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49ers draft Fordham OL Nick Zakelj with the 187th overall pick

The 49ers went with another small-school offensive lineman with their first pick in the 6th round.

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The San Francisco 49ers drafted offensive lineman Nick Zakelj out of Fordham with the 187th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. After adding another lineman earlier on Day 3 (Spencer Burford), the Niners added another body to their crowded room.

Zakelj was a four-year starter (and four-time All-Patriot League player) at offensive tackle for Fordham, who runs a zone-heavy scheme. As a senior this year, Zakelj turned heads with an impressive Week 1 performance against Nebraska but was inconsistent as the season went on.

The 6’6”, 316-pound offensive tackle started five seasons for the Rams. He spent most of his freshman year at right tackle before switching to the left side after his freshman year. The theme continues to be experience in case one of the starters goes down with an injury.

Zakelj rated elite in his 40-yard dash, 20-yard split, 10-yard split, and his broad jump:

Another common theme found in Zakelj’s scouting report is that he has a “tenacity to finish opponents through the whistle.” The 49ers are drafting an offensive lineman who plays ticked off.

That's two offensive linemen today. Sure, this could be viewed as insurance in the event of an injury, but somebody has been put on notice. Does that mean Justin Skule’s time is up? Colton McKivitz? Or could either of those names beat out a Day 3 rookie? We’ll see what Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch see in Zakelj.

Big Board Rankings:
ESPN: 207
Daniel Jeremiah ( Unranked (out of 150)
PFF: 253
Danny Kelly (The Ringer): Unranked (out of 100)
Dane Brugler (The Athletic): 259
Consensus Board: 264


What grade do you give the 49ers pick of Nick Zakelj?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    (185 votes)
  • 48%
    (401 votes)
  • 22%
    (189 votes)
  • 4%
    (41 votes)
  • 1%
    (14 votes)
830 votes total Vote Now

Center and safety are the most glaring holes left on the 49ers roster, but it might be unlikely to see San Francisco add another offensive lineman. They do have some questions about their depth at tight end but have mostly added players at their biggest areas of need in the draft.

Here are the 49ers’ remaining picks: 220, 221, 262