NFL Draft: With Aiyuk, Deebo still in the fold, 49ers look to add Day 3 pieces to roster


SANTA CLARA — Now comes the hard part for 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan to add a handful of rookies on the third day of the NFL Draft that may actually have a chance of making the team.

Some of them will, some of them won’t. Or will at least spend time on the practice squad, which Shanahan takes seriously as if they were actually on the 53-man roster.

So far, the 49ers have added three players to the roster — Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall Jr., Florida State corner Renardo Green and Kansas guard Dominick Puni. Barring injury, they’ll make the team. Everything else is up for grabs.

Green and Puni were picked on Friday, and all we know for sure is Green considers himself a “dog” in terms of want-to and Puni, although listed as a tackle by the NFL Network, is an interior lineman who is versatile enough to play anywhere on the line.

A potential slot corner to get Deommodore Lenoir back outside and a lineman who won’t solve the futuristic issue of Trent Williams’ retirement but could be helpful nonetheless. Such is life when you’ve got one of the NFL’s best rosters.

As the Rolling Sto6nes sang in 1969, you cant always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you can get what you need. That’s what the 49ers hope anyway.

After making a couple of minor trades, the 49ers have two picks left in Round 4 (Nos. 124 and 135), two in Round 5 (173 and 176), one in Round 6 (215) and one in Round 7 (251).

Wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are still on the roster, and we’ll never know for sure how close either one was to being traded.

“We’re happy with our wide receiver group,” Lynch said. “Actually more than happy. We’re thrilled with it and thrilled to have added Ricky to that group and make it stronger.”

However it transpired, for a team in the go-for-it mode, it makes sense to keep both with Brock Purdy in the last year of his rookie deal before his income explodes from slightly less than a million to more than $40 million in 2025.

If there are to be no major moves, it’s all about players who might be able to be a pleasant surprise on Day 3.

At the 49ers’ pre-draft press conference, Lynch hinted it would be slim pickings. By his count, there were 83 players who the 49ers expected to enter the draft but did not by virtue of a changing college football landscape that includes NIL (name, image, likeness) money as well as a transfer portal to finish out at another school.

Lynch changed his tune a little Friday night in the name of optimism.

“There’s still good players out there,” Lynch said. “It’s our job to go out and find them. I do think there’s probably not the quantity that there typically is, it probably runs out of some gas. But our challenge is to find those guys who have an opportunity to make our team better. And you know, there’s some element to just throwing more darts and seeing who sticks.”

For evidence, look no further than Brock Purdy in 2022, one of the most successful bull’s eyes in NFL history and the man who erased the Trey Smith mistake the previous year at No. 3 overall.

Rounds 4 through 7 begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. Here’s a look at who went off the board while the 49ers were waiting on Pearsall and some potential Day 3 targets Friday:

The 49ers selected Florida State corner Renardo Green on the last pick of the third round Friday in the NFL Draft. A.P. Photo

Edge rushers

2/56 Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan, Dallas

2/57 Chris Braswell, Alabama, Tampa Bay

3/74 Bralen Trice, Washington, Atlanta

3/76 Jonah Ellis, Utah, Denver

3/93 Adria Isaac, Penn State, Baltimore

3/94 Jalyx Hunt, Houston Christian, Philadelphia

3/95 DeWayne Carter, Duke, Buffalo

Five potential targets on Day 3

Cedric Johnson, Mississippi

Brennan Jackson, Washington State

Nelson Ceasar III, Houston

Gabriel Murphy, UCLA

Xavier Thomas, Clemson

Defensive tackle

2/35 Ruke Orhorhoro, Clemson, Atlanta

2/36 Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois, Washington

2/38 T’Vondre Sweat, Texas, Tennessee

2/39 Braden Fiske, Florida State, L.A. Rams

2/48 Maason Smith, LSU, Jacksonville

2/49 Kris Jenkins, Michigan, Cincinnati

2/54 Michael Hall Jr., Ohio State, Cleveland

3/97 McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M, Cincinnati

Five potential targets on Day 3

Brandon Dorius, Oregon

Mekhi Wingo, LSU

Gabe Hall, Baylor

Justin Egoigbe, Alabama

Khristian Boyd, Northern Iowa

Offensive tackle

2/55 Patrick Paul, Houston, Miami

2/59 Blake Fisher, Notre Dame, Houston

2/62 Roger Rosengarten, Washington, Baltimore

2/63 Kingsley Suamataia, Brigham Young, Kansas City

3/68 Caeden Wallace, Penn State, New England

3/75 Kiran Amegadie, Yale, Chicago

3/79 Matt Goncalves, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis

Five potential targets on Day 3

Christian Jones, Texas

Javon Foster, Missouri

Nathan Thomas, Louisiana

Walter Rouse, Oklahoma

Ethan Driscoll, Marshall

Cornerback

2/40 Cooper DeJean, Iowa, Philadelphia

2/41 Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama, New Orleans

2/42 Kamari Lassiter, Georgia, Houston

2/43 Max Melton, Rutgers, Arizona

2/50 Mike Sainristil, Michigan, Washington

2/61 Ennis Rakestraw, Missouri, Detroit

2/64 Renardo Green, Florida State, 49ers

3/70 Andru Phillips, Kentucky, NY Giants

3/90 Elijah Jones, Boston College, Arizona

3/96 Jarrian Jones, Florida State, Jacksonville

Five potential targets on Day 3

DJ James, Auburn

Caelen Carson, Wake Forest

Jarvis Brownlee, Louisville

TJ Tampa, Iowa State

Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri



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