The 49ers made nine selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, which means there’ll ultimately be some winners and losers on the Niners roster right away.
You’d be justified in admitting the San Francisco 49ers’ 2022 NFL Draft class felt a little underwhelming in comparison to previous years.
After all, considering the Niners didn’t own a first-round pick this season, all the pomp and hype of day one simply passed San Francisco by. And while the 49ers made a great selection with their first pick of this year’s draft, grabbing USC EDGE Drake Jackson at No. 61 overall, the subsequent selection of LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price sure left a lot of fans scratching their heads.
In total, the 49ers brought aboard nine prospects via the 2022 draft, additionally inking some pretty high-profile undrafted free agents, too.
Whether or not any or all of these first-year players pan out to desired expectations is anyone’s guess, but the moves (and non-moves) do reveal some pretty notable winners and losers stemming from the three-day event in Vegas.
And there are even winners and losers on the Niners roster who weren’t impacted by San Francisco’s own moves, rather other ones from around the league.
Let’s take a look at which 49ers won or lost in a big way over the course of the 2022 NFL Draft.
49ers winner: Wide receiver Danny Gray
Some probably viewed the Niners’ third-round selection of SMU wide receiver Danny Gray as a bit of a reach, and it wasn’t hard to find big boards and mocks suggesting he’d be a day-three pick, going no higher than Round 4 at best.
However, a lot of that is contingent upon his ideal fit. And the speedy Gray, who ran a blazing-fast 4.33 40-yard time at the NFL Scouting Combine and can match that with game speed, just found himself in a unique role in a tailor-made offense for his skill set.
San Francisco has two bona fide wideouts in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. In recent seasons, however, it has failed to identify and develop a field-stretching wideout with that kind of speed, and its quarterbacking efforts from Jimmy Garoppolo weren’t going to take advantage of that anyway.
With strong-armed signal-caller Trey Lance under center, Gray should have a leg up on seeing some serious yards-per-reception metrics as the downfield No. 3 receiver.
Even if the rookie’s total target share will likely be relatively low in 2022. Still, it’s a great situation for him.