2023 NFL Draft: Who could 49ers target on defense, special teams?

Trey Dean III #0 of the Florida Gators (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Trey Dean III #0 of the Florida Gators (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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With the 2023 NFL Draft approaching, we look at a potential draft pick from every defensive position as well as special teams whom the 49ers could consider.

Less than a fortnight out from the 2023 NFL Draft, rumors are swirling and opinions are being broadcast more and more heavily as we await to see who will become the newest batch of San Francisco 49ers players.

The Niners did well to retain key personnel and sign their starting lineup for 2023, but the need for depth and a player or two that can push for a starting role quickly still needs to be addressed over the three days the draft is held.

Read More2023 NFL Draft: Who could 49ers target at each offensive position?

Defensively, the team is well set up. With defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and nickel back Isaiah Oliver joining the team via free agency, San Francisco doesn’t have any pressing immediate needs. It can look for good value and strong developmental prospects throughout the draft instead.

New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is a perfect fit for the 49ers. Historically, Wilks has managed to get excellent production out of any defense he’s been given, and he’s been handed the keys to an elite Niners defense that’s still one of the scariest (if not the scariest) in the NFL. A perenially underappreciated figure in the league, Wilks finally has the springboard to get a proper leap to become a head coach (the Arizona Cardinals scapegoating him and his interim role at the Carolina Panthers where he did more than enough to get the job properly don’t count) and the 49ers are fortunate to nab him.

On special teams, it’s a slightly different story. Kicker Robbie Gould has moved on, and while the Niners essentially got Zane Gonzalez for nothing as a placeholder, that doesn’t necessarily mean the position is filled with them currently doing their due diligence on the kickers in the draft.

But, with some strong prospects to look at late on Day 2 and heading into Day 3, the 49ers are set to do their magic and find some good value late as they’ve shown in the past.

So, let’s take a look at one defensive and special teams prospect from every position on whom San Francisco should be keeping an eye.