Ricky Pearsall

Three 49ers draftees make Matt Miller's top 100 picks list

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The 49ers made seven selections in the 2024 NFL Draft, with three of their picks earning high praise from ESPN analyst Matt Miller.

Miller included Ricky Pearsall , Dominick Puni and Malik Mustapha in his list of the best picks from the draft, detailing why he liked each selection and their specific fit on the 49ers.

Pearsall is the highest 49ers selection on Miller's list, coming in as his 45th favorite pick in the 2024 draft, coincidentally with the Florida wide receiver being his 45th-ranked prospect in the class.

"The pre-draft speculation that the 49ers could trade either Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk ramped up once Pearsall was selected in Round 1, but a 49ers source told me before the night began that they would be a true 'best player available' team," Miller wrote. "Pearsall will get into the lineup early as a slot receiver but has the power and route-running chops to become a starter on the outside early in his career if needed."

Puni is the second-highest 49ers player on the list, earning the No. 54 slot on Miller's favorite pick list after San Francisco selected the Kansas product in the third round. Miller had Puni as his No. 76 overall prospect in 2024.

"If you watched the 49ers last season, you noticed the holes along the offensive line at every position to the right of left tackle Trent Williams," Miller wrote. "Kansas' versatile Puni should be penciled in as a Day 1 starter at right guard, where his power and agility will be a major upgrade over Jon Feliciano."

Rounding out the San Francisco selections on Miller's list is hard-hitting safety Malik Mustapha, whom the 49ers selected in the fourth round. Miller had Mustapha ranked as his No. 113 overall prospect in the class, slotting him into the 95th spot on his list of favorite draft picks in 2024.

"When healthy, Talanoa Hufanga is one of the best hitters in the NFL," Miller wrote. "As he makes his way back from a knee injury, the 49ers drafted the hardest-hitting safety in the class to team up with him. Mustapha is a bit of a throwback strong safety, but Mustapha plays with fire coming downhill to strike ball carriers. Given the uncertainty of the 49ers' future at safety, I love this pick."

The 49ers' rookie class -- who were assigned jersey numbers on Wednesday -- will get their first chance to impress on the field when the first rookie minicamp practice kicks off on May 10.

Many NFL experts gave San Francisco strong grades for its 2024 draft class, applauding the 49ers' haul after they picked in the first round for the first time since 2021.

As San Francisco aims to get back to the Super Bowl, these rookies figure to play a key role in the immediate future as well as the long-term vision for the 49ers.

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