The 49ers endured some brutal lessons in the first year of pursuing the art of evaluating, and making choices of the players available in the draft. The first year "was brutal" but was it really? Maybe the jury should stay out a bit longer.
The impatience of the fanbase for allowing players to develop is not something that should be taken too seriously. There are so many players throughout out the NFL that progressed from their first seasons to become good football players before their rookie contracts expired.
It’s important to not have knee jerk reactions of players who’ve not completed their first contracts. One of the reasons rookies are given 4 year contracts is to allow them to both develop, and adjust to the NFL structures, speed, and demands of a 16 game schedule. A kid coming out of school is suddenly up against seasoned vets and "grown men" who at fully developed stages in their career can be an obstacle for young players. That doesn’t mean they never will be able to compete with the same individuals they are working to catch up with. If the rookie really is talented it will become clear as to whether he is a bust, but a certain amount of time should be allowed before such final judgments are made.
I’m starting to believe that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan knew "the boos" were going to be coming in the first two seasons.
In the defense of the new regime however, there was no way to see the amount of injuries that took place in both seasons. The 49ers went to extremes to alleviate the phenomenon. I call the 49ers injury list a phenomenon because few teams in the league had as many players laid up as the 49ers did in the past two seasons. The massive total included the franchise quarterback which was a matter that a young team just wasn’t going to survive.
It’s going to be interesting, to say the least to see how a few players who struggled in their 2nd season do this year. Adrian Colbert, Ahkello Witherspoon and especially Solomon Thomas may surprise us all in their third seasons.
The thing I don’t want to see is the front office that includes John Lynch, Adam Peters, and Martin Mayhew to start picking too cautiously due to fears of failure. The trio has picked a few instant winners, and don’t really warrant the level of criticism that they’re getting.
The trio has altered their process of vetting players as a result of players like Reuben Foster.
Joe Williams unfortunately wasn’t able to stay on the field and was released C.J. Beathard due to the huge strides that Nick Mullens made in this past season was suddenly clearly made the third string QB. The 49ers traded up to get C.J. while Nick an un-drafted free agent outplayed him and it wasn’t even close. The F.O. had teachable moments in year one that they gained from and improved in their second season.
If the front office trend of improving in the draft process every year continues we can look forward to this Thursday, and draft night 2019.