49ers NFL Draft 2022 primer: Everything you need to know

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Ty Fryfogle, Nick Cross, Indiana Hoosiers, Maryland Terrapins
Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Ty Fryfogle (3) against Maryland Terrapins defensive back Nick Cross (3) Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Who are the 49ers’ biggest NFL Draft crushes?

It’s impossible to know for sure which players the 49ers are prioritizing with their current crop of picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. After all, none of us are in the planning room nor do any of us have any insight into what John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan are thinking.

So, we’re left to our own speculation. However, if there are some players worth thinking about as would-be Niners draft crushes, they may include the following:

Safety. Nick Cross. 1. player. 824. Scouting Report. Maryland. Pick Analysis

Maryland safety Nick Cross is a rangy, hard-hitting free safety who could potentially allow San Francisco to move Jimmie Ward into Jaquiski Tartt’s strong safety role.

Defensive Back. player. 860. Jalen Pitre. 2. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Baylor

Not quite identical to Cross, Baylor defensive back Jalen Pitre is more of a utility player who primarily played nickel back last season but has flexibility to occupy both safety spots.

Houston. 3. 881. Pick Analysis. Cornerback. Scouting Report. Marcus Jones. player

Likely a nickel cornerback only, Houston’s Marcus Jones doesn’t let his smallish frame get in the way of his ballhawking play style.

Memphis. 4. 858. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Offensive Line. Dylan Parham. player

Memphis interior offensive lineman Dylan Parham could be seen as a plug-and-play option at guard but probably winds up playing center at the NFL level, and San Francisco could use him as a long-term replacement for Alex Mack.

Minnesota. Boye Mafe. player. 852. Scouting Report. EDGE. Pick Analysis. 5

He might have to fall a bit in the draft to make it to the Niners at No. 61 overall, but Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe has all the tools to be an elite pass-rusher at the pro level after bursting on the scene with seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss last year.

Which NFL Draft prospects have the 49ers met with?

San Francisco has naturally done its due diligence, meeting with a number of draft-eligible prospects in the days and weeks leading up to the draft.

Check out this 49ers pre-draft meeting tracker to see which prospects the team has met with already.

It’s important to note, however, meetings don’t always constitute an actual interest. There are plenty of smokescreens this time of year from all angles.