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
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LB Dre Greenlaw, Round 5 (2019)

You can't, of course, mention Fred Warner without mentioning his partner at the second level in Dre Greenlaw.

Greenlaw was rated as little more than a special teamer coming into the NFL in 2019 but would quickly establish himself in the starting lineup, starting 11 games and writing himself into 49ers folklore for many years to come with one particular tackle I'm sure you all remember:

Jacob Hollister, Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner
I think you may remember this... / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

He's been a mainstay ever since, and in essence, while Warner is the brain and the leader of the 49ers defensive front, Greenlaw increasingly stands up alongside him as the heart and soul. He's a frequent establisher of tone with his hitting and attitude, while his coverage skills probably don't get the attention they deserve.

I apologise in advance for bringing back a buried memory, but it's fair to wonder if the 49ers would've continued to keep the Kansas City Chiefs quiet in the Super Bowl had Greenlaw been able to play the full game instead of suffering a torn Achilles.

While uncertainly definitely surrounds his future, given his current injury status, Greenlaw has definitely given the Niners far more value than a middling fifth-round pick should have been able to.

He's proven to be a fantastic player, for whom replacement will be difficult for most if not all of this forthcoming season.