49ers NFL Draft: 2022 7-round mock just before trade deadline
By Peter Panacy
Round 3, Pick No. 74 Overall: 49ers select EDGE Tyreke Smith, Ohio State
One of the small bonuses San Francisco has received this season is the healthy return of EDGE Dee Ford, who was in danger of potentially having his NFL career ended after suffering a serious back injury in 2020.
Still, the 49ers reworked Ford’s contract during the offseason, and there’s still a good chance they’ll part ways with him in 2022 to both free up cap space while ensuring another healthy pass-rusher is in play to partner with fellow EDGE Nick Bosa.
Unlike the 2021 draft, there are some better day-two outside pass-rushing options with fewer question marks. And given the recent surge of Ohio State pass-rushers to make an impact at the NFL level, Bosa included, perhaps the Niners dip into this seemingly endless stream of talent to find another young player to hone this vital part of the defense.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Tyreke Smith.
|*2018||Ohio State||Big Ten||FR||DE||7||1||8||9||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|*2019||Ohio State||Big Ten||SO||DE||8||9||3||12||5.0||3.0||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|*2020||Ohio State||Big Ten||JR||DE||5||6||2||8||1.0||1.0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|2021||Ohio State||Big Ten||SR||DE||4||5||4||9||2.0||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
True, Smith is nothing close to Bosa’s caliber coming out of college. And as shown above, the sack totals certainly aren’t there either. If anything, Smith is known more for generating pressure rather than actually getting to quarterbacks.
Fortunately, Smith has both the power and the motor to transform into a quality pass-rusher. With some polish and finesse to his pass-rushing moves, he could quickly turn into the perfect complementary piece to Bosa over the next two seasons.