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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Where the 49ers rank in NFL.com’s post-draft power rankings

May 1, 2023 at 9:04 AM--


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Dan Hanzus had the San Francisco 49ers ranked at No. 5 on March 21, following the free-agency frenzy. Now with the 2023 NFL Draft in the books, nothing has changed for Kyle Shanahan's club. They still sit in the fifth spot, with the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, and Buffalo Bills situated ahead of them.

The 49ers added nine players via the draft. However, one selection left some analysts stunned. San Francisco used one of its three third-round picks on kicker Jake Moody of Michigan. While the player has drawn praise, most criticized the use of such a high draft pick on a special teams player.

The 49ers had the need. They allowed their veteran kicker, Robbie Gould, to leave and test free agency. The Moody addition solidifies what Shanahan considers a vital part of the roster.

Still, it's a third-rounder on a kicker.

"Kyle Shanahan knows what you think Kyle Shanahan wants to do," wrote Hanzus within his power rankings. "The Niners have garnered a reputation for loading up on running backs in the middle rounds of the NFL draft, but the team threw a curveball with the selection of Michigan kicker Jake Moody at 99th overall on Friday. It's the highest we've seen a kicker go in the draft since the Bucs invested a second-round pick in Roberto Aguayo in 2016. That move ended in calamity for Tampa Bay, but Shanahan didn't sound worried about history repeating itself."

The thinking was clear. The 49ers felt Moody might be gone by the end of the fourth round, and they are probably correct. With Moody off the board, the New England Patriots selected the next-best available kicker, Chad Ryland, 13 picks later.

"Most of my friends made fun of me," Shanahan admitted of the Moody selection. "They were trying to make me feel insecure about it, but we don't."

San Francisco did not own a fourth-round pick and likely couldn't find a trade partner to move back from the third round. Shanahan didn't want to risk letting Moody get away, telling the kicker, "You gotta know how high we think of you, man," during the draft call.

Moody will replace Gould but also revealed that he has built a "pretty good relationship" with the veteran kicker over the past few months. Gould praised the 49ers in his discussions with Moody, leaving the 23-year-old excited about the opportunity.

"It is obviously a great team that I'm joining," Moody told reporters minutes after being drafted. "I couldn't be happier. Anything that I can do to help the team win a Super Bowl, that's obviously the goal. It is obviously already a great team to be a part of, and I'm so excited."

What is Hanzus' final thought on the move? He wrote: "Oh, Shanny!"

Click here to read through the entire power rankings.



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