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49ers make Kansas G Dominick Puni a 3rd-round draft pick

Apr 26, 2024 at 7:40 PM


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The San Francisco 49ers selected Kansas guard Dominick Puni with the 23rd pick (No. 86 overall) in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The selection came after moving up eight spots in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

49ers received: 86th overall pick
Eagles received: 94th overall pick and a fourth-round pick (132 overall)

RELATED 5 things to know about 49ers third-round pick OL Dominick Puni

Lance Zierlein's NFL.com scouting report:
Guard prospect with good size and nimble feet whose pass protection is ahead of his run blocking at this stage. Puni has a proportional, well-built frame but is much better on the move and playing with angles and positioning than he is at pushing defenders around. Puni plays with excellent feel for arm extension and maintains his feel for pass rushers. His mirror and hand placement stymie simple rush approaches, but inconsistent body control could be an issue for him against athletic sub-package rushers. Puni appears to have middle-round value but future starting talent for a move-oriented scheme.

Lance Zierlein's Player Comparison:
Dan Feeney

NFL.com Draft Bio:
  • 2018 (Central Missouri): Played in 7 games with starts in the final 3 games at RT.
  • 2019 (Central Missouri): Honorable Mention All-Midwest Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Started all 13 games at LT.
  • 2020 (Central Missouri): School did not play due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • 2021 (Central Missouri): Redshirted. Played in 3 games with 2 starts at LT. Missed the rest of the season due to injury.
  • 2022: Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Conference. Started all 13 games at LG.
  • 2023: Finalist for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. First-team All-Big 12 Conference. Team's starting left tackle.
  • Brothers, Derrick and Devin, played football at Central Missouri.

Pre-Draft Grade:
Puni earned a pre-draft grade of 6.2 from NFL.com, which equates to an "eventual average starter," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

Projection:
NFL.com projected Puni to be a third- or fourth-round draft pick.

NFL Scouting Combine:
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Puni posted a 40-yard dash time of 5.35 seconds, a vertical jump of 30 inches, a broad jump of 8 feet, 11 inches, a 7.47-second three-cone drill time, and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.4 seconds.

Measurements:
Puni is 6' 5 1/8" and 313 pounds. Additionally, he boasts an arm length of 33 3/8 inches and hands measuring 10 1/8 inches.

Hometown:
St. Charles, MO

Pro Football Focus Draft Profile:
Puni was a no-star recruit and played at Central Missouri for four seasons before transferring to Kansas in 2022, where he played left guard and left tackle. In his first season with the Jayhawks (left guard), Puni displayed bad posture and poor pad level. That made him susceptible to rushers and didn't allow him to really maintain blocks. His posture was better in 2023 (left tackle), and although he was still standing taller than preferred, he was conscious of leverage and dropped his pads more before contact. He also showed a lot more power in 2023, disrupting and displacing defenders. His power best projects to guard.

Pro Football Focus Big Board:
Puni ranks 104th on Pro Football Focus' big board.

Pro Football Focus Grading:
Puni earned an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 80.6 in 2023.

NFL Draft Buzz Summary:
Dominick Puni stands out as a robust and versatile offensive lineman, possessing the physical attributes and on-field intelligence NFL teams covet. His ability to dominate in the run game, coupled with excellent pass protection skills, makes him an asset in both dimensions of the offense. His performance at the Senior Bowl further underscored his readiness to transition to the pro--game, showcasing adaptability by being able to play both tackle and guard. However, Puni's transition to the NFL isn't without its challenges. His arm length and stance issues could limit effectiveness against the league's elite edge rushers, potentially necessitating a shift inside to guard where these limitations are less exposed. The tendency to bend at the waist and inconsistent hand placement are technical flaws that defensive linemen at the next level will exploit. In summary, Puni offers immediate value as a multi-position lineman with significant upside, especially as a pass protector. As teams increasingly prioritize versatile and smart linemen who can contribute across multiple spots on the line, Puni fits the mold of a Day 2 pick with the potential for a significant role early in his career. With focused coaching to refine his technique and leverage his strengths, he has the tools to develop into a dependable starter, providing valuable depth and flexibility to an NFL offensive line.

Dane Brugler's draft profile at The Athletic:
Puni runs his feet and steers defenders in the run game with a mauling, yet measured mentality to make split-second adjustments on the move. Though he has some limitations in space as a pass blocker, he plays stout and mobile to answer different types of rushers. Overall, Puni will get himself in trouble bending at the waist or letting his pads rise, but he plays big, powerful and sends a harsh message with his hands while staying controlled through contact. He can play tackle, if needed, but projects best as an NFL starting guard or center.

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