What draft grades have the media given to the San Francisco 49ers? What are they saying about the 49ers' 2023 draft haul?
NFL.com - Grade: B-
Luter is a fierce cornerback who will step in for the Niners as a rookie, while Beal will likely back up veterans on the edge. I love Winters and Graham at linebacker, while Bell plays receiver with linebacker-type toughness.
ESPN - Grade: B-
And yet, I like a bunch of these picks, except for kicker Jake Moody (99) in Round 3. I get that it's a need, but that's incredibly early, and I didn't even have him as the best kicker in the class. I had a second-round grade on safety Ji'Ayir Brown (87), so I'm a fan of his potential. Tight end Cameron Latu (101) has upside, and he'll get to learn the ropes from George Kittle. Linebacker Dee Winters (216) went about 60 picks after I thought he would. Brayden Willis (247) is going to make an impact as a rookie special-teamer.
The biggest issue with this class is: Where's the offensive tackle? With Mike McGlinchey gone, is Colton McKivitz really going to be the starting right tackle? That's a miss based on my list of pre-draft needs.
SI - Grade: C+
PFF - Grade: C-
Moody produced PFF field goal grades of 90.2 and 91.7 in each of the past two seasons, so the idea that he's the first kicker drafted makes sense. But the third round is rich for any kicker in this class.
Latu is coming off a season in which he produced a 60.6 PFF receiving grade, a 50.0 run-blocking grade and a low 1.03 yards per route run. He has the size that teams look for at the position, but the production just wasn't there in 2022.
Day 3: Luter has traits to work with on the outside with above-average length and decent straight-line speed and explosiveness. He took a bit of a step back in 2022 from a production standpoint after allowing just a 27% completion percentage and a 3.9 passer rating in 2021.
Beal's numbers from his final season in college aren't going to blow anyone away. He produced a 67.8 PFF grade, won 14.1% of his pass-rushing attempts and made a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on just 6.7% of his run-defense snaps. Special teams will likely be his best path to seeing the field.
Winters played 670 or more snaps in each of the past three seasons but hasn't produced a PFF grade of 55.0 or higher since the 2020 season. He missed 16.0% of the tackles he attempted this past season.
Willis played an H-back role at Oklahoma that allowed him to excel as a blocker, grading above 80 in both run blocking and pass protection.
Bell averaged 2.57 yards per route run in his final season in college. He struggled in contested catch situations, pulling in a reception on just 16.7% of his contested targets, but did produce a 77.4 PFF receiving grade.
Fox Sports - Grade: C+
That did not go well for the Bucs. However, the 49ers had three third-round picks and might not have gotten Moody if they waited until Day 3. And while there are concerns with drafting a kicker that high, it's all good if he plays well, and Moody was excellent in college.
USA Today - Grade: C+
The Ringer - Grade: C-
Sporting News - Grade: B-
Touchdown Wire - Grade: B-
Once met his idol, NFL K Matt Prater at a Detroit pizza parlor and was so excited to meet Prater that he blew off HOF WR Calvin Johnson, who eventually introduced himself during the conversation.
Well, at least the kid's a kicker at heart. The pick I like the most in this group is Penn State's Ji'Ayir Brown, who projects well as that kind of versatile safety the 49ers have loved through recent years. Think Jimmie Ward, and you won't be far off. Beyond that, there are some reaches here, and perhaps not as many immediate contributors as you'd like, though I do like Georgia's Robert Beal Jr. as a speed end. General manager John Lynch spoke after the pick of Beal's "GTFO" ability, which is apparently a metric the 49ers' staff uses to discern a defensive lineman's ability to get off the snap as quickly as possible.
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