5 players 49ers should be watching in the 2023 Senior Bowl
By Peter Panacy
49ers prospect No. 2: Center John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
The 49ers got better-than-expected production from perennial backup center Jake Brendel over the course of 2022, and it might be in the Niners’ best interest to re-sign him on the cheap and worry about the full-time need later on.
However, San Francisco might look in the 2023 NFL Draft for a long-term option.
This year’s class of linemen isn’t particularly great or deep, but there are a few likable options out there, including Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz, who earned the following review during Senior Bowl workouts from Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline:
"There were so many things to like about his practice — blocking fundamentals, football intelligence, and the nastiness in his game. Schmitz does a great job bending his knees and blocking with leverage. The former Minnesota center does a phenomenal job quarterbacking the offensive line and making the calls. He opened up the middle of the line for ball carriers to plow through."
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Schmitz is likely a day-two pick, possibly slipping down toward the latter end of Round 3 where the Niners are projected to have three compensatory picks.
If that happens, San Francisco should be more than interested.