49ers NFL Draft history: Ranking 10 best late-round picks

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Jesse Sapolu, San Francisco 49ers
Offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu of the San Francisco 49ers  Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport /

The 49ers have capitalized on some legendary players selected in the NFL Draft during Round 4 and later, including these 10 best day-three picks.

Every year, San Francisco 49ers fans debate and argue what the team should do with its top pick in the NFL Draft.

Round 1 selections are always fun to look at. They’re the players expected to provide the most impact, potentially en route to becoming perennial Pro Bowlers or even possible Hall of Fame candidates.

Except it doesn’t always pan out that way.

All too often, players selected much later in the draft wind up being the best contributors. While almost never receiving as much attention, hype or focus, prospects selected in Round 4 or later can wind up being just as vital to any team’s efforts.

Sometimes winding up in that Hall of Fame category.

Fortunately, and including the recent years under general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan, the Niners have capitalized on some excellent day-three selections in the NFL Draft. Many of these proverbial “draft diamonds in the rough” have turned into cornerstone players over the years.

Including the top 10 whom San Francisco selected from Round 4 and onward.

But first, let’s not forget some honorable mentions.

49ers Late-Round NFL Draft Honorable Mentions

  • OT Steve Wallace — Round 4, 1986 NFL Draft
  • CB Don Griffin — Round 6, 1986 NFL Draft
  • LB Dre Greenlaw — Round 5, 2019 NFL Draft
  • LS Brian Jennings — Round 7, 2000 NFL Draft
  • P Andy Lee — Round 6, 2004 NFL Draft