3 positions where 49ers could double dip in the 2024 NFL Draft

No, the Niners aren't going to draft two quarterbacks in 2024.

But they could end up drafting two prospects at each of these other positions.

Brady Wright poses with San Francisco 49ers jersey at the NFL Draft
Brady Wright poses with San Francisco 49ers jersey at the NFL Draft / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers could end up grabbing multiple prospects at these three positions when the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around this April.

For the first time since 2021, the San Francisco 49ers will be armed with a first-round NFL Draft pick. This go-around, it's No. 31 overall.

Yet that's just the first of 10 selections projected at general manager John Lynch's disposal. While he and the Niners haven't always hit on nearly every selection made in recent years, San Francisco's draft success has produced star talent at various levels of the draft, ranging from defensive end Nick Bosa (Round 1, 2019) to tight end George Kittle (Round 5, 2017).

A year ago, Lynch drafted two tight ends to support Kittle: Cameron Latu in Round 3 and Brayden Willis in Round 7. Neither made much of an immediate impact, particularly Latu, who spent his rookie season redshirted because of an injury.

But it helps illustrate the point: If there's a glaring need, it's better to grab two prospects at the same position instead of one, hoping that at least one of the two players pans out.

Considering the 49ers' current crop of draft needs, let's look at three positions where Lynch and Co. could "double dip" and grab two prospects instead of one.

No. 1: Offensive line

If there's one true weakness to the Niners' current roster, it's the offensive line, namely the right side of it from center Jake Brendel on down to right tackle Colton McKivitz.

San Francisco could stand to upgrade over Brendel, McKivitz and the rotating duo of right guards Jon Feliciano and Spencer Burford. Plus, with All-Pro Trent Williams nearing retirement at 36 years old, the 49ers have to think about his inevitable replacement soon, too.

Fortunately, the Niners' biggest need happens to coincide with this year's draft's biggest strength: the offensive line.

There'll be plenty of starting-caliber talent available in the middle rounds, meaning San Francisco could easily use a first- or a second-round pick on a lineman while also grabbing some additional help on day three of the draft.

Heck, even three offensive linemen selected wouldn't be a shocker.

No. 2: Cornerback

Cornerback isn't as glaring a need as the O-line, but it's nevertheless pressing enough to worry about, especially considering young defensive backs tend to struggle early at the NFL level.

Fortunately, the 49ers appear to have their starting trio for 2024 set with Charvarius Ward and Isaac Yiadom on the boundary, while Lenoir patrols over the slot.

But all three are poised to be free agents in 2025, meaning the Niners' reinforcement efforts should start taking place right now. Sure, they have younger and cheaper hopefuls in Darrell Luter Jr. and Samuel Womack, but neither has exactly shown the capability of being a reliable every-down starter just yet.

Even if they do, it wouldn't hurt for San Francisco to grab a couple of corners to reinforce and restock the depth chart.

No. 3: Wide receiver

On the surface, it doesn't seem as if wide receiver is a pressing need for the 49ers. Not with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings rounding out the top three on the depth chart.

But the hard fact is that it'll be tough for the Niners to retain all three beyond this season for long. Aiyuk is already asking for a hefty contract extension, one that Samuel received two offseasons ago, and Jennings is a free agent in 2025, too.

With another sizable extension looming for quarterback Brock Purdy in 2025, San Francisco will need to free up some money.

Case in point, if the 49ers made Samuel a cap casualty next year, they'd save over $17.5 million with a post-June 1 designation against $6.6 million in dead money, per Over the Cap.

Not saying that's the exact route the Niners would take. But, considering the recent influx of highly talented wide receivers in the NFL Draft, it's very possible San Francisco looks for long-term Samuel and Jennings replacements this April.

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