2023 NFL Draft Recap: San Francisco 49ers
The 2023 NFL Draft has concluded after months of scrutiny about these prospects, potential landing spots, team and scheme fits, and so on. Now we get to start the entire process all over again now that we have team landing spots for these college prospects with their new NFL teams.
Today, we tackle the San Francisco 49ers and how they fared in the 2023 NFL Draft.
San Francisco's 2023 NFL Draft Selections:
- Round 3, Pick 87 - Ji'Ayir Brown, S, Penn St.
- Round 3, Pick 99 - Jake Moody, K, Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 101 - Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama
- Round 5, Pick 155 - Darrell Luter Jr., CB, South Alabama
- Round 5, Pick 173 - Robert Beal Jr., DL, Georgia
- Round 6, Pick 216 - Dee Winters, LB, TCU
- Round 7, Pick 247 - Brayden Willis, TE, Oklahoma
- Round 7, Pick 253 - Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan
- Round 7, Pick 255 - Jalen Graham, LB, Purdue
The 2023 Fantasy Football Impact:
Originally recruited as a 4-star linebacker for Alabama, Cameron Latu's journey to the 49ers started with a position change to tight end entering his redshirt freshman season. Latu mainly contributed on special teams before he was announced as the starting tight end to begin the 2021 campaign.
San Francisco's GM John Lynch and coach Mike Shanahan were not deterred by Latu's lack of experience in a position he started playing just four years ago. Latu has the skill set to develop into a dependable pass catcher and blocker alongside All-Pro George Kittle. What Latu lacks in experience he can make up with familiarity with his now mentor. Latu represented Alabama last year in the TEU (Tight End University) summit held annually in Nashville, Tennessee. His future teammate Kittle is a founding member of TEU with current and former All-Pros Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen.
As for Latu's fantasy outlook expect him to contribute mainly as a complimentary piece for Kittle in 2023. He has a good chance to eventually develop his skills as a receiver, run blocker, and possibly get on the field as a H-Back. Latu is a player to monitor in the TE2 range if Kittle were to lose time for any reason. Think of him being more of a Hayden Hurst-type impact with his athletic profile.
Lynch would later double-dip the tight end position by taking Willis in the 7th round. The first of three picks in the round, Brayden Willis brings a tenacity with versatility style, which plays in Shanahan's offense. His selection doesn't impact the fantasy landscape as long as Kittle remains healthy but he's worth monitoring in the preseason. As you can see the 49ers have a type. Big, athletic tight ends who can work in the middle of the field and contribute as a blocker. Blocking will be a path to a roster spot for Willis so he is more of a real-life prospect than one in fantasy.
San Francisco looks to be set at receiver with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud III. Ronnie Bell can make this roster on special teams as a returner and might give WR5 Danny Gray a run for his job. Bell slipped all the way to the 7th round mainly because he ran a 4.50 40, but he played bigger than his 6'0'' frame at Michigan. Bell had flashed some YAC ability for the Wolverines and can be a highly reliable receiver with good hands catches. A developmental player for the 49ers no doubt but could contribute as a Marvin Jones-type player down the road.
Follow Michael Chasco on Twitter @ChascoFCF for more fantasy football content.