Early impressions of 49ers 2022 draft class

The 49ers used all nine of their selections during the NFL draft. Over the last four weeks, they have held five practices open to the media. While we are still early in the process, here are my first impressions of San Francisco’s 2022 draft class. 


Drake Jackson


Jackson’s athleticism jumps out during individual work. During these portions of practice, he is able to show off his bend and explosiveness. 


Jackson caught the eye of Nick Bosa during their two days together during the 49ers mini-camp. 


“He’s super talented. He does things out there that I definitely couldn’t do as a rookie, just the way he moves. He definitely has some impressive stuff,” said Bosa of the second-round draft pick. 


Unfortunately, Jackson’s athleticism and bend have yet to transfer beyond the individual work. While his first step is impressive, it takes more than that alone to be successful in the NFL, and Jackson has yet to show anything other than a speed rush. 


San Francisco’s depth along the defensive line will take some pressure off Jackson to produce early in year one. As a situational pass rusher, he will have the time to develop additional pass rush moves and improve how he uses his hands. 


Tyrion Davis-Price


We didn’t get a chance to see much of Davis-Price during the workouts open to the media as he did not practice after week one of OTAs. 


Best known for his bruising running style, non-padded practices would not have been the best showcase of what the third-round pick can do. 


Davis-Price dropped the first ball thrown his way during rookie mini-camp but was able to bring in the subsequent two passes that came his way. Those were the only touches he’s received so far. 


Stay tuned; we will better understand what Davis-Price can do once the pads come on during training camp.


Danny Gray


The speedy wideout from SMU dominated during rookie mini-camp, catching passes all over the field, but was held without a catch when facing the veterans during week one of OTAs. 


Gray then missed the remainder of the sessions open to media after tweaking his hamstring last week. 


Spencer Burford


The fourth-round draft pick from Texas-San Antonio was impressive. Burford showed explosiveness off the snap, quickly getting down the line or to the second level.


While the speed was certainly on display with Burford, it was hard to miss how he consistently struck the man with his hands. Every strike was loud, like a boxer landing a blow on his opponent.


During OTAs, the rookie offensive lineman worked primarily at guard where he held up well against veteran Arik Armstead but did take some snaps at tackle as well. 


Samuel Womack


The fifth-round pick out of Toledo showcased his ability to use his hands and the line of scrimmage and run with receivers. 


Womack worked primarily on the outside during rookie mini-camp and the first week of OTAs but moved inside for the remainder of practices open to the media.


At Toledo, Womack was solid in man coverage and zone while playing most of the time on the outside. Womack’s man coverage ability showed up when working from the slot, but he will need to improve his feel when asked to play zone inside. 


Nick Zackelj


Zackelj spent his entire career at Fordham at tackle but is transitioning to the inside of the offensive line with San Francisco. 


The sixth-round pick displayed solid footwork and hand placement throughout practices while working at guard. Zakelj showed good hands and quick feet while working with the second unit against the 49ers deep and talented defensive line. 


Kalia Davis


Davis is still recovering from a knee injury suffered last season, and while he was on hand, he did not participate in any practices. 


Tariq Castro-Fields


The former Penn State Nittany Lion has NFL size and speed. Castro-Fields showed improvement throughout the workouts while working mainly with the second unit over the final three practices. 


Despite the athleticism, Castro-Fields recorded only three interceptions in college and did little to stand out in a crowded cornerback room throughout the workouts.


Brock Purdy


The final pick in the 2022 draft, Purdy looked solid throughout OTA practices and mini-camp, connecting on 16 of 25 attempts with two touchdowns and one interception. 


Purdy has the least arm strength among the three quarterbacks in 49ers camp, but it’s still enough to make all the throws. 


On the final day of practices, Purdy connected on a deep out route by getting the ball out with good anticipation. He finished practice by beating Charles Omenihu around the corner on a bootleg to his left and hitting Tay Martin on the move. 


While Trey Lance will be the starting quarterback for San Francisco, they look to have found a solid backup for the future in Purdy. 

This article has 48 Comments

  1. Spencer Burford has to be the rookie i’m most excited about seeing. Looks like he could be the man for the future for us.

  2. Interesting notes on Jackson.
    You’re reporting he’s explosive but Grant and Larry Kruger both stated he’s not as explosive as he’s billed.
    I didn’t see an explosive player in college even though many people said he was… I did see bend, just not that busrt off the line.
    I’m curious as to why the reports are so different? Is he just not consistent in his get off? Or are you referring to his second burst?

    1. Having a range of ‘reports’ isn’t unexpected when several sets of eyes are observing. Matters very little to others, but I’m not terribly concerned at this early stage in the workout/training season. He does seem to have decent hand-work at this point in his career–but that’s just my opinion as well.

  3. The first thing Jackson and the 9ers need to do, is decide what weight he should play at!
    * Drake Jackson says he’s back to his freshman playing weight of 275 pounds.
    * Jackson had his best year as a Trojan when he was a frehsman. He weighed 254 at the NFL Combine
    * The NFL Combine began on March 3. During that week, USC’s Drake Jackson weighed 254 pounds. A few weeks later, at the Trojans Pro Day, Jackson weighed 273 pounds.
    During his post-draft media availability, Jackson said he intentionally cut weight as he was going to work with the linebackers. He knew being lighter would help him test better. Jackson added that he’s closer toward his freshman year weight now, which was around 275 pounds.

    * At 254 pounds, Jackson jumped 36.5 inches with a 10-foot-5 inch broad jump. During his Pro Day, Jackson did the shuttle drills, where he had a 7.09 3-cone and a 4.28 short shuttle. There aren’t many 265+ pound edge rushers at Jackson’s height/weight who post those types of short shuttles.
    Look no further than some of the sack leaders in the NFL last year. For example, Nick Bosa, at 266 pounds, had a 7.1 3-cone drill. At 265 pounds, Robert Quinn ran a 7.13 3-cone with a 4.4 short shuttle. Matthew Judon, at 275 pounds, ran a 7.67 3-cone and a 4.52 short shuttle.

  4. Nick Bosa sees a skill in Drake Jackson that he didn’t have as a rookie himself.
    * Nick Bosa is generally a man of few words at the podium. But when it came to his thoughts on Drake Jackson, he had one of his more interesting quotes in long time.
    * “Really nice kid, super talented,” said Bosa. “He does things out there I definitely couldn’t do as a rookie. Just the way he moves. He’s definitely got some impressive stuff about him, but it’s only been two days that I’ve seen him. Just a great dude though. Just wants to learn and really appreciative to be here. I’m glad we got him.”
    * “Just his bend and his mobility, that young, I think his gymnastics background or whatever — he just can bend really well. And that’s something I had to improve on as my career has gone on as I’ve trained with my brother and our trainer. But he’s just got it naturally. So if he can keep building and keep getting better, that’d be pretty scary.”

    * For Jackson to have that and have it already at an extraordinary level that has Bosa noticing — it is phenomenal for him.
    THE NEXT STEP FOR JACKSON: Build and maintain strength to get a power base in his arsenal, which is maybe what Bosa meant by “keep building and keep getting better.” And the fact that Bosa is seeing that already in Jackson after just a couple of days is nothing short of amazing. Jackson is already impressing Bosa and even his defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

  5. Expect Jimmy G to be released at some point, and unlikely to bring any compensation to the Niners.

    I think a lot of buffoons on here predicted a first round pick for Jimmy G. when I stated I would be happy with a 5th round pick and ecstatic if we could get a 4th.

    Seems the rest of the NFL didn’t have the blinders on a lot of the 49ers fans and front office donned throughout this process.

      1. Yes and no. I frankly don’t believe that Lynch was offered two second rounders prior to the surgery news. I think the front office was trying to create a market that wasn’t there.

        Yes in the sense that the surgery didn’t help. But we weren’t ever going to get a high draft pick for that contract anyway.

    1. Gee, you are a really smart guy in hindsight. Did you know back then he’d have surgery at trade time? Before calling others buffoons, I suggest you look in the mirror.

      1. Señor Felix,

        Asking this tongue firmly planted in cheek- are you one of the aforementioned buffoons?

        Surgery or no surgery- you somehow refused to think that his $27M contract for this year was non-desirable and even thought someone would give a first rounder and take on that contract, and be willing to do a new similar deal for a guy that has some serious limitations to his game.

        Put the blinders away bud. Cheers.

        We should be happy this money can go to retain Deebo.

        We still need to find a way to keep Bosa.

        1. Gavin
          TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST……No one know what JL could have got for JG! Not YOU, Not me, or Felix!
          NO ONE, other than those in the 9er FO K N O W S!
          I would agree with you, that no team would likely be willing to take on his salary and I have said so. But since I don’t KNOW that as a FACT, it should be prefaced with IMO.
          FACT: Anyone that calls anyone else a “BAFOON,” that was NOT a part of the negotiations, does NOT make themselves look like the sharpest tool in the shed…….THINK ABOUT IT

        2. Gavin,
          Since you lack the skill to present a congent argument, your fallback is to call names and to invent other peoples positions (like the 2nd paragraph) so you can argue against yourself.

            1. So you are going to double down on the name calling for those who disagree with you even though you have no clue how this would have turned out if Jimmy had not had the surgery. Pathetic.

              1. Are you backtracking on your statement that I invented your position in the second paragraph?

                Seems like I’ve provided enough evidentiary content above.

                In addition your buddy “James Foster” was the biggest 1st round comp proponent and he and I went back and forth quite a bit on this.

                Do you need additional receipts?

        3. “a lot of buffoons on here…”

          Buffoons? Seriously? You need a time-out there, “Gavin”

          And Hammer, when are you finally going to enforce your no-politics policy?

          1. Why are you so triggered by the word ‘buffoon’? Seems like a pretty innocuous word to me.

            Perhaps seek some therapy if you’re having a hard time with this.

            1. Oxford Similar words: fool idiot dolt ass nincompoop dunce

              All insults. Is that your posting style? Perhaps you should refrain from posting until you grow up a bit.

              1. Similar words?

                Why not try the actual definition?

                You are so triggered…



                a ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.

              2. Nice try in in thinking I am “triggered”. Excellent use of dog whistling there.

                So you are cool with posters insulting other posters as clowns merely for suggesting Niners get maximum compensation in the JG deal? I certainly triggered something in you in calling out another posters sh*t-posting.

                BTW, aren’t you the guy with a history of posting under as many different handles as days of the week? Perhaps you are “Gavin” coming to the defense of himself?

              3. Cast aspersions at your own peril.

                ribico says:
                March 1, 2022 at 6:46 am
                Whoever you are, you are an idiot. 14 playoff appearances including 5 NFCCs, 3 SBs in the last 10 years. A couple dozen NFL franchises would kill for that same ruination.

                If you are the same BAF that used to haunt these boards back in the day why don’t you go back under the rock you’ve been under as of late.

              4. And responding to:

                Yawn. Wake me up when you realize the Yorks ruined this franchise right into the ground.

                I’ll say it again, gladly. That was an idiot posting. A complete troll, unlike whatever got your scorn up to 11.


                You know, the type of people who throw around “triggered” aren’t half as clever as they think they are.

              5. I will give you one thing “Gavin”. You’ve introduced a new catch phrase to the board. Not unlike Hammers “meaningless” of a few years back.

  6. Jackson will have a full season and off season to develop. I predict he won’t suit for most games. Kemoko Turay, Samson Ekuban, and Kerry Hyder along with Bosa will make up a great 4 man rotation at DE. I bet Hyder and Turay will have somewhere around 18 sacks between them. Jackson should improve greatly observing that group and under Kocurek’s tutelage,

  7. Agree with the remark by Old Coach that Jackson will develop slowly and be a force in the second half of the season. He seems dreadfully raw at this stage.

  8. Mason may be the undrafted gem of an RB we are used to seeing with the Niners. I agree with JaCK that Price is unknown until we have a full pads-based training camp. The two rookies on the OL will be intriguing to watch.

  9. Buffoon numero uno here. I definitely thought that we would be getting at least a 2nd for Jimmy because a few weeks after the Superbowl there was a lot of Jimmy hype and we were hearing well sourced rumors confirming that. Lynch confirmed he was getting a lot of calls regarding Jimmy. The surprise shoulder surgery threw everyone for a loop and the rest is history. Let’s take a look at the timeline and how things played out for the Niners and the potential landing spots for Jimmy.

    3/2/22 Jimmy blindsides the Niners with announcement of surprise surgery
    3/15/22 Trubisky signs with Steelers
    3/17/22 Wentz traded to Commanders
    3/21/22 Ryan traded to Colts
    3/22/22 Marriota signs with Falcons

    As soon as Jimmy was deemed damaged goods , the dominoes quickly fell not in our favor.

    1. Breaking news: Jack Del Rio is an official buffoon. Why is this clown still a coach ????? I guess Jeff Fischer wasn’t available.

    2. Yup. Timing played a role. If a team could’ve had JG in their fold and healthy before the draft he would’ve had greater value to them. They needed him in the Playbook and getting to know and throwing to his teammates. Waiting until Camp to see if he can even throw multiplied risk to potential buyers.’

      1. They needed him in the Playbook and getting to know and throwing to his teammates.

        Brotha, don’t forget JG has a history of stepping into a team with little playbook preparation and teammate familiarity and then having immediate success.

    3. Rollo, despite Gavin’s cock-sure take, the final chapter on the JG saga isn’t complete. There are going to be a lot of teams dissatisfied with their QB play a couple weeks into training camp. They would look to snap up JG the second the team releases him. Sell low on a property like that? Only a complete buffoon would consider doing that.

      1. Rib, I agree. I noted a few days ago (below) there are 5 teams which may still have an interest in Jimmy.

        Matthew Berry ESPN: Every day we get more and more reports about how great Trey Lance looks, while simultaneously hearing about the widening gulf between the team and Jimmy Garoppolo.
        Yesterday, reporter Adam Copeland said on Sirius XM Fantasy that the “Panthers and Texans are at the top of the list of teams that could trade for Jimmy.” He followed up on Twitter that the Browns could also potentially be in the mix depending on how the Deshaun Watson situation shakes out.

        I agree with Copeland and I would add Miami and Saints as potential landing spots 4/5. Neither Dolphins or Saints are thrilled about their starting QB. It seems like Lynch /Shanahan are frustrated that Jimmy scheduled a surgery without giving them a heads up. At this point they want to cut bait .

        1. A lot can happen before the season starts and I’m sure will. Gavin was crowing before the sun rose. But then he’s always wrong anyway.

          1. TO BEAT ON A DEAD HORSE…..Or in Galvin’s case, a BRAIN DEAD TROLL…..

            “I expect him at some time, most likely, to be traded, but who knows That’s not a guarantee,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said last month.
            ” THE BIGGEST HOLD UP IS GAROPPOLO’S SHOULDER, which required surgery earlier this offseason and has kept him off the field. Teams have been unwilling to trade for the veteran until they see him back to full strength.”

            But what does HC KS know, compared to a genius like Gavin NUISANCE?
            NOTE: Definition of a NUISANCE! One that is annoying, unpleasant, and or obnoxious!
            Thanks Galvin, for admitting who and what you are, at least you got that one right!

  10. I don’t think many of these guys will see the field this season. Davis-Price is the only lock. Womack may eventually move ahead of Dennard. I suspect most of this class will sit and develop like last year’s.

  11. Wondering about serious injuries through camp and the preseason. One or two usually surface, with the real potential to shake things up a bit–including ignition of hair-on-fire fan reaction. Love this time of year…

  12. I was listening to the Locked on 49ers podcast and one of the hosts said Drake Jackson looked “sloppy.” As in he was out of shape. Was that you’re impression as well, Jack?

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