Round 4, 134th Overall: John Ridgeway, DL, Arkansas
It’s never too early to keep addressing the defensive line. After trading away DeForest Buckner, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Javon Kinlaw to play alongside Arik Armstead on the interior. Kinlaw hasn’t found much footing in the NFL just yet. Both Kinlaw and Armstead are good pass rushers, so getting a run-stuffer makes sense.
John Ridgeway is that run defender, who plays with impressive pop in his hands. He has great functional strength and can hold his ground against double teams. Ridgeway might only get early-down work for a while, but that’s fine. It can alleviate the snap counts of Armstead and Kinlaw.
Round 5, 172nd Overall: Faion Hicks, CB, Wisconsin
Yes, the 49ers did sign Charvarius Ward to a three-year deal, but outside of him, who is truly proven? San Francisco got flashes from Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, but that isn’t enough yet. Faion Hicks isn’t getting talked about enough in this class. He has very good technique, and has some inside-outside versatility.
Round 6, 187th Overall: Ja’Tyre Carter, IOL, Southern
Is the offensive line set for the 49ers? It doesn’t feel like it. There’s a good chance Mike McGlinchey isn’t back after this season, and Aaron Banks was a bit of an overdraft in 2021. Ja’Tyre Carter played tackle at Southern, but likely transitions best to the interior, where he can use the athleticism and grip strength to succeed in a phone booth.