The San Francisco 49ers do not own a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after dealing it in order to move up to the No. 3 overall pick in 2021. Of course, they 49ers selected quarterback Trey Lance and are expected to name him the starter in head coach Kyle Shanahan's exciting offensive scheme.
It's important for San Francisco's front office to use this draft in order to best help Lance succeed. Grabbing a few elite playmakers would be great, especially given wide receiver Deebo Samuel's situation. Let's take a look at three picks the 49ers need to make to build around their young QB.
San Francisco 49ers NFL Draft
1. Dylan Parham, OL, Memphis
Offensive line may not jump off the page as the 49ers biggest need, but it's important to remember that starting center Alex Mack enters the fall at 36 years of age. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has long stressed the idea of having experienced players ready and waiting on the sidelines. Drafting Dylan Parham out of Memphis allows the team to prepare him to take over for Mack in the coming years. Parham gave up just 1 sacks over the course of 1,730 offensive snaps in his final two seasons as a Tiger. Not only that, but Parham also showcased versatility by ling up at three different spots on the O-line in college. The 22-year-old has crazy upside.
2. Calvin Austin, WR, Memphis
Another Memphis standout that should be on the 49ers' radar heading into the 2022 NFL Draft is wide receiver Calvin Austin. In a class filled with WR talent, Austin is a bit of a forgotten name despite finishing his college career with back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons. Austin is praised for his speed (4.32 second 40-yard dash) and ability to leave defenders in the dust. He thrives in the slot position and also has experience carrying the ball out of the backfield. Everything lines up for Austin to be another dynamic weapon for Lance to target or even be a capable replacement if Samuel is ultimately traded away during the offseason.
3. Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
Without a single pick above No. 61 in this draft, the 49ers will have to nail some late-round sleepers. Starting tight end George Kittle hasn't played a full season since 2018 and securing an athletic backup in case of injury is a smart idea. That makes picking Virginia's Jelani Woods a risk worth taking. The 6-foot-7, 260 pound tight end broke out in his one season with the Cavaliers by logging 598 yards and 8 touchdowns in 11 games played. He is still developing as a receiver after being used solely as a blocker for his first three college seasons at Oklahoma. Learning from Kittle gives him a great shot to reach his full potential, though.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.