How are the 49ers’ 2022 NFL Draft class players looking after their opening workouts during rookie minicamp? Let’s take a stock-watch look.
There shouldn’t be any grand-sweeping conclusions about any first-year pro after just one abbreviated week of workouts at an inaugural NFL rookie minicamp.
So, no, you’re not going to have any sort of concrete assessments about whether or not the San Francisco 49ers’ nine selections from the 2022 NFL Draft are going to pan out, turn into superstars or go completely bust.
Not yet, at least.
Still, it’s worth monitoring how these first-year draftees are performing, as well as those undrafted free agents the Niners also brought in. And while these players aren’t going up against veteran competition just yet, there are some notable takeaways.
Let’s see who stood out among San Francisco’s first-year pros, for both the right and wrong reasons in this stock-watch feature stemming from the practices that were open to the media.
49ers EDGE Drake Jackson (Round 2)
Any team’s top pick in the NFL Draft is going to garner a lot of attention, and the 49ers’ Round 2 addition of former USC EDGE Drake Jackson is going to be noteworthy, especially if he can translate into the complementary pass-rushing force they’ve needed to pair with Pro Bowler Nick Bosa.
In minicamp, the Niners were only able to work out two defensive linemen, Jackson and UDFA Kevin Atkins, as their sixth-round pick, Kalia Davis, is rehabbing because of a torn ACL suffered last year.
As a result, Jackson was notably gassed from workouts under the tutelage of defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, as reported by Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle:
"That wasn’t a great combination for the 49ers’ first draft pick, USC edge rusher Drake Jackson, who crisscrossed the country visiting 15 teams before the draft. That travel schedule presumably affected his workout schedule. And that appeared to be the case Friday when Jackson was one of just two defensive linemen being put through the paces in individual drills by high-intensity position coach Kris Kocurek. With few breathers, the second-round pick was clearly gassed at the end, repeatedly putting his hands on his helmet to catch his breath."
This might pay off in the long run, but Jackson might need a bit more ramping up to get ready for training camp.