49ers: An early look at the 5 biggest needs in the 2023 NFL draft

Commissioner Roger Goodell names a pick by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 NFL Draft (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Commissioner Roger Goodell names a pick by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 NFL Draft (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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5 biggest draft needs the 49ers need to remain in contention in the future

The San Francisco 49ers have one of the most dynamic offenses in the National Football League. With wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Christian McCaffrey, the 49ers have two of the most explosive players in the game today, respectively.

On the other side of the ball, week after week, the number one defense has sent opposing offenses into fits with their dominant run defense and their imposing pass rush.

The balance this team has isn’t something that happens overnight. Furthermore, the window of opportunity to win it all with that team intact is very small.

Having the best players in place at specific positions is good for two reasons. The first is obvious, winning a championship is what it’s all about. A team with perfect chemistry will look to be in mid-season form all year long.

The second reason is just as obvious but is extremely hard. Drafting successors that can learn from those dominant starters is how you bridge the gap from championship team to championship team.

Due to trades, both offseason and midseason, the 49ers have minimal draft capital. Let’s take a look at how they can do a lot with a little. Here are the 5 biggest needs heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

5 Biggest draft needs No. 5: Center

Let’s face it, offensive line selections are not considered the sexy pick, but without a solid offensive front, good luck moving the ball.

The 49ers had plenty of new faces along the interior front for 2022 and to many peoples surprise they operated efficiently. Second-year guard Aaron Banks surprised a lot of people sliding into his new role and operating the way that he did.

Center, on the other hand, has been a bit shaky. Jake Brendel had quite a few “growing pains,” to say the least, in terms of anchoring the line. And why wouldn’t he? Succeeding future Hall of Famer Alex Mack is certainly no easy task.

He may work out the kinks prior to the start of next season and adding a center for depth would be the perfect scenario. But providing he doesn’t, the 49ers need a staple at the position for years to come. Especially with two young quarterbacks on the roster.

As it stands, the 49ers don’t make a selection until the third round. Lucky for them, offensive line is usually a deep class that carries talent throughout the entire draft.

Adding a center, that fits their scheme, with an up-and-coming quarterback would be optimal for the chemistry of this team moving forward.