The 49ers didn’t make a selection in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, but some things did happen that’ll ultimately influence them this year and beyond.
The San Francisco 49ers may have been idle for the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
But that doesn’t mean they weren’t paying attention.
The Niners, of course, weren’t scheduled to select in this year’s draft until No. 99 overall, way toward the end of the third round, meaning the first day on Thursday was going to be pretty quiet. Sure, the occasional rumor might pop up here and there, and general manager John Lynch was probably working the phones in a customary manner.
All told, though, Thursday was a quiet night for San Francisco.
However, with 31 selections in the books, the 49ers are nevertheless impacted by what took place on the first of three draft days.
Let’s look at some of those major takeaways that’ll ultimately impact the Niners.
Takeaway No. 1: 49ers won’t see best 2 players in 2023 NFL Draft class within NFC West
There’ll be arguments against these two being the pound-for-pound best players in this year’s draft class, but Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter and Texas running back Bijan Robinson should have been Nos. 1 and 2 overall if the draft was strictly going by best player available.
There was a thought the Seattle Seahawks could take Carter at No. 5 overall, but they passed on the chance to do so.
More on their selection in a bit, but Robinson ended up being the Atlanta Falcons’ selection at No. 8 overall after a trade-up to get him.
Carter, meanwhile, went to the Philadelphia Eagles and essentially replaces now-49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave on an elite defense, one which San Francisco could potentially see again in the playoffs.
However, the Niners would have to get there first, and winning the NFC West would be the best way to do so.
Not having Carter and Robinson within the division is a bonus.