The San Francisco 49ers will likely be looking to make some upgrades on the edge in the 2017 NFL Draft, and their latest official pre-draft visit involves that role. The 49ers hosted Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis on Wednesday, according to Matt Barrows.
The 49ers open their offseason workout program on Monday, and would appear to have Ahmad Brooks penciled in at the SAM linebacker role, and Aaron Lynch at the Leo/Elephant defensive end role. The Seahawks use the term Leo, while the 49ers previously used the term elephant to describe a role once filled by Julian Peterson.
Matt Barrows said Willis is a late first or second round option. CBS Sports projects him in the second or third round. Willis had an impressive Combine workout, and that could be enough to drive him into the higher end of the second round. If the 49ers are looking for pass rush help, he could very well make sense at No. 34.
Lance Zierlein’s scouting report says Willis has good play strength and quality handwork, but, “will need more creativity to be an effective NFL pass rusher.” We’ve seen pass rushers come to the NFL and struggle to learn a second pass rush move. I’m not saying Willis will end up like Corey Lemonier, but his work in developing his repertoire will be something to watch. He can learn some things from Ahmad Brooks, and hopefully Charles Haley is back in camp this year.