49ers rookie could be the stone-cold steal of the NFL Draft

Which Niners rookie has the most upside and potential for 2024?

It might be a name most fans wouldn't consider from their NFL Draft class.

San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Dominick Puni (77)
San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Dominick Puni (77) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Just months from the NFL's preseason, the San Francisco 49ers welcomed a slew of rookies this year. In the first round of the 2024 draft, we saw the NFC champions select wide receiver Ricky Pearsall.

The former Florida Gator is not the lone offensive weapon the Niners retooled their offense with. They also took another wide receiver, Jacob Cowing, out of Arizona and added running back Isaac Guerendo from the University of Louisville.

While all three look to make an impact on the roster, with quarterback Brock Purdy entering his third year in the NFL, there is one rookie who stands out as a possible gold mine for San Francisco.

Keep an eye on Dominick Puni as a potential 49ers gem

An aging veteran on the offensive line has its downside on most rosters. But, for the 49ers, right guard Jon Feliciano was a huge part of the reason why they had one of the best running backs in the league, Christian McCaffrey.

Feliciano, 32 years old, was been a major stalwart protecting Purdy and creating holes for McCaffrey.

Now entering his 10th season, Feliciano's best days are behind him.

San Francisco may have taken that into consideration with the 86th overall pick last April.

The 49ers used one of their multiple third-round selections to add a young guard, Dominick Puni. At 6-foot-5 and 313 pounds, the former Kansas Jayhawk is an ideal player to learn from Feliciano and eventually take over the his mantel on the offensive line.

Puni started in all nine games he played last year for Kansas. He also started all 13 contests the year before.

Like San Francisco as of late, the rookie guard is used to winning.

Last season, Kansas went 6-3 in the games that Puni played in. The upside for Puni surely benefits the 49ers, who may have found a gem in the middle of the second day at this year's NFL Draft.

And it wouldn't be overly shocking to see the rookie begin his career as a year-one starter, provided that upside translates over into some immediate impact.

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