SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers added an 11-player draft class over the course of the past three days. General manager Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly discussed the team's selections:
1. First round (No. 7): DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
”I think it's unique that I have an opportunity and Jerry Azzinaro, who is our defensive line coach and was with me at Oregon, has an opportunity to coach those guys again (Buckner and Arik Armstead). They're what we were always looking for when I was at the college level and the chance to see them now play in the National Football League. It doesn't surprise me that they were both first-round draft picks. They're what you're looking for when you're running a 3-4 defense, athletic enough guys that not only play on first and second down, but you can get a lot of really good positive production out of them on third down. DeForest, he actually as a freshman at Oregon, he played outside linebacker for us. So, he's played on his feet and has dropped into coverage and that kind of tells you a little bit about his athleticism. So, it's exciting to get those guys back together again," --Kelly.
2. First round (No. 28): OG Joshua Garnett, Stanford
”We thought he was the best interior run blocker in the draft. We've always run the football since I was in college or in the National Football League. I think we've finished first, eighth and 14th in the last three years in the league running the football when I was in Philadelphia. We're going to continue to do that. When you have someone like Carlos Hyde in the backfield, I think that's what we want here. We're going to play great defense and we're going to be really good at running the football. So, to add someone like Josh, he's just a big, physical player that can bend really well for a big guy. I think you look at, the one thing that was remarkable about him was when you look at some of those short-yardage, goal line packages that (Stanford coach) David (Shaw) runs there and you look at Josh who's literally three inches off the ground just driving guys out of there, it's impressive to see. And then you throw the intangibles in with Josh with a kid that wants to go to med school, is a senior that's going to graduate in June with a degree from Stanford. I think you kind of check all the boxes when you're looking at Josh,” –Kelly.
3. Third round (No. 68): CB Will Redmond, Mississippi State
” He's a quick-twitch athlete. He can stick his foot in the ground. He transitions very well and he's fearless. He's 5-10, he's 190 pounds, somewhere in that neighborhood and he's not afraid to stick his head in there. And when you go inside in the National Football League and you play the nickel position, that's a tough position to play because you've got to cover and hold up in the run game stuff. So, he's a young man that's proven he can do that, willing to do it and really high on the ceiling that he has,” –-Baalke.
4. Fourth round (No. 133): CB Rashard Robinson, LSU
”Why did we pick him? Heck of a talent. We did a lot of research, did our homework. We actually have a strength coach on staff with us that’s from LSU, that worked with him when he was younger and knew him very well. We also sent someone down there to visit with him. Our coaches met with him at the combine. So, we had a lot of interaction with him. Felt very comfortable with him and have no problem with his character whatsoever,” –-Baalke.
5. Fifth round (No. 142): DL Ronald Blair, Appalachian State
”We look at him as a guy that can come in and move across the line of scrimmage, especially in the nickel package and really line up at all four positions. So, he’s a guy that gives you some versatility. He’s a high producer at his level of play. A great young man, A-plus guy and A-plus worker. So, he’s got all the intangibles we were looking for and the skillset to go with it,” --Baalke.
6. Fifth round (No. 145): OT John Theus, Georgia
7. Fifth round (No. 174): OT Fahn Cooper, Mississippi
”The good thing about both of them, John and Fahn, both of those guys are guys that can play inside and outside. John’s aligned at guard. He’s aligned at both tackle positions. Fahn has done the same. He’s played inside. He’s played outside. So the versatility at that point in the draft, that’s hard to find, guys that have multi-aligned and played as much football as they’ve played. John’s a 48-game starter in the SEC. So, when you look at that and he’s played left tackle like I said, right tackle, he’s also lined up at guard. The versatility is something you’re looking for,” –-Baalke.
8. Sixth round (No. 207): QB Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech
”We love his athletic ability. He’s 237 pounds and ran a 4.47 at the combine. He’s got a unique package that you can kind of work with. That’s an exciting thing, but I wanted to get a feel for him. I had not talked to him, so just to see where he is and get a chance to talk to him. And we had some time. We weren’t on the clock for a little bit. We told him that if we got to where we were getting to, I think it was pick 207, that if he was still there at that point and time that we were going to pick him. But I just wanted to get a feel for where he was, and what his thought process was, and had a good conversation with him. I was fortunate enough to make two phone calls to him today,” --Kelly
9. Sixth round (No. 211): RB Kelvin Taylor, Florida
”The film and the wiring. He’s all ball. Obviously, the pedigree, his father (Fred Taylor) was an excellent running back in his own right in the National Football League. He’s not his father. Not trying to compare him to his father. He’s going to make his own way in this business, but he’s all ball, very enthusiastic. We got him on the phone and the thing he said was, ‘You won’t regret this decision.’ That strikes me as something. It gave us insight to really who he was and who we thought he was. He just wants to come in and compete,” –-Baalke.
10. Sixth round (No. 213): WR Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State
”Productive. Tough. Excellent hands. Wins the majority of contested situations. A lot to like, he’s a competitive young man. . . . All I can tell you is if you watch his pro day and you watch his college film, his hands might measure 8 ¼, 8 ½, whatever that it is, but they look like they measure 10 1/2, because he doesn’t drop many footballs," --Baalke
11. Seventh round (No. 249): CB Prince Charles Iworah, Western Kentucky
”He runs a 4.3 40. He happened to be at one of the All-Star games, that’s where we first noticed him. Then we went to the Pro Day and saw him work out and he posted very good numbers at the Pro Day. I think his bench press, 25 reps at his weight, which is incredible. He’s a talented young man that can really run. He’s going to come in here just like the rest of them and compete. He has blue(-chip) traits in his body, physically; run, jump, change direction, he can do all those things,” --Baalke