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49ers reach for a safety in CBS’s 7-round mock draft

The way the board fell, the Niners didn’t have to take a safety at 61

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

As we get closer and closer to the NFL Draft, we’ll try to find as many 7-round mock drafts out there that feature the 49ers selecting different names. CBS Sports did just that, so we’ll use them today.

Let’s take a look at their mock draft and which names CBS had the Niners taking.

61. San Francisco: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati

The Bearcats featured one of the top secondaries in the country during the past two seasons. Of course, everyone is familiar with Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, but Bryan Cook is a name NFL fans should get used to hearing.

I’m on board with a safety with the 49ers' first selection in the draft — and wouldn’t mind if they elected to trade up to ensure they landed one of the upper echelon safeties.

In this hypothetical situation, Jalen Pitre, Lewis Cine, and Jaquan Brisker (taken with the 58th pick) were all off the board. Cook has a chance to be a Day 1 starter in the right situation, but 61 feels high for the former Bearcat.

Cook’s best trait is his tackling. No safety had a better missed tackle percentage in the draft than Cook, at 7%. At Cincinnati, Cook played all over the formation. He’s at his best coming downhill and when he has eyes on the quarterback in coverage.

Unfortunately, if you’re going to take a safety early in the draft, he better possess the requisite man-to-man cover skills needed from a safety in today’s game. Closing speed isn’t an issue, but his reaction time is. Jimmie Ward has no issues guarding the likes of Cooper Kupp in the slot due to incredible reactive athleticism. Cook comes off as a step slow, then can compound that with poor angles.

I’ve seen Cook mocked in the middle of the fourth round, which is where his value is.

Grade: D

93. Cam Jurgens, OC, Nebraska

Illinois safety Kerby Joseph fell to the 95th pick. I’d rather take him at 61 and would love him at 93. Since the Niners addressed safety, they take a player who could challenge Daniel Brunskill at right guard this year and replace Alex Mack in the future at center.

Jurgens moves better than any non-Trent Williams lineman on the 49ers. He was born to block in a Kyle Shanahan offense. His power can be used against him at times, and Jurgens will need time to develop working against stunts, but he has the tools necessary to be a quality starter in the NFL.

Jurgens would be a home run pick anywhere in the draft for the Niners. He’s in the top-10 in nearly every offensive lineman category for Sports Info Solutions.

Grade: A

105: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State

Kemoko Turay rarely lined up inside for the Colts, so I don’t think he’s an Arden Key replacement. At their best, the Niners trotted out at least three edge rushers on the field last season with one kicking inside.

Oftentimes, Key would overwhelm a guard with his athleticism. That’s Cameron Thomas, who had the highest pass-rush win rate when lining up head up or inside of the tackle in college football last season.

Thomas sustained a hamstring strain during the Senior Bowl, so there aren’t testing numbers on him. He also played defensive end in a 3-3-5 defense, which makes him tougher to project. All of this could benefit the 49ers, as Thomas has the length, strength, and motor needed to excel at the next level.

Thomas will need to improve his technique and awareness, but that’s what Kris Kocurek is for. No player averaged more tackles per loss along the defensive line in college football last season than Thomas, who is already an elite run defender.

If a team took Thomas in the 80s, nobody would bat an eye, so getting him at 105 is a win for the Niners.

Grade: B+

134: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State

If you watched B1G football this past season, then you’re familiar with “Speedy” Nailor, who ran a 4.5 40-yard dash but impressed with a 38” vertical and a 10’8” broad jump. Don’t be fooled by the 40; Nailor is a legitimate deep threat.

Nailor leads all draft-eligible receivers in yards after the catch per reception, so you could see why he’d be mocked to a Shanahan offense. Nailor would be the 49ers' big-play “shot” wide receiver. The reason he’s available is his durability. Nailor missed time in three of his four years with the Spartans. As a sophomore, he had a broken foot that caused him to redshirt and suffered a hand injury this past season. Nailor is an exciting prospect that you can play the “what if” game in terms of him staying healthy.

Grade: B-

172: Zonovan Knight, RB, NC State
187: Chris Steele, CB, USC
220: Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
221: Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor
262: Jason Poe, OG, Mercer

I wouldn’t know who any of the remaining draft picks were if they were standing right in front of me, so I don’t want to fake their analysis.

How would you feel about this draft for the 49ers? Each hole was plugged. Which positions weren’t addressed?