The 49ers currently have 39 players on the squad that were selected from the 2013 – 2016 drafts. NaVorro Bowman is the only guy left from the 2010 draft. Nobody left from 2008, 2009, and 2012. Only Colin Kaepernick, Daniel Kilgore, and Bruce Miller remain from 2011. And only Bowman from this bunch is a premium quality player.
With the exception of first rounder Eric Reid, this is the final year of the rookie contracts signed by the 2013 class. Only Quinton Dial has gotten an extension, an extra three years, signed last February. Tank Carradine, Vance McDonald, Corey Lemonier, and Quinton Patton all need to have somewhere in the neighborhood of outstanding seasons this year or they’ll all likely get the see-you-later treatment in January.
Should the above scenario play out as expected, only Dial and Reid will remain from the 2013 class next year. And neither of these two could be described as anything more than average players. In fact, the 49ers have spent high picks in the past three drafts on guys who would replace them.
Trent Baalke‘s “build through the draft” mantra is clearly not producing much of an edifice thus far. It has, however, allowed Baalke to work his way up from the bottom of the draft pecking order into the top ten losers’ bracket. Where even marginally skilled GMs like Baalke stand a very good chance of landing a premium player.
Is Deforest Buckner going to be a Pro Bowl caliber player? He might need to be in order for Baalke to keep his job. Unfortunately, Baalke keeping his job is kind of low on the wish list these days. But it might take a monumental pratfall like Buckner being a washout to finally force owner Jed York to cut loose his long time lapdog.