In the build-up to the 2021 season, the San Francisco 49ers have some key needs that they need to address. In this 49ers mock draft, we take a look at some options for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. There has been plenty of talk regarding the 49ers moving on from their franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Having the 12th pick in the first round of the draft may be too low for John Lynch and Co. to get the guy they want to lead their franchise into the future. Unless they come up with a trade to move up in the draft they may need to depend on free agency to make any changes at the quarterback position. Given that there are plenty of teams above them with needs at the signal-caller position, the trade package would have to be huge.
That being said the 49ers will probably decide to bolster the defense in the draft. With pretty much all of their cornerbacks out of contract and their star pass rusher returning from injury, the defense could do with some help. On their march to Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers pass rush was one of the best in football and they will be desperate to get back to that. The 2021 draft provides them that opportunity.
San Francisco is lucky to have plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball and plenty of players who are capable of the big play. In George Kittle, they have one of, if not the best tight end in the league. A young receiver core including Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Kendrick Bourne who continue to get better and better. When the injury bug finally leaves them alone they will have one of the best running back rooms in the league. Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon are capable of running through anyone on any given day. Given the offensive talent, San Francisco should stay away from that side of the ball early in the draft.
So in this San Francisco 49ers mock draft, the focus will be on bolstering the defense. Before they are on the clock with the 12th pick I believe San Francisco will trade back a couple of times. First, they send the 12th pick to the New England Patriots who are desperate to move up for a quarterback. In return, the 49ers receive the 15th pick in the first round, the 47th pick and, New England’s round three picks in 2022.
A great start to the 2021 draft. Followed by yet another move back, the San Francisco 49ers acquire more capital in this mock draft. Tennessee offers their 22nd and 54th pick for the 15th pick and moves up to take Kwity Paye from Michigan. In two swift moves, John Lynch turns three picks into five for the first three rounds of the draft.
With that said, let’s get into who gets selected in this 2021 49ers mock draft.
2021 San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft
Round One – 22nd Pick – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Despite moving back twice in the first round of our 49ers mock draft, San Fransisco gets the player they would have selected with the 12th pick anyway. As previously mentioned, the 49ers are going to lose some of their starting cornerbacks from the 2020 season. In Patrick Surtain II, they have a player who will become an instant starter in the league. This is is a no-brainer decision for John Lynch, which is why Surtain is selected here in this mock draft.
Since going to Alabama in 2018 Surtain has continually improved his play. His 6-2, 202-pound frame is the perfect build for today’s cornerback. His ability as both a press corner and in zone coverage make him one of the best corners available in recent years. During his career with the Crimson Tide, he recorded four interceptions and a very impressive 24 pass breakups.
Lacking top-end speed is what will see him still be available for the 49ers but San Francisco should not let that deter them away from Surtain. He can go straight into DeMeco Ryans’ defense and become a shutdown corner very quickly.
Round Two – 44th Pick – S Ar’Darious Washington – TCU
With San Francisco losing multiple players from their secondary, they use their next pick in this 49ers mock draft to help shore up the position. Ar’Darious Washington isn’t your typical safety in terms of size but he makes up for that in physicality and his ability to recognize passing concepts. Whilst at TCU, he has also been a beast in the run defense. His physicality and athleticism have allowed him to show up at the line of defense and stop the run when asked to.
When his eyes aren’t caught in the backfield his ability to follow the quarterback’s eyes has allowed him to be in the right position to challenge for turnovers. That combined with his physicality at the point of the catch has given him plenty of turnover opportunities. His size has shown up as an issue in man coverage as he is beaten off the line of scrimmage but he has the ability to get back in the play and if he can bulk up before the season, he will be in a better position.
In the last two seasons with the Horned Frogs, Washington has only allowed 157 yards whilst in coverage. If he can continue with numbers like that in the NFL he could be a star in this league. This would be a fantastic selection, and he deserves to be selected in this 49ers mock draft.
Round Two – 47th Pick – CB Elijah Molden – Washington
After their trades earlier in the draft, the 49ers find themselves back on the clock just three picks later. Again, they decide to bolster the secondary and bring in Elijah Molden from Washington. He is not likely to win any weigh-ins but the 5-9, 190-pound safety has shown that size is not everything. In the 2020 season, he played in four games and only allowed 65 yards on 18 targets. Of those 18 targets, he only gave up 11 catches.
He particularly shines when lined up in coverage as the nickel slot. His athleticism and instincts allow him to trick opposing quarterbacks into throwing inside where he can then make them pay. Molden is a smaller player in the secondary. However, he is someone that can make the big play in coverage and one that is willing to do the dirty work in run defense. He’s a great selection for San Francisco in this 49ers mock draft.
Another Trade Back
After solving the issue of the secondary in this 49ers mock draft, San Fransisco chooses to move back yet again. This time it is the Los Angeles Rams who trade move up. The Rams send the 49ers their 57th pick and their third-round pick in the 2022 draft in return for the 54th pick.
Round Two – 57th Pick – DL Rashad Weaver – Pittsburgh
After another trade, the 49ers stay with the defensive side of the ball. This time they select the 6-5, 270-pound edge Rashad Weaver. After having a big year in 2018 where he logged 47 tackles (14 of which were for a loss) and 6.5 sacks, Weaver was forced to sit out the 2019 season with a knee injury. In his return in 2020 he played nine games and looked back to his best. He finished with another 14 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and, 34 tackles in total.
A powerful defensive-end who is capable of playing in both a 3-4 defense or as a base end in a 4-3 defense. He possesses variety as a pass rusher and his length is a huge asset. If he can improve his explosiveness off the line he could have a big year working on the opposite side to Nick Bosa on the 49er’s defensive line. This should be considered a steal for San Francisco in this 49ers mock draft.
Round Three – 97th Pick – LT Brady Christensen – BYU
With their final pick in the opening three rounds, the 49ers finally add an offensive player. San Francisco selects Brady Christensen, a 300-pound, 6-6 left tackle from BYU. With his football IQ, he possesses the ability to line up at just about any position on the offensive line. He sometimes struggles at stopping athletic edge rushers and would therefore be better suited lining up as a right guard.
His strength and power will make him valuable in a run-first offense. San Francisco utilizes the run more than most other organizations, which makes Christensen a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
So in this 49ers mock draft, John Lynch turns three picks into five and still gets the star cornerback they desperately need. If San Francisco can find a way to get the best out of these young defensive stars they could find themselves back in the NFC Championship and maybe even a Super Bowl.
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