The San Francisco 49ers drafted their second defensive back of Day 3, selecting Penn State cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields with the 221st overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. According to most draft boards, Castro-Fields is easily the Niners' best value selection of their class thus far, ranking on most boards as a fourth or fifth-round prospect.
Castro-Fields played in more than 200 snaps as a true freshman back in 2017 and slotted into the Nittany Lions' starting lineup the next year, where he remained for the next four seasons. Across 46 games, Castro-Fields racked up 139 tackles, 25 passes defended, 10 tackles for loss, three interceptions, and one sack.
When we first did a mock draft, Castro-Fields was mocked to the Niners at pick No. 61. If you recall, the Niners sent their front office to Penn State’s Pro Day. Castro-Field participated at the Senior Bowl. He also ran the fifth-fasted 40-yard dash at the combine at 4.38. Castro-Fields is a press-man cornerback that’s an aggressive blizter.
As a five-year senior, Castro-Fields is another player with experience. Where he lacks in change of direction, Castro-Fields makes up for it with awareness and route recognition. Although he has produced on the ball, Castro-Fields will need to improve his ball skills.
The theme of this draft has been evident: Draft players who can run and cover kicks that way, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t have to stress about special teams. Each rookie should be an immediate contributor on special teams.
Big Board Rankings:
Daniel Jeremiah (NFL.com): 118 (out of 150)
Danny Kelly (The Ringer): Unranked (out of 100)
Dane Brugler (The Athletic): 130
Consensus Board: 145
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: 262