A sampling of grades issued for the 49ers 2017 draft from writers and analysts throughout the country:
Chris Burke, SI.com: A-minus — Aside from not finding a quarterback, John Lynch took home the Day 1 title. He took Chicago GM Ryan Pace’s lunch money early, trading 2 picks for picks 3, 67, 111 and a 2018 first-rounder. The 49ers then grabbed Solomon Thomas at No. 3, before trading back into Round 1 and (grabbing) Reuben Foster . . . the next two days were more humdrum.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: A — First-year general manger John Lynch killed it in his first draft, trading down one spot with the Bears in the first round and picking up a bounty of picks. That was a fleecing . . . I thought taking quarterback C.J. Beathard in the third was too high, but it was a good first draft or the 49ers. Watch out for sixth-round defensive tackle C.J. Jones from Mississippi. He could be a steal.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: B-plus — They picked the second-best player in the draft in Solomon Thomas. Then Reuben Foster was sitting there just waiting for someone to grab him, so they traded a fourth-round pick to Seattle to get him. If Foster’s shoulder is OK, he’ll be another Patrick Willis in the middle.
Nate Davis, USA Today: A — New GM John Lynch heard the Matt Millen comparisons after his surprise hire in January. But after brilliantly manipulating his first draft, maybe he’s earned more faith he can restore the Niners to their former glory. (Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster) should go a long way toward revitalizing a defense that’s been in steady decline since Super Bowl XLVII.
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: A — John Lynch went straight from the booth to a general manager’s role, but didn’t look like a rookie GM in his first draft. On the first night, he made two smart trades and added two prospects (Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster) that I had in my top eight overall . . . even if you didn’t love these players, you’d have to say bravo to the maneuvering . . . if there’s a puzzler here, its the use of a third-rounder on C.J. Beathard . . .
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Mark Maske, Washington Post: A — Who says you need front office experience to make this stuff work? If the first draft overseen by John Lynch, the supposed novice GM of the 49ers, is any indication, more teams should be scouring the TV broadcast booths for general manager candidates . . . they added a deep and talented draft class, and new coach Kyle Shanahan maintained the family tradition of getting a promising mid-round RB with fourth-rounder Joe Williams.
Dieter Kurtenbach, Foxsports.com: A-minus — Nine absolutely perfect Grade A picks.I particularly love the Reuben Foster and George Kittle selections. Then . . . QB C.J. Beathard in the third round. I don’t know many people who had him as a draftable prospect — we all hope he works out as an NFL player, but that’s an F pick, bringing down the 49ers’ winning grade.
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: B-minus — First-year general manager had a notable first draft for the 49ers. He fleeced the Bears to move down a pick and get the player he wanted in Solomon Thomas . . . third-round pick C.J. Beathard was a shock pick at No. 104 . . . this team needed a higher caliber quarterback at some point and a more dynamic receiver.
Rob Rang, The SportsXchange: B-plus — The 49ers were widely expected to take Stanford’s star defensive lineman Solomon Thomas at No. 2 overall but convinced Chicago to part with three picks by dropping down just one selection . . . the 49ers added length at cornerback in Ahkello Witherspoon and raw speed at running back (Joe Williams), tight end (George Kittle) and wide receier (Trent Taylor) in the middle rounds . . . Lynch and the 49ers aced their first big test.
Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report: A-plus –– Rookie GM John Lynch fleeced the Bears to drop a spot and still get their guy in Solomon Thomas. In fact, the 49ers got two top defenders in the first round. They also bolstered the backfield by drafting Joe Williams and trading for Kapri Bibbs.