2023 NFL Draft: NFC West winners and losers and where the Seahawks fall

2023 NFL Draft - Round 1
2023 NFL Draft - Round 1 / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Loser: San Francisco 49ers

Grade: D

The San Francisco 49ers are coming off back-to-back NFC Championship appearances. Both games in which they suffered defeats for different reasons. However, a common theme for this team has been injuries. For whatever reason, key players for the Niners are always getting hurt at the wrong time. Look no further than the 2022 season.

After the keys were handed to Trey Lance, he suffered a season ending injury in Week 2. Then, Jimmy Garoppolo gets hurt later on in the season, resulting in the unthinkable. Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy leading the 49ers all the way to the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Only for him to suffer a serious elbow injury early on in the game. Nonetheless, the 49ers have a good enough roster from top to bottom to overcome injuries that are suffered at unforunate times.

Which, in my opinion, is why the 49ers had a head-scratching 2023 NFL Draft. Because there roster is so well put together, they do not have many glaring holes that need to be filled.




Rd 3, Pk 87 (via MIN)

S Ji'Ayir Brown

Penn State

Rd 3, Pk 99

K Jake Moody


Rd 3, Pk 101

TE Cameron Latu


Rd 5, Pk 155 (via MIA)

CB Darrell Luter Jr.

South Alabama

Rd 5, Pk 173

EDGE Robert Beal Jr.


Rd 6, Pk 216

LB Dee Winters


Rd 7, Pk 247

TE Brayden Willis


Rd 7, Pk 253

WR Ronnie Bell


Rd 7, Pk 255

LB Jalen Graham


Best Pick: Round 3 (Pick 87 via MIN): S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State — instinctive, versatile safety who has the potential to replace Jimmie Ward as starter

I believe the San Francisco 49ers are going to hit on their third round selection: S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State. Losing Jimmie Ward in the offseason via free agency to the Houston Texans, I liked how the 49ers used their first pick addressing a need in the secondary. Other than that, I do not know how much impact these other guys are going to have in San Francisco.

Typically, 4th rounders are borderline starters in the NFL. They come in expecting to be a back-up with a realistic shot of earning starting time on the field. But, as alluded to earlier, the San Francisco 49ers do not have much holes on this roster. Outside of the QB position and health concerns, the rest of this roster stacks up as one of the best in the league. They get a D grade as a fault of their great roster.

Reach: Round 3 (Pick 99): K Jake Moody, Michigan

With all that said, I still found it strange that the 49ers took a kicker this early in the draft. I don’t think many teams were clinging towards Jake Moody. This felt like a bit of a reach. I am sure that later on in the draft, Moody would have been available. I feel that San Francisco could have potentially addressed the WR3 position here rather than selecting a kicker.

Potential Gem: Round 7 (Pick 253): WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan

Coming off a torn ACL suffered in 2021, the Niners might have found a solid WR3 in the final round of the draft. The knock against Bell is his lack of separation caused against man coverage. But, he has incredible ball skills and displayed his catch in traffic ability numerous times at Michigan. In a scheme where Kyle Shanahan knows how to get his wideouts open early and often, I can see Bell finding success.