2020 49ers' Mock Draft Part I: San Francisco hit home runs in the first round
San Francisco comes into this NFL Draft in a position of strength. When there's a legitimate case for 3-4 players at various positions with a draft pick, it's a testament to the roster construction that allows for multiple options.
For the 49ers, it's a blessing to justify multiple high-end prospects to fill certain holes on the roster. For writers who are trying to dissect every move and determine the front office's draft plans, it's turned into solving the Da Vinci Code.
Going into Thursday, here are the draft picks that the 49ers possess:
First round:(No. 13 overall from Indianapolis via Indianapolis)
First round:(No. 31 overall)
Fifth round: No. 11 (No. 156 overall from via Denver)
Fifth round: No. 31 (No. 176 overall)
Sixth round: No. 31 (No. 210 overall)
Seventh round: No. 3 (No. 217 overall from Detroit)
Seventh round: No. 31 (No. 245 overall)
Before delving into the seven-round mock draft, here are the various needs for the 49ers' roster grouped and ordered by priority. I have based these priorities on San Francisco's expiring contracts in 2020 and areas where the 49ers struggled this past season.
Priority 1: Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle
Priority 2: Offensive Tackle, Strong Safety
Priority 3: Interior Offensive Line, Tight End, Edge Defender
Priority 4: Free Safety, Linebacker, Running Back
Having two first-round picks and no selections till the fifth round, I approached this mock draft in two parts; Part I (the one you're reading right now) features a scenario where San Francisco decides to make no trades come draft weekend and stay put with all their selections.
While this would require the board to fall in their favor, there's a possibility to land two high-end playmakers with the first-round selections. Before you decide to tear into this mock draft, this is what I think *will* happen, not what I think *should* happen.
The "trade-less" Mock Draft:
Round 1, Pick No. 13: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
While I wouldn't necessarily go this route if I were John Lynch, I think San Francisco is desperate to add speed on the outside, with rumors that Marquise Goodwin is on his way out via trade. 24 touchdowns in 98 career catches at Alabama? I hope that translates to the NFL.
Kyle Shanahan's favorite receiver traits are the three-cone and short-shuttle times, but Ruggs didn't participate in those drills and the 49ers will solely have to rely on the film. While he was Alabama's third-most productive receiver, I think he'll have better statistics than wideout Jerry Jeudy -- especially in this offense.
Round 1, Pick No. 31: S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
When John Lynch told media that he wanted a "foundational player", the first name I thought of at the end of the first round was safety Xavier McKinney. 49ers' starting safety Jaquiski Tartt is on the final year of his contract and unlikely to return.
McKinney could instantly provide depth at the safety spot, along with taking repetitions at nickel cornerback and free safety. He was a Tyrann Mathieu-like chess piece at Alabama and one of the safest bets in this draft.
Round 5, Pick No. 156: G Netane Muti, Fresno
Fourth and Nine's David Lipinski listed guard Netane Muti as one of his Day 3 prospects to watch, so I snatched him up for offensive line depth. San Francisco has yet to draft a guard in the John Lynch-Kyle Shanahan era, so it's hard to predict if they would spend the resources here, but Muti has the physicality to project well in the NFL.
Injuries riddled him in college and he's a developmental prospect, but fits well as a down-hill blocking guard in San Francisco's zone-based rushing offense.
Round 5, Pick No. 176: DT McTelvin Agim, Arkansas
After trading away DeForest Buckner, the 49ers will need someone to fill the interior of their defense, especially with injuries to D.J. Jones and the departure of Sheldon Day. South Carolina's Javon Kinlaw and Auburn's Derrick Brown are the consensus top-two defensive tackles in this class, but they'll be long gone by the time San Francisco picks in the fifth round.
Given the choice here, Agim can play both as a base defensive end here and defensive tackle. He lacks the NFL power to really make a push at the point of attack, but that's something he can develop on. He definitely has the snap quickness and the rush talent on paper, so it's worth a selection here for San Francisco.
Round 7, Pick No. 210: CB Parnell Motley, Oklahoma
Another tall, intelligent corner that can added on Day 3? With Ahkello Witherspoon, Richard Sherman and K'Waun Williams not under contract for 2021, San Francisco needs to add corners in this draft and Motley was the best available with this Day-3 pick.
He lacks the foot quickness and explosive moment that you'd like from an athletic corner, but he's awareness as a zone corner could be something that the 49ers need.
Round 7, Pick No. 217: TE Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland State
Finding a tight end that the 49ers can pair with George Kittle will be a luxury in 2020, especially one that can be moved anywhere on the field (slot, outside, in-line, etc).
Portland State's Charlie Taumoepeau is one of the names that the 49ers met with during this draft process and while his 40-yard dash time of 4.75 seconds wasn't exciting, his 20-yard short shuttle and three-cone times seem far quicker and check Shanahan's boxes.
He plays with great quickness and has fluid movement across the field. I think he can be moved to the backfield if needed too, which adds even more versatility.
Round 7, Pick No. 245: RB Raymond Calais, Louisiana
With five running backs under contract going into the draft, it doesn't seem like San Francisco will come back with another rookie running back -- but I think there will be some trades.
Raymond Calais ran a 4.42 40-yard dash which will be among the tops at running back, despite being 5-foot-8. His size and frame present the biggest question mark, but speed is what Shanahan covets at the running back position.
(Cover Image: AP, The Sacramento Bee)