While the bulk of the 49ers’ 2022 NFL Draft class was about depth, these five rookies, including Drake Jackson, may make an immediate impact.
One of the luxuries about being a playoff-caliber team with a fairly loaded roster is that players selected in the NFL Draft won’t have too much pressure upon them to deliver right out of the gate.
Some of those prospects in this specific context, though, end up contributing nicely right away, however.
The San Francisco 49ers can hope for at least a handful of their 2022 draft picks to make an immediate positive impact this season. They might look for the most from their top pick, former USC EDGE Drake Jackson, who projects to be a solid pass-rusher and a quality complement to Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa this season and for years to come.
Selected at the back end of Round 2, No. 61 overall, Jackson might be used as a situational pass-rusher at first as he looks to hone his run-stopping skills en route to becoming an every-down player.
That said, the pass-happy nature of the NFL sets the stage for Jackson to potentially break out in year one, and these other rookies may potentially join him in that regard, too.
49ers breakout rookie No. 5: EDGE Drake Jackson
Jackson might not have been the pass-rushing force with the Trojans, amassing just 12.5 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss over three years. But USC didn’t exactly do him a great service by playing him in a variety of different roles and positions.
The Niners will put a stop to that, and they’ll focus on honing his best strengths.
Bosa is already bullish on Jackson’s talents:
“He’s super talented,” Bosa told reporters from mandatory minicamp. “He does things out there that I definitely couldn’t do as a rookie, just the way he moves. He’s definitely got some impressive stuff about him, but it’s only been two days where I’ve seen him.”
The good thing for the 6-foot4, 273-pound edge rusher is he won’t have to come in and be the primary pass-rusher on San Francisco’s roster, as that designation will go to Bosa.
This will mean much more favorable matchups for the rookie, who’ll likely be able to stay fresh and appear solely on third downs and obvious passing formations, thereby keeping him rested and poised for a breakout-type first-year campaign.