The 49ers won’t solely select players from the Pac-12 conference in the 2022 NFL Draft, of course. But if they did, their draft class might look like this.
The San Francisco 49ers are a West Coast team. The Pac-12 is a West Coast conference.
And while NCAA football alliances don’t follow anything close to the fandoms of NFL franchises, it’s probably a safe bet to say many a Niners fan who watches college football pays slightly more attention to the Pac-12.
Unless alma maters are involved, of course.
With the 2022 NFL Draft fast approaching, San Francisco has unquestionably sent plenty of its scouts out to monitor Pac-12 talent as those prospects prepare for this year’s draft. A year ago, the 49ers took advantage of two former Pac-12 players, Oregon cornerback Deommodore Lenoir and USC safety Talanoa Hufanga, adding both on day three.
There are some notable Pac-12 prospects potentially worth targeting this year, too. So, in limiting our selections for the Niners solely to this conference (the rest of the league can still choose as it wishes), Niner Noise hands out a unique mock sticking only to the Pac-12.
Using Pro Football Focus’ mock-draft tool to create some randomness, let’s begin when San Francisco’s number is first called late in Round 2 at No. 61 overall.
Round 2, Pick No. 61 Overall: 49ers select OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State
This isn’t the first time Niner Noise has mocked Washington State offensive tackle Abraham Lucas to the 49ers.
But to reiterate the need, the Niners could be looking for an offensive tackle early in this year’s draft, particularly if that prospect could potentially develop into a long-term starting-caliber replacement for right tackle Mike McGlinchey, who is still working his way back from a torn quad suffered a year ago.
Even if McGlinchey comes back at 100 percent, he’ll be a free agent in 2023, and there’s no clear indication San Francisco plans on extending him just yet.
In the interim, Lucas could project to be a possible starter at right guard, upgrading over Daniel Brunskill and with the eventual hope of landing that full-time job at right tackle, should the 49ers elect to let McGlinchey walk.
The Niners have never been shy about constantly reinforcing their offensive line, McGlinchey being a clear example back in 2018, and that trend continues here.