49ers could target these players on Day 3 of NFL draft

North Carolina's Dazz Newsome

Through three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, the 49ers have made four picks.

On Saturday, general manager John Lynch has four more picks with the first scheduled to arrive in the fifth round at No. 155 overall.

Thus far, the 49ers have hit on some of their more obvious needs with the additions of quarterback Trey Lance, guard Aaron Banks, running back Trey Sermon and cornerback Ambry Thomas.

The 49ers have selected wide receivers in 18 consecutive drafts, and it would be a major surprise if they do not look to strengthen their options at slot receiver Saturday.

The club's need for a shifty receiver highlights our look at six players the 49ers could target on Day 3.

Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina

Newsome (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) just looks like the 49ers' type with his stocky build and yards-after-the-catch style.

He had a productive final two seasons with 126 catches for 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Newsome is not afraid to break his routes over the middle, which is a must in Kyle Shanahan’s system. He adds value with his skills as a punt returner.

Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina

Smith has good speed and toughness, and could step right into the mix as the 49ers’ starting slot receiver.


Like his buddy, Deebo Samuel, Smith plays all-out, all the time. He also factors into the 49ers’ thinking as a gunner on special teams, as well as a kick returner.

Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State

Johnson was a highly productive player at the Division I FCS level, where he had back-to-back seasons of 1,332 yards and 1,222 yards receiving. He scored 25 touchdowns over that period.

He opted out of the 2020 season, which might be a reason he could drop to where the 49ers next have a chance to select him.

Jordan Smith, DE, UAB

The 49ers built good depth along the defensive line during free agency. But they can also use another edge rusher.

Smith is not built for a role on base downs at this point. He is long and not particularly stout at the point of attack. But he has the potential to carve out a role as a situational pass rusher.

John Bates, TE, Boise State

After Jordan Reed’s recent retirement, the 49ers will likely try to add another tight end to join the competition for a roster spot.

Bates is a solid all-around tight end who lacks the speed to get down the field. Still, he has enough passing-game skills and prowess as a blocker to warrant a look.

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JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

The 49ers selected Thomas, a cornerback, in the third round. They can look to address another spot in the defensive backfield on Day 3.

Jimmie Ward is the only safety under contract to the 49ers beyond this season. Stevens is a big, aggressive safety who has speed and plays like a linebacker. He could be an ace on special teams while building for the possibility of a future role.

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