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The Athletic has 49ers going defense with first 3 picks in 7-round mock draft

Apr 17, 2023 at 9:57 AM--

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Dane Brugler of The Athletic mocked all seven rounds of next week's NFL Draft. What does the analyst envision the San Francisco 49ers doing with their 11 selections? He has the Bay Area team focusing on defense with its initial picks.

It's worth noting that the 49ers don't own selections in the first, second, or fourth rounds. Their first picks come at the end of the third round, where they own three of the last four selections. Brugler has head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch bolstering their defense with those selections before shifting focus to the offensive side of the ball.

Below is a list of the players Brugler projects to the 49ers.

  • Round 3, Pick 99: Byron Young, Edge, Tennessee
  • Round 3, Pick 101: Cory Trice, CB, Purdue
  • Round 3, Pick 102: Marte Mapu, LB/S, Sacramento State
  • Round 5, Pick 155: Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama
  • Round 5, Pick 164: Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty
  • Round 5, Pick 173: Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia
  • Round 6, Pick 216: Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
  • Round 7, Pick 222: Dante Stills, DT, West Virginia
  • Round 7, Pick 247: Ty Okada, S, Montana State
  • Round 7, Pick 253: Arquon Bush, CB, Cincinnati
  • Round 7, Pick 255: Justin Shorter, WR, Florida

Young racked up 12.5 sacks over the last two seasons with the Volunteers, adding 83 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, an interception, and two passes defended, per Sports Reference.

The 49ers spoke with Young at the NFL Scouting Combine and hosted Mapu for a pre-draft visit. The latter sustained an injury during a pre-draft workout but is expected to be full-go for an NFL training camp.

"A torn pec kept Mapu from working out prior to the draft, but the non-combine prospect still has a decent chance of hearing his name called on Day 2," wrote Brugler. "His ability to cover and play the run as a nickel linebacker would be a great fit in the 49ers' scheme."

The analyst also commented on the projected Okada selection in the seventh round. He's a player who has heard from the 49ers, something that had (to my knowledge) not yet been reported.

"Okada has been one of the late risers in the process, and he absolutely blew up his pro-day testing," wrote Brugler. "A nickel safety who can fill multiple roles, he has heard from numerous NFL teams, including the 49ers."

It makes sense that the 49ers might use multiple picks to restock their defensive backs group. The team lost Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmie Ward, and Tarvarius Moore in free agency. Isaiah Oliver and Myles Hartsfield are the only defensive backs San Francisco has added so far this offseason.

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