The NFL Draft is only 16 days away. Let’s pass the time by looking at mock drafts and who they have the San Francisco 49ers selecting at No. 13 and No. 31.
Rotoworld (Hayden Winks) - DT Javon Kinlaw (at pick 15), WR Laviska Shennault
15. 49ers (move down to DEN) - Javon Kinlaw, DT2
This is an obvious connection after San Francisco traded DT DeForest Buckner away to the Colts. Kinlaw needs more development, but the 49ers don’t need an every down player right away and Kinlaw is twitchy enough to do some damage while growing as a player.
31. 49ers - Laviska Shenault, WR8
San Francisco depleted their Day 2 picks with previous trades, so I won’t be surprised if they ultimately trade this pick. For now, I’ll give them a receiver who fits their physical culture in Shenault. The Colorado prospect dominates within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and would be another short-yardage weapon for Kyle Shanahan, the best short-yardage schemer in the NFL.
NFL.com (Peter Schrager) - WR CeeDee Lamb, CB Kristian Fulton
Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, Adam Peters and Paraag Marathe — the 49ers’ brain trust — have been so disciplined in acquiring talent at the wide receiver position over the past two seasons. They knew they loved Deebo Samuel at the Senior Bowl and were patient enough to wait until the second round to take him in 2019. They resisted swapping a top pick for Odell Beckham last offseason. They didn’t trade for or sign Antonio Brown when there was interest from the player a year ago. All that patience could pay off if Lamb falls to the 49ers at 13. Samuel and Lamb together? Watch out, NFC.
Don’t be shocked if the 49ers trade back here and pick up additional selections (they currently have zero picks in Rounds 2-4). Fulton has good size and big-game experience, and would be a great apprentice to Richard Sherman. For as good as the 49ers’ defense was last year, the second cornerback spot was an issue.
Establish The Run (Evan Silva) - WR Jerry Jeudy, CB A.J. Terrell
Jeudy is easily the top route runner in this year’s draft, and his position versatility would fit perfectly into Kyle Shanahan’s multiple offense. A cross between Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown in their primes, Jeudy is very arguably one of the ten best wide receiver prospects to come out of college over the last decade.
LCB Richard Sherman is 32 years old, and the 49ers played musical chairs at right corner throughout last season. A twitched-up 4.42 speed merchant at 6-foot-1, 195, Terrell broke onto the scene as a true sophomore starter, then was outright avoided by enemy passing games last year.
Sports Illustrated (Corey Parson) - DT Javon Kinlaw, S Grant Delpit
The Niners can go a number of different ways with the draft pick that they acquired from the Colts in the DeForest Buckner trade. Javon Kinlaw gets off the ball and into the backfield very quickly. He has the ability to create an inside pass rush. Kinlaw will have to get better at taking on double teams.
The Niners are in a position with this pick to draft the best player on the board. Delpit is about as pro-ready a player that you will find. The former LSU Tiger is the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner. At 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, Delpit is not afraid to mix it up.
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller) - WR Jeudy, IOL Cesar Ruiz
The Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
The smile on Kyle Shanahan’s face may never leave if general manager John Lynch lands Jerry Jeudy at No. 13 overall. It’s long been thought that Odell Beckham Jr. is the perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense, so why not land his clone in Jeudy? After trading defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to land this pick, the 49ers will do exactly that and get the draft’s best receiver as a steal.
The Pick: IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
You’d love to see a cornerback here for the 49ers, but a small run on them has left the pick a reach at this position. A trade back would also be fitting, but in a mock with no trades, the 49ers instead grab a plug-and-play starter at center who could also be a high-caliber guard.
CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - DT Javon Kinlaw (at 15), WR Shenault
Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina: The 49ers were happy with any of the three guys who just went, and here they get to replace DeForest Buckner while gaining extra draft capital (third-rounder) for their trouble.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado: Injury risk at the end of the first round here, but the upside of Shenault is too much to pass up, especially with the fifth-year option available and some patience from San Francisco.
CBS Sports (Josh Edwards) - WR Lamb, IOL Ruiz (at pick 37)
Lamb gives Kyle Shanahan a vertical threat that he has coveted since he was hired. Lamb and Samuel are the future in San Francisco.
After sliding back a little bit to facilitate the Chargers’ needs, the 49ers land an interior offensive lineman to fulfill a starter’s role.
Pro Football Focus (Eric Eager) - WR Jalen Reagor, CB Jalen Johnson
The 49ers were already pretty shallow at wide receiver and lost Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. However, they picked up this selection by virtue of dealing stout interior defender DeForest Buckner and his (large) pending extension. Reagor had some issues during his time at TCU, mostly with injuries and inconsistency at the quarterback position, and followed them up with a good — but not great — combine. One of his analytical comps, though, is Allen Robinson, the type of receiver who would compliment an offense that acquired big-play threat Deebo Samuel in last year’s haul.
The 49ers addressed receiver at 13, and while some might think they need to replace DeForest Buckner here, that would be a foolish choice given how much more value there is to be had from having a deep coverage unit. San Francisco was lucky that Emmanuel Moseley played so well after Ahkello Witherspoon kept the Vikings in the NFC divisional-round game for a quarter and change. They would be wise to continue investing in coverage depth. Johnson allowed a passer rating of 57.9 during his entire career at Utah.
DraftWire (Luke Easterling) - WR Lamb, CB Trevon Diggs
George Kittle is Jimmy Garoppolo’s No. 1 target, but the 49ers need to give him an elite wide receiver prospect to balance out the target share. Ruggs is tempting here, but San Francisco might prefer bigger, more physical pass-catcher who can still make big plays down the field and after the catch. The 49ers made a big trade for this pick, and they need someone who can make an immediate impact.
Defensive tackle is tempting here after trading away DeForest Buckner, but there’s quality depth already on the roster. That’s not necessarily the case at corner, where the defending NFC champs could use an understudy for veteran Richard Sherman. Diggs’ combination of size, length, athleticism and physicality would be the perfect fit.
NFL.com (Cynthia Frelund) - WR Lamb, CB Jalen Johnson
With the departure of Emmanuel Sanders, upgrading the receiver position would add the most 2020 wins for San Francisco — and Lamb is my model’s highest-rated wideout, due to his route-running ability and yards-after-catch savvy. This is a strategic fit for the Niners, given Lamb’s catch potential and his ability to open up spatial opportunity for others in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Johnson’s potential overall production — from the corner position and particularly as a slot defender — addresses both a Day 1 need and depth against the pass. My model has Johnson slightly edging out LSU safety Grant Delpit.
CeeDee Lamb - 4
Javon Kinlaw - 3
Jerry Jeudy - 2
Jalen Reagor - 1
That was at pick No. 13. As for No. 31:
Laviska Shenault - 2
Cesar Ruiz - 2
Jalen Johnson - 2
Trevon Diggs- 1
Grant Delpit - 1
A.J. Terrell - 1
Kristian Fulton - 1
I wouldn’t be too thrilled with any of the selections at No. 31. The 49ers can find better value than Shenault and Diggs without question. Delpit is a good player, but the 49ers have two high-quality starters, even if it’s only in the short-term.
Lamb is the new leader in the clubhouse at No. 13, with Kinlaw behind him. The closer we get to the draft, I wonder if we see Jeudy go higher. Reagor is the definition of reaching for a need at No. 13.