The 49ers hit on some key needs in Round 3 of NFL.com’s latest mock draft, which helps John Lynch alleviate some losses in NFL free agency.
As long as the San Francisco 49ers don’t use one of their three compensatory selections in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft on a running back, that class will be a success.
In all reality, though, general manager John Lynch has some serious work to do despite his team retaining the vast majority of starters from the end of last season. The Niners lost some key names in NFL free agency beyond quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
And it’ll be up to Lynch and his staff to alleviate those losses.
Garoppolo’s replacements are already on the roster in Trey Lance and Brock Purdy, but it’s unclear whether or not San Francisco’s contingency plans for free-agent losses like right tackle Mike McGlinchey, safety Jimmie Ward and EDGE Samson Ebukam, among others.
With 11 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, paired with a reputation for hitting on mid- and late-round picks, the 49ers have an excellent chance to find some notable replacements.
And that’s what NFL.com’s latest four-round mock draft has the Niners doing.
49ers grab an EDGE, tackle and safety in NFL.com’s latest 4-round mock draft
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter just put together a four-round post-NFL free agency mock that took into account all 32 teams’ actions on the market, including losses and additions.
The Niners gained players, yes, including defensive backs Isaiah Oliver and Myles Hartsfield. And they also grabbed defensive linemen in Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant.
Perhaps those names help make up for losses of players like Ward and McGlinchey, respectively, but using draft picks on younger, potentially better replacements would be wise. Especially considering San Francisco lacks picks in Rounds 1 and 2 because of prior trades.
Late in Round 3, though, Reuter has the 49ers addressing those pressing needs:
- No. 99 overall: OT Blake Freeland, BYU
- No. 101 overall: S Daniel Scott, Cal
- No. 102 overall: EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State
"A sky-scraping tackle prospect with outstanding length and good fluidity, Freeland should get much stronger with time in an NFL weight room. He is an effort-based run blocker who has to really crank up the work rate and technique to try to overcome his leverage disadvantages due to his height. He plays with decent technique in protection and does a nice job of battling through adversity inside the rep."
The 6-foot-8 Freeland is a pretty fast mover, having run a sub-5.0 40-yard time at the NFL Combine. Like McGlinchey, he’s a better run blocker than a pass blocker.
Perhaps San Francisco will be patient with that.
Lynch can be patient with Scott, too, who had six interceptions for Cal over the last two years but might be pegged solely for backup duties as a 49ers rookie, at least with veteran safety Tashaun Gipson ahead of him on the depth chart.
Long term, though, Scott would be a decent pickup.
Harrison, who had only 11 sacks over four collegiate seasons, has more “potential” than proven commodities and might solely be a rotational player at the NFL level.
Still, San Francisco is short on depth pass-rushers, and Harrison could fit that mark well enough.