During his MMQB, Albert Breer discussed some of the hot topics for teams sitting at the top of the NFL Draft. Breer mentioned that Auburn’s DT Derrick Brown is a player that teams are higher on than the general public knows, and Brown’s floor is likely the Jaguars at No. 9. When listing potential trade down teams, Breer mentioned the San Francisco 49ers:
The Niners, thanks to trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, don’t have a second-, a third- or a fourth-rounder. I’ve heard both teams would like to fill in the holes they have between picks there. And while San Francisco has the bigger gap (no picks between 31 and 156), they do have two first-rounders to work with, thanks to the DeForest Buckner trade. I’d say, at this point, it’s more likely that they move the 31st pick than the 13th.
That’s not news. After Peter King said the 49ers are all-in on a defensive tackle, Breer says the Niners could be one of the first teams in play to draft the first wide receiver off the board:
The Niners could take a left tackle if one falls to them (I’ve heard they’d like to keep Mike McGlinchey on the right side long-term), but count them with the Raiders as teams that could be in play to pull the first receiver off the board As for the Niners, Kyle Shanahan values speed, and has gotten a lot out of players like Taylor Gabriel and Marquise Goodwin in the past, and Bama’s Henry Ruggs would qualify as a supercharged version of that.
All we need now is a national media member to tell us the Niners are all in on a cornerback or offensive tackle, and today’s cycle will be complete. Ruggs at 13 is too high for my liking. That’s not saying he’s a bad player. That’s saying the value isn’t there in this draft to select Ruggs that high. That’s my opinion. It’d be tough for Ruggs to disappoint in San Francisco with Kyle Shanahan calling plays. The question is, will Ruggs provide more value than another position?
The value of right and left tackles are outdated. Asking whether a player can play on the right or left side is valid, considering every player has a different level of comfort, and they will have to adjust their mechanics. You can make a strong case that the top pass rushers over the past few years line up over the right tackle. It’s all about the scheme. The 49ers aren’t a “right” or “left” handed offense, so there’s no reason to move McGlinchey. As for the “blind side,” the real difference is the quarterback will rarely see you get beaten. A guy that’s been around as long as Joe Staley will understand that. Because of the “blind side” factor, the margin for error at left tackle is more important. Still, you can slide your protections.
The paychecks are different, but if you an offensive lineman or coach, they’ll tell you the value in today’s NFL is equal on both the left and the right side. If you’re playing San Francisco, you can’t hide your tackles. Bosa, Armstead, and Dee Ford are coming at you from both sides. It goes back to the 49ers finding the right fit at tackle. Bring in a player with the right mindset and skillset, and you’ll be fine moving forward.