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Golden Nuggets: How are we feeling about these draft picks?

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Monday, May 1st, 2023

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49ers 2023 NFL Draft takeaways: Speed was a major focus to bolster a deep roster (paywall)

“And that’s why the 49ers emphasized speed — a potential ticket to success on special teams — deep into the draft. Sixth-rounder Dee Winters, for example, was one of the fastest linebackers in the class with his 4.49 40-yard dash.”

Silver: Why the 49ers could afford NFL draft luxury and risk picking a kicker early (paywall)

“In 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up to take Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round, setting up one of the biggest and most humorous post-draft debacles in recent memory. Aguayo struggled from the start, to the point where he was heckled in training camp by a fan mimicking Rob Schneider’s character from “The Waterboy” exclaiming “You can do it!” before practice attempts. He couldn’t: Aguayo lasted just one season, making 71% of his field goal attempts, and is now out of football.

I’m hoping the young man nicknamed “Money Moody” turns out to be a much better investment, and that he can do it when the stakes are highest. After all, he came to the Niners because they’re doing things the right way — and doing the right thing.”

49ers draft picks: DE Robert Beal Jr. has all the tools

“Beal’s stats don’t jump off the page. He played in 59 games for the Bulldogs and posted 10.5 sacks with 12 tackles for loss. However, a deeper dive indicates Beal could be an impact rusher off the edge with some polish...He measured in at 6-3, 247 pounds at the combine with a very good 83-inch wingspan. He also ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash. That means Beal has good size with long arms and above-average explosiveness. That ability to get off the line of scrimmage with long arms to keep offensive. tackles from putting hands on him is a great starting point for Beal.”

How Georgia coach sold Lynch on fifth-round draft pick Beal

“GTFO is something Kris Kocurek is always screaming,” Lynch explained. “Do you guys know what it is? Yeah, so [Beal] had the highest GTFO grade in the draft. So, we’re really fired up about that.//It’s within the first two yards is what we’re measuring, and they’ve come up with a way to measure that and Beal’s right at the top of it, so that’s something. We’re always talking about getting length and explosion out of that stance, and Beal’s a guy that kind of embodies that.”

49ers make 3 picks in final round to close out draft

“This time it was wide receiver Ronnie Bell. He had a great senior season with 62 catches, 889 yards and 4 TDs...While he’s undersized, he’s described as being a possession slot receiver who is excellent on third downs. That sounds quite a bit like their last seventh-round receiver, Jauan Jennings.”

49ers QB Trey Lance cleared to return ahead of OTAs: What he needs to work on (paywall)

“In all practicality, Lance has been fully recovered from his Week 2 ankle injury for more than a month. He spent a chunk of March in the Dallas area working out with Patrick Mahomes and Mahomes’ throwing coach, Christensen, in an effort to shorten his delivery. Lance certainly wasn’t in pads or dealing with pass rushers — he was throwing to high school and college receivers — but he wasn’t restricted in terms of dropbacks or rollouts. Lynch has hinted that the work with Christensen was effective and that it will be apparent when Lance takes the field for OTAs next month.”

How LB Jalen Graham can carve out roster spot with 49ers

“Graham has all the tools to be a terrific special teams player. He’s 6-2, 220 pounds and has plenty of functional athleticism to be effective in that phase. He’s relentless tracking down ball carriers and doesn’t often get hung up on blocks. Both of those characteristics should help him in kick coverage.”

Where Michigan WR Ronnie Bell fits in 49ers’ WR corps

“There isn’t a ton of room for pass catchers in the 49ers’ offense though, so it’s the smaller aspects of the position that could lead to Bell making the team as a rookie. He’s a good blocker and plays with a hard-nosed style that should help him contribute right away on special teams. That blocking ability will be Step 1 to getting on the field on offense.”

2023 NFL Draft: How did experts grade the 49ers’ draft class?

““And yet, I like a bunch of these picks, except for kicker Jake Moody (99) in Round 3,” wrote Kiper. “I get that it’s a need, but that’s incredibly early, and I didn’t even have him as the best kicker in the class. I had a second-round grade on safety Ji’Ayir Brown (87), so I’m a fan of his potential. Tight end Cameron Latu (101) has upside, and he’ll get to learn the ropes from George Kittle. Linebacker Dee Winters (216) went about 60 picks after I thought he would. Brayden Willis (247) is going to make an impact as a rookie special-teamer.”

Is a position change in store for TE Brayden Willis?

“Willis’ athleticism and size could make him a perfect fit as a do-everything FB like Juszczyk...In the meantime, it’s easy to see why the 49ers took a flyer on him as their second TE selected in the draft. He caught 13 touchdowns and racked up 998 receiving yards at Oklahoma, and he’s very good at finding space after the catch.”

LB Dee Winters could offer short and long-term fixes for 49ers

“The WLB spot alongside Fred Warner has been a huge key for the 49ers’ defense and the defense has improved as Greenlaw has improved. Finding his potential replacement should be a priority for San Francisco, and Winters has the athleticism and coverage skills to develop into that player down the line.”