49ers stock watch on 2022 NFL Draft rookies after 4 games

Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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With a quarter of the 2022 season in the books, Niner Noise looks at the 49ers’ NFL Draft class from this year and takes inventory of player stock values.

Once the 2022 preseason wrapped up, there was a sizable sentiment the bulk of the San Francisco 49ers’ rookie NFL Draft class was going to contribute in a major way over the course of the year.

Rare for a draft class that was pegged to a team already boasting a playoff-caliber roster.

With four weeks of regular-season football now complete, though, signs are pointing to a slightly different outcome. A number of rookies who were in line for massive roles have since been relegated to backup duties, while others haven’t quite performed as well as initially expected.

Still, rookies are rookies, and the Niners can hope their long-term investments pay off in the upcoming years while hopefully capitalizing on some bursts of production over the course of 2022.

Only one of San Francisco’s drafted rookies, cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields, is no longer with the team.

As for the rest, let’s go player by player and take stock of where they’re at after the first-quarter mark of the 2022 season.

49ers EDGE Drake Jackson (Round 2)

The 49ers weren’t able to use a first-round pick to again reinforce their defensive line, but that didn’t stop them from using their first pick (Round 2) on former USC EDGE Drake Jackson, who was fully intended to be the complementary pass-rusher to Pro Bowler Nick Bosa.

Jackson has mostly been a situational pass-rusher, which was his full intent, and the promise has already shown up on the screen.

Through four games, he’s already recorded four tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and even swatted a pass during the Niners’ Week 4 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Jackson has been on the field, defensively, for just shy of 31 percent of San Francisco’s snaps, so his statistical impact has to be accounted for over that span. And the elements that don’t always show up on the stat sheet, such as his athleticism and strength, have popped, too.

While he isn’t a day-one premier pass-rusher like Bosa was back in 2019, it’s safe to say the 49ers are getting a high-quality player in the making.

Stock: Up