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Mock draft has the 49ers going safety in first round

Another safety. If Ji’Ayir Brown doesn’t work out then...ok.

Louisville v Miami Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

We still have roughly a quarter season of football left to play, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking at NFL mock drafts. The San Francisco 49ers are actually going to have a first round pick this year which means they are talked about again by fortune tellers. Better news than that is they will probably be using that pick late, potentially last. And in this particular mock draft they go safety.

Luke Easterling over at FanNation (one of SI.com’s sister sites) put together a three-round Mock and has the 49ers going safety with their first pick, going with Miami’s Kamren Kinchens.

If the 49ers can’t find an immediate starter at right tackle here, the focus should shift to the defensive backfield, where they need help at both levels. In this scenario, the best value comes at safety, as they have the opportunity to land the top prospect in this year’s class with Kinchens.

There are two things we may find wrong with this. One, some of you might not be excited at another safety being the first pick the 49ers make, but that’s understandable. The second, Easterling has the 49ers picking 30th and the Philadelphia Eagles picking 32nd.

As far as safety, that part does make a bit of sense for a few reasons. First, Tashaun Gipson’s contract comes to a close at the end of 2023. The following years are void years via overthecap.com. He’s 33 and the 49ers will have to pinch pennies if they want to keep Brandon Aiyuk AND Chase Young Daniel (if it’s even possible). Regardless of how much you think Gipson is worth with the salary cap constraints the 49ers are facing, it’s fair to think he’ll be out of their price range. Remove him and you’re left with Talanoa Hufanga and Ji’Ayir Brown. The former is going to be coming off a torn ACL to start 2024 and the latter is filling in during their rookie season and it’s too early to say what the 49ers have.

That said, Brown has been filling in nicely. If you aren’t talking about him, he’s doing his job. He’s made a few rookie mistakes since coming in, but he’s been quite efficient. If he can keep that play up, he can fill in for Hufanga and if Hufanga’s injury requires more setbacks, the 49ers will be ok. He also could fill in if the 49ers have to make a difficult cap decision regarding Hufanga (sorry folks, they draft studs and can’t pay them all). Now, if Brown doesn’t work out and the 49ers use that bird’s eye view of contracts, then Kinchens makes sense since they’d be thin at the position. I’d prefer an offensive tackle, but most of the top prospects in this mock were already gone. If the 49ers want to do some offensive line work a trade might be in order.

Easterling has the 49ers going offensive tackle in the second round with BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia. A nice pick, but he may require a bit of work in pass protection. With all the picks the 49ers have, I hope they put a package up in the first round to get Brock Purdy time to throw the ball. If they can’t, I can live with it coming in the second round. Fred Warner came from BYU and that worked out for everyone.

In the third round, with their two picks they take Florida cornerback Jason Marshall Jr. and Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson. Both decent picks at that spot.

What do you think of these four players coming to the 49ers?