5 draftees who rose up 49ers big board at NFL Combine

Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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With the 2022 NFL Combine coming to a close, these five draftees surely impressed the 49ers and likely climbed up the team’s big board a lot.

The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is now winding down, and the San Francisco 49ers will likely have to make some notable alterations to their big board in advance of this year’s NFL Draft towards the end of April.

Granted, combine events only tell so much, and the fully controlled atmosphere of the “spandex Olympics” doesn’t quite tell the whole tale about how collegiate prospects will translate their skills over to the NFL level.

Nevertheless, it remains an important evaluatory tool.

The Niners don’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft, of course, which might impact their ability to grab some of the top performers at the NFL Combine who might have been on the fringes of making it into Round 1.

Still, these five prospects who impressed at the combine should find themselves ranking a bit higher on San Francisco’s big board after the week’s events at Lucas Oil Stadium.

49ers prospect No. 5: WR Christian Watson, NDSU

Let’s get this out of the way first because he surely impressed a lot during the NFL Combine. But quarterback Trey Lance‘s former teammate at North Dakota State, wide receiver Christian Watson, probably shot up every team’s big board in a big way after his massive output.

So much, in fact, he probably just shot himself well out of the 49ers’ draft range and will likely wind up being a first-round target with ease.

Watson, 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds, ran a blazing-fast 4.36 40-yard dash time and then impressed again with a broad jump of 136 inches, which marked one of the longest in NFL Scouting Combine history.

On top of all that, he looked fluid in his receiving drills and shows all the signs of being a truly dynamic receiver.

The Niners met with Watson at the combine, so we have to assume there’s interest. But after Watson tested so well, it’s likely San Francisco will have to raise him up its draft board but to the point where it assumes he’ll be out of reach.