The San Francisco 49ers made three selections on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft, at picks 61, 93, and 105. They came away with an edge rusher, a running back, and a wide receiver. Here is a quick breakdown of each player and their fit on the 49ers.
Round 2, pick 61
Drake Jackson, Edge - USC
I had Jackson as a first-round talent for most of last season, and I have absolutely zero reasons to believe his ceiling is not still at the level of a first-round pick. At 6’3 254 pounds with 34” arms and 10 1/8” hands, Jackson has the ideal measurables to excel as a dynamic pass-rushing threat at the NFL level.
At 61, the value here is outstanding. This is a player who has the physical traits and technical skill to flourish as a secondary pass rusher on an already loaded 49ers defensive line. Who better to tap into those elite physical gifts than defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.
The 49ers have been in need of a bonafide speed rushing threat opposite Nick Bosa, and Jackson gives them a player who can thrive within that role while also having the frame to build on to win with power at the next level regularly.
The other plus is the 49ers already have so much depth on their defensive line that they can afford to give Jackson time to get acclimated before thrusting him into a prominent role properly.
I love this pick by the 49ers. The Niners get a high-ceiling player who I have been high on for a while and who boasts pro bowl potential at the second most valuable position in the sport.
Round 3, pick 93
Tyrion Davis-Price, RB - LSU
I’ll be honest, this pick took me by surprise, especially a year after the 49ers selected a running back in the third round. When you watch Price’s tape and consider the physicality he plays with, the selection starts to make a lot more sense.
I’ve been stressing for a while the 49ers need to add a physical back, and Price more than meets the criteria for that. Price regularly utilized his 6’0 211 pound frame to bowl over defenders, with an impressive amount of speed to boot.
Price clocked a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine, and the combination of his size and speed gives Kyle Shanahan a violent north-to-south runner who has the ability to potentially take on an expanded role in the 49ers backfield from day one.
I like the logic behind this pick as much as the actual selection. The 49ers needed a bruiser in the backfield, and they got one.
Round 3, pick 105
Danny Gray, WR - SMU
In recent seasons, Gray gives the 49ers something they have sorely lacked, which is a true downfield threat to stretch out defenses vertically. Gray ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine.
I mocked Gray to the 49ers in a recent mock draft at this exact pick, and here is what I had to say then.
“Gray has an immense amount of north-to-south speed and could be a very important complementary piece in a passing attack with a quarterback that has the arm talent to challenge defenses vertically.”
Gray joins a very talented wide receiver room that is extremely top-heavy, with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk currently at the top of the pecking order. This kind of elite downfield speed should help open up things underneath while also giving presumed starter Trey Lance a weapon to utilize on deep shots off play-action.
The value is solid here, and it’s always fun to wonder what Kyle Shanahan can scheme up for a guy running in the 4.3s.
Overall, If I had to grade the day two return for the 49ers, I’d give it a solid B+. Normally i wouldn’t be too optimistic about a running back at 93, but I really like the skill set Price possesses, and I think he could be a guy who eventually takes on a primary ball carrier role within this offense.
I can’t explain enough how much I like the Jackson pick, and I think Gray is a solid get at the back end of round three. All in all, this was a very solid day two for John Lynch and the 49ers front office.