Hopefully, the 49ers won’t wind up regretting the fact they turned down selecting these available prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Anyone who has watched at least a handful of NFL Draft sessions over his or her lifetime can note how the draft doesn’t always pan out the way anyone thinks it well.
OK, it never pans out that way. Ever.
It’s understandable if San Francisco 49ers fans were a bit shocked by some of the selections general manager John Lynch and Co. made in the 2022 NFL Draft, particularly that one part about grabbing a running back in Round 3, and it might even be fair to question some of the day-three selections, too.
Even though far less is expected out of that bunch, albeit we have to admit the Niners have a pretty good track record of identifying hidden gems between Rounds 5 and 7.
Here’s the list of players San Francisco did take. As far as the list of players it passed up, however, that’s essentially everyone else not taken by Lynch from the Round 2 selection of USC Drake Jackson and afterward.
While each one of these prospects has yet to step on an NFL field, the 49ers probably will regret not drafting these five players in particular.
No. 5 player 49ers should have drafted: CB Coby Bryant, Cincinnati
Despite adding free-agent cornerback Charvarius Ward earlier this offseason, the Niners would have been wise to identify and develop even more younger corners via the draft.
One player who regularly popped up on San Francisco mock drafts counting down to April 28 was Cincinnati corner Coby Bryant, a four-year starter who recorded six interceptions over his last two seasons with the Bearcats.
While Bryant isn’t the fastest of defensive backs out there, his fit in a zone-style scheme could mitigate that shortcoming, and his 6-foot-1 and 198-pound frame is perfect for a boundary-type player.
Yes, the 49ers could still use help there.
Bryant was available with the Niners’ final pick in Round 3, No. 105 overall, yet they elected to go with SMU wide receiver Danny Gray instead there.
Not a bad pick. But the Seattle Seahawks, who run a similar defensive scheme as San Francisco, elected to grab the promising Bryant not long afterward in Round 4.
Hopefully, Bryant won’t haunt the 49ers because of it.