The NFL draft kicks off Thursday evening, and as of now the 49ers do not have a pick until No. 99 overall. That may change, especially with all the smoke around a potential Trey Lance trade.
In my first mock draft the order was left unchanged. This time around I’ve made a few trades that would make sense for San Francisco.
TRADE: San Francisco sends Trey Lance to Indianapolis. In return the 49ers get the Colts selection at 35 in this draft and their fourth-round selection in 2024.
San Francisco has been in daily contact with Brock Purdy and would need to feel comfortable the second-year quarterback’s surgically repaired UCL will allow him to return with no limitations for training camp to make this happen.
Indianapolis realizes it has more holes to fill than just quarterback, so they go with an edge pass rusher at fourth overall. New head coach Shane Steichen see’s Lance as the perfect fit for his offense. In Steichen’s two seasons with the Eagles he turned Jalen Hurts into one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Round 2, No. 35 – Sam LaPorta, Tight End, Iowa
George Kittle is still one of the best tight ends in the league, but he will turn 30 this season and injuries have been an issue the last few years.
A solid blocker and very good after the catch, LaPorta gives the 49ers the second tight end they’ve been looking for over the last few years.
The 49ers met with LaPorta during the combine.
TRADE: San Francisco trades Elijah Mitchell, pick 216 and their own fourth round pick in 2024 to Buffalo in exchange for pick 91.
Mitchell has been a solid back when healthy during his two seasons with San Francisco. That’s part of the problem. He hasn’t been able to stay on the field.
Round 3, No 91 – Jayden Reed, Wide Receiver, Michigan State
Reed is one of the best route runners in this draft class. In addition to his play making as a split end, he has found success as a kick returner as well. This move gives the 49ers insurance should negotiations with Brandon Aiyuk not go well.
Reed had a Top 30 visit with the 49ers.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 20, 2023
Round 3, No. 99 – Wanya Morris, Tackle, Oklahoma
Morris has the movement skills Shanahan looks for and has greatly improved in pass protection during his collegiate career. He will provide stiff competition at right tackle for Colton McKivitz.
He moves up a couple spots this time around to keep him away from the Raiders. Las Vegas is also looking to add a tackle in this draft.
Round 3, No. 101 – Ji’Ayir Brown, S, Penn State
Brown is a versatile safety who has recorded ten interceptions over the last two seasons in Happy Valley.
He’s shown the ability to line up deep or down in the box. His skills as a blitzer would be put to good use by new 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
The 49ers met with Brown at the combine and had him in Santa Clara for a Top 30 visit.
Round 3, No. 102 – Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Johnson is a powerful runner. He ran for 545 yards last season, 402 of those coming after contact. As the Longhorn’s second back, Johnson has proven he doesn’t need a number of carries to get going and he still has a lot of tread on the tires.
Johnson made a Top 30 visit with the 49ers.
Round 5, No. 155 – Viliami Fehoko, EDGE, San Jose State
Fehoko is a cousin of Tampa Bay defensive tackle Vita Vea. The Spartan is a powerful rusher who finished 2022 with 66 total pressures. He recorded 26 sacks over the last three seasons.
The 49ers met with Fehoko during his pro day at San Jose State and hosted him during their local college pro day in Santa Clara.
Round 5, No. 164 – Starling Thomas V, CB, UAB
Thomas has terrific speed and has shown the ability to get to the ball. He forced 17 incompletions last season, tied for eighth most in the country among corners last season.
Over the last two seasons Thomas allowed just 54 receptions on 120 targets.
TRADE: San Francisco moves back five spots, sending pick 173 to Kansas City in exchange for 178 and the Chief’s seventh round selection in 2024.
Round 6, No. 178 – Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA
Thonpson-Robinson is a dual-threat quarterback who has proven he can win from the pocket just as easily as he can if he needs to escape. He showcases a quick release with a tight spiral and enough arm strength to make all the throws necessary in a Kyle Shanahan offense.
This past season for UCLA, he passed for a career-high 3,169 yards passing, a career-high 27 touchdown passes, and 10 interceptions while also completing 69.6% of his passes, another career-high. He added 645 yards on the ground and an additional 12 rushing touchdowns.
San Francisco has met with Thompson-Robinson several times throughout the draft process, including a Top 30 visit and private workout.
Round 7, No 222 – Jonah Tavai, DT, San Diego State
Like Viliami Fehoki, Tavai has strong football bloodlines. He has four brothers who have played Division I football, two of them reaching the NFL.
Tavai was solid against the run for the Aztecs despite being asked to two-gap often. His burst and footwork would help him be successful in San Francisco’s attacking defensive front.
He has also been a very productive pass rusher. Over the last two seasons, Tavai recorded 22 sacks and 86 quarterback pressures.
Round 7, No 247 – Jacob Slade, DT, Michigan State
Slade led all Big Ten interior defenders in pressures during the 2021 season and declared for the NFL draft before deciding to return to school.
In 2022, Slade was limited to just eight games due to injury.
Round 7, No. 253 – Kahlef Hailassie, Cornerback, Western Kentucky
Hailassie began his collegiate career at Oregon before transferring to Western Kentucky.
In two seasons with the Hilltoppers, Hailassie recorded four interceptions, a pair of forced fumbles, and 12 tackles for loss.
During his pro day workout the cornerback showed off his change of direction by posting some of the quickest numbers of any defensive back in the shuttle and three-cone drill.
Round 7, No. 255 – Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
Despite trading for Zane Gonzalez the 49ers aren’t set with a replacement for Robbie Gould.
Ryland started his collegiate career at Eastern Michigan before transferring to Maryland. Over the last two seasons Ryland has connected on 38 of 45 attempts. He connected on five of eight from over 50 yards during that span. This past season 70 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.
Ryland was one of several kickers to attend a private workout with the 49ers in March.
This draft class fills all of the 49ers needs and puts them in great shape for the draft next year. As a result of the included trades and expected compensatory picks San Francisco would once again have 11 picks including five in the first three rounds.