49ers beef up D-line again, take Drake Jackson at No. 61 overall in NFL Draft

Linebacker Drake Jackson #99 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Linebacker Drake Jackson #99 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

After sitting idle on Day one of the 2022 NFL Draft, the 49ers’ first selection finally came through, landing EDGE Drake Jackson at No. 61 overall.

The San Francisco 49ers were one of 10 teams that ended up not taking a player in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

If anything, the Niners’ biggest first-round storyline was not trading away All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel despite plenty of speculation he could be on the move for a lofty trade package.

With nine selections entering the draft, though, San Francisco wasn’t going to be quiet for long. And with general manager John Lynch staying put despite a quick scare the Cincinnati Bengals, who traded up to No. 60 overall, would grab the player on Lynch’s radar, the 49ers nevertheless will welcome their first player of the 2022 draft class to the folds.

49ers take Drake Jackson out of USC at No. 61 in NFL Draft

The Niners made their move by reinforcing their primary strength, the defensive line, subsequently grabbing EDGE Drake Jackson out of USC with the 61st pick overall.

Jackson, standing at 6-foot-3 and 254 pounds, looks to fill a need by upgrading San Francisco’s pass rush. With EDGE Nick Bosa leading the team with 15.5 sacks last year, the 49ers wanted to find a complementary piece to make up for the likely departure of fellow pass-rusher Dee Ford, who isn’t expected to return after dealing with serious back injuries the last two seasons.

Drake Jackson Defense & Fumbles Table
TacklesDef IntFumbles

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Generated 4/29/2022.

Now, the onus will be on defensive line coach Kris Kocurek to get even more production out of Jackson, who should be able to thrive as a 4-3 defensive end.

Read More: How 49ers won Round 1 of 2022 draft without doing a thing

The 49ers still have eight picks remaining on day two of the draft, both of which will fall in Round 3. One might expect Lynch and Co. to target a safety or offensive lineman to further reinforce those needs there.

However, with Jackson now in the folds, the Niners can cross off a key need with the hope he winds up being an immediate-impact player from the get-go.

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