Each mock draft I have done has been put together with a specific strategy in mind. For this one, I will be focusing on aggressively trading up into the top half of the second round to land a player who would be an impact starter from day one.
I have also been mocking different players in each of these mocks because no players have been selected in more than one mock. My intent with this is to generate discussion and inform my opinion on as many prospects as possible, in place of mocking the prospects I like the most over and over.
Keep in mind that to successfully execute a trade up into the mid to early second round, it’s going to cost the 49ers a decent amount of draft capital. Without further ado, let’s get this thing rolling
49ers trade picks 61, 93, & 2023 5th round pick to Atlanta in exchange for pick 43
Recent history suggests this still might not be enough for the 49ers to jump the 18 spots they did in this mock, but for the sake of conversation, let’s say this gets it done. Atlanta is a team with holes everywhere, and they get an extra top 100 pick to address the many areas of need they have.
In return, the 49ers get the chance to select...
Round 2, pick 43
Jaquan Brisker, Safety - Penn State
Brisker is a complete safety who flashes immense potential and is someone who can step in from day one and hold down the back end with Jimmie Ward. Brisker stands at 6’1 200 pounds and has the versatility to be utilized as the single deep safety as well as be an impact player around the line of scrimmage in the box.
Brisker has a solid amount of experience, playing in 34 games for Penn State, starting in 21 of those. Brisker also contributed to a tackle for loss in eight of twelve games in 2021, regularly showing off his ability to defend the run — something that the 49ers strongly covet from the safety position.
I don’t think there is any player in this draft who the 49ers have a realistic shot of landing that would better fill the void left behind by Jaquiski Tartt the way Brisker can. A big, fast, rangy safety who steps in and contributes from day one. This is the kind of upside you have to bank on if you’re going to part with another top-100 pick to move up to make the selection.
49ers trade picks 105, 172, & 221 to Ravens in exchange for picks 110 & 119
49ers trade back five spots and ship off a 5th rounder and a compensatory sixth in exchange for the ability to pick twice early in the fourth round. This allows them the opportunity to get a game-breaking player in...
Round 4, pick 110
Romeo Doubs, Wide receiver - Nevada
I like the current corps the 49ers have at receiver, but it still feels like they are lacking a traditional downfield threat. Doubs is the kind of explosive athlete that would launch this offense into the stratosphere, giving projected starter Trey Lance a big, physical target that can take the top off of a defense.
Doubs is listed at 6’2, 201 pounds with 10-inch hands. Regularly he was someone who flashed big-play ability while at Nevada while also proving he could be a security blanket as a possession receiver.
It’s worth noting that the quality of wide receiver talent drops off fairly steeply in this class, so to avoid reaching or settling later, I make the move now for a player who I think could be a key piece of the offense for years going forward, even as a third receiving option behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
Round 4, pick 119
Matt Waletzko, Tackle - North Dakota
Had to take an offensive lineman at some point, right? With their selection in the fourth round, the 49ers now make it back-to-back seasons selecting an FCS player from North Dakota. Like the selection made in the first round last year, this one comes with plenty of upside.
Waletzko is an absolute specimen standing at 6’7 305 pounds, and has athletic traits that jump off the charts and the game film. Waletzko’s Relative Athletic Score (RAS) ranked him 7th out of 1216 offensive tackles dating back to 1987.
Waletzko’s SPARQ athleticism score placed him in the 97th percentile of athletes at his position. This is a physically imposing player whose ceiling is a starter at the next level. A perfect fit for the 49ers, who likely have some time to allow Waletzko to adjust to the NFL level before thrusting him into a starting role
Round 4, pick 134
Eyioma Uwazurike, DL - Iowa State
Uwazurike is a very interesting prospect because it’s hard to slot him into any specific role on the defensive line. This is a player who looked great playing the interior, as well as the edge, which presents a kind of versatility along the defensive line that is similar to current 49er Arik Armstead.
At 6’6 320 pounds, Uwazurike likely projects better on the interior at the 0,1, and 3 technique, where he can present opposing offensive lines with quite the mismatch. Uwazurike’s athletic traits are noteworthy, testing in the 95th percentile in both wingspan and arm length and the 98th percentile for height.
Those long arms helped log a considerable amount of production in 2021, where Uwazurike had 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks on the season. The 49ers add another dynamic player with tremendous flexibility to an already impressive defensive line.
Round 6, pick 187
Luke Wattenberg, Center - Washington
The 49ers add another offensive lineman, this time with a focus on beefing up the interior. Wattenberg has experience playing both left guard and center, logging a season with over 750 snaps at both positions during his time at Washington.
At 6’4 300 pounds, Wattenberg has good size, nimble feet, and good instincts in space. With Alex Mack’s future uncertain, the 49ers insulate their offensive line depth in the present while also potentially getting a long-term answer at the position in the long run.
Round 6, pick 220
At this point in the draft, I’m prioritizing physical traits, and banking on the coaching staff in place to get the most out of a player whose game might need some refining at the next level. You can never have too many good cornerbacks in the NFL, and the 49ers take a swing at adding another with the selection of Taylor-Stuart.
At 6’2, Taylor-Stuart has a good length to pair with very fluid movement. A player who can open up their hips and change direction consistently in coverage will always be in demand, and the 49ers snag a player here who could develop into a substantial role down the road.
Round 7, pick 262
Brock Purdy, Quarterback - Iowa State
Even with Nate Sudfeld getting two million guaranteed in 2022, I think the 49ers would be wise to add a quarterback in this draft. Purdy isn’t going to blow anyone away with his arm, but he is an experienced player who showed strong decision-making skills during his 46 consecutive games-started streak to close out his collegiate career.
Think Nick Mullens 2.0, with a bit more upside. Who once upon a time had teams willing to part with draft capital to acquire and had spurts where he was a serviceable stopgap as a backup quarterback.