Next Thursday, the NFL draft kicks off with round one. Everyone is scrambling to submit their latest and/or final mock drafts before the draft begins. Rumors continue to swirl as players are completing top 30 visits with organizations.
Dane Brugler, of the Athletic and creator of “The Beast” draft guide, just published his seven-round mock draft. Let’s take a look at his selections for the 49ers:
Pick 99 - Byron Young, EDGE, Tennessee
Brugler believes the 49ers will invest in the EDGE position, considering the losses and depth of the position. Byron Young impressed at the combine with his 40-yard dash time of 4.43. A 1.62 10-yard split is an indication of Young’s burst.
Young will need to clean up his footwork and pass-rushing repertoire. His flexibility and toughness are his strengths. Adding strength will be a key to Young’s development and success in the NFL.
Pick 101 - Cory Trice, CB, Purdue
Trice is a former three-star recruit who transitioned to cornerback from safety. Standing at six-foot-three, Trice has ideal length and strength at 206 pounds. Thriving as a man corner in the big ten is tough, but it’s Trice’s tackling ability that goes under the radar.
Speed isn’t a strength of Trice’s game. There may be a chance Trice can transition to safety. Four pass breakups and two interceptions aren’t a ton of production. Contributing to special teams to begin his career will allow development and could help keep Trice engaged as he grows.
Pick 102 - Marte Mapu, LB/S, Sacramento St.
Mapu profiles as a hybrid player, which the 49ers will utilize in pass coverage with physicality, and his high football IQ. Size is a concern for Mapu as an LB in the NFL.
Mapu turned heads at the senior bowl in Mobile. As an AP First Team All-American, Mapu has the type of flexibility the 49ers target with all their players.
Pick 155 - Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama
The 49ers are targeting a tight end based on their visits during the draft process. Latu is a reliable target with great instincts.
Speed is a concern for Latu, but if the 49ers utilize him next to George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel, Latu is smart enough to beat coverages and find soft spots.
Pick 164 - Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty
Douglas profiles as a slot receiver in the NFL with his speed and quickness. YAC is a solid part of Douglas’ game.
Concerns include Douglas’ frame and inconsistent route-running at times. With experience as a punt returner, it’s concerning that PFF tracked him with six career muffs.
Pick 173 - Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia
Playing for the two-time National Champion Bulldogs, McClendon has big-game experience. Having experience at left tackle is a plus, but McClendon feels more at home at right tackle.
Upper body strength is a strength, as is his aggressiveness. However, that aggressiveness can lead to some issues with technique.
Pick 216 - Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
A kicker to compete with Zane Gonzalez.
Pick 222 - Dante Stills, DT, West Virginia
Stills is an undersized inside pass rusher with a high motor. Burst isn’t an issue for Stills, and is constantly in the backfield, as evidenced by his 53 career tackles for loss.
Brayden Willis and Dante Stills have landed in San Jose for their visits with 49ers pic.twitter.com/l0CZMIEkEh— Steph Sanchez (@Steph49K) April 18, 2023
Stills will be viewed as a rotational lineman to begin his career.
WVU DT Dante Stills will be visiting the 49ers making it multiple touch-points with the team— Brad (@Graham_SFN) April 18, 2023
He met formally with the Niners at the NFL Combine and envisions himself as a great fit in the 49ers wide-9 scheme pic.twitter.com/FRujdz7Zgv
Pick 247 - Ty Okada, S, Montana State
Okada built his draft stock at his pro-day. Depending on who you ask, Okada ran somewhere between a 4.44-4.50 40-yard dash. His vertical jump (40.5”) and broad jump (10’9”) make Okada an intriguing prospect.
Pick 253 - Arquon Bush, CB, Cincinnati
Bush is versatile in the secondary, with good ball and tackling skills. Giving up big plays is Bush’s biggest concern, but he can line up anywhere in the secondary. Man coverage alone is a concern.
Pick 255 - Justin Shorter, WR, Florida
Shorter’s strengths are at the catch point, and he profiles as a possession/red zone receiver. Development needs are route-running and creating consistent separation. Shorter knows how to use his size to box out cornerbacks.