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49ers Mock Draft 1.0: Pair of trades provide Kittle complement, interior bulldozer, Sherman understudy

© Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports


The NFL Draft is still scheduled to begin on April 23 and run through April 25. The logistics are up in the air due to the coronavirus,  but the NFL seems intent on keeping that date. With that in mind, here is the first KNBR mock draft for the 49ers, complete with trades.

Round 1, Pick 13: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

This is one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent memory, and if the 49ers don’t select Jeudy or Lamb here, they’ll have plenty of other options later on. They could use this pick to potentially draft Javon Kinlaw as a DeForest Buckner replacement, or trade down and move into the middle rounds. But if Jeudy is available, it would be irresponsible not to take him. Jeudy would be securing an elite wide receiver pair that the 49ers haven’t had since Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. Obviously, I’m not saying Jeudy and Deebo Samuel will ever reach those greatest-of-all-time heights, but they will form a long-term wide receiving pair that will give opposing defenses fits for at least a half decade. Jeudy is tall, physical, and by far the best route-runner in the draft. He has strong, aggressive hands coupled with the strength and speed to break tackles and rack up yardage after the catch.

Trade with Jets

49ers get: Round 3 – Pick 68, Round 3 – Pick 79, Round 6 – Pick 191

Jets get: Round 1 – Pick 31, Round 7 – Pick 245

This allows San Francisco to get mid-round value, while jumping up about 50 spots into the sixth round, where they always seem to find value. They need to add depth to multiple positions, and trading back is just about a necessity. There’s a chance you could get a second and a third, and at least a second and a fourth, but the third round is poised to have serious value.

Round 3, Pick 68: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Were it not for a horrendous ankle injury, Hall could well be a first-round pick. He’s not projected to drop much further than this, but the second round is projected to be filled with a ton of safeties, offensive linemen, wide receivers, defensive linemen and other, non-injury-concern corners, so there’s a clear path for Hall to get to this point. This fit allows him to be Richard Sherman’s understudy for a season, and take the job in year two when Sherman and/or Ahkello Witherspoon depart (or he wins it over Emmanuel Moseley). He has elite footwork and closes on the ball rapidly with aggressive hands. Not at all a shy tackler and is faster than he’s given credit for. Very high upside. If he’s not here, Damon Arnette of Ohio State would be another fantastic option, and the 49ers could always look to stay in the second round, though that probably would mean a late third-round pick or early fourth rounder. Sidenote: He played with Tim Harris at Virginia.

Round 3, Pick 79: Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State

Muti is an absolute bulldozer and the guy, you may recall, ate a 10×10 at In-N-Out. He does have some injury concerns, tearing his Achilles in 2018 and having his season in 2019 ended after three games due to a lisfranc foot injury. He performed in a limited capacity at the Combine, but put up a near-record 44 reps on the bench press (fourth-most in Combine history). He rarely, if ever, loses ground in the pass game and is a dominant run blocker. Bringing him in to compete with Daniel Brunskill and Tom Compton for the starting right tackle job, or studying for a year under Laken Tomlinson at left guard would provide San Francisco with a long-term interior option. He can also lift a moose. If he’s not available here, LSU’s Damien Lewis is another enticing option.

Trade with Packers

49ers get: Round 4 – Pick 136

Packers get: Round 5 – Pick 175 and Marquise Goodwin

The Packers need wide receiving depth and Goodwin provides them with a speedy outside option to complement Davante Adams. He moves the 49ers up about 40 picks into fourth round territory (could also do this with Pick 156, but lose some obvious value). If Goodwin doesn’t work for them, Dante Pettis is an option, too, but would probably yield slightly higher pick than Green Bay’s.

Round 4, Pick 136: Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA

If Asiasi hangs around until Round 4, I think the 49ers would be remiss if they failed to move up to get him. He is a gifted route-runner with well above-average athleticism at his size (ran a 4.73 40-yard dash). The biggest knock on him is his blocking inconsistency, but he has the strength and willingness to improve there, as he spoke to at the Combine. That’s not to say he’s a poor blocker; he has generally solid hand placement and body positioning, but he could use some polish and improved drive. In a tight end room with George Kittle and tight end coach Jon Embree, blocking will be stressed above all else. Kyle Shanahan took a look at Austin Hooper this offseason; Asiasi could be the long-term Kittle partner he’s looking for.

Round 5, Pick 156: Tyler Clark, DT, Georgia

Who had the No. 1 rushing defense in the country last season? Georgia, at 74.6 rushing yards allowed per game. Their interior defensive lineman, Tyler Clark, was a massive part of that, but wasn’t invited to the Combine. He also didn’t get the chance to have a Pro Day, so, despite his film, his stock probably held steady or fell due to the lack of face time and hype he drew. The thing is though, his tape is tremendous. He almost never loses position, and consistently drives back interior linemen in one-on-one situations. For an interior defensive linemen, he’s agile and knows how to use his leverage to shed blockers, which makes him especially dynamic on run downs. His motor is relentless, and he brings a potent swim move to the table. Keeps a nice, low base. Biggest criticism is that he didn’t improve much after his sophomore season and can sometimes be too patient in pass-rushing downs.

Round 6, Pick 191: Tyler Strnad, LB, Wake Forest

If he went to a larger school, Strnad might be a Day 2 pick. He’s intelligent, athletic and couples his rapid closing speed with adroit tackling form that stays and finishes low. As demonstrated above, he packs a wallop. Using this Jets pick on another linebacker provides comfort in a team that only really needs five, but can’t be sure how much damage Kwon Alexander did to himself last season (torn pectoral and bicep). He would be an immediate special teams option and allow the 49ers to potentially go with all youth in the linebacker room and save about $800k by cutting Mark Nzeocha.

Round 6, Pick 210: Javaris Davis, CB, Auburn

This might be the steal of the draft. The fact that he’s being mocked to go undrafted in many mocks is insane. He would be the future nickel to replace K’Waun Williams, and his tape is eye-popping, as evidenced by NFL.com giving him a good backup, potential starter grade. If Williams, whose contract expires next season were to depart, and the 49ers snagged Davis, they’d feel pretty comfortable about what they have. He’s physical for his size with quick feet and an explosive first step that, like Williams, allows him to close and play above his size. Against LSU’s Justin Jefferson, he gave up catches, but it was the Tampa 2, nickle-and-dime approach. Like Richard Sherman preaches, cut off the deep ball. He might allow a few short-yardage catches, but he’ll make it extraordinarily difficult to beat you deep.

Round 7, Pick 217: Josiah Coatney, DT, Ole Miss

Coatney was a guy who suffered from being next to a solid interior teammate in Benito Jones. In a 3-4 set at Ole Miss, Coatney got pushed outside while Jones played nose, which didn’t work to his strengths. It’s hard to find a clip in which he loses any ground, or doesn’t recover, no matter if he’s double-teamed. He maintains tremendous leverage and gap integrity. His motor is relentless and he boasts a rip move that occasionally takes linemen off guard. His greatest weakness is as a pass-rusher, especially from the outside, but he’d be a steal on the interior for the 49ers here.

 

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