According to CBS Sports, as one of a handful of teams without a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the 49ers can nevertheless execute a good game plan.
San Francisco 49ers fans will probably be bored on day one of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Niners fans will probably take it easy and not get too anxious about what general manager John Lynch and Co. will do until the end of day two of the draft when San Francisco’s number is first called at No. 99 overall.
The 49ers are one of five teams that lack a first-round pick in this year’s draft, and it just so happens to be the 99th overall pick will mark the latest any team’s number is called for the first time on draft day.
All 31 other teams will hear their numbers called before the Niners.
And yet San Francisco still has 11 picks at its disposal, three of which occur at the back end of the third round.
According to CBS Sports, that sets up perfectly for the 49ers to have a home run of a draft class.
CBS Sports suggests 49ers focus on O-line, secondary with their first NFL Draft picks
If there’s a fairly common suggestion for what position the Niners should address first in the 2023 draft, it’d probably fall between either the secondary and the offensive line.
Strong cases could be made for both.
In looking at teams without a first-round pick, CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards suggested San Francisco take a look at some solid interior offensive linemen who’d likely be available at the end of Round 3, and Edwards also tabbed some defensive backs, too:
"The bottom of Round 3 looks like it could be a good place to add interior offensive line help, whether that’s Notre Dame center Jarrett Patterson, UCLA offensive guard Atonio Mafi or USC offensive guard Andrew Vorhees. Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown, Minnesota cornerback Terell Smith and TCU cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson are a few who could be within range to fill out that secondary."
Hodges-Tomlinson, in particular, has shown up on multiple 49ers-centric mocks, so that wouldn’t be surprising at all if he ended up being a target at No. 99 or Nos. 101 and 102 for Lynch and staff.
On top of that, Edwards points out how well Lynch and the Niners have drafted in the middle and late rounds before, too, and that trend will need to continue if San Francisco wants to both reinforce its depth and replace some notable free-agent losses from earlier this offseason.
The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 27.