49’ers Gab Grades the Teams Picks in the 2011 Draft

By Abe Munch

1st- Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
2nd- Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
3rd- Chris Culliver, S, South Carolina
4th- Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
5th- Daniel Kilgore, OG, Applachian State
6th- Ronald Johnson, WR, USC
6th- Colin Jones, CB, TCU
7th- Bruce Miller, LB, Central Florida
7th- Michael Person, OG, Montana State
7th- Curtis Holcomb, CB, Florida A&M

Synopsis: It’s a new era for one of the formerly great franchises in the NFL. Jim Harbaugh takes over the reigns and hopes to duplicate the early success of his brother John in Baltimore. He drafted evenly, choosing five players on each side of the ball and trading up to land his quarterback of the future in Colin Kaepernick.

Best Selection: Aldon Smith. I think Smith was drafted into a good situation in San Francisco, and will do well playing with Justin Smith, Aubrayo Franklin, Patrick Willis, and Parys Haralson. He has a similar skill set as Julian Petersen, a former 49er.

Biggest Risk: Colin Kaepernick. I love Kaepernick’s mental make-up and production in college, but I don’t like his long and slow delivery, dependency on his legs, and no experience under center or making coverage reads from the pocket. Those are big concerns to overcome if you’re expected to lead a franchise as a pro quarterback.

Sleeper:
Kendall Hunter. Hunter is a less physical Maurice Jones- Drew. If Hunter can develop that physical mind-set he could find the same results as Jones-Drew has found in the NFL. A perfect compliment to Frank Gore.

Grade: C+
The success of this class will hinge on whether or not Colin Kaepernick can lead the 49ers for the long term. Aldon Smith, Kendall Hunter, Ronald Johnson, and Bruce Miller were great value picks. Chris Culliver is undisciplined, a liability in man-free coverage, and mistake prone on film. The other three picks are likely roster cuts.

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