The San Francisco 49ers are heading to the first pick in the 2019 NFL draft and it may be the most important draft for some time. Given the talent they’ve begun to accumulate, and if quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can stay healthy (and step out of bounds) they won’t be drafting in the top 5 for a while. They’ll have to make those picks count. Edge-rusher is the clear need, but they also will need to fortify that secondary and maybe get some offensive line depth.
We’ll get endless reports and speculate on who they really want with their picks, but we can sure take some things at face value! And it sounds like 49ers general manager John Lynch might be interested in Utah safety Marquise Blair. The Utes played the University of Washington Friday Night and Fourth and Nine’s Dylan DeSimone dropped off this little tidbit from the broadcast:
So apparently John Lynch likes #13 on Utah, the announcer said of his pregame conversation with the #49ers GM. That's Sr. safety Marquise Blair.— Dylan DeSimone (@DylanADeSimone) December 1, 2018
Make no mistake, the 49ers are desperate for safety help. Whether it’s because Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert aren’t the answer, or they don’t have anyone to put in front of them—or behind them for that matter—they need something. The position is in shambles at the moment thanks to the injury bug.
As far as Blair, if anyone knows the position it’s John Lynch, considering he won a Super Bowl playing the Tampa-2 system.
So who is Marquise Blair? I was able to find a nice profile from the Draft Network that has some pros and cons:
PROS: Has excellent length for the position; offers a physical profile that projects well to playing against NFL tight ends, especially with added weight. Can offer hard-hitting reps across the middle of the field or when filling down against the run — has been ejected from multiple games for targeting, given tendency to look for the big hit. Length can assist him as a tackler: increases tackle radius in space.
CONS: Is generally a very poor tackler. Dives for ankles at every opportunity. Will either come in too contact far too hot and be easily eluded or sit on his heels and let contact come to him. A grab-and-drag tackler in space.
Well if he’s a bad tackler, he’d be right at home on this team. The 49ers have had terrible tackling for 2018, failing to wrap up and drive a man backwards. There aren’t many mock drafts I’ve found where he’s mentioned early, so it sounds like this guy won’t be going on Day 1, but it’s still early. I’m guessing he’s more of a sleeper pick from what I’ve seen.
They are going to need to take a safety at some point in 2019, but is Blair it? Do you think this is someone they should look at?