San Francisco 49ers: Silver Linings from Horrid Offseason

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Watching the incoming Draft Class’ first taste of the NFL

Nov 8, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Arik Armstead (9) between plays during the second half against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Oregon won 51-27. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

As with any fan base, watching the new rookies come and play for your franchise is always exciting. For 49ers fans it will be a little bit sweeter based on how many departures the team had in the offseason. Unlike most draft classes many of these players may have to contribute right away.

General Manager Trent Baalke, had a pretty tremendous draft and was able to find talent in all seven rounds. That talent will surely shine in 2015-16 and going forward.

In the first round he was able to snag Armstead, a defensive tackle out of Oregon. His skills are still raw, but he has the ability to be a true difference maker at the position. He is big with his 6’8″ 280 pound frame, which will certainly speed up the process. He had 87 tackles and four sacks in his three year career. Paired next to free agent addition addition Darnell Dockett, Armstead may struggle in his first year but will definitely be a difference maker in the near future.

In the second round, the team added Jaquiski Tartt, out of small school Samford. Tartt is big for the safety position standing 6’1″ 223 pounds. He also ran a 4.5 at the combine, proving he is athletic for his size. He could start right away at the safety position and his play will be vital to the success of the secondary.

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  • With the retirement of Willis and the releasing of Smith, the team was quite weak at outside linebacker. Third round pick Eli Harold could definitely help. Standing at 6’4″ 250, Harold has great size for the position. With 141 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss, and 17.5 sacks in his three year career at Virginia, he has the track record to succeed as well. Harold could be a potential steal in the third round.

    Looking at names on paper, Baalke looks as if he nailed the first three rounds of the draft. Those are the rounds where you look to get players that you expect to succeed. Fourth round and lower are guys you take a shot on and hope they succeed. But Baalke seemed to grab some pretty interesting names in the later rounds.

    Mainly Blake Bell, Mike Davis, and Bradley Pinion in the fourth, fourth, and fifth rounds respectively.

    Bell is a former quarterback turned tight end. He is very developmental but has shown the traits necessary to be a successful tight end. With Vernon Davis not getting any younger, Bell can be the tight end of the future.

    Davis is a running back, much in the mold of Bush. It is hard to see what role he will have as a rookie, but he will definitely see playing time. The team already has Hyde, but Davis can be the third down-passing back when Bush leaves.

    Pinion, a punter, is a player that may be overlooked. But with Andy Lee gone, he is the clear cut starter at the position. He was arguably the best punter in the draft, and he could pay dividends for the 49ers on special teams.

    Overall, fans have a ton to look forward to in terms of the team’s rookies in 2015-16.

    Next: Kaepernick Under A New Offense