5 offensive NFL Draft prospects 49ers must have atop big board

Running back Breece Hall #28 of the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Running back Breece Hall #28 of the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers need to infuse more talent into their offense after it faltered in the playoffs last season, and these five NFL Draft prospects may help.

Say what you want about the successes of San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense last season. But the fact of the matter is this side of the ball largely underwhelmed once the Niners got into the postseason, scoring 23, 13 and 17 points, respectively, between the Wild Card round and the NFC Championship game.

Granted, a lot will change when quarterback Trey Lance takes over duties, and it’s yet to be determined if he can match or exceed the production levels given by last year’s starter, Jimmy Garoppolo.

Regardless, San Francisco still has to look at the 2022 NFL Draft as a means to infuse more talent into its offense. Whether it’s through skill players or in the trenches, Shanahan and Co. do have some holes to fill.

This isn’t a preference list of offensive players the 49ers should take, per se, rather a top-five big board of players they’ll likely have in their target range with their first pick, No. 61 overall, which takes place in Round 2.

As such, here are the five offensive players the Niners would identify as big-board targets in that particular spot.

Scouting Report. Running Back. player. 837. Pick Analysis. Iowa State. Breece Hall. 5

No. 5 player on 49ers NFL Draft big board: RB Breece Hall, Iowa State

On the surface, the idea of San Francisco tabbing a running back with its first pick seems like too big a luxury, especially after 2021 rookie rusher Elijah Mitchell set a franchise record with 963 rush yards a year ago.

But Mitchell also appeared in only 11 games and has an injury history, while fellow rookie runner Trey Sermon managed a mere 167 yards last year, too.

Assuming San Francisco’s preference for offensive line help or a pass-catching target can’t be met, likely due to other players already being selected by No. 61, there’s a chance Shanahan would endear himself to Iowa State running back Breece Hall, a 5-foot-11 and 217-pound prospect who ran a 4.39 40-yard time at the NFL Scouting Combine after putting up back-to-back 1,400-yard rushing campaigns with the Cyclones.

Breece Hall Rushing & Receiving Table
Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2019 Iowa State Big 12 FR RB 12 186 897 4.8 9 23 252 11.0 1 209 1149 5.5 10
*2020 Iowa State Big 12 SO RB 12 279 1572 5.6 21 23 180 7.8 2 302 1752 5.8 23
*2021 Iowa State Big 12 JR RB 12 253 1472 5.8 20 36 302 8.4 3 289 1774 6.1 23
Career Iowa State 718 3941 5.5 50 82 734 9.0 6 800 4675 5.8 56

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Generated 4/5/2022.

Hall would immediately contend for an RB1 role alongside Mitchell and perhaps take it outright, fueling Shanahan’s run-first offense.

Of course, this would table the 49ers’ other more-pressing needs until Round 3.

But if the value on linemen or receiving threats isn’t there, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Hall as the top pick.