San Francisco 49ers: Analyzing NFC West draft classes from 2023

2023 NFL Draft Concert Series - Thundercat
2023 NFL Draft Concert Series - Thundercat / Barry Brecheisen/GettyImages
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Feb 11, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brady Wright poses with San Francisco 49ers jersey at the NFL Draft
Feb 11, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brady Wright poses with San Francisco 49ers jersey at the NFL Draft / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers

Draft class

  • No. 87: Ji'Ayir Brown, Safety, Penn State
  • No. 99: Jake Moody, Kicker, Michigan
  • No. 101: Cameron Latu, Tight End, Alabama
  • No. 155: Darrell Luter, Cornerback, South Alabama
  • No. 173: Robert Beal, EDGE, Georgia
  • No. 216: Dee Winters, Linebacker, TCU
  • No. 247: Brayden Willis, Tight End, Oklahoma
  • No. 253: Ronnie Bell, Wide Receiver, Michigan
  • No, 255: Jalen Graham, Linebacker, Purdue


The 49ers had only one spot on the roster where there wasn't a presumptive starter, which was kicker. Drafting Jake Moody was no doubt a reach, but given that the New England Patriots traded up for a kicker only 13 selections, general manager John Lynch was somewhat justified given Moody was the consensus best kicker.

A safety for the future was another priority, and the Niners made an inevitable trade (they didn't need 11 rookies) to get Ji'Ayir Brown. Brown isn't an exceptional athlete, but he's a ballhawk and a very instinctive player who can snatch interceptions and be in the right place at the right time.

The Niners otherwise needed depth and found that. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been desperate for a backup for George Kittle at tight end, so the team decided to double-dip in a talented class and grabbed two. One of them could also be converted to a fullback down the line, but it made sense.

Otherwise, the team decided to grab depth across the board. Darrell Luter Jr was a cornerback whom San Francisco was very interested in before the draft, Dee Winters and Jalen Graham will compete for playing time as a third linebacker, while Robert Beal tested well enough at the NFL Combine that he could be an excellent option. Ronnie Bell will add some depth at receiver and could be a potential possession guy.

Overall, this is a solid draft class for the 49ers. It was surprising they didn't spend any picks on the offensive line, but they didn't have a prospect they liked. They still filled depth in a few positions of need, got the best kicker in the draft, and a potentially dynamic safety for 2024 and beyond.