5 first-round prospects 49ers can now target in NFL Draft after free agency

With the initial wave of free agency passed and the 49ers beefing up the defensive, Niner Noise takes a look at some draft prospects that could make sense for their first draft selection at No. 31.

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Jackson Powers-Johnson
2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

player. Jackson Powers-Johnson. . Center/Guard. Jackson Powers-Johnson. 4. 515. . 4.

The best center in the draft is Jackson Powers-Johnson. The Oregon Duck is well and truly in first-round consideration with his ability to also start at guard making him an attractive and versatile prospect.

This pick has two considerations in mind. The 49ers could use an immediate upgrade at right guard while looking for a center in the future. Powers-Johnson can fit both criteria and be an immediate asset while also providing long-term stability at center.

Powers-Johnson is a good size at 6-foot-3 and 328 pounds. He packs a punch as both a run and a pass-blocker and fits well in the 49ers' zone-blocking scheme as well, given his ability to intelligently diagnose both run and pass defenses and understand his assignment.

Powers-Johnson doesn't have elite athleticism and his length is short even for an interior lineman, but he's an intelligent and highly focused player who loves football and is a good guy to have in the locker room. His technique is exceptional, and he just has the tools that teams like.

It's possible Powers-Johnson doesn't even make it to No. 31, but he should be in the discussion if he does as a safe pick that can improve the 49ers' interior blocking immediately.