3 game-changing Canadians 49ers should select in 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is just days away and once again there are some Canadians to keep your eyes on.
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The snow is melting, bears are coming out of hibernation and Canada is gearing up for another football season coast-to-coast, which could beneift the San Francisco 49ers this year.

Football will never compare to hockey in the great white north, but we're seeing growth in players making their way to American colleges and getting chances with NFL teams.

During the 2023 preseason, we saw former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke get himself on the roster. He had a tough gig being third string to Trevor Lawrence, but he gained enough experience to make the New England Patriots sign him this offseason.

The Miami Dolphins seem to luck out when it comes to Canadian/CFL players playing in their organization. Former defensive star Cameron Wake played 10 seasons with Miami. He racked up over 280 sacks and was named a Pro Bowler five times. Wake played with the B.C. Lions in the CFL for two seasons.

Fast forward to today, and you'll find Javon Holland securing the Dolphins secondary. Holland was born in B.C. but moved to the Bay Area later. He had a solid season in 2023, which included a 99-yard interception for a touchdown.

As we continue to grow the game of football in Canada, here's a look at three Canadian players the 49ers should select in the later rounds on the 2024 NFL Draft.

No. 3: Offensive Tackle Giovanni Manu

If you thought left tackle Trent Williams was a big dude, meet Giovanni Manu. He's a 6-foot-7, 352-pound offensive lineman from the University of British Columbia.

If Manu hears his name called over the weekend, he'll be one of the first Canadian collegiate players to be drafted in the NFL since 2016. When Canadians have been taken in the draft, they typically play in the NCAA ranks. The potential to hear a university name from north of the border will be enormous for the growth of football.

Many scouts have Manu going either in the later rounds or potentially being a priority free agent after. But the 49ers need to be serious about this. With Williams nearing retirement, they'll need a hefty, affordable, protector for quarterback Brock Purdy.

Bleacher Report Justin Schultz provided some insight and a clip of Manu's vertical at his pro day on X here.

The Tonga-born, Canadian-raised athletic giant has plenty of upside. He makes all the defensive linemen look smaller but when he plays in the NFL, he'll be up against players just as big and strong. Can he keep up with the pace of a different league?

Manu is a fascinating prospect the 49ers should call whether it's to be drafted or to be signed immediately after.