2023 49ers Mock Draft

The 49ers enter the NFL draft which runs from Thursday through Saturday with 11 picks. Here are the moves and picks I think they should make.

TRADE: San Francisco sends Brandon Aiyuk and pick 101 to Jacksonville. In return the 49ers receive the Jaguars first round pick, 24, and pick 127.

The 49ers knew when they signed Deebo Samuel to a massive extension last year they would not be able to pay Aiyuk over the long term. That’s why they drafted his replacement, Danny Gray.

Round 1, No. 24 – Anton Harrison, Tackle, Oklahoma

Although Harrison played almost exclusively at left tackle during his time in Norman, he will move over the right side for the 49ers in 2023.

Trent Williams hinted at retirement following last season. Harrison will eventually serve as his replacement.

TRADE: San Francisco sends pick 102 and their own third round pick in 2024 to Las Vegas in exchange for pick 70.

San Francisco still has a pair of compensatory picks at the end of the third round in 2024.

Round 3, No 70 – Tucker Kraft, Tight End, South Dakota State

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.

Kraft is a solid run blocker, a prerequisite for any tight end in the 49ers system and moves well. He forced nine missed tackles in nine games last season.

Round 3, No. 99 – Jammie Robinson, Safety, Florida State

Robinson gives the 49ers their safety of the future. Robinson is a tremendous tackler who can line up deep, down in the box, or in the slot.

Round 4, No. 127 – Mekhi Blackmon, CB, USC

Blackmon allowed just 30 catches on 63 targets on his way to receiving First Team All-Pac 12 honors last season.

The former Trojan excels in man coverage and doesn’t shy away from contact in the run game.

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 – Marte Mapu, S/LB, Sacramento State 

Mapu played safety for the Hornets but projects as a linebacker in the NFL making him San Francisco’s “type.” Fred Warner and Demetrius Flanigan- Fowles both played safety in college before transitioning to linebacker for the 49ers.

Round 5, No. 173 – Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Virginia

Wicks has speed and quickness to win on the outside. A basketball player in high school, Wicks has shown the ability to go up and get the ball consistently and make plays once it is in his hands.

Round 6, No. 216 – Jake Moody, K, Michigan

Moody won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker in 2021. He followed that up last year by hitting all 60 extra point attempts and an FBS-best 29 field goals from his 35 attempts.

One question on Moody is his ability to hit from long range. Although he converted from 60 yards out in the college football playoffs, Moody hit just three of seven attempts from 50 plus last year.

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.

TRADE: San Francisco sends picks 247 and 253 to Dallas in exchange for pick 244.

Round 7, No 244 – Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State

No 49ers draft would be complete without a running back.

Kyle Juszczyk is getting towards the end of his career, so San Francisco makes a move to grab a future replacement instead of taking a chance of losing out after the draft.

Round 7, No. 255 – Max Duggan, Quarterback, TCU

Considering all the questions they’ve had at quarterback, taking a swing late on Duggan makes a lot of sense for the 49ers.

Duggan is coming off a season which saw him win the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the best college quarterback. He was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and led TCU to a berth in the championship game with a win over former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan squad.

This article has 40 Comments

  1. If the 9ers end up with this draft haul this weekend I will be a very happy fan. I especially like Luepke and Duggan in the 7th. I only have one problem I would like to see the 9ers use one of the picks in round 2 or 3 on an edge rusher and use one of their 4th or 5th rounders on a safety.

  2. Best mock draft I’ve seen so far.
    The Aiyuk trade makes sense. Aiyuk came off as a little unappreciated after the season (which, actually could be right). After his rookie season, Gray could be ready to make a better contribution in year two.

    Getting Harrison and Tucker are the perfect players to replace Trent and Kittle down the road.
    I really like Robinson. He will be the heir-apparent in year two after Gibson moves on and could contribute as a rookie as well.

    Happy to see Mapu back in your in 3rd mock, along with our mock favorite Fehoko.

    Love the Hunter Luepke pick! No other RB reminds more of Juice than Luepke.
    And out of all these mock picks, I see Moody winning the day one starter job.
    I would definitely be exited with this mock, Jack.

    1. Yes, most likely better than what the Lynch-Shanahan partnership will produce in the third round tomorrow. Just look at their record to date, per the hated Grant Cohn.

      The complete list of players Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have drafted in Round 3.

      Ahkello Witherspoon ❌
      C.J. Beathard ❌
      Fred Warner ✅
      Tarvarius Moore ❌
      Jalen Hurd ❌
      Trey Sermon ❌
      Ambry Thomas ❌
      Ty Davis Price 📉
      Danny Gray ❔

      And yet so many on this blog consider the two of them brilliant team builders and strategists. Hogwash.

      1. 49ers,
        Luckily tomorrow nights picks are basically just high 4th round picks (they have had only 2 4th round picks in the last 4 drafts) and our last 2 4th round picks have been Burford and Wishnowski.

      2. Fred Warner being an All Pro and best inside linkebacker in football makes up for a lot of those other bad picks.

  3. Finally, someone who understands the value about trading Ayiuk. This makes the most sense for a number of reasons. It falls under two very old and very true clichés. 1st-you can’t pay everyone. 2nd-it is better to move on from a player a year to early then a year to late. As far as the draft, there are many who believe that there is not enough room on the roster for this many draft picks. But if u look at the 20 players the team signed and re-signed, about half of them are on 1-year, no cost to cut contracts. I look for the team to move up and down quite a bit in the draft, come out with 8 or 9 players and a few extra picks for next year.

      1. It seems like top receivers are less likely to stay with teams that drafted them compared to most positions. Top tackles seem to have the most draft team loyalty.

        What I did track a few years ago was receivers voted Pro Bowl. A 2nd round receiver has an almost equal chance of making Pro Bowl as a 1st rounder. Big drop off in the 3rd round.

        I want to retain Aiyuk, but if he is traded I’ll get why.

      2. i disagree whole heartedly! If you trade good/ great players…..simply because you cant afford them….fine!
        But you dont do it early!!! You still have a 5th year option as well as a franchise tag. Trade him next year or the year after even……maybe by then he leapfrogs Deebo or someone else we value higher right now. We might decide to keep him and /or his value might increase significantly !
        Trading him now, for the 24th pick, to select the 5th best OT, who probably is NOT better than any of the 3-4 veterans we have competing for RT at this point in time ( i will admit said rookie OT might be better down the road, but not as a rookie) seems silly,

        Really bad teams have the luxury of building towards the future…..but this team is built to win now.

  4. It won’t happen and most around here think its a bad trade but I am still in favor of trading Deebo before Aiyuk. I think Deebo is more valuable in a trade than Aiyuk. I think Aiyuk is more consistent than Deebo. Aiyuk will cost less to sign long term. The 49ers already have a player who can fill Deebos role better in CMC. If they use CMC in Deebos role it would keep CMC heathy longer. Mitchell and Mason would do a solid job replacing CMC at RB. Lastly if they need another WR to take some off the slot time from CMC I think they could get Hunter Renfro for a 4th round pick. I don’t think it will happen because KS/JL have a bromance with Deebo but if Deebo is not working out regularly and looks like he is going to come into camp out of shape again, get rid of him now. imho

    1. Shanahan seems to like players that can offer more than playing only one position. Shanahan selected Jalen Hurd a few year’s ago and said that he envisioned Hurd playing WR/RB and with a little more weight could also play some TE.

      Unfortunately, Hurd’s injuries put a stop to that vision. Deebo revived Shanahan’s vision by having the ability to play both WR/RB.

      I just don’t see using Aiyuk in that manner. Which makes Deebo much more valuable, imho. If it comes down between Deebo and Aiyuk, for me, it’s Deebo.

  5. Jack Hammer l….Like yourself and Old coach agree on Aiyuk going ahead of Deebo ….We already have his replacement in Jauaun Jennings who is actually stronger and faster than Aiyuk…and will fight for the ball after the catch. After yesterdays build-up for Jaylon Reed, I sort of expected to see Reed as BA’s replacement. I ‘fess up, I hadn’t even heard of Dontayvion Wicks WR from Virginia……I really like Max Duggan from TCU.

    1. Couldn’t disagree more. OldCoach is right. And Aiyuk is infinitely faster than Jennings; I am not sure where you ever heard that Jennings is faster. Aiyuk was nursing an injury at the Combine as I recall but his college coach at ASU (Herm Edwards) told the 49ers Aiyuk can run a legit 4.40 and even into the 4.3s. Jennings is in the 4.7-4.8 range as I recall. Aiyuk is quicker, a better route runner and gets more separation, altho I would agree in the 49ers offense Shanahan can scheme separation for receivers. Aiyuk is likely cheaper than Deebo, whose strong frame will eventually slow Deebo down. Aiyuk is also a willing blocker, so the nod should go to Aiyuk. He is just a better receiver overall than Jennings other than perhaps using size to pull down a pass. Shanahan frankly doesn’t let Aiyuk loose enough. He is virtually unguardable one on one.

      1. I don’t believe that Jennings is in this mix of conversation. He recently re-upped and he brings a much different presence to the offense than does Deebo and Aiyuk.

        This comes down to, IF the 49ers need to trade either Deebo or Aiyuk. Deebo would garner higher trade value, but the 49ers would also lose their top offensive player.

        I know that there would be an argument that the best players on offense are CMC and Purdy. I don’t agree for the simple reason that they have yet to play an entire season to justify that claim, imo.

  6. Also, and someone please correct me if I am wrong. There used to b a rule that u had to have enough cap space to have however many draft picks u have count against the cap at minimum rookie amount. Using $500000 as a rough estimate per draft pick, they need at least $5.5 million to b able to draft. Is that still a thing, or did I miss something? Right now, we have $2.9 million in cap space

  7. 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. That
    means a lot…

    1. I agree there’s likely won’t trade into the first, but the 49ers need to make cap room for Bosa.

      No matter what I’ll be paying attention tonight, hoping Seattle passes on Will Anderson or Jalen Carter.

  8. Would love this draft for the 49ers. Getting an OT is music to my ears. And Duggan is absolutely a ShanaLynch kinda player.

    1. 1st place in Day 1 of the Draft has to go to the Texans. But a close second certainly has to be Philadelphia which significantly strengthened its defensive line and its chances of taking another NFC Championship. Last place in Thursday’s draft goes to the 49ers who squandered all their picks for a QB they no longer seem to want.

      The Lynch/Shanny 1st round selections since 2017…

      Solomon Thomas
      Reuben Foster
      Mike McGlinchey
      Nick Bosa
      Javon Kinlaw
      Brandon Aiyuk
      Trey Lance
      Trey Lance
      Trey Lance

      1. I didn’t love what the Texans did in the draft. I’m not a CJ Stroud fan so didn’t like that pick at 2. Will Anderson will be a star but man, they gave up so much to get him. I would have preferred they picked Anderson at 2 and then stood pat at 12. They need so much that giving up #12, #33 this year, and a 1st and 3rd round pick next year was way too much to move up 9 spots. Thats 4 high level picks in exchange for Will Anderson? Way too much in my opinion. AND your going to be starting a rookie QB who is going to need a supporting cast around him. That roster is terrible right now. I feel bad for DeMeco. Texans totally screwed that up.

      2. Maiocco analyzed what happened to those 4 picks (including the third) the Niners traded away for Lance. Dallas got Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas with one, and that alone is enough to question the wisdom of giving up so much for someone who so far has contributed so little.

  9. Hi Jack,
    is this what you would do or is it what you believe the organization would do?
    Or with other words:
    Do you believe the organization (based on their past behavior or based on what they said) would make some of these decisions although you think they should do something else?

    1. … or the other way around: Do you believe the organisation would not do the one or the other step that you recommended?

  10. Obviously this didn’t happen. But I have to ask: what did Danny Gray show last year that leads you to believe that he’s ready to be WR1 (and no Deebo is not WR1, he’s still a valuable gadget weapon but he’s not running the routes that Aiyuk was).

    What is your obsession with spending draft capital on TE2? TE2 is mostly a blocker. Do you believe that Shanahan is going to start regularly calling more 12 and 22 personnel groups? Are you looking for Juszcyzk’s replacement?

  11. Allfor,
    I think most of us look at it as insurance for a 30 yo much injured Kittle. Along with that I do think KS could be creative and run more 12 personnel grouping. It would be something else for DCs to prepare for and lastly I think the 9ers backup TEs are pretty damn bad.
    Does anyone think that Tenn may come shopping for Lance in the 2nd round or do they hope Levis or Hooker will be there at 10?

    1. A little surprised Levis didn’t go in the 1st rd.
      He seems to have the physical tools to be successful at the next level, which makes me question why he’s still on the board.

        1. If true, Levis will bounce around the league for the better part of his career. Some analysts are reporting that two significant things may have turned off many teams.
          1. He threw 23 Int’s in 24 games.
          2. He has a toe injury issue that may require surgery, which he’s denied.
          It looks like many of the draftniks just had him rated too high.
          I saw him as a top 15 (definitely 1st rd) pick, based on his strong arm, above average athleticism and good pocket presence. I think a team like Detroit could pick him today and develop him as an eventual Goff replacement.

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