Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Top four prospects among mock drafts for 49ers’ first-round pick

Mar 31, 2018 at 8:34 AM--

We've surveyed nearly 60 online mock drafts and tallied which four players are the most popular choices for the San Francisco 49ers at the ninth-overall pick in next month's draft. The mock drafts include big-name sites like ESPN,, and others to smaller independent sites.

Below are the top four projections for the 49ers among the mock drafts we examined.

4) S Derwin James, Florida State

Height: 6-3
Weight: 215 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.47 seconds
Vertical: 40 inches
Broad jump: 132 inches
Bench press: 21 reps

James is among the top safeties in the draft, if not the top one. The position may not be among the 49ers' biggest needs, but the team doesn't always draft based on need. We have no idea what general manager John Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan, and company will do. If they feel James – or any other player – fills a future need and not an immediate one, they may take advantage of the opportunity.

Lance Zierlein of NFL Network compares James to the Kansas City Chiefs' three-time All-Pro safety Eric Berry. James compiled 186 combined tackles, 15 passes defensed, and three interceptions in three seasons with the Seminoles. However, he missed all but two games in 2016 due to a meniscus tear.

James returned in 2017 and registered 84 combined tackles, 5.5 for loss, two interceptions, 11 passes defensed, and a blocked kick, which earned him first-team All-ACC honors.

3) DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Height: 6-1
Weight: 201 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.46 seconds
Vertical: 33 inches
Broad jump: 121 inches
Bench press: 14 reps

"San Francisco picked up Richard Sherman before free agency started, but its defensive backfield still isn't set," writes ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, who has the 49ers selecting Fitzpatrick in his latest mock. "The 49ers could take the versatile Fitzpatrick and use him in a hybrid safety role in which he plays some slot corner, too. He's a true playmaker with the size and athleticism to play any position in the secondary."

The 49ers like versatile players like Fitzpatrick because it allows the team to get more out of each roster spot.

"The game is much more spread out," general manager John Lynch said at the combine. "They throw the football much more. It's played much more in space. And so, you better have players who can operate in space and who can do a number of different things. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a guy that is highly thought of, and we feel the same about him, but that versatility that he brings is something special."

Fitzpatrick registered 171 combined tackles with 16.5 for a loss, five sacks, nine interceptions, 24 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles in three seasons with Alabama, according to Sports Reference. He also returned four of those nine interceptions for touchdowns.

2) CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

Height: 5-10
Weight: 191 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.32 seconds
Vertical: 39 inches
Broad jump: 136 inches
Bench press: 16 reps

"Ward is polished, though he's not huge like 6-2 Ahkello Witherspoon, San Francisco's third-round pick last year," wrote Kiper in an earlier version of his mock. "Ward had two interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 2017, and he plays the ball well and has good instincts."

Ward is one of NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's favorite players in the draft, and he feels the cornerback has a legitimate chance to fall to the 49ers with teams moving up to make a run on quarterbacks.

Ward has appeared in 26 games over three seasons with Ohio State. During that time, he recorded 67 combined tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions, and 24 passes defensed, according to Sports Reference.

1) LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Height: 6-5
Weight: 253 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.54 seconds
Broad jump: 117 inches
Bench press: 19 reps

"The 49ers have invested heavily on the defensive line high in previous drafts, but I think they look to the second level of the defense here," writes ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay in his latest mock. "And Edmunds is a gift at No. 9. At 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, he has elite speed (4.47 40) and athleticism -- and he's only 19. Edmunds has the ability to play off the ball on first and second downs and rush the QB on obvious passing downs."

Edmunds registered 213 combined tackles, 33 for a loss, 10 sacks, an interception, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in three seasons with the Hokies, according to Sports Reference.

"Edmunds is 19 years old," Jeremiah said last week during an interview with KNBR. "He's 6-4, 250. He can run all day long. You just don't see guys like that very often, and at 19 years old, he's not even close to being what he's going to become. So I'm a big fan of his, and I think that would be a home run pick."


  • Which of these potential draft picks excites you the most?
  • LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
  • DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
  • S Derwin James, Florida State
  • None
  • CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
  • 1,981 votes

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

49ers Notebook: Trey Lance assesses first two practices; Ryans praises Lance, Nick Bosa; Richard Sherman predicts 49ers DBs will be 'among the best'

By Kirk Larrabee
Jul 28

Following the 49ers' practice session on Thursday, quarterback Trey Lance spoke publicly for the first time since June while defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans chatted with reporters about what he's seen so far from his side of the ball -- and from the quarterback his defense has been facing. Lance spoke on a number of topics, including what he thought of his first two days of training camp as the team's starter. Ryans offered his views of Lance, as well as what he's seen from some of the key players in the secondary and on the defensive line. Plus, there was an interesting Twitter quote Thursday from former 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who expects to see big things from his former defensive teammates this season. Here's a run-down of all of

49ers top draft picks impressing early at camp

By Allan McBride
Jul 31

It's always exciting to watch rookies enter their first NFL training camp. Just a few months ago, they were hearing their names called as they walked across the draft stage. Now, the draft hype has died down and they are entering unfamiliar territory as they attempt to take the gigantic leap from the collegiate level to the NFL. So far, the 49ers should be encouraged by how their top draft picks have entered camp and handled their new competitive environment with maturity and a desire to not only earn a roster spot, but to become a contributing factor in the upcoming season. Here is a quick look at how the top rookie performers have done in camp. Drake Jackson, DE (2nd Rd, 61st overall) Drake Jackson has shown up to camp

Who Makes the Cut for a 49ers Dream Team? First-Team Defense Edition

By Bill Brown
Jul 26

With so much talent and success over the years, the 49ers claim a celebrated history unrivaled by most franchises. This set of articles seeks to unearth the best of the best in this storied history. In our first installment, we explored what a first-team offense might look like if we could populate it with the greatest players from the past. In this installment, we'll explore the best defensive players who have pounded the gridiron for the 49ers to see who will earn the title of "all-time" best player at every position, earning a spot on our 49ers Dream Team. Just to refresh our memories, let's review the criteria I used to choose these players: 1. I chose mostly players I

What Kyle Shanahan said before the 49ers' first practice of training camp

By Site Staff
Jul 27

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters before Wednesday's practice, the first of training camp. Here is everything he had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. Will you give us a pre-practice injury report? "That's kind of why I stated that, because I don't have it quite yet. I really don't get that until about a half an hour before we go out there for sure. And then sometimes it changes by the time I get out there. That's why I like doing it after, so, nope, sorry." It was stated yesterday, I think General Manager John Lynch said that once you get past the physical aspect with QB Jimmy Garoppolo then we'll kind of see where it goes, so


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone