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San Francisco 49ers 2023 NFL Draft picks, analysis and prospect spotlight

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State defensive back Ji'Ayir Brown (DB41) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of selections from Thursday to Saturday, 259 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the San Francisco 49ers draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2023 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2023 NFL Draft Picks

R3 (87): S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State
R3 (99): K Jake Moody, Michigan
R3 (101): TE Cameron Latu, Alabama
R5 (155): CB Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama
R5 (173): EDGE Robert Beal Jr., Georgia
R6 (216): LB Dee Winters, TCU
R7 (247): TE Brayden Willis, Oklahoma
R7 (253): WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan
R7 (255): LB Jalen Graham, Purdue

Day 2: Brown was a do-it-all safety for the Nittany Lions. He seamlessly went from deep safety to the box to the slot to outside linebacker to mugging the A-gap, and he executed each role at a high level. Brown’s ball skills, in particular, jump off the screen. He secured 10 interceptions across the past two seasons.

Moody produced PFF field goal grades of 90.2 and 91.7 in each of the past two seasons, so the idea that he’s the first kicker drafted makes sense. But the third round is rich for any kicker in this class.

Latu is coming off a season in which he produced a 60.6 PFF receiving grade, a 50.0 run-blocking grade and a low 1.03 yards per route run. He has the size that teams look for at the position, but the production just wasn’t there in 2022.

Day 3: Luter has traits to work with on the outside with above-average length and decent straight-line speed and explosiveness. He took a bit of a step back in 2022 from a production standpoint after allowing just a 27% completion percentage and a 3.9 passer rating in 2021.

Beal’s numbers from his final season in college aren’t going to blow anyone away. He produced a 67.8 PFF grade, won 14.1% of his pass-rushing attempts and made a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on just 6.7% of his run-defense snaps. Special teams will likely be his best path to seeing the field.

Winters played 670 or more snaps in each of the past three seasons but hasn’t produced a PFF grade of 55.0 or higher since the 2020 season. He missed 16.0% of the tackles he attempted this past season.

Willis played an H-back role at Oklahoma that allowed him to excel as a blocker, grading above 80 in both run blocking and pass protection.

Bell averaged 2.57 yards per route run in his final season in college. He struggled in contested catch situations, pulling in a reception on just 16.7% of his contested targets, but did produce a 77.4 PFF receiving grade.

DRAFT GRADE: C-

Prospect Spotlight: S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State

Brown has some of the best ball production in the class, securing 10 picks over the past two seasons. If you're drafting him, just know you're getting a risk-taker on the back end.

Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Mentality

Brown plays an exciting brand of football — that is for sure. What else is for sure is that he wants to get involved and will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

What's his role? Box

Brown is too unreliable to trust deep. His downhill play style fits in just right in the box.

Where he can improve: Pursuit angles

To be a box safety in the NFL, taking ideal pursuit angles is imperative. They're often the last line of defense against big plays in the run game and can't afford to get out of position.

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