10 players 49ers sorely wish they drafted in 2022 but didn’t

Kingsley Enagbare #52 of the South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Kingsley Enagbare #52 of the South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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In an ideal world, the 49ers would have gotten their hands on each one of their top players on their NFL Draft big board, but it can’t happen that way.

It’s going to be some time before we can adequately judge the San Francisco 49ers’ 2022 NFL Draft class. After all, first-year players take time to develop and adjust to life at the pro level, and some never make it at all.

The Niners, just like every other team out there, essentially have the same kind of information we all have, too: film review, scouting reports, injury histories, stats, off-field analysis, etc.

So, at least in that regard, one can still make preliminary judgments on whether or not San Francisco’s selections in 2022 were good, bad or somewhere in between with the understanding of just how much remains an unknown.

Ideally, each one of the 49ers’ top targets in every round would have been available and selected.

It doesn’t always pan out that way, however, and even the Niners can feel a little disappointed about not being able to land these 10 prospects in this year’s NFL Draft.

Kingsley Enagbare. 179. player. 49. . EDGE. Green Bay Packers

49ers missed-opportunity No. 10: EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

A number of players are going to be listed here whom San Francisco could have drafted, but it instead elected to gamble and see if those players would wind up slipping just a little bit further.

One such example was South Carolina EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, whom many considered to be a fringe first-round prospect but ended up falling all the way into the latter stages of Round 5, ultimately being grabbed by the Green Bay Packers at No. 179 overall.

Sure, the 49ers already grabbed a top-prospect pass-rusher at No. 61 overall, USC’s Drake Jackson. But it’s never a bad idea to add more pass-rushers, and Enagbare looked to be quite the complementary piece for both Jackson and Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa.

It’s fair to wonder if the Niners would have doubled down on their pass-rushing needs if Enagbare fell further to where they were selecting in Round 5, No. 187 overall.

Instead, one can only hope Jackson will be sufficient.