49ers 2022 NFL mock draft: DeMeco Ryan’s defense gets richer in the playoffs

49ers live in inactive conditions. Secretary-General John Lynch has continued to throw a shield at full-back Jimmy Garoppolo after recently saying: “We will not cut Garoppolo – he is too good a player.”

San Francisco’s free agency was suppressed because Garoppolo collected 12.68% of the club’s salary cap. Nevertheless, head coach Kyle Shanahan remains with a core that can compete. NFL concessions take a risk on the outlook with each pick in the draft.

I’ve been tough on Lynch and Shanahan in the first draft pick, but we do not have to worry about getting ready early after the sales office mortgaged the future for Trey Lance last season.

One thing I can give Lynch credit for is finding gems in later rounds. Unfortunately, limited resources could force Niners to lose influence.

That said, we’ll turn to myself as general manager as I’m going through a 49ers virtual draft. I used The Draft Network virtual aircraft for this selection.

2nd round, choice no. 61 overall: Nick Cross, S, Maryland

By signing Charvarius Ward in a free agent position, a new need shifted from cornerback to safe after Jaquiski Tartt broke through. The 49ers demand that their safety equipment be versatile, turning in and out of the cover to help conceal defenses.

Nick Cross is a physical boxing safety who can also sustain departures; Cross has shown.


  • Height: 6’0 1/8 “
  • Weight: 212 lbs
  • Handle length: 31 1/2 “
  • 40 Time: 4.34 sec
  • Exhibition: Second round


  • Great straight line speed
  • Of course
  • Can make game changes


  • Not a ball hawk
  • May be liable for damages in the coverage of a person
  • He does not always play at his own pace

Round 3, choice no. 93 overall: Jalen Tolbert, WR, Southern Alabama

Shanahan is widely known as one of the best players in the NFL. Adding another receiver that does it all strengthens Trey Lance’s reception core and maximizes Shanahan’s ability to bring defenders into conflict.

Jalen Tolbert is a very decorated recipient from the University of Southern Alabama. The dominant forward of the year at Sun Belt averaged 17.98 yards per catch in 2021. He fascinated me on Day 1 of the NFL, along with his accurate running style.


  • Height: 6’1
  • Weight: 194 lbs
  • Arms: 32 1/4 “
  • 40: 4.49s
  • Show: Third round


  • Complete package receiver
  • Great release and runs precise routes
  • 50/50 ball and ability to catch a lot
  • Can play slots and outside of WR.


  • Need to prove he is a willing blocker.
  • Can add to work at the top of the way.
  • Must show that he is ready to take the competing catch to the next level

Round 3, choice no. 103 overall: DeAngelo Malone, Edge, Western Kentucky

Lynch has assessed defensive linemen in draft, but positioning needs will force him to look elsewhere (safety.) I support moving Arik Armstead into a defensive tackle, but he gives the defense room to breathe when he plays edge. Armstead can continue to play outside and be kicked in for passes.

2021 United States Conference Defender of the Year DeAngelo Malone can immediately influence San Francisco defense in a role like Dee Ford. Ford’s long-standing back problems will likely force the Niners to cut him in camp. Malone shows that he can work around the edge and finish for the corner of the bag.


  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 239 lbs
  • 40 yard run: 4.55 sec
  • Handle length: 33 “
  • Exhibition: Fourth round


  • Plays larger than its size indicates
  • Has a large bend around the edge
  • has many ways to work when you speed up the sender


  • On the lighter end for a winger in the wide-nine front.
  • Needs to develop into a player in the NFL

Round 4, choice no. 134 overall: Matthew Butler, DT, Tennessee

The departure of DJ Jones is quietly one of the biggest vacancies that can be filled in a free NFL agency. Jone’s statistics as a 49er do not show how important he was in defense. Matthew Butler perseveres against the race while showing an upside-down run. Butler played more shots (726) than any other SEC defender in 2021.

Butler took advantage of the fact that the NCAA gave players an extra year of qualifying after the COVID-19 season in 2020. He continued to have the best season of his college career, which included five sacks and eight-and-a-half tackles for losses.


  • Height: 6’3.5 ”
  • Weight: 299 lbs
  • Handle length: 33 1/2 ”
  • 40 meters: 5.00s
  • Show: Fifth round


  • Has an immediate launch option,
  • balance against the transmission and the race,


  • Need to expand a compelling repertoire,
  • Need to improve your hands and cushion level

Round 5, choice no. 172 in total: Ben Brown, IOL, Be Miss

Laken Tomlinson’s departure brings open competition in the left defensive position. Fans scratched their heads when Aaron Banks never competed for a starting spot in training camp and in the end barely contributed during his rookie season.

Ben Brown is a center-back left-back who can replace old Alex Mack when he decides to leave. Versatility is a key factor for the reserve lineman in attack in later rounds

  • Height: 6’5
  • Weight: 315 lbs
  • Hand length: 33 7/8 ”
  • Show: Fifth round


  • has playing experience in a similar game system
  • versatile player with a guard and midfielders under his belt


  • Tends to jump and is not physical with hands
  • Has difficulty getting stuck during shipment

Round 6, Selection 187: Jean Delance, OT, Florida

The 49ers chose Mike McGlinchey in the fifth year, but his San Francisco career could end in a bad season. Last year, Jaylon Moore was picked up in the fifth round and showed he had plenty of excellence in the preseason and regular season. Drafting another tackle gives the offensive line security and allows Moore to be a swing tackle or allow him to compete for a defensive position.

Jean Delance is the sixth year tackle on the Gators in his last three seasons (19′-21). Delance has been a defender and the San Francisco office has already met with him. His athleticism and 36 “arms will be considered great against the elite.


  • Height: 6’4
  • Weight: 303 lbs
  • Handle length: 36 1/2 “
  • 40 yard run: – 5.26s
  • Exhibition: Sixth round


  • Shows that he can reach the second and third levels when he blocks
  • Has experience in guarding and tackling
  • Extremely sporty
  • Familiar with flash and can expand with DEs on transmission sets


  • Raw player
  • Bad technology causes him to give up on sacks
  • Sixth year senior entering the NFL as a project

Round 6, choice no. 220 in total: Kalon Barnes, CB, Baylor

Deommodre Lenoir and Ambry Thoams both saw action as newcomers last year, but still leave a lot to be desired. Kalon Barnes tested very well on Day 4 of the NFL Combine. Barnes’ speed helped him block the reception and it allowed him to compete at a high level as an outside corner at the Big 12 conference. The fiery cornerback recently visited with the 49ers.


  • Height: 5’11 1/4 ”
  • Weight: 183 lbs
  • Hand length: 31 3/4 ”
  • 40 yard run: 4.23 sec
  • Show: Fifth round


  • The recovery speed helps him when he is knocked off the line
  • Lists in the cover and reaches the ball
  • Man coverage core


  • Limited size shows up against the race
  • He must prove that he is a willing tackler at the next level
  • Tends to speculate otherwise in regional coverage

Round 6, choice no. 221 overall: Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State

The front desk re-signed a few deputies, but they can not stop there. This year’s cornerback has fallen behind the top three cornerbacks. So I waited until the sixth round to pick one.

Zyon McCollum is a FCS cornerback with a great size and athleticism who could end up becoming a future NFL starter. His size and ability to reach a person make him an interesting possibility.


  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 202 lbs
  • Hand length: 31 1/8 “
  • 40 yard run: 4.33 sec
  • Show: Fifth round


  • Sticky in discussing a man
  • Has the ability to score on 50/50 balls.


  • Does not play in its size in the running game,
  • He is not fluid from his break and
  • Struggle in regional coverage


This is the first virtual draft of many and I think it meets the needs of the 49ers. The 49ers need to draft a defensive tackle in the draft. Kinlaw has made progress in his rehabilitation, but San Francisco could limit his clicks to try to keep his knees intact.

Security is still the biggest need for 49ers. Choosing security that is not limited to coverage is essential to Ryan’s defensive endeavors. In addition, his aggressive play puts a strain on the defender as they will often get little or no help when they are slamming.

Wide receiver is a cherry on top for me. Creating a secure receiver makes Shanahan’s vertical transmission attack more deadly. It also allows Shanahan to use Deebo Samuel more in fullback.

The indoor offensive line has been stressed (as it should be), but I think one position I could have drafted instead is running backwards. Of course, adding three full-backs in two seasons is less than ideal, but the 49ers will have to find a way to replicate Raheem Mostert’s explosive power.

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