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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2023 NFL Draft: 49ers Mock Draft 1.0

Rohan Chakravarthi
Mar 31, 2023 at 12:15 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers have been a team notorious for building via the NFL Draft, as several of their stars were homegrown, which has led to consistent success during the tenure of head coach Kyle Shanahan.

However, the 49ers are in a unique position, as they aren't drafting until the end of the third round, having utilized their first and second-round picks in the Trey Lance and Christian McCaffrey trades, respectively.

The 49ers currently have 11 draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, but in my first mock draft of the offseason, there were several moves made, leading to only seven total draft picks.

Without further ado, here's Mock Draft 1.0 for the 49ers. For reference, the trades, and the justifications, made in the mock draft are listed first, while the selections are listed afterward.



1. San Francisco 49ers trade with the Tennessee Titans

49ers receive: 2023 3rd-round pick(#67)
Titans receive: 2023 3rd-round pick(#99), 2023 3rd-round pick(#102), 2023 5th-round pick(#164)

The San Francisco 49ers re-signed Colton McKivitz to a two-year deal, but general manager John Lynch still envisions a competition at right tackle, which the team could look at in the draft.

With the value on the board, I felt that moving up was necessary to secure a significant investment in the position, and felt more comfortable with my three third-round picks more spread out, allowing me to touch my bases at different places in the draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers trade with the New England Patriots

49ers receive: 2023 4th-round pick(#117), 2023 6th-round pick(#184)
Patriots receive: 2023 3rd-round pick(#101)

With the current 49ers draft situation, they are well insulated in the third round with three compensatory selections, but don't hold a single pick between No. 101 and No. 155, which was where I wanted to target.

There was significant value on the board at several positions of target, which made me comfortable moving down and acquiring another asset with the hopes of moving back up into the fourth round later on in the draft.

3. San Francisco 49ers trade with the Arizona Cardinals

49ers receive: 2023 4th-round pick(#122), 2023 6th-round pick(#180)
Cardinals receive: 2023 3rd-round pick(#117)

I was content selecting at No. 117, but the Cardinals proposed an offer to acquire extra capital and move down just five spots, which I felt comfortable with, understanding the influx of value still present on the board, and my desire to trade up soon to acquire another fourth-rounder.

At No. 122, I still got the player I wanted, while adding an additional late-round asset.

4. San Francisco 49ers trade with the Atlanta Falcons

49ers receive: 2023 4th-round pick(#127)
Falcons receive: 2023 5th-round pick(#155), 2023 6th-round pick(#184), 2023 6th-round pick(#216), 2023 7th-round pick(#247)

As I referenced earlier, the goal was to move back up into the fourth round to select a valuable player on the board, for which I utilized the sixth-round pick I received from the Patriots in our earlier trade.

To keep capital flexible in several rounds, I elected to move two later picks: No. 216 and No. 247, rather than the sixth-round selection I obtained with the Cardinals, providing me with a sixth-round pick and multiple seventh-round selections still.

5. San Francisco 49ers trade with the Atlanta Falcons

49ers receive: 2023 5th-round pick(#160)
Falcons receive: 2023 5th-round pick(#173), 2023 7th-round pick(#222), 2024 7th-round pick

I had to make my first mock draft crazy.

I wanted to dip into the value of the cornerbacks that were still on the board, but a run on corners began to occur midway through the fifth-round, propelling me to trade up 13 spots to ensure I got the player I wanted.

In doing so, I created a significant gap between my sixth-round selection, No. 180, and my seventh-round selection, No. 253, but I felt the value was good enough to execute the trade.

Rohan's Mock Draft

Round 2, Pick 67: OT Matthew Bergeron(Syracuse)

Going into the draft, right tackle was a position on my mind, but I had the understanding that the top tackles would most certainly go before No. 99, where the 49ers are slated to select first.

I monitored the board and when seeing the run on tackles begin, I traded up with the Tennessee Titans to select the team's right tackle of the future in Matthew Bergeron of Syracuse, who can begin his career competing at right tackle before moving to the left side once Trent Williams retires, should he pan out.

Round 4, Pick 122: S Ji'Ayir Brown(Penn State)

After a multitude of trade downs, I selected Penn State safety Ji'Ayir Brown with the No. 122 selection, looking ahead to the future to fill the hole that Tashaun Gipson leaves next year in the likelihood that he mulls retirement once again.

Getting a playmaker in the secondary is important and adding depth at safety provides the 49ers with competition in Year 1 before a long-term solution presides itself after that.

Round 4, Pick 127: EDGE Byron Young(Tennessee)

The 49ers definitely have a plethora of defensive linemen. But, the value of Byron Young in the fourth round was too much to pass on, and I was preparing for the move with a number of trade downs to accumulate assets.

Young adds more to the defensive line rotation and could slot in as the third option at edge behind projected starters Nick Bosa and Drake Jackson.

Round 4, Pick 160: CB Jakorian Bennett(Maryland)

In another trade-up, I land a cornerback in Jakorian Bennett that serves as needed depth in the cornerback room.

The 49ers have four guarantees, it appears, for their 53-man roster: Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir, Isaiah Oliver, and Samuel Womack.

However, the remaining one or two cornerback spots are up for grabs in a crucial offseason for former third-round pick Ambry Thomas.

With the run on cornerbacks occurring, it made sense to nab a player with good athletic metrics that can fit the 49ers' style of play and potentially serve as a solid special-teamer in his first season.

Round 5, Pick 180: C Juice Scruggs(Penn State)

Utilizing the pick I acquired in the Arizona Cardinals trade, Juice Scruggs was the selection for the 49ers at No. 180.

Scruggs is a solid center prospect that serves the 49ers system well and has held conversations with the organization as well in the pre-draft process.

The 49ers re-signed Jake Brendel to a four-year deal, which in reality is a two-year deal, and still are searching for their center of the future.

The team selected Nick Zakelj for that potential role in 2022, and Scruggs provides solid competition for the role in 2023.

Round 7, Pick 253: TE Josh Whyle(Cincinnati)

The San Francisco 49ers have been searching for a second tight end to complement George Kittle ever since the star broke out in 2018.

Their efforts haven't been substantiated, to no avail, but this draft is the perfect time to find that secondary option, given the significant depth at the position in the class.

I initially envisioned selecting a tight end earlier in the class, but the value continued to fall, allowing me to select Josh Whyle all the way at No. 253.

Round 7, Pick 255: K Jake Moody(Michigan)

The 49ers traded for kicker Zane Gonzalez from the Carolina Panthers for a conditional draft pick, but that move shouldn't stop them from looking at kicker in the draft.

Enter Michigan's Jake Moody, who could be the best at the position in the class, and it was a steal to obtain his services at No. 255, which likely won't occur on Draft Day.

I considered several other players, such as Cincinnati's Tre Tucker, whose speed and measurables are certainly intriguing for the future, but felt they could be more attainable in undrafted free agency, hence the Moody pick.
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.

1 Comment

  • Rich Hakeem
    Mar 31, 2023 at 5:01 PM

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