It is officially mock draft season so here is our first San Francisco 49ers mock draft.
The San Francisco 49ers went from the highs of Super Bowl LIV to the almighty low of failing to make the playoffs in 2020. Not only did they fail to make the playoffs they finished dead last in the NFC West.
An almighty fall from grace that can be blamed on the injuries that continually mounted up. In the most violent sport on earth, the value of depth is second to none. Free agency is the first opportunity that teams get to bolster the squad but after that, all attention falls to the draft.
In free agency, the San Francisco 49ers bolstered their offensive line by bringing in the former Atlanta Falcon, Alex Mack. The starting center will bring plenty of experience to the line and be reliable for Jimmy Garappolo or whoever the starting quarterback may be.
As well as a new center the 49ers secured the services of their starting left tackle for the future. Trent Williams became the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history as he signed his six-year $138.06 million deal.
Kyle Juszczyk was next to sign on as he agreed to terms on a five-year extension worth up to $27 million. Now as we head deeper into free agency the attention starts to turn to the draft. The San Francisco 49ers are losing their veteran cornerback to free agency and Richard Sherman leaves a large hole that needs to be filled.
With some stars on the defensive line returning from injury the need to strengthen the secondary is the next stop for the defense.
San Francisco 49ers Current Situation
Questions about Jimmy Garappolo are still unanswered and a move up in the draft is an option for San Francisco. Garappolo was plagued with injury in 2020 but in the few games he featured in, he failed to impress. So the question arises, move up and get your quarterback of the future or roll with Garappolo and see what weapons you can put around him?
As far as weapons go, the San Francisco 49ers certainly have a few. None bigger than the people’s tight end, George Kittle. After missing the majority of 2020 and watching Travis Kelce break his single-season receiving yards record Kittle will be itching to go in 2021.
Kittle has excelled in the league since he was drafted and was a big reason the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl in the 2019 season. A dominating year is needed from Kittle for the 49ers to get back to the big time.
With the offensive line looking stronger and a backfield committee that is one of the best in the league, the 49ers need to get their defense to championship level. Divisional rivals the Los Angeles Rams had one of the best defenses in the league last year. If San Francisco wants to get their divisional crown back they need to be able to compete with the Rams defense.
49ers Mock Draft | Three Rounds
So when Draft Day rolls around where should the focus be? A new quarterback or bolstering the defense. Let’s take a look in the 49ers mock draft.
Round One | 12th Pick | Patrick Surtain II | CB | Alabama
Jimmy Garappolo was good enough to lead the team to a Super Bowl just two seasons ago, and with a plethora of players coming back from injury, there is no reason he can’t do the same again. That, added in with the fact the 49ers will struggle to find a team to take on his contract suggests they should stick with number 12 going forward. So the attention turns to the 12th pick in the draft.
With their first pick in the draft why not go to the powerhouse of college football that is Alabama? Fresh off a National Championship win, Patrick Surtain II is ready to be a starter in the league. What better experience can a player coming out of the draft have than the fact his dad was a starting cornerback in the NFL?
Surtain II grew up watching his dad play ball for the Miami Dolphins and then the Kansas City Chiefs. A young man who has been around the game since he was a boy learned the basics from his dad and perfected his skill at Alabama.
At 6-2 and 202 pounds, Surtain II is the ideal size to line up against any receiver in the league. His years of learning from his dad will give him a football IQ that most draft prospects can only dream of.
That coupled with his physicality is a no-brainer for any team in the market for a player in the secondary. A player who can step straight into the Niners’ secondary will be a welcome addition for John Lynch and company.
Round Two | 43rd Pick | Wyatt Davis | G | Ohio State
As mentioned the San Francisco 49ers made strides in free agency to sort the offensive line with the addition of Alex Mack and the retention of Trent Williams. Up next though is a guard to shore up the offensive line. In a draft that is deep with offensive line talent now is the time to strike.
The first guard off the board will be the physically dominant Wyatt Davis from Ohio State. A 315-pound man moving machine is ready to slot into any offensive system in the league.
Despite struggling at times with lower leg injuries at different points during his college year, Davis proved to be dominant on the offensive line. The ability to move players out of position and clear holes for the running game as well as being a strong pass blocker will make him a starter in the NFL.
With Mike McGlinchey and Trent Williams shoring up the outside the attention needs to turn to the interior of the line. It’s all very good keeping the edge secure if you then just allow pressure up the middle. Wyatt Davis and Alex Mack can help keep the interior secure and allow a strong outside run game as well as an interior run game.
San Francisco has the potential to have one of the best backfields in football. That starts with a strong offensive line. Wyatt Davis would be a strong addition.
Round Three | 102nd Pick | Payton Turner | Edge | Houston
One of the many injured stars from the San Francisco 49ers was star edge player, Nick Bosa. In their run to the Super Bowl, San Francisco had a feared front seven that was headed by the rookie. After he went out injured after two games in 2021 the 49ers struggled to get to opposing quarterbacks.
The value of getting pressure on a quarterback is hugely important and is sought after by every team. The presence of one star edge rusher is huge for a team, but the chance to get a second should not be sniffed at.
Missing Bosa cost the 49ers as they went from having 48 sacks in the 2019 regular season to just 30 in the 2020 season. A huge loss and part of the issue the 49ers struggled to win games.
With their pick in the third round of the draft, the 49ers add another edge player who is capable of getting pressure on the opposite side of Bosa.
At 6-5 and 270 pounds, Payton Turner has the build to play anywhere along the defensive line. His real strength is his long arms.
Playing on the edge is all about getting to the quarterback and the longer the arm the easier that is. But when you can’t get to the quarterback the next best thing is getting your arms up and stopping the pass. If you can’t stop him throwing the ball then stop the ball. Turer can do that and more.
In just five games in 2020, Turner racked up five sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss. That sort of output is incredible and he will be a valuable addition to any team that drafts him.
If the San Francisco 49ers can get out of the first three rounds of the draft with something similar they will be hot favorites for the NFC West crown and beyond.
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