49ers NFL Draft Grades 2012: Joe Looney, LaMichael James "Best" and Most "Questionable" Picks

Respected NFL Draft analyst Chad Reuter and former NFL Personnel man Bucky Brooks assembled their NFC West Draft grades for the 2012 Draft, and had a few interesting things to say on their way to a C+ Grade for the San Francisco 49ers.

To start out, they list the Niners' best pick, an offensive guard out of Wake Forest.

Best pick: Joe Looney, OG, Wake Forest (Round 4, 117).
His injury at the Senior Bowl was unfortunate, as it prevented teams from seeing his strength and versatility as a guard and center -- and also kept him from participating at the NFL Scouting Combine. But his physical nature and athleticism will allow him to challenge for a starting spot with the Niners in the near future.

On the other hand, while some people applauded the choice, Brooks and Reuter don't see the explosive and dangerous former Duck as a 'questionable' pick. They explain:

Questionable pick: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Round 2, 61).
As I've mentioned with several of these "questionable" picks, James' listing here is not really about his talent level; his elite speed and quickness should make a good change-of-pace back in the NFL. But with Kendall Hunter already in the fold and other similar backs available later in the draft, the 49ers could have taken a cornerback, defensive end or linebacker who met more immediate needs.

A noteworthy take from the two NFL.com analysts, but ultimately we won't know how well these picks have panned out until two or three years from now.

For more discussion and analysis of the 49ers offseason, make sure you check out Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area.

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