We’ll argue and debate the 49ers’ 2022 NFL Draft class for some time, but it’s safe to assume they didn’t quite address these four needs adequately enough.
It’s hard, perhaps impossible for any team to completely ace any particular NFL Draft. As far as the 2022 draft was concerned, perhaps the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets came close to doing so.
But even they had some questionable moves here and there.
As far as the San Francisco 49ers’ 2022 NFL Draft class, well, there were some quality picks mixed in with some notable surprises, particularly the selection of LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in Round 3, which wasn’t exactly seen as a pressing need.
In a bit of a shocker, at least comparing previous drafts under general manager John Lynch, the Niners didn’t execute any draft-day trades, ultimately coming away with nine selections and a total of zero on day one.
Hopefully, the bulk of those picks wind up panning out. But, while San Francisco didn’t have an overwhelming array of needs, there are still some shortcomings that weren’t exactly addressed enough over the three-day period from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Let’s take a look at four needs Lynch and Co. didn’t manage to get to.
No. 4: 49ers failed to address long-term replacement for Mike McGlinchey
Yes, the 49ers used two draft picks to reinforce the offensive line, UTSA’s Spencer Burford and Fordham’s Nick Zakelj.
Both have the ability to play guard and tackle, which should help with insurance for the depth. But it’s hard to wholly peg either to be a surefire starter at the NFL level.
Perhaps the Niners feel more comfortable with right tackle Mike McGlinchey’s recovery from a torn quad suffered in 2021 than most, but the more looming question mark is the fact McGlinchey is signed only through 2022 and will be a free agent a year from now. It doesn’t seem likely San Francisco will offer him a big-time extension, and this year’s draft could have been the perfect chance to find his replacement.
A prospect like Kentucky’s Darrian Kinnard, a day-two prospect who fell all the way to the Kansas City Chiefs in Round 5, would have been a safe grab with one of the 49ers’ two third-round selectioins.
Alas, however, the Niners passed up the opportunity to grab a swing tackle right away with the long-term shot of replacing McGlinchey in 2023.