The 2022 season was another successful year for the San Francisco 49ers. The franchise has appeared in three of the last four NFC Championship games and played in Super Bowl 54. However, the 49ers are looking to take the next step.
San Francisco has yet to win a Super Bowl under coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers could not avoid the injury bug. They went down to their third-string quarterback, Brock Purdy. After Purdy flourished in his role, San Francisco’s season had a sour end when the rookie QB injured his elbow in the NFC title game. The 49ers will look to address several needs in the 2023 NFL Draft with their goals set on a Super Bowl ring.
2022 Season Record: 13-4
Status of Coach: Kyle Shanahan – Safe
Positions Needed by the 49ers
- Offensive line
- Defensive line
Notable Draft Picks
- Round 3, Pick 99
- Round 3, Pick 101
- Round 3, Pick 102
Learn More About the NFC West Draft 2023
- Arizona Cardinals 2023 Positions Needed & First Round Draft Picks
- Seattle Seahawks 2023 Positions Needed & First Round Draft Picks
- Los Angeles Chargers 2023 Positions Needed & First Round Draft Picks
Potential Third-Round Targets
The 49ers have no picks in the first and second rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Their 2023 first-rounder was a part of the trade-up with the Miami Dolphins for quarterback Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft. San Francisco also traded its 2023 second-rounder, third-rounder, and fourth-rounder to the Carolina Panthers for running back Christian McCaffrey at the trade deadline.
However, compensatory picks refueled the 49ers’ draft capital with three projected third-round picks. As of now, these are projected selections. The NFL does not officially assign comp picks until March.
For now, we will assume San Francisco has three third-rounders to work with. The offensive line looks like the biggest need. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey and center Jake Brendel are headed for free agency.
Finding a center in the third round shouldn’t be too difficult. Michigan’s Olusegun Oluwatimi, Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann, and TCU’s Steve Avila are good fits.
Oluwatimi won the 2022 Rimington Trophy, awarded to college football’s top center, and has good mobility and technique that should make him an instant impact. Tippmann is a massive center at 6-foot-6, 317 pounds, but his eye-popping athleticism allows the Wisconsin product to excel. However, leverage will be a concern for Tippmann due to his height. Lastly, Avila played guard in the 2022 season but earned All-Big 12 honors as a center in 2021. The former TCU center’s immense strength stands out.
Olusegun Oluwatimi redirects the next pass pro rep, Michigan’s big man looking strong in Mobile pic.twitter.com/2x0lVvv4LV
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) February 2, 2023
Targeting offensive tackle in the third round could prove to be more of a challenge. Syracuse offensive tackle Matthew Bergeron is one option. He’s a fluid athlete that excels as a puller in run games. However, his length and strength are concerns.
Don’t be surprised if the 49ers look to move up into the second round with a package of picks. Several promising offensive tackle prospects will likely be available in the second round, like Tennessee’s Darnell Wright or Ohio State’s Dawand Jones.
The defensive line is another need that must be addressed. Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa carried the load with little help. Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw looks like a bust at this point, and the line lacked a consistent edge rusher opposite Bosa. Luckily, this is a deep draft with great second-day talent on the D-line.
Keep an eye on defensive tackle Keeanu Benton (Wisconsin) and defensive end Zach Harrison (Ohio State). Benton’s stock is rising following an impressive Senior Bowl where he displayed his pass-rushing ability. Harrison is a raw prospect with all of the traits, like elite speed and length.
San Francisco must find some sleepers in the 2023 NFL Draft with the absence of first- and second-round selections. Upgrading in the trenches will likely be the 49ers’ highest priority of the 2023 off-season.