Round 5, Pick No. 172 Overall (from Saints): 49ers select EDGE Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame
Nearly every one of the 2021 draft’s outside pass-rushers comes with some sort of major question mark, and there’s no clear-cut stud prospect like the Niners’ own, Nick Bosa, or the Washington Football Team’s Chase Young.
Still, it’s a San Francisco need, given there are concerns regarding fellow EDGE Dee Ford’s injury status. And after losing defensive ends Kerry Hyder and Ronald Blair this offseason, it would be wise for the 49ers to stockpile some younger outside rushers.
True, the Niners landed former Los Angeles Rams EDGE Samson Ebukam, and that’ll help. But getting some additional help would be nice, and Notre Dame EDGE Daelin Hayes would be a quality target towards the back end of Round 5.
Hayes, 6-foot-3 and 258 pounds, is a bit of a tweener and could potentially project more as a SAM linebacker in a 4-3 defensive front. But he has a good array of speedy pass-rushing moves, which helped him accumulate six sacks for the Fighting Irish in 2020, capping off a collegiate career where he had 20.5.
He might only be a role player early on, but pass-rushing depth was a key part of San Francisco’s defensive success in 2019, and Hayes could help the team reach that feat again.