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Nine picks, nine needs, rank ‘em

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What do you think are the rankings of need for the 49ers?

The San Francisco 49ers have nine picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. They have several areas of need, but trying to rank each one per draft pick is a very difficult task.

The other day in his 49ers mailbag, 49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco was tasked with ranking the nine areas of need with the 49ers. As he said, it was a pretty difficult task, but he answered it with this:

This is not an easy excercise. And if you ask me tomorrow, the list might be in a different order. The 49ers have nine draft picks, so here is my subjective list of the 49ers’ top draft needs

1. Edge rusher
2. Cornerback
3. Offensive guard
4. Inside linebacker
5. Offensive tackle
6. Wide receiver
7. Tight end
8. Safety
9. Running back

This seemed like something we could have some fun with, so go ahead and list your needs for each of the nine draft picks. Depending on the activity, we’ll see if we can put together a Niners Nation list of needs.

Here are mine:

  1. Offensive guard
  2. Offensive tackle
  3. Edge rusher
  4. Inside linebacker
  5. Cornerback
  6. Wide receiver
  7. Tight end
  8. Safety
  9. Running back

Edge rusher is clearly a need, however the 49ers absolutely need to solidify that offensive line by any way possible. Joshua Garnett remains a question mark and Laken Tomlinson needs competition. The 49ers are simply paying too much to their quarterback to not beef up that interior. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: O-line, O-line, O-line.

It goes without saying that tackle would be next. It’s listed above edge rusher for the reason that the 49ers could get a swing tackle of sorts to eventually take the reigns of Joe Staley’s spot when the time comes. Left tackle is one of the most important positions in football and not only do you not want a rookie in that spot, you want someone familiar with Shanahan’s playbook so they can step right in. Maybe they can play guard in the meantime.

Edge rusher is clearly a priority, but it’s not as near a priority as making sure Jimmy Garoppolo stays on his feet in the pocket. The 49ers defensive line showed flashes of potential last year as well. So maybe this is the year they get it all together.

Inside linebacker is a need because of anticipation for the Reuben Foster decision. Regardless of what his future holds, he’ll be missing some time after a visit with Rodger Goodell. This could be a blessing in disguise as you could get someone to fill in for him, and eventually replace current linebacker Malcom Smith, making a tandem with Foster and this other guy.

From there, it’s luxury. Wide receiver would be nice, but the 49ers wide receiving group is underrated. They have Pierre Garcon coming back and Kendrick Bourne is coming off a decent rookie campaign. Tight end would be nice, but the pair of Garrett Celek and George Kittle could be brothers of destruction. Safety and running back are interchangeable. With the group the 49ers have at both positions, they could always add competition, but there is no need to reach for either of those positions when you have other needs to address above.

How do you rank the needs?