SANTA CLARA – Time to swipe the NFL Draft board and clean out my notebook with 10 items learned in the 49ers’ bunker at Levi’s Stadium.


It’s neither shocking nor problematic that the 49ers did not draft an offensive tackle. Not many come ready to start, and eight were gone by the 49ers’ original spot at No. 31. Guess what: the 49ers shouldn’t be drafting much higher in future years by staying in Super Bowl contention. Thus, Trent Williams and Colton McKivitz are the certified bookends protecting Brock Purdy, for at least 2024, maybe ‘25.


For only the second time in 12 years, the 49ers did not select a defensive lineman. This, the same franchise that selected one with its top pick in six of the previous nine drafts.

Sure, they added Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos in free agency, but this puts 2022 top pick Drake Jackson on notice to produce and feast — for a full season. Same goes for Robert Beal Jr. and Austin Bryant. Keep that “Help Wanted” sign in the window.


Second-round cornerback Renardo Green is arguably the 49ers’ most intriguing add. If he physically hits as advertised, the 49ers Faithful can channel the soccer world and just call him by one name: Renardo. He is the 49ers’ highest-drafted, true cornerback since Shawntae Spencer (2004, second round, No. 58).

The 49ers’ biggest need may have been at nickel cornerback, and coach Kyle Shanahan says Green “is wired” to play there with his aggressive mentality in the run game and quickness in pass coverage. Linebacker Tatum Bethune was a Flordia State teammate and said of Green: “He actually is the one who I sometimes feed off his energy and sometimes he feed off mine. So, it’s a great feeling to have one of my old teammates back as my teammate again.”


Of the eight draft picks, seven transferred during their collegiate careers, with Green being the lone exception through a five-season tenure at Florida State. General manager John Lynch said a red flag used to go up with a transfer; not anymore, as it benefits both the player in his exposure but also personnel evaluators.

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That also makes this draft class, ahem, seasoned. Once NFL Kickoff Weekend arrives Sept. 5-9, here will be the ages of the newest 49ers (perspective: Purdy is 24):

Wide receiver Ricky Pearsall (Arizona State to Florida): 24

Cornerback Green (Florida State): 23

Offensive lineman Dominick Howell (Central Missouri to Kansas): 24

Safety Malik Mustapha (Richmond to Wake Forest): 22

Running back Isaac Guerendo (Wisconsin to Louisville): 24

Wide receiver Jacob Cowing (UTEP to Arizona): 23

Offensive lineman Jarrett Kingston (Washington State to USC): 24

Linebacker Tatum Bethune (UCF to Florida State): 23


No, the 49ers did not extend invitations to legacy players Luke McCaffrey (Commanders, third round), Brenden Rice (Chargers, seventh round) or Frank Gore Jr. (Bills, undrafted). However, wide receiver Terique Owens, son of Pro Football (and 49ers) Hall of Famer Terrell Owens, is among the undrafted free agents signing with the 49ers, with him reportedly getting a $6,500 signing bonus. If he can survive camp and make the practice squad, that is huge, because he needs reps, as his dad said at the 49ers’ April 10 tryout for local products.

“I wonder if he can catch 20 balls on the day Brenden Rice retires,” NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis said on “NFL Total Access.” History lesson: Owens set the NFL’s then-record with 20 receptions against the Bears to overshadow Jerry Rice’s final home game as a 49er in 2000.

Here’s hoping Gore makes the Bills and is on the field to face his dad’s original team when the 49ers visit Buffalo this year.


If the 49ers’ defense reputationally lost its bite in the playoffs, then perhaps new defensive backs Green and Mustapha will help restore that, at least verbally so far.

That came across in Green’s pre-draft chats with secondary coach Daniel Bullocks. “One thing that he said was that he wouldn’t want to fight me,” Green recalled. “I asked him why and he said, ‘Because I feel like you’ll fight until you die.’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s what a dog is. You ever seen a dog fight?’ You’re getting a dog, a tenacious football player, an instinctive, athletic football player, and a versatile, smart football player.”

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Lynch, a Pro Football Hall of Fame safety, said of Mustapha: “Just love the way he plays the game, plays our style. We talk a lot about running to the football and getting there with bad intentions, and Malik kind of embodies that.”


Not to be forgotten in the defensive additions is Bethune, the linebacker from Florida State via UCF. Here is what he said about joining a unit led by Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, the latter of whom is recovering from a torn Achilles in the Super Bowl.

“The guy who I actually watched this past season was Greenlaw, because of the way he just showed his passion on the field and he’s always around the ball,” Bethune said. “His physicality, it reminded me a lot of myself. So yeah, I’m pretty sure the whole college football world knows about the linebacker corps at the 49ers.”

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