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2021 NFL mock draft roundup: Will 49ers go with a quarterback or corner?

The experts are split on which position San Francisco will address at the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

We are a little more than three months away from the 2021 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers are scheduled to pick 12th and could go several ways.

General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have a few positions they need to address this offseason. The Niners have nine free agents from their secondary and also could look to add a young QB or beef up the offensive line.

We have seen Lynch move up-and-down the first-round board in two of the four drafts he has been at the helm. San Francisco traded back one spot in 2017 and took defensive lineman Solomon Thomas third overall. The 49ers were busy at the 2020 NFL Draft, trading back one spot to take Javon Kinlaw 14th and then moving up six places to select receiver Brandon Aiyuk 25th overall.

There are four quarterbacks expected to be taken in the top 15, and a few mock drafts have the Niners taking a signal-caller at No. 12.

Here is who some of the major media outlets have the 49ers selecting in Round 1:

The Athletic has the 49ers taking CB Patrick Surtain

“The 49ers don’t have any cornerbacks under contract for next season so saying cornerback is a need is an understatement. And in this scenario, need matches talent with Surtain, who might not have elite speed or twitch but has NFL-ready cover skills and instincts.” - Dane Brugler

CBS Sports has the 49ers taking QB Trey Lance

“San Francisco has been non-committal with Jimmy Garoppolo for obvious reasons. My 49ers friends have been scouting the incoming quarterback class for months and it comes to fruition. Trey Lance is still a bit raw but his skill set in Kyle Shanahan’s offense would be exciting.” - Josh Edwards

Bleacher Report’s Joseph Zucker also has the 49ers taking Lance.

PFF has the 49ers taking QB Zach Wilson

“Well, well, well … if it isn’t the 49ers finding their quarterback of the future after Kyle Shanahan continued to speak in unbelievably vague terms about Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Niners could easily trade up for a quarterback, but they’d be ecstatic if Wilson falls to them. The BYU product played in the same wide-zone offense that Shanahan runs, so he would fit in. The question is whether his success in that offense in 2020 was due to how that offense operates. It’s one thing to become Jared Goff, Jimmy Garropolo, Kirk Cousins, Matt Schaub and the likes when you get to the NFL, but you better not have already been one of those guys in college.” - Seth Galina

NBC Bay Area has the 49ers taking CB Jaycee Horn

“With the top four QBs off the board, the 49ers elect to address their changing secondary. With Jason Verrett, Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon all slated to be unrestricted free agents, the 49ers have to find a long-term answer at corner.

Horn is a physical, aggressive corner with a long frame and good hand technique. He led college football with an average of 27.4 coverage snaps per catch allowed in 2020. If the 49ers don’t move up to draft a QB (unlikely), this is a great pick.” - Josh Schrock

It looks like most NFL pundits are thinking that San Francisco will go with either a quarterback or corner. The only team who is slated to pick ahead of the 49ers that doesn’t have question marks at QB are the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5.

A lot can change between now and April but which position do you think Lynch and co. will use the 12th pick on?