Anyone named Prince Charles Iworah, I'm in on. I think he can be polished a bunch. I'm not sure if he makes the 53, but at the very least he's an athlete and he's a burner."