San Francisco 49ers fill immediate needs on Day 2 of NFL Draft

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Day 2 is over and done with and the San Francisco 49ers have added three prospects to the roster, they all fill big needs and show a commitment for immediate production.

The San Francisco 49ers had to wait for a while, but they finally got to make some selections in the NFL Draft and fans will no doubt have mixed reactions to the newest players on the roster.

The one thing of interest is that general manager John Lynch has clearly undertaken a committment to fill the biggest needs in the roster, and all three picks not only accomplish this but also can contribute immediately in 2023.

Read More: 49ers draft: SF takes Ji’Ayir Brown, stun with kicker selection

This is vital for a team that’s vying for a Super Bowl this upcoming season. Not only do all three picks fill big needs, but they’re in for the long haul.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at all three prospects and how they fit in with the short and long term plans for the 49ers.

806. . Safety. Nittany Lions . Ji'Ayir Brown. 87. player

Pick No. 87: San Francisco 49ers – Ji’Ayir Brown, Safety, Penn State

The 49ers were bound to package some picks to move up given they didn’t need 11 rookies on the roster, and they did exactly that by packaging pick Nos. 102, 164 and 222 to the Minnesota Vikings to select safety Ji-Ayir Brown from Penn State.

While the team has its starting safety duo of Tashaun Gipson and Talanoa Hufanga lined up for 2023, the former is likely to leave after this season, which paves the way for Brown to start in 2024 and beyond. This season Brown can fill in as the backup safety in case he’s needed.

Brown brings in a lot of memories of Hufanga as a safety that didn’t test very well but was a very good football player. Brown measures in at 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds, and can play either safety position. He’s also a bit of a ballhawk with 4sd interceptions this season for Penn State, so he’s slated to do the Hufanga route of being the backup for a season before sliding into a starting role.

Kicker. Wolverines . Jake Moody. 99. player. 811.

Pick No. 99: San Francisco 49ers – Jake Moody, Kicker, Michigan

Let it never be said that Lynch won’t do what it takes to get his man. The 49ers shocked everyone in the third round (gee, what else is new?) by going kicker with one of their third-round selections, and there’s no doubt that this was a big reach to fill a position of need.

That said, it could be argued he wouldn’t be available when the 49ers pick again on Day 3 and Jake Moody is definitely the best kicker in the class. He went 29-for-35 in converting field goal attempts with the longest being 59 yards. He converted all 60 extra points and also handled kickoff duties for Michigan.

Moody should be able to beat out Zane Gonzalez for the starting job. If he pans out, then he can be a very successful kicker for the 49ers. It’s a bit of a change of pace given the 49ers have gone for veterans in recent memory, but there’s no doubting Moody will be an instant contributor. If he plays well, we’ll soon forget where he was drafted.

Crimson Tide . Cameron Latu. 101. player. 829. . Tight End

Pick No. 101: San Francisco 49ers – Cameron Latu, Tight End, Alabama

It wasn’t a shock to see the 49ers go for a tight end in the third round. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been desperate for a second tight end to pair with George Kittle so he can run more sets with two tight ends and this was a very strong tight end class.

Cameron Latu was was the player the 49ers decided on, and he was productive with 30 receptions for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns for Alabama. He’s an excellent size at 6-foot-5 and 244 pounds, and he’s known as a versatile tight end who can block and play in the slot as well.

Latu is not especially speedy with his 40-yard time of 4.70 seconds at the NFL Combine, but he should serve as a good foil to Kittle. He might not stretch the field vertically, but he should be a good receiver at the first and second level of the field who can also block. While he’s not a total clone of Kittle, he fills the need for the 49ers perfectly.

The 49ers will now look at filling in some smaller holes on Day 3. Picks in the trenches will no doubt follow as the team will need depth at tackle and at EDGE, and the secondary might still have a pick or two devoted to it.

All in all, it’s been a fun Day 2 for the 49ers. One simply cannot wait to see what surprises Lynch throws at us for the final Day 3.

Next. 2023 NFL Draft: Major 49ers-related takeaways from Round 1. dark