The NFL draft kicks off tonight in Kansas City at 5 PM PST. Fans of every team have their eyes on players who can help their favorite franchise reach the ultimate goal of raising the Lombardi trophy.
49ers fans may have to wait until pick 99 in the third round unless the team crafts a trade-up in the draft. Every team has obvious needs, and the 49ers have several.
What is the best and worst-case scenario for the 49ers this weekend?
The 49ers are a win-now team in a conference that has seen many quarterbacks leave for the AFC (Bye, Rodgers). Even with the quarterback position still somewhat up in the air, the team has high-level talent at premium positions.
The needs for the 49ers are the tackle positions, EDGE, tight end, and safety positions. Trent Williams has at least two more years as a 49er, and Mike McGlinchey just departed for Denver.
Blake Freeland of BYU is an obvious fit for the 49ers’ zone-blocking run game at RT. While he doubles as a McGlinchey clone athletically, the hope is: He can grow in pass protection. At pick 99, this is a worthwhile investment.
Jammie Robinson from Florida State profiles as the versatile safety the team will need heading into the future. Tashaun Gipson is on another one-year deal. Robinson would be the ideal replacement to pair with Talanoa Hufanga.
Byron Young from Tennessee would be a dream pick with one of the first three selections from the 49ers in the third round. Being able to address all three positions at the end of the third with starting-caliber players would be a home run and put the 49ers in the driver’s seat of flexibility.
Another third-round running back that has a tough time contributing immediately? Using anything other than a sixth or seventh-round selection on a placekicker?
The 49ers can’t afford to draft players who are a “year away” from contributing with their first three selections in this draft.
It is imperative the 49ers hit on these first three selections to fill some holes left after several players have departed in free agency.
This season, the 49ers can’t afford to play the waiting game and need instant contributors.