The San Francisco 49ers made some big moves with their 2012 NFL Draft class, taking a few game-changing offensive playmakers as well as some defensive stalwarts as well, though many experts are not that high on their choices.
One such expert is ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., who after breaking down all of the 49ers needs and the value of their players drafted, gives them an overall mark of a C+.
Top needs: RG, WR, S, CB, RB
Summary: San Francisco is working a "no excuses" plan. Meaning, the 49ers have added enough pieces to this offense via both free agency and the draft that Alex Smith should continue to develop. If he can't get to the next level with this group, my guess is Jim Harbaugh will look for someone who can. A.J. Jenkins was a bit of a reach on my board, but I know the 49ers really liked him. I'm a huge fan of LaMichael James and I had a change-of-pace running back as one of their needs. Joe Looney is a decent player, though he's no immediate upgrade like I felt they needed. Trent Robinson has a chance to be a starter at some point, but I thought they could have used a corner. Not a bad draft at all, and you could see their strategy. It's tough to add early impact to a good roster.
I think Kiper's best remark is his last, because it's very fitting with the current 49ers. They already had a lot of talent and now have created an environment of 'survival of the fittest' with each player having to fight to keep their job. They also added diversity to both sides of the ball, now having a terrific mix of young, hungry players and experienced, pro-bowl caliber veterans.
Personally I think Kiper's overall analysis is spot on, though his grade could have been a bit higher.
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