49ers missed-opportunity No. 9: Punter Matt Araiza, San Diego State
Perhaps to a lesser degree (or more, considering just how bad San Francisco’s special teams were a year ago), the 49ers could feel a little disappointed in the fact standout collegiate punter Matt Araiza out of San Diego State just quite didn’t make it to their own pick at the tail end of Round 5, going one pick later to the Buffalo Bills after the Packers grabbed Kingsley Enagbare.
True, the Niners already have a punter in Mitch Wishnowsky. But the former fourth-round selection has yet to make his mark as a stud NFL specialist, and he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract anyway.
While San Francisco probably would have received some flak for grabbing yet another specialist with a day-three pick after having done so with Wishnowsky a few years ago, Araiza is surely a game-changing player, easily flipping the field at ease with his booming, hanging punts.
Had Araiza been the pick, Wishnowsky would be gone and the 49ers would have likely seen their special teams improve by a notable margin.