Round 5, Pick No. 172 Overall: 49ers select DT Otito Ogbonnia, UCLA
The 49ers would have loved it if they could have found a way to re-sign their excellent nose tackle, D.J. Jones, who instead elected to ink a lucrative three-year deal with the Denver Broncos in NFL free agency.
Replacing Jones is going to be tough, although the Niners do have some options. For starters, there’s a hope third-year pro Javon Kinlaw can assume a bigger role after suffering a season-ending knee injury last season. Additionally, reserve nose tackle Kevin Givens has flashed some promise in a limited role over the last three years.
However, getting another rotational piece to help with the many 1-technique duties along the defensive line is never a bad idea late in the draft, and UCLA defensive tackle Otito Ogbonnia is an excellent run-stopping producer who can help alleviate the loss of Jones.
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 324 pounds, Ogbonnia can clog up interior rush lanes about as well as any mid-level prospect in this year’s draft. And with 3.5 sacks over his last two seasons, Ogbonnia offers up a little in the pass-rush department, too, although one might assume he’d be merely a backup nose tackle at best early in his career.
The Niners could use someone like that, though.