49ers missed-opportunity No. 8: Offensive tackle Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
As was the case with Kingsley Enagbare, Kentucky offensive tackle Darian Kinnard was a bit of a surprise to slip beyond day two of the NFL Draft and into day three, ultimately landing with the Kansas City Chiefs in Round 5 at No. 145 overall.
Yes, we’ll eventually get beyond fifth-round picks the Niners could have had, but it does illustrate the point about finding value with day-three selections who were otherwise projected as day-two prospects. San Francisco had two selections in Round 3, and no one would have questioned it at all if it used one of those on someone like Kinnard.
Kinnard, not unlike the 49ers’ other two offensive linemen selected in the draft (Spencer Burford and Nick Zakelj) has the flexibility to play both outside and inside spots, although his collegiate experience was primarily at right tackle.
The Niners could have had a use there, as incumbent right tackle Mike McGlinchey is still recovering from a torn quad suffered in 2021 and will be a free agent in 2023.
Perhaps Kinnard could have been a swing tackle in year one, developing into McGlinchey’s replacement in year two.
We’ll never know, though.