Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Larry Krueger, John Chapman break down 49ers draft picks

Marc Adams
May 4, 2022 at 12:18 PM--


There are always plenty of commentaries on a team's draft as soon as the draft is over. For the San Francisco 49ers, as is likely the case for every NFL team, there are multiple great podcasts produced, dozens of articles and stories written, and plenty of people talking about who the team just selected. These days, you can learn just about anything you want about a player, including watching videos of highlights from his collegiate career.

I have plenty of people I trust to tell me about the newest 49ers. But Larry Krueger and John Chapman are two of my favorites. If there is a player drafted or signed as an undrafted free agent (UDFA), Krueger and Chapman have probably heard of him. And they've likely watched film on the player, as well.

These guys are football junkies. They can not only tell you about the player and his collegiate career but often can predict how the 49ers might use him, which is hard because the 49ers mix and match as much as any team in NFL history. So I trust these guys and what they see.

On Monday, the two came together on The Krueg Show, Krueger's new podcast. And they took time to break down each draft pick, as well as speak on some UDFAs, as well. Here are some of their thoughts:

Drake Jackson, DE, USC

Chapman called Drake Jackson his favorite pick of the draft, saying he just turned 21 and has great upside. Jackson, according to Chapman, is "Gumby with incredible size. He's huge...with elite traits."

Krueger called Jackson "a Dee Ford replacement." Krueger said Jackson doesn't hold well in the run game, but his role (in the wide-9), is to get to the quarterback. "What I love is the first step," said Krueger. "The first step that Dee Ford had, this kid has it, as well."

Both agreed that Jackson had some bad coaching in college, and was in a bad scheme for his ability. He was often played out of position, not taking advantage of what he does best, which is get after the quarterback. Jackson still needs to develop, but he has great bend and loads of potential. He will most likely be used as part of the rotation at first. The 49ers will take their time with him until he's ready to be used more.

Ty Davis-Price, RB, LSU

Ty Davis-Price, who has good speed (runs a sub-4.5) is a punishing runner. Chapman said, "He is just a yards after contact bulldozer, with good speed."

Davis-Price doesn't fit the typical Kyle Shanahan mold of running backs, but this could signal a shift in trends with the 49ers coach. He's not a home run hitter like Shanahan has gone after in the past (like Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida), but he is always moving forward after contact. "Just a first down, mauling machine, with probably his best trait, pass protection," added Chapman. "I had him graded as one of the top pass protectors in this draft."

Both predicted Davis-Price might have already passed Trey Sermon on the depth chart, due to pass protection alone. Krueger also suggested that Davis-Price could be a replacement for Deebo Samuel, as far as running the ball so much.

Davis-Price didn't have too many carries in college, so he has "low mileage," which is good moving forward. Both men believe he was probably drafted too high, and wasn't the one they expected the 49ers to select, but agreed that if he can protect Trey Lance, the pick is worth it.

Danny Gray, WR, SMU

Krueger and Chapman both liked this pick. Danny Gray has "ridiculous speed in only two steps." He is a tough wide receiver with home run speed. He needs to get stronger, but he's electric.

Said Krueger, "Phenomenal pick. The perfect compliment to their receiver room." He has a clearly defined path as wide receiver number four, clearing space, both for underneath routes and in the running game.

Chapman added, "Speed is off the charts. He was clocked at 22.01 mph at the Senior Bowl. One of the fastest registered." Chapman also said that Gray tracks the ball really well on deep passes, almost like a centerfielder. This is a rare trait these days.

Gray has had issues with drops and fumbles, so hopefully, he can improve on those things.

Spencer Burford, OL, UTSA

Spencer Burford was a 43-game starter in college (out of 45 games). He is tenacious, shows great effort, and is versatile (he played both tackle spots and guard spots).

Burford was named first-team all-conference in 2021.

Chapman said Burford's frame, and build are elite and should be able to easily add more weight and strength. This is good because one weakness Chapman mentioned was Burford's need to anchor better. Chapman believes he would fit best as a right tackle, but confessed we never know what this coaching staff is going to do with a player.

Burford has great mobility and wants to pancake people. He won't have to start right away, so he has time to develop.

Sam Womack, CB, Toledo

Sam Womack was projected to go undrafted, but San Francisco took him in the fifth round. Not that where he was drafted really matters on day three of the draft. Krueger said, "From what I heard...the road scout who did the reports on him was banging the table for Womack." He might end up being a sleeper pick.

Womack was a walk-on in college but became a team captain. So he's had to work his way up. He was first-team all-conference. He has swagger, almost a cocky confidence in himself.

His look, the way he's built, and the way he plays, remind people of K'Waun Williams. Womack plays the run well, he's tough with good speed and quickness, has great ball skills, gets his hands on the ball, and will most likely play inside a lot.

Chapman said, "I like him. Was it a little early? Sure. But I don't care."

Nick Zakelj, OL, Fordham

Nick Zakelj is 6'6 and weighs 325 lbs. He's smart, tough, has great feet, was a team captain, an Academic All-American, and he has already completed his Master's Degree. He was a four-year starter on a really good offense.

Zakelj is a tenacious run-blocker. He's nasty and likes to throw guys around. Zakelj had a rough first few days at the Senior Bowl, but improved greatly in that time, despite playing a different position.

Where does he fit? Maybe inside, or maybe at right tackle.

Kalia Davis, DT, UCF

Krueger called Kalia Davis, "My favorite pick. This guy is fun to watch. 6'1, 300 lbs., quick with a crazy motor." Krueger calls him an exciting player. This shouldn't come as a surprise, considering Krueger's love for defensive linemen. Chapman said Davis is a "'Slicer.' He wants to get into the backfield."

Davis tore his ACL in October, and will likely be a candidate for NFI. So he should be able to take his time healing and recovering. He would have been drafted much higher if he was healthy.

Davis has huge upside. He's only been playing defensive tackle for two years. He converted from linebacker.

Added Krueger, "He plays with his hair on fire." Davis will give a good pass rush from the interior of the line.

Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State

Tariq Castro-Fields is 6'1 and weighs 197. He ran a 4.38 in the 40 at the combine. He is fast and plays with aggression. At the Senior Bowl, he was mirroring some of the best wide receivers in the country.

General Manager John Lynch said his college coaches sang his praises. Chapman called this a "great value pick."

Castro-Fields has a tendency to miss some tackles, and his ball skills need to improve. But he has great speed and is always on top of the routes. He will most likely end up on the practice squad.

Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State

Brock Purdy has a quick release, is accurate on short to intermediate routes, and is a smart quarterback. Chapman said to think of players like Nick Mullens and Brian Hoyer.

UDFA

After speaking on the draft picks, Krueger and Chapman each named a few UDFAs they really like:

Krueger said this was a "phenomenal haul of undrafted free agents. They got six or seven really intriguing players." His favorites are:
  • Qwuantrezz Knight, DB, UCLA
  • Taysir Mack, WR, Pittsburgh
  • Tay Martin, WR Oklahoma State

Chapman really likes:

Chapman said these are important signings because the 49ers reward their players, even those who don't make the 53-man roster immediately. Some of the players who didn't make the initial roster include Emmanuel Moseley, Jauan Jennings, Azzez Al-Shaair, and Ross Dwelley.

To listen to this complete podcast, visit The Krueg Show. And of course, don't miss John Chapman's podcast, 49ers Rush Podcast.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.



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