49ers Past five 1st-Round Picks, Where Are they?

The San Francisco 49ers have made some interesting first-round draft picks in the five past years, some have exceeded expectations, while others have failed to reach glory. The 49ers looked like a lackluster team with plenty of holes until 2019 where they unexpectedly made a Super Bowl run. Let’s take a look at their last five selections and see where they are today.


2017 NFL Draft
3 Overall
DL, Solomon Thomas, Stanford
Grade: F
Current Team: Las Vegas Raiders

Oct 13, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) reacts after a Los Angeles Rams tournover on downs during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Solomon Thomas looked good in college — racking up 12 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble and 2 defensive touchdowns. With the fourth-overall pick (after trading down with the Chicago Bears from 3), the San Francisco 49ers decided to draft him to be their new edge guy. This was mainly thought to be due to John Lynch being classmates with him at Stanford and falling in love with his character. Through four seasons with the team, he had disappointing stats — only 6 sacks and a total of 95 tackles. After a rough injury in 2020, Thomas became a free agent and ended up signing with the Las Vegas Raiders. He is widely thought to be a bust by most fans and analysts. After all, he was a tweener who was always playing out of position.

2018 NFL Draft:
: 9
OL, Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Grade: C+
Current Team: San Francisco 49ers

Photo Credit: Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Mike McGlinchey was taken high with the hopes to fix the 49ers O-line. He looked alright in his first couple of years, but in 2020 he looked severely underweight and was easily beat way too many times during a disappointing year. Nevertheless, the 49ers have done their best to patch up their O-line, and Mike could be playing at a higher level now that he’s added some weight back on. Let’s hope so for Jimmy Garoppolo’s (or Trey Lance’s) sake! It is a make-it-or-break-it year for McGlinchey.


2019 NFL Draft:
: 2
DE, Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Grade: A+
Current Team: San Francisco 49ers

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Nick Bosa looked like the best player in his draft class by absolutely dominating opposing college offenses during his time with the Ohio State Buckeyes. After being drafted 2nd-overall, Nick Bosa had a monster rookie season, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year with 9 sacks, 102 pressures, 53 total tackles and even 1 interception (that almost turned into a pick-six). It’s no secret Bosa’s rookie campaign was a huge component of the 49ers reaching the Super Bowl. The former-Ohio State Buckeye sadly had his second season cut short due to tearing his ACL in week two in New York (get rid of turf, NFL). With Bosa fully recovered, he looks to return and wreak havoc on offensive linemen again this season. This pick has an absolute homerun by Lynch & Co.


2020 NFL Draft:
DL, Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Grade: B-
Current Team: San Francisco 49ers

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Javon Kinlaw did not have the best rookie season statistically, however it’s not like he played poorly. He only recorded 1.5 sacks, but he tallied a combined total of 33 tackles and one impressive pick-six. He showed flashes of the elite traits that Lynch & Shanahan fell in love with while he was at South Carolina. There are a lot of fans that constantly compare Kinlaw to DeForest Buckner, since the 49ers used the pick they received for Buckner to draft him. However, they are not valid comparisons due to Kinlaw being a rookie and Buckner being in his prime (and also one of, if not the best, at his position). Also, they are not the same type of defensive linemen at all. This pick is still too early to be able to fairly grade.

2020 NFL Draft:
WR, Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
Grade: A-
Current Team: San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, top, jumps over Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps (22) to score on a touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.
Photo Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/AP.

Brandon Aiyuk was taken with the 25th pick after a big trade up from 31. Almost everyone expected the 49ers to take one of the top receivers at 14 overall, so when they passed for Kinlaw, plenty were left stunned. However, Kyle Shanahan later said Aiyuk was his highest-graded receiver in that draft class, and the ASU product has done a lot since to prove him right. He was on pace for 1,000 yard rookie campaign prior to being cut short due to an injury — and that was without Garoppolo under center for the majority of it Aiyuk looks to have been exactly what the team has needed — a true #1 wide receiver. However, as with Kinlaw, it is simply too early to say for sure. This upcoming season will prove a lot.

2021 NFL Draft:
QB, Trey Lance, North Daktoa State
Grade: ?
Current Team: San Francisco 49ers

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo has been constantly injured, which rightfully raised worries in the 49ers front office. The team made a massive trade up to the 3rd-overall to draft a very athletic QB out of North Dakota State in Trey Lance. He looked like a rookie in preseason, as he had 19 passes completed out of 41 attempts. He finished with 3 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown, 276 passing yards and one interception. It is worth mentioning that the receivers had a total of 9 drops when targeted by Trey Lance, perhaps they are just not used to his fastball. No one knows when Trey Lance will start, but if this situation is handled correctly, he could be a great player for years to come.

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