Even without a first-round selection, there’s still plenty of talent available for the 49ers at picks 61, 93, and 105. On today’s Gold Diggers podcast, NFL Network’s Michelle Magdziuk selected her best fits for the 49ers on the draft’s second day. You’ll have to listen to the entire episode to hear all ten players we talked about, but here are a few to whet your appetite.
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
“He was playing for a smaller school, right? Not much competition when you’re playing for South Alabama. The difference between him and a guy like Christian Watson is that Tolbert dominated against bad competition...Plus, in the Senior Bowl practices, he balled out. So, against competition that will be playing in the NFL - according to all the reports - he was the best wide receiver there.”
Tolbert actually leads the FBS in receiving over the last two seasons with 2,559 yards and did have offers from both Michigan State and Vanderbilt. In his one game against a Power 5 opponent after becoming a full-time starter, Tolbert racked up seven catches for 143 yards and a touchdown. He leaves South Alabama as their all-time leader in catches, yards, touchdowns, and 100-yard receiving games.
Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
“The 49ers need a slot corner. They got rid of K’Waun Williams, and they need a guy that they can rely on...I think he can fall to them in the second round. He forced 20 incompletions in 2021 - that was the most in the FBS. The biggest reason he might fall is his size - 5’11”, 190 pounds, and just 28.9-inch arms. So, he’s going to have to be a slot corner.”
McCreary led Auburn in interceptions as a junior and a senior and was known as the “alpha” in the Tigers’ secondary. He also committed only two pass interference penalties last year, which should be music to 49ers fans’ ears (although he did commit five the year before). He also defended 37 passes in his last 35 games, something that is badly needed in San Francisco’s secondary.
Josh Paschal, Edge, Kentucky
“He’s a beast of a man that ran a 4.77 with a 38-inch vertical - at 268 pounds. He’s a super explosive guy, and you can see it on the tape. He can kind of pretty much do everything. I don’t know if there’s that big of a gap between Paschal and George Karlaftis and Jermaine Johnson - and they’re going to go in the first round.”
No one can question Paschal’s toughness or competitiveness. He missed most of the 2018 season while he was battling skin cancer and recovering from an operation on his foot that forced him to relearn how to walk. He also brings some versatility to the table with experience at defensive end, linebacker, and inside as a three-technique.
With the players already on the Niners’ defensive line and the ability of Kris Kocurek to wring more talent out of players than anybody else, I’ll take someone that can do the things you can’t teach. It will be up to Kocurek to be able to teach the things Paschal will need to learn.
Luke Goedeke, G Central Michigan
“The 49ers need guards on both sides, and they really need some depth. He allowed 0 sacks on 425 pass-blocking snaps in 2021, including just 3 hits and 4 hurries. He did miss his second season because he tore his ACL, but we saw him come back, and he was fantastic. I really think he would be an instant plug-and-play guy for the 49ers.”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Goedeke actually had a scholarship to Central Michigan at tight end before moving to offensive tackle after enrolling. Sound like somebody else we know?
He does have a bit of an injury history and will have to learn how to play guard after lining up exclusively at tackle in college, but he already has a ton of experience in a zone-blocking scheme. Considering the questions the team has at both guard positions, adding some depth at the spot may not be a bad idea.
As I said earlier, listen to the full episode to hear the complete breakdowns on all the players we touched on - including another potential late-round steal at running back.