San Francisco 49ers: Ranking 5 best fifth-round NFL Draft picks of all time

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers.(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers.(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, 49ers
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

While first-round NFL Draft picks often get the attention, the San Francisco 49ers have landed some great pickups in the later rounds, especially in Round 5. Honoring the round, here are the Niners’ five best in the fifth round.

Thankfully in recent history, the San Francisco 49ers have shown quite a knack for landing talent in Round 5 of the NFL Draft.

In 2019, the Niners selected Arkansas linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who was widely viewed to be little more than a backup and special teams ace at the pro level. But when starting linebacker Kwon Alexander suffered a serious injury during the regular season, Greenlaw was thrust into a prominent starting role and flourished.

Yes, the Niners had landed yet another day-three draft gem, as Greenlaw would eventually be named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie team that year.

Watch any NFL Draft today, and the first round takes forever. By the time Round 5 comes along, the picks go by increasingly quick. They’ll often flash solely on the ticker during television coverage, while the media is busy chatting it up with the flashier selections made on days one and two.

Yet Round 5 has been kind to San Francisco over the years, producing players like Greenlaw and another top name in the current NFL ranks, tight end George Kittle, who was selected back in 2017 and immediately made an impact. All he is now is a perennial Pro Bowler with 2019 All-Pro pedigree to his credit.

With the NFL Draft drawing closer, Niner Noise has some fun and looks back through the franchise’s history to identify the five best fifth-round picks ever made by the red and gold.

Hopefully, the 49ers will be adding to this list in the coming years, too.