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Three 49ers land on Matt Miller’s list of top 100 draft picks

May 2, 2024 at 8:12 AM

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Three San Francisco 49ers made it onto ESPN analyst Matt Miller's list of the 100 best picks, steals, and fits from the 2024 NFL Draft. He recently unveiled his ranking, considering various factors such as the pick's value, how well the player fits into the team's scheme, whether the selection addressed a team need, and what the prospect brings to the field.

The 49ers made eight picks during the draft, and Miller's take is intriguing, especially since he remains a dedicated fan of the team.

Let's break down which 49ers landed within Miller's recent ranking, starting with the highest-ranked player, Ricky Pearsall, who secured the 45th spot. San Francisco nabbed the former Florida wide receiver with the 31st overall pick, and Miller initially had him ranked 45th in his final pre-draft ranking.

"The pre-draft speculation that the 49ers could trade either Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk ramped up once Pearsall was selected in Round 1, but a 49ers source told me before the night began that they would be a true 'best player available' team," Miller noted. "Pearsall will get into the lineup early as a slot receiver but has the power and route-running chops to become a starter on the outside early in his career if needed."

Next up is guard Dominick Puni of Kansas, chosen by the 49ers in the third round with the 86th overall pick. Puni claimed the 54th spot on Miller's top 100 list, while he ranked 76th in Miller's final pre-draft ranking.

"If you watched the 49ers last season, you noticed the holes along the offensive line at every position to the right of left tackle Trent Williams," Miller explained. "Kansas' versatile Puni should be penciled in as a Day 1 starter at right guard, where his power and agility will be a major upgrade over Jon Feliciano."

Finally, Miller recognized former Wake Forest safety Malik Mustapha, placing him at No. 95 in his top 100. The 49ers selected Mustapha in the fourth round, using the 124th overall pick. Mustapha came in at No. 113 on Miller's final pre-draft ranking. Like Puni, that is excellent value for the pick.

"When healthy, Talanoa Hufanga is one of the best hitters in the NFL," Miller remarked. "As he makes his way back from a knee injury, the 49ers drafted the hardest-hitting safety in the class to team up with him. Mustapha is a bit of a throwback strong safety, but Mustapha plays with fire coming downhill to strike ball carriers. Given the uncertainty of the 49ers' future at safety, I love this pick."

These three players, alongside the rest of the 49ers' draft class and undrafted free agents, will have the opportunity to prove their worth to the coaching staff during the team's rookie minicamp scheduled for May 10-11.
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