SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — After having to wait a day to make their first pick in the NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers traded up and selected safety Ji’Ayir Brown from Penn State with the 87th overall selection Friday night.
Brown, who was the defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl, doesn’t fill an immediate need for the Niners but he gives them flexibility in the secondary with his versatility and ability to play nickel corner.
Brown also fills a need in the short-term future with safety Tashaun Gipson turning 33 in August. Gipson signed a one-year deal with San Francisco in the early stages of free agency.
The 49ers sent three picks to Minnesota to move up and take Brown.
San Francisco still owns pick No. 99. The selections in the third round were all special compensatory picks that were awarded to the 49ers via the updated Rooney rule.
The 49ers had to wait so long after trading away their first three picks in this year’s draft as part of deals to obtain quarterback Trey Lance (2021) and running back Christian McCaffrey (2022).
Earlier in the day, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. A first-round pick in 2020, Aiyuk is coming off his best season when he had career-highs in receptions (78), yards (1,015 yards) and touchdowns (eight).
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