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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Draft: 3 realistic targets at every offensive position

Rohan Chakravarthi
Apr 26, 2023 at 3:09 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers are in a unique position heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, as they don't have many glaring "needs" with essentially every position having starter in place, which is great since they don't select until the end of the third round.

However, in a class of prospects that are seen as weaker at the top, but deeper in the middle of the draft, the 49ers are still in a position to draft several impact players all over the board, especially at positions they've done significant work on, such as the defensive line and tight end.

Who are three realistic prospects at every position on offense for the 49ers?

RELATED 49ers Draft: 3 realistic targets at every defensive position


Clayton Tune

In a fairly deep draft class at the quarterback position after the presumed top four, Houston quarterback Clayton Tune stands out as a potential fit for the 49ers.

One of the best athletes in the class, Tune posted a 4.64 40-yard dash, and, more importantly, a 1.55 10-yard split, showcasing his short-area quickness that is reminiscent of seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy, despite not necessarily having top-tier speed.

Tune needs some work with his footwork, but is a quarterback that can consistently go through his progressions, and would fit well with a 49ers offense that doesn't require as much from the position to generate success.

Tune doesn't have the strongest arm, but is an intriguing candidate to serve on the practice squad in his first season before taking over Sam Darnold's role in 2024 as a backup quarterback.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson

The connection with Dorian Thompson-Robinson is apparent: the 49ers hosted him on a Top-30 visit, conducted a private workout, and spoke with him at the NFL Combine, doing as much due diligence as possible on the intriguing UCLA quarterback.

Thompson-Robinson is an athletic quarterback, although smaller in size, and works well in the quick game, which should help him within the 49ers' system.

There are certainly areas of improvement, as Thompson-Robinson is still improving in reading defenses and going through his progressions, but the athletic profile is intriguing, while the quarterback has a strong arm while still being accurate in the quick-game.

The question with Thompson-Robinson, and a number of quarterbacks projected to go in the middle rounds, is whether the 49ers can stash them on waivers, understanding they have three quarterbacks who likely all make the 53-man roster.

Tim DeMorat

It's not necessarily a guarantee that the 49ers target a quarterback in the middle rounds of the draft, or in the draft at all, which is where Fordham standout Tim DeMorat comes into play.

DeMorat, a 24-year-old quarterback, has met with the 49ers, and is currently expected to be a seventh-round pick or undrafted free agent

DeMorat possesses solid athleticism and a big frame, standing 6'4, 220 pounds, as well as good arm strength at the position.

Should the 49ers look to get a quarterback with backup-level upside and solid traits, DeMorat could seem like a fit in the seventh round, where San Francisco uses one of their late picks to secure the services for the Fordham quarterback.

Running Back

Israel Abanikanda

Standing at 5'10, 215 pounds, Pittsburgh running back Israeel Abanikanda would be a good fit for the 49ers, coming from a zone-run scheme, while possessing good top-end speed with a bigger frame.

Abanikanda has the ability to quickly accelerate to top speed, while excelling as a one-cut back with solid elusiveness at the position.

He may not earn significant playing time in Year 1 as his decision-making needs development, but he would serve as a logical midround selection to replace the oft-injured Elijah Mitchell, should he be traded.

Chase Brown

Illinois running back Chase Brown is another intriguing fit with the 49ers, possessing a solid frame at 5'9, 210 pounds, while possessing good athleticism, running a 4.43 40-yard dash with a 40'' vertical jump and 25 reps on the bench press.

Brown has better experience as a one-cut runner in a high-volume role, but doesn't possess top-end elusiveness. Still, he's a player that can wear down defenses with his array of skills, with good enough speed to be featured in San Francisco's offense.

With the 49ers likely using a midround selection on a running back if they select a player at the position, Brown serves as a player who should be available in their range and can be another gem in their rotation.

Eric Gray

Possessing a similar frame to Chase Brown, Gray is known for his short-area burst, which was on display at Oklahoma, where he was depended upon heavily on a variety of concepts.

Gray has the ability to be a three-down back, having caught 30+ passes in two different seasons with the Sooners, which is a valuable asset in a running back room that has been more important in the passing game since Christian McCaffrey's arrival to the Bay.

With solid elusiveness, Gray could be a good back for the 49ers in their rotation in the short-area, while possessing the tools to be a solid pass protector at the next level, completing his profile as a three-down back.

Wide Reciever

Charlie Jones

The Purdue do-it-all receiver should firmly be on the 49ers' radar, as he's a receiver that likely goes later than his talent indicates, due to age and size.

Jones is a good route-runner at the position, which the 49ers covet, but also has a strong athletic profile, running a 4.43 40-yard dash with a significant amount of production under his belt at college.

Jones also possesses good hands and the ability to make contested catches at his frame, which should be a benefit in the 49ers' system, regardless of whether he plays outside or likelier in the slot.

Andrei Iosivas

Iosivas is a receiver that has met with the 49ers at the combine, and possesses good traits with a 6'3 frame and 4.4 40-yard speed.

With size that has the ability to haul in contested catches, as well as speed that would flourish in yards-after-catch situations with the 49ers, Iosivas could be an intriguing flier in the middle rounds that the team could target to play a more significant role in the future.

Remember, Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud are both free agents after the season, leaving some depth issues at the position should they find more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

Jayden Reed

Jayden Reed may be a player that slides to 99 due to the number of receivers that could be selected on Day 2, but would definitely be a valuable asset to the 49ers as a wideout in the third round.

Standing at 5'11, 190 pounds, Reed dominated the Senior Bowl, while running a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine, adding to his versatile profile.

Additionally, Reed can be a special-teams player, with experience on kickoff and punt returns, but his receiver skills cannot be ignored; Reed has the ability to make contested catches, despite his frame, while his acceleration would be on display in the 49ers offense.

Tight Ends

Luke Schoonmaker

In a draft that is loaded at tight end, the 49ers are almost certainly landing a talent at the position, perhaps targeting multiple players to fill out their depth and finally find a suitable No. 2 option for George Kittle.

In comes Michigan's Luke Schoonmaker, who is a great athlete for his 6'5, 250-pound frame, running a 4.63 40-yard dash, while already showing promise as a blocker in the run and pass game, which is integral for the 49ers.

Not to mention, the 49ers have met with the tight end on a Top-30 visit.

Schoonmaker's athletic profile and untapped potential in the passing game make him an intriguing two-way talent who can serve as a complement to George Kittle before potentially taking over as the lead option if he's able to put it all together.

Will Mallory

Another talented athlete, Mallory is a smaller tight end, standing at 6'4, 240 pounds, but ran well with a 4.54 40-yard dash.

Mallory is a later-round tight end that'll require some development, but has the athletic profile to eventually become a good threat in the passing game as he becomes stronger.

With a loaded tight-end class, the 49ers could look to pair a talent like Schoonmaker in the middle rounds with Mallory in the later rounds to provide some competition at the position for incumbents Charlie Woerner and Ross Dwelley.

Payne Durham

Durham has a completely different profile from the two athletic tight ends mentioned above, but still would be a good fit for the team that could turn into an impact player in the later rounds.

Durham, standing at 6'6, 253-pounds, has surefire hands and is a capable route-runner, despite below-average athleticism, while showcasing the capabilities of being an inline blocker.

As a two-way tight end, Durham could provide more value to the 49ers than other teams, and could slide on the board, given the depth at the position and the athletic profiles of other players, making him a good fit with the team in the later rounds.

Offensive Tackle

Wanya Morris

Offensive tackle could be an important position to target for the 49ers with an earlier selection, given the value that could be available at the pick, as well as the current depth at the position.

Oklahoma Sooners right tackle Wanya Morris could be a logical player to be the long-term option at right tackle, competing with incumbent Colton McKivitz in the short term.

Morris has a solid frame at 6'5, 310 pounds, as well as solid athleticism at the position, which is seen on tape when the right tackle moves in space, either as a puller or at the second level, although he needs to improve in sustaining blocks as a run-blocker.

But, perhaps the most valuable part of Morris's game is his pass-protection abilities. The 49ers would definitely benefit from a pass-protection stalwart at the position, which Morris has the potential to be.

Nick Saldiveri

A versatile option at several positions along the offensive line, Salvidieri has a good frame at right tackle, standing at 6'6 and 318 pounds.

Salvidieri has experience in a zone-blocking scheme and has experience at guard, which he showcased with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl.

He could even play center at the next level, but has the traits to stick at right tackle, with the versatility definitely appealing to the 49ers, who met with him at the NFL Combine.

Tyler Steen

A left tackle at Alabama last season, Tyler Steen projects as a right tackle in the NFL, and is another good fit for the 49ers if they're looking to add at the position in the third round.

Steen is a solid pass-protector, who needs improvement in the run game in a zone-blocking scheme, but could develop into a good starter at the position for the 49ers, and potentially even be a Day 1 starter over McKivitz.

Each of the three options would be early ones for the 49ers(Rounds 3-4), but there does seem to be somewhat of a drop-off at tackle around that area, which is why it may seem more logical for the team to target value earlier than later.

Offensive Guard

Emil Ekiyor Jr.

A draft crush of mine, Emil Ekiyor Jr. may be one of the more underrated guards in the draft class, given his average athleticism.

However, Ekiyor would be a solid fit for the 49ers as a reliable pass protector with room to grow as a run-blocker, with potential versatility at center, where he took some snaps at the Senior Bowl.

Ekiyor could be had on Day 3, and would be a good depth piece for the 49ers that could compete at multiple positions in the future.

Braeden Daniels

Daniels is an intriguing fit with good athleticism as a guard, while possessing versatility, having significant experience at both tackle positions.

Daniels's athleticism makes him a logical fit for San Francisco's zone-blocking scheme, and his size(295 pounds) could drop him down draft boards, where the 49ers could select him as a developable, versatile prospect for their offensive line on the early portion of Day 3.

Jon Gaines

Gaines is another good athlete in what is surprisingly a fairly solid offensive line class, despite maybe not having the strongest top-tier talent at certain positions.

Like Daniels, Gaines's athleticism should translate to San Francisco's system, and his football IQ should serve as a valuable asset for a late-round selection.

To add depth to the interior, Gaines could be had on Day 3, with translatable traits and potential versatility to fit in at center as well.


Ricky Stromberg

Stromberg has good athleticism, but showcases solid football IQ in the run game, which is a must-have for the 49ers at the center position.

The Arkansas center is a player who San Francisco likely needs to target with one of their Day 2 selections, barring a trade up in the fourth round, but would be a future starter at the position with time to develop behind Jake Brendel.

Stromberg also has guard experience, starting 11 combined games at both guard spots during his freshman season, which is another element of value to the 49ers.

Juice Scruggs

Another player with center and guard versatility, Scruggs is a solid pass protector that can hold his ground, despite a smaller frame at 6'3, 300 pounds.

Scruggs's play strength translates to the run game, although an area of improvement is his recovery, as he doesn't possess the best lateral quickness with average athleticism.

The 49ers could look to target the Penn State product on Day 3, where he could be a developmental option at center for the 49ers.

Alex Forsyth

Forsyth is a consistent player, both in pass protection and in the run game, that the 49ers should look to target as a late-round developmental center.

Standing at 6'4, 305 pounds, Forsyth has solid arm length, and possesses solid football IQ against stunts and blitzes. In a way, he reminds me of Daniel Brunskill, as he has the ability to anchor, but 1-2 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

With subpar testing at the combine, the 49ers could look to pounce as a developmental option late on Day 3.
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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