Clearly, the 49ers did not intend to opt for need in the 2022 NFL draft. Their first pick at number 61 was defensive end Drake Jackson. Their second selection at number 93 overall was fullback Tyrion Davis-Price. This is the second consecutive year they have drafted a full-back in the third round, and Davis-Price is the third RB they have drafted in the last two years. So why so many RBs?
There are a handful of reasons why San Francisco can load on RBs.
First, it seems to indicate that they are not optimistic about Trey Sermon’s development after swapping two fourth-round picks to take him into the third round last year. He did not get much playing time last year and saw action in only nine games. In those nine games, he carried the ball only 41 times.
There are also some injury problems with Elijah Mitchell, who was the workhorse with 207 carriers in just 11 games. Since none of Sermon, Jeff Wilson Jr. or JaMycal Hasty could have come on the field when Sermon did play, San Francisco might want more out of their depth at that position to spell Mitchell to help keep him healthy.
They may also aim to rely on Davis-Price on third-place finishes. That job was held by Hasty and he was good, but the team can definitely use an upgrade.
Interestingly, the 49ers would follow this route regardless of their depth map at a position where they generated production with late picks and unsettled free agents.
The bottom line is that Davis-Price should be good immediately to justify the choice. He can not play the same role that Preacher had last year. San Francisco passed secondary aid and offensive line aid to pick up a return in Round 3 again.
Their list is not deep enough to throw away top 100 choices, so it should work.