Now that the San Francisco 49ers have the No. 13 overall pick, we’re seeing mock drafts lock them into a wide receiver. Now that Emmanuel Sanders has officially moved on, that’s not changing anytime soon. Whether it’s Alabama’s duo of Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs, then there’s Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. It almost seems too good to be true for Kyle Shanahan to get his hands on these talents. I’m not sold on Ruggs being worthy of this high of a selection, but if Kyle thinks so, then I’m not going to argue.
With that said, it feels like we are jumping the gun by assuming it’s “wide receiver or bust” at No. 13. That’s not due to the argument that “this is the deepest wide receiver class in the past decade.” If you like a guy and think he can be a game-changer for your offense, take him. Don’t bank on a player falling. Take the best player available. Which begs the question, will receiver be the best player available at No. 13?
Options to replace DeFo
I may spend some time this weekend seeing if there is a defensive lineman in the draft that isn’t worth passing up at No. 13. SB Nation’s Stephen White wrote about South Carolina’s DL Javon Kinlaw. White said Kinlaw is powerful against and has pass-rushing prowess. White said his issues are effort and playing with better pad level. Kinlaw has the potential to be an All-Pro, according to White. I’m not sure if you want to replace DeForest Buckner with a guy that doesn’t play with consistent effort, At the Senior Bowl, Kinlaw wasn’t blocked all week.
Auburn’s DT Derrick Brown is another player that is thought to go in that pick 8-15 range. White believes Brown has the power, pass rush, and ability to stop the run. He believes that Brown will be the frontrunner for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020. That’s high praise, considering some of the talents in this draft. That doesn’t sound like a player that’ll get to No. 13, but you never know.
OL off the board?
If Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs somehow falls to No. 13, there isn’t a player that I’d rather have for the 49ers. Wirfs is still so young that it is scary how good he’ll be. He reminds me of Trent Williams with his power and athleticism. That said, it would be surprising to see Wirfs fall out of the top-10.
Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Louisville’s Mehki Becton, and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas are all mocked right around pick No. 13 as well. In a scenario where they fall, could that entice the 49ers to draft them, play them at guard for a season, then replace Joe Staley if he moves on? These are options to think about.
Florida’s C.J. Henderson is going to be the second cornerback taken after running a 4.39 40-yard dash. It didn’t go great for him against LSU, but Henderson is an ideal “No. 2 cornerback. Because of that, I’d be out on him and LSU’s Kristian Fulton in the first round. From what I watched, I wouldn’t trust them guarding a “No. 1 WR” in the NFL. That’s not to say their games won’t grow, but I’d rather someone worry about that.
There are wildcards. There always are. Solomon Thomas, at No. 3 overall, was a shocker. We see surprising picks every year. The closer we get to the draft, the more scouting reports we’ll have to get familiar with more names. Now that the 49ers are picking high, it’ll make this process so much more fascinating.