Now that we know the San Francisco 49ers selections in this upcoming NFL Draft, we can go through mock draft simulations thanks to the compensatory picks being awarded. I’m using PFF’s Mock Draft simulator.
Today, we’re acting as if Jimmy Garoppolo is the quarterback, Trent Williams was re-signed. Still, the Niners weren’t able to retain any other notable unrestricted in-house free agents and are forced to build through the draft.
RD 1: TRADE! - Edge rusher Jaelan Phillips, Miami
49ers receive: No. 19, No. 51
Washington receives: No. 12, No. 117
Martin Mayhew moves up for the quarterback who some have compared to Jimmy G and select Alabama’s, Mac Jones. John Lynch takes advantage of a desperate Washinton club as they jump in front of another QB needy team in New England.
At pick No. 19, I’m taking who I believe is the best defensive player in the draft. It’s been nearly a month since I’ve written about Phillips, and I haven’t seen a player who changed my mind. Phillips can be Chandler Jones. He’s that talented. His floor, especially playing with the talent on this defensive line, could be where most edge rushers ceiling is in this class.
It’s not the same defensive line as 2019, but San Francisco has four formidable pass rushers, and if they don’t have the best defensive line in 2021, the team will come 2022.
Rd 2: CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern - OL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater
It’s unlikely that Newsome falls out of the first round after his pro day performance where Newsome ran a 4.3 40-yard dash, but he was thought of as a mid to late second-rounder before this week.
Newsome would be a great fit for the 49ers and projects as a No. 1 CB in the NFL. We can confirm he’s fast now, in addition to sound technique, which puts Newsome in a position to make a play on the ball:
Newsome is a safe pick who you can trust to start on Day 1.
I’m drafting an offensive lineman, but not a tackle. Meinerz dominated the Senior Bowl after dominating at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Here was Meinerz’s pro day workout at 6’2”, 320 pounds:
Quinn Meinerz official testing numbers:— Owen Riese (@RieseDraft) March 9, 2021
40 Yard Dash - 4.96
10 Yard Split - 1.73
Pro Shuttle - 4.58
Three Cone - 7.54
Vertical Jump - 32”
Broad Jump - 9’3”
Based on all draft-eligible offensive lineman from the 2020 draft that participated at the NFL Combine, Meinerz would have had the second-best short shuttle, third-fastest 3-cone, fifth-fastest 40-yard dash, and tenth-highest vertical jump.
Meinerz could start at either center or guard, depending on how free agency went. Plus, he could step in once a player like Alex Mack moves on in a year or two. Adding a starter that’s a scheme fit with versatility made this an easy selection. Don’t be fooled by the school; Meinerz can play. This falls under the “best player available” category.
RD 3: QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Mel Kiper Jr. said earlier this week that Mond should be available on Day 3. The 49ers don’t risk that and, for the second time, draft a quarterback in the third round under Shanahan. Mond plays the position like a robot. So much so that Mond’s stiff mechanics affect his accuracy.
Mond has great arm strength that leads to several “wow” throws. You could put together a reel of highlight throws from Mond that could challenge almost any QB in this class. He’s a tough quarterback with surprisingly good athleticism and mobility that I could see Shanahan falling for and wanting to develop. When it all clicks, aesthetically, Mond is a treat to watch.
Let’s be clear: Mond will last this long for a reason. Jimbo Fisher does not run your run-of-the-mill college offense. Mond had a difficult task at Texas A&M, but for a three-year starter, he was consistently inconsistent. I mentioned Mond’s mechanics. His lower body is doing one thing while his upper body is doing another. He’ll be inaccurate as long as that’s the case.
At his best, Mond can use his athleticism and play in a timing-based passing offense that throws underneath. Sound familiar?
RD 4: TRADE! WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson
Clemson’s Amari Rodgers was available and a player who Kyle Shanahan should love. Before he fell any further, I traded pick No. 155, 180, & 228 to move up to No. 126— which works perfectly according to this draft value chart — to snag a player who can start for me on special teams, right away.
Rodgers is known for his run after catch and playmaking ability. He was fifth among all draft-eligible receivers in yards after the catch. Rodgers also becomes the team’s punt and kick returner.
After running a 4.54 40-yard dash at his pro day on Thursday and already being undersized, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rodgers last into Day 3 of the draft. This wide receiver class features the type of depth and athletes that will push players like Rodgers down the board.
RD 5: CB Darren Hall, San Diego St.
I watched Hall undercut a BYU wide receiver and break up an in-breaking route against Zach Wilson and was sold. Hall is a cornerback with great closing speed and plays with an attacking style against the run that should make him an asset on special teams and potentially a starter in the slot.
Hall started his career at safety, so I would cross-train him at both positions to see if he were to stand out at either position. I’m doubling down on a defensive back and get good value at pick No. 172.
RD 6: RB Pooka Williams, Kansas
The 49ers met with the undersized running back out of Kansas. His name will be a mainstay for me as Williams to the 49ers is one of the best scheme fits among all skill players. The Niners have been on the hunt for a running back who could be a threat out of the backfield at each level of the field. Williams finally gives them that weapon.
Williams is the type of threat who could make something happen with 5-7 touches a game. He’d also compete with Rodgers as a return man.
RD 7: TE Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss
The 49ers think outside of the box and attempt to use Yeboah as a Kyle Juszczyk replacement. Admittedly, we’d see Ross Dwelley in this role before a seventh-round rookie, but this is what mini and training camp is for. Yeboah would serve as a lead blocker at Ole Miss as Lane Kiffin would have him insert from the tight end spot on running plays.
If the 49ers lose Kyle Juszczyk, we could see more 11 and 12 personnel in 2021. Yeboah led all draft-eligible tight ends averaging ten yards after the catch. He’d run routes from that H-back/sniffer/ position and generally slip behind the linebackers.
Using Yeboah at both tight end and fullback would allow Shanahan to dictate what personnel defenses use. Yeboah was a mismatch over the middle of the field in the SEC and would give Garoppolo an athletic target he could trust.