Many expect the San Francisco 49ers to be active at the wide receiver position this offseason. Whether that’s bringing back Emmanuel Sanders, making some cuts to create cap room, or investing in a wideout during free agency or the NFL Draft. In their latest mock draft, CBS selected a wide receiver for the Niners:
Jefferson provides some big-play ability with his great body control and evasive abilities after the catch. San Francisco added Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders last year, but they still need more consistency at the position.
Justin Jefferson is listed at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds. CBS has him as their eighth-best wide receiver and 51st overall prospect. PFF has Jefferson has their 68th overall player, 12th best wideout, and Jefferson’s 85.3 grade was the 29th best in the country in 2019. If you didn’t get a chance to watch LSU this season, Jefferson was primarily a slot receiver that faced a ton of off coverage. It’s tough to get a feel for how he projects due to how free Jefferson was able to run in that offense.
Jefferson does have great body control, but I wouldn’t call him a big-play receiver. That was his teammate, Ja’Marr Chase. Jefferson’s combine will be telling. I don’t think he’ll run a sub 4.55 40-yard dash, which is concerning at his size and what he’ll be asked to do at the next level. Jefferson reminds me of Rams wide receiver Robert Woods—who ironically ran a 4.51 40-yard dash—the way he finds ways to get open. Good player that will be productive in the right setting, but not a player you take in the first round.
The problem here is that the author is forcing a pick. Because he believes wide receiver is the biggest position of need, the writer would rather take the eighth-best wideout as opposed to the third or fourth cornerback, or whatever other position you view is a position of need for the 49ers. That line of thinking has cost teams in a big way. We see it every year. The only way I see San Francisco taking a receiver is if one of the “big names” falls to them at No. 31. Even then, it’d have to be the perfect scenario.