The NFL announced on Thursday that the 49ers will have 11 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft. While they don’t have a pick until the third round, the 49ers will open with three selections over a four-pick span with picks No. 99, 101, and 102. The 49ers reportedly met with around 50 players at the combine last week as they continue toward April’s draft.
With plenty that could change between now and the draft, these are four players the 49ers met with to keep an eye on:
DB Jammie Robinson, Florida State
Robinson’s numbers weren’t the best compared to other safeties at the combine, but his positional versatility will be what intrigues the 49ers the most. If Jimmie Ward does sign with another team this offseason, Robinson should find himself near the top of the 49ers’ draft board as Ward’s replacement. Florida State used Robinson at safety, in the slot, and in the box, excelling in run support, a quality the 49ers want in their safeties and nickel cornerback.
WR Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
The best way to describe Mingo’s play style would be a hybrid between Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings – a big-bodied receiver who uses his size as an advantage to make would-be tacklers miss after the catch. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound receiver played in 13 games last season for the Rebels, with 51 receptions for 861 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver isn’t the 49ers’ biggest need, but with three third-round picks in a four-pick span, they could look to strengthen the receiving corps.
Edge Byron Young, Tennessee
Young’s 4.43 40-yard dash may have moved him out of the 49ers’ third-round reach. NFL Next Gen Stats gave Young a combine athleticism grade of 82, firmly in their “good” category and ranking fourth out of the 44 edge rushers who attended. The 49ers are looking for maybe several edge rushers as Charles Omenihu and Samson Ebukam are about to hit free agency and if Young falls, he would be too good to pass up. Everything about Young screams fit, down to his explosive jump out of a hand-in-the-ground stance.
TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa
Another player who might not make it to the third round, but if he does, LaPorta would be a slam-dunk pick. His ability as a pass catcher would give Kyle Shanahan another weapon in an offense full of them, and he would be in the ideal situation behind George Kittle. LaPorta broke Iowa’s school record for career receptions by a tight end with 153, also the fifth-most by any Hawkeye receiver in the program’s history. The 49ers are in need of a second tight end behind Kittle, and LaPorta would be the ideal choice.