Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers

It’s been the longest at tight end

We’ll discuss prospects after the first round as we approach the NFL Draft. For now, it seems that many draft pundits are penciling in an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers.

Today, we’ll look at the last time the 49ers drafted a position in the top two rounds.

Quarterback – Trey Lance – 2021

Off to a good start! The only way Trey was ever going to improve was by playing right away. Given the talent on the roster, it was clear the Niners coaching staff wasn’t confident in Lance enough as a rookie.

In hindsight, it’s easy to say, but I would’ve started Lance and pulled the plug on Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance going a full year without playing—and yes, I remember Lance’s finger injury—was never going to help the team or the player develop. To me, he could’ve done everything and then some of what Garoppolo did. And he would’ve entered 2022 with the utmost confidence.

Now, Trey’s widely regarded as one of the biggest draft “busts” in NFL history.

Running back – Carlos Hyde – 2014

Hyde was a jack-of-all-trades but master of none running back. His great size helped him gain yards after contact. Hyde was also impressively light on his feet for a 230-pound runner, and he forced plenty of missed tackles because of it. Still, the league was trending toward speed at the time, and Hyde’s lack of second gear—and playing on some bad Niners offenses—prevented him from having a better career.

Wide receiver – Brandon Aiyuk – 2020

Aiyuk is the type of wide receiver you take in the first round. Out of Arizona State, he was “raw” and wasn’t a polished route runner who was thought to have inconsistent hands. Now, Aiyuk is one of the top route runners in the NFL and continues to get better each year — specifically at catching the ball.

He ran a 4.5 40, which probably helped him slide to the 20s, but it’s evident that Aiyuk plays faster than that. Whatever the 49ers decide to pay Aiyuk, he’ll have earned it.

Tight end – Vance McDonald – 2013

Trent Baalke selected McDonald at No. 55, while Travis Kelce was chosen at No. 63. Every GM has their swings and misses, but Kelce is a future Hall of Famer.

McDonald’s injury history from college—he missed three games due to a toe injury—followed him to the NFL. McDonald was not a bad football player. He’d be a productive option in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

It’s just…Kelce.

Interior Offensive Line – Aaron Banks – 2021

After “redshirting” as a rookie, Banks started 16 games in 2022 and 14 games this past season. He has committed ten penalties, but this past season, he didn’t allow a sack. If he can continue on his current trajectory, Banks has a chance to earn himself a sizeable raise.

Banks is more of the norm, unlike outliers like Kelce and Deebo Samuel.

Offensive tackle – Mike McGlinchey – 2018

There were no surprises with McGlinchey. You were guaranteed a couple of first downs per game running behind him. But there would also be 4-5 snaps in a game where he’d get beaten in pass protection.

McGlinchey was healthy all season for the Denver Broncos this past season. He missed half of the 2021 season and four games during the 2019 Super Bowl run.

The better the quarterback, the better McGlinchey was. His play peaked in a contract year when he stayed fully healthy, and McGlinchey was handsomely rewarded.

A year after making it to the Super Bowl with a Day 3 right tackle starting, will the 49ers spend a first-round pick on another tackle?


Edge Rusher – Nick Bosa – 2019
Defensive tackle – Javon Kinlaw – 2020
Linebacker – Reuben Foster – 2017
Defensive back – Jimmie Ward/Jaquiski Tartt

We’ve talked about most of these players recently, except Bosa. He was one of the best players in the NFL from the moment he stepped onto a football field, and that’s been true ever since.

Bosa suffered a season-ending injury in 2020, but you would have no idea that was the case based on what he’s accomplished in a few years since then. Bosa is one of the rare prospects who enters the NFL with unreal expectations and lives up to them.

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About the Author: Insidethe49

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