Too soon to say 49ers' DL Arik Armstead headed to Bustville

You could say that Arik Armstead was a polarizing first-round draft choice for the San Francisco 49ers, what with so many people either loving the pick or abhorring it.

Count me among the former ... so to speak.

And though Armstead has yet to join the 49ers for any of their offseason activities because of his school still being in session at Oregon, this has not stopped many from teeing off on Armstead and predicting the worst.

Before his first practice.

Fair? Unfair?

Doesn't matter much at this stage, but disbelieving fans have been joined by NumberFire.com, the website listing Armstead as the No. 1 potential NFL draft bust in a list of five.

The others: Denver Broncos edge rusher Shane Ray, Baltimore Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman, Tennessee Titans receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Randy Gregory.

So what set Armstead up as the top potential bust in NumberFire.com's eyes?

"The problem is that he is highly unrefined in his pass-rushing skills and still hasn't quite grown into his frame and strength against the run," the article read. "If he was able to sit behind a seasoned veteran and learn to polish his technique, this wouldn't be an issue."

And therein lies the rub.

Even though both Justin Smith and Ray McDonald are gone, for very different reasons, the 49ers actually do not want Armstead to have to be a major contributor as a rookie.

Despite his standing as the No. 17 overall selection.

As has been mentioned over and over again in this corner, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke drafted for the future, rather than immediate need, and sees Armstead as a luxury at this stage. Of course, that's because Baalke likes the depth on the defensive line and believes the likes of Darnell Dockett, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Tank Carradine can offset any of Armstead's early shortcomings.

At least, that's the plan. In May.

"Armstead's rawness," the article continued, "may never become refined if he isn't allowed to study and broaden his skills."

Fair enough, but the way Armstead sees it, well, let him say it.

"I don't think I'm raw," Armstead who had 2.5 sacks last season, with 46 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble, said in a conference call after being drafted.

"If you watch film of me, you'll see a technically sound player."

And one, the Niners trust, who will also avoid the dreaded "bust" label.