June is here, which means three more months until the grand opening of The Return to Mediocrity Era. Featuring an ever evolving cast of entirely forgettable coaches and players. Hip hip kerplunk!
Today, we’ll look at the 2012 Draft class, which should be coming into its own this year. Hmmm. There’s nobody left from that class except backup OL guy Joe Looney. Nevermind.
Rewind. Today, we’ll look at the 2013 Draft picks who have yet to prove they are worth a shit. For the team to improve this year, they must become starters or major role players — or go on the BUST list: Tank Carradine, Vance McDonald, Quinton Dial, Quinton Patton, Corey Lemonier.
None of these guys has done squat in their two years here. With the retirement of Justin Smith and the banishment of Ray McDonald, both Dial and Carradine are expected to step in and cut the mustard this year. Patton has mostly been inactive his first two years and Lemonier was bumped from the OLB rotation last year by rookie Aaron Lynch. McDonald was injured most of last year and doesn’t look anywhere close to replacing Vernon Davis, who is probably playing his last year in SF.
The 2014 Draft class performance is even more necessary for the team’s success in 2015. Carlos Hyde must reasonably replace Frank Gore, or the team has no running game. Jimmie Ward was over matched as the slot CB last year. He has to do better, or it’s another first round bust. Center Marcus Martin filled in poorly for the injured Dan Kilgore last year and both he and Brandon Thomas are expected to help replace Mike Iupati this year, and Alex Boone next year.
But it’s the secondary where the 2014 class either swims or the Niner defense sinks. Three CBs from that class, a 4th, 5th, and 6th rounder (Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser, Kenneth Acker) are trying to replace Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox.
Nobody from the 2015 class is expected to make a significant contribution this year. So, the success of the 2015 team is going to depend largely on the success of Trent Baalke’s 2013 and 2014 draft classes. For the first time in Baalke’s tenure, his draft picks will be necessary to the team NOW, and not when they get off IR or have finished their “project” classes.
How’s your GM? 1-800-SHO-TIME