2020 49ers' Mock Draft Part II: San Francisco trades back to find gems in the middle rounds
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 (which features a trade-less draft) and Part II, where San Francisco wheels and deals to add more talent.
Before you decide to tear into this mock draft, this is what I think *will* happen, not what I think *should* happen.
The "trade-filled" Mock Draft:
Here were the trades that were executed in order to add these extra draft picks:
Picks No. 13 and 176 to the Denver Broncos for Picks No. 15 and 95
Pick No. 31 to the Cleveland Browns for Picks No. 41 and 97
Pick No. 41 to the New York Jets for Picks No. 48 and 120
Round 1, Pick No. 15: 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 2, Pick No. 48: DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama
Every time I watch Alabama's Raekwon Davis, I think DeForest Buckner. While Davis doesn't have the requisite athleticism that Buckner did coming out, I think his explosion on tape and handling of interior offensive linemen at Alabama is quite similar.
One of the key factors that the 49ers look for in their defensive linemen is at least a broad jump of 111 inches to demonstrate an explosion off the ball. That's the exact number that Davis put up at the NFL Combine last month.
At Alabama, he played long and strong, taking on multiple double teams in order to free up his linebackers and I can imagine him doing the same for linebackers Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander.
Round 3, Pick No. 95: CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
San Francisco needs to add another corner, especially with the expiring contracts of Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon and K'Waun Williams. All the hype is on Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah, but I think his partner-in-crime Damon Arnette can be just as effective in the NFL.
I think he can be effective in a press-man scheme as an outside corner, but my biggest concern is Arnette's time to develop into a draft-able prospect at Ohio State. He also doesn't have elite speed for a corner, but I think he can be a productive long-term starter in the NFL.
Round 3, Pick No. 97: C Keith Ismael, San Diego State
Ismael projects as a starter in a zone-blocking run scheme, similar to what the 49ers run on offense. His mobility and intelligence was evident at San Diego State at the point of attack.
In his 37 games as an offensive lineman at San Diego State, he spent time at both center and right guard. With Weston Richburg set to return, Ismael could fill in at guard in the meantime.
Round 5, Pick No. 120: RB Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State
Speed, speed and more speed. San Francisco may have five running backs on their roster already, but I think there's a chance they add another one this weekend. Evans ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and that speed translates to the NFL.
When Evans hit the hole, he rarely was ever touched by a second-level defender and the 49ers covet that type of elusiveness in their running backs.
Round 5, Pick No. 156: TE Hunter Bryant, Washington
Ideally, I think San Francisco would like to add another receiving tight end in the draft. This isn't a particularly great draft class for tight ends, but Hunter Bryant has all the physical tools to be a high-end receiving threat in the NFL.
At Washington, Bryant was moved all over the field, from the slot to the outside and he made his mark with tough, contested catches over the middle. His 40-yard dash of 4.75 seconds will be a reason he slides in this draft and while his 6-foot-2 size is undersized for the position, I think Shanahan can turn him into the San Francisco version of Jordan Reed.
Round 7, Pick No. 210: 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. 245: 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.
(Cover Image: University of Alabama Athletics)