Draft season is in full swing after it was widely reported that the draft will be completely digital. To commemorate the digital draft, it’s time for a San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft, version 2.0. Missed the first edition, take a moment and check it out here. As with version 1.0, there are no trades in this mock draft, just the seven selections currently held by the 49ers. The only other rule was to avoid repeat selections from version 1.0.
Round 1 (13): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Notable Options: Tua Tagoviloa, QB; Jerry Jeudy, WR; Javon Kinlaw, DT
Henry Ruggs III or Jerry Jeudy? Or maybe the replacement for DeForest Buckner at 13? It is impossible to know how this situation would play out for the 49ers’ front office. Ruggs is the more explosive option at wide receiver while Jeudy is a more complete option. Javon Kinlaw looks to have the same type of ability as Buckner but with a fraction of the salary, but why not wait until later in the draft to get one of the other talented interior defensive linemen? Then there’s Tua. I’ll shave my head and beard if they select Tua with the 13th pick. This time, Kyle Shanahan gets another explosive receiver and one who has quite a bit of speed too.
Round 1 (31): Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Notable Options: Neville Gallimore, DT; A.J. Epensa, Edge; Justin Madubuike, DT
If Ross Blacklock is around at 31, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers decided to make the pick and forgo the second day of the draft. This is widely considered the pick which will be traded but Blacklock has first-round talent. What sets him apart from Neville Gallimore is his ability to play multiple spots on the defensive line. In college, Gallimore did not show effectiveness outside of playing the 1T. Blacklock played effectively at both the 1T and 3T. If needed, he could likely play at defensive end in big packages. That versatility coupled with his talent screams for a first-round selection.
Round 5 (156): Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State
Notable Options: Myles Bryant, CB; Lamar Jackson, CB; Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR
This comes down to which coverage spot seems like the biggest need. While outside help is needed, Akhelo Witherspoon showed flashes of what he can do at a high level. It seems like a confidence issue after returning from injury last season is what doomed the youngster. Emmanuel Moseley is the likely starter opposite Richard Sherman heading into the season. If Witherspoon can bounce back, that gives the defense three starting-caliber cornerbacks on the outside. Scott is projected to kick inside and primarily function at the nickel spot. K’Waun Williams is entering the final year of his contract and will be 29 at the end of the 2020 season. Could the 49ers hedge their bets and find a replacement in the fifth round?
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Round 5 (176): Charlie Heck, OT, North Carolina
Notable Options: Geno Stone, S; Markus Bailey, LB; Jonathan Garvin, Edge
Day three of the draft is where gems are found. These may not be impact starters but instead, important depth pieces for the next few seasons. Depending on how well tackle Shon Coleman can rebound from injuries, the 49ers could be looking at another offensive lineman late in this year’s draft. Heck has extensive experience as a starter in the ACC. He also presents himself as a swing tackle candidate if Coleman is unable to return to full strength. At the very least, he’s competition to round out the depth at the tackle spots.
Round 6 (210): Jaron Bryant, CB, Fresno State
Notable Options: Jauan Jennings, WR; Kamren Curl, CB; Jace Whittaker, CB
Bryant is another contender for a role in the slot. However, he also has the length and size to play outside if needed. Bryant primarily played outside during college so any transition would take a bit of time. He is a low-risk but high reward selection who has some of the physical tools to find his way onto the field through special teams and possibly more. When competent cornerbacks are at a premium, giving yourself additional pieces is always a good thing.
Round 7 (217): Tipa Galea’i, Edge, Tulsa
Notable Options: Jauan Jennings, WR; Aaron Parker, WR; Tremayne Anchrum, OT
Anchrum was selected in our first mock draft and therefore ineligible here. However, he is a real possibility as he is projected as a quality backup with starter potential as a guard. That said, this was more about taking a chance on a project. Galea’i has shown flashes of a talented edge rusher with the tools to be effective at any level. What he lacks is the desired size, coming in at around 235 pounds. The biggest issue with Galea’i is the lack of strength which restricts him to pass-rushing duties only. He has the skills to be an above-average pass rusher but will need to add on some weight and get stronger. The 49ers have the resources on that side of the ball to help him and let him develop.
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Round 7 (245): Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno State
Notable Options: Joe Reed, WR; Rodrigo Blankenship, K; James Proche, WR
This is another project player late in the draft. Walker has just two seasons of linebacker play at the FBS level. However, he was used in a variety of roles for the Fresno State defense. Walker would start as a possible special teams player who could grow into a solid depth piece on early downs. He will need to work on his coverage skills but is a solid tackler and is comfortable playing in the box. If the 49ers are feeling adventurous, an interesting option for the roster this late in the draft would be Rodrigo Blankenship. Robbie Gould isn’t getting any younger and Blankenship is an appealing prospect. The 49ers have shown they’re unafraid of drafting a specialist.
– Ryan Adverderada is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage 49ers. He also covered the Arizona Cardinals for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on Follow @ryanadverderada