The Art of the Fifth Round

This may be considered as one of those laughable ESPN stats, but when it comes to having late draft picks, precisely in the fifth round, the San Francisco 49ers may just be the best at making something out of nothing. That is not to say that players who do not get drafted on the first day are bad by any means, but typically, they are not starting by their first, possibly second, year. When looking at the last five years, the 49ers have taken some absolute gems that fit perfectly into their puzzle of a scheme. 

George Kittle, 2017.

George Kittle, otherwise known as ‘The People’s Tight End,’ was drafted at 146 overall in 2017. In ESPN’s recently released “Top 100 Players of 2022,” Kittle is ranked pretty high at 22. Kittle is regarded as a top-three tight end, with some making the claim that he holds the number one spot. 

Dre Greenlaw, 2019.

At 148, the 49ers selected Dre Greenlaw. Greenlaw played in 13 games as a rookie linebacker and is behind Fred Warner and Azeez Al-Shaair in the depth chart. Greenlaw’s best play came against the Seattle Seahawks in 2019 when he made a goal-line stand. 

Talanoa Hufanga, 2021.

Talanoa Hufanga, drafted at 180 overall, made a name for himself when he had a scoop and score against the Green Bay Packers in the 2021-22 playoffs, effectively tying a game that the 49ers would go on to win. In his second year, Hufanga will play a big role in this highly-regarded San Francisco defense as he fights for the safety position. 

You may ask, why now? What is the point of showing the 49ers’ history of good fifth-round draft picks in August of 2022? The answer is simple: Samuel Womack III.

Samuel Womack III, 2022.

Samuel Womack, drafted 172 overall, has been the talk of 49ers preseason as he has probably been the best player on the field with a coverage grade of 91.1. Jeff Deeney, an analyst who specializes for the 49ers, noted that Womack has allowed zero catches and has had two interceptions. In the most recent game against the Houston Texans, Womack had a pass breakup that resulted in an interception in the red zone.


  • moniquereil

    Football, basketball and soccer fan. Currently a fourth-year student-athlete studying history, English and graphic design.

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