5 bold predictions for 49ers in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Peter Panacy
49ers bold NFL Draft prediction No. 2: Niners don’t draft a running back
This seems especially strange, and one might even call it a bold prediction to see the 49ers not take a running back in Round 3 after doing so in each of the last two years (Trey Sermon in 2021 and Tyrion Davis-Price in 2022).
However, the Christian McCaffrey addition should negate the Niners’ need to stockpile more tailbacks, especially those grabbed in the middle rounds.
Tack on head coach Kyle Shanahan’s tendency of finding hidden gems either late in the draft (Elijah Mitchell, Round 6) or as undrafted free agents (Matt Breida), it shouldn’t be too shocking to see San Francisco finally pass on a halfback over all seven rounds.
But that’d be a bold move, especially given Shanahan’s tendency to address the position as of late.
2020, a year in which the 49ers had only five draft picks, marked the last time Shanahan and John Lynch passed on drafting a running back. But Mitchell, Davis-Price, McCaffrey and Jordan Mason are all on the roster now, and the depth chart can be supplemented via undrafted free agents.
Can Shanahan resist the urge here? A bold prediction says he will.