Grades for every 49ers 2022 NFL Draft rookie through first 8 games

Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /
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Nick Zakelj, San Francisco 49ers
Nick Zakelj #63 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

49ers NFL Draft picks in Round 6: OL Nick Zakelj, DL Kalia Davis, CB Tariq Castro-Fields

C. . OL. San Francisco 49ers. NICK ZAKELJ

The Niners had three picks in Round 6, and yet we’re only able to effectively grade one of them.

Even that’s going to be tough, as Fordham offensive lineman Nick Zakelj has been almost exclusively a gameday inactive over the first half of his rookie season.

This sounds as if San Francisco is worried about exposing Zakelj to waivers if it wanted to cut him and place him on the practice squad, and there are plenty of thoughts about Zakelj being the 49ers’ long-term option at center, too, albeit after a year’s development deep down the depth chart.

As for time on the field? Well, it’s been minimal. Zakelj has seen one offensive snap and only eight snaps on special teams.

However, we are talking about a sixth-round offensive lineman out of a tiny school. The expectations were never that high, so a C-grade for some development potential seems worthy enough.

Likewise, the Niners are redshirting former UCF defensive lineman Kalia Davis, who suffered a torn ACL before being drafted, while cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields didn’t make San Francisco’s 53-man roster after the preseason.