The 2019 NFL Draft class has been loaded. It was also an important group for the 49ers. They needed to make the right choice that year to open the window wide for the Super Bowl.
They hit home runs with their eight picks that year, and now, after three full seasons for the 2019 inductees, the 49ers have two of the top three players in this class according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com. They had a third player who just didn’t make it into Brooks’ Top 15.
Here is a brief reminder of the San Francisco elections that year:
Round 1 Pick 2: DE Nick Boza
Round 2 Pick 36: WR Deebo Samuel
Round 3 Pick 67: WR Jalen Hurd
Round 4 Pick 110: P Mitch Wisnowski
Round 5 Pick 148: LB Dre Greenlaw
Round 6 Pick 176: TE Caden Smith
Round 6 Pick 183: OT Justin Skule
Round 6, pick 198: CB Tim Harris
Five of those eight players are still at the club and some of them have gone on to become high-profile players in the league.
Here’s how Brooks ranked the 49ers in his rankings:
No. 2, DE Nick Bosa
(AP Photo/Scot Tucker)
Boza comes second on the list. The only player ahead of him is Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, who finished first overall that year. There’s an argument that Bosa had a better start to his career even with an ACL tear that cost him virtually his entire second season. It wouldn’t be a surprise if by the time this class ends in the NFL, Boza is considered the top pick of 2019.
According to Brooks:
Perfected maneuvers of a talented technician confuse opponents. After suffering a season-ending knee injury in the second week of the 2020 campaign, Boza returned in 2021 and quickly hit 15.5 sacks (fourth in the league). It is impossible to block it while going through falls due to its non-stop engine and giant toolbox. With few pass rushers possessing such a prolific combination of instinct, skill and wit, it’s time to pay tribute to Bose as one of the elite sack masters in the modern game.
No. 3, WR Deebo Samuel
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
The 2019 WR class wasn’t particularly hard, but it turned into a very good group. Baltimore finished Marchioness Brown 25th overall and the Patriots selected N’Keel Harry 32nd overall. Samuel was the third WR off the board this year and he was arguably the best in a group that also includes the Titans drafted Seahawks WR DK Metcalf and Eagles WR AJ Brown. Samuel was better known for his “wide back” role last year, but his performance as a running back dwarfed his 1,405 receiving yards and his league-leading 18.2 receiving yards. Perhaps there is no more exciting and capable major threat in the NFL right now than Samuel, whether he influences the game in the air or on the ground. His place in the top three is well deserved, ahead of only DT Titans pick Geoffrey Simmons and Brown.
According to Brooks:
The main offensive weapon of the 49ers is the return. Samuel carved a unique niche as a cornerback with explosive ability as a running back/receiver in San Francisco’s electric offense. Although he requested a trade from the Nine and did not participate in voluntary OTAs, this week Samuel showed up at the mandatory mini-camp. It’s hard to imagine a team parting ways with a player who plays like a top five wide receiver and running back.
Just missed LB Dre Greenlaw
(Photo by Abby Parr/Getty Images)
Greenlaw is probably the best pick for the 49ers this year. He entered the crowded LB room and immediately took over as starting linebacker Sam. He then played superbly in Will LB’s spot when Alexander Kwon went down with a chest injury. This culminated in Greenlaw stopping at the goal line in Week 17 in Seattle, leading to a victory at the NFC West in San Francisco. He was a very good player for them in possibly the best LB corps in the NFL. Brooks left him out of the top 15, but there’s definitely Greenlaw in the top 20 or 25 list.