The 6 biggest 49ers NFL Draft steals of the last decade

The NFL Draft's fire and pizzazz is usually reserved for prime time, but history shows successful teams are often built in the middle and late rounds.

Let's take a look at the best draft steals the 49ers have had there in the last decade.

Mar 3, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (QB12) goes through a drill
Mar 3, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (QB12) goes through a drill / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 8

Football fans around the world love the NFL Draft, and I'm no exception. That's despite being UK-based, in which case it often means a late night.

Or, more realistically, an early morning.

The intrigue's simple: You're essentially watching a live poker game, but rather than playing for chips or cash, you're watching your team's (hopefully) talented front-office executives gamble your squad's future on college prospects from far and wide.

In recent years, the San Francisco 49ers fanbase has seen it all: picks at both the top and bottom of the draft (sometimes with wild variance in results) and a myriad of stories and intrigue over the preceding years.

No one, for instance, will ever forget the wild trade-up for quarterback Trey Lance in 2021, although they will likely soon forget that he ever donned a Niners uniform, save for the thousands of mentions it will surely warrant in NFL Network's "Top 10s" regarding draft trades from now until the earth goes into supernova.

What makes all the hype and noise so strange is that the best teams in the league often make the most hay in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft, plucking lesser-known or poorly evaluated prospects from the doldrums and turning them into either cost-effective starters. Or, in rare cases, surprising league stars.

Today, we're going to take a look at the 49ers' best endeavours in that area over the last 10 years.

While that does technically cover the end of the Trent Baalke regime, I don't think it's a particularly big spoiler to tell you that none of Baalke's picks make it into this list.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, we hardly knew ye.

Surprisingly enough, there's no third-round running backs on here either.

These picks are in chronological order rather than a subjective ranking of said players.

With that out of the way, let's get into it.