No. 1: Drake Jackson has to be threatened by 49ers drafting Robert Beal Jr.
The Niners are far, far away from wholly giving up on their top pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, EDGE Drake Jackson, who flashed some promise early during his rookie year with three sacks and eight passes broken up.
At the same time, though, Jackson’s lack of conditioning ultimately led to him being a healthy scratch late in the regular season and into the playoffs, which is unusual for a player selected in Round 2 of any draft.
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Granted, former Georgia EDGE Robert Beal didn’t exactly light things up on the stat sheet during his collegiate tenure. But, in San Francisco’s quest to find a top-level pass-rusher to pair with All-Pro Nick Bosa, the new favorite might be the 6-foot-4 and 247-pound EDGE who ran a sub-4.50 40-yard time at the NFL Combine.
That wasn’t Jackson, by the way.
It’s possible Beal winds up being the preferred pass-rusher despite his rawness, while Jackson winds up being relegated to situational duties only.