All of the attention is on who the San Francisco 49ers will select with the No. 3 overall pick, but general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan continue to do their research on mid-to-late round selections.
The Niners have nine total picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and still need to add some depth to the secondary as well as the offensive and defensive lines.
Justin Melo of The Draft Network has been keeping the football world updated on which prospects meet with specific NFL teams. Melo says San Francisco is among the many teams that held a pre-draft meeting with Auburn safety Jamien Sherwood.
#Auburn S Jamien Sherwood excites me as a linebacker in a nickel sub package. A big, physical hitter with a versatile skill-set.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) April 10, 2021
Sherwood has met w/ 20+ teams. That list includes the #Patriots, #Vikings, #Titans, #Packers, #Bills, #49ers, #Bengals, #Colts, #NYG & #SEA
Sherwood is listed at 6’2, 220 pounds. The junior racked up 75 tackles (three for a loss), a sack and three passes defended for the Tigers last season.
Pro Football Focus has Sherwood ranked 67th in its 2021 NFL Draft big board.
After a part-time role that saw him make a couple of spot starts in 2019, Sherwood finally got the starting nod as a true junior this past season. While he didn’t do much in terms of making plays, his role wasn’t particularly conducive to that. He was often the guy tasked with eating blocks on wide screens or wide runs, and he did that admirably. He can take on receiver or tight end blocks with ease. While he could have used more seasoning and maybe ended up in the first round with a big 2021 season, Sherwood should still be an immediate starter in the box.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein sees Sherwood as a tweener, who could play either safety or linebacker in the pros.
Sherwood is a big, sure tackler with the striking power to leave a mark. He can intimidate receivers working into the middle of the field and has the size to cover tight ends. He must play down safety or in a robber role as his speed and athletic ability will get him into too many binds and get him beat in the pros. It wouldn’t be shocking to see a team eventually look to move him from safety to linebacker, where his athletic ability would go from hindrance to help. He could make the move if he can add more size onto his frame and learn to better take on (or slip) blocks, but most teams will likely view him as a big, scheme-dependent safety who is tough but limited.
The 49ers have Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt at linebacker and safety. We have seen San Francisco use reserve safety Marcell Harris as a linebacker before, so Sherwood could be used in a similar manner.
Here is a complete list of the Niners’ draft picks:
Round 1, Pick 3
Round 2, Pick 43
Round 3, Pick 102 (Comp pick)
Round 4, Pick 117
Round 5, Pick 155
Round 5, Pick 172 (via New Orleans, Kwon Alexander trade)
Round 5, Pick 180 (Comp pick)
Round 6, Pick 193
Round 7, Pick 229 (via New York Jets, Jordan Willis trade)