In the last two years, the 49ers have turned to 14 of the 19 draft picks to start the games during their rookie seasons.
Reuben Foster, George Kittle, Mike McGlinchey and Fred Warner made their way into the starting lineup for the first regular-season games of their careers. Foster has moved on, but other players from those draft clbades, such as Solomon Thomas, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, D.J. Jones, Marcell Harris, Adrian Colbert, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore, are in the mix of most important roles in 2019.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said he goes to each draft trying to determine where the club needs help and what level of immediate contribution it is realistic to expect from the rookie clbad.
"I try to go in and look where we need a starter, where we need a backup," Shanahan said. "You have the goals of what you would like to do, but you must also make sure you have a very good player in that place.
"You wait in an ideal world as a coach, as a general manager, you have an idea of how ideal you would like to get this, this and this." So you have all those things written, but you get there and, yes, the player is there, but it really should be a fifth round pick and you're in the second round. So you have to go in a different direction. "
This year, the obvious positions in which the 49ers could be expected to land on Day 1 are the edge runner, the outside linebacker, the wide receiver and safety. The 49ers have withdrawal options in each of those places, since it is unlikely that they can make immediate improvements in each of those positions.
It should be expected that the 49ers select two shocking players with their first two selections, in numbers 2 and 36 in general.
"You want to take the best player, but you're not alone to accumulate players either," Shanahan said. "You're trying to build a team, so you have to include both in it and you expect it to work better, that's why you're going to certain things, that's why we moved to get Dante (Pettis) last year, because We knew what we wanted in that area and what we were looking for and all that plays into play. "
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The 49ers have openly kept the door open to trade from No. 2 overall to accumulate more selections. But they have also made it clear that they will look for a lot in exchange for such a valuable draft pick. With the draft three weeks away, the 49ers currently have six draft picks.
"I think it's getting harder the longer we're here," Shanahan said. "Our first year, I think all of our guys ended up playing. I think they all started at the same time, whether you were a draft pick in the seventh round or a draft pick in the first round.
"Ideally, I hope it gets harder each year." The fact that you have not selected a group of beginners does not mean you have had a bad draft, but that you have become an NFL team. the guy who is in front of them is also pretty good. "
49ERS 2019 PHOTO PROJECT
1. First round: No. 2 in general
2. Second round: No. 36 in general
3. Third round: No. 67 in general
4. Fourth round: No. 104 in general
5. Sixth round: No. 176 in general
6. Sixth round: No. 212 in general (compensatory)