The State of the 49ers:
The 49ers turned an injury-riddled slow start into being one quarter away from the Super Bowl, thanks in large part to the steady play of QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the explosive talent of WR-turned-RB Deebo Samuel.
Now, Garoppolo and Samuel are both awaiting potential draft-night trades, as San Francisco’s competitive roster turns to 2020 1st-round QB Trey Lance.
The 49ers pieced together its secondary last year and saw multiple free agent departures that need addressing, especially on the offensive line. However, Lance’s readiness and the apparent replacement of Samuel’s touches are the most crucial keys to sustaining their contending status.
Potential mid-late 1st Round Pick (Deebo Samuel trade)
Burks will have to improve as a sharp route separator as his tree expands moving forward, but his body control, catching skills, and competitive speed make him an impact player at all levels of the field.
Burks has often been compared to a larger Deebo Samuel in this draft process, so he’d be an ideal target in the event of a trade. The 49ers have a clear trend in their receiving preferences – yards after catch abilities – and Burks has that in spades.
Penning is a physically dominant and imposing run blocker with an ideal frame for an NFL tackle, but he needs to keep developing his hand use and improve his pad level to round out his overall profile taking the big step up in competition.
This is a deep WR class, so the Samuel replacement could come later. Having bookend tackles with the elite athleticism and mauling tenacity of Trent Williams and Trevor Penning could be too difficult to pass up.
Woolen’s gliding strides, elite athleticism, and superior length are difficult traits to teach, but he needs to match his play strength to his size and continue growing his natural coverage skills and comfortability to reach his high ceiling.
Woolen is a high upside cornerback prospect, with exceptional length and athleticism to go with a raw wide receiver background, that would give the 49ers a quality outside corner to develop opposite FA signing Charvarius Ward.
Leal is an athletic and agile defensive lineman at his size, who offers great versatility as a pass rusher but needs to work on his interior run defense to keep that flexibility on all three downs.
Arik Armstead’s move inside could be the template for Leal, and Javon Kinlaw has had a bumpy start to his career. Leal fits the 49ers’ mold of pass rushers with alignment diversity.
Kinnard is a big, strong blocker with a mauling mentality in the run game, but needs to refine his footwork, hand accuracy, and overall technique in the pass game to be an effective starter at the next level.
San Francisco will have some new pieces up front next season. Kinnard is a big body but moves well for Shanahan’s zone scheme, especially with a shift inside to guard.
Robinson is undersized and needs improved route sharpness, savvy, and overall receiving play detail, but his short-area quickness and extensive history as a ballcarrier give him an intriguing ceiling as a mismatch weapon out of the slot.
In the event of a Deebo Samuel trade that isn’t addressed with a potential earlier pick, Robinson offers a similar package of RB/WR experience and ballcarrying flexibility that the 49ers covet.
Joseph is a rangy, ball-hawking deep safety who has the smarts and skills to be a starter at the next level, though he’ll become more of a threat if he gets a little more physical and is willing to mix it up more often.
Jaquiski Tartt is now a free agent after spending 7 seasons in San Francisco. Joseph is a different style of player than Tartt, and what the 9ers currently have as alternative options, but he’s a back-end pass and run playmaker.
Jones is an excellent, fluid athlete with the speed, quickness, and mirror-match ability to excel at the next level, but his size and issues against bigger receivers may prove difficult to overcome from time to time.
One of the most unique players in this year’s class, Jones is a twitchy, undersized ball hawk, who can contribute from the slot in subpackages and boost a tepid return game.
Enagbare has the hand usage, pass-rush technique, and motor to be an effective pass rusher early on, but must get stronger in his lower half and get a little more athletic to be an impact player against the run.
Enagbare could be a nice edge rusher complement to Joey Bosa and give the 49ers good rotational depth at a position that’s lacked consistent production.
Ruckert isn’t a dynamic weapon, but he has a well-balanced game in all phases with the blocking temperament and receiving upside to become a solid tight end.
George Kittle is arguably the most complete tight end in the NFL, but injuries and heavy usage suggest finding a strong No. 2 is a need. Few tight ends in this class match Ruckert’s combination of blocking and receiving upside.
Mitchell has the frame and athleticism to become a valuable swing tackle and potentially more if he can continue to work on the technical aspects of his game.
Mitchell is an experienced zone blocker with a well-rounded skill set to assist at multiple spots on the 49ers’ evolving offensive line.
Fortner has the quickness, athleticism, and smarts to start at the center position by Year 2, but he needs to improve his strength and leverage in order to hit his full potential.
Alex Mack has a lot of miles on his body. Fortner could potentially contribute early at guard in their zone scheme as the center-in-waiting for the future.
To learn more about the 49ers and their needs, visit their team page on our NFL Draft website here.