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Kiper, McShay mock draft has 49ers addressing O-line, defense in Round 3

Apr 18, 2023 at 1:06 PM--

With the start of the 2023 NFL Draft just over a week away, mock draft season is coming to an end. As they do each year, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay conducted a joint three-round mock draft, with the analysts switching between picks.

The San Francisco 49ers must wait until the end of the third round, where they own three of the last four selections. While the team holds 11 total selections, it lacks picks in the first, second, and fourth rounds.

Kiper makes the first selection for the 49ers, No. 99 overall. He has head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch bolstering their team's offensive line with the addition of Joey Fisher of Shepherd.

"Let's start with Fisher, who was invited to the Senior Bowl but couldn't practice due to a broken hand," wrote Kiper. "He had an impressive pro day, though, and I think he is likely going to play guard in the NFL. He isn't ready to compete in 2023, but he has a ton of upside."

San Francisco lost offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey (Broncos) and Daniel Brunskill (Titans) in free agency. Fisher, a senior, started all three seasons for the Shepherd Rams. The program did not play during the COVID-19 pandemic year.

With McShay making the following projected selection—for the Las Vegas Raiders—Kiper is up again for the 49ers' next pick at No. 101. That's where he selects defensive end YaYa Diaby of Louisville.

"[H]e is my 10th-ranked defensive end," wrote Kiper. "He broke out with 9.5 sacks last season. At 6-foot-3 and 263 pounds, he is a little undersized, but he has tools with which to work."

San Francisco lost several defensive ends in free agency. Samson Ebukam (Colts), Charles Omenihu (Chiefs), and Jordan Willis (Raiders) all found new NFL homes.

The final mock draft selection goes to McShay, who has the 49ers selecting cornerback Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson of TCU.

"I considered USC defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu here to close out our three-round mock draft, but San Francisco's cornerback depth is lacking, and Hodges-Tomlinson has good instincts and ball skills despite a smaller frame," wrote McShay.

The Niners lost cornerback Emmanuel Moseley in free agency to the Detroit Lions.

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