Pro Football Network has surprising 49ers mock draft, Niner Noise reacts

Offensive lineman Darnell Wright of Tennessee (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Offensive lineman Darnell Wright of Tennessee (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

In their latest seven-round mock NFL Draft, Pro Football Network delivers some surprising picks to the 49ers. Niner Noise weighs in with our thoughts.

It’s been awfully tough predicting which prospects the San Francisco 49ers will ultimately grab in the 2023 NFL Draft.

If it’s not an impossible task anyway, the fact the Niners don’t select until the very end of Round 3 makes it exceptionally more difficult. Sure, there have been some names who pop up repeatedly here and there, such as Michigan center Olu Oluwatimi (at least prior to San Francisco re-signing center Jake Brendel).

But, for the most part, it’s a craps shoot.

We’re still here for it, though.

While Niner Noise is an equal-opportunity mock-draft evaluator, the folks over at Pro Football Network have an excellent track record of knowing their stuff. Putting it bluntly, NFL Draft fans and pundits should trust PFN’s work.

Just recently, Cam Mellor of PFN came out with a seven-round mock that included some rather enticing pickups by the 49ers, who still have 11 selections despite none of them being in Rounds 1 or 2.

Let’s break down which prospects PFN mocked to the Niners and exactly how we here at Niner Noise view the pickups.

49ers mock NFL Draft roundup: Pro Football Network starts off with a shocking Niners trade

For those curious, the Carolina Panthers select quarterback C.J. Stoud out of Ohio State at No. 1 overall. The Houston Texans then react by grabbing Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the next pick.

Now, you’re probably thinking things should fast-forward here to the end of Round 3.


PFN actually mocks a lucrative trade-up by San Francisco to get into the tail end of the first round, and here are the details of the move they suggested:

"Trade: The San Francisco 49ers send picks No. 99, 101, and 102 and a 2024 first-round pick in exchange for the 28th pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick from the Cincinnati Bengals."

That obviously changes the game. And it all depends on what the 49ers do with the No. 28 overall pick.

And they grab Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright, prompting PFN’s breakdown here:

"Here it is — the big trade-up into the first round. The San Francisco 49ers send their trio of compensatory picks and next year’s first-round selection to grab their preferred option at right tackle. With the Kansas City Chiefs firmly in the first-round right-tackle market, the 49ers make the move to get Darnell Wright a few picks ahead of K.C. Wright is a massive man with even bigger upside."

Niner Noise analysis: Bold move to replace Mike McGlinchey, who left for the Broncos this offseason. But, for a team like the Niners that’s ready to win a Super Bowl now, the 2023 draft is less about the quantity of players and more about quality. Right tackle is the biggest glaring hole, and San Francisco fills it.

Breaking down Pro Football Network’s remaining mock draft for 49ers

As for the rest of PFN’s players mocked to the 49ers, here you go:

  • Round 5, No. 155 overall (from Dolphins): CB Cory Trice, Purdue
  • Round 5, No. 164 overall: S DeMarcco Hellams, Alabama
  • Round 5, No. 173 overall (comp): WR Parker Washington, Penn State
  • Round 6, No. 211 overall (from Vikings via draft-day trade): EDGE Durell Nchami, Maryland
  • Round 7, No. 222 overall (from Broncos): S Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State
  • Round 7, No. 253 overall (comp): S Daniel Scott, Cal
  • Round 7, No. 255 overall (comp): OL Anthony Bradford, LSU

The balance of third-round picks were used to get into Round 1, meaning the Niners are largely building upon depth (and hope) for players on day three of the draft.

Although there are some fallers who could have easily been selected earlier.

Niner Noise analysis: Trice has a Richard Sherman-like build, and he’ll thrive in a zone-style scheme, too. As for Hellams, he’s probably a special teams contributor at best. Those are valuable, though, especially if they can spot-start on defense.

Washington is intriguing as a slot option, especially for yards after the catch, but head coach Kyle Shanahan has preferred “big slots” over players who can’t quite crest 6-foot in height.

Full disclosure, haven’t looked at Nchami at all. But depth pass-rushers are always worth exploring, and the Niners need help on the edge.

Taylor and Scott are both players who could easily go much earlier than Round 7, and Scott is someone who has been talked about as a possible San Francisco solution within the secondary already. Perhaps his “advanced” age is the lone aspect causing his fall, but playmaking ability is nevertheless there.

Bradford, meanwhile, is a project but has some modest upside as a run blocker.

Next. 2023 mock NFL Draft after free agency fallout. dark