Assigning odds for each 49ers 2023 draft pick to make 53-man roster

Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Cameron Latu (81)
Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Cameron Latu (81) / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Niner Noise looks through the 49ers' 2023 NFL Draft class and guestimates the odds of each player making the 53-man roster this season.

The San Francisco 49ers' approach in the 2023 NFL Draft wasn't necessarily to find immediate-impact talent, which is generally made more difficult by not having first- or second-round picks (the Niners didn't have those, in case you forgot).

No, San Francisco wanted to primarily address depth concerns while hoping to add players who could turn into starters in a year or two's time, even if it meant benching or redshirting those players for the bulk of 2023.

In total, general manager John Lynch and Co. brought home nine draftees.

The 49ers may need to keep a few such players on the 53-man roster, though. And while they can hope to stash others on the practice squad, doing so runs the risk of other teams claiming such players and signing them to their own 53-man rosters.

It's early, and the only pro-level on-field evidence we have is what happened during rookie minicamp toward the middle of May.

That said, let's see what the odds are for each draftee actually making the Niners' 53-man roster right away this season.

49ers NFL Draft pick odds to make 2023 53-man roster

There's no complex mechanism to determine these odds, and they're not exactly ones you'd bet against anyway. Based on where the prospect was drafted and what the positional needs are for San Francisco, we can still guestimate how good of a chance each rookie will have.

Defensive back Ji'Ayir Brown (Round 3, No. 87 overall): 10-to-9 odds

The 49ers traded up for Ji'Ayir Brown and likely view him as a long-term replacement for now-Houston Texans defensive back Jimmie Ward.

Brown might not start right away, but his versatility to play all over the secondary will be a welcomed addition to the depth chart. Barring an injury or complete meltdown in training camp, both of which are possible, he'll be on the 53-man roster in Week 1.

Kicker Jake Moody (Round 3, No. 99 overall): 10-to-9 odds

Using a third-round pick on a kicker was quite a shocker, even if Jake Moody was viewed as the consensus No. 1 option at his position in this year's draft.

Like Brown, Moody will have to flame out completely in camp (or suffer an injury) to not make the regular-season squad, and the Niners are likely to give him plenty of wiggle room anyway and despite having traded for veteran kicker Zane Gonzalez earlier in the offseason.

Gonzalez goes, Moody stays.

Tight end Cameron Latu (Round 3, No. 101 overall): 4-to-3 odds

Some could argue Cameron Latu, not Moody, was San Francisco's most questionable Round 3 selection, as Latu was seen as a fifth-round target and not someone who would be selected on day two.

Per reports, Latu wasn't overly impressive during rookie minicamp despite looking the part of a quality tight end who is NFL-ready. And with George Kittle already manning the No. 1 spot on the tight end depth chart, Latu and fellow rookie tight end Brayden Willis will be scrapping for depth roles alongside returning veterans like Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner.

A 75-percent chance of making the cut sounds about right for Latu.

Cornerback Darrell Luter Jr. (Round 5, No. 155 overall): 3-to-2 odds

Young defensive backs often struggle early in the pros, yet Darrell Luter Jr. showed up well during rookie minicamp and also looked the part of a day-one starter way back when at the Senior Bowl earlier this spring.

The 49ers could be seeking an upgrade over No. 2 corner Deommodore Lenoir, and Luter should squarely be in the mix.

Additionally, the depth toward the bottom end of the cornerback spot is pretty thin, meaning Luter's chances of making the roster are pretty good despite him being a fifth-round pick.

EDGE Robert Beal Jr. ( Round 5, No. 173 overall): 2-to-1 odds

Behind Nick Bosa, the Niners don't have much in the outside pass-rushing department. Sure, they can hope for the best from two more reclamation projects, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, and they can also hope second-year EDGE Drake Jackson takes a next-level leap after dropping out of favor late last season.

Robert Beal is raw, and his trajectory could land anywhere between starting opposite Bosa in a best-case scenario to wallowing behind players like Ferrell and Bryant.

Better chance than not at making the roster, but it's not exactly the strongest of strong odds.

Linebacker Dee Winters (Round 6, No. 216 overall): 3-to-2 odds

San Francisco can go about replacing Azeez Al-Shaair at linebacker via one of a few different options, including the playmaking sixth-round pick out of TCU, Dee Winters.

Winters in Round 6 might have been a steal, but his initial reports from rookie minicamp were relatively lackluster. And the 49ers also have reserve backers already, namely Oren Burks and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles.

The rookie not only has to beat out Flannigan-Fowles for a roster spot, but he'd also have to fend off another draftee in Jalen Graham.

Tight end Brayden Willis (Round 7, No. 247 overall): 3-to-1 odds

Willis might end up being more valuable to the Niners than Latu, especially considering the former is more of an H-back and could potentially serve as a rostered backup to fullback Kyle Juszczyk, too.

The one issue, though, is Willis isn't necessarily a master of any one particular role (sort of the "jack of all trades, master of none" description), and that kind of job description rarely succeeds at the NFL level.

Wide receiver Ronnie Bell (Round 7, No. 253 overall): 2-to-1 odds

Former Michigan wideout Ronnie Bell should have been drafted higher than Round 7, meaning San Francisco got a nice steal at great value there.

Bell has excellent hands, is physical and has some solid route-running capabilities. While he lacks ideal size, he makes up for it in other areas.

Yes, the 49ers are topheavy at wide receiver with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and fellow receivers like Ray-Ray McCloud and Jauan Jennings eat up two more of a likely six roster spots.

Bell has an excellent chance for a seventh-round pick to claim one of them.

Linebacker Jalen Grahem (Round 7, No. 255 overall): 4-to-1 odds

Graham might have actually outplayed Winters during rookie minicamp, but the Niners likely view the latter as a much more important piece to their depth chart at linebacker.

That's not necessarily great news for Graham, who'll probably be battling with other reserve backers in Marcelino McCrary-Ball and Curtis Robinson.

Perhaps Graham continues a sharper upward trajectory, but he's probably on the outside, looking in right now.

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