Let’s look at what the San Francisco 49ers can expect going forward from their numerous Day 3 picks from the 2021 NFL Draft.
The 2021 NFL Draft will always be known as the Trey Lance draft, for better or worse, for San Francisco 49ers fans. It’s the nature of any draft class that features a quarterback up top, especially one selected in the top three.
Beyond that, however, fans will likely also point to the addition of third round running back Trey Sermon to bolster the backfield or the hopes that Aaron Banks can really take a step forward for an interior that looks like it will feature all new starters.
The most successful teams, however, are those which are able to unearth meaningful contributors beyond those early rounds. And as the maxim goes in the NFL, most healthy teams are always drafting for the next season, which means last year’s draft class was, for John Lynch and Mike Shanahan, all about the results in 2022 and beyond.
To that end, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at last year’s late round picks to see how those day three picks might produce for the 49ers this season.
Draft round: 5
Rookie story: Came in and earned a role as a swing tackle for the 49ers and even started three games. Played some snaps on both sides and finished with 145 total snaps in his first season.
Potential for 2022: Moore came into the league as a three-year starter out of Western Michigan with the versatility to play outside and in. He’s plenty agile and athletic even with a solid frame of 6’4″, 311 lbs.
Moore looked like he might grab a spot inside when he first arrived in San Francisco, but he eventually grabbed onto the swing tackle role behind Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey. While he subbed on occasion, Tom Compton held down the right tackle role when McGlinchey’s quad injury took him out for the season. The inability of Moore to take those reps (or the refusal of Mike Shanahan’s staff to give them to him) make things really cloudy for the future.
If Moore had been given several games to grow as a player and see what he could add long-term to the roster, the picture at right tackle might be much clearer today as McGlinchey continues to deal with injury questions. Instead, Moore is still a project from a small school who is now fighting off further competition, and a lower leg strain has kept him from practicing part of this preseason.
What Moore becomes at this stage is anyone’s guess.