Rogers: 49ers didn't 'maximize' 2023 draft picks
Connor Rogers details why he thinks the San Francisco 49ers may have missed a few chances with their limited selections in the 2023 NFL Draft.
CONNOR ROGERS: With the 2023 NFL draft in the books, not every single team can walk away as a winner. And I understand for the San Francisco 49ers, not having a pick in the first two rounds makes it very, very difficult. But didn't like the strategy. Have some questions about their selections and how they operated throughout this draft.
They trade up for Ji'Ayir Brown, the safety out of Penn State. He's an aggressive player, especially at the line of scrimmage. Some questionable angles on the back end of the defense but think he could serve a purposeful role for them this year. That's not the pick that has me a little concerned.
Taking a kicker in the top 100 I do have some questions about. There was still significant talent on the board, whether it was Kelee Ringo from Georgia, you look at Adetomiwa Adebawore from Northwestern that could have given them some significant depth on that defensive line as well, or looking at all the offensive linemen that fell-- that fell as well.
So when you look at-- taking a kicker in the top 100 is not a proven NFL strategy. It's often a position that you can find late day three of the draft and, oftentimes, throughout the UDFA process as well.
So for the 49ers, you didn't have a lot of draft ammo coming in. I understand that you've used that in other places to upgrade your roster. But you've got to maximize those picks, and I don't understand taking a kicker that early.
And then even when you go down the board and taking a player like Cameron Latu, the tight end from Alabama, who got there as a defensive line recruit, successfully converted to tight end, can do some good things as a move blocker, finds the soft spot of the zone as a pass catcher, but not much of a difference-maker and not a lot-- not a player that was often valued in the top 150 or even really top 180 of this draft.
The 49ers, I just felt like they had a couple reaches. They didn't capitalize on positions of value. And they probably could have gotten more depth in the trenches as well.
So they're going to be a really good team in 2023. Kyle Shanahan is a brilliant coach. This roster is already good. But this draft could have been a sweetener with all of those picks in the third round and just some-- some building on depth in certain areas that I thought they could have been better at. I do have questions of the overall strategy for San Francisco.