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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WR Jauan Jennings, Round 7 (2020)

This one is perhaps a little personal pick, as I love how wide receiverJauan Jennings plays the game, and he's one of my favourite 49ers.

Given little chance of making the roster out of Tennessee, Jennings would indeed have to wait for his chance, spending his rookie season on the practice squad. Following an offseason of heavy conditioning and hard work on his game, he made the roster in 2021, particularly catching on towards the end of the season.

One particularly sparkling performance came in the must-win game against the Los Angeles Rams to close out the regular season, where his five catches for 93 yards spawned the now-ubiquitous nickname "3rd and Jauan," something that seems to have endured even since the quarterback shift from Jimmy Garoppolo to Brock Purdy.

Jennings is now firmly established as the team's No. 3 wide receiver, and while he will be playing on the restricted free-agent tender in 2024, his proclivity for making key catches, solid route running and... let's call it "spiky" run-blocking attitude, will likely mean he either receives a good contract from the 49ers or elsewhere.

He's a solid NFL receiver, a big part of what the 49ers do on offense, and but for a few bounces of the ball, might even have a Super Bowl MVP trophy sitting in his house right now.

That's a pretty good return from a seventh-round draft choice.