49ers NFL Draft grade
Let's get this out of the way: I wasn't a fan of the 49ers 2023 NFL Draft class. Sure, a handful of players are awfully exciting, and the Niners do get something of a pass for not having a first- or a second-round pick this year.
That said, there are a few glaring question marks from the class of nine players selected:
- Round 3, No. 87 overall: DB Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State
- Round 3, No. 99 overall: K Jake Moody, Michigan
- Round 3, No. 101 overall: TE Cameron Latu, Alabama
- Round 5, No. 155 overall: CB Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama
- Round 5, No. 173 overall: EDGE Robert Beal Jr., Georgia
- Round 6, No. 216 overall: LB Dee Winters, TCU
- Round 7, No. 247 overall: TE Brayden Willis, Oklahoma
- Round 7, No. 253 overall: WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan
- Round 7, No. 255 overall: LB Jalen Graham, Purdue
Brown was an excellent grab. Luter is a potential sleeper, while Winters was a playmaking machine at TCU.
Willis' versatility is intriguing, while Bell could have been drafted at least two rounds earlier than Round 7.
Still, a kicker in Round 3? Even if Moody was the unquestioned best of the bunch here, San Francisco didn't need to be that team when it comes to grabbing specialists too early. And, if that wasn't questionable enough, Latu is widely viewed as a major reach, too.
No offensive linemen, even though that was viewed as a clear need prior to the draft, and there were plenty of chances for the 49ers to grab some good-quality ones in the middle rounds.
At least the Niners didn't use yet another Round 3 pick on a running back this year. That'll put the "plus" in the D-plus.