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PFF identifies ideal Day 2 NFL Draft fit for 49ers

Apr 10, 2023 at 4:20 PM


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The San Francisco 49ers lack draft picks in the first or second rounds of this month's draft. Their first selections come at the end of the third round, where they own three of the final four picks.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus recently identified Day 2 fits for all 32 NFL teams and matched a mock draft favorite to the San Francisco 49ers. He sees BYU offensive tackle Blake Freeland as a perfect fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

"Freeland is one of the most athletic tackles of all time, and he even set the combine record for offensive linemen with a 37-inch vertical," wrote Renner. "That athleticism played in a zone scheme at BYU, where he earned an 87.9 run-blocking grade. He's still a project in pass protection with serious play strength concerns, but that may cause him to fall right into the 49ers' lap at the end of the third round."

The 49ers recently lost their starting right tackle of the past five seasons, Mike McGlinchey. He signed with the Denver Broncos in free agency. Colton McKivitz is currently penciled in to replace McGlinchey.

Freeland earned a career-high 91.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus and a career-high run-blocking grade of 87.9. He allowed only seven pressures in 462 pass-blocking snaps (860 total snaps) in 2022 and only 12 pressures in 1,736 total snaps over the past two seasons.

"Not a plug-and-play [player] by any means, but you're not finding a plug-and-play tackle at this point in the draft," Renner said during the PFF NFL Podcast. "But he's a heck of an athlete, a guy who can really move. And again, a guy who played outside zone scheme at BYU. Going to go to Kyle Shanahan's offense, in the run game where that was his strength. Freeland was a monster in the run game because he is so athletic, because he is so quick off the line.

"You're going to have to protect him in pass pro[tection]. Probably not a year-one starter type of guy, but again, beggars can't be choosers at [the end of the third round]."

San Francisco owns 11 total picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, which kicks off on April 27.
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