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2018 NFL mock draft: Where do you rank CB vs. edge rusher?

The 49ers could use an impact player to help their pass defense. With a high draft pick, the question is, do you go up front, or back deep?

Alabama v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers will have a huge opportunity in front of them next April when they make their pick near the top of the 2018 NFL Draft. The 49ers currently hold the No. 2 pick, but even if they slip a few spots between now and the end of the season, they will be in a position to add a serious playmaker.

Prior to the Jimmy Garoppolo trade, the quarterback position was regularly mentioned as the likely spot. With quarterback likely off the table, at least in the first round, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has been a regular suggestion. However, defense remains an option. We’ve seen suggestions of pass rush help, but cornerback is also a need. Ahkello Witherspoon has emerged as a solid option, and while Dontae Johnson offers some solid depth, he is a free agent after this season.

I came across a 2018 NFL mock draft from a Buffalo Bills beat writer. Matthew Fairburn has been covering the Bills for a while now, but in the past he has also worked with SB Nation’s Dan Kadar on draft coverage. He offers some unique insight, and he went with an interesting option for the 49ers at No. 2.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
After trading for Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers are now free to use their first-round pick to upgrade another position. Saquon Barkley is a popular pick here, but the 49ers' secondary is a much bigger weakness than running back. Minkah Fitzpatrick could transform that unit by playing either cornerback or safety.

The 49ers have a lot of options at safety, although injuries have cut into that depth. Next season, we could see Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt at the safety positions. Adrian Colbert could serve in a dime and nickel back role, or maybe he works his way into a starting role. Either way, the question with Fitzpatrick is whether he could stick at cornerback in the NFL, or if a team would look to move him to safety.

That being said, NFL teams are adding more and more versatile weapons on defense. Maybe they see a guy who can allow them more flexibility on defense. Or, maybe they do view him as a strong enough cornerback option to be worth hanging on to. My college knowledge is limited, so this will be something I will spend much of the next five months trying to figure out.