San Francisco 49ers: 3 way-too-early needs in 2022 NFL Draft

San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (left) with head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

While the 49ers expect to carry a playoff-caliber roster over into 2022, there are some noticeably big needs for the team in next year’s NFL Draft.

Even though the San Francisco 49ers finished their 2021 NFL Draft efforts just over a month ago, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan already have to start thinking about the long term, meaning they need to consider some of their early needs for the 2022 draft could be.

Right now, Lynch and Shanahan are banking on their most recent draft selections panning out as best as possible, including the eventual transition from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the team’s top selection last April, Trey Lance.

This hopefully means the Niners don’t need to add a quarterback anytime soon, possibly for the next 10-plus years if Lance becomes one of the NFL’s next great superstars. And by adding two rookie offensive linemen, Aaron Banks and Jaylon Moore, while also boasting two Pro Bowl-caliber veterans in left tackle Trent Williams and center Alex Mack, San Francisco can hope this particular unit will be locked down for at least the next few years, too.

That said, there are still going to be weak spots, some of which could stand for reinforcement right away or could possibly see player departures a little less than a year from now.

Trading up for Lance removed the 49ers’ first-round draft pick over the next two years, but they still have seven total picks for the 2022 draft, including one each in Rounds 2 and 3. And while it’s awfully difficult to assess how a 2022 big board with top-ranked players will look like this upcoming April, it is possible to determine some of the Niners’ biggest draft needs.

Especially these three biggest ones.