Current offensive and defensive line units were bolstered on this day in 49ers draft history.
With the No. 39 overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected USC offensive lineman Chilo Rachal in the second round and followed up a year later by picking LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois in the seventh round with the No. 244 overall selection.
Rachal started 35 games over the past three seasons, including six as a rookie. Since then, Rachal has improved to where he’s considered to be one of the most underrated interior linemen in the NFL. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the 6-foot-5, 323-pound guard is the “Secret Superstar” of the 49ers.
Here’s what they had to say about Rachal’s development:
“The third year is often when we start to see what players really have to offer. While attention shifted to the rookies, the ‘Year No. 3’ version of Rachal became the player we had expected to see out of college.”
As for adding to the defensive line’s depth, the 49ers used a late-round pick to select an engaging performer.
With just 13 picks left in the 2009 draft, the 49ers chose Jean Francois with the No. 244 overall selection.
Jean Francois made the team as a rookie and has steadily improved ever since. Known for his “Peanut Butter Jelly Dance,” the 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive lineman has used his unique athleticism to become a regular contributor in the 49ers defensive line rotation.
Jean Francois recorded his first career sack and forced fumble last season, and told 49ers.com how he planned to use the offseason to master his craft.
“I’m trying to perfect my craft to the best of my ability, not half it, but to the fullest,” Jean Francois said back in late January.
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