clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

PFF mock draft raises question about 49ers pick, top of the draft

Pro Football Focus put together a mock draft that includes a huge trade to No. 1 by a division rival, and the 49ers adding depth along the defensive line.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The San Francisco 49ers defensive line has settled in fairly well this offseason, with Quinton Dial and Ian Williams each signing extensions. That coupled with spending a first round pick last season on Arik Armstead likely settles some portion of the starting lineup. It remains to be seen how Armstead will do in his second season, but he'll get plenty of opportunities.

My general thought has been that this likely moves defensive line down the priority list for the 2016 NFL Draft. However, I started to think otherwise while reading a 2016 NFL mock draft created by Cris Collinsworth over at Pro Football Focus. I don't put extra stock in the mock because it's Collinsworth, but it did get me thinking. Collinsworth has the 49ers selecting Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. Here is what Collinsworth has to say about the pick:

Buckner is the most physically imposing player in the draft at 6-7 and 291 pounds. He is not a pure pass-rusher — and has more quickness than speed — but his slippery quickness, length, and size creates endless possibilities for Chip Kelly and the 49ers. He has the durability to stay on the field as well — Buckner played over 100 snaps in two different games. Assuming he won't have to play as many snaps in the NFL, Buckner may become one of those players that has to be double-teamed on almost every play, creating one-on-one opportunities for the 49ers' edge rushers. At his best, Buckner could disrupt like Seattle's Michael Bennett, but at a minimum, Buckner's quickness should compress the pocket and take away that step-up space that most QBs need. His 6-7 height should also deliver some key blocked passes and maybe a few blocked kicks during his career. He can get beat up on double teams occasionally, but there is too much to like for Buckner to slip out of the top 10.

The 49ers need to improve their defensive line depth, but in light of Chip Kelly taking over as head coach, maybe defensive line has not been moved down the priority list. The team is going to need a lot of defensive depth to deal with the fact that they will be playing a whole lot of plays. Three and outs certainly help deal with the offense potentially getting off the field in a hurry, but the defense is going to need to be able to send waves of options.

At their height, the Seattle Seahawks defense has had significant depth for the defensive front. This year's draft features a lot of defensive line depth. The 49ers have their offensive issues, but a linebacker, defensive line one-two punch in the first two rounds would not exactly be the most shocking thing to happen for the 49ers. Even with starters potentially set at defensive line, the team would be able to get plenty of use out of another defensive lineman.

On an unrelated note, Collinsworth decided to go a little nuts with his mock draft. He has the Los Angeles Rams trading up from No. 15 to No. 1 to select a quarterback. Anything is possible, but it would be tough for the Rams to trade up to the top of the draft. They have a second No. 2, but not much else in this year's draft. They would likely have to package that pick with next year's No. 1, and likely more to get a deal done. I just don't see that happening. A trade up to No. 6 ahead of the 49ers not quite as crazy, but it will take some work.