As we inch closer to the NFL Draft and hopefully the NFL season, we reached out to San Francisco 49ers fans around the globe to see what’s on their mind in this week’s mailbag.
What position group is riskier to draft? Wr, tackle, or CB? What is the safer choice at 13? - Nick
Historically, offensive line and defensive backs are two of the “safer” positions to draft in the first round. Recent history is not on the side of first-round receivers. Here is the list of first-round receivers since 2015: Marquise Brown, N’Keal Harry, D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, Corey Davis, Mike Williams, John Ross, Corey Coleman, Will Fuller, Josh Doctson, Laquon Treadwell, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman, Phillip Dorsett
Not great, Bob.
I’m not saying Nick is doing this, but it’s naive to think the 49ers are locked in at receiver at No. 13. For starters, nothing about John Lynch’s style says safe so that we can throw that out of the window. Lynch is going to do what he believes makes the 49ers better today, for 2020, and in the future. If one of the top offensive tackles is still on the board and they have him rated higher than a receiver, they’re taking the tackle. That goes with any position. The safest choice is to take the best player. Jerry Jeudy is tailor-made for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but he may not be the best player available at No. 13. If we’re going best player available, that’s likely Javon Kinlaw—but everyone wants to draft BPA until it doesn’t line up with the position they had in mind.
Do you see a big leap from Jimmy this season? - Mike
During these quarantine times, you’ll see daily Jimmy Garoppolo’s arguments. Jimmy G must improve his ability to read defenses if he is going to take a big leap. We have to acknowledge his mistakes if we’re going to prop Jimmy up. Look at this video below and notice how many are first read throws:
Ladies and gentlemen of twitter, I present to you James Richard Garoppolo pic.twitter.com/avZz263ZrJ— Parker Lewis (@ParkerLewisJR) November 13, 2019
We will find out in 2020 how much of those types of throws, especially over the middle, were due to inexperience. If Jimmy G plays with the confidence he did against Arizona and New Orleans; there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll see a big leap. Jimmy’s at his best when he “lets it fly” and doesn’t second guess himself. Play fast, play confident, and we’ll see a leap in “Year 2.”
Can we get anything for Mullens, Goodwin, or Ford? - Porra
There should have been a disclaimer when we wrote about Washington (allegedly) inquiring about Nick Mullens and the 49ers rejecting that deal. You know this, I know this, we all know this: Shanahan has no interest in doing any sort of anything with Washington. The 49ers can get a draft pick for Mullens, but it won’t be with Washington. We’ll see if another team comes calling with a Day 3 pick.
As for Marquise Goodwin, it seems like the window to trade him has passed, unless we see a draft-day trade. I’d lean on Goodwin and assume the team will release Goodwin before the next organize team activity happens. Ford isn’t going anywhere unless the offer is too good to be true. The 49ers built their defense so they can have a dominant pass rush. Ford is a big part of that pass rush—he just has to stay healthy.
Which receiver, where would you like to see that receiver drafted, and why? -Ryan
The guessing games for which receiver Shanahan likes won’t stop any time soon. Scheme fit says it’s Jeudy. History says it’s Michael Pittman. The way Kyle fell for Deebo’s style of play, and knowing the 49ers don’t have a true vertical threat paired with the style of play that phased Dante Pettis out of the offense says it’s Ceedee Lamb. Three years from now, I believe Denzel Mims will be the best receiver in this class, so I’ll go Mims in a trade back scenario in the second round. No, I don’t think Mims goes in the first round.
Why no word on Kittle’s deal yet? -Chad
The longer OTAs are postponed, the more time it gives Kittle and the 49ers to work out a deal. Because it doesn’t appear that the team will be taking the field anytime soon, there’s no rush to get a deal done. Once we have a date on when teams can return to the field, expect those talks to ramp up. The next question isn’t if Kittle will be the highest-paid tight end in NFL history, but by how much?
Let’s trade our 31st pick for Joey Bosa. Agree? - Lalo
The Chargers would definitely trade one of the best pass rushers in the NFL for No. 31. Lynch would have to add in Ford, and maybe future first/second-rounder at worst. Next offseason will be full of these questions as Joey enters the final year of his contract.
Do the Niners draft Joe Staley’s replacement in this draft? Joe isn’t gonna be around forever... -Dave
No question. Here is a hot take: The top tackles are better than the top wideouts. Because of that, don’t be surprised if offensive tackle is one of the first-round selections. The 49ers have been doing their homework at the position. Lynch was watching Mekhi Becton a couple of Friday’s ago. They’ve also met with two potential tackles at No. 31, in Ezra Cleveland and Josh Jones. I’ll take Jones as the best value.
1) Are you worried about the Niners secondary? 2) Do you worry about a Super Bowl hangover -Milan
I’d be more concerned with Buckner’s replacement than the secondary as of today. Losing DeFo affects each level of the defense. Had Emmanuel Moseley been drafted in the third round, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. He was that good in 2019. Then again, the future is uncertain in the secondary. After 2020, worry may not be accurate, but concerned is an apt description.
The 49ers are so young that I fully expect them to come back even stronger as a team in 2020. That may not reflect in the win column, but I don’t get the sense that the Niners feel like they’ve “arrived” because they made the Super Bowl.
Any thoughts on Chris Simms saying Jeudy isn’t a top 5 WR prospect? -Scott
My initial thought was, “look at Kyle trying to push his guy down the board.” The national consensus is wrong every year, yet we always bash the guys that put in work and come away with different opinions. Jeudy lacks physicality and is inconsistent at catching the ball in traffic and tracking the ball down the field. Add in that he played on a stacked roster where you can make a strong debate he wasn’t the best wideout on his team, and that’s how Simms came to that conclusion.
Scott isn’t saying this, but because you don’t have to agree with someone’s opinion doesn’t mean they’re off their rocker. It’s football. If Jeudy goes to a team that puts him in a bubble and asks him to run only vertical routes, Simms’ projection will look great. If Jeudy lands in San Francisco...