34. Sam Darnold, San Francisco 49ers
I was tempted to put Sam Darnold a bit higher than this because I was really buying what he was putting out there at the end of last season for the Carolina Panthers. Despite playing on a team in transition, Darnold went down with the ship admirably and played one of the best stretches of football we've seen from him as a pro.
I wanted the Denver Broncos to sign him badly, but I think landing with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco is honestly a tremendous fit. At this point, who really knows what's going to happen with Brock Purdy and Trey Lance? I think that's a major reason why Darnold signed with the 49ers for seemingly pennies on the dollar.
He's got a chance to play and revive his career with the 49ers in 2023.
33. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
It's probably a hot take to even have Trey Lance this high, but I felt like he slotted in at the back end of the 2023 NFL Draft class, at the very least. How long are we going to continue talking about Trey Lance's upside?
I've been skeptical of him from Day 1. As much as you love the talent and the fact that Lance is so young, it's hard to ignore a few things. First of all, he's now coming off of a major injury. Second of all, he hasn't really played a significant stretch of meaningful football since his redshirt freshman year at North Dakota State back in 2019.
At this point, we're talking about four years ago with the stuff everyone loved about Trey Lance. I think if he's going to put things together, it's 2023 or bust. He might need a change of scenery if it doesn't happen for him in 2023.