The 49ers aren’t picking until late in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, meaning they’ll want to nab some sleepers with their 11 total selections.
Very few would have reasonably predicted that quarterback Brock Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, could go on and become something of a star player for the San Francisco 49ers in year one of his pro career.
But, that’s what happened. And in doing so, Purdy became the epitome of a sleeper pick.
In fact, the Niners have found a number of such players in recent seasons. Tight end George Kittle, running back Elijah Mitchell, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and safety Talanoa Hufanga are just some of the day-three selections who far exceeded whatever levels of production were originally placed upon them.
Entering the 2023 draft, San Francisco isn’t poised to select until No. 99 overall, late in Round 3, yet that’s the start of 11 total selections at general manager John Lynch’s disposal.
That means 11 more chances at sleepers, and one of these four could easily be on the 49ers’ radar.
No. 4 sleeper 49ers must target: TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
The Niners have long sought a quality No. 2 tight end to pair with Kittle, but those efforts have mostly underwhelmed.
Thankfully, the 2023 NFL Draft class is chock full of excellent tight ends, and there’ll be plenty of promising ones available on day three of the draft.
Including Old Dominion’s Zack Kuntz.
Granted, Kuntz’s impressive efforts at the NFL Scouting Combine could push him into Round 3 with ease, but San Francisco has three picks in that round anyway and could easily be enticed to bite.
According to one report, Kuntz already had a virtual meeting with the 49ers:
With Kittle beginning to get up there in age, and the Niners’ desire to land a solid secondary option, Kuntz might be a sleeper pick who isn’t so much of a sleeper any longer.
San Francisco should be interested.