Three defensive tackles 49ers could snag in 2023 NFL Draft

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The 49ers shored up the interior of their defensive line this offseason by signing Javon Hargrave during free agency, but they could add even more firepower in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. 

San Francisco doesn't have a pick until the third round at Nos. 99, 101 and 102 overall but could wait until Day 3 of the draft to add a defensive tackle to the mix.

With Hargrave joining Arik Armstead in the interior alongside NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, adding a defensive tackle is a lower 49ers priority than adding an edge rusher. 

The 2023 class of defensive tackle prospects is deep, giving 49ers general manager John Lynch and the scouting department the opportunity to add talented players in later rounds. 

Here are three defensive tackle candidates the 49ers could add in the 2023 NFL Draft: 

Siaki Ika, Baylor

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 335 
Age: 22

Ika is projected as a late second- or third-round pick, but if the stout defensive tackle slips on Day 2, the 49ers could swoop in and get great value to add to their side of the trenches. Ika racked up 24 tackles -- 20 for a loss -- in his final season at Baylor.

2021 was Ika’s best year statistically, as he recorded 33 pressures, six sacks, three hits and two hurries along with two batted passes, earning him second-team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors after he transferred from LSU after two years.

Ika registered 18 pressures, three hits, 15 hurries and two batted passes in his senior season as a team captain while also being named first-team All-Big 12. Working under defensive line coach Kris Kocurek could help Ika with his consistency on the field.

Cameron Young, Mississippi State

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 304
Age: 22

Young is projected as a fourth-round pick, and with 11 selections over the final two days of the draft, the 49ers could manipulate their positioning in trades. Young registered 18 pressures in his final season at Mississippi State, and with Kocurek as his coach, he could see an increase in better technique and higher production.

Young is noted for his upper body strength but would do well with good NFL coaching to keep his pads low, which would lead to more consistent production. Low sack numbers (2.0) over his four-year college career could be a mark against him, but he registered 88 tackles (5.5 for a loss) over his final two college seasons. 

RELATED: 49ers could use 2023 draft to fill needs for future seasons

Karl Brooks, Bowling Green 

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 296
Age: 22 

Brooks might be the most interesting defensive tackle of the group, having led Bowling Green in quarterback sacks for five consecutive seasons. The fifth-year senior is projected to be a fifth-round pick, but he comes to the table with off-the-field intangibles such as being voted a two-year team captain.

Brooks racked up 50 tackles -- 18 for a loss -- and a career-high 10 sacks in 2022, which earned him first-team All-MAC honors. He has played across the line but mostly was seen on the interior in his final season. 

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