Our draft coverage won’t nearly be as in-depth this season since the San Francisco 49ers don’t have a selection until the end of the second round. Last year, the Niners had the No. 12 overall selection.
We wondered whether a quarterback would be available for them or if they’d continue to build around Jimmy Garoppolo. But then, the team went all in and moved up to No. 3.
The endless mock drafts, quarterback debates, and scouring the internet for scouting reports on the top players is a thing of the past.
Pick 61: CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State
Castro-Fields participated in the Senior Bowl, so he’s likely already on the Niners' radar. He’s 6’, 198 pounds, and finished the season with six pass breakups. Recent draftees out of Penn State have fared well.
Look no further than last season, between Micah Parsons, Jayson Oweh, and Pat Freiermuth. The Nittany Lions produce some of the best athletes in all of college football. Castro-Fields is an elite athlete.
I’m unsure of his 40-yard dash time, but during the spring of 2020, Castro-Fields had the second-fastest short shuttle time at 3.94 yards. In addition, his broad jump was better than everybody on the team at 10-foot-11 inches.
At the time, that was better than Oweh, who wound up jumping 11-foot-1 inches during last year's combine — good enough for eighth among all positions.
We’ll see if Castro-Fields lasts until pick No. 61. I’ve watched a couple of games, and he understands how to play the position. I’d imagine teams would rate Castro-Fields higher than Ambry Thomas.
Castro-Fields fared well against an Ohio State team that features three future first-round quality receivers. He’s not afraid to tackle, can hold his own against man coverage, and didn’t have any difficulty turning and running with the speed of the Buckeyes.
I’m a fan.
Pick 93: CB Marcus Jones, Houston
If you are familiar with college football, then you’ve heard of Jones. Yes, he’s a cornerback, but he has 11 career touchdowns.
He’s undersized at 5’8, 185 pounds. But Jones finished this past season with 13 passes defended and five interceptions. I’d draft him off his special teams' ability alone. Jones is one of the most dynamic returners ever in college football. In his career, Jones returned six kickoffs for touchdowns and three punts for scores. It felt inevitable. Even better, some of those scores came when Houston needed a play.
The Cougars lined Jones up on offense occasionally. He finished this past season with 113 yards from scrimmage on 12 attempts with a touchdown.
Jones is the type of player that’s described as the “toughest pound-for-pound player in the draft.” He didn’t mind mixing it up on defense when it came to tackling. When you play in the slot, you have to tackle.
Given Jones ' man cover skills, he’d be an ideal replacement for K’Waun Williams. His ball skills are transferrable, and his return ability would be a dream come true for San Francisco.
Pick 104: DT Otito Ogbonnia
Ogbonnia would serve as a cheap D.J. Jones replacement. The author knows the 49ers well, as Ogbonnia also participated in the Senior Bowl:
Man oh man… Otito Ogbonnia is a LOAD one on one.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) February 2, 2022
Cole Strange had a nice day today but Ogbonnia’s explosiveness, pad level and leverage are TOUGH. pic.twitter.com/z2CXnjM0oE
One guy who looked great throughout one-on-ones today at the Senior Bowl was UCLA NT Otito Ogbonnia. Flashed his power pass rush upside and some quicks on back-to-back reps. Sleeper. pic.twitter.com/qHSUqUO5cw— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) February 2, 2022
Ogbonnia is an enormous human. He checked in at 6’3, 326 pounds at the Senior Bowl. Kris Kocurek would love to get his hands on a player like this.