The 2014 NFL Draft and how the 49ers did looking back now
This draft was something pretty memorable. It had highs and lows. However, this was an important one, because of it being before the massive diaspora of players that would leave the following offseason.
First round draft pick: Jimmie Ward, S
The real Swiss army knife of the defense as of now was the first round pick in this draft. He was drafted as a safety coming into the league. However, he started out as the team’s nickel cornerback. Then he progressed to outside cornerback and is being rumored to be switching back to his original position. He’s the most versatile player on the defense and brings some added elements to this team since being drafted.
Second round draft pick: Carlos Hyde, RB
The most recognizable name on the current 49ers’ offense. He’s been outstanding in being the heir apparent to Frank Gore. He continues to improve with each season he plays. He has yet to pass the 1,000-yard season barrier. However, he’s not too far from it at this point with Shanahan calling the plays now.
Third round draft picks: Marcus Martin, C; Chris Borland, ILB; Brandon Thomas, OT
Marcus Martin is trash. That’s putting it lightly.
Chris Borland had the best rookie season, and it’s a shame he chose to retire just after it. His impact during the absence of Bowman and Willis when they were injured was needed and more. He was arguably the best linebacker that season and was expected to take over for Willis after his retirement. Unfortunately, the concussions he sustained during his time in football altogether was too severe.
Another member of the illustrious All-ACL Team. He was traded to the Lions before last season and is currently servicing on the practice squad.
Fourth round draft picks: Bruce Ellington, WR & Dontae Johnson, CB
Ellington is someone that is underutilized and deserves more touches. I don’t think he will get that with the team being so crowded currently at receiver. Another unfortunate thing is how he suffered a hamstring injury.
Speaking of underutilized talent, Johnson deserves better as well. His first appearance in a game, he had a pick six. Since then, he hasn’t gotten any respect from the coaches. These two players deserve solidarity and respect to a great degree.
Fifth round draft pick: Aaron Lynch, OLB & Keith Reaser, CB
Lynch is a phenomenal talent at his position and should be at the top of the league. The only thing holding him back, though, is that he needs to stay out of trouble and gain more talent around him.
Reaser is cousins to the incredibly lost talent, Sean Taylor. That’s the most I can say for him, though. It seems as if he can’t match the expectations of the association of his relative.
Sixth round draft pick: Kenneth Acker, CB
Another cornerback selected in this draft. With the switch that Ward made, this is our fourth one. Unfortunately, he was traded to the Chiefs before last season’s start after having a great year that saw him tie the team lead for interceptions.
Seventh round draft picks: Kaleb Ramsey, DT & Trey Millard, FB
Never understood these picks. We already had an answer earlier with the defensive tackle pick, and Bruce Miller was already our starting fullback.
This draft had a great deal of depth with this class. The bad part of this though was that a large amount of these players either were injured or left. It was a telling sign of things to come in the future, and that we needed to restock through the draft.