The 49ers brought aboard four players on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, so let’s break down what the rookie expectations will be for each.
The San Francisco 49ers have had some luck in recent years finding hidden-gem talent on day three of the NFL Draft. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw (Round 5) quickly worked his way into the starting lineup his rookie season. All-Pro linebacker George Kittle (Round 5) is easily the best example, working his way up to being one of the league’s top players.
What makes day-three picks selected between Rounds 4 through 7 special if they thrive is that their expectation levels tend to be fairly low. For the most part, these backend additions are typically meant to round out rosters and fill practice-squad berths.
Yet with four selections on day three of the 2021 draft, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan hope at least a couple of these selections turn out to be quality players in at least a few years’ time.
Right away, though, each expectation level for these day-three rookies aren’t too big just yet. But it’s still worth evaluating in order to see what fans can expect in year one.
49ers Round 5 draft pick: OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
The Niners already added Notre Dame offensive guard Aaron Banks in Round 2, and he figures to solidify the right guard spot, thereby eliminating what was a rotating door at the position amid all kinds of injury last year.
Yet the fifth-round grab of Western Michigan offensive tackle Jaylon Moore indicates Shanahan was nowhere near happy with his depth, namely linemen Tom Compton, Justin Skule and Colton McKivitz, who all saw more time last year than initially anticipated.
Moore, a natural zone-style lineman, is a good run blocker and adequate in pass protection. And while he primarily played tackle in college, San Francisco likely sees him primarily as a guard but can play tackle in a pinch.
The big storyline for Moore will be the competition with the aforementioned three backups in training camp, a potential edge going towards the rookie because of his scheme fit and versatility.
If he showcases enough there, it’s likely he winds up being an immediate reserve for the offensive line in 2021.