The San Francisco 49ers have locked up some of their key free agents before next month’s 2021 NFL Draft. General manager John Lynch re-signed Trent Williams, Kyle Juszczyk, Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley. The Niners also added a pass-rusher by inking Samson Ekubam to a two-year deal and improved the interior of the offensive line by signing veteran center Alex Mack.
San Francisco holds the No. 12 pick of the draft and is in a position to draft the best player available. The 49ers could still use some help in the secondary and could also try and get some more talent for the offensive line with right tackle Mike McGlinchey going into the final year of his contract.
The good news is that there aren’t any glaring needs on the roster. Depending on how you feel about Jimmy Garoppolo, the Niners could also use the pick to take one of the available quarterbacks.
Here is who some of the major media outlets have the 49ers taking in the first round:
NFL.com has the 49ers making a deal with the Minnesota Vikings and taking corner Caleb Farley at No. 14
This is a win for the 49ers. They trade back, add draft capital and still land a talented young cornerback who fits their defense. - Lance Zierlein
Pro Football Focus has the 49ers making a deal with the New England Patriots and taking Farley at No. 15
The San Francisco 49ers re-signed restricted free agent cornerback Emmanuel Moseley but are still likely set to lose Richard Sherman to free agency and may also see Ahkello Witherspoon sign elsewhere. Farley is a converted wide receiver — reminiscent of Sherman’s path earlier in his football career.
At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, he can match up with anyone, and his 90.7 coverage grade in 2019 ranked sixth among all college cornerbacks. He allowed a lowly 36% completion rate, which ranked 11th-best in the nation among cornerbacks with at least 10 targets. - Brad Spielberger
CBS Sports has the 49ers taking quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 12
This should almost be illegal for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan to get his hands on the talented and athletic passer from BYU. Wilson would be an ideal fit in this scheme and brings much more upside than what’s currently there at the position. - Emory Hunt
The Athletic has the 49ers making a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and taking quarterback Trey Lance at No. 6
San Francisco 49ers receive: No. 6 overall
Philadelphia Eagles receive: No. 12 overall, No. 103 overall, 2022 second-round pick
Would this be enough for the Eagles to pass up Kyle Pitts? They’d probably prefer the second-rounder this year, but that would leave San Francisco without anything from No. 6 to No. 103, so they tried to find a win-win.
Again, I’m going against the advice of our writers. Just a few days ago, Tim Kawakami predicted that the 49ers would stick with Jimmy Garoppolo, sign Jacoby Brissett and draft Kellen Mond late. If they’re 100 percent sold on Jimmy G, they still might consider a move up, but for Slater. - Chris Burke
Pro Football Network has the 49ers making a deal with the Atlanta Falcons and taking Lance at No. 4
TRADE! Atlanta receives pick #12, pick #43, 2022 San Francisco 1st, 2022 San Francisco 2nd. San Francisco receives pick #4.
The 49ers weren’t the only team looking to move up for the 2020 FCS National Championship-winning quarterback. However, the trade compensation from San Francisco gave the Falcons more eventual darts for the draft dartboard. Because of Matt Ryan’s expensive contract, there was no other way.
This fit is perfect for Trey Lance, who comes from a run and play-action-heavy scheme at NDSU. Lance might have more upside than any of the quarterbacks in this class given his physical profile, but his ideal situation allowed for clean and easy looks often. With less than 20 games of college football experience, going to Kyle Shanahan and having the opportunity to sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo is another ideal situation for this young man. - Dalton Miller
San Francisco is in a position that it could afford to give up draft capital to take a QB for the future. As Miller points out, a rookie QB can sit behind Garoppolo, who has two seasons left on his deal. Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan haven’t given any indication that they’re ready to move on from Jimmy G, who looks poised to be under center for Week 1 of next season.
The consensus top-three corners available are Farley, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain and South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn. Given Verrett’s injury history, the Niners should add another corner at some point in the draft.
We are still more than five weeks away from the draft, so there will be a ton of moving parts between now and then.
Which of the mock draft scenarios do you think would be the best for the 49ers?